A few years ago I started a blog to learn WordPress. I come from the philosophy that if I want to learn something new, I need to use it, play around with it, and then come to the conclusion if it’s appropriate for business and how to use it correctly. This is why I started Twitter, BrazenCareerist, and so on. Basically if there is a new tool out there, I’m going to jump on it and learn how it works. This is the only way you can have an educated judgment on a tool. I’m amazed at how many editors/writers/journalists don’t blog or use Twitter. How can you expect your publication or readers to operate one of these tools if you don’t know how to use it yourself?
Because I’ve used WordPress for years, I know it inside and out. I know about the plugins, templates, community, etc. And also because I’ve used WordPress, I know how to set up analytics and read them. I know how to set up Feedburner and how it’s used. I know how to make my posts viral, and how to track them. This is all because I started a blog.
Now that I’m back at Residential Design & Build, my first objective was to update the blog. It was using the one of the first WordPress versions/templates and looked so outdated. We updated it to look fresh and modern. I added share buttons to make the site viral, and I make sure to tweet out every post. I’ve also asked for analytics on the blog, and I take a close look at that information. I know where my blog readers are coming from, what topics they are reading more than others. All because I operate my own blog.
I think all publishing companies should encourage their writers/editors/journalists to operate a blog. This creates a much more educated group of people using the web tools for publications. If companies expect journalists to move their publications forward, then they need to employ journalists who understand these tools. Old school journalists need to learn them or move aside and let younger journalists take charge.