December 11, 2007
Making a blog isn’t only about writing great content. Sure, content is king, but what is it worth if no one is reading it? If you’re writing quality new articles on a daily basis, to get the most out of them you’ve got to make sure they can be seen. Right after maintaining great content, getting exposure for your blog is the most important. So what can you do to get people coming to your blog and noticing it?
Photography by etoile.
1. Comment on other blogs. Being community involved is a very important thing. If you drop by other blogs, especially ones related to yours or in your niche, and leave a quality comment that adds to the discussion, the author of that blog will surely notice what you have to say and visit your own site in return. And besides the blog author, it’s pretty likely that several of their other commentators will see the great comment you left and wonder who wrote it, visiting your site to find out. Caroline Middlebrook has written a great post on blog commenting that you should read.
2. Link to other blogs and sites. I know that personally whenever someone links to me and I get the trackback for it, I will go to their blog to see where exactly that link is coming from. Linking to other bloggers helps to get those bloggers to notice you, and besides that, often times they might return the favor and link back to you in one of their posts, sending more of their readers and more exposure your way.
3. Guest write on other websites. Something I don’t do a lot that I should is writing or guest blogging on other sites. At least once a week you should write up a quality article and have it published on another blog in your niche, thus reaching a whole new readerbase and audience and hopefully extending your own by doing so. Guest posting is probably one of the greatest and easiest ways to get exposure if you know how to write! Read A Guide to Promoting Your Blog Through Guest Posts for more information.
4. Use social media sites. If you’re already writing great posts, then take the time to submit some of them to sites like StumbleUpon.com, Digg.com, and BloggingZoom.com. If one of your posts becomes popular and gets a lot of votes, it can hit the front page, thus sending you thousands and thousands of visitors! After a while of using social media, take some time to figure out what kind of content does best on those sites and use that knowledge to your advantage. Quick Tip: Adding an image to your post and using lists increases its chances of doing well with social media by almost twice as much (as long as your post’s quality is good to start with)!
5. Ask other blogs to link to you. This one is iffy, and you have to do it right if you want exposure and a good reputation. In fact, if you implement this method incorrectly, you could have the opposite affects you were hoping for! The key thing here is to contact other bloggers in your niche, even the big names and the small ones too, and tell them about an article you recently wrote and why it might be helpful for their readers. As long as you are polite and considerate, it’s worth a shot and won’t hurt – you might get some links in return, and even if you don’t you’ll still get the attention of everyone you’ve contacted.
6. Hold a contest or give something away. Everyone loves free things and competitions. If you can come up with a giveaway that provides something people will want, you’ll surely generate some exposure and backlinks to your blog, especially if your contest is well-run and organized. You can give away something like a cash prize, or if you don’t want to spend anything you can write up a GOOD QUALITY e-book or give away a month’s worth of advertising space on your site. This is a surefire way to increase traffic if implemented properly!
7. Create some linkbait. Not everyone is good at creating awesome linkbait, but it’s always worth a try. If you can come up with a new idea or something creative and off-the-wall, you can generate tons of links and traffic. Lists of the top blogs are good ones that often draw in lots of links and visitors. But linkbait doesn’t always have to be some new and fantastic idea, you can also create controversy instead – if your opinion on a topic is different than the opinion of everyone else, say so – and don’t back down from your position!
8. Hold a blog carnival or group writing project. Write a post on your blog asking for all of your readers to submit the best articles they’ve written on a certain topic. Set a deadline, and afterwards gather all the articles you’ve received and create one post linking out to them all. This not only creates a great resource for all of your readers, but gives your other readers and fellow bloggers a chance for some exposure of their own – which they may return by linking back to your resource! I recently ran a group writing project called The All-Time Best Blogging Articles, and it turned out great and drew in plenty of new visitors!
9. Purchase advertising on another blog. If you buy advertising on another site or blog related to yours, you’re going to get exposure and traffic, no doubt about it. Search around and find a quality blog with affordable prices that targets the kind of audience you write for, and purchase a banner or some other form of ad space on that site. If you can find a blog that is willing to write reviews for money, then you can order one of those as well. If people read a well-written, positive review of your blog, then that will increase your exposure and reputation by a mile!
