|"There's gold in them there Internets"|
Decide What to Blog About: Focus on One Thing
Take a look at the most successful blogs, the ones that are actual blogs, not ezines that call themselves blogs. Some examples are Like Cool, I Can Has Cheezburger, Perez Hilton, and The Best Page in the Universe. What do they all have in common? They all focus on one thing: gadgets, funny pictures, celebrities, or humor.
If you want to have a successful blog, you also will want to focus on only one thing.
Why? A couple reasons.
People will go to your blog because they are interested in its subject. If they come to your blog because of your shared passion for comparative English-German grammar, they'll be confused and annoyed by your Hello Kitty memorabilia posts.
The second reason is that you want to rank well with Google. If you write about a mishmash of things, that probably won't happen. You'll just look like a personal blog, not an authority on one subject.
|"My uncle in Nigeria left me $10,000,000? Cool!"|
If you want to write in several different categories, create a blog for each one.
Many people get lost in "analysis paralysis." They want to learn all about the Internet before they even start. That is a losing strategy. The Internet is always changing: you cannot learn everything abut online writing. By the time you've learned everything, everything will have changed.
Learn by doing, be flexible and accept that you will make mistakes.
I suggest you go to www.blogger.com and create your blog. You can have your free blog up and going within ten minutes. Just follow their directions. I recommend blogger.com because it has the easiest interface I have come across. Many people will recommend WordPress. It is an excellent interface, but the beginner will find it daunting.
If you're serious about blogging, I suggest you buy your own domain immediately. It looks more credible to readers. Also, if your blog does well, you'll eventually want to have your own domain, so why not do it right away? It costs around $10 on Blogger. (If you don't know what a domain is, never mind. You'll learn.)
Create Good Content
Start writing blog posts. Make them informative. Make them something you and people like you would want to read. Here are some quick tips:
- Use good grammar and spelling.
- Don't use big paragraphs. A big block of text is too hard to read online. Paragraphs should be no more than seven lines of text.
- Be factual. Use good sources. Check your facts.
- Be clear. Nothing beats the short, declarative sentence.
- Proofread. There's always just one more typo. Try reading aloud to find it.
Build Your Traffic
Here are some ways to build traffic.
- Comment. Look at other blogs that discuss your subject. Make comments that further the discussion. When appropriate, make a link. If you are on blogger, then every time you comment on another blogger blog, your name will create an automatic link. (If you don't know what a link is, click here.)
- Guest blog. See if you can write a guest post for a popular blog. Your guest post should link back to your blog.
- Submit your blog to directories. Some directories are DMOZ, Redgage and Blogged.com.
Add Your Ads
Once you have good traffic, it's time to start thinking about earning money. Sign up for Google AdSense. This lets you put advertisements on your blog. You can set up your Blogger blog to insert AdSense ads automatically.
Another way to make money is to become an Amazon Affiliate. Create an Amazon store related to your blog and link to it.
There are many other ways to earn money through your blog. These are just two ideas.
I hope this article will help you get your feet wet in the world of blogging. It is by no means comprehensive. You'll be reading more and doing much more before you earn your first blogging dollar.
Just remember to keep learning. Be worth reading. Don't spam and don't give up. Create value and contribute to the Internet. If you do that, you can't go far wrong.