Is not always easy for someone, to make the right mixture of ingredients for building a successful blog, i.e. a successful technological platform from which you can communicate effectively your thoughts, ideas, etc. It involves a number of elements, not all of which can be mastered at once, even though you may have the technical expertise. It needs a lot of work, planning, training and skills development.
Basically, a Blog involves 3 basic elements:
- Services, and
all of which directed towards people, following a specific goal (to tell, educate, train, market, sales, etc.), according to the aims of the author(s). And in this mixture, a lot more ingredients are (or should) take part in order the goals of the blog to be served. Ingredients such as:
- A niche sector, lead, product, service or market
- A promotion system
- A model of communication
- A place for comments and discussions
- A way of taking feedback
- (possible) a way of monetization
Building A Professional Blog in Blogger
As I have said, it is easy to setup a blog, and via this to communicate with the rest of world. The roadmap is pretty straight forwarding, as have been mentioned:
And of course, the content is the King (even though there are different opinions). But, in order for you to be a successful blogger and before you write your first post, you going to need some more components, besides the infrastructure of Blogger, WordPress (the one I’m using now), or a corresponding one.
Decisions To Be Made For Building A Professional Blog
First, you should decide on the purpose of your blog (and especially if you design a professional blog) and what are the objectives it would serve. After you decide the purpose of your blog you should decide whether or not you would be willing to invest some money in order to buy a domain name, appropriate to your needs and a place on the internet for your blog (i.e. to render the services of a hosting company for your blog) or you would like to blog without expenses at all (there are a lot free blogging services in the Internet as Blogger is). Of course, every decision has its pros and cons (for this your should do a lot of research, in order later not to deadlock in a solution that does not cover your needs).
Then you should make sure about the capabilities of the blogging platform you choose, and, once you settle, you should familiarize with the basics procedures of administration, writing, editing, publishing, etc of the platform you select.
When this circle ends, a new cluster of decisions has to be addressed accordingly. These decisions involve a lot of research in various fields and subjects, such as:
- What template should I use? Where can I find it?
- What widgets, add-ons or plug-ins should I use, in order to serve my objectives.
- Should I use a third-party service(s) for subscription, commenting, printing, sharing, monetization, traffic analysis, optimization, promotion, etc or should I depend on the functionality of my platform for these services? And if I use for what and how to integrate them into my platform.
The decision tree is very large, as you can see, bellow (this is a mind map of my first draft for developing my blog, and I’m still updating it !!!)
Of course, some decisions can be taken later on, at a time when you have already published your first posts, ideas, etc. Some of them might depend on the feedback you are going to receive by your users. But when they be decided upon, should be implemented with deliberation and gradually (step-by-step or even baby steps, following the circle, decide what have to change/altered, find the best way for that, implement it, employee it, test it, etc.), in order to be integrated organically into your blog.
Some Suggestions for a Professional Blog
My personal opinion is, that at a minimum, you should consider following functionality and the services that would support them:
- A new Professional looking Template that can support the now and your middle-term requirements (there are many for various platforms either free or paid ones, just Google it !!!)
- The Widgets/add-ins/plug-ins you should use and the position on your blog (check what is available and research on the how can be implemented the ones that are not and need them).
- A Discussion / Commenting System (you can use the integrated one or you can use a third-party one such as the Disqus, IntenseDebate and other – you should check the terms of usage and the pricing policy)
- An RSS subscription Service (again you can rely on the integrated into the platform of your choice or you can use a third-party service as FeedBurner [free] or FeedBlitz – you should check the terms of usage and the pricing policy)
- Site Administration and Traffic (for Blogger Blog platform you can use the internal tools or the Google Webmaster Tools, while for the other platforms such the WordPress you can use the internal tools. For traffic monitoring, you can use for free – with only a subscription in Google, the Google Analytics for free or third-party services (check the pricing policy))
- A Marketing Management / Promotion System (if you need it, in order to promote your content, such as to send your new postings to your users via e-mail, you should consider services such as MailChimp, AWeber, or other. Again check the conditions of use and the pricing policies).
You should mind, that there are other services that can facilitate and support your blogging endeavors, and this post it does not intend to catalog to a total of services, but to provide an insight of the services involved in the blogging “industry”.
As you might start to understand “blogging” today is not just posting personal opinions, articles, etc. on the Internet. It has a very large tendency of becoming a privileged channel of information for millions of users and for that reason, can have a tremendous impact, both in personal as in professional life.
Of course, nothing of the above may interest you since you only want to have a place on the Internet to share your thoughts. For the rest, though, I hope this post may be of use as a small introduction to what involves the term Blogging.
P.S. Is it really 5 + 2 the elements, I presented above? I’m not quite certain. It depends, though, on what you are going to develop. Do not limit yourself on those describe in here, research some more, and again, research again …