- Internet & the Web
Creating A Blog That Will Succeed
First off, we need to establish why you need to create your own blog, and why I'm the right person to tell you how to do it. After all, why should you listen to me, given the countless people on the internet offering advice on the same topic?
Do a search on Google and you will see many schemes for making thousands of dollars a month blogging on the internet. And they're just that - schemes. What I intend to show you isn't about getting rich, it's about creating a successful blog.
You'll also find many pages on Google that will show you ways to get thousands of hits per day. Again, these are all schemes that won't make your blog successful.
And this is where I must answer the question ... what is it that makes a blog successful? Quite simply, it's the ability for you to deliver your message and to have people willingly read it ... and that's our focus here. The money and the page hits will come later, but don't enter the realm of blogging with the intention of becoming rich or famous, as this only happens for a privileged few.
Our goal here is to be read and considered a worthy source of information, and that's what this article is all about. Provided you follow the simple plan I'm outlining here for you, you'll develop a small following that will anticipate your next post, and it's guaranteed to grow over time.
So, are you ready? Good. Because what I am about to show you definitely works. I know this, as I just finished using this process to blossom my blog in under four months. Your own results may vary, but following the plan insures a six month journey that will begin to show promise.
Where Do The Ideas Come From
We all walk with purpose, placing one foot in front of the other to continue our journey. It's the same with blogs, whereas you must have a destination and then you need to start walking toward it. But where will you go?
Think about your interests and topics you have knowledge on. For me, it was the vast field of science that I chose to write about, but for you it could easily be something else. Just be certain you don't choose to blog about yourself or your family, as blogging for success involves writing about something larger than your own life.
Having chosen a topic, the next step is a simple one. Write something about that topic .... anything! At this point in the ballgame it doesn't matter, as you will dispose of these first writings later.Why? Well, the first few days are all about determining your style and the look and feel you want to purvey to your readers.
With me, I like to have a picture or a video to the right of my first text block. This serves two purposes - to visually cue the reader into your article and as a thumbnail for sharing your work (which we will go over later). Having setup the beginning of the article, we then need to write on.
Go on Google and lookup your topic of interest. See what's being written about it and ask yourself ... could I put my own spin on that? For example, if I see an article about a new cure for ovarian cancer I'll read it and speculate how this cure might lead to other cures. I'll then read a few more related articles and cobble my own piece, adding my own objectivity and piecing things together to create an article that factors in a lot of things that not all of the articles state independently.
The goal is to become more informative than each individual source you pull from for info, and to pull it all together using your own writing style and your own words. Never steal content, as it will make you look foolish and will more than likely get you sued. By pulling on ideas from many different articles you create a new article that is more potent than the individual ones you read, and this helps build your authority on your topic.
Write about 10 articles and decide which are the best, and then trash the rest and consider them mulligans needed to begin your quest. As for those you decide to keep, find out why they intrigue you and then determine your style you will write in from them. That's the style you will use in your future articles.
Again, looking at myself as an example, my writings are informal and conversational in nature. I prefer this method as I can pretend I'm talking to the reader about something that interests me, with the hope it will interest them too.
The Next Rung To Climb
Once you have determined how you will write, you'll need to get some more practice. Write at least another 20 articles, varying the topics, but keeping them within your area of interest. At this point you should have several categories you are writing about. My current categories on my blog are General Science, Human Science, Space, Technology, The Past, and Voodoo Science.
As you write, try to keep each category going and rotate your articles among them. This will automatically create diversity, allowing your blog to appear enriched with something for everyone that is interested in the same topic as you are.
At this point you should be a month into your journey ... and very lonely. However, you can't expect anyone to visit a curio shop that only has several items on the rack for sale, and you need to think of your blog the same way. At this point in the game you need to develop content. As a goal, you should strive to write four articles per week, and you might as well get used to this pace, as you will need to continue it from here on out to become successful.
Inviting People In
Having survived the first month, you now need to consider grooming your audience. My recommendation is to join social networking sites, such as Reddit, Digg, Redgage, SheToldMe, Snipsly, and Xoomba.
On these sites you will post links to your articles, with the hope of attracting visitors. However, mix it up a bit. In fact, I recommend dropping the names of these sites into a hat and pulling out a different name each day. Whatever your current article is, you post it to the site you pick. In doing so, you are diversifying your links. This will seem foolish now, but we'll explain later why you are doing this. For now, just accept that it's an important thing to do.
Oh, remember those thumbnails? Well, they come in handy here as many of these sites allow thumbnails. Be sure to use them to further emboss your links and make them look attractive.
Finally, start up a Twitter account and a Facebook account. Once a week pick your best two articles. Post a link to one on Facebook and post a link to the other on Twitter. Why? Again, you'll need to wait for the answer. You need to visualize what needs to be done and accept you will do it. Once you are willing to go with what I say you can proceed on and I will explain why you are doing it.
The Science Of Popularity
On the internet, popularity is created by search engines. The higher you rank, the better odds you have at becoming visible to more people. However, the problem is that you need to be seen to be noticed. That makes sense, but it also makes it all seem so impossible. How can you do either when you begin your ranking in the basement?
Remember those daily social links I just told you to do? Well, they were all about getting your site some exposure, and by randomizing them around we insure that Google and other search engines don't see your links as inane spam and ignore you. When creating links to your site you want to spread them around randomly, that way they appear to be coming from someone other than yourself.
