Archive for the ‘Blogging: How To’ Category
As someone who has been a guest blogger on approximately 80 different blogs, I feel as though I’ve seen it all when it comes to feedback. I have been asked to create an outline, articles have been sent back to me full of red and purple markings, articles have been completely ignored, and some of my articles have received nothing but a “no thank you” (no name, not greeting, just those three little words). As a writer, I have personal preferences as to how I think feedback should be handled. However, I also work on the flip side—I run a blog that accepts guests posts and I am constantly in a position to give feedback. Oddly enough, the way I give feedback to guest bloggers as an editor and the way I want to get feedback as a writer are completely different.
As a writer, I like it when an editor just tells me in one sentence why my article doesn’t work for their blog so I can send it somewhere else. I am not interested in seeing the hundreds of little comments an editor makes. If they have an idea about something that could make the article better then that’s great, but in general I am interested in getting my articles posted in a timely fashion. I am not offended (usually) if an editor doesn’t like my article, I will just try better next time.
You can love blogging all you want, but if you don’t have the time you don’t have the time. Time passes quickly, and once it’s gone you cannot get it back (obviously Amanda). For this reason, bloggers sometimes feel pressured into using every minute of every day for something productive. Many bloggers have a family and a social life, and some even have a full-time job. Whenever there is a moment of down time, that’s blogging time.
However, frantically running around every minute of every day is not the way to find time for blogging. Follow the steps below to help you stay sane while still finding time to do what you love:
Whether youâ€™re starting a small business blog or simply looking to improve your search engine optimization (SEO) efforts, think keywords. Actually, think specific keywords. Many bloggers donâ€™t realize that finding the right keywords is the key to getting on the top of that search engine page. If you are hoping that when people search for the word â€œclothingâ€ they are going to see your website at the top of Google, think again. When you type in â€œclothingâ€ to Google, 1,970,000,000 results pop up. In other words, even if youâ€™re trying your hardest, youâ€™re not going to make it to page one unless you have a few years to spare.
When thinking about search engine optimization, your time is best spent coming up with the right keywords to target. This may seem easy at first, but there are actually quite a few steps a blog should take before putting all of their resources into one keyword.
Blogging is not difficult. In fact, if you know something, and are prepared to write about it on a regular basis, in actuality, blogging is quite simple.
Sure you can get lost for a lifetime in SEO and audience development and Web analytics and about 1,000 other moving parts — but when it comes down to it, successful bloggers write great content and adhere to several basic principles.
This post assumes that your command of language is stellar and that your grammar skills are up to snuff. Once your “housekeeping” is in order, I recommend that every blog post you write have at least two of these three key elements. If you can incorporate all three, better yet!
Your blog posts must…
It’s probably the first question every blogger has to ask themselves. It comes before writing the first post, choosing the theme or even selecting your blogging platform: What is my blog going to be about?
It’s a tough question and how you answer it will have a big impact on what your site is going to be. It’s going to affect the type of content it has, the media it uses, the audience it reaches out to, how it is promoted and much, much more.
In short, every decision you make about your blog depends on that first critical choice.
But it is also a decision that is fraught with both peril and reward. Choosing the wrong target or the wrong niche can literally kill your site before you’ve published your first post. Choose a good one and it is almost impossible for your site to not find a healthy audience.
So how do you choose your site’s topic? Though you can certainly find some good help from Google and other tools, finding a blog topic that interests you enough to write on regularly and one where your site can thrive is an almost impossible challenge.
With that in mind, here are a few tips to help you choose your blog’s topic and ensure that your site has every chance to thrive from the moment it hits the Web. Read More
Researching a new niche is a tedious process, many blogs and internet marketers suggest launching a blog on a topic that is of interest to you and this is great advice. But as your portfolio of sites grow it will become harder and harder to find a niche that you are interested in.
When this happens you need to look at a wide range of niches that you may want to move into. We all have different tactics on how to find a niche, what works for one person may not work for another and often the best ideas will hit you out of the blue, if this happens all you are left to do is to dig a little deeper into the niche, find out how tough the competition is and whether or not it may be a profitable niche to enter. Read More
As James recently pointed out, owning your domain name is crucial for establishing your identity online and building your brand.
However, with using your own domain name comes a new headache, DNS.
Though working with DNS may not be the biggest challenge that a blogger will face, especially if they register their domain from a good company, it is something that can be a nightmare when and if it goes wrong.
Simply put, without a properly working DNS, your site, your email (if hosted on your domain) and anything else you run off of your site will stop working. Even worse, DNS problems can often be very elusive and, in many cases, can take hours or even days to fully resolve.
As such, it’s well worth understanding what DNS is and what some of the more common sticking points with it are.
A little education on the front end can save you serious headaches later. Read More
Very quickly, if I visit your blog, will it stand out and be memorable to me? Will it separate itself from any of the sixty blogs created in the last minute? What about any of the more than 86,000 that will be created today? What about the more than half a million created this week?
If your blog is going to succeed, it has to stand out and be something other than “Just another WordPress (or other blogging system) blog”. Doing that, however, isn’t very easy not because it’s difficult to give your site a custom identity but because, with so many other sites out there, it can take a lot of work to give your site something that no one, or almost no one else, has.
However, if you don’t do it, you risk your good work and your energy going to waste, getting lost in the endless and faceless crowd that is 99% of all blogs created. For your site to succeed, it must have a “face” and a unique presence, something you’re not going to get without rolling up your sleeves and getting a little bit dirty with your theme, logo and your domain.
It might be intimidating if you’ve never done it before, but it isn’t half as scary as having millions of twins out there, ready to take your blogging identity in a heartbeat by sheer accident alone.
Like any industry or competitive environment, blogging has its share of superstars and top-tier performers. They are the names every blogger knows and everyone who has installed a copy of WordPress wants to be like.
But while it’s fine and great to have heroes, goals and even people you want to emulate, many of these superstar bloggers have built up a cult of personality around themselves, including empires of ebooks, guides, personal coaching and much, much more.
The promise of these guides is that, often for a price, you can be more like them and learn their system and their approach. The pitches often border on infomercial territory and promise outrageous results for almost no effort and time. However, even the more down to earth systems come with problems and concerns.
As a blogger, it’s easy to get sucked into this cult of personality as the lure of making large amounts of money and building a huge fan base are tempting to just about anyone. But it is a dangerous path to follow and a mistake you most likely can’t afford to make.