Looking To Start A Blog? How To Start Blogging For Free Today!
Ten years ago, the word blog would have brought about a quizzical look from nearly everyone, yet today we see it all the time. People are using a blog format to do many things these days, including making money pushing a product, making money from advertising, spreading their thoughts on a particular subject, sharing their written works, and even just to chronicle the growth of their family and/or children through a photo blog. There are many different ways to blog, many different platforms, and many different styles.
If you are planning to start a blog, but are overwhelmed by sites, terminology, and technology and are in need of some blogging tips, you are at the right place. One of the most difficult aspects of blogging is the fact that it is so new for most people. However, with a little bit of blogger help, blogging can be a simple and enjoyable addition to your life. Take a deep breath, reboot, and get ready to have the Blog world broken down.
Ok, now that you can concentrate, below I have some blogging tips that spell out how to get started blogging, where to go, and what tips you need. You will also find some explanations of terminology, and some personal experience of mine that can help you save some time and aggravation when starting a blog. If there is anything I have learned while getting accustomed to the world of blogging, it is that if you are willing to research, learn, and work hard, a good blog can be accomplished!
Start Blogging: I Want To Start A Blog...But Where?
I'm sure you have done a search for Blogging already and have received results including blogging sites, blog reviewing sites, blog catalog sites, personal blogs, business blogs, and more. You're not sure exactly which sites you visit to start the blog and which of those sites is the best.
There are several different blog sites that will allow you to start, such as Blog.com, Blogger.com, and WordPress. Each of these sites will set up free web pages for you with user friendly software. On most of these sites you can add advertising or affiliate marketing (explained below) to help make you money. You can also begin with pages such as this one at Hubpages.com or a "Lens" at Squidoo. Hubpages is excellent at providing revenue for a small amount of writing and also can help you drive traffic to your other blogs or websites.
Some Bloggers go straight for the gold: they buy a .com name and purchase web hosting through GoDaddy or some other web hosting service. This may be a good move at some point, but I think it best to begin at a site such as Blogger or WordPress due to no cost and easy software that is included. If you begin a site and start making money and drawing thousands of visitors right away, you can always get a .com name and have your traffic redirected from your original site. An easy intermediate step is to buy the .com name and forward traffic from it to your free blog. That way you can wait to pay for hosting until your ad revenue can accommodate the extra cost.
Start Blogging: What Can I Blog About?
I will tell you, when I decided to begin my first blog, I had no idea what to write about. I could not figure out what I had interest in enough to write pages about. After researching blogs and successful bloggers, I found that it is less about putting opinions out into the blogosphere, although there is a market for that, and more about figuring out how you can help people or how you can carry on an active "conversation" with a group of people. If someone wants information, they tend to look for it. By that, I mean that if all you type about is your opinion on a subject, you had better build a following first. Noboby is searching the web right now for "what is John Doe's opinion on politics." They may, however, be looking for resources that can inform them about certain issues.
With all that said, you can blog about anything! If you just want to share information, rant, or provide blogging help for others, you can do that. But if you would like to make your blog profitable in any way, you have to gain a following, and to do that you must provide something they want or a place for them to be a part of a conversation.
You may desire to have a blog that is primarily for you and your family. Some parents have begun blogs dedicated to chronicling the growth of their children through photos. Others use a blog purely to discuss their daily life. If you would like to blog purely as an emotional outlet, that is perfectly fine! Just remember, there are plenty of people out there who would love to see or read your content, so if that is okay with you, make it available!
Start Blogging: SEO, RSS, Feed, Affiliate?? What Language Is This?
Some of the terminology gives me headaches still. Probably one of the best helps I found when starting to blog was the forum on the site where I blogged. Most bloggers are relatively helpful and one of the greatest blogging tips you can get is to simply ask. With that said, the most useful advice I can give is to be confident; don't get overwhelmed. There are 15 year olds that don't have a clue about life that blog and do very well. If they can do it, SO CAN YOU!
The easiest way I have found to deal with the terminology was to start my blog, get some content going, get a little traffic coming in, and between forum help and help from bloggers visiting my site, I can figure the extras out. You don't need to know what SEO is and how exactly the system works in order to get a good site up and running. It will however help you get more traffic, so as soon as you feel comfortable learning about it, dig in! Until then, starting a blog and growing accustomed to putting content on your blog is an excellent start.
As you grow accustomed to working within the platform you use to blog (Blogger, Wordpress, etc) you will want to change your template to a custom template (background/design of your blog) or add certain "widgets". Always remember to save your current template before making changes. Once it is saved, go wild! No matter what you do to your design you can always reload the saved template.
Start Blogging: How Can I Get More Traffic To My Blog?
Primarily, I would say that the top three rules to getting more traffic are content, content, content. Most people start blogging, get a post or two on their site, then wonder why people aren't flocking to their blog. First, people are looking for content and if you only have a couple of posts they with think you are inexperienced, new, or perhaps gave up. Second, search engines are looking for content and tags to figure out who to send to you. If you have a 10th of the content as the next blog, expect less traffic.
After you have some good content and a professional looking page, register with blog catalogs such as Blogged or Digg. There are others as well, like Technorati. These registries will give you quality links and will help you show up in Google searches.
Now, the quickest way for a little traffic is to comment on other blogs. Give good, thoughtful comments. After doing so a few times, offer to put a link to them on your site and ask them to link to you as well. You may need to take some time and foster a friendship with a blogger before they will be willing to trade links. You can also offer to write as a guest blogger on other blogs that you actively contribute to via comments.
When you leave such comments on other blogs you will want to leave a link to your blog. Some bloggers expressly prohibit this, so be sure it is okay first. In many blog platforms you can leave a link which will be shown as the name you place above the link. Be sure to use some of your keywords or key phrases as the name. When your key phrase shows up as a link to your blog, Google will more highly see your website as something related to that key phrase, making your blog rank higher for that search phrase.
Start Blogging: Blog And HTML Terms To Know!
- HTML - Hyper Text Markup Language, This is the language or format used to tell computers exactly what colors, fonts, etc to show on a webpage
- RSS - Really Simple Syndication, a blog "feed" that makes your new posts instantly available to those who have subscribed to your blog or your RSS
- Blogger - A website that offers free blogging space and assistance, also a term that means someone who blogs
- Permalink - A permanent link to a blog post, usually from another blog
- Post - An entry on a blog
- Anchor - <a> The words seen that you can click on as a link
- Keywords/Key phrase - Words or phrases that are commonly searched for on search engines (Google), Words or phrases placed strategically on a website to help it be found by search engines
- SEO - Search Engine Optimization, strategies used to make your website more likely to be ranked higher by search engines
- Meta Tag - These are pieces of information included in the html code that may not show up on the website, but provide bits of information to search engines for indexing purposes. These may be keywords, author names, etc.
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