10. Keep writing fantastic content. Like said earlier, if you have great content but no one reading, then there is no point. However, if the opposite is true – you have people visiting your site but no great articles for them to read – then that is even worse. Set yourself a schedule and maintain great content, and no matter what, in time the exposure and traffic WILL come!
Hopefully the above ten tips will help you generate some attention to your blog and get it noticed. As you might have figured out, visitors are one thing and loyal readers are another. It’s important to convert the people who visit your site into people that will come back on a regular basis to read what you have to say: that’s what makes your blog successful! So pick some of the methods above, implement them, and once you start getting traffic to your site make sure you have buttons for people to subscribe to your RSS feed on display in an important part of your blog. (Notice: my feeds are promoted in the top of the sidebar.) Reply to all your comments and emails and keep in touch with your visitors so they’ll be willing to come back to your blog continuously.
Good luck on getting exposure for your blog, and if you have questions or remarks feel free to ask or share what you know in the comments area below.
November 25, 2007
10 Steps to a Killer Blog Post! by Thomas at ThomasSinfield.com.
Blogger’s Guide to Creating Better Content by Steven at VandelayDesign.com.
Write More and Better Content by Marco at MarcoRichter.net.
Blog Wrap Ups Made Simple and Easy by Snoskred at Snoskred.org.
TRAFFIC GENERATION & EXPOSURE:
15 Ways to Get Exposure for Your New Blog by Steven at VandelayDesign.com.
6 Ways to Boost Traffic to Your Blog! by Thomas at ThomasSinfield.com.
7 Creative, Out-of-the-Box Link Baiting Ideas That You Can Use in Your Blogs by Ruchir at TechnoMoney.net.
Got a New Website? Go for the Long Tail. by Frank at OpTempo.com.
Google Optimization – Key Factors by Marco at MarcoRichter.net.
Traffic Building Via Social Networking by Frank at OpTempo.com.
Comment Smart! by Ruchir at TechnoMoney.net.
How to Start Blogging in 5,401 Words by Marco at MarcoRichter.net.
Brainstorming Techniques for Bloggers by Steven at VandelayDesign.com.
What’s In Your Success Toolbox? by Betshopboy at Betshopboy.net.
14 Reasons Readers Unsubscribe From Your Blog by Snoskred at Snoskred.org.
The 5 E’s of Essential Blogging by Betshopboy at Betshopboy.net.
The 5 P’s and W’s of Blogging by Betshopboy at Betshopboy.net.
How to Get Back Into Your Blogging Groove by Hopeful Spirit at HopefulSpirit.com.
8 Great Bloggers Tell What Inspired Them to Blog by Ruchir at TechnoMoney.net.
The Three Secrets to Getting Rid of Your Unprofitable Free Time by 2xKnight at FanaticSpace.com.
Thirteen More “Lesser Known” Helpful WordPress Plugins by Janie at JHSiess.com.
11 Must Have WordPress Plugins for Any Blog by James at InsomniacMe.net.
Revitalizing an Old Blog with Google Video Units by Frank at OpTempo.
Like I said, I hope to hold these group writing projects every couple of months so please keep your eyes peeled for them. By submitting your post, I have more content to include in these carnivals and you get a free backlink, traffic, and exposure in return!
Other group writing projects in this series:
November 21, 2007
Photography by smiles4angels.
Winners never quit and quitters never win!And you want to be the winner. The #1 reason why people fail at blogging is because they simply give up. A lot of the time blogging is made out to be the “instant way to make thousands of dollars” without doing any work. Well guess what? That’s not true. People look for an easy way out and when they realize they’re not going to get it, they quit. But nothing comes without a price. If you always quit, you’re never going to get anything in life.
Everyone has to work at blogging. Great content must be written on an every-other-day or daily basis, and it must be kept up to par. Designs must be constantly worked on and tweaked. Comments and emails must be replied to all the time. There’s even a lot of planning involved. All of the above, and tons more, must be done to be successful. Blogging is not a get-rich-quick scheme!
Every job takes work. Blogging can be a great job if you know what you’re doing, but it takes a lot of time to build it up and often people don’t succeed on their first try. If you’re a quitter and you know it, then maybe blogging is not the best thing for you. To be honest, it can take a lot more time and dedication than a “real job”. But blogging can be extremely rewarding and it is fun for a lot of people who have a passion for it.
