The blogging experience is not just about writing. Bloggers are becoming more and more tech savvy because of the skills needed to run a website that stands outside the rest. Some bloggers have learned to use PHP, or MySQL, SSh and other tools generally reserved for Network and Systems Administrators. Marketing skills have to be developed as well as interpersonal relationships that sometimes span the cultural and geographical divide.
Writing is a large factor in the mix, but it is no longer the only thing that you need to focus on if you want to take your blogging to the next level. I've been running websites for years, but never actually written a good one myself so I'm happy with that last statement. I've always stayed in the background, hovering over configs and logs, making sure the servers stay up, apache works and everything else is running smoothly. I make recommendations here and there, tweak this and that make sure everyone gets their backups, upgrades and installations with minimal interruption.
Hopefully I am going to show some of you how to do all this, and not only how to do it, but how to do it gracefully and efficiently. I mentioned the bit about writing because frankly, who am I kidding, I'm not a good writer. I'm a good systems administrator and hopefully I can teach you the basic tools to combine your own great writing with self sufficient web administration skills. I won't teach you SEO, although I try to implement everything I know about it when I work. I'm not a programmer either but I will teach you how to find your way around a PHP theme or plugin; giving you essential skills to troubleshoot your way out of most problems.
Some of the topics I intend to cover when I blog about blogging and show you how to do it, are these: Choosing a Blog topic, Your choices for blogging engines, your first dozen posts, categories vs pages, tags vs categories, php4 vs php5, self-hosted and hosted WP vs wordpress.com, must have plugins, do's and don'ts. Anything else you guys want to talk about? Please let me know via the comments, all the posts have comments open and I depend on your feedback to give you great information.
Social Media is also a huge part of the new blogging experience, blogging has always been about the social interactions between the author and its readers. New social networks are popping up everywhere and for everything, how do you find them? Which ones do you need to join? What do you do when you join them? How can you automatically benefit from using the social networks? I'll cover that as well in future posts.
Be prepared to learn, not only how to blog, but how to run a blog by yourself.