What it takes to prepare for a cycling adventure – Part Three – Blogging
Getting your message out there – Blogging
With a project the size of Cycle for Change the sheer weight of what needs to be done can sometimes be overwhelming. As the project has moved forward though, we have been able to start to prioritize much better and it has become increasingly apparent that promotion and publicity are the most important focus areas for getting something like this off the ground.
The best we have found so far is to have a serious web presence that is accesible and informative. Now this may seem self evident but it was amazing the credibility we gained with potential sponsors, supporters and partners once we had a fucntioning website and almost more importantly an active blog. By no means have we utilized this to the fullest yet but by having a variety of different blog entries that cater to the interests of many different types of people, we have had interest from all over the world and some rather unlikely places. Singapore strangely enough has provided quite a bit of interest and we are looking at developing a relationship with a supplier from Taiwan who found us through the blog.
The question we are often asked is what do you include in the blog and how do you do it?
How to set it up.
1. Register with a major blogging service. – We use wordpress.com which is free and has been fantastic for us for its versatility, themes and tracking tools. But there are plenty of others and I think it is really a matter of personal preference on who to use. If you want bit more flexibilty and are more tech savvy than we are, then you might like to try out wordpress.org, but that does cost.
What to include.
1. Obviously great content is important, but keep in mind that different people are after different things so offering a variety of aspects about setting up your project, background information, and general banter seem to be equally effective. Don’t be shy to speak with a certain amount of authority, because lets face it, if you have taken the first step then you know alot more than most other people who might be visiting your site.
2. Videos and Photos. Although blogging is primarily a written medium we have found that posts with photos or video seem to capture peoples imagination rather quicker than slabs of text.
Useful sites for advice and storing your video and photos
Writing your blog. There are as many different ideas out there on how to write effective blogs as there are blogs. Learning from those that have gone before you is time saving and productive, and there are loads of different sites that can help.
The best that we have found so far are :
1. www.problogger.net – great site with helpful daily updates that is becoming one of the leading blogging advice sites.
2. www.entrepreneurs-journey.com – very much aimed at making money from blogging and monetizing your site, but still offers some great advice about setting up your blog and the do’s and dont’s of the blogging world.
3.www.blogdesignblog.com– has some great ideas on how to make your blog look different from all the others.
4.www.bloggingtips.com – a new one I have just found but has some great stuff on there to help you get your blog going.
Video services like Youtube and Vimeo make it easy to store your video files and wordpress makes it a two click operation to embed your videos into the blog and give it alot more character. A word of warning though, don’t go overboard with the videos, it is merely an addition, not the main reason for your site.
Photos add a sense of credibility to your blogs and allow readers to get a connection with your ideas that words alone seem not to. Why are magazines so full of photos when they are primarily about words? Again, remote hosting services like Flickr, are a great way to show a full library of photos related to your blog, without having store them all.
Am I happy with our blog yet ? Not 100%, but it’s definitely getting better and by the numbers of visitors we are starting to get our readers are enjoying it as well. It takes a bit of work, but you become strangely addicted to it after a while, and it is a great way to get your message out there.
If you have any more ideas about starting a blog as a way to promote your project, please let us know.
Entry filed under: Trip Preparations. Tags: advice, Blog, blogging, campaign, campaigning, Flickr, On the Web, organising a project, preparations, Project and Program Management, Project management, Weblogs, WordPress, wordpress.com, Youtube.