The #1 reason why you will fail as a blogger is because you are a quitter. Don’t give up! The first three months of blogging are really tough, and even up to the first six months it’s pretty hard still. During that time you’re learning a lot and making a lot of mistakes that take some fixing. Everyone goes through it, so don’t think you’re the only one. At times blogging might get you down, but quitting is never the solution.
As you go along, things will only get easier. At the start, it’s hard to build traffic and backlinks but after a while a lot of that will spread by word of mouth and come naturally. Sure, you might get occasionally frustrated or confused. But if you keep going, it will all be worth it in the end. So don’t give up, because THAT is what makes you the failure.
There is a need of installation of wireless internet cafe for the management and security measures. For the small website owners, the webhosting cheap is very fantastic solution in order to meet the needs in affordable prices. Some website hosting service providers offer very professional domain registration packages in the affordable rates. The accessibility of websites to World Wide Web is possible by getting web hosting services of the reliable hosts. Wi-fi is one of the leading wireless internet service providers due to its all-inclusive features. For the restoration of important data, there is need of powerful servers with the deployment of backup software.
October 12, 2007
Now let’s take a look at what our ten pros have to say…
Cash Quests from CashQuests.com says:
“The biggest mistake that I made was starting on Blogger – I’m sure you agree. The only other mistake that I made was not having a tight focus on the type of content that I would write from the beginning. The focus can change over time – but it should always be focused and within your specified boundaries.”
John Cow from JohnCow.com says:
“One of the biggest mistakes I made was posting too eagerly. 4-5 posts a day was a normal routine for the first month, until I realized people wouldn’t be able to keep up with the articles I was publishing. It’s one thing to have fun with your blog and post loads of stuff, but if it drives people away because it’s all going to quick for them and they don’t have the time to spare, they’d rather spend the time they have on different blogs, with just one article. Otherwise it’d end up being one way conversations. Recognizing the flaw is the first step, trying to hold back is the second :) Pretty hard to stick to a routine posting time if your an impulsive blogger. I learned that even-though I might be impulsive, my readers are probably not.”
Kevin Muldoon from BloggingTips.com says:
“One of the biggest problems I had when I first started blogging was grammar. My grammar was always good back in school but when I was writing blog posts I was being lazy. I used i instead of I and would sometimes leave out punctuation marks as well. A few people also mentioned that I was writing as if I was talking to a best friend.
Over time I began to improve my writing and in particular, I made a point of proof reading posts once or twice before I published them.
On a few occasions near the start of my blogging venture I also posted some lower quality posts because I was rushed for time. Of course, my concern was that I didn’t want my posting frequency to drop too much near the start of the blogs life however I have since learned that it’s better to spend your time writing a little of your next post instead of rushing out a poor one.”
Steven Snell from VandelayDesign.com says:
“I would say my biggest mistake was not taking my blog seriously at first. When I launched the blog I had 5 or 10 posts and only added something new every once in a while. I wasn’t really getting any traffic until literally one day one of my posts got noticed by a few social media sites and I had a few thousand visitors. From that day on (the beginning of July) I’ve been adding new content and trying to grow the blog. I missed out on about 3 months at the start of things, so I could be further ahead than I am now. I would advise new bloggers not to underestimate the potential of their blog.
Adnan from Blogtrepreneur.com says:
“The biggest mistake I made (besides not starting blogging sooner) was to start life online on a Google owned Blogger domain. I spent around 6 months on a .blogspot.com domain name because I wasn’t ready to take the plunge to my own hosted solution. With domains as cheap as $8.88 and hosting as little as $5/month, it’s never been cheaper to go with your own solution (preferably with WordPress.org too). There are so many advantages of the latter, including an increased control over your site, bucket loads of room for customisation and the ability to use plugins like Akismet – which has saved me so much time in SPAM moderation.
I would definitely recommend WordPress and a reliable host to anyone who wants to start blogging seriously, as it will really save you some hassle when it comes to inevitably switching domains.”
