Tag Archives for " blogging "

Get Started With Your First Blog

There is no question that blogging is one of the best ways to get keyword rich content on your site, get your message on the search engines and get traffic to your website. But how do you get started blogging?

When you consider starting a blog there are many options. A great way to get started blogging quickly (and for free) is to use an online ‘standalone’ service like WordPress or Google’s Blogger. These are free, highly customizable tools that support both new and more advanced bloggers. The negative is that you can’t use your website’s domain name. For instance, if using Blogger, you blog address would be something like ‘yourblog.blogspot.com.’ While you can link to this from your current website, search engines won’t know give you ‘credit’ for the extra content since it is a different domain. With creative cross linking however, you can still benefit from the increased exposure you can get from a blog.

These free services provide powerful software tool that balance value, quality, and ease of use. While some people prefer to use more basic blog services, they too can truly benefit from the ‘built-in’ benefits of WordPress or Blogger along with its existing large community of users.

One of the most notable benefits of these services is the ease of use, and advanced functionality of the service compared to some blog software applications. Neither Blogger nor WordPress require you to know any ‘coding’ and allow you to built and post to your blog with easy to use icons similar to what one would see in a word processing program. Having the ability to utilize a program like this allows people to create blogs that are as high tech, and complete as full blown websites.

If you are occasionally ‘offline’ you can benefit from WordPress’s ability to import posts. This means you can put your blog together while you are not connected to the internet and then import it later. If you already use another blogging service such you can also import your posts directly into Blogger or WordPress.

Another benefit of these services is their large widget or element and theme libraries that allow you to instantly add useful features, and professional looking styles to your blog. A very simple drag and drop interface allows you to add features such as an RSS feed with a few clicks.

Another option to consider would be blogging software that you can directly integrate into your website. Some hosting provides such as GoDaddy allow you to use your existing domain name for you blog. The benefit is that the content of your blog becomes part of what search engines see for your domain. In these cases you are more likely to pay a monthly add-on fee to your hosting provider. As an alternative, Google’s Blogger allows you to publish to a FTP site, which means you can blog from your own domain. You lose some of the flexibility of the ‘out of the box’ service, but with a little effort you can have a customized template and pretty easy posting capability that resides within your domain.

As your needs become more advanced or if you are a more technical blogger you may also consider blogging software that can be directly integrated into your website. One to consider is bBlog. bBlog is an open source, PHP/MySQL application. If you don’t know what the last sentence means, then this isn’t for you. If you do know, then you may benefit from the expanded flexibility an integrated application could provide.

In the end, you have a wide, wide range of very inexpensive (or free) options to get started.

Blog Traffic Tips – Get More Blog Traffic

Blog traffic is crucial if you are in the business of making money with your blog. If your blog traffic is low, chances are so is your revenue. So how do you increase your blog traffic? Easy if you follow these basic steps:

Post On Niche Realted Forums

Please don’t spam. Search for the forums that can be added to the niche that you wish to promote. Carefully study the entire discussed topic and relate it to the questions asked during the discussion. The discussion can also answer personal questions. Make sure that in every discussion made, you put a small resource box at the end of it to serve as a link to your blog (not always your homepage). Many forums will have you tossed if all you do is promote affiliate products, so don’t do it! It is necessary to put your bio in every end of your postings with a relevant keyword link back to your blog. Do not pursue with some of the forums that do not allow the posting of a resource box.

Write Your Own Content

You can pass an article or web content in many websites. Usually, these sites are free and if you are cash tight, you can pass your own made web contents initially. Writing your own web content will save you a ton of cash, but will also cost you a lot of time. There are freelance writers that will do the work for you, but there is something to be said about having your own personally written content. Therefore, it is wise to do your own article. The article that you will be writing must match the niche of your blog. Put knowledge that you know into every writings, you can discuss tips, tricks, guidelines that you get from your own life experiences. This will encourage your blog traffic to frequently visit your site.

Get Involved In Link Exchanges

This is the most effective way to bring traffic in your blog. This is a careful study of all the links shown on the search engines. It is important to secure the sites that are linked to you to have topics same to your blog. Blog traffic is generated if the same subject is seen on the recommendation by the site that you share your subject with. There will be an increased chance of reaching the highest rank with the benefit of linking with other site or search engines. Both sites exchanging links will benefit from this exercise. Don’t get involved with “link farms”. Send an email to the blogger you wish to exchange links with and simply ask if they are willing to exchange links. You will be surprised how many say yes. Also, if you create well written, highly niche targeted posts, bloggers will link to that post creating tons of “search-engine loved” one way links.

Create A Newsletter

If you have regular blog traffic, you must develop a newsletter for your readers. Your newsletter can be either on weekly or monthly basis. This can sometimes seem too difficult for the new blogger, but this is the time to use those freelance writters. Have them write 5-10 articles on your niche, and use tose as your newsletter. You should only put a small resources box after every article. The small box will serve as the link back to your blog. This will surely increase your blog traffic and returning visitors. If your customers like it, they may even recommend you to their friends, relatives and colleagues.

