Running a homebrew blog Part 1: Tools and Approach

Funny thing about these kind of posts. They seem really cool when you first think about them. Now I'm thinking, who cares what's behind the scenes at Beer Bits 2. Of course you can just skip reading this if you don't care, its not like your eyelids are forced open and your chained to a chair in front of a screen with BB2 content scrolling 24x7. (picture A Clockwork Orange) Well if that didn't scare you off, I better shut up so you can get to the actual content...

The tools used here are Blogger, Mozilla, IE, Picasa, old Cannon Powershot 3.2mp, Notepad++, YouTube, Feedburner, and the free Sitemeter. There a couple other tools, but, I use them infrequently. HTML skills are not really necessary, but, it helps to get me out of a jam sometimes.

Whether I'm using Mac, PC or Linux it doesn't really matter. If I can get to the Web, I will blog. Here's my approach. As they say, your mileage may vary.

  1. I am writing a blog, not a book, column or self help guide. That being said, I don't put boundaries on what I do. I just try to use the medium for what it is good for.
  2. post frequently (many times a week)
  3. try to use pictures (always need to get better at that)
  4. fairly short posts (you get more of the daily reader crowd I think)
  5. link to other sites, hey everything doesn't start with you...share the good stuff you find
  6. change site features in sidebar (might be more of a bad habit than anything)
  7. Monday's and Tuesdays seem to be higher traffic days (might post certain things those days)
  8. Find your voice. I think mine consists of; being informative, keeping it simple and conveying my experiences honestly. I also try to encourage participation via comments and polls (not many lately).

It took me a long time to really settle on this stuff as my approach. Originally I started blogging so I could use my tech skills for something other than work like writing which I kinda liked to do. After a while my need to share knowledge took over and really keeps pushing things forward. That and a need to create something.

Now back to your regularly scheduled BB2 programming.

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