Blogging: 5 Critical Questions Before You Start

By | September 24, 2017

Some planning and familiarity with blogging is essential before jumping in. Here are five questions you must ask yourself before you start.

1) What are your blog goals?

In order to be successful you must have goals. If you don’t have any goals, how can you know if you’re succeeding, if your blog is working?

I suggest going beyond just listing goals and choosing your primary goal. Your primary goal will probably shift over time, and that is alright.

So, why are you going to do this?

2) What is your blog’s focus?

What are you going to write about? You can’t blog effectively on several unrelated topics in the same blog and expect to have many readers. It’s unlikely that many potential readers will share your mix of passions — a blog must focus on only one topic for maximum success.

Conversely, instead of blogging on one wide topic, for example “marketing” or “fishing,” you might chose a niche within that topic, for example “marketing small businesses in rural areas” or “fly fishing for trout in Montana.” With a tighter niche, it’s more likely you’ll have passionate readers who devour your every post.

3) Who is your intended audience?

Who you are blogging for? Who do you expect and want to read your blog? What kind of content will they like? You need to know who you are writing for in order to do it most effectively.

Don’t be surprised if you find an entirely unexpected secondary audience drawn to your blog as well, but determine your intended primary audience and start writing for them.

4) What are your strengths and how can you leverage them in your blogging?

For example, do you closely follow cutting edge current events in your topic? Are you really up-to-date on everything that happens, as soon as it happens and really into that? Or is some sort of in depth analysis of timeless issues more your forte?

Well obviously that’s going to affect what you are going to be writing about, your style. Are you going to be writing about breaking news or how to do things well that don’t change all that often?

5) How familiar with the blogosphere are you?

I suggest before anyone starts blogging, they read a lot of blogs for at least two weeks. This is the bare minimum. Take notes, see what you like and what you don’t like about different people’s blogs and blogging styles.

See what you think might work well for you and then be prepared to experiment.

An easy way to find other blogs you may be interested in is to use one of the blog search engines, for example, technorati.com, and you can search for ones in your topic area or areas you are interested in.

If you’re considering starting blogging, by all means jump in and start. Do not just dive in headfirst however, do some planning and research first. Answer these five questions first, and your blog will be more successful and achieve that success faster.

Blogging As a Career – What You Need to Know

By | September 23, 2017

For a writer, blogging may be one of the best new career choices out there. In a nutshell, blogging is a series of posts on a variety of subjects that may be informative, personal or whatever topic the blogger chooses to write about. The best, most successful blogs appeal to lots of people. Serious bloggers update their blogs regularly and write content that readers find useful in some way. Here are a few tips on obtaining a career in blogging and how to make it a success.

Blogging Career Options

Even though the chances of starting a career in blogging have grown, many writers who would do well as a blogger do not know how to find opportunities online. Many companies with blogging openings will often post the job online like any other job opening. Some blogging jobs may be as ghost writers or even with a writer’s byline. Start a blogging career search just as any other job search.

A good place to start looking is on career websites that are dedicated to blogging careers. These sites will connect writers with job openings. Message boards on the same topic can be useful in locating blogging jobs. Networking with other bloggers on such boards is a good way to find out about openings or locate resources.

A Blogging Career is a Good Choice

Blogging for a living may be a very good choice for writers. The work environment can’t be beat since most jobs require the blogger to work from home. All a writer needs to do this work is a blogging platform and they can work from virtually any location. Not all blogging positions are work from home jobs though; some companies want their bloggers to write from a company location.

One of the most desirable benefits of a blogging career is working at the blogger’s own pace. Many companies will require posts to be made on a specific schedule, but most posts can be written as the blogger chooses. Most blogging software will allow the posts to be scheduled and posted at a future date and time. Bloggers can write numerous posts in one day and have them post at a later date; opening up the blogger’s schedule.

Maintaining several blogs

Depending on the blogger’s schedule and the number of blogs he maintains, scheduling the needed amount of time to write and post can be an issue. One of the most obvious ways to tackle this problem is to write several posts and schedule ahead as mentioned previously in this article. Bloggers who write about current events have a harder time doing this however. Most bloggers will make time daily to catch up on the day’s events and decide on what to blog about. Keeping the blog relevant is a very important part of the blogger’s job.

Finding a career as a blogger is just as complicated or simple as finding any other kind of job. Start the job search online in appropriate venues and network with others in the same field. Know what is involved and work toward finding the career desired.

 

3 Stepping Stones to Building a Popular Blog

By | September 22, 2017

Are you serious about building a popular blog? Want your site to stand out from all the rest? There are numerous ways in which we can structure our blog for the search engines, and endless options we can select to advertise products or services. What we need to concern ourselves with is FIRST getting visitors to our blog site and then getting them to keep returning.

With all the courses offered on how to deal with the technical aspects of blogging we often times overlook the 3 distinct areas that help create and sustain popular blogs: the right niche, good content, and uniqueness.

Let’s examine these 3 areas to better understand their importance in establishing the foundation for a successful Blog.

1. Niche Selection

This is the starting point for any blog. Selecting your topic on which you are to blog about is crucial being if there isn’t enough interest in the subject to begin with you can assume your blogging success will be minimal at best.

Research is an area where you can’t necessarily spend too much time. The probability of your blogging success will be based upon how accurate your research is. Determining the popularity of your subject is crucial. Selecting an overly popular subject will increase your competition which means working harder for smaller profits. Ideally you want to focus on a subject that has a good demand (around 75,000 per month on Google) and preferably a subject you have an interest in since this will make your work seem more like fun and less like work.

