Mike has posted a complete outline of how to start a winery blog over at The Winery Web Site Report blog. The only thing I would add to his list is to choose relevant keywords and use these in your posts. Over time, other bloggers will link to some of these and your Google PageRank will improve. There is also some advanced search engine optimization you could do if you want to be fancy and own some keyword combinations. Finally, put a robots.txt file on the root of your blog to encourage search engine indexing. It’s a simple thing to do that does make a difference; you can check out my robots.txt file as a guide.
I would also point out that you can use the open source WordPress software for free (this software powers Winecast). Many hosts have a one button install script to make this a less than 5 minute install, but even where this is not supported the install is pretty trivial. The best thing with this approach is you donÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢t have to do anything geeky to resolve your blog as www.yourwinery.com/blog as long as you do the WordPress install in a directory called “blog”.
Given my current employment status, I would be happy to set-up any winery with a WordPress blog in exchange for a wine sample and a link back to Winecast. Interested parties can get a hold of me via email or my mobile phone at 612-804-0090. I’ll have your blog on the Internet in about an hour… but do heed Mike’s first and fourth points beforehand.
Mike Duffy says
Thanks for the link, Tim. Much appreciated.
Another nice think about TypePad: it takes care of the robots.txt thing for you. Basically, I was trying to suggest a way to start blogging that didn’t require too much geekery (and I admit, domain mapping is pushing it a bit).
And that’s a very generous offer you’re making to get people set up. At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter if it’s WordPress or Blogger or Typepad, but whatever tool you’re using to blog needs to make it more fun, not less. That’s one secret of sticking with the program.