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Category Archives: Blogging
Blogging is more popular than ever. Blogs are cheap to set up, easy to run, and can be abandoned easily when they don’t work out. This is both a good and bad thing. Conversations are better when everyone has a chance to make their point, but competition is stiff, and finding success with your blog is easier said than done.
Standing out in a crowd is a difficult task, but new blogs are started everyday that go on to become social hubs and sources of influence. Successful bloggers often have a plan and an understanding of what the right move should be. These five tips will help any new blogger find their way towards success.
1. Cover topics that require attention
Every niche has particular questions that are frequently asked, but rarely have conclusive answers. Whereas this recommendation can be helpful for most content based sites, it is particularly applicable with blogs. Invest the effort and time to research, compile and deliver, and you are guaranteed linkable content that will draw new subscribers and visitors.
2. Pay attention to analytics
Visitor tracking software can show you which posts your visitors like best, which ones are not viewed and how search engines are directing traffic. You can use these clues to act and improve your tactics. Feedburner is ideal for RSS. Action tracking can also be a great addition to your blog. This will enable you to see which sources of traffic are attracting the best quality visitors (in terms of number of page views, time spent on the site etc.).
Blogging is perfect for anyone that’s interested in sharing their thoughts and interacting with other people over the Internet. If you’re a new blogger and want to get started, here are tips that will guide you along the way.
What is a Blog?
The word blog is a contraction of the words “Web” and “log.” To all new bloggers, a blog is a website where you write commentaries, events in your life, movie reviews, personal thoughts, poetry, interesting blog topics, or a combination of these topics. A blog can also contain pictures and videos. It’s basically an online journal.
Blog posts are usually arranged in a chronological sequence, with the latest entry at the top and the older entries at the bottom. Moreover, blogs don’t have to be maintained by just one person and they don’t have to be personal. It can serve as a website where a company posts news and interesting blog topics, for example. You can also use your blog to sell stuff.
Choosing a Blogging Platform
Now that you have an idea of what a blog is, let’s move on to how to set one up for the new blogger.
First off, the new blogger should look for a blogging platform that has the features that suit their needs. The more popular blogging websites include WordPress, Blogger, Tumblr, and SquareSpace. Registering in some of these websites is completely free. Whichever you choose, all blogging platforms can work well for the new blogger.
Identifying Your Niche
Once you’ve chosen a blogging platform, it’s time to determine your niche. This means that you have to decide on a specific subject area or theme. You can always talk about various interesting blog topics, but if you want to focus on a specific subject matter, here are two ways to determine a theme:
- Look for a SubjectAsk yourself what you’re interested in, what you’re an expert at, what interesting blog topics are missing on the Internet, and such questions. If you want good ideas, read popular blogs, and take inspiration from them.
- Define your AudienceFor the new blogger, the target audience will also define the blog’s content. For instance, if your blog is primarily for keeping in touch with friends and family, then your blog would mostly be filled with personal, interesting blog topics. If you want to target other professionals in your industry, however, the blog’s content should contain tips, strategies, commentaries and other relevant information about your business.
Give Your Blog a Name
When it comes to naming your blog, you have endless options. For new bloggers, your easiest and safest bet would be to name your blog after yourself. You can also name the blog based on interesting blog topics. You could call it Gadgets and Gizmos, Hollywood Gossip, or Heart Health. If not, the blog name can be completely random, like say I’m Your Mom, Ripples, or Humicorn.
Update Your Blog Regularly
Basically, these are the steps that will help the new blogger get started. The next step would be to update your blog on a regular basis. You don’t have to do it every hour or every day, but try to post interesting blog topics every week at least.
Blog SEO for the New Blogger
For many newbie bloggers, search engine optimization is too big a topic to dwell on. In fact, it could make your head spin if you don’t have background knowledge. On the other hand, if you want to reach more people, increase sales or become a popular blogger, blog SEO is something that you need to take seriously.
SEO, which stands for search engine optimization, in a nutshell, is the process of promoting your blog or website so that it ranks high in search engine results. When websites are higher on the rankings of search engines, such as Google and Yahoo, your site is more visible to Internet users, and this translates to more clicks, traffic and views.