2. Maintaining Quality Content

Once you have your blog up and running you should be utilizing various methods to attract visitors. Here is where you want to make your visitors appreciate your blog site. Posting good quality content regularly will pay you dividends from a higher rate of readers returning to your blog. Your content should be useful, entertaining, or interesting for your readers.

Soon your site will benefit from additional traffic due to referrals from your current subscribers. This increase in traffic will in turn be noticed by the search engines who’ll reward your blog with a higher ranking in the results when people are looking for information related to your niche.

3. Uniqueness

In a word this is what will make your blog stand out from the others. Your uniqueness in tone, presentation, humor, color schemes, or possibly layout will identify your blogging platform as distinctly you. The use of audio, video, pictures, or perhaps caricatures will lend more distinction to your blog site. Don’t be afraid to let your personality show. You have a global audience at your fingertips, take advantage of it.

In building a popular blog we always need to keep in mind the more human aspects of blogging itself. Don’t get so caught up in the technical aspects that you lose sight of this. Remember we’re writing to inform, entertain, or appeal to flesh and blood readers and not machines.

Learn to Write an Effective Blog Post

By | September 21, 2017

The ability to write an effective blog post is important to any blog owner who wants to attract traffic and then encourage visitors to return. Compared to article writing or producing content for newsletters there are many similarities. However it is important to note there are some subtle differences you’ll need to pay attention to when composing a blog post.

Here are 7 important things to consider when writing your blog post:

1) Useful Content

Be sure when you post on your blog that the content is useful or entertaining to your readers. If you’ve got nothing to say search the web for content of interest and related to your blog theme. Post this and reference your source.

2) Write Casually

Your posts should read like you speak, in a conversational tone and not like a formal report. Relax your readers by using language or expressions they’re familiar. Also consider what type of reader you are speaking to and the age bracket they’re and address them accordingly. 3) Address Your Readers Needs

Keep in mind whenever you’re composing a post that your readers always look to see what they may gain from your writing. It may be humor, information, or even a sarcastic perspective but remember ‘you are writing for your readers’ and not yourself!

4) Keep it Brief

Your post should always be brief and to the point so as not to waste the time of your readers. Be clear on what it is you’re trying to say. The last thing you want to do is put your readers thru some sort of ‘mental gymnastics’ every time they read your posts. They won’t enjoy this and will stop visiting your blog as a result.

5) Put Life into Your Post

Write as if you’re speaking with a close friend or family. Use expressions and statements that introduce feelings, humor, anger, or amazement to get your readers more involved. With this said however don’t get so carried away that you become overly wordy; get your point across quickly and clearly.

6) Use Links

When you are referencing information from another source for your readers be sure to link to that site. You’re letting the other site owner know you have referred your readers to their site, this is called a trackback. By doing so you’re creating an association with other sites that may in turn link back to you in the future.

7) Don’t Use Misleading Headlines

Your headlines should be clear on what the content of your post is about. Jazz it up a little to get reader attention but stay on target.

It is also recommended to use keywords both in your headline and within the body of your content. These keywords should be directly related to what it is your posting about. This will make it easier for anyone looking for content like you’ve posted to find it in their search results.

As you can see if you want to write an effective blog post you must ALWAYS consider what your reader wants and how do they want it! And of course remember to proofread your work before you publish it.

Putting A Social Bookmarking Button To Your Blog To Be Able To Boost Traffic

By | September 20, 2017

Many men and women who start blogs do it in order to try to make a little extra money, but without targeted traffic you won’t be making any money. You might be one of those people who keep attempting new things to get additional traffic to your blog. When it comes to obtaining more traffic to your blog you really must get back to the basics. This is why I decided to go over how essential it is to just add a “share this” button on every one of your blog posts. And exactly how this little addition can certainly end up driving sizeable amounts of traffic.

A “share this” button is a particularly simple way for 1 website visitor to share your blog post with 100s or even thousands of other people. Many of you have even most likely seen these buttons on various other peoples blogs. This is an easy method for the visitors of that blog to tell their friends about a post that may interest them.

While you can find buttons that will allow you to post to twitter or even facebook you will want to find a button that has multiple sites listed. If you genuinely want to see how potent this little button can be don’t limit the web sites that your visitors can post to. To be able to get the most out of buttons like this find one that permits people to add the post to many different sites. Or you could simply add a different button for all the various sites that you want the public to be able to post to. You have to remember that not everyone has got a twitter account, so if you just add a twitter button you are limiting the possibilities for people to tell other people about the page.

If your blog is on a wp platform, you have multiple options of plugins that you can make use of. Some of the plugins will probably only include a few social networking sites, while others may have the possibility to include 30 or more sites. The important thing here is to find a “share this” plugin that includes as many sites as possible.

Here I am going to show you an example of exactly what could happen when you have this button set up. In this illustration we are going to say that a single visitor shared your post with their friends on one of the social networking websites. All they had to do was use the button you downloaded and now 50 more people are aware of your post. Now lets say that 50 men or women saw the post but just 7 made a decision to stop by your site and read the post for themselves. And if just 3 of them share your post on various other social sites by using your “share this” button, you now have other people spotlighting your post. And by those 3 individuals sharing, this post might now be suggested to yet another 150 people. And out of these 150 people, lets say that 20 of these individuals visit your blog and 8 of them promote the post with their colleagues on their social networking sites. I am sure you are able to see how one post with a good “share this” button can turn in to loads of traffic.