As we continue to discuss ways to strengthen your personal brand online, proper attention needs to be given to the importance of blogging.  If the idea of starting a blog, or contributing to an existing one, sounds like an attractive idea it can become the centerpiece of your online presence.

Content is Key

More important than a fancy design is the text, photos, or other content you’ll be delivering.  You can dress it up any way you like, but the most important thing is engaging your audience.  Find a topic that you’re interested in presenting and can hopefully provide new insights.  The last thing anyone wants to see is a lazily produced product that is never updated.  So if you’re excited about your content, it will become that much more appealing to prospective readers.

Pick a Platform

If you’re starting a blog from scratch, your second big decision after deciding on your theme, is to pick a blogging platform.  There are a variety of popular and free sites that will host your blog for you and offer a variety of benefits.

WordPress – When we were deciding on a platform for the SPS Community Blog, WordPress emerged as the clear frontrunner.  It is the most fully featured free blogging platform, and offers the most options in terms of customization, content control, and reporting.  The drawback is that it isn’t the easiest site to familiarize yourself.  Especially when compared to some of its competators.  Still, it’s far from rocket science, and once you get the hang of all the WordPress dashboard has to offer you’ll find a wealth or resources to improve your blogging.

Blogger – It’s impossible to talk about something tech related and not expect Google to be a key part of the conversation.  Blogger is Google’s blogging platform and it boasts an easy to use interface that only affords a minimal amount of customization.

Tumblr – The new kid on the block, Tumblr is known as a “microblogging” site.  It focuses on shorter updates, with an emphasis on photographs and creative layouts.  This is a funky and fun platform that’s ideal for artists.

No Need to Reinvent the Wheel

Another great way to get your name and content out is by joining a preexisting blog.  Find something in your area of interest, and reach out to them about becoming a contributor.  There’s strength in numbers, and it also adds a certain sense of legitimacy to your content that you would otherwise have to work to gain on your own.

I’m happy to answer any and all questions on getting started as a blogger, and invite all SPS students and alumni to try it out by contributing to this very blog.  Feel free to contact me at shawn.abraham@mail.cuny.edu with any questions.  I look forward to reading your future posts!

Shawn Abraham is SPS’ Virtual Campus Manager, which means he gets to have a lot of fun building an online community for the school.  He also has a lot of fun reading books about zombies.  These two things rarely intersect.

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