BLOGGING FOR ACTORS: Good blogs travel fast!
“Either write something worth reading about, or do something worth writing about” – Ben Franklin.
WTF is Blogging?
Basically, a blog is a website or webpage dedicated to the periodic publishing of your writing. It’s like a digital diary, or journal, or book, or newspaper, or column that people can read online. Entries are made on a regular basis and are usually listed in reverse-chronological order and are usually dedicated to one subject. Most commonly, readers of a blog can add a comment and give feedback. Like a traditional publication (newspaper, magazine, etc), readers can also subscribe to read blogs regularly via RSS (Really Simple Syndication) either within their chosen email account, or via a Blog Feed Reader such as GoogleReader, FeedReader, or FeedBurner.
Do I need it?
*Blogs are the equivalent of outdated print media – this is how you’ll tell the world of your news and events.
*Blogs are an opportunity for you to communicate your brand in a personal voice.
*Blogs are an effective tool to find your fans, qualify yourself as an expert, and drive people to your mother ship (website).
*Blogs enable you to have an open dialogue with your existing fans and find new ones.
*Blogs provide you with a tool to deliver the most up-to-date news and events to your audience and showcase your product.
*Blogs increase your web presence and help with SEO; they help people find you online.
Convinced? Good! We’ve defined why blogging is a critical part of your social networking efforts, let’s explore the most popular blog hosting solutions. I intentionally won’t include a step-by-step, technical set-up guide, as each each of the following options involves a different process, and there is already a jolly good ‘Get Started’ instructional section provided on each site. Instead, here’s a summary of the pros and cons of the most widely used blog hosting sites, that are easiest to incorporate into your Mothership (site).
WORDPRESS.COM: This version of WordPress hosts your blog on their server, so no installation required! It’s easy to set-up, free, and allows a moderate degree of customization and decent variety of templates. Most hosting services support WordPress and offer 1-click installation so it’s easy to integrate. Large blogging community and good customer support. You can customize your domain name, ie: mynewblog.com instead of mynewblog.wordpress.com.
WORDPRESS.ORG: Is different to the .com version. The .org version provides you with the software to set-up your blog on a separate hosting server. The .org version provides you with almost unlimited customization, but you do need a moderate level of technical skill to set it up and have to pay for separate hosting server. If you decide to use this option, I suggest hosting with a company that provides one-click set-up for Wrodpress.org (such as bluehost.com)
BLOGGER: Similar to the .com version of WordPress, Blogger is a free, hosted service. Customization is easy and you have more control than WordPress.com. Blogger is more popular than WordPress.com, but does have the public perception of being the choice of beginner bloggers. It does not support the addition of static pages as WordPress.com does – pages such as About Me, Contact Us, etc.
TRADITIONAL BLOG ALTERNATIVES:
If you’re not a strong writer, then there are alternatives. Vlogging (Video Blogging) involves recording yourself on a video camera, phone, or webcam, basically covering what you would in a traditional blog, but chatting to camera. Video content can be used with the support of images and text or to replace those elements of a traditional blog completely. Most blog hosting sites (including Bloggers and WordPress.com) support uploading video content, or host your videos on YouTube (still the leading site for video sharing) and embed in your blog or personal site. Just make sure you tag your video files within you vlogs thoroughly for SEO.
If vlogging is online television, then podcasts are online radio. If you don’t have the available equipment to vlog, or are camera shy (not uncommon for performers), then podcasts could be for you. Podcasts are audio recordings, saved as MP3s and shared via the internet. Topics covered in podcasts are as limitless as blogs, and range from 30 seconds to 3 hours (or longer). You (or your website administrator) can embed (add) podcasts to your main website or blog site, either as a player (using Flash or HTML coding) or as an download for your audience to listen to on their iPod or MP3 player.
If you decide to produce vlogs or podcasts instead of, or in addition to your blog, remember that same do and don’t rules apply!
What are those ‘Do’s and Don’ts’ you ask? Well, tune in next Monday to find out, I’ll also cover what you should write about, how often and incorporating your brand into your blog.
Until then, enjoy your week – and keep sharing!
“In today’s environment, hoarding knowledge ultimately erodes your power. If you know something very important, the way to get power is by actually sharing it.”