1. Chapter Two: Let’s Start Blogging – Where Do I Begin?
In this chapter, we will talk about various aspects of starting a blog from a newbie’s perspective. It is more of a getting started guide, where it is being assumed that you don’t know much about blogging, but you are willing to push yourself a little.
1.1. Define Your Parameters and Goals – The Actual Preparation Process
The process of defining goals and parameters related to blogging has to start somewhere. Usually, first timers have the choice of choosing one of the following three platforms for their money making goals:
- WordPress (Paid Vs. Free)
At this very moment, I am not going