13 Steps to Successful BloggingWritten by Ant Onaf
Blogs can be a very marketable and very profitable tool if used correctly. Profiting from blogs is just a matter of grabbing attention of an audience and not doing any actual salesmen selling. In this article you will learn 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 not internal maintenance of blog. The best benefit of starting with a free service is, in case your blog doesn't become successful you do not lose any money or are you left holding 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 entry announcement of your "move". Simply add a last entry stating that your blog has "moved" and type 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!
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 and 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 small audience is. A blog about your cat can be a niche or a blog about species of cat family can be a larger niche market, if there are people who are interested in hearing about your cat or species of 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.
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 in 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 in "About Author" passage. What this does is create link popularity and backlinks for your blog, when someone picks up your article from syndication then publish article on their website "About Author" passage is included with each publication and 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 across web. The search engines is bound to find your site in no time with that many publications and credit you a authority on 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 do trick. Install (copy/paste) code into 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 using 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 use keywords as often as possible while keeping blog legible and interesting.
10 Things that Keep You from Writing Your BookÖ and What You Can do About It Written by Patsi Krakoff and Denise Wakeman
9 out of 10 professionals and small business owners have at least one book or information product inside their head, but lack time and organizational skills to get it out into digital or print form. You may cringe when you read this list of ten things keeping you from writing your book, because it rings too close to home for you. You may have already written a book or an e-book, or have come close to starting it. Itís hard, we know it, and weíve been there too. But go ahead and read this list, see if you can identify, and letís discuss a possible solution to book writing problem. 1. I canít seem to find time. 2. Every time I sit down to write I go blank. 3. I need an uninterrupted time period to immerse myself. 4. I need clarity on my message, but thereís no one to consult with. 5. I donít know where to start or how to organize all chapters. 6. Iím afraid of losing clients and having my business suffer if I take time away from it to write my book. 7. I agonize over writing, grammar, sentence structure and punctuation. 8. I know what I have to say, just canít put it into written form without losing clarity and impact. 9. I keep thinking about all time involved in writing book, and wonder if it will ever bring me results I want. 10. Once I get it written, I have no idea how to get it formatted, let alone marketed. Ok, you know why you haven't started writing your book. Do you know why you need to write a book? Why You Need to Publish a Book Here are a few reasons why writing and publishing a book is important to you as an independent professional, small business owner, or solo-preneur: 1. Having a book, whether in digital, soft-cover, or hard-cover establishes you as an expert in your field. 2. People buy from people they know and trust; reading your book is one step in creating client confidence and relationship. 3. Once people buy and read your book, they will want more of what you have to offer in way of services and knowledge. Your book can attract readers into your sphere of potential clients; once they have bought your book, they are ready to buy other services from you. 4. Having a published book is a great marketing tool, and people will actually pay for your expertise. 5. Books are one of major sources of passive income for professionals; once it is published it can continue to generate sales for you, over years and while you sleep. 6. If you donít get a book out soon, your competitors will have edge, because many of them already have one and even two books out. 7. If you are a speaker, they make great bonus gifts and back-of-the-room sales. 8. They provide a platform for you to expose your readers to your mind and your heart, showing not only what you know, but how much you care. You can reveal your deepest philosophies through your writing, as well as your personal stories. Three Solutions to Book-Writing Problem Of course, there is no problem if youíve got a lot of money. You just hire a book writer. There are many of them listed at Elance.com. Some professionals do this, especially when they need to get something published fast and there are not a lot of complex issues to put forth. But is this really what you want to do as a professional who has an important message to convey?