Now it seems it to be reverting back to being technical again.
And this is not helping beginner bloggers who don’t have the necessary skills (or even inclination) to do something about it.
In fact, it is probably stopping a lot of people from blogging – or rather, writing on the web. Which is a great shame, as who knows who we would be missing out on.
So my answer is, don’t bother creating a blog if all you want to do is just write.
Yup, you heard me right. Today there is no need to go through all that angst in trying to understand how a blog works. There are simple, easy-to-use alternatives out there you can open up and start writing in straight away.
Introducing Medium and Pulse
When I spoke about LinkedIn at the last BritMumsLive! conference, someone asked me about Pulse and I had to confess I didn’t know much about it.
And then recently I was asked about Medium, and I was equally ashamed to admit that I hadn’t heard of it.
You see, I’ve been so blinkered by WordPress, I hadn’t bothered to explore any alternatives. Which is stupid, because I’m supposed to be helping beginner bloggers to write a blog. And this includes overcoming the technical bits that put so many off.
So I’ve created an Infographic that shows 10 qualities of Medium and Pulse, and how they relate or differ to each other:
And here’s some code you could paste into your own posts (via the text mode) if you want to share this Infographic with your readers.
As you can see, Medium is for writers who just want to write, and Pulse is for businesses who don’t want to be bothered with the hassle of owning a blog.
In fact, I have been trying for years to get an owner of a particular petro-chemical company to start blogging about his business. And last week I succeeded, because he used Pulse to create his first post!
And I also know some mature writers who wouldn’t go near WordPress with a barge-pole, as it scares the living daylights out of them. Whereas the simplicity of Medium delighted them so much, they’ve been happily writing on it ever since!
And that’s just it! It is incredibly simple to write on Medium. In fact you are encouraged to ‘write a story’, taking away the jargon that confuses so many non-techies.
Going into Medium you are confronted with this:
Two simple actions: search for some fabulous articles to read, or contribute your own stuff.
And when you choose the second option, you arrive at this delicious blank page, a virgin space to fill with your own thoughts:
Without any confusing menus in the sidebar to distract you. In fact there’s nothing technical to put you off, with easy to locate instruction buttons to guide you through the process.
You don’t need to worry about hosting costs, security, backups or anything similarly horrendous. And another benefit is that Medium is hosted by Twitter (you need to have an account to join), so there is on hand this wonderful community you wouldn’t necessarily have with your own start-up blog.
But – to thrive on Medium you need to provide quality content. It is a space to read, learn and appreciate excellent writing. Here you can really let go with exerting your skills, unhindered with SEO commitments and other web expectations. And if you are successful, the community will soon let you know through interaction and high reach sharing.
Somewhere to showcase
I read somewhere that only 13% of businesses use a blog. There seems to be this aversion to blogging that could help so many small businesses get themselves noticed and start forming better relationships with potential customers.
If the main reason is “it’s too technical”, now there is no excuse. LinkedIn offers Pulse to its members as an alternative to sharing an update to reach out to their colleagues and any other interested parties.
When you first enter LinkedIn, you immediately have this choice:
And once you’ve clicked on the third option, you get a similar empty, uncluttered page to write on:
But hopefully a LinkedIn member will be less frightened of technology and recognise a lot here from his own systems at work.
The beauty of using Pulse is that you are slap bang right in the middle of a huge networking site. LinkedIn is in the top five, so is regularly updated by the search engines. This means you don’t need to worry about SEO, as long as you’ve written an excellent headline with appropriate keywords, what you’ve written will be indexed in no time.
And Pulse posts are visible to anyone on LinkedIn, in particular members of your own industry or niche. Or those who are looking for people in your line of work, such as to outsource, recruit or contract out.
That’s why this is the perfect medium to showcase your expertise, explain what you know and educate the masses as to what your business provides. And it’s not just words, but images, videos, presentations and much more, that could help you gain those fantastic results!