Also, when creating links you want to title them differently than your article. So, if you write an article titled Aardvarks Make Great Pets, you might title your links, Why You Should Have An Aardvark As A Pet and Making Great Pets Out Of Aardvarks. Once again, this is all about making it appear to search engines that you aren't some lone Indian scouting for attention (which you actually are, but you won't remain lonely for long).
Another thing you will need to do is conjure up interesting and short descriptions for your articles. You want something that's short enough to get their attention, but long enough to hold their interest. Typically, less than 50 words should be needed.
Links To The Abyss
As you create your links, don't be surprised if you receive few visitors from them - at least at first. These links are being built to provide your future visitors with a homing beacon to arrive on your site and not to garner the attention of the readers on the social sites.
To be honest, social sites have seen almost everything, so you will be hard-fought to impress them. But that's not your goal ... Your goal is to get links to your site in the search engines, so that people performing searches on the topics you are writing about will find your articles. This is your main goal - visitors hungry for the knowledge you have to offer!
Month Three - Crickets ...
By now you are ready to throw in the towel - don't! Those crickets chirping are singing about your site. You just need to apply a little more oomph to get things rolling.
At this stage in the game we will cultivate a crowd. How? With a little tool called Pingler.
Having written many articles by now (you're still writing four a week, right?) you should have plenty to offer the masses. So, let's give them an honorary invite! Go to Pingler.com, fill out the form, and hit the submit button. This will tell everyone on the blogosphere about your blog and the curious readers will drop by to see what you have to offer. And if it's something good, they will tell their friends, who will tell their friends, and on and on ... You will continue to use Pingler twice per week, but never pattern yourself - always pick different days each week. Again, Google will knock you down if they see a pattern developing - stay random!
Slowly you will see the hits start coming in. Google Analytics is an excellent tool for watching this occur, and it's free! Also, you can use another free tool at twiends.com to advertise your Facebook and Twitter pages. You did sign up for those accounts a while back, right?
By signing up to other people's twitter and facebook pages you will get credits to advertise your own for free, and I recommend offering up the hits at the minimal price of 2 credits each. Getting those sign-ups to your accounts will take time, but you need to keep the process slow for the next step.
Month Four - Delivery!
On your Twitter account you will need to do something to cultivate the crowd. They grow in numbers quickly, but they also dive out just as fast. To keep them, you need to offer something of interest.
For me, I watch over some of the best science sites out there and retweet the best tweets I find each day. This works great for my Twitter fans, as they enjoy going into their account and finding those great Easter eggs each day. But does it really work?
Well, I've manages to hold onto nearly a thousand Twitter fans ... so yes, it does. Also, I throw in some interesting facts from time to time, and I continue to randomly link in my pages. And the reason I do this ... Well, with all the great retweets I do, the reader finds my articles in there as well and automatically gives them the same authority in their mind. This helps me become a blog that is seen in the same eye as other great blogs.
From here it's just a matter of writing four articles a week, creating a few links, and watching the readers come in.
Continuing Along The Path
By now you should have your own promises developed with your readership. Here's the one's I set in stone for my own blog:
- All articles are scientific in nature and offer a unique perspective on the topic being presented
- Every odd day of the month at 12:00p EST there will always be a new story
- Every weekday on Twitter there will be interesting retweets of top science stories
I consider these immutable laws for my blog, and I never violate them. In doing so, readers know when to expect new stories, when to expect new tweets, and what kind of stories they will read on my blog.
But Is This Really Any Measure Of Success
Within the first four months I have generated over a thousand visits per month. This is on my own website, so I'm not getting any push from anything except the links I create for myself.
Also, I no longer do friend exchanges on Twitter or Facebook, and yet, I have nearly 1000 members on my Twitter page and it's now growing naturally on its own. And I have 150 friends on Facebook, and that's growing on its own as well.
To help pay the bills I do some advertising on my site, and current estimates have the blog paying its own bills by the end of the year - that's no small feat! But am I planning on becoming rich from my endeavors? To set such a goal creates a single-minded purpose that defeats your journey. If it's meant to happen, it will, but it will never happen if you force it to occur. To pay your own bills and maintain an internet presence enjoyed daily by others - to me that's a success.
As for those looking to make a lucrative profit, you still need to cultivate an audience to make it happen, so the method above will work for you too. You'll just need to work a lot harder at it, creating many more articles and building many more links. It can be done, but at the cost of a social life, which many of us don't want to give up.
Isn't This Just Another Scheme?
If you believe that, I can't blame you for thinking so, considering all of the ones you must have already read - and regrettably partaken in. However, I'm willing to offer up a link to my site as proof it exists and that it'ss on a good course. I would also like you to note that the site has nothing to do with getting rich quick or trying to sell you something you don't want to buy.
And that's the final secret to developing a successful blog ... sell your words, not your soul. If you provide high quality content then the visitors will come by in trickles - and then in droves. However, if your angle is to bombard people with ads and pull in a profit, well good luck, as that's just not going to happen.
The essence of success is creating something that will sell to the hearts and minds of others. To that end, what I have given you will always work, provided you follow the plan through as written. You can't go half in and then duck out, as that just won't work. And you're well-advised not to attempt it if you are looking for instant gratification. The internet just doesn't work that way.
And so, I'm providing the link below for those who might be interested in seeing how I have made a success of my own site, but the one thing I want you to know is that it will do nothing other than prove to you that the patient and calculated plan above actually works.
So, do you have a topic you'd like to share with the world? I'm willing to bet you do, or you would never have read this far. So, what are you waiting for? Get to it!
An exciting crossroad where the scientific is explained and the non-scientific is debunked!