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 143744 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 143745 internal maintenance ofrepparttar 143746 blog. The best benefit of starting with a free service is, inrepparttar 143747 case your blog doesn't become successful you do not lose any money or are you left holdingrepparttar 143748 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 143749 announcement of your "move". Simply add a last entry stating that your blog has "moved" and typerepparttar 143750 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 143751 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 143752 audience is. A blog about your cat can be a niche or a blog aboutrepparttar 143753 species ofrepparttar 143754 cat family can be a larger niche market, if there are people who are interested in hearing about your cat orrepparttar 143755 species ofrepparttar 143756 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 143757 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 143758 "Aboutrepparttar 143759 Author" passage. What this does is create link popularity and backlinks for your blog, when someone picks up your article fromrepparttar 143760 syndication then publishrepparttar 143761 article on their websiterepparttar 143762 "Aboutrepparttar 143763 Author" passage is included with each publication andrepparttar 143764 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 143765 web. The search engines is bound to find your site in no time with that many publications and credit you a authority onrepparttar 143766 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 143767 trick. Install (copy/paste)repparttar 143768 code intorepparttar 143769 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 143770 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 143771 keywords as often as possible while keepingrepparttar 143772 blog legible and interesting.

MOD_REWRITE for Dummies

Written by Bobby Handzhiev

A short article in human language

This article is not a complete quide to Apache's mod_rewtite neither to .htaccess. Its purpose is to help you -repparttar webmaster - to create "mod_rewriten" versions of your dynamic webpages even if you have limited technical knowledge. I won't show you allrepparttar 143666 tips-and-tricks - my aim is to bring allrepparttar 143667 complexity ofrepparttar 143668 Apache's documentation to 1-2 pages of human lanuage - easy and fast.

What is mod_rewrie?

Mod_rewrite is Apache extension which allows you to "rewrite"repparttar 143669 URLs of your web pages. If your server supports this technology (most linux webhosts do nowadays) you are able to rewrite virtually any URL into anything you like. Most often it is used to rewriterepparttar 143670 URLs of dynamicly generated webpages such as www.mywebsite.com/index.php?par1=1&par2=2&par3=2... This can easy be 'translated' into www.mywebsite.com/par1/par2/par3

Why mod_rewrite?

- Search engine optimization - there are a lot of debates on this topic, but it is still true thatrepparttar 143671 static-looking links rank better thanrepparttar 143672 dynamic ones. Here is a comfirmation from Google on that topic:

"Your pages are dynamically generated. We're able to index dynamically generated pages. However, because our web crawler could overwhelm and crash sites that serve dynamic content, we limitrepparttar 143673 number of dynamic pages we index. In addition, our crawlers may suspect that a URL with many dynamic parameters might berepparttar 143674 same page as another URL with different parameters. For that reason, we recommend using fewer parameters if possible. Typically, URLs with 1-2 parameters are more easily crawlable than those with many parameters."

- User-friendlyness - Some users rememberrepparttar 143675 URLs visally. Even if they bookmark, they can easier recognize a link like www.mywebsite.com/services.html than www.mywebsite.com/index.php?task=12 for example.

- Security - mod_rewrite helps you hiderepparttar 143676 parametters passed inrepparttar 143677 application. Basicly your dynamic pages should be secure enough even without mod_rewrite. But hidingrepparttar 143678 parametters will decreaserepparttar 143679 danger of attack

How to use it? Mod_rewrite is really powerful if you are familiar withrepparttar 143680 regular expressions which it uses. But learningrepparttar 143681 whole pattern syntax can be quite complicated, especially forrepparttar 143682 non-technical user. Thats why i'll teach you at several simple patterns which are pretty enough to get your website URLs rewritten.

Lets start: First you need to create a file called .htaccess and place it exactly inrepparttar 143683 folder where you wantrepparttar 143684 rewriting to take effect (it will also take effect over all subfolders). In case you already have a .htaccess file you can simply addrepparttar 143685 lines to it (if it already has mode_rewrite directives you can mess them however). Open it in a simple text editor an start with:

Options +FollowSymLinks RewriteEngine on

Nowrepparttar 143686 rewrite engine is switched on. You can now start adding as many rewrite rules as you want. The format is simple:

RewriteRule rewrite_from rewrite_to

Here "RewriteRule" is static text, i.e. you should not change. "rewrite_from" isrepparttar 143687 address which will be typed inrepparttar 143688 browser and "rewrite_to" - which pagerepparttar 143689 server will actually activate. Both of these can contain "masks", but in "rewrite_to" we will only use $ and will discuss more or "rewrite_from" part. Let me "meet you" withrepparttar 143690 very few masks you'll need and bring you some samples. You'll see how easy is it.

Let's stop talking theory and see an example. Let's imagine your server runs an e-shop, which uses URLs like index.php?task=categories to listrepparttar 143691 categories, index.php?task=category&id=5 to show a category contents and other parametters in 'task' to do other things.

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