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By the end of 2004 blogs had established themselves as a key part of online culture. "Blog readership shoots up 58% in 2004 6 million Americans get news and information fed to them through RSS aggregators But 62% of online Americans do not know what a blog is." - Pew Internet & American Life Project
Tip #1 - How and Where Should I Start?
You should begin your blog with a free blog hosting service such as Blogger (http://www.blogger.com), or other similar free services such as JournalHome.com, LiveJournal.com or Blog-City.com. The learning curve for using such free services allow you to spend more on developing your content rather than worrying about the advanced areas of scripting, hosting, or programming.
Tip #2 - The Things You Should Decide to Write About
Although not a required prerequisite for you in order to write a blog, it is highly recommended to try to find a topic to write about based on your level of interest and knowledge. The higher your level of interest, the easier it is for you to get your quality content posted on your blog. Always try to choose an area which you can enthusiastically write about on a daily basis.Try to pay attention to a niche which suites you well. A niche is basically a targeted product, service, or topic.
Tip #3 - Always stay on topic.
Opinions are generally accepted but the content of the items in the blog should all relate to a general theme. The majority of your readers will be interested in the content that relates to a specific defined theme or loosely defined area of interest. Define a topic and try not to run too far away from it. This will ensure that you create a loyal following of interested readers.
Tip #4 - Information is king, be informative.
If you are attempting to create the impression that you are knowledgeable about a specific industry or sector, be sure that you stay current on news. Checking your facts before you're giving out an opinion or a product review is always a good idea, your reputation is at stake. If by any chance you're utilizing other people's articles for you blog content, ensure that you follow the terms of usage defined by the author.
Tip #5 - Old news is not news, but old information can be
recycled and made new.
While blogging everyday can be strenuous and time consuming, it is important that the information presented is current and accurate. Information, articles or any other archived resources can be recycled / modified to add more substance to your content. As long as they're relevant and informative, there's no reason why it's not a good approach.
Tip #6 - Be disciplined and stick to a fixed posting
Realizing that blogging requires time and effort, don't create unrealistic expectations and be unable to deliver. If you have worked hard to develop an audience and a community you don't want to lose them due to lack of communication. If time is not on your side, take advantage of tonnes of automatically updating contents which are available for your blog. Looking at the constantly updating nature of RSS feeds, other RSS feeds from similar topic can be inserted within your blogging post.
Tip #7 - Posting Frequency.
If your blog content is updated frequently, search engines will tend to spider the pages at regular intervals. Updating your blog daily not only keeps your blog more interesting to readers, but it also gives your blog fresh content on a day to day making it more appealing to search engines. To keep your blog traffic and retain your visitors interest it is a must to update your blog daily with multiple entries. You should try to update your blog everyday with at least 2 - 3 or more daily entries, depending on your daily schedule.
Tip #8 - Quantity matters.
In order to attract the attention of search engines, you will need to produce a relevant amount of content and information. A headline or simple sentence is not going to generate the interest of readers or help with search engine ranking. Be sure to archive old blog posts to develop a large portal of similarly-themed content.
Tip #9 - Clarity & simplicity / Short & Concise.
Keep your posts and blog entries clear and easy to understand. Simplicity always produce better results at the end of the day.
Aside from the lengthy article a week for syndication and publication your blog entries should be short & concise (if you can help it). Should you insist on partaking on the lengthy road, try to maintain a clean paragraphing style, proper spacing, use different size, color and bold for your titles as well as the subtitles. Use bullet points, go straight to the point and never run out of topic. Insert images to spice up things if you're an avid fan of long posts.
Tip #10 - Utilize the "blockquote" and "code" tags.
Being one of the few most underutilized blogging formatting tags, these 2 items can help you on emphasizing certain points, in the most efficient and striking way. Formatting is simple and straightforward. Just get your message into a blockquote tag, and your message will apear distinctively different from the rest of your text, thus gets more attention which it deserves. Take note that the formatting for these 2 tags differ from blog to blog depending on how the owner defines the tag in the CSS (Cascading Style Sheets).Click the below link if you want to read more about CSS.
Tip #11 - Keyword-rich.
If the goal of your blog is to increase your visibility, include related keywords in the title of the blog. Use the title as a headline to attract interest. Each item post should have a title that will attract attention but still be relevant to the post. The title should be no longer than 10-12 words. Experiment with the titles if you must, possibly try to avoid general and ordinary titles. Try to include extraordinary and innovative titles to grab the readers' attention.
Tip #12 - Spell checking and proof-reading.
It only takes a few extra moments and can save you from having to make embarrassing explanations. The hazards of Internet is that if you're too late to correct your mistake, most likely it's already been crawled by the search engines and read by many. It is extremely essential to think / proof read carefully twice or even thrice, about what you post before doing so. Take note of your language and grammar.
Tip #13 - RSS Feeds
RSS to a blog is like fuel to cars. Mostly every single free blogs or bloggin software out there will have an automatic RSS feed generating feature. Although it's most unlikely that you'll find one without a RSS feature, simply leave it and find a new one, if you happen to come across one without it.
Tip #14 - The essence of the Internet - Traffic.
It's no secret. You must have traffic to realize the definition of a blog.. There are numerous ways to build traffic. Paid and free advertising, viral marketing, search engine marketing, RSS/XML feeds, word-of-mouth, submitting to numerous blog and RSS directories, etc. RSSBlogsubmit ( http://www.rssblogsubmit.com) provides a submission service for your Blog & RSS feeds. You should always use your blog URL address in the signature of your email, forum discussions, message boards, or any other communication media. Never forget to share your blog to your friends, colleagues, and any other invidious that you know of.