Join Traffic Exchanges

This is another form of exchange links allowing the member to view each other’s blog posts by surfing. By surfing to the blog, you are gaining points, the more you surf the more points you receive. You are also given an option to gain credits. This will not produce much blog traffic but it will obtain the names for your visitors by using squeeze pages. If you display Google Adsense on your site, be careful joining traffic exchanges as it can violate Google’s TOS.

Follow thes 5 steps and watch your blog traffic grow. It won’t happen overnight, but it will happen. Stay patient, stay focused and work harg to increase your blog traffic.

13 Steps to Successful Blogging

Blogs can be a very marketable and very profitable tool if used correctly. Profiting from blogs is just a matter of grabbing the attention of an audience and not doing any actual salesmen selling.

In this article you will learn the 13 most essential steps to successful blogging.

1) Where to start?

You should begin your blog with a free blog hosting service such as Journal Home. I don’t say that because I’m the owner, but a free blog host is very rewarding for a new blog. Starting with a free blog hosting service allows you to begin blogging instantly without having any advance knowledge of scripts, hosting, or programming. It allows you to build an audience and buzz for your blog. It allows you to focus on your content and not the internal maintenance of the blog.

The best benefit of starting with a free service, is in the case your blog doesn’t become successful you do not lose any money or are you left holding the bill. The great thing about a blog is that they are organized in chronological order, your latest entry is displayed first. When your blog traffic grows greatly and you are ready to upgrade to your own domain then you can simply make your last blog entry the announcement of your “move”.

Simply add a last entry stating that your blog has “moved” and type the new blog URL address. Which directs visitors to your new blog site, keeping your following, without a major inconvenience to anyone. Upgrade as you need to…but only when you need to!

2) Niche

A niche is a targeted product, service, or topic. You should first decide on a product, service, or topic which interest you. Choose an area which you can enthusiastically write about on a daily basis. You can use keyword research services like Google Zeitgeist or Yahoo! Buzz Index to find popular searched topics. It does NOT matter if your topic is popular as long as there is a audience for your topic and the topic is precisely focused then your blog should be successful.

Anything can be considered a niche as long as it has a target audience no matter how large or how small the audience is.

A blog about your cat can be a niche or a blog about the species of the cat family can be a larger niche market, if there are people who are interested in hearing about your cat or the species of the cat family, then you have a niche…you can even choose to build your audience for a market which an audience does not exist, but first you must build your blog.

3) Update Daily (nothing less)

This step is a must and not a suggestion. Updating your blog daily not only keeps your blog more interesting to readers, but it also gives your blog fresh content on a day to day making it more appealing to search engines. Not updating your blog on an occasional holiday or one day here and there is understandable to most, but missing days at a time or weeks is unacceptable and will most likely result in your blog being unsuccessful. To keep your blog traffic and retain your visitors interest it is a must to update your blog daily with multiple entries. Though, I am seeing a growing trend of successful blogs that are not being updated daily, but they are successful and have a stable audience who continue to visit their blog daily.

Regardless, these blogs are still updated weekly with multiple entries. Until you have a steady audience you should try to update your blog everyday with at least 3 or more daily entries.

The best way to accomplish this is to set aside 1-2 hours a day for tending to your blog and adding new entries. It may even be wise to schedule a set time which you dedicate to your blog each day. Give yourself work hours and treat your blog as a job, what happens if you don’t come to work for days or weeks…you lose money or worse you get fired! Same applies here…if you don’t update your blog for days or weeks you’ll lose visitors.

4) Traffic

It’s no secret. You must have traffic to profit from blogs. There are numerous ways to build traffic. Paid advertising, free advertising, viral marketing, search engine marketing, RSS/XML feeds, and word-of-mouth. You should always use your blog URL address in the signature of your email, forum discussions, message boards, or any other communication media. You should submit your blog URL address to search engines and blog directories.

You should submit your RSS/XML URL feed to blog ping services like Technorati, Ping-O-Matic, and Blogdigger. You should confidently share your blog with family, friends, co-workers, associates, and business professionals when it relates. Many blogs can be considered as a collection of articles, for this purpose you should submit your blog entries (those that are valuable and lengthy articles) to content syndicators like GoArticles.com or <a href=”http://www.zapcontent.com”>ZapContent.com</a>. Once submitted your articles can be picked up and published by others.

The trick is to make sure you include your Blog URL address in the “About the Author” passage. What this does is create link popularity and backlinks for your blog, when someone picks up your article from the syndication then publish the article on their website the “About the Author” passage is included with each publication and the link you included is followed, crawled, and indexed by search engines. Imagine if your article is popular enough or controversial enough to produce 10,000 publications across the web.

The search engines is bound to find your blog in no time with that many publications and credit you a authority on the topic, in return increasing your rank on search engines. The small effort of writing a well written article is rewarding. You should try to write at least 1 full length article every week for syndication and submit your article to at least 10 article syndicators.

5) Track Your Blog

How do you know if your blog has traffic? Just because no one is leaving comments doesn’t mean your blog isn’t growing. Many visitors do not leave comments but they are returning visitors. I know it sounds crazy but with blogs people are more interested in what “you” have to say! Many visitors do not comment their 1st, 2nd, or 3rd time. Some do not comment at all, but are active daily visitors.

