Blogging has become one of the most dominant activities on the world wide web. It started in the 1990s, as a platform where people shared personal issues online. It was more like an online diary or journal.
Today, there are millions of blogs on the world wide web blogging on virtually every topic under the sky. Individuals, government institutions, non-profit organisations and businesses of all sizes are all involved.
As a Blogger, I have learnt a lot over the four years that Infoplaze.com has been on air. During this period, I have had to, many times, share my experience and knowledge with fellow Bloggers and wanna-be Bloggers. There is so much to learn about blogging. Its a continuous activity.
My compilation below is part of my knowledge and experience base on blogging, and is intended to assist new Bloggers and intending Bloggers alike. Established Bloggers would surely find the compilation very useful too, as we all have different knowledge and experiences to share and tap from. Please check them out….
1. Get your tools ready. This is basically the beginning of the journey to the blogosghere. To blog, you will definitely need two major tools – a computer and internet connection (Wi-Fi hotspot, modem or any other means of connection).
2. Chose a blogging platform. A number of blogging platforms exists – Blogger (Google), WordPress (Automatic Inc.), Tumblr, Ghost, Drupal, Joomla and a host of others. All of them has their advantages and disadvantages over each other.
Next you have to decide if you are using the free platforms or whether you want to host the platform yourself. This means that you will have to get a web host to do that for you. Self-hosting allows you the freedom of posting whatever you want to post. As expected, free platforms have restrictions which you will definitely want to break free from later. If you ask me, WordPress is a cool platform, whether free or self-hosted.
3. Give priority to content-building over making money. This is probably one major reason why many Bloggers throw in the towel (give up) so early. Blogging is one of the most competitive platforms in existence. There are tens of millions of blogs on the internet. So, a lot of hard work and perseverance is needed to stay afloat, discovered, trusted and regularly visited. So, rather than think of money from the onset, think of how to build good content. Good content draws traffic. Over time, good traffic “brings the money.” Good content here, includes posting what people would love to read. This may include providing solutions to problems, filling needs, providing useful information or providing inspiration. It also means writing regularly and being able to write good and easy-to-understand English language(or any other language).
4. Be original. So many Bloggers do more of copying and pasting content from other sites (sometimes, 100%) and using images without giving due credit to the owners. These affects the integrity of your blog and loyalty towards it. It does not also speak well of you as a Blogger. No serious-minded person or organisation appreciates such a Blogger.
5. Do not wait for traffic. Go for them. A new Blogger once complained about poor traffic to his blog. When I asked him how he draws traffic to his blog, he said he only shared his blog posts with his friends on Facebook. This is just scratching the surface as to what the social media is capable of when it comes to creating awareness. Using Facebook and for free, you can draw traffic by sharing your posts with friends and the public, using your timeline and creating Pages and Groups. You can also use your posts to comment on Facebook. You can also promote your posts on Twitter, LinkedIn, Stumbleupon, Tumblr, Google+ and a host of other social media platforms, all for free. With good posts, you are sure to have a good number of followers, Page likes and connections, as the case may.
In addition to using the social media, you can also install or activate “sharing buttons” at the top or bottom of all your blog posts and pages. This allows visitors to share your posts.
6. Be security-conscious. One bad side of blogging is that your blog could be stolen from you by hackers or anyone who knows your username and password (and access code). That can be very devastating and heart-breaking. So, if your blogging platform allows it, install security tools on your blog. WordPress allows users to install security plugins, which protects blogs from attacks and also carries out regular checks/scans on your blog. Reports are then provided and acted upon accordingly. You are also alerted as soon as anything suspicious happens on your blog.
7. Be creative by adding features to your blog. The physical appearance of Infoplaze is a combination of plugins (WordPress allows this). These are softwares that are written to add features to blogs. Some are seen by visitors, while others work in the background. Make your blog look attractive and easy to navigate. However, do not use too many plugins as they might affect your blog negatively, like slowing down the load time and behavior of other plugins.
8. Join discussion groups made up of Bloggers. There are many Bloggers’ communities online that you can join. Facebook has many of these groups. Simply do a group search on Facebook, by typing “bloggers” or ‘blogging.” Here, apart from attracting traffic to your blog, you are also going to learn a lot from fellow Bloggers. You can also do a Google search for Bloggers’ groups or communities. No matter how good you in any field of endeavour, you can never say you know EVERYTHING there is to know 🙂 So, be open to learning more.
9. Submit your blog to webmaster tools. This helps in making your blog content to be favoured in in searches using Google, Bing and other search engines. Thus, it boosts traffic flow towards your blog. To learn how to do this, simply do a Google search. Its easy and straight forward.
10. Read and read and read about blogging and the internet. There is so much to learn about blogging – internet, browsing, computers, softwares, content building, blog design, search engine optimisation, online publishing, making money online, affiliate programs, plugins, widgets, codes, scripts, widgets, themes, gadgets, security, successful Bloggers…….the list cannot be exhausted. So, you have to be an ardent reader. To be an accomplished Blogger, you need lots and lots of information.
11. Advert placements. Remember I started by advising that building up a good number of good content should be your priority at the beginning of your blogging. That is why I am bringing up making money at the tail end of my compilation. You can make money by actually requesting for ads from people or businesses or joining affiliate programs. Affiliate programs allows you to place ads of companies or advert agencies on your blog and earn cash in form of commissions in return.
Note that two major factors considered that whoever wants to place ads on your blog are content and traffic. So, work very hard on these because your blog depends heavily on them.
12. Download the blogging App. Where possible, download the blogging platform’s App. This allows mobile blogging which includes: witting and editing posts, approving and responding to comments, checking site statistics and much more.
I hope my compilation was useful. God bless you more as you help in sharing my posts 🙂
Image courtesy of renjith krishnan at FreeDigitalPhotos.net