Sunday, July 18, 2010

Best Blogging Tips

I have come across a lot of blogs which are mainly about Blogging tips. Those, along with the "Make money" blogs are the most common of the lot. Being into blogging for quite some time now, I thought this was an appropriate time for me to give out some blogging tips that would be useful to would-be or beginner & even other bloggers too.
I am not going to simply give the typical blogging tips that you might come across, but I am also going to add from my personal experience and the whole process of it along with aspects related to Marketing your blog.
With over 65 posts, some followers and over 50,000 visitors, I guess I am qualified and experienced enough to be doing this!

* In the end, I will summarize the tips so those who don't want to read much can directly go there but I suggest you go through this post as it will be useful.

For Starters:

I started blogging after seeing my sister's blog as I wanted to have one too. Most of the times, the start will be in that way- seeing your friends or relatives having their own blog, makes you want to own something of the web world- having your own page in your name and doing anything with it sounds exciting. But keep in mind that out of the many millions that start out, only a small percentage of those survive i.e. continue. Others just die out after a few posts. The reason is that unless you love writing or have a passion for something that you want to share, it becomes difficult. I have seen many people, as soon as they get into blogging, they want lots of visitors and want to make money out of it and when it doesn't happen, they quit.

- The beginning is the most difficult part because your blog will be absolutely unknown in the cyber world, no readers or followers, it starts to feel lonely as if you are writing to yourself. It is at that point that your passion carries you on. If you can ride it out and if you are good, it will happen by itself. If you start for the wrong reasons in the first place, it won't happen. (www.thevigilidiot.com is a great success story!)

- For me it was the love of writing that made me start. In the beginning, don't worry too much about the Title and templates- background etc. Just get started and things will shape up. First have something in mind about what you want your blog to be. For me, initially it was the game Cricket and that's why the name STRAIGHT DRIVES. But soon I thought of many other things that I wanted to write about and now mine is one of the most diverse blogs you might come across with topics ranging from my art work, poems, sports and games, spirituality, reviews, experiences, cooking, bit of politics and martial arts related and general things. And that's why I came up with a secondary blog divided as per the wide topics. (www.telach.blogspot.com). Also my theme matches to the content to some extent, like an artist who draws anything that he pleases, isn't too neat, a bit messy etc. My sister has an expertise in cooking so her blog is about that (www.nikitawrites.blogspot.com), one of my friends Rajesh Sethi is a Financial expert and thus has a blog on that (www.rajeshsethi28.blogspot.com) and another one of my friends Gaurav Bhatt is a movie expert and will soon be starting a blog which I will set up for him.

- The debate about Blogger or WordPress, I can't say because I haven't really used Wordpress. Ask your friends who have the experience of both.

- Initially, you need to come in contact with other well-established bloggers. For that you can join social Blogging community sites like blogcatalog.com, bloggers.com etc. You can start discussions, ask your queries, ask others to rate your blog and for tips, submit your blog for reviews etc.You can also host Best blog contests which can help you make friends and come across really good blogs to follow. Initially I got huge help from a wonderful established blogger- Greg Becerra (http://www.gregbecerra.com/). You do need something like that for guidance.


Thus, in short,

REQUIREMENTS

-   You need to love writing and have a decent control over the language without too many errors

-  You need to give time on a regular basis. Update your blog as and when you can

-  Your blog should have an originality. It should be, for the most part- your words. Not just copying

-  You need to have an interest and expertise in some field that you want to share

-  You need to visit and comment other blogs genuinely to build your network


SUMMARY AND TIPS-

1.   Initially you have to carry on without readers and followers or earnings. If you do, you will succeed

2.   Make your blog about something that you really love, have interest & are an expert on

3.   Let your blog evolve and subsequently have your title and templates adjusted accordingly

4.   Don't write too big articles (generally advisable) or do break it up with images in between

5.   Give your blog a personality of its own

6.   Submit to search engines. Check these few out- ( http://tips-for-new-bloggers.blogspot.com/2007/09/submit-blog-to-search-engines.htmlhttp://www.freewebsubmission.com%20,%20http//www.problogger.net/archives/2006/11/24/how-to-optimize-your-blog-for-search-engines/) . After submission you might start getting most of your visitors from Google search, like I do. Then it is a very good idea to write about the topics that are current and hot. This way, you will regularly get a boost in traffic from time to time.

7.   There are a lot of things that you can add on your blog, even Blogger has many. You can click Design- and under Page elements, you will find Add Gadgets. There are many useful ones too but don't make it too crowded.

8.   Add your personal touch and write in your own way and language

9.   Join and participate in social blogger community sites like (blogcatalog.com, bloggers.com etc)

10.  Promote your blog in other social networking kind of sites like Orkut, Twitter, facebook etc. To add "Follow me on twitter" button, see this- http://www.twitterbuttons.com/. If you do not understand these things like adding the codes, editing HTML etc don't worry. I myself couldn't do it earlier. It is easy and you will learn. Beginners who don't understand it, see here for an easy tutorial-  http://www.blogspottutorial.com/2009/01/how-to-install-twitter-widget-in.html


11.   Ask your readers to share your blog in their social networking sites. To add that, see this- http://nikhilmisal.com/how-to-add-social-sharing-icons-in-your-post/


12.   You can also do fancy things like adding your signature as I have done.(http://www.spiceupyourblog.com/2010/01/how-to-create-stylish-signature-and-add.html) But keep in mind that all this comes later. Content is important. Develop it first!

13.   You can also use Google Analytics as a tool which will help you later to keep track of all things in your blog, visitors, where they come from, your blog numbers and statistics etc. If you want to keep track of your visitors, FEEDJIT live traffic feed and Clustrmaps are good ones

14.   Finally develop something unique about your blog. For example, in my blog I started a concept on Piano notations and the majority of my traffic is for that. People ask for notations of songs in the comments section and I provide it and help others. So although I might not write a new blog post very frequently, there is some activity going on in my blog. There are already close to 500 comments in all my Piano notations posts!  Google has been kind to me and features my blog posts well in searches.

Final advice, take it slow and enjoy the process!
Happy Blogging!
Comments welcome.

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