Becky Sanders from Preblogging.com says:
“When I started blogging back in 2004, I used blogspot. It was a big mistake, you need branding and the freedom from using your own domain(s). I would recommend someone to go with the wordpress hosted option, or if you are more adventurous get hosting and a domain name and install wordpress. If you use BlogSpot (or one of those branded services) you are not in total control of your visitors IMHO.
I see all those great bloggers who use those free options, and I think they they are somewhat limited in their capacity to grow.”
Sandra from FreeCashQuest.com says:
“The biggest mistake I made when I started my blog was when I decided to use a domain that I had laying around. I used the domain www.elizabeth-rose.info that I had registered not long before for some other purpose. The domain name had nothing to do with the topic of my blog or with my name. A lot of times people called me elizabeth or lizy despite the info on my about page. I think it is very important that when you start a blog that you have a domain name that is related to the topic of your blog or that you can use for branding.
Not long after I started the blog it was PR3 and I found it hard to switch to another domain because I would lose my PR. It kept on nagging in the back of my mind though and I finally made the decision to switch to a new domain; www.freecashquest.com. Because of my mistake I am stuck with a PR0 blog until the next update. I had to start from zero when it comes to building back links, etc. If I could do it all over again I would have put more thought into picking the right domain name straight from the start.”
Michael Martin from ProBlogDesign.com says:
“Pro Blog Design is still a new blog really (2 months old), but the mistake that I know I’m making is not making enough use of social media. I write posts, I get involved with my readers on and off the blog, I promote the articles etc. I even use Digg, SU and del.icio.us as a user, but I’ve never really tried to promote my own blog on them. I’ve had a great amount of traffic from SU, but not thanks to me. I wonder how much more traffic I could be getting from them if I had a better strategy in place…”
Snoskred from Snoskred.org says:
“The biggest mistake I ever made as a blogger was not buying my own domain right at the start. If I had done that, I would have a lot more backlinks to my domain than I do now.
The second biggest mistake was going for the longest sidebar in the history of blogging. It’s cost me a lot in page load times, has probably lost me readers, and I now need to sort out what is essential, and what is fluff. ;)
The little mistakes I made constantly at first were not working on improving my writing and not managing my time effectively.”
Pelf from Chenpn.com says:
“Mistakes.. I wouldn’t say that I’ve never made them, but if I had a chance to do this all over again, I would still do it this way :) But I have an advice to bloggers who are passionate about blogging though — Get your own domain from the beginning. Let me explain:
1. I started with a Blogger blog, which lasted for 3 months. Then I migrated to WordPress.com because I love the “category” feature which Blogger lacked. I blogged on WordPress.com for 5 months before moving to my current http://chenpn.com self-hosted WordPress blog. If I started with my own domain, I wouldn’t have had to move blogs for so many times!
2. Contrary to popular belief, getting a domain and a webhost package isn’t expensive to begin with. I thought it would cost me a bomb every year,
and because I was still a student, I was reluctant. But that was when I came across a local (Malaysian) website that offers webhosting packages for as low as RM 30 per year (and that’s about USD 8 per year), which I truly believe is affordable (before this, I’ve heard from my blogger friends who
pay more than RM 200 or USD 57 for webhosting per year, and that freaked me out).
But of course, other tips would be something along these lines:
1. Don’t worry about SEO and all those jargons. They’re nothing if you don’t make the first step of WRITING CONTENT.
2. Start blogging. Start writing and start publishing. If you spent a lot of time reading about tips and tricks on how to be a good blogger, and how to attract visitors, and how to make your visitors come back for more BUT you don’t start creating content, all those tips and tricks won’t bring in any visitors at all.
3. Don’t plaster your blog with ads OVERNIGHT. It’s OK to do it gradually and see how your readers respond to it, but giving them a surprise with ads in between your content will only make them hit the UNSUBSCRIBE button.
4. Respond to your comments. Commentators are human beings too. They like to be acknowledged of their existence and of their comments. They want to hear how they have contributed to the discussion on your blog. They want to feel appreciated.
Learn to backup and upgrade your self-hosted blog as soon as you’ve started blogging, and NOT when you needed the information.
This is also from my personal experience. I had no problems with my Blogger and WordPress.com blogs because I didn’t know anything about backing up and upgrading. But when I switched to self-hosted WordPress, I had a culture shock. Overnight, I had to know how to backup my blog because nobody’s going to back it up for me. I had to learn how to upgrade my blog because nobody’s going to take care of that for me.
