More Than WE Know

Women Entrepreneurs sharing Information, Inspiration and Support

Archive for the ‘blogging’ Category

Free Blogs versus Paid Blog Hosting

Posted by Liz Fuller on September 18, 2007

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 (please click here to go to our new site!!)

As I mentioned yesterday, one of my goals for this week is to move this blog to its permanent home.  I’m pleased to say I am making good progress on this goal.

You may be wondering why I am bothering to move my blog. Afterall, WordPress is free and the new site  isn’t.  So, for all you bloggers and aspiring bloggers out there, I will give you the pros and cons of using a free site versus a paid hosting site.

First of all, let me say that WordPress.com is fantastic. It is very easy to use and there is a lot of support in the forums.

It is perfect for the blogger who is inexperienced,  budget-constrained, time-constrained, technically challenged or just wanting to use a simple blog as  a hobby.  With WordPress.com you can literally get a blog up and running in less than five minutes.  I know, because I did.  And once you do, you never have to worry about back ups or disaster recovery because WordPress handles all of that for you.

So, why change?  WordPress does have a few limitations, especially when you get into commercial blogging.  In the new site, I’d like to create some options to allow you to:

  • subscribe to a newsletter
  • sign up for free e-courses and tele-seminars
  • download free articles and e-books
  • purchase e-books, mp3 files and other informational products

Having a commercial blog also enables me to potentially earn a little money on affiliations or advertising to help pay for the cost of hosting and maintaining the blog.

There are lots of hosting companies available. I went with ICAN because they work very well with wordpress blogs and they were recommended both by wordpress.com and other blog experts

The biggest concerns I had with finding a host were availability and cost.  WordPress.com blogs are pretty much always available becauseWordpress has a good server network. I wanted to find a host that guarantees similar availability and provides 24×7 real-time customer service.  I also wanted a reasonable price:  ICAN costs about $7 per month.

The biggest challenges I have faced in creating the new site were:

  • tweaking the “theme” that controls how the site looks; in WordPress.com you can select from several themes but can’t make any changes; in the new site I could choose from over 2000 themes , but I found that the theme I wanted to use didn’t allow comments on the “About page”.  So I had to learn some html code and make some coding changes (this was fun!)
  • wordpress.com has some automatic features like keeping track of blog statistics and filtering spam comments; the new site only has the features that I add so I needed to find plug-ins (pre-written code) that did both of those things; there are lots of other plug-ins that I will probably explore over time but for now I wanted the minimum features that I was already getting for free
  • wordpress.com automatically backs up my posts in the case of a disaster; the new site doesn’t do that; I need to back up my site and keep track of the file; if there is a disaster, I will need to restore it myself from the backup; I haven’t tried this yet – but I will this week before moving us over there

At the end of the day, putting your blog on a paid host server provides more freedom but demands more responsibility.  Blogging on wordpress.com is truly worry-free.  Blogging in my new site will be a little more challenging.  But I’m excited about the opportunities to offer more and interact more.

Please check out the new site and let me know what you think!  Do you like the theme I chose? Do you like the way the information is arranged? What do you think of the new header? And how about those comments on the “About page” – not too shabby, eh?

Stay tuned – if all goes well with the backup/recovery tests  – we should be over there by the end of the week!!

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Posted in blogging | 1 Comment »

WE Celebrate Virtual Women’s Day

Posted by Liz Fuller on September 15, 2007

 (please click here to go to our new site!!)

Thanks to Heidi Richards at Virtual Woman’s Day for adding MoreThanWeKnow to her list of  “great woman bloggers”. 

Heidi is the Founder & CEO of The WECAI Network™   – an Internet network of organizations that “Helps Women Do Business on and off the WEB.”

She created Virtual Woman’s Day™ to bring together women from around the globe to network together, learn together and grow together. She intends women to do this by encouraging one another to share resources, promote products and services, increase our circle of influence and have some fun in the process.

Heidi arranges a monthly event called 1st Fridayz in which women network over the internet, sharing their products and ideas and listening to great speakers.  September’s topic was on Blogging for Business. It was such a success that they are going to continue the topic and do “Blogging for Business Part Two” on October 5th.

This is a great low-risk networking opportunity.  You don’t have to leave your home, you can participate as little or as much as you want, and you can easily follow up with people via email after the event. If you would like to participate, register for the WECAI network, and more details will be sent to you.    Don’t miss the fun!

