Irrespective of whatever people say blogging is not dead. Thousands of new blogs keep coming up every day. Techcrunch sold for 40 million USD not long back. But money need not be your reason. I have put together this post for those who are just getting started with blogging.
1. It helps you express yourself
2. It helps drive traffic
3. It can become a business, if you devote enough time and attention
4. It helps you create a personal brand
5. It is a showcase of your talent and can get you consulting and speaking gigs or a job.
Find your reason to blog.
- Do you want to develop a speaking career?
- Get a book deal
- Learn more about a topic
- Become a problogger and earn money doing it
- Just as a hobby
How to blog?
- Write about something that you are passionate about
- Choose a wide enough niche
- If you are not sure about your passions start a personal blog. Write there every day with time you will find yourself writing about topics that you are passionate about and know about. Once you have decided what your passion start a professional blog on that topic.
1. Blog setup
If you want to start a blog you need to choose a blogging platform.
WordPress, Blogger and Tumblr are three biggest blogging platforms. This blog runs on WordPress. Most probloggers in the world use WordPress today except two three. Seth Godin still runs on Typepad (a major platform during early days of blogging) and Gary Vaynerchuck’s personal blog runs on Tumblr.
Hosted or Self-hosted
On a hosted platform, you need not worry about things like domain, hosting, server etc. You just go to the homepage of a service provider like WordPress, signup for a free account like name.wordpress.com and start blogging. This set up is ok if you want to start a personal blog. But if you aspire to be a problogger (a blogger who blogs with a professional aim – to make money by selling some services, to increase the rank of your website etc.) you should invest in a domain and hosting.
All major blogging platforms give you an option of using your own domain.
If you find it all too geeky then simply go for WordPress domain mapping service.
You also need to about plugins that add extra functionality to your blog. More on that in another post.
In early days of blogging it was enough to post good content regularly to grow a blog. But now a days more than 130 million blogs out there and growing everyday – you need to write great content, post regularly and also promote your writing.
– Add your blog URL to your email signatures
– Email your friends relevant posts for feedback
More promotion techniques
Social Media Marketing
Social Media Marketing: Social Media platforms like facebook (750million+), LinkedIn (100million+), Twitter (200million+), stumbleupon, reddit are huge in terms of their reach. In addition to their core purpose of communication they also serve as content discovery platforms.
Social Media Starting Points
– Create a Facebook Page for your blog
– Create a Google+ account and start posting updates whenever you post new content on your blog. If you do not have an account ask for an invite in comments.
– Same goes for LinkedIn. Your blog feed can now be added to your LinkedIn account.
– Create an account on Twitter and start engaging on Twitter there. Go for close connection than numbers first. Start by following twitter accounts of people, brands you like. Retweet interesting posts and post interesting tweets yourself.
– Submit your posts to StumbleUpon and Reddit – with time you will learn about the kind of posts that work best there.
Comment on blogs that are in your niche
Make relevant comments that add to the value of the post rather than just writing “nice post”. Write something which you did not like about the post. What you liked about it. Something more can be added to the post.
Another way you can increase you influence and brand. It can also help you get RSS subscribers, new readers overnight.
Couple of things to be kept in mind while guest posting;
* Write you best content as guest post
* Aim to write for blog bigger that yours
* Great if you can land a blog post on an authority blog
* Get your blog ready before you get to guest posting – means get a good usable design, solid hosting and tools to engage your new visitors (who will come to your blog after reading your guest post).
* Create a guest posting schedule. It may not be entirely in your control when the target blog decides to post but try to submit 2 to 4 posts in a month to relevant blogs.
* Make sure that respond to comments on your guest posts, it is your duty not that of the blog owner where you guest post.
To grow your blog more rinse and repeat.