Tracking your blog does not have to be overly sophisticated usually a simple free page counter like StatCounter.com or Active Meter will do the trick. Install (copy/paste) the code into the html of your blog template and start tracking your visitors. Its better to use a service which gives you advanced traffic analysis, such as keyword tracking information, referral information, and search engine information. Visitors, returning visitors, and unique visitors should be standard for any page counter service you choose.

6) Listen to Your Audience

When using the proper page counter you should begin to see how others are finding your blog and if through search engines then which keywords are being used to find your blog. If constantly your blog is being found by 1 or more keywords then focus your blog around those keywords to make it even more powerful. When writing entry titles and entries use the keywords as often as possible while keeping the blog legible and interesting.

7) Multiple blogs

Use multiple blogging accounts (free) to attract more people. This means you should have a blog with JournalHome.com and others. The more blog accounts the better (be sure to read and adhere to the Terms of Service for each site). You can copy/paste from 1 blog to all others. Having different blog accounts is like having a publication in different newspapers. This enables you to attract more visitors and this also increases the chance that 1 of your blogs will be in the search engine results for your focused keywords.

8) Short & Concise

Aside from the lengthy article a week for syndication and publication your blog entries should be short & concise (if you can help it). Sometimes there are exceptions to the rule and you have no choice but to blog lengthy entries, but try to avoid this as much as possible. You do not want your blog entries to become hours of reading. Visitors like to easily find information and skim through your entries. It is good to be detailed and provide useful information, but do not include useless information or run away sentences that veer away from your topic. Stay keyword-focused.

9) Digital Art

Try to include non-advertising graphics, pictures, photos, and art in your blog entries. Not too much. Once a week is fine. Graphics can sometimes bring your blog to life. Of course, the content of the blog is the most important aspect and you do not want to overshadow your content with graphics, but displaying graphics can add a bit of spice to the blog. Be choosy about your graphics and make sure they fit your entry topic. You should add content with the graphic, at least a caption. Original graphics, photos, pictures, and art is recommended.

10) Keep it Personal

A blog is most successful when it is kept personal. Try to include personal experiences which relates to the topic of your blog entry. Stay away from the business style of writing. Write with a more personal style and use first-person narratives. Do not write any of your entries as sales letters, instead share product reviews and personal endeavors.

11) Interact With Your Visitors

You now have the traffic you deserve. You should begin interacting with your visitors. Create a regular theme such as: “Monday Money Tip” or “Picture of the Week” which entices your readers to look forward to each week.

Give your readers advance notice about a product, service, or topic which you are going to review and then talk about later. If the President was scheduled to give a speech then in your blog you should state that you “will discuss the speech and give your opinion after the speech airs. Comments will be appreciated”.

Try your best to find exclusive information that not many have. Do not disclose any confidential or secret information which is deemed illegal or can potentially get you into trouble, but try to get the scoop before everyone else does. Such as: If your blog was about Paris Hilton (the socialite) and you had a blog entry about “Paris Hilton Getting Married” then it would be interesting to your readers if you had a actual picture of Paris Hilton engagement ring.

Give your best effort to dig and search the internet for exclusive information and you will possibly come up with something useful. Your readers will appreciate this and they show their appreciation through word-of-mouth referrals. Imagine how many readers will tell their friends, family, and others about information they only can find at your blog.

12) Make Money

Once your blog has gained some real momentum and your blog traffic is increasing then it is time to start thinking about turning your traffic into profit. You should use contextual advertising, like Google Adsense or Chitika.

Contextual advertising is usually text links which use the content of your blog to publish targeted ads on your blog. The payout is usually based on a pay-per-click model, meaning for ever click an ad receives you are paid a small percentage of the profits.

In addition to contextual advertising it is good to also use graphical advertising such as: BlogAds.com, Amazon.com, MammaMedia, or General Sponsored Advertising.

13) You’re a Professional

You’re a professional now! What are you still doing with that free blog hosting service? It is time to upgrade to a domain hosted solution. You need to get a web host and choose a domain name for your blog then check its availability. Select the blogging software you wish to use, such as: Squarespace.com, WordPress.org, MovableType.org, TypePad, etc.

When you have your new blog domain setup and ready for traffic then it is time for you to announce your move on all your previous blog accounts. Your last entry to the blog should be a “move” announcement. The title should be “Moved” and the blog entry should state something like “I have a new home for my blog, please bookmark and follow the link: http://www.YourNewBlogDomainName.com”.

This way all returning visitors and new readers should not have any problem finding your new blog domain. Plus, search engines can easily index and crawl your new blog, since your old blog should already be popular with the search engines.

At the level of a professional blogger you may want to team up with 1 or more other bloggers. This will create a more interesting and more powerful blog. The old saying “two heads is better than one”, more authors mean more advertising and exposure because each author will have a vested interest in the blog. The idea of a team blog is to make it profitable and rewarding for all authors, while continuing to target the blog topic and keeping the blog interesting for visitors.