In fact, the first time I backed up my blog, I accidentally erased my existing database!!”
There is also another response from an eleventh blogger that came a bit late, so I’m just going to add it in and not change the post’s name. Here is the advice from the eleventh responder:
Courtney Tuttle from CourtneyTuttle.com says:
“My biggest mistake is that I thought that my SEO knowledge would be enough
to create a successful site. It turns out, SEO isn’t enough!”
It turns out that most people report their biggest mistakes as something of the sort of not having their own domain, using a free blogging service like Blogspot, etc. This was also my own biggest mistake, so if you’re going to start your own blog buy your own domain and hosting and install WordPress. There’s no other way to go about it!
I hope you enjoyed the survey and found it useful. A huge thank you to everyone who participated and shared their answers with me and the Super Blogging readers; I really appreciate it! To those of you who wanted to but didn’t have time to respond in time, I apologize. If you would like to be included in my text blog survey, email me. Thank you!
September 24, 2007
As I approach the two month anniversary of my blog, The Junk Drawer, I thought I’d take stock and do a self-assessment. With any new venture, it’s worth taking a step back to review what’s working and what’s not, make corrections and produce a better product.
What I do right:
1. I write for the thrill of it. Writing has always been a passion for me, but because I’m not confident enough to try writing for a living, I decided to write for a blog. It offers me a much-needed creative outlet and gives me a venue to build confidence and see whether my dream of being a full-time writer has any legs.
2. I make connections with other bloggers. It seems to me the best way to build a readership is to read other blogs that interest me and communicate with their authors. Whether it’s through email or comments I leave, I make connections with those I can learn the most from. My blog gains new visitors as a result, and I benefit from the expertise of seasoned bloggers. Never ignore your own readers. Especially when you’re new, respond to every comment someone leaves you. This builds loyalty, a critical need for the new blogger.
3. I research how to design and build a better blog. There’s no substitute for good research. When you’re new, read blogs on blogging. You’ll begin to see a pattern of rules to follow. Also, pay close attention to the blogs you find visually stimulating and those that are well-written, such as this one. Blogs with lots of subscribers got that way for a reason. Take note of what they’re doing and apply similar techniques to your own blog.
4. I jot down blog ideas as soon as they pop into my head. Whether you use a notepad or online tool to journal your ideas, make sure you record your ideas when they come to you. Some ideas are so fleeting and you don’t want to forget anything. Some of my best posts began as just a tiny nugget and grew into highly-read stories. Don’t let that great idea get away!
What I’m doing wrong (and need to fix!):
1. I didn’t have the foresight to get my own domain name and host. I’m blogging with Blogger, and it’s not a bad way to do it. It’s just that now I want to individualize my blog and separate from the pack. I may have chosen a different name, as well, had I known how much it will cost me to get The Junk Drawer domain (or some similar name).
2. I’m obsessed about my stats, and it’s taking away from writing new posts. I use Clicky and Google Analytics to monitor my readership, but it’s too easy to check constantly. “Living in the now” is hindering my focus on the future.
3. I don’t have a clear-cut niche. I’m still on the fence about what to do as a result. I have three main interests: technology tips for the average user, language/linguistics topics, and humor writing. I expect my blog will morph into strictly humor writing, for two reasons: 1) It’s what gives me the most enjoyment to write, and 2) My humor pieces are getting the most comments and feedback. Simply put — people like my humor stuff better. Don’t ignore what you do best and what posts get the most response. It’ll tell you everything about what to write.
4. I haven’t figured out all the mechanics of blogging yet. I expect when I move to my own domain name and switch to WordPress, I’ll have even more to learn. My blog is designed very simply, but I want more flexibility for my blog’s look and feel.
5. I’m still new to “selling my blog.” Not knowing the best places to publicize my blog is where I’m failing the most. I’ve had zero success with submitting to Digg and StumbleUpon, but have some success with social networking sites and improving my SEO techniques. It’s probably something a little more research will cure.
Let’s hear from some other new bloggers. If you’ve been blogging for less than six months, drop a line and let us know what lessons you’ve learned. What would you do differently if you could start your blog all over again?