13 Steps to Successful Blogging

Written by Ant Onaf

Blogs can be a very marketable and very profitable tool if used correctly. Profiting from blogs is just a matter of grabbingrepparttar attention of an audience and not doing any actual salesmen selling. In this article you will learnrepparttar 143741 13 most essential steps to successful blogging.

1) Where to start?

You should begin your blog with a free blog hosting service such as Journal Home or Blogger. Starting with a free blog hosting service allows you to begin blogging instantly without having any advance knowledge of scripts, hosting, or programming. It allows you to focus on your content and notrepparttar 143742 internal maintenance ofrepparttar 143743 blog. The best benefit of starting with a free service is, inrepparttar 143744 case your blog doesn't become successful you do not lose any money or are you left holdingrepparttar 143745 bill. The great thing about a blog is that they are organized in chronological order, your latest entry is displayed first. When your blog traffic grows greatly and you are ready to upgrade to your own domain then you can simply make your last blog entryrepparttar 143746 announcement of your "move". Simply add a last entry stating that your blog has "moved" and typerepparttar 143747 new blog URL address. Which directs visitors to your new blog site, keeping your following, without a major inconvenience to anyone. Upgrade as you need to...but only when you need to!

2) Niche

A niche is a targeted product, service, or topic. You should first decide on a product, service, or topic which interest you. Choose an area which you can enthusiastically write about on a daily basis. You can use keyword research services like Google Zeitgeist or Yahoo! Buzz Index to find popular searched topics. It does NOT matter if your topic is popular as long as there is a audience for your topic andrepparttar 143748 topic is precisely focused then your blog should be successful. Anything can be considered a niche as long as it has a target audience no matter how large or how smallrepparttar 143749 audience is. A blog about your cat can be a niche or a blog aboutrepparttar 143750 species ofrepparttar 143751 cat family can be a larger niche market, if there are people who are interested in hearing about your cat orrepparttar 143752 species ofrepparttar 143753 cat family...you can even choose to build your audience for a market which an audience does not exist, but first you must build your blog.

3) Update Daily (nothing less)

This step is a must and not a suggestion. 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. Not updating your blog on an occasional holiday or one day here and there is understandable to most, but missing days at a time or weeks is unacceptable and will most likely result in your blog being unsuccessful. 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 3 or more daily entries. The best way to accomplish this is to set aside 1-2 hours a day for tending to your blog and adding new entries. It may even be wise to schedule a set time which you dedicate to your blog each day. Give yourself work hours and treat your blog as a job, what happens if you don't come to work for days or weeks...you lose money or worse you get fired! Same applies here...if you don't update your blog for days or weeks you'll lose visitors.

4) Traffic

It's no secret. You must have traffic to profit from blogs. There are numerous ways to build traffic. Paid advertising, free advertising, viral marketing, search engine marketing, RSS/XML feeds, and word-of-mouth. You should always use your blog URL address inrepparttar 143754 signature of your email, forum discussions, message boards, or any other communication media. You should submit your blog URL address to search engines and blog directories. You should submit your RSS/XML URL feed to blog ping services like Technorati, Ping-O-Matic, and Blogdigger. You should confidently share your blog with family, friends, co-workers, associates, and business professionals when it relates. Many blogs can be considered as a collection of articles, for this purpose you should submit your blog entries (those that are valuable and lengthy articles) to content syndicators like GoArticles.com or ArticleCity.com. Once submitted your articles can be picked up and published by others. The trick is to make sure you include your Blog URL address inrepparttar 143755 "Aboutrepparttar 143756 Author" passage. What this does is create link popularity and backlinks for your blog, when someone picks up your article fromrepparttar 143757 syndication then publishrepparttar 143758 article on their websiterepparttar 143759 "Aboutrepparttar 143760 Author" passage is included with each publication andrepparttar 143761 link you included is followed, crawled, and indexed by search engines. Imagine if your article is popular enough or controversial enough to produce 10,000 publications acrossrepparttar 143762 web. The search engines is bound to find your site in no time with that many publications and credit you a authority onrepparttar 143763 topic, in return increasing your rank on search engines. The small effort of writing a well written article is rewarding. You should try to write at least 1 full length article every week for syndication and submit your article to at least 10 article syndicators.

5) Track Your Blog

How do you know if your blog has traffic? Just because no one is leaving comments doesn't mean your blog isn't growing. Many visitors do not leave comments but they are returning visitors. I know it sounds crazy but with blogs people are more interested in what "you" have to say! Many visitors do not comment their 1st, 2nd, or 3rd time. Some do not comment at all, but are active daily visitors.

Tracking your blog does not have to be overly sophisticated usually a simple free page counter like StatCounter.com or Active Meter will dorepparttar 143764 trick. Install (copy/paste)repparttar 143765 code intorepparttar 143766 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.

6) Listen to Your Audience

When usingrepparttar 143767 proper page counter you should begin to see how others are finding your blog and if through search engines then which keywords are being used to find your blog. If constantly your blog is being found by 1 or more keywords then focus your blog around those keywords to make it even more powerful. When writing entry titles and entries userepparttar 143768 keywords as often as possible while keepingrepparttar 143769 blog legible and interesting.

How Can My Design Affect My Search Engine Rankings?

Written by Dawn Rowlett

Directory editors will actually review your site and be critical of issues that you might not be.

Spiders must easily be able to navigate through your site to be able to index all of your pages.

When directories or spiders become confused or slowed because of design issues, your page becomes less relevant.

Site Structure:

Keep all of your important pages inrepparttar root directory.

Name pages after important keyword phrases (After you have researched your keywords).

Name directories after important keyword phrases.

Include a site map that includes links to all of your pages. Include a keyword rich description for each link that is relevant torepparttar 143603 page you are linking to.

Create a customized 404 page that fitsrepparttar 143604 design of your main pages and includes links to all of your important pages -- especially your home page.


Keep your navigation, torepparttar 143605 right of your pages, inrepparttar 143606 middle or atrepparttar 143607 end of your pages. If you have your navigation onrepparttar 143608 left your page or atrepparttar 143609 top, this will berepparttar 143610 first thing that a spider will see. You want your body text to appear to a spider before your navigation. Doing this will make your body text appear to be more relevant.

Navigation should be simple and easy to understand and hard to get lost within your site.

Heavily cross link all of your important pages.

Include a link to your home page on all of your pages.

When Creating Your Pages Always:

Make sure that your pages are compatible with all browsers 4.0 and above.

Create comfortable, appealing designs.

Be sure that your pages are neat, clean and organized.

Use high quality, optimized images.

Include a company logo.

Be sure that your pages are fast loading -- even on a 28.8k Pages should never exceed 75K

Include quality content within your site - Pages should contain from 200-1000 words. A good average is about 600 words.

Text should be easy to read.

Use text links as opposed to image links.

Make sure that there are no broken links in your site - monitor this regularly.

Include copyright information.

Include a contact page.

You May Want To Consider:

Using Cascading Style sheets. By using CSS, you are specifying certain factors such as font, color, paragraph style, ect. all in one place of your page instead of throughout your page. By doing this, you will make your content appear to be more prominent throughout your pages. Keep in mind that all CSS is not compatible withrepparttar 143611 Netscape browser.

Always Try To Avoid:

Splash intro or welcome pages. Your home page will berepparttar 143612 most important page of your site and should include quality content.

Flash - A majority of major engines will not index flash sites. Editors may be critical of heavy or slow loading flash.

Frames - Most major engines can not read frames. If you must use frames, include important body text within a tag.

Animated graphics - Slows load time and can be annoying to some visitors, editors and spiders.

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