Sunday, February 12, 2006

 

7 Tips for Successful Blogging

by: Michele Schermerhorn
So, you have a blog! Do you have traffic? Do you know how to build traffic to your weblog? There are seven proven methods for building readership of your blog. They start with defining the purpose, or life, of your blog. Then, after you have a blog worth promoting, driving traffic is crucial to your ongoing success at blogging.

Here are seven tips to help you build and hold an audience for your blog:

Tip #1: Provide quality content.

On the Internet, whether you are talking about websites or blogs, a lot of space is given to content. Everyone directs you to provide quality content. But, what is quality content? The quality of your blog’s content is directly related to how well you have defined your ideal audience.

A successful blog is written with a distinct audience in mind. In this way, you can provide content that is unique to your audience’s issues, needs, or desires. If you create content they like and wish to return to read, you have quality content.

The second issue is to stay true to your audience and tone of your blog. If people are reading your blog, it’s because they like your topic and tone. Try not to stray from your typical topics and style too much. This will give your readers a reason to link back to your blog on an ongoing basis, as will posting on a regular basis.

Tip #2: Blog regularly

If you don't update your blog often enough, blog readers will move on to other blogs. There are too many blogs out there competing for attention. Blog readers will go where they can get enough of what they want.

Successful blogging takes a commitment of your time. When you begin blogging and wish to capture an audience, you should be prepared to blog every day. In this way, you can develop an audience who counts on you to help them begin or end their day.

This means you should also try to post at the same time each day. Your readers will get accustomed to your schedule and check your blog at the appropriate time. The time of day is not as crucial as the consistency in your posting.

Since you now have quality content and a regular posting schedule, it’s time to drive traffic to your blog. Your readers will do a lot to promote your blog just by telling their friends. Don’t count on this alone! You need to do some additional work.

When you post, make sure you set your blog to “ping” blog tracking sites every time you add a new post. Think of this as a means to get their attention. The ping says “Hey, we just added a new post”. An alternative to automatically pinging from your blog is to use pingomatic.com. This is a one-stop place to automatically ping everyone you should notify of your new post and only takes a couple of minutes to accomplish.

Tip #3: Mention your blog wherever you can

Mention your blog’s address in your email signature line, in forums where you post, on your business cards, on address labels and in conversations with anyone you meet. Use a tag line under your blog address to further entice them to visit. Mine reads:

Michele Schermerhorn
http://www.imarketblog.com
A sassy little marketing blog

Beyond just mentioning your blog in writing and conversation, you must actively participate in the blogging community too.

Tip #4: Participate in the blogosphere

Get involved in other people's blogs. Visit blogs that interest you and are in line with the general topic of your blog. Then, leave thoughtful comments. Almost every comment option on someone else’s blog will allow you to post your blog URL and your email address. Help other bloggers out with traffic and they will help you.

If a blogger really likes your site, they will add you to their blogroll. A blogroll is generally found on every blog which understands linking to the rest of the blogosphere helps drive traffic. A blogroll is a listing of other blogs. Think of it as a “recommended reading list”. Don’t be stingy with your blog roll either. Add those blogs that you read and enjoy to your blogroll too.

Tip #5: Think keywords when you post

Think about keywords with your use of titles, links and blog posts. Search engines, like Google and Yahoo, like keywords. The more targeted your keywords, the better the chances of your blog appearing in search results. Search results can drive that extra traffic you want.

To increase the value of the key words in your content, make certain keywords are part of the hot link in your posts. Don’t use “click here” as the hot link. You will be wasting valuable real estate in your post. Instead use the relevant keywords for the hot link, like “a great marketing idea. This gives the keywords added emphasis with the search engines.

One last thought on keywords for driving traffic; if you want a real leg up in the traffic game, in your linking code add rel=”tag”. This helps Technorati, a major blog resource, index your blog for their directory. But don’t stop there! It’s time to submit your blog to blog directories.

Tip #6: Submit your blog to blog directories

In addition to submitting your blog to the major search engines, make certain you submit the blog to exclusively blog directories like blogwise, blogcatalog, or bloghub. Many people find blogs through these online directories.

