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I am a business management student and am thinking of starting a blog myself but am still playing with ideas regarding the content or the direction to follow. Your post gives some great tips and I thank you for the same.
I am relatively very new to the blogging world and started getting involved with reading blogs on a daily basis only about a month ago. I am not sure whether I am ready to write a blog yet or about what would be the best tool to use. Any suggestions or comments would be very appreciated.

Thank you.

I am loving this thread. For my part, I would like to encourage would-be bloggers to first consider:

1) Is branding myself important, or not?

We mustn't assume that everyone wants to brand themselves. Some people do not want to be consultants or guest speakers, or even service-providers, and those people need to be even more clear about the real reasons that they are blogging. (If you're blogging, in part, to encourage sales of your product, then you might want to get all of that lined-up before you start your blog.)

2) They call it "Social Media," but don't expect to feel less lonely as a blogger.

If you're a good blogger, then yes, you will be starting conversations... but that doesn't mean that you'll be participating in them!

(Valeria -- I appreciate what you're saying about Twitter and Friendfeed owning the content if you post from their platforms... on the other hand, even on our own designated blogs, do we really own the content? If my blog auto-posts to my Facebook, etc., and then it is 'shared' or emailed exponentially... and then commented on off-site... I mean, the whole things gets very surreal. People are making comments that I never even get to read or know about... and I conceptualized and presented the dang thing!)

Ultimately, the only way you know you have a "community" is by looking at your Unique Visitors (going up!) and Bounce Rate (going down!) each month. (Oh, or maybe your feed counter, too. But then again, you feed counter doesn't mean your posts are being read -- just delivered.) It can be a bit exciting to see those numbers changing in a good direction, but it is hardly intimate, or... relational.

It's good to read this post. I am planning to blog by 30 July. One thing is that blogging is so much cheaper not just in terms of set up but also running costs.

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