Choosing a Blog Platform
- Learn about blogging (evaluate different kinds of platforms - social, custom site, etc)
- Identify platforms' reach / popularity and demographics
- Identify platforms that may have a Built-in Audience open to the Content I want to produce
- Get up and running quick
- Ease of Cross-Posting/Promotion (If I choose to do so)
- Monetization (down the road)
Overall Strategy (as of today)
Create a Personal “Hub” blog website that will contain links to my other niche blog sites and potential cross-promotion.
I got the idea of building myself into a “Brand” by the author Gary Vaynerchuk and his Crushing It series of books. He says go out and get the domain name of your real name. Since this is the Internet and I could be anyone, I decided to come up with a Pseudonym or “Pen Name” if you will of Cris Zis. Which is the just a twist on my own real name of Chris Zias. Also it’s more terse - makes a shorter and hopefully more memorable domain name for a website.
Partially inspired by the concept of “Newspeak” in the book 1984 - since that is where society is heading, am I right?
And when read out loud as one word, possibly up for interpretation by the individual, which appeals to me. Hey if a pen name worked for Mark Twain, why not I? Lastly, it’s a play on the Agent Smith quote “You go by the hacker alias…” in the Matrix movie.
- Agent Smith gets his own Bullet Point
Create a 2nd blog by choosing a social blogging platform (as one of my niche sites), get it up and running ASAP with the content I’m most familiar AND readily available at my fingertips, that likely already has a large following. Basically my choices are all the pics/stories of my kids or all the pics/stories of the beagles I’ve had as pets over the years. I’m going to say the latter.
Learn the ins and outs of the blogging social media scene, how easy or hard it might be to gain followers.
Try to understand what people are getting out of using these platforms. Pretty much be at the street level and experience it firsthand, since it’s not something I would tend to do - besides the occasional Facebooking - which I disqualify as a blogging platform or something I need to learn more about.
Pivot as necessary if I find the platform to be to my liking.
After the 2 main blogs are launched (the control group in my experiment) find ways to cross-post the content to other Social sites such as Youtube and Flickr.
By my understanding video is the now. Yearly there has been tremendous growth in viewing of videos online compared to static web content. More and more, sites are taking advantage of embedded video as content or a way to communicate their online messages to consumers.
By cross-posting to Youtube and Flickr (at minimum), the benefit will be two-fold.
Firstly, they both act as additional “Channels” by which I can reach a bigger audience. Secondly, just by using them, they will hosting my Content/Data (i.e. my videos and photos) essentially for free. A quick google states, “A YouTube account grants unlimited video uploads, as long as each doesn't exceed 2 GB.” Flickr starts out with 1TB of drive storage and will also store my videos. And since I will be using a Cloud Web Host (Microsoft Azure), I will be saving on amount of storage and bandwidth that I use from Azure. Since most of Azure’s services can tack on additional charges due to web traffic and storage accounts. By linking to youtube or flickr for my non-text content, I should be saving money (lots of it I hope).
Become a hands-on Blogging expert and repeat the process by launching a legion of blogs. Mwa ha ha! For fun and potentially profit.
As mentioned in a previous blog, for my personal blog, I went the custom route, but instead of building it from scratch, I got the code bits from Github - plug for https://github.com/madskristensen/Miniblog.Core
But it’s built on tech and programming languages I already know. So now I have a good starting place and the ability to add new functionality or customize it as I need, with minimal level of difficulty and time usage. Because TIM (Time is Money).
For the Social Blog choice I went with Instagram (at least for now). Because my mom isn’t on it. JK.
Because of some research technique I do, which mainly is me googling X vs Y over and over again until I get distracted or pass out from sleep deprivation.
Here is how some of my google searches went:
What are the top blog platforms
This one mentions Tumblr and Wordpress which I both heard of!
Wordpress is a bit of a hybrid in that I can have my blog directly on their website/host or find a way to deploy and instance of it to the Web Host of my choice. And apparently there is a strong community for support and plugins/modules that can take the heavy lifting out of most tasks.
But then I think, I’ll have to look the Wordpress way of doing things and learning how their plugin system works. And by that point, what if I need something completely custom. Now I would have to learn Wordpress module design or programming - which is sounding like a much larger time commitment. When I can just go the custom route to begin with and not have to learn someone else’s infrastructure before I can create anything of value.
Tumblr initially sounded interesting, but then I checked it out, and seem to cater to the trendy hot celebrities (that I’ve never heard of) and seeming and younger audience that may not appreciated some of the more sophisticated (I think in my own mind) or thought-provoking content I plan to release. Uhh, no offense to Tumblr fans. Tumblr does have some social aspected, and researching this may have led me towards what ended up being my final decision.
instagram vs snapchat
Example result: https://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/instagram-vs-snapchat (which app is best for your business)
The business angle of this article appealed to me. Go ahead, chex it out.
Quick synopsis: Instagram will be a better option for most businesses. It offers cheaper advertising options, free analytics, and a public profile, making it easy for anyone to access your business’s information and content at any time. Snapchat might be more ideal if your audience is primarily teens and young adults.
Instagram, on the other hand, generally caters to an older demographic: 59% of all internet users between the ages of 18-29 use Instagram, and 33% of internet users between the ages of 30-49 use it
When I get to the monetization phase of my long term strategy, who will be more able to open up the pocket book to make that purchase or go through a referral site and be converted to a sale?
But then again, today’s youngsters are tomorrow’s workforce and primary consumers. Something to consider for sure.
Just from word of mouth I hear, SnapChat seems to have the hot hand and it the latest hot coolness. But then this is what I googled.
Social Media Site Rankings
And this nice chart:
And this is in millions. The stats do not lie!
And I did more analysis from this data looking at some of the other options, but we’ll save that for another post.
What is not pictured is a chat I had with a nice chap, (we’ll call him my e-business Guru) and he specifically mentions Instagram as a great platform for advertising and driving traffic to whatever products you may be selling - Info or Physical. And shared a number of techniques in order to leverage that. So that was another endorsement in its favor.
Lastly, Instagram being Picture/Video centric,, I found that they provided a feature that will auto-magically cross-post to Instagram for me. Ding Ding Ding! And more on that in my NEXT POST!