I like to talk to you for a moment about thought leadership marketing and an important tool for making it happen…
As Chris Brogan says “if you can’t be found in Google you don’t exist”. I say, if you want to be credible on the internet, you have to be searchable, findable, knowable, usable and shareable. I talked about that recently here:
When it comes to tools, it seems lately that blogging world is having a ‘Tumblrgasm’. Over the course of the summer several thought leaders such as Steve Rubel have come out in favor of Tumblr has the ultimate thought leadership blogging tool. On June 1, 2011, Steve posted…
In military circles, a ‘scorched earth policy’ – according to Wikipedia – is “A strategy which involves destroying anything that might be useful to the enemy while advancing through, or withdrawing from, a given theater of operations.”
Perhaps it’s symbolic, but that’s exactly the approach I took to my digital presence this past Memorial Day weekend. I started a fresh new site on the future of media over on Tumblr. Then I promptly turned around and slashed both my TypePad-powered blog, which I ran from 2004 to 2009, and my Posterous blog, which I started with some fanfare back in 2009. With just two clicks of a mouse I rid the web of literally thousands of blog posts, some of which I am proud of – others less so – and redirected the URLs to the new site.
Now before you write off this decision off as simply a mid-life crisis, let me explain why I did so. There’s actually a method to my madness.
You can follow the ‘via’ link if you want to hear more of Steve’s perspective, but me? I have gone in the opposite direction. For a long time, I was enamored of Posterous, a ‘drop dead simple’ blogging tool and I have written about it many times on this blog. Posterous is insanely great at doing some things that other blogging platforms still have not mastered. I truly believe that Posterous is the ultimate curation and auto posting tool. Unfortunately, I also believe that Posterous as a company has lost its direction and is circling the drain. Frustration with their product and technical support has led me back to WordPress.com as a solution…
I have been very happily rediscovering this tool and enjoy the many enhancements they have made in the year that I was gone. As a result, I now hold the position that WordPress.com is all that most individuals or companies need to establish a thought leadership position on the Internet.
Here are some of the key features that stand out in my mind:
- Cost = free
- Professional design
- Posting by e-mail or voice
Anyone can start a WordPress.com blog for free. The URL for your blog will be http://username. wordpress.com. If you already own your own Internet domain you can apply it to your blog for the cost of $12 per year — if you don’t own your domain you and purchase it through WordPress for $17 per year. This means that anyone can now have a professionally designed website for the cost of only $17 per year. I use WordPress.com for my personal blog. The WordPress.com address is toddlohenry.wordpress.com, but you can find it there or at toddlohenry.com. No one had to know you’re using WordPress.com as your website if you don’t want them to…
Speaking of professionally designed, at last count WordPress.com has over 140 different templates that you can apply to your site and most of them are free. If you’d like, you can differentiate your site by purchasing a premium theme. If you speak CSS, you can modify your site to your heart’s content for an additional $30 per year.
One of the features that I enjoy most is the ability to create a post by e-mail or voicemail. WordPress.com will allow me to create a secret e-mail address that is directly connected to my blog. I can create a post simply by e-mailing to that address–anything I put in the title of the e-mail will go into the title of the post and anything I put in the body of the e-mail will go into the body of the post. If I attach a picture or pictures they will also be added to the post. If I include a link to a YouTube video that will also be properly formatted and displayed. If I add the post by voice feature, I can call a number, punch in my pin, and leave a voicemail to the world in the form of a blog post. This means that any small business owner or thought leader can now update their website using tools they already know how to operate; e-mail and telephone. It really doesn’t get much easier than this!
Using the sharing feature, I can have my site automatically post to either my Facebook profile or a Facebook page, to my twitter account, to my LinkedIn account, to my Microsoft messenger account, and my Yahoo account. I can also create a share button that will allow my readers to easily post my content to all those services and more. I really appreciate the fact that WordPress.com has included these important functions.
Don’t get me wrong — WordPress.com still needs work in a couple of key areas. I am very disappointed in the functionality of the “press this” feature for curation. One of my dirty little secrets is that I still use Posterous to curate quotes and images sometimes. In my perfect world, WordPress.com would purchase Posterous and incorporate their curation technology into WordPress! Until then, I’m moving back to ScribeFire as a curation tool…
That minor complaint aside I still think that WordPress.com is a better choice than Tumblr for me. If you’re interested in a $17 website for your business, check out WordPress.com. If you can’t figure it out, give me a call at 920-265-1614 — I’m happy to help!
- WPTavern: Idiot’s Guide To WordPress (wptavern.com)
- The Complete Idiot’s Guide to WordPress Is Smart Reading for all Bloggers (smallbiztrends.com)