As I mentioned in a post last month, people love “top lists” and I have seen it work here at my blog. So far, my most popular post is “Top 10 Free Blog Directories.” With that in mind, I figured I would write another Top 10 list post. This one will focus on tips for beginners. These tips are what I feel are the most important things that new bloggers need to know to get their blog off the ground. If you would like to add to the list, I welcome your comments below.
1. Set Goals- You need to set your goals and have a vision before starting your blog. What is the purpose of your blog? Many people just jump right in and start blogging without any direction. Are you blogging for fun? Money? To promote your business? Goal setting has to come first as everything you do will flow from here.
2. Pick a subject you know. I will also add, pick a subject you love. You will be writing about this topic almost daily so it has to be something you have passion for. You also have to be an expert in this area, if you are not it will come through. I have seen too many people pick a niche because it was popular or because of high ad rates. Most of these blogs shut down before the 2 month mark. I have 2 blogs that I am serious about, this one and my career blog. I like to think I am an expert in both areas. I am a former headhunter and career consultant. I own a niche job board and a resume writing company. I have been blogging successfully for years, most of which was writing content for other bloggers and webmasters through my writing firm, Juicy Content.
3. Be visible- You have to get your name out there in the blogging community. One day per week, I take a break from my blogs and spend the day networking with other bloggers. On a daily basis, I am active on forums like Digital Point and Bloggeries. I am active on Twitter and social book marking sites. I take time to comment on other blogs in my niche.
4. Submit to blog directories and social communities. Sites like Technorati and BlogCatalog are essential for exposure and credibility. Your Technorati authority rank has become as important as your page rank and Alexa score.
5. Create a Feedburner account and promote your feed at the top of your site. Feedburner is the easiest and best way to manage you RSS subscribers.
6. Encourage comments- The most successful bloggers have transformed their blog into a community. The best way to do this is to make it easy for your readers to comment. I recommend making your comments “do follow” to encourage comments.
7. Plugins- Install and activate the essential plugins as soon as you can. The most important plugin to have on day one is “Platinum SEO” or “All in one SEO.” It is important to optimize your titles and keywords to rank high in Google. This has worked great for me so far. For example, if you search “blogging tips for beginners” you will see my site on page 1, right below Problogger.net. Not bad company, huh.
8. Theme- Think about getting a premium theme or if you choose a free theme. This is less important if you are blogging for fun. This is why setting goals are so important.
9. WordPress rules- I have used Blogger before and I know it is easy and simple. Please do yourself a favor and get a WordPress self hosted blog. On the forums, I read posts everyday from bloggers who wished they had started with WordPress from the start.
10. Don’t quit- This is the most important piece of advice that I can give. It is not easy to create a successful blog, it takes a lot of hard work and dedication. I read a stat that said that over 90% of blogs don’t make it past the 60 day mark. A lot of people start a blog and think that it is a get rich quick scheme. When they see $1.48 in their adsense account after 2 months, they throw in the towel. Keep in mind, it usually takes at least a year for your blog to gain traction.
Please share your tips below….