Many people aren’t able to construct a blog, website or even manage basics of online branding because they feel like they lack technical skills. In almost every presentation I give, at least one person asks me “what if you don’t know how to create a website or blog.” Today, I want to explore ways in which you can develop your online brand, without being a tech savvy programmer, so that you can get started right away, without being left in the dust. You, just like everyone else, require a web presence right now because people are already searching for experts just like you. If you don’t take the necessary steps to create your own online brand, then you will lose opportunities every single second until you start to take ownership of your brand.
- Zimplit: This site just launched last week and already I’m convinced that it will help a lot of people build websites, that never had the confidence before. It’s a simple web building service, with no administrative area and best of all, it’s free to use. Zimplit is also SEO friendly, has many templates and with one click, you can begin editing your website.
- Wix: Wix gives you a friendly drag and drop builder. You can make your own website, widgets, flash MySpace layouts, comments and more. This site also gives you fully customizable designs, with media items, effects and animations. You can import photos from Flickr, videos from YouTube and your site will be SEO friendly.
- Bravenet: This web hosting service and resource database has been around forever. They give you free ad-supported hosting with 50MB of disk space, which isn’t a lot if you’re including video and other multimedia components, but it’s still good for beginners. Some of their free tools include message forums, mailing lists, photo albums, hit counters, guestbooks and email forms.
- Homestead: This service costs $4.99 per month and you can use your own personalized domain name and email addresses associated with that name. There are over 2,000 website templates and you can customize and update your site and collect visitor information.
If you’ve ever wanted your own blog, but were afraid that you needed to be some technical person, then these services will help you launch your blog today.
- Blogger: If you like Google’s services, then you may choose this one for your blog. It integrates very nicely with Google’s AdSense product and you can add a lot of custom features. They still need to fix their commenting system though.
- WordPress: The first rendition of the Personal Branding Blog was on WordPress.com and I think it’s the best place to start blogging. You get some sleek templates, a lot of freedom with widgets, and there is a comprehensive support forum. It’s free too!
- Typepad: I wouldn’t recommend Typepad to any serious blogger, but if you’re a newbie and want a simple blog layout, then this one works well. For $4.95 a month you can create a Typepad blog (yourbrand.typepad.com) and for $8.95 a month you can route that to your domain (yourbrand.com). They have a lot of designs, widgets and they now have an advertising program.
- Tumblr: This service is by far the easiest to use out of any blogging service I’ve ever seen. All you do is register for an account and then start posting links, pictures, videos and just about anything you find interesting. It has a micro-blogging vibe to it, so don’t expect to write several paragraphs. It’s more of a lifestream of what’s going on in your life.
Other strategies for building your online brand
There are other strategies you can employ to start building your online brand, such as hiring a blog consultant or web developer. I’m sure you could get a great deal through a referral or on Craigslist because of the economy. You can also read a book on HTML if you want to design your own website or if you want to add custom widgets to your blog. You can make friends with a geek that understands web 2.0 and website design and development and is willing to help you out. There are also software programs that you can use to help you build websites, such as Macromedia Dreamweaver and Microsoft Expression Web. Using these software packages is similar to writing a paper in Microsoft Word or notepad.
Purchase Me 2.0 today!
Me 2.0: Build a Powerful Brand to Achieve Career Success (Kaplan, April 09) is the bestselling career book that will help you command your career and create your future, using social media tools. It will take you through a proven process that will explain how you can discover, create, communicate and maintain your own personal brand throughout the course of your life. With rave reviews from 34 successful business people, such as Daniel Pink, John Quelch, Marshall Goldsmith and Gary Vaynerchuk and media mentions from the The Wall Street Journal, ABC News, Fast Company, The New York Times and many others, what are you waiting for! You don’t want to be the 100,000th person to read this book. Read it now to gain a competitive advantage in your industry and achieve your dreams. Go to Personal Branding Book for more information!