How to Blog and Why You Should Already Be in the Blogosphere

Free Blog Real Estate on the Net

There are lots of free places to enter the blog world – WordPress.Com will give you a free wordpress site, Blogger (Google) will give you free web real estate, and if you’re new to the habit, they are probably a good place to start.

Already Committed to a “blog of your own”?

If you’re sure you’re going to blog; you know you want to build a brand for yourself, or your company, I’d highly recommend you buy a domain, install wordpress and start with everything in place to gain traction with the search engines.  I started off with Squarespace, which is a very sophisticated platform, but it cost me about $250 a year, and I didn’t have the controls I’d have liked. Moving an entire blog to a new domain AND a new platform (WordPress) turned out to be a real pain in the neck, and I know I lost some posts in the process.

  • Buy a domain
  • Get a hosting account (Hostgator has a good deal and an excellent WordPress installation process)
  • Install WordPress
  • Have Fun!

Having trouble deciding that you should have a blog?

I found some pretty compelling statistics and some really great quotes at Hubspot:

The bottom line is that blogging is like sex. !

You can’t fake it. You can’t fake passion. You can’t fake wanting to engage with the public. If you do, it will ultimately be an unsatisfying experience for both ! the blogger and their readers.”

Kevin Anderson, Freelance Journalist & Former Blogs Editor for The Guardian

More Pages Indexed

More Inbound Links

Way More Leads

 

“In God we trust, all others bring data.”

– Edward Deming

If that isn’t enough, get the entire 100 Awesome Marketing Stats, Charts, & Graphs [Data] from Hubspot.

I sent an excerpt of the Hubspot data to all my clients, present, former, and potential! to remind them how powerful blogs can be.  I’m a huge proponent of blogging as a way to get attention – to develop your presence on the internet and help build your business.

As a Thesis developer, you all probably also know that I’m big on how a website looks, and functions, and it should be obvious that for your blog to work at bringing in readers, who convert to customers, your blog should be good looking, easy to read and easy to navigate. Blogs, by their very nature are candy for search engines, and posts get indexed quickly.  I use Thesis for building blogs because it is so SEO powerful I feel that it really helps in that whole “If you Build it, Will they Come” question with which we all struggle!

If you’d like to see some evidence of the fact that they will come, I invite you to read the series I wrote, If you build it will they come?  http://tracigregory.com/2010/10/06/if-you-build-it-will-they-come-part-1-of-3/ is the first of three posts, and it will lead you to the next two.

Los Angeles Social Media Services

In times past, you could be obscure, yet secure — now, that’s harder.

— Michael Goldhaber, Wired Magazine

We are a full-service internet marketing company.  We design strategy to leverage the Internet for clients in any industry.  We work with attorneys, physicians, designers, manufacturers, chefs.  We are very good at what we do because we get it.  We know how the Internet works, how it inter-relates, and how to leverage the larger sites available (Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Google) to enhance your web presence.

We provide a full menu of internet marketing services —

Coordinated Presence across Social Platforms

  • Google Plus pages for your business

  • Twitter Promotions: Custom Background Design, Twitter followers campaigns, finding your specifically targeted Twitter audiences.

  • YouTube Channels and distribution of video content

  • Linked In Business Pages

Recent LA clients include a music promoter, a well known criminal defense attorney, and a couple of actresses in need of  “damage control”.

Thesis: Image in Post Title

I am still looking for ways to make my WordPress blogs look better.  I really don’t want my blogs to look like anyone else’s, and I want them to be pretty.  If you like the way it looks, my theory is, you’ll stay longer than if it looks like the ’40s and untouched by human hands!

You may already know I am mad about the Thesis Framework for WordPress, since lately it is almost all I write about here.

This trick is slick, takes about three minutes to implement, not counting the creative work on the image, and makes your blogs look more polished, and most important to me, more individualized.  If you want a picture next to the post title, here is how to include it in Thesis for WordPress.

I got pumped about the file folder images I used to substitute for the navigation bar, so I picked the guitar one (it is Blog like a RockStar, after all) and after loading the image, made additions to two files.

The CSS file needs this code:

/* Add Avatar Before Headline sitewide */.custom .title-avatar { float:left; margin: 0 1em 0 0;}


The Custom Functions File file needs this code:

/*Add Avatar Before Headline sitewide*/function author_avatar() { echo 'img class="title-avatar" src="http://Your-Website.com/wp-content/images/Your-Image-File.gif"  /'; } add_action('thesis_hook_before_headline', 'author_avatar');


Have I told you lately how crazy I am about the Thesis framework? So cool.

My next planned topic is a tutorial for adding customization to sidebars: adding images to sidebar headers, or using color to highlight your sidebars and headings, using Thesis framework for WordPress.

Rock On!

Fashion your sidebar headers in Thesis for WordPress

Drive Traffic to Your WordPress Blog

There are a couple of things you can easily do to your sidebars to dress them up. I’m sure you know by now that the control for the font (size, color, and font face) are in the Thesis Design Options. We’re going to go further than that.

To change the  sidebar color, you must add a line of code to your Custom CSS file (http://YourSiteName.Com/wp-content/themes/thesis_18/style.css/). And you can make the colors different in each of the sidebars by calling out ‘sidebar_1’ or ‘sidebar_2’.

/*Art of Rockstar Sidebar Color*/ .custom #sidebar_1 {background:#BA5A88 none repeat scroll 0 0;}  


A couple of things: when you copy and paste these codes into your custom functions file, make sure that your computer doesn’t change any of the characters you see here to something that will kill your wordpress blog.

For some reason occasionally when I transfer code from notepad to my custom_functions.php file on my server, the quotes (“) will be changed to a solid rectangle that I can not even duplicate for you . . .

To simply color the space the header is in, you must add a line of code to your Custom CSS file (http://YourSiteName.Com/wp-content/themes/thesis_18/style.css/). And you can make the colors different in each of the sidebars by calling out ‘sidebar_1’ or ‘sidebar_2’.

/*Art of Rockstar Highlight Sidebar Headers*/ .custom #sidebar_1 {background:#666666 none repeat scroll 0 0;} 


 

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