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Often neglected is posting comments on blog sites you visit and I’m not talking about the lack of comments in online community sites but rather comments on blog sites you find on the web.  Part of increasing your online visibility and your digital footprint  is to post comments on blogs you read and find interesting.  A good place to start is to post comments on industry related blogs an also post comments on blog sites of people you know, e.g. members of your online community.  Also make sure that when you post a comment that you offer something of value, this makes you more credible to both the blogger and the audience who is reading the blog.  It is also ok to disagree and share your own opinon as long as you are not rude but rather sharing your view point.

The benefit of taking the time to post comments on blog sites are:

1.  It shows you care and that you are participating and making yourself a valued online citizen.
2.  Other bloggers will value and appreciate your support and reciprocate.
3.  You increase your online visibility.
4.  You get the opportunity to share your expertise and knowledge.

How do you get your avatar to display on comments you post.

It is simple really, go to www.gravatar.com and sign up, add your profile information and you are ready to go.  Everytime you post a comment on a blog site your avatar will appear alongside your comment.

How to add avatars from a blogging platform such as Word Press.

You can add the Gravatar plugin for Word Press and you can add a plugin called Add Local Avatar This plugin allows your visitor to add their avatar to your site, this is useful especially if they are not familiar with Gravatar.

 
I am no expert and I don’t claim to be one either, but I learn along the way, read a lot and find ways to improve on what I do constantly.  I hope these 5 tips will help you when starting your blog.

1.   What is the central theme of your blog?

Having given this some thought, I realise that, perhaps, my own blogs do not really have a centralised theme.  I am going to be changing this shortly and to have 3 blogs.  One for Direct Assist Online, which will focus on Social Media and Social Media Tools, another one Romany Thresher.com, which will focus on personal development and my views, and, lastly, a South African blog where the theme will be centred around a South African audience.

2.  Who is your audience going to be?

Who is likely going to read your blog?  I found this to be a difficult question to answer, especially for my Direct Assist Online blog, as I felt that most business people, who are in fact my target audience, don’t really have the time to read any blogs for that matter.  However, giving it a bit more thought, I realised that doing some “how to” blogs focused on Social media tools, perhaps, may do the trick, as I have found that many small business owners are currently managing their own social media. In a survey I conducted recently I have found out that this audience is spending roughly 30 to 60 hours a month on Social Media. Wow, they need to be using a social media assistant to reduce the time thus spent, so they can focus on face to face networking and other income producing tasks.

3.  Big picture audience or a Detailed audience?

Another important factor to consider is whether you are writing for the “big picture audience” or, perhaps, an audience who likes plenty of detail.  I am very much a big picture person, and I know I write in a big picture way, so I thought it would actually be a good thing for me to mention this in the about me section of my blog.

4.  What type of blogs your audience would be interested in?

This is a good exercise to do, then you can explore they style of writing, what makes it readable, what about the blog gets people to comment, etc.

5.  What topics could you write about?

For example, if you had a blog site with a photography theme, you could write about various types of cameras and do reviews on each, various types of lenses, lighting tips, ways you can take pictures in the best possible way and so on.  But you need to make sure you have the list of topics in mind, and not just start a blog because you feel like starting it.

In a nutshell, do some thorough research first, and start your blog later.

Being a virtual assistant who helps busy business owners manage their social media activities.  I tend to read a lot of other blogs and recently I have come across some really great ones, especially inside some social communities. While it has tremendous value to blog inside a community, it is also important that you, as the author, have your own launch pad to build your own identity.

By placing all your content in one location, such as a blog, you make it easier for readers to learn more from you and they can bookmark your site for future reference. As readers begin to learn more from you, they begin to trust what you are saying and you build credibility.

Blogging from your blog site also makes your blog more authentic giving it an identity and a personality for people to learn more about you and your business.  If you are using social media as part of your marketing strategy to increase your online visibility you will also want a place for your visitors to see more of who you are and what additional great value you can provide for them.  Your little piece of the web is considered the storefront of your business.  It is where you will keep all your blogs and content and it is from this location that you will then distribute the content to the various social media platforms.

There is one downside of posting in social communities in that everyone tends to comment on the social community site but not on your blog.  One of the benefits of using social media sites is to get people interested in what you have to say so that they want to hear more.  I have posted in social community sites and have received some very useful comments in these sites and I think to myself, ” if only I could have those comments on my blog site”.

Remember not everyone uses social communities but do still surf the net for relevant content.
Generating traffic to your blog site is very good in terms of ranking and gaining popularity for your site.

Romany Thresher


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