Social Blog Blueprint Review Part 1
Anyone who has joined me for coffee or contacted me asking about how to get found online will know I always mention blogging. Blogging is your home online, it’s the centre of your online universe and the start of a solid social media strategy.
So when Sue Worthington said she and Dan were doing a social blogging course my ears perked up. Sue shares my belief that a business blog is your online home, the centre of your web of influence. Your business blog is your hub and the start of your social media strategy.
Not to mention Sue is a bit of a social media Goddess and when it comes to training she’s very good at breaking the complex down into easy to follow steps. No, I am not a Worthy Fan-girl gushing at everything Sue puts out! I do have some gripes (I can see Sue shaking her head and muttering I knew you would…) More about those later!
What is the Social Blog Blueprint?
The Social Blog Blueprint walks you through everything you need to start blogging for your business. From purchasing your domain and hosting, to installing WordPress and post promotion the course is ideal for beginners and more seasoned bloggers may well learn a few tricks too.
Each module has at least 1 video lesson with transcripts for those of us who prefer to read. Mind-maps and checklists are included for you to print out and keep track of where you are up to.
The videos are bite-sized, easy to follow and narrated by Sue in her refreshing British northern accent. No offence to our friends across the pond, I love your accents but always seem to get a buzz listening to home grown talent!
Social Blog Blueprint Silver
The Silver training package contains everything you need to know to start blogging using WordPress on your own domain.
Module 1 – Why Blog? (3 videos and transcripts)
I would imagine you have an inkling that a business blog could be a good idea and that’s why you’re reading this! Sue covers some great benefits to business blogging, what is WordPress and why your own domain.
Module 2 – How to Choose a Niche (1 video and transcript with 3 “action steps” – your homework!)
Sue outlines the basic steps for choosing a niche for your business blog. If you already have a business, you have a pretty fair idea of your blog topic.
Module 3 – Non-Techie Blueprint (4 videos and transcripts with 4 “action steps”)
Now we get to the nitty gritty of setting up your blog. Your domain, hosting, linking your domain to your host and installing WordPress.
And my first gripe…
Gripe: Installing WordPress via Softaculous. I get the technophobe overwhelm and why 1-click was recommended. While I cannot comment on directly Softaculous install software having never used it I will say change the default database and tables settings, which isn’t clear in the video.
WordPress uses a default wp_ table name and everyone knows it, including those who want to take advantage of your site. By changing the table name from wp_ to something else then you make it more difficult for who want to do bad things to your database. Lecture over…
Module 4 – Building a Beautiful Blog (3 videos and transcripts with 6 “action steps”)
The fun bit! Getting to know your dashboard, settings and themes. Trust me, you can lose hours theme shopping – stay focused!
Module 5 – Get Your Blog Working (3 videos and transcripts, 1 mind-map and 3 “action steps”)
Plugins and widgets and the juicy bits that make your blog go, nicely explained by Sue.
I do have some personal preference difference with some of Sue’s recommended plugins. Nothing major, I just don’t like the ones she likes!
Module 6 – Get Posting (8 videos and transcripts with 7 “action steps”)
If you already have a blog set up for your business but aren’t using it, this is the module to start at. The videos cover the basics of pages, posts adding images and videos.
Module 7 – Creating Your Social Hub (6 videos with transcripts, 1 mind-map and 5 “action steps”)
How to share your blog posts automagically to your social networks. I was really interested in how Sue does hers as I am constantly swapping and changing!
I love the tool she recommends here and it’s one of my favourites. These days I tend to manually post to my Facebook Page though as it seems to do better that way.
Module 8 – Grab Those Visitors (3 videos with transcripts and 5 “action steps”)
Sue outlines 3 methods of getting more visitors to your blog posts. And I do have a gripe with the 3rd method…
Gripe: It’s not that I am against paid promotion, it can be incredibly effective. Sue does warn not to pay to promote every blog post and to consider the results you want to achieve before spending any money. On this particular platform, particularly for local business bloggers who have an audience in a defined area, there are more cost effective and targeted ways of doing it.
Module 9 – Make Money With Your Blog (1 video with transcript and 3 “action steps”)
Ideas to start making money with your blog. Now let’s be honest, that’s why we blog! Whether it’s to generate email sign-ups, drive traffic to our products and services or other peoples’, there needs to an end aim. Sue highlights how you can start.
The Social Blog Blueprint also has a Platinum upgrade which goes into more detail about:
- Community Building
- Social Traffic
- Blog Templates
- Blog Content
I’ll go through these sections in my next post.
[color-box]The Social Blog Blueprint is a fabulous course for any business looking to get started blogging. I found the short videos easy to understand, they’ll all under 10 minutes. The course is well structured and each module naturally leads on from the one before.[/color-box]
I did have niggles, the biggest with the 1-click install of WordPress and lack of additional security. I would have liked to have seen a section on basic security and WordPress hardening in the installation module. There is a security PDF download in the Platinum package but I am a great believer is closing as many doors as possible on install.
Overall, Social Blog Blueprint gets the My Local Business Online stamp of approval with 4.5 stars out of 5 – great value!
[color-button color=’black’ href=’http://www.mylocalbusinessonline.co.uk/social-blog-blueprint’]Check Out The Social Blog Blueprint Here[/color-button]