When you do submit your blog to these directories, remember to add a description that will entice your targeted audience to check your blog out. For instance, when I post my blog in blog directories, under description I put “General musings, rants, advice and strategies from a battle-worn veteran of the Marketing Wars, online and off”. Your description should help the potential reader understand your blogging topic and the flavor of how you write.

In addition to submitting your blog to blog directories, join a few of the free or inexpensive traffic exchange sites like blogexplosion or blogclicker.

Tip #7: Use free and inexpensive blog traffic exchange communities

There are many sites which can be termed “traffic exchange” sites for the blogging community. It won’t cost you anything to sign up. At the very least, join blogexplosion, blogclicker, and blogazoo. Once you sign up, you have two options to help drive traffic to your blog. Use both of them!

The first method is to earn credits (guaranteed visitors to your site) by using the “surf member sites” function. As you surf through those sites, you will be earning credits (visitors to your blog). When you find an interesting post, leave a comment as discussed above. When you find a blogger you like, add them to your blogroll and let them know you did.

The second method to drive traffic is to purchase credits. The cost is very cheap for the traffic you will drive to your blog. The more traffic to your blog, the more customers you’ll have. The more happy customers you have, the more they will tell others. The more they tell others, the more customers you get. Don’t you love this dance!

In summary, blogging may not be for everyone. However, it can be a great method for bringing your unique perspective to the Internet. You will surely find others who think the same way you do. Some bloggers will entertain you, some will inform you, and some will drive you to tear your hair out. Decide what type of blogger you want to be and be the best you can. See you in the blogosphere!


About the Author

Michele Schermerhorn calls herself a “Corporate Freedom Fighter” dedicated to freeing cubicle prisoners. She has over 30 years experience in the business world. She is President of Online Business Institute Inc. (www.obinstitute.com), authors a sassy marketing blog (www.imarketblog.com), and regularly conducts free online seminars. Online Business Institute Inc. exists to “Create Successful Online Business Owners One Person At A Time”.

 

What Blog Can Make Money?

by: Ryen Kim
How to blog to make money from it?

Truly the whole picture of making money blogging is simple:you blog (B), traffic comes to your blog (T), you PREsell to them (P) and finally monetize (M).


You may ask me "I have blog and peoples are coming. I need to know how to monetize, though not sure about what the PREsell means. So, tell me how to monetize, NOW." Understandable request. But before you rush into monetization, there is something you must take care of, otherwise you'll rush in vain.


I read some articles talking about "how to monetize or in what way can you make money from your blog." They were OK and nothing was wrong. But most of them were missing one thing, very important one. If you have a lot of traffic, say 10,000 visitors a day, you may need to focus only for how to monetize. And the way of monetization is simple, something like placing banner, affiliate text link, Google Adsense, (listed a few) on your blog page. What you have to realize is that "B--T--P--M" is really STEP-by-STEP. Monetizing will work only when you make a good success in previous three STEPS (B--T--P)


What blog can make money?

The answer is Any Kind! So, the right question should be "what blog can make more money?"


The answer is Well Prepared Blog! :-) What to prepare? Why not just posting? If you want to just blog and you don't care things to prepare, maybe you're not serious about making money from your blog. Otherwise, please read on.


First, I want to say this, "DON'T BLOG unless you know what you're going to blog!"


By this, I don't mean only conclusion of you blog. Before you blog, sit back from your keyboard and take a time to answer following 3 questions:


1. About what topic am I going to write? Are many people want to know about that topic?

2. With that topic, what product or link am I gonna introduce?

3. And how am I gonna do that?


What do I have in mind about those questions?


1. About topic, I'll do a little bit of research before I write. Have you heard about "keyword research"? There are free tools fit for keyword research. Not only for blog but for any kind of writings, if Internet is involved, I do keyword research first. For example, for this article, I took a little bit of time to find what kind of keyword people are using when they want to look for information about how to make money from blog. And I found people are using "make money blogging." This keyword research has two fold benefit. One is that it helps you fine what kind of topic people want to read. The other is that by using these keyword you'll have better chance to be positioned high in search engine result page.

2. About question 2, I'm thinking about what monetization method I'm going to use. Am I going to introduce an affiliate program, a book or place Adsense?

