In this article you will learn the13 most essential steps to successful blogging.
Blogs can be a very marketable and very profitable tool if used correctly. Profiting from blogs is just a matter informing your readers and grabbing the attention of an audience while not doing any actual salesmen selling.
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!
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.
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 ZapContent.com. 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.
Successful Blogging and 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.
More Successful Blogging Tips…
7) Multiple blogs Platforms/Accounts
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.
Following these blogging techniques should make your blogging experience much more rewarding. There is no guarantee that your blog will become popular or a household name, but the effort should at least put you one step closer. Making money online is not an overnight experience like many may think, but making money online is definitely a foreseeable possibility. As well, growing popularity on the web is not an overnight experience, but through time, dedication, and persistence you will be rewarded with all the royalties of blogging.
How does Google determine domain age and and How important is it for website authority?? Does Google look at the whois data or do they rely on the crawler? e.g. When they first indexed the website. Check out the great tips below:
Helpful tips for establishing website authority:
Now that we have looked at some of the benefits of having an authority website in the previous post, you may be wondering what you need to do to accomplish this for yourself. Here we’ll take a look at a number of professional recommendations that can all help towards this goal. Ok, here we go!
1. Have a Blog on Your Domain
As I have already mentioned, building website authority takes time and effort. One of the best ways to keep your target audience entertained or interested and prove to them that you have valuable knowledge and information is to blog. A blog is great for encouraging people to keep coming back to your site, which is critical for building authority. With a blog, you will be able to show readers that you are an expert in your field. Over time your blog archives will develop into a valuable library of content that attracts search engine visitors.
Blogs are great for building links from other websites because bloggers tend to link to other blogs, and interesting, helpful articles will be shared by your readers via links, e-mail, and social media. If your business has a simple website with only a few pages about your company, your services, and your staff, it’s unlikely that a lot of other websites and blogs will be linking to you. The content is just not rich enough. Having a blog drastically increases the amount of content on your site, which means more opportunities for inbound links.
An increase in content and inbound links will likely lead to an increase in search engine traffic. From my own experience with my sites and those of my clients, I have found blogs to be an incredible opportunity for increasing search engine traffic.
Probably even more important than the links or increased traffic, blogging gives you the opportunity to connect with your visitors and customers in a way that is not possible with just a static website.
The personal nature of blogging is great for helping others to see what you have to offer, but also for building trust, which is critical for gaining authority. Yes, there are some downsides to blogging. Maintaining a blog that is updated regularly will take some time and the results will not usually come right away, but if you can put in the effort and be patient the benefits will become apparent.
2. Know Your Audience
Blogging to build your authority is more than just posting personal information, or the same content that can be found at many other blogs. In order to work your way into being an authority in your industry, you will need to first have a very clear idea of your target audience and what they need from you. Find ways to use your blog to give them information and resources that will be helpful to them and you will prove to be a valuable resource.
3. Go Above and Beyond
Building website authority is not easy. Only a small percentage of sites in any given industry will ever achieve a status and reputation that could be considered authority, and naturally those will be the sites that go above and beyond the others in the industry to become the most valuable resources for visitors. If your goal is to establish a high level of authority, then take a look at the other websites and blogs in your field and see what they are doing. Think about what you can do to make your website stand out as unique and more valuable. If you are doing the same things and publishing similar content as all the other sites, it will be difficult to ever separate yourself from the pack.
4. Publish Content Consistently
If you’re blogging on your site, then it is important that you make an effort to publish posts on a consistent basis. This doesn’t mean that you need to publish something every day or that you have to publish on specific days of the week, but always be working on new content and avoid going long periods of time with no posts. Posting consistently will help to build momentum and to keep your subscribers and readers coming back. Building authority is much more difficult with sporadic and infrequent posting.
In my own work, I have found that it helps set up a posting schedule for each week. I plan posts a week in advance so that I know what needs to be done. This also makes it easier for me to work ahead. This approach can also work for businesses that have several different people writing for the blog. For example, if you have three people doing the writing, rather than everyone just posting whenever they have something done, assign a specific day each week or a particular date of the month to each author. Planning will help make sure that the blog is not abandoned for long periods of time.
If there is no one at your business who has the time to write blog posts on a consistent basis , another option is to hire freelance writers. You can post a job listing at the ProBlogger job board or any other site that showcases freelance writing opportunities. Writers can be hired for reasonable prices and your site can benefit from the content that is consistently added.
5. Network with Others in Your Niche
Those who run authority websites are typically very well-connected in their industries. Likewise, every successful blogger has a strong network of other bloggers. If you want to build your site’s authority, make an effort to be active in the online community of your industry. Get to know other bloggers and business owners and you are likely to make some valuable connections.
Being well connected can lead to positive recommendations, collaboration and joint venture opportunities, increased in-bound links, and generally a higher profile and increased recognition within your industry.
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6. Build Links
I talked earlier about how blogs can help to build links, but the subject of link building is of critical importance for improving the authority of your site. Links drive traffic to your site, both in terms of click-throughs and search traffic, and therefore it should be a major point of emphasis in your marketing efforts.
Building links is a subject that cannot be covered adequately in this post, but here are some basic link building tactics that you can use for the purpose of improving authority.
Guest post at other blogs
Writing for other blogs is one of the most under-used marketing methods available. Most bloggers are always in need of good content and open to publishing articles from other bloggers. From your perspective, writing for other blogs will provide an excellent opportunity to get your name in front of a targeted audience and to get a link back to your website (most blogs include a brief author bio with a link on guest posts). While it will take some time to write the posts, the free exposure and link is more than worth the effort if you are choosing blogs in your industry that have a similar audience as yours.
