Six years ago I started this blog for the purpose of being a voice and resource for the fire protection and life safety professional. While there are many blogs and writers for the firefighter that deal with fire service leadership, strategy and tactics, and emergency medical service, there still remains very few blogs geared directly toward fire prevention, fire protection, and life safety.
Blogging and maintaining a social media presence can be accomplished in less than 4 hours a week, and requires no financial commitment. The return that you get can be worth many hours of hard work and thousands of dollars. Blogging and having a platform opens the door to many other opportunities, it positions you as an expert in your field, and it connects you with like minded individuals all around the globe.
A social media "expert" I am not, however, I have picked up a few successful practices along the way. Though it may seem that this post is off topic for TheCodeCoach.com, it is my hope that the social media process, tools, and guidance provided here will motivate you to start a platform to spread your own message.
Start with this FREE checklist --> Blog Start-Up Checklist
- Write the blog post. Time required: 70 minutes. I usually do this on Saturday mornings. The post writing should include:
- write the content
- come up with an appealing title
- add a photo to the post: utilize free images from, flickr.com/creativecommons/
- schedule the post: posts can be scheduled in advance, mine are scheduled for Monday at 0530.
- Feed your social media platforms. Time required: 60 minutes. It is important to regularly share information, updates, and valuable information with your audience and readers. Here are the tools I use to accomplish this:
- Paper.li - this automatically pulls related article from around the web and compiles it into a daily 'paper' that is automatically posted to your Twitter and other platforms.
- HootSuite - this lets your schedule posts in advance, and see all of your social media feeds at one time.. I schedule all my social media posts for the week using this application. I usually schedule 5 posts per day, Monday - Friday. Here is what I share on my social media networks:
- Google Alerts - current and relevant events
- My top viewed posts
- Other blogs I follow
- My current blog post
- Utilize LinkedIn. Time required: 30 minutes. Personally, I have found LinkedIn to be the best social media platform for my blog and audience. Here is how I utilize LinkedIn to add value to the industry:
- join LinkedIn groups that are relevant to your topic
- share a link to your blog post within each of these groups. I do this usually on Monday or Tuesday evening.
- Send a newsletter to your readers. Time required: 30 minutes. As your audience grows you will want to collect e-mail addresses so you can send your information to those who are interested. I use MailChimp for this. My weekly newsletter includes:
- my newest blog post
- top visited posts of the past week
Here are the tools that I use on a regular basis. These automate the social media process and make your platform possible.
- Blogging platform:
- Social Media sites:
- Social Media Management:
- Other tools:
- Paper.li - 'daily newspaper' of curated information from around the web
- MailChimp - newsletter and subscription management
- Flickr.com/creativecommons/ - royalty free pictures and images
- GoDaddy - domain registration
- Recommended reading:
Don't forget to download my FREE Blog Start-Up Checklist!