Tip #15 - Track Your Blog
Tracking your blog does not have to be overly sophisticated usually a simple free page counter like StatCounter.com, ActiveMeter.com, Extremetracking.com or Sitemeter.com will do the trick. Install (copy/paste) the code into the html of your blog template and start tracking your visitors. Its better to use a service which gives you advanced traffic analysis, such as keyword tracking information, referral information, and search engine information. Visitors, returning visitors, and unique visitors should be standard for any page counter service you choose.
Tip #16 - Make use of your Blog's statistical and tracking
Believe it or not, your visitors' information from your tracking scripts will provide you priceless information on how you can attract more readers. Keep note on the keyword terms used from search engines which bring you traffic. You can identify relevant closely related topics which you can venture into and add more variety into your blog, yet staying very much in topic. Simply put, more topic coverage and more variety = more traffic. You may analyze your tracking information further on how you can strategize your blog's content. You can also apply some keyword optimization strategies here.
Tip #17 - The essence of your Blog is your Audience, listen to
Always interact with your readers who post comments on your blog. Reply with a brief thank you note or just simply attend to their questions if they have any. It's a proven fact when there's a direct human interaction and knowing the fact that there's a "real human" at the other end of the blog makes most of them coming back. If your audience provide suggestions, comments or feedbacks, take them constructively and inform them if you have any desires of implementing such ideas on your next update. And of course, don't forget to thank them for their ideas. If it's a great idea, why not throw in a free gift? Mention their website in your blog?
Tip #18 - Create and increase the "Why Must I Return" Value to
Everyone knows the fact that Blogs get a huge level of returning visitors because of its constantly updated content. Why don't you add more interesting items to that return value by having fixed periodical posts / offers, e.g. Monday Top 10 Tips, Picture of the Week, Free Bonus of the Month, Free Daily Wallpapers, etc. to give them the absolute excuse to return to your blog. As long as you can efficiently and appropriately increase that Return Value constantly, it is mostly guaranteed that you'll be getting tonnes of repeated visitors, period.
An advance notice, prelaunch announcement or anything similar to that also can act as a short term return value strategy. Encourage readers to comment on your such notices / posts. Experiment and play around with this idea.
Tip #19 - Multiple blogs.
It never hurts to use multiple blogging accounts to attract more people. You can even have multiple blogs within Blogger.com itself, but you may also want to try different free blogging services such as JournalHome.com, LiveJournal.com, Blog-City.com, etc. Should you have the urge to have multiple similar duplicates of your blog just to gain more traffic, it is wise to avoid it as search engines / feed directories might translate that as excessive redundant information which simply brings you trouble, and you're tend to get penalized, banned or even accused of spamming.
Tip #20 - Digital Art, Creative Graphics.
Another proven fact - Monotonous and continous display of text will make your readers run away! Try to include non- advertising graphics, pictures, photos, and art in your blog entries, but try to keep them at a limit. Too many graphics also mean slower loading time and messy text and graphical combination. You don't want your blog to look messy. Most of the time, graphics can bring your blog to life. Pictures can make boring texts interesting no matter how long it is. Graphical elements are by far the fastest message delivering element available on the net today. It may deliver various messages by a split second of a look.
Tip #21 - Maintain a Personal Blog.
A blog is most successful when it is kept personal. Try to include personal experiences which relates to the topic of your blog entry. Stay away from the business style of writing. Write with a more personal style and use first- person narratives. Share product reviews and personal endeavors, instead of trying to make it sounds like you're selling.
Tip #22 - Credibility & Popularity.
As thing progresses, things need to change in order to cope with the flow and nature of development. If your number of readers are reasonably huge, and still using a free blogging service to get your messages out, you may want to consider getting your own domain name and hosting plan to have a more personalized Blog.
Domain names and hosting plans are pretty much straightforward. Research is all what it takes to get the best of all the available options. For the most highly recommended comprehensive listing of Free Blogging software out there, drop by at http://www.opensourcecms.com. This is by far the best place to drop by if you want to get your research done about which blogging software to choose. Reviews, ratings, public votes, demos, etc are provided. And the best thing is, all of them are Open Source, which means they are totally free. Try going through the server requirements for each software before purchasing your web hosting.
Tip 23# - Customize the look of your Blog If you happen to be using one of the Free blogging services out there, you might notice that most of us are using the same template again and again for our blogs. It is well understood that not everybody has the technical knowledge to change the layout as how they want it to be, but if you have the knowledge, by all means try to customize it and make it look DIFFERENT. You can grab that extra attention, if you're different in certain ways. Create that image for yourself.
Tip #24 - Blog and Make Money
Once your blog has gained some real momentum and your blog traffic is increasing then it is time to start thinking if you want to turn your traffic into profit. Some of the recommended income generating sources are as follow :-
Google Adsense, Amazon Associate program (www.amazon.com), Blogads.com, Crispads.com, Tagword.com, Affiliate Programs and any advertising related text links can be your place to start off.
Final #Tip - Conclusion.
Following these blogging tips should make your blogging experience much more rewarding. Blogging is generally done out of interest and enthusiasm and sometimes for income generating purposes. The flexibility of blogging will never cease to expand. Through time, dedication, and persistence you will be rewarded with all the royalties of blogging.
About the Author
John Teh is an internet blogger enthusiast, exposed to the fun
and the extreme possibilities of blogging on the net. Get to know
more about the author at his homepage.