September 16, 2008

How to create your own blog and enter my blog contest!

UPDATE: Bloggers! Please leave a comment on this post with your name and blog address,  I will pick several of YOUR blogs to be featured on The Martha Blog!


Here I am with Perez Hilton, Eliad Laskin and Laura Plimpton - My Blog Producers

Photo Credit: Anders Krusberg

Here is a clip from the show today

UPDATE: Here are the links to some of the great bloggers featured on the show today

Perez Hilton
Celebrity blogger, Perez Hilton joins Martha today to chat about his blog, and to give us tips for blogging success. Special thanks to Hannah Ross for supplying images of Perez Hilton.

Margaret Roach
Margaret Roach joins Martha to share her gardening blog, A Way to Garden. Her blog is designed after her book, "A Way to Garden." Both explore the horticultural how-to of gardening and the spiritual parts of gardening.

Eddie Ross
Eddie Ross, of design blog eddieross.com and senior style editor of Living Magazine, joins Martha to show different crafts using flea-market finds.

"Martha's Circle"
Three members of "Martha's Circle" chat about their blogs with Martha: Matt Armendariz, writer of mattbites.com, shares his recipe for Alfajores cookies along with Deb Perelman of smittenkitchen.com and Meg Frost of cuteoverload.com. For more information on Meg's calendar, an audience giveaway, visit amazon.com.

Political Bloggers
Ben Smith and Jonathan Martin join Martha to chat about politico.com, a blog that covers political issues.

A Year of Mornings
Maria Alexandra Vettese and Stephanie Congdon Barnes join Martha to talk about their blog and their book "A Year of Mornings," which was an audience giveaway.

I've been writing this blog for almost a year now and I have to say that I love being able to communicate so easily on a daily basis. Being in the public eye, I have a devoted following that wants to know more about my personal life and activities. Prior to blogging, we sent out a newsletter dealing with such issues. Although the printed newsletter was charming and informative, it was also a rather slow process and didn’t reach nearly as many readers as this blog does.

I really love the spontaneity of blogging and being able to post whatever, whenever. I’d like to share with you some blogging tips that may help you get started creating a blog of your own. Many thanks to Jeff Halpin of our Internet Group for coming up with these easy-to-use steps.

First browse some of my photos from the blog I did this summer. Then continue reading this post...

mmartha_crafts_070.jpg

Picture 1 of 10

Here I am.....

Although it's impossible to keep count, it's widely agreed that there are more than 112 million blogs online today and their popularity continues to increase. There are photo blogs, audio blogs, video blogs, and blogs about blogs!

Our blogs here cover a variety of topics, including wedding planning, ideas from our radio shows, and our popular Dinner Tonight blog. In order to get started on your blog, you will need to select a blog platform. This is where you will create an account, log in and create your posts and upload images.

There are many blogging platforms available for all levels of blogger. We recently upgraded to the WordPress platform for Martha's blog. WordPress, owned by Automattic, is one of the largest providers of self-publishing technology and uses open source software, which is free to use and install. As a beginning blogger, it is recommended that you try an easy-to-use platform to start with and later on you can investigate more advanced software once you have mastered the art of the blog.

Some of the most popular and easy-to-use platforms are Typepad, owned by Six Apart; Blogger, which is owned by Google; and Livejournal, owned by SUP.

Before beginning your blog, consider the following:

Topic/Scope: What do you want to write about? Keep in mind that you are president and CEO of your blog, so there are no restrictions on what you wish to create. You may wish to draw on your training, your passion, or your experience for your content and your readers will benefit from your expertise and come back for more. You can be as in-depth or as general as you want, as long as you are consistent with the scope of your entries.

Audience: Our blogs here at MSLO deal with specific interest groups. For example, when we set out to create a blog for the reader looking for nightly recipe ideas, we created Dinner Tonight, which is written as a companion to our popular Everyday Food magazine, with exclusive blog-only articles and recipes. When looking to reach out to soon-to-be newlyweds, we created The Bride's Guide. We also have a radio blog, which shares recipes, tips and insights from our Sirius 112 radio hosts and their guests.

Time Commitment: Blogging is very rewarding but, like all hobbies, you need to set aside a regular time for it. Your readers will respond more positively when you update your blog on a regular basis, if you are a busy working mother with many responsibilities, set a realistic goal for yourself and update twice a week. Communicate any schedule changes to your readers and they will thank you for it. For example: "We're going on vacation, taking a break for two weeks. Check back then!"

Content: Most blogs contain digital photographs of finished recipes, remodeling projects, or friends and family. If you are a beginner, your blogging platform will have instructions on how to upload images to your blog. For more assistance, Daren Rowse has a very helpful how-to guide on how to use images on your blog here. Don't worry if you're not tech-savvy -- you can always rely on the strength of your writing and allow your post titles draw readers' attention.

Linking: Blogs are a thriving online community, and it's important to reach out to your fellow bloggers in order to gain more interest in your own blog, pick up tips and tricks and generally utilize the strength of this new medium to bring people together, adding them to your "blogroll." Technorati is a great source for discovering other blogs that may cover similar topics as your blog, as well as a source of how-to information.

This is only a very brief introduction to the exciting new world of self-publishing and one that will be around for a long time to come! Please feel free to reach out to your fellow bloggers on our community message boards, where we have created a technology thread on blogging here. Enjoy!

Here are some of my most recent blog posts - have a look!

The big season premiere! Exclusive behind the scenes!

Posted on Sunday, September 14th, 2008

Another Mexican tour: Martha visits an ancient Mayan city

Posted on Friday, September 12th, 2008

Lest we let the day go without…

Posted on Thursday, September 11th, 2008

My assistant Liesl guest blogs, see what she has to say!

Posted on Wednesday, September 10th, 2008

The Marc Jacobs fashion show, my own photos of this amazing event!

Posted on Tuesday, September 9th, 2008

Speaking at the Pot & Kettle Club in Bar Harbor, Maine

Posted on Tuesday, September 9th, 2008

A Trip to the Merida Market in Mexico

Posted on Monday, September 8th, 2008

Tortillas - Hot Off The Griddle!

Posted on Friday, September 5th, 2008

Pot & Kettle Actual Speech and Photos

Posted on Thursday, September 4th, 2008

Part one of a HOT trip to Mexico, an extraordinary hacienda

Posted on Thursday, September 4th, 2008

Blog upgrade news!

Posted on Wednesday, September 3rd, 2008

Behind the scenes of the September MSL Cover Shoot!

Posted on Tuesday, September 2nd, 2008