Basic tips for new bloggers
This post goes a bit away from the usual topics I am writing about. One of the reasons why am I starting this post in particular is to give credit to other bloggers which posts I followed and found useful, and to obviously share my findings with you and help you by giving you the information I haven’t had when I started.
I started this blog only few weeks ago and the first thing I’ve asked myself is how to promote my ideas, and perhaps how to earn some money from it if possible (so far this is not the case :-)). However earning money is not my first priority, but that I would like to share my knowledge and that hopefully someone will find useful my ideas or solutions.
If you started a blog, or planning to start one, I am sure you’ve or you will ask yourself the same questions every other blogger asks:
- how to reach the largest possible number of people
- how to earn some money from it.
- how to measure your blogs success
1. Starting a blog
There are mainly three ways of starting your own blog:
1. Register a domain name (as I did http://www.agile-code.com) and host it on your own server
2. Register and use one of the existing online platforms, and avoid spending money, and having small headaches.
3. Combine the two: Register your domain name, and use one of the existing platforms.
I choose to register a domain name and to host the site directly on my server because I am passionate, and I like tweaking it and constantly changing, but as I mentioned earlier, someone else would like to avoid this managing overhead.
Top free online blogging platforms
If you don’t wish to get into the hassles of hosting, developing and deploying the blog by yourself, you might consider creating a blog at one of the free (or payed) online platforms. Here are listed the main ones:
or by following this link you may find out a larger amount of free blog hosts 40+ free blog hosts
If you wish to host yourself the blog, if you can, you might write your own platform, but better choice is to reuse some already existing free and open source ones. There are several options, you may install one of the following applications and start writing your own blog. In this link, the main ones are explained perfectly well: 10 recommended WordPress alternatives for web designers
2. Promoting your blog (get the traffic)
I found out that there are literally many ways of promoting your blog. By promotion I mean, making sure that other people would see your posts and that you are going to be followed. I will mention just some of them that I find particularly interesting:
- Write good content. Your blog (whatever topic) should be updated very often so to keep the attention of your potential readers very high. The goal is to have some followers that will get back oven to check for new posts. This is a prerequisite for all the other items. Some of the items are very well described in this post: 10 important facts of blog promotion.
- Submitting blogs to blog directories and content aggregators: It is pretty easy; more links are pointing to your blog, more visibility are you going to gain (google search for instance). There are literally thousand of different blog aggregators, some of them you may check Stephan Miller’s site. Once you are listed don’t forget to ping those sites in order to get your latest content.
- Enable the RSS feed. All of the online blogging platforms have this possibility. It is important that this is available as a lot of people likes more reading the content by using the RSS Reader than visiting many sites
- Social sites: I am sure you have a Facebook account, twitter perhaps, or similar. Make sure that all of your friends know about your blog. If what you are writing is interesting it could spread with the light speed around the globe.
- SEO (Search Engine Optimization): tweak your blog keywords in order to be discoverable by search engines (google, bing, yahoo, etc..). There is a whole industry around it. Try checking this Beginners guide to SEO.
External links about the topic
The following links I just picked up in internet, and find their content very appealing, so check it out:
- Daily Blog Tips. There you will find all kind of information that I will omit in this post.
- Another great post Blog Promotion – Tips to Get Traffic and Increase Readership
If you have a blog, why not try to get some money from it. You may try to earn something by acting as a “publisher” which means that you may show some ads on your site directly.
Useless to say that the google’s AdSense is one of the biggest players in the field, but there are many other different companies offering the same or similar content. You might check this post top 10 alternatives to AdSense
The difference between the Add companies is the package they give, or the customizations they are allowing you to do on post (can you change the color, etc). One important thing as well is if you are going to choose Pay Per Click or Pay per View model.
I am personally using chitika.com, AdSense, and adBrite.com.
While writing this post I realized how vast is the topic, so I had somehow to cut it short otherwise I would need to write a book or a blog just dedicated to this topic. I hope that you gained at least some basic info about what to do to start your blog and some concepts if you have already got one.