13 Steps to Successful Blogging

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Blogs can be a very marketable and 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 article you will learn the 13 most essential steps to

successful blogging.


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!


2) Niche

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.


4) Traffic

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.

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.


7) Multiple blogs

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.