|Blogging for coaches 1
'Blogging for coaches' – this was one of several topics discussed at the latest Coaching Connect event utilising the Open Space Technology facilitation technique. Grace Chatting, one of the participants takes up the story
Open Space Technology
What a great day we all had at the recent Coaching Connect event! The day wound up with Liz and Stuart facilitating the Open Space Technology process with the theme of 'Developing Your Business.' Everyone wrote down a topic relating to that theme, which they thought was particularly pertinent. These were gathered into clusters and formed the foci for a number of different groups. Participants were free to stay in their original group or to move at will from group to group, making contributions and receiving information and insights.
A number of others and I chose aspects of Blogging as our topic, and what an amazing amount we covered in a mere 15 minute time slot! The group was made up of a number of us who are Blog converts, (Grace Chatting, Ash Mashhadi) already having well established Blogs, and some seekers(Tania West, Peter Wright, Johnny Tenn) who were unsure about what relevance Blogs or Blogging had to the development of their business.
Discussion was fast and direct, and roamed around the technical aspects of blogging and then moved on to the actual process of blogging, tips and traps, quickly moving to what to write about and the fairly universal anxieties people shared about whether what they had to say or how they might write it, was good enough. Finally we summarised all our discussion into a statement about Blogging in relation to the theme, Developing Your Business, and fed that back to the larger group.
How do you set up a Blog?
We established that setting up a blog can be achieved simply and free of charge using wordpress.org or Google’s www.eblogger.com
Blogs are like mini websites and can be used on their own in lieu of a website or integrated into an existing website. Wordpress has lots of plugins which allow the blog to have a wide range of added functionality, including monetization using Paypal.
More information on how to actually do this is available on Youtube or Problogger The actual writing and publishing of blog posts can be elegantly achieved using Windows Live Writer, including insertion of graphics and videos. Graphics can be bought from www.istockphoto.com
A comments box for interaction with your readers is essential, and it was established that good blogging etiquette means you respond to any comments readers make, rather than not bothering to respond. Disqus was recommended as a means of capturing comments. Wordpress has a plugin for comments.
Other technical points were to make sure you add an RSS feeder as well as buttons for Facebook and Twitter.
Starting up a blog isn't expensive, indeed you can do it for free. However, what do you do once you've go the blog up and running? Our group went on to discuss the next phase of blogging which you can read here.
Blogging for coaches - part 2
Grace Chatting is a relationship coach and writes a successful blog at gracechatting.com
Open Space Technology - what is it and how does it work?