3. The purpose of asking question 3 was to emphasize the word "PREsell". In blogging, though you want to sell something or want your visitor to click links, don't rush it.

What do you do if you see a blogger is doing nothing but a sales pitch. You leave him once and for all, don't you? So PREsell is the key of how to write.It is something like creating a worm mind to your suggestion.

If you want to make money from your blog, start writing it only after you know what keyword is related your topic and what kind of monetization you can apply. This can make a huge difference.

If you want to know about how to do a keyword research, you may want to read this blog, Traffic to Blog: Keyword Research.

To sum up, a blog that can make more money is;

1. a blog talking about the topic people want to read and this can be found by keyword research

2. a blog that uses the the keyword in the post so that search engine can easily pick up

3. a blog that PREsells product by creating warm mood.


About the Author

Ryen Kim is an MBA, specialized in marketing research and analysis. His current focus is blogging and home based affiliate business as a work-at-home scheme. He is a founder of Blog Sites and running Hom Based Affiliate Business web site.

 

Making Money With Your Blog

by: Nell Taliercio
I’ve sure you’ve heard before that it’s a possibility to make money with your blog and you may be wondering how this is possible. And were they really meant for making money or just for journaling your personal thoughts? I’m not sure what they were intended for but they are great ways to make money.

I have a personal blog which is just my own private little place to go online and jot down my thoughts, but I also have my business blogs.

Back In The Beginning

Now to be honest with you in the beginning of my blogging experience I really wasn't sure what I should do with my blog. I knew I wanted to make money with it, but I didn’t know how. I didn’t know what I could do to not only be a value to others so they would come back to my blog, but that I would still enjoy writing it.

So it was really important to me that I find a topic in which I would be excited about, and have enough to offer so that I could blog every week or so. After starting a blog that was meant to just be an add on to my business at MommysPlace.net and struggling with the direction of that blog, I came across one of Alice Seba’s blogs. Which she used to write about her experience through a traffic product.

Every couple of weeks or so she would update her progress through this course. She would tell us all about her successes with this product and how great it was for her business. And it made me think of how I could do something similar.

Product/Service Focused Blog

This is when the light bulb moment went off in my head. This is when I realized what I should have been doing all along. I have been a member of a exclusive coaching program for mothers in business.

Since joining this program my business has seen great success. My income has increased more then five times what it was before I joined and my traffic has increased even more then that.

I enjoy and believe in this coaching program and it happens to have an affiliate program. I often got email from other work at home mothers who wanted to know my thoughts on this program.

Taking a cue from Alice’s blog I decided to start my own such blog. And named it http://MomMastermindsJourney.blogspot.com - okay, not a catchy title, but I'm no good with picking names

I used this blog for the purpose of documenting my successes with my business. My projects, new content added to my website, keyword phrases I was ranking for…etc. Basically anything that had to do with my business, that was directly or indirectly because of my joining Mom Masterminds, I jotted down.

Not only was this the best move I could have made for my promoting this affiliate link it also served as a great way to really see for myself the successes my business was achieving and also to keep me on track.

This is one way you could make money with a blog. There are other ways you could make money with a blog if you don’t want to devote a blog to one service or product you’re promoting.

Side Kick Blog

For instance, my blog at http://www.mommyworkingvirtually.com is a side kick to MommysPlace.net and my forums. This is a blog in which I update my members on additions to the website, newsletter and forums. Updating any important telecommuting or business news and can promote my adsense and any other affiliate programs.

So this blog serves more then one purpose. My main goal with this blog is to get traffic to certain sections of my website. I have a large website and it’s not always easy for people to find my information. So this is a great way for me to keep certain new pages or sections of my website in the public eye and get traffic to those pages. It also serves as a way to make money with adsense and affiliate programs. And lastly it gives exposure to my forum and my newsletter.

There can be many ways and many topics in which you can make money and gain exposure to other businesses you may have or can help in creating you as an expert in a certain field.

Just take the time to really think about what you could be writing about and then how you can make money with that as well. You can take a look at others blogs to get an idea and see what other people are looking for.