If you are interested in guest posting but not sure where to start, first work on finding other blogs that cover similar topics as you and have a well established audience. Once you have some blogs in mind, put together some ideas for posts. Next, contact the blog owner through a contact form or via e-mail and simply ask if they are interested in receiving guest posts.
From my experience, you probably won’t see huge results in terms of visitors from any one guest post, but the cumulative effect of several quality guest posts on influential blogs in your industry can be great for your name, recognition, and reputation.
Marketing your blog with social media promotes website authority
One of the most common methods for link building is through the use of social media sites like Digg, Reddit, Delicious, and others. These sites can help you to get your content valuable exposure, which often leads to links from other bloggers who found you through the social media site. The effectiveness of link building through social media has died off a little bit in the last few years, but it still brings significant opportunity and should be a part of your overall marketing plan to increase your website authority.
Social Media Marketing is another very big topic that can’t be covered in depth in this post, but to get started you should select a few social media sites (probably 2 – 4) that are a good fit for the content that you publish at your blog. Visit the various social media sites to get a feel for their audiences and what types of content they prefer. Also, don’t forget about niche social media sites which have smaller audiences but also have much more targeted traffic. Become an active user at your social media sites of choice rather than just submitting your own content and never voting for anything else.
As you use the site regularly, you will learn more about the tendencies and you can start to craft blog content with the audience in mind. Then as your content becomes popular at social media sites, users of those sites will see that other users have found your content to be valuable, and you will be able to establish some authority. Consistent success with social media can lead to a lot of traffic, links, exposure, and authority.
Focus on Quality Over Quantity
As bloggers publish new content and link to posts from other bloggers, they will link to the posts that are outstanding for one reason or another. Maybe it is an opinion piece that sheds new light on a topic. Maybe it is a tutorial that teaches something of interest to readers. Maybe it is a collection of resources that helps readers to find things that will make their lives easier. Whatever the case may be, this type of content cannot usually be written quickly. Make an effort to prioritize the quality of your blog’s content over the frequency of posts. If you have to make the choice between publishing one really good post per week or three average posts, go with one good post. Keeping exceptional content on the blog will allow you to be able to attract more links from other websites and blogs. This high level of quality in your content is needed in order to establish a high level of authority.
7. Get Around, Get Out There!
Part of establishing an authority site is being in front of your target audience on a regular basis. Rather than focusing solely on the content of your blog, make an effort to be seen, and be active in other places within the industry. This includes writing for other blogs, getting involved in the comments at other blogs, being an active member of social networks, using forums, or generally being involved wherever you may be able to interact with your target audience. All of these things can help to increase your exposure, and over time it will give you the opportunity to show that you have a lot to offer the industry.
8. Help Others Whenever Possible
Whether it be through your blog posts, comments on your blog, e-mail, Twitter, or any other method, any time you can help people you are working towards building more authority and respect. People remember those who have helped them in one way or another, and this is one way to prove that you are able to have a positive influence and that people should pay attention to you.
9. Be Different
Authority websites are not like every other website in their field. There is something unique about them that makes the site more valuable, more interesting, or more helpful to visitors. Make an effort to be different and offer something that others cannot.
There are many different approaches for making money online or for gaining more exposure for your business online, some can have an impact quickly while others (like building authority) are more focused on the long term. With other possibilities that could produce a return in a shorter period of time, why should you be concerned with building authority?
While no traffic source is guaranteed to keep sending visitors to your site, search engine traffic is much more stable than others, such as social media. If your site is not doing anything to irritate Google and if you are consistently working to improve your site and add new content, search engine traffic should at least be holding steady, if not increasing. Any website owner who wants to achieve stability and consistency (as much consistency as can be expected) should be focused on developing diverse traffic sources, including search engines.
An authority site will always have some stability in terms of traffic because the search engines will continue to send visitors, other sites will be sending visitors through links, and repeat visitors will be coming directly to the site because they know it is a trusted resource. 2. Quality Traffic
Search engine traffic is generally of higher quality than many other sources because people who find your site through searches are looking for something that you offer or for information that can be found on your site. Likewise, links from other sites that are recommending your business or the information on your site will also produce quality traffic. Repeat visitors who keep coming back to your site when they need something will be very high quality, because they already have proven that they turn to your site before going to others.
Because stability and quality of traffic is high, authority sites really have unlimited opportunities at their disposal. For example, SEOmoz built up its authority as a go-to source for SEO information, and now they make money by selling membership access to premium SEO tools that can help website owners and marketers to promote their own sites. Trying to sell this type of membership to SEO tools would be substantially less successful from a company that has not established itself as an authority in the industry.
Boost authority, Increase traffic!
Another example is Freelance Folder, a blog that covers all kinds of topics relevant to freelancers. After Freelance Folder had established a large audience and considerable authority, Mason Hipp and James Chartrand released The Unlimited Freelancer, an e-book that was aimed at its target audience. At the time the e-book was available for purchase, Freelance Folder already had a large audience to market to, and they had already earned the trust of that audience.
These are just two examples, the list could go on and on. But the point is that, with authority and an established audience, you can find ways to monetize your website and provide customers with something that is very valuable to them, and you will already have the audience waiting for you.
4. Increased Influence
An authority website has a great deal of influence within its industry. People tend to pay more attention to what someone is saying if they have earned their trust in the past. If you want to be one of the titans of your industry, working towards building an authority website is a good start.
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