Posted in blogging, marketing, motivation, networking, sales | 1 Comment »

A Blog for Every Woman Entrepreneur

Posted by Liz Fuller on August 25, 2007

busy-woman.jpgGreat timing!! Following yesterday’s post about why every entrepreneur needs a blog, I found this list of 100 blogs devoted to the woman entrepreuneur.  Lots of great examples and inspirations, including stories of how other women have become successful entrepreneurs.  Check out the blogs and the ebooks and then get busy building your own inspiring story of success!!!

Please tell me about your own experience building a blog to support your business. I’d love to hear your story!

Posted in blogging, marketing, motivation, networking, sales | Leave a Comment »

Why Every Entrepreneur Needs a Blog

Posted by Liz Fuller on August 23, 2007

cb024732.jpgQuestion: What’s a quick, painless way to network to a lot of your customers and potential colleagues without ever having to leave the comfort of your own backyard?

Answer: A Blog    (you knew that, didn’t you?)

But if  a blog is such a powerful networking tool – why do so many entrepreneurs make the mistake of not creating one?

I asked a few people in my network and got the following answers:

1) Don’t see the value (i.e. where’s the money???)

2) Concerned they didn’t have anything to say

3) Too intimidated by the technology   

Let’s address these concerns one at a time.

First, I agree, the value of a blog is not to create instant sales.  It is a networking tool that works for you and your business, even while you sleep.  We all know that most things being equal, people prefer to do business with people they know, like and trustA Blog is an easy way to build rapport with your customers.

A Blog is an opportunity to: 

  • provide ongoing value
  • build awareness
  • build loyalty

When the time comes that they do need your services or products, how much more likely are they to think of you if they’ve been reading your blog on a regular basis?

Now that you’re starting to see the potential value of a blog,  let’s discuss the concern that you won’t have anything to say.  The great thing about blogs is that they can be whatever you want them to be. 

My blog has articles and pictures that tell a story or give advice, because that’s what I like to write.  Your blog might have lists, news articles, funny pictures, jokes, recipes, etc.  

One great way to blog that adds a lot of value and doesn’t take much writing effort is to write tip sheets based on your area of expertise:

  • a realtor might write tips for selling a house, buying a house, decorating, finding a school system, determining the crime rate, making friends in a new neighborhood, finding a lawn service, reducing the risk of crime, etc.
  • a skin care specialist might write tips for grooming, makeup, looking younger, etc.
  • a drycleaner might write tips for getting out stains, choosing fabrics, storing winter clothes, etc.
  • a virtual assistant might write tips for organizing files, backing up computers, writing standard letters, etc.

Can you picture your customers coming back time and time again to see what new tips you have to offer?  And maybe referring their friends to your blog for great information?

You can build further incentives and loyalty by offering blog-only discounts or holding contests. You can also add surveys to your blog which will enable you to gather more information about the needs of your customers to consider when developing new services.

You can create some fun in your blog by having it written by a “mascot”. For example a bookstore owner might have a blog “written” by the store cat, a day care center owner might write from the point of view of a toddler, and a seller of baby clothes might write from the point of view of a kindly grandmother.

You can write the blog yourself, you can have someone else in your family or business write the blog or you can hire someone else to do it.  If you delegate the blog writing, ensure that the person you hire has some knowledge and passion for your topic and that it conveys the image you want associated with your business.  Successful blogging builds your brand. Don’t underestimate its influence. 

If you’re interested in hiring someone to do the blogging, look for “ghost bloggers” who convey the tone and image you want, as well as the information. You can find “ghost bloggers” at www.elance.com, or hire more robust services like www.mccordweb.com or www.advmediaproductions.com

Professional blogs can cost $15 to $100 and up per post.  Before hiring a professional blogger, be sure to see samples of sites they already support and get a clear understanding of how much research they will do, the length of the posts and whether they offer search engine optimization, hosting or other benefits.

While writing a blog can be a little challenging, creating one shouldn’t be. It is much easier than building a website.  It is even exciting to see something that you’ve written instantly published on the web!

To create a blog, simply log onto a site like this one – www.wordpress.com.  Choose a name (your business name is a good place to start) and request a blog.  It only takes a minute.  Then write your first post. 

Imagine you are writing a letter to your favorite customer.  Tell them something you want them to know.  Thank them for their business.  Offer them a special discount.  Be sincere.  Be yourself. Don’t worry about making it perfect. When you’re done –  hit “publish”.

Congratulations! You have a blog!

You’re on your way to building a powerful, painless, inexpensive networking, marketing and customer relationship management tool!

Do you have experiences leveraging a blog for your businesses?  Tell me about the success and challenges you’ve encountered!

Posted in blogging, marketing, motivation, networking, sales | Leave a Comment »