12 Years Blog-a-versary!

Happy blog-a-versary to Branding & Marketing!

How could it be 12 years have gone by for this blog? February 2006 was a long time ago.

My first blog post was about the caveman FedEx Super Bowl ad.

I enjoy watching the Super Bowl for the ads with my family

I remember thinking about starting a blog for at least a year or two before I actually did. Would I have enough ideas to keep it going? How would I figure out all the technology like which hosting service to use? My friend used Severe Dedicate M247 maybe I should learn more about them? Would I like doing it? How often should I blog? What to blog about? How long should it be? Where can I find images? How can I make it look cool? I had so many questions at first and was pretty hesitant to jump in both feet.

I didn’t use my name or photo at first. Just my company logo. It wasn’t until someone thought I was a “him” that started using my photo and real name.

Although I don’t write 3 or 4 times a week anymore, I still find it helpful and satisfying to put thoughts out here. I enjoy reading the comments and helping new bloggers too.

If you’re a long time reader, thanks for following along. And thanks especially for leaving comments. Building community is certainly a big part of blogging.




Building a Blog – A Checklist for Success

bloggingAfter Google’s announcement that they would give priority to responsive, mobile friendly websites when someone searches from a website, I’m seeing more small business owners rely on WordPress for their content management software.

With WordPress comes an opportunity for a company blog. Many may find the concept of blogging to be a bit overwhelming and intimidating.

Let me guess. You are smiling. Either in agreement or otherwise. If you’re a blogger, you know the self discipline it takes to create, evaluate, proofread, monitor links and keep it updated. If you’ve tried to blog, you know the challenge of learning and making decisions. And if you’ve never tried it, but just read blogs, maybe you feel, “how hard could it be?”

Mike WallagherFor those who are ready to get started, I have a treat for you. Here’s a tool that will help you. Mike Wallagher’s How to Start Blogging guide. He claims that it has helped to launch 9,500 blogs.  And maybe so.  He has a very complete guide to help someone who is trying to navigate the world of the blog.  And that often describes a do-it-yourselfer Small Business Owner.

Mike approached me about adding his guide to my list of resources, which I plan to do. But I also felt that it warranted a full blog post of it’s own. After all, if so many small business owners are trying to start their own blog, they’re no doubt trying to make all those decisions for the first time. And Mike’s guide can help!

If you’ve used Mike’s start blogging online guide, please leave a comment below to let me know what you’ve thought of it.


Building Community with Your Marketing

Chris-Brown Building Community Blogging TipsBlogging and Marketing Tips by Experts is a great example of building community. Marco Mijatovic from First Site Guide asked a variety of marketing experts to provide their three Top Online Marketing Tips for New Bloggers.

He complied them, with the author’s bios and made avatars of their photos (see mine to the right) to create chapter 7 in his book and a wonderful resource for those who are starting out with their first blog site.

His article is a great example of content pulled together from a community.

I haven’t seen this type of work in a while, in fact it is reminiscent of 2006 and 2007 when blogging was first exploding.

Building Community in the Viral Garden

I remember getting a big boost from the “D List”, a group of marketing bloggers banded together by Mack Collier to help promote each others’ content. He was one of the many who helped shape the path for building community.

To Accept Advertising … And Guest Authors… or Not?

Every day I get hit with questions from potential advertisers and potential guest authors.

“Are you interested in running advertising on your blog? Are you interested in a guest post?”

I tend to answer all of these questions the same kind of response…

It’s just I don’t believe that you, the reader, once to see advertising or wants to read a guest post.

Am I wrong?!? I’d like to hear your opinion in the comment section below. Let me know if 1)how you feel about accepting advertising on this blog or 2) how you feel about guest authors on this blog.

Bottom line: would unsubscribe if/when you saw a guest post and/or advertising?

I’ll be interested to read your comments — and thanks in advance for leaving a comment! You don’t have to login with the website or even leave your real name, if you are too shy to do that.

But I would repeat appreciate a response. Thanks!!

How To Create a Blog Post – For those who don’t like to WRITE!

How to write a blog post when you don't like to writeIf you really don’t like to write, how can you market your business using a blog?

Here’s my advice for creating a blog post, even if you don’t consider yourself a writer.

1) Log into WordPress
Go to POSTS. Select ADD NEW.
Select Visual (instead of Text)

2) Insert a PHOTO about your business
Click on ADD MEDIA. Select UPLOAD to add a new photo.
Decide if you will add something from the desktop or iphoto. Drag, double click or click on select file to upload
Rename the photo if it called something like 3489IMG or SCAN123. Try to name it something that someone might search in Google if they were looking for your type of business.

3) Describe the Photo
After you’ve inserted the photo, write a few sentences that describe the photo.

  • Just get it down on paper (don’t edit yet)
  • What would you say to a friend if they had just noticed this photo in your home or on your desk at work?
  • Make a few points about it. (Just get it down, not even full sentences.  Work the creative side of your brain.)
  • Then go back and edit for spelling, grammar and wording. (Work the analytic side of your brain.)
  • Make sure you have a title in the Blog post.
  • SAVE DRAFT often. You don’t want to lose your work. Proof and review in Preview.

4) Publish
When you’re satisfied with your photo and short description, it’s good.  Click the Publish key.

Think of writing a page in a book, not a whole book, not even a chapter!  Just a page that has a picture.  Almost a caption.

You can do a lot more, yes. But these 4 little steps will help you when you feel you’re stuck and are not a writer!