Well, I have finally entered the world of bloggers! About time if you ask any social media marketing expert! And if you ask me? Difficult question to answer. It has certainly taken me a while to warm to the idea of a blog, even though as a web designer I am supposed to be at the forefront of online trends and ‘blogs are the way to go’.
So where did my aversion to setting up my own blog come from? I guess many of you have, like me, come across websites with blogs that seems to have been set up just for the sake of it. Someone was told that having a blog is great for search engine ranking, so you better get one on that site immediately!! Random content that rambles on or content that is simply a re-hash of the site-owner’s latest sales offer, only this time written up in a more ‘informal’ style to make us feel all warm and fuzzy inside.
Then there are the multitude of websites that were quickly set up by using free blogging systems like WordPress, with pages generated as blog posts and homepages showing us that they were created on the 16th February 2009, uncategorised and comments closed. There is no place for a blog post as our home page entry unless your website itself is a blog and it suits the business you’re in! There is nothing wrong with the Marketing Guru styling his home page like a blog, because that’s why we’re on his site – to get his opinion and use it as an information source about his area of expertise. The same goes for the security expert, financial advice service etc. But if you are the local plumber or hotel, please don’t take the quick route and set up your brochure site as a blog…
No disrespect to WordPress of course! The very blog you are reading here is powered by WordPress, even though the rest of my site was built using MODx content management system (inTandem’s CMS of choice). MODx does offer functionality to create blog posts with commenting, archiving etc. but why re-invent the wheel when there is already a tool out there that can show the rest how it’s done? And then there are of course also countless excellent full websites represented all over the Internet that use the power of WordPress to create beautifully designed and well structured sites without even the slightest hint of a blog in sight. But these sites are most certainly built with the help of experienced WordPress programmers who know how to ‘turn off’ the blog style and ‘turn on’ proper web design. So please don’t take this as a WordPress bashing exercise! It’s more a call to action to use such tools at the right time and in the right manner.
So what’s the other side of the coin? A quick google for “Why I should start a blog” leaves me with an endless choice of Top 10 Reasons-type lists giving me core arguments such as:
- To express your thoughts and opinions
- To market or promote something
- To help people
- To establish yourself as an expert
- To connect with people like you
- To make a difference
- To stay active or knowledgeable in a field or topic
- To stay connected with friends and family
- To make money
- To have fun and stay creative*
Now, if I take a look at what I’ve just written, these really aren’t reasons for me not to put a blog on my site, so why not just get over myself?!! Yes, the blog will (hopefully) improve my search ranking. But it can also be used as a tool to communicate with my web design peers and perhaps help answer some of the regular questions I get from my clients. So here it is, the inTandem Blog is born! And I shall endavour to fill these pages with posts that are relevant, informative and perhaps at times even entertaining. I will try to create a mix of articles that speak both to my web designer community as well as my existing and potential client base. I will recount some experiences I might have using certain web design tools and applications but also provide tips and tricks for clients and others in charge of updating their own websites that will help you make the most out of your web presence even after I have handed your ‘baby’ back to you on going live. Social media will feature prominently and so will current security issues. Anybody already ‘liking’ inTandem on my Facebook page will be familiar with the kind of status updates offered there (and if you have not yet shown me your Facebook love, please don’t hold back and check out inTandem’s page on Facebook!).
So if this sounds of interest to you, please add my RSS feed to your feed reader (e.g. Google Reader), engage with comments and let me know if there is a particular topic you would like me to tackle.