In this 3 post series, I will outline certain principles that should guide you if you want to build a blog from the scratch. I will also explain why many blogs fall by the wayside and why blogs are the future of mankind.
In the begining:
I started my wordpress blog and approximately 30 days later, we recieved our 1500th unique visitor. By some standards, that is mediocre, while with others that is very impressive. Personally I am impressed. I am sure some readers are guessing that this is my umpteenth blog, no no no. My first blog.
If you want to build blog traffic from the scratch, you have to start. Go to wordpress dot com and get a free blog. It is easier than getting an email address. Other alternatives include blogger, typepad and a zillion others out there. There are differences between the various platforms and wordpress dot com seems to be very advanced and user-friendly, especially with their continuous upgrades. The down side is that you are limited in terms of flexibility and if you hope to make money from blogging with advertisements, then this is not the free platform for you. Blogger dot com allows free users to insert adverts, so go there if you are keen on that.
Looking for content
Many advisers and bloggers will always tell you: "create your own niche", "be an expert in your niche" etc etc etc. While that is a valid fact, how many experts will there be? If I like techy stuff, how will I keep up with Techcrunch, Gizmodo and Lifehacker? There are editorial teams blogging about everything and anything on the web. I decided to blog so I have to start with what I have. Simply, you have to blog about the things that interest you online. With time, it will take shape and you will morph your blogging technique into what you really are best at. For some other topics, it may be a struggle. Do not stop. Let your target be at least 200 words, 500 would be better.
Many bloggers want to read as many blogs as possible within a short time and who has time for a 3000 word essay. Go straight to the "money". If you have a picture or a video, include it to give your blog some color. Even after writing, review your essay and correct any typos identified. If you run out of ideas, find out what the top blogs are blogging about and spin a variant of that. Let your personality reflect in what you write. I do not think one can get it wrong, being one's self.
Looking for readers
The best blog posts are just ones and zeros on some remote computer in a room being cooled by giant cooling systems in some high-rise building, somewhere out there. If theses numbers are not accessed by the blogger, they do not become blogs and are never read. Just like the customer, the most important person in the blog equation is the reader. Go and get them.
I looked for them in several ways for my Mcneri Wordpress Blog. I first sought to use the best background colors I could find:white. The most successful websites have white or almost white backgrounds, so I waded through wordpress themes until I got to journalist theme and stopped.
I activated my Feedburner for RSS. There is also an email subscription box available. I joined BlogCatalog and MyBlogLog. I submitted my posts to Digg. I signed up with Technorati. I also included my link in a couple of forums that I belong to. I also submitted my posts to Google submit url the moment I finished posting it.
Starting the buzz
Your blog has to give something to the blogosphere, if you are expecting anything in return....naturally. I have initiated a complimentary service where I will highlight one website per week as site of the week. We have recieved a few entries and soon our first site will be show-cased. The how to become a world class section is also a new addition that guides readers on aspects of their career.
The traffic has not been fantastic, but has steadily increased. I did not spend any money on adverts, backlinks or link exchanges. I have attempted exchanges, but it has not yielded much and I am not keen anyway.
I have also commented on several blogs and some pay me a visit in return, while others do not even allow a link back to my poor little blog. We learn everyday. I have also tried to respond to any comments on my blog. Not too many for now so I have managed well. I guess, anyone with more than 200 comments in a day will have a real difficulty responding. However if you are small fry like me, make sure you respond to the visitors, promptly.
Monetizing the blog
This is an important aspect of blogging and I believe that since Google and Microsoft are making money, everyone that contributes to the web should. How do I do that? Juggling a full time and a half job leaves me very little time after family to blog, so I am taking it easy. Now I have started this blog on blogger. We have Google Adsense and Amazon Associates ads there. I may even be able to add Text Link Ads. I will then be positioned to monetize my blog. that is why there are very few links out of this blog post.
To be continued