So how do you do blog SEO?
Although SEO is a broad and ever-changing field, creating a list of keywords that are related to your topics or niche, and then inserting these keywords into various areas within each post should be the first thing a newbie blogger should do. A keyword density of one percent will do. This means that your keywords should show up five times in a 500-word article. Make sure to include the keywords in the titles and subtitles as well.
These keywords are the words or phrase people type into search engines. You want to make sure your blog will show up in the search results for those keywords.
Once you’ve created keyword-rich content, don’t stop doing so. Otherwise, you’ll lose your search engine rankings. Blog SEO involves adding new content frequently so that your blog remains friendly towards search engines.
Another way the new blogger can do blog SEO is to link your site or the pages within your site to similar websites. This will increase your blog’s popularity and exposure. To get even more exposure, you can also submit your blog to general directories as well as blog directories.
As most companies and individuals have realised, blogging is not just a great way to get your information out there, done properly it is a big part of any search engine optimisation strategy. Google created a whole industry and to get the most out of your blogging, and develop your content (articles), they loaded it with a range of tools that can be used to assist your blogging – not really too surprising is it? Here is a list of the essential 10 great not only for SEO, but for developing and working your content and blog.
Gmail. If you are not using it then you should. The spam filter really does work. Say goodbye to computer file clutter and store it all in your account.
Google Docs. This is kind of part of your Gmail and many people don’t even know it exists. It is like having a global intra-net with anyone you choose. With added features such as online file sharing and much online software available, and loads upon loads of space, if you are not taking advantage of it, you really do not know what you are missing. Kiss goodbye Microsoft’s expensive and bug-prone Office and other common tools you used to use. Save everything online and never have to worry about keeping your folders and files in order again – they wont even be on your computer. This is the safest form of storage for anyone on the go, and is even easier to share.
Search – Additional Features. Sure we all use Google search, but with a range of other search functions it can be seriously beneficial to any blogger. Real-time search is great because it searches Twitter and other blogs (among other things) and is a great way to keep track of what is going on, on any particular day. Selecting the super cool tool of Wonder Wheel, after conducting a search is great for article ideas that relate to your searched phrase, and to help you improve search keywords good for your website. This works like one of those visual thesaurus sites, but importantly in terms of searches and content on the web.
YouTube. You tube is a great way to give you a whole new traffic source and because Google owns YouTube it interfaces well with all of your optimisation strategies. YouTube will do wonders for how much Google likes your site, and the chances you are going to come up higher on searches is extremely high. Add video spice to your site and forget about hosting.
Google Chrome. There is nothing better than a great web browser to handle your web design as smoothly as you made it. Chrome is incredibly fast and there is just not another browser that can compete with it.
Feedburner. This is the most popular service used by most bloggers to manage their RSS feed. Switch to Feedburner and you will manage your Feed with ease – perform other tasks like track click through rates and add AdSense to Feedburner Feeds.
Google Alerts. Every blogger should be using this. It is the single most effective way to be monitoring yourself or your brand online. You enter certain terms and get emailed whenever blogs or websites use those terms. Enter your name, or your brand, and you will be notified if they are used in other websites. Another way to use it is to set it for terms that you are interested in — a great way to find sources of information relative to you, and a form of update.
Google Analytics. Yes everyone is using it. It is extremely powerful and tracks and records all sorts of information in relation to your blog and site. Go there and check it out for yourself, because if you are doing SEO then you just have to be using it. Set it up for your blog easily after a signing up for a Google Analytics account.
Google Adwords Keyword Tool. This tool allows you to see how often certain words and phrases are searched for in Google. There are a number of ways we can use this information, from choosing new keyword rich domain names, getting an idea of PPC (pay per click) advertising, and a relative indication of what you might be earning from one of your AdSense adverts that is targeting that keyword. A great way to better understand which keywords to focus on.
AdSense. A simple way to get some income from your site, and all it takes is for you to sign up for an account and add a little amount of code to your site and you will have adverts. The best and easiest way to earn money if someone clicks on them, although the amount will depend on the content of your blog and the value of the keywords to the advertisers.