I’m feeling nostalgic these days. With my second Inbound Marketing Summit wrapped up, and experiencing my first time at Blog World in Vegas in October, I’m entering November and that means it’s my Twitterversary again. Two years. Damn.
And it’s yet another blog for me. You may notice that janetaronica.com now has a new home on WordPress.org, a new (and anticipated to be evolving) look, and compiled content from three of my blogging ventures over the past two years. Yes, three… Things don’t look perfect on this blog right now and that’s ok. Startup life has taught me that sometimes “done” is better than perfect, and you iterate your product from there. I’m happy to have my domain name and my content here, my Tweet button and Facebook like button installed so you can share it with your friends. There’s a way to subscribe to my content. I’ll add the extra stuff as I go along, but I’m no longer waiting around for myself to figure that stuff out before I blog. It’s a blog. Blogging comes first.
I haven’t done things perfectly in social media. Here’s what I’d do if I started today:
I’d start a blog on WordPress.com. I’d buy my domain name from the beginning and buy whatever amount of money they charge these days for domain re-direction. I’d use the *simplest* theme possible. I would not. I REPEAT: I would not fuss and muss over the look and feel of my blog. I would just start blogging.
A mistake I made in blogging is wasting a lot of time on the look/feel of my blogs and getting frustrated with coding stuff I didn’t understand. I wasted time I could’ve spent writing screwing around with HTML and whatchamacallit and getting no where with it. I’d get the content right before I worried about headers, colors, widgets etc.
Social Health Nut is an example of this. I fussed around so much trying to figure out how I wanted that thing to look that by the time it looked the way I wanted it to, I realized I didn’t even know what I wanted to blog about. So I didn’t blog. #fail
You have to scale. What is priority when it comes to customizing your blog? What matters most? When you are JUST starting, this matters most:
- Tweet Button and Facebook Like Button (so people can share your content)
- RSS button (so people can subscribe to your content)
After I got a good six months of blog-at-least-once-a-week content under my belt, THEN I would move my content over to WordPress.org. There are far more theme options and customizations available with plugins from what I can see so far. Paying for Bluehost and having their customer service people there to bail me out when I jack up my .php stuff is well worth it. You can’t get any help like that when paying WordPress.com for rights to customize the CSS over there.
Another option? Just do a Posterous blog. It’s a very simple blogging platform, you can just email your posts to firstname.lastname@example.org and they show up on your site. It’s a change to focus on the content without the distractions of all that other garbage.
Also, remember: You don’t have to do a WordPress blog.
It’s the content that matters, not the platform.
Steve Rubel uses Posterous.
Seth Godin, David Armano, Julia Roy and Greg Verdino all use TypePad.
Hipster Puppies uses Tumblr. Oh, wait…
You get my point. Just start blogging. Not sure what to write about? Talk about how you’re not sure what to write about because you’re just learning about social media. “I’m new to social media and I read this article today and this is what I thought of it.” That’s a legitimate blog post! And my God, this SMD community would find that sort of stuff refreshing coming from someone new to the space, I think. Just start blogging. Go. Go, go go.
And just start Tweeting. That’s what I did two years ago and I’d do it all again. I literally just started asking people how they got their PR jobs in Boston and Tweeted blog posts I read and commented on and found interesting. I still do that, only now I’m asking about advice when it comes to community management and Tweeting/commenting on blog posts related to that. Remember that “don’t talk to strangers” advice you got as a kid? That doesn’t apply to Twitter. Talk to strangers. Lots of them.
Getting on Twitter and blogging changed my life. It changed my career direction and introduced me to amazing friends, mentors and people. It’s been a wild two years. There are things I could have done better, yes. But there is nothing that I would do differently. 🙂