Blogs can be a very profitable tool if used correctly. Profiting from blogs is just a matter of grabbing the attention of an audience and not doing any actual salesmen selling. In this post, you will learn the 13 most essential steps to successful blogging.
1) Where to start?
You should begin your blog with a hosted domain such as WordPress. Starting with a free blog hosting service is not advisable since you have limits to what you can and cannot do with your blog. Invest some money on your own domain, this does not only brand you and give full authority over your blog but will also prove that you know what you are doing and that you are really out for business.
Think of it this way, whatever you invested some money into is always taken more serious than what you got for free. Click to tweet
You wouldn’t like to lose your money, and that will urge you to work harder towards building a successful blogging business. But when you go the free route, chances are, you will never take it serious after all, you have nothing to lose.
In my opinion, wordpress is the best content management system out there, It’s basically a platform that, once installed on your server, makes it insanely simple to create websites, and it has gone far beyond that.
WordPress used to be primarily focused on creating amazing blogs, however, it has evolved over time in to so much more than just a blogging platform. People use it for everything these days… From blogging, to e-commerce sites, to classifieds, to membership sites.
What makes wordpress great is because of its simplicity, Availability of different themes and plugins and its search engine friendliness. This awesome tool is actually free but you have register your own domain and host it in order to use.
Therefore, wordpress is the ultimate when considering setting up your own blog. Click to Tweet
A niche is a subject of a market that relates to a specific topic. You have to first decide on a product, service, or topic that you are passionate about. Choose an area which you can enthusiastically write about on a regular basis. You can use keyword research services like Market Samurai and Google Keyword External tool to find popular searched topics.
However, It does not matter if your topic is popular as long as there is an 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.
3) Update Regularly
This step is very important and should be taking serious. Updating your blog regularly not only keeps your blog more interesting to readers, but it also gives your blog fresh content 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 visitor’s interest it is a must to regularly update your blog with multiple entries. You should try to update your blog with more content at least 2-3 times a week or even everyday if you can. 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 business, what happens if you don’t attend to your business for days or weeks…you lose money and your customers. Same applies here…if you don’t update your blog for days or weeks you’ll lose visitors.
It’s no secret. Traffic is the heart beat of your blog. 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 also 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 Ezinearticles.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 site in no time with that many publications and credit you an 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 directories.
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.
Tracking your blog does not have to be overly difficult, one of the best free tool that you can use to track your blog is Google Analytic. Sign up, (copy/paste) the code into the html of your blog theme 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. All these and more are what Google Analytics will do for you.
6) Pay attention 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.
7) Short & Concise
Aside from the lengthy article a week for syndication and publication your blog posts 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.
However, I don’t mean you should writing blog posts that are very short like say 400 words, it is not that bad if it really covers the information you want to pass through. But you aim at writing posts that are at least 500 and above words.
8) 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.
9) 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.
10) 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.
11) Write epic Content.
This one is also very important, try as much as you can to provide your readers with epic and original content. It does not matter if you post 4 articles per day, if those articles are worthless, then it’s as good as none. So it is better to come up with a very interesting post once or twice a week rather than posting 4 useless posts a day.
Although I doubt if there is anything like original article in actual sense because all those topics has been shared by other people before. The only thing is for you to write it based on your own point view, personalize and make it unique.
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 every click an ad receives you are paid a small percentage of the profits. In addition to contextual advertising it is also good to try some banner advertising.
Following these successful 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 claims, 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.
Thanks for taking the time read this long blog post, it actually took me more time to put together. What is your own view about this topic? Your comment is much appreciated.
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