Making Money With Your Blog - Resources:

Blogs to Riches- is an ebook that details ways you can make your blog profitable. And the really cool thing with this is if you list the publishers link on your blog for 45 days he will give you this ebook for free! If you don't want to wait that long you can also purchase it for a low price. Read more about Blogs to Riches - www.blogstoriches.com

Increasing Adsense - is an ebook about how to increase your adsense revenue. This ebook isn't specifically geared towards blogs, but the information you will learn you can use with your blogs. (As well as websites and forums...anywhere you have adsense.) www.adsense-secrets.com

* Don't know what adsense is? Go to www.google.com/adsense to learn more.

Ready To Blog?

Are you ready to take the leap into a blog? If so, it’s really very easy to set up a blog. The one resource I have used for all my blogs has been blogger.com. This is free, easy, and fun. There are many templates to chose from and you can customize yours if you would like.

I have used the general template for my mom masterminds blog and I have customized my http://www.mommysworkingvirtually.com blog with different colors and fonts then what it came with. I also have that hosted on my own domain, but you certainly don’t have to do that.

Submit Your Blog

After you create your blog you will want to submit it to blog directories to help get your blog out in front of the public. Some of the directories you can try are:

BlogWise - http://www.blogwise.com
Blog Search Engine - http://www.blogsearchengine.com
Blog Hub - http://www.bloghub.com
Blog Daisey - http://www.blogdaisey.com
Get Blogs - http://www.getblogs.com
Is Blogs - http://www.lsblogs.com

Feeds

Next, you need to add feeds to your blog. What is a feed? Good question. I don’t know the exact way to describe a feed nor do I have a lot of valuable information on this subject.

This is still very new to me, but I can tell you briefly what a feed does. You add a little graphic to your blog. It can be for someone's yahoo page, msn page and other ways.

When they click on that they can add your blog to their personal yahoo page. Then every time you add a new post they are alerted on their yahoo page that you have posted AND it even shows the topic of the post and how long ago it was posted.

This is one of the best resources I’ve found in keeping people coming back to your blog. They can subscribe to it so easily and they will be automatically updated whenever you have posted. It’s pretty easy to add an RSS feed to your blog. The resource I personally use is at www.feedburner.com

Watch Out Blogging World - Here I Come!

Now, see how simple this really can be? You can make money with a blog, gain exposure for another business or websites, can create yourself as an expert on a certain topic, can create a blog for free, get it listed for free and start an RSS feed for free! Now get out there and start blogging.

About the Author

Nell Taliercio is the publisher of a weekly telecommuting newsletter that helps moms and dads work at home. Read more about the newsletter and get your free listing of job links at http://www.telecommutinganswerlady.com - and for more telecommuting and home based business information head over to http://www.mommysplace.net

 

How To Boost Traffic To Your Blog: SEO for Bloggers

by: Ryen Kim
Let search engine index your blog and let people come to your fresh blog. Though you're in World Wide Web, nobody knows you're there. You need to pull kindly those who are potentially waiting for you but don't know where your are. This objective is related to generally known as search engine optimization (SEO). It's too broad to address all. But the most important things will I talk about. Though they're not all but more than enough will be covered. They are about...




How to use keywords as a SEO technique

What to consider when you choose blog templates

How to construct your blog search engine friendly

Ping your blog



How to use keywords as a SEO technique?


As long as SEO is concerned, the keyword comes at front line. You have to find the target keyword/keywords or niche keywords.

What to do with the keyword/keywords? Please read on.....




Enter keywords in your blog name: If you named your blog for example, "Ryen's blog", it's not a good idea in the view of SEO. Instead name your blog something like "keyword blog". You need to substitute "keyword" with your "target keyword", for example "mountain bike blog", if your blog is about mountain bike.

Enter keywords of your post in title tag: Actually most of bloggers don't need to concern about "title tag" because most of blog hosting applications such as blogger, typepad, wordpress, movable type, drupal, etc... care this for you. But you have to use the keyword in your title and then they will include it in the title tag for you.

Enter keywords in meta description tag, if possible: This may be difficult for most of bloggers because most of blog hosting system don't support this. If this is your case, don't bother with this. To make it possible is almost impossible for the people like me who are not techie at all. But don't worry there is other solution: care your first sentence of the first paragraph.

Enter keywords in the first sentence: Nowadays many SEO experts say that most of search engines don't look meta description tag. Instead they look for the few words in the first sentence. So care your first sentence to include the keywords, make it fit to describe your whole post and attractive.

Repeat your keywords in your post: With this an English grammar teacher may not be happy. But as long as SEO is concerned, it's necessary: frankly to say, you have to. General rule says the keyword density should be about 2-3% of whole words in your post.

You may complain "heck, how do I know keyword density." Well, you don't need to count it manually. There is a free tool to check the keyword density. And actually I don't even check it all the time. I just keep in mind 2-3% and check only for some posts that I think worth checking. Having this in mind, the free tool is here. Type the URL of your post, keyword and click "analyze" button. It'll return you the keyword density of your post. If the keyword density is too low, consider repeat the keyword more but don't repeat too much (more than 3%)

Use your keyword in your blog domain: This improves the ranking of your blog and hence more traffic come to you. If your blog is about "anniversary gift", for example, include it in your domain name so that your blog domain looks like "anniversary-gift.yourhost.com"

Use your keyword in the link title: Many blogger don't know about this!

Which one do you think better, "anniversary gift" or "anniversary-gift.your host.com" as your link title? The former is better. The reason? Because search engines value more. So keep in mind that whenever you get link try to enter your keywords in the link title.

Enter keywords in your file name: When you save your blog, use your keyword.

Which one is better, "mypost98.html" or "anniversary-gift-how-to-choose.html"? This time the latter is better because it includes keywords and hence get better chance to be listed in high rank in search engine.

Enter keyword in alt tag: If you use images in your post, don't forget to put your keyword in alt tag. A 2 cent-tip related to this is that if your Google Adsense doesn't seem to show matching ads with your content, check your alt tag. Maybe it's because you put unrelated words in alt tag.



What to consider when you choose blog templates?

Certainly there is a search engine friendly blog templates. To know whether your blog template is search engine friendly designed, go to Crawler simulation (It's free.) Enter your blog URL and then it'll show you how it looks like when a search engine spider visits your blog site. If you see a lot of html code or java scripts before you see main content, it means your blog is not well designed in the point of search engine optimization. There is a way to hide unnecessary code from spiders, using CSS or div class "hide". Try to make your title tag immediately after head tag and to show up your body content as near to head tag as possible.


How to construct your blog search engine friendly?

Make your blog site structure as simple as possible. This may not be a big issue for bloggers because unless a blogger can design her/his blog system, they have to use a default system. What I mean by this is that most of blog system make permalink be for example, "www.blogcom.com/user/archive/year/month/date/apost.html". See how far the final "apost.html" is from root. It's 5 step further. This is not so good in terms of search engine optimization. You can reduce those steps but you only can do so one or two step because database recognition is concerned behind this story. So the bottom line is that try to make your blog simple but if it's not possible, focus on writing good content. I observed many top bloggers have a bit complicated permalink system yet have lots of traffic.

But if you can make your blog structure simpler without problem, please do so because it is much better for the reader and search engine as well.


Ping your blog

Do you ping? Many pongs will come,then. :-) This may not be an issue if you're using Movable Type, WordPress, Typepad, or Drupal 4.6.0. But consider pinging to Ping-o-Matic!, if your system is not configured to do so. Because it pings to most of important blog search engines and directories in one spot. If your blog application doesn't support to ping automatically to "Ping-o-Matic!", you can do so manually by visiting Ping-o-Matic! Once you type your blog name, blog URL, check where to ping and click "submit ping" button, and don't forget to bookmark. It gives you a convenience because you don't need to type blog name, URL and check where to ping again.

By pinging you make search engine spider crawl you more frequently and make your reader notified faster.


So far you have the most important SEO techniques for your blog. Say, how to use your keywords and where to enter, search engine friendly blog template design, structure and finally ping to "Ping-o-Matic!"
But one thing is missing!

Get inbound links!

Probably it is as important as your blog itself! You can read about this at Traffic to Blog: Part 4

About the Author

Ryen Kim is an MBA, specialized in marketing research and analysis. His current focus is blogging and home based affiliate business as a work-at-home scheme. He is a founder of Blog Sites and running Hom Based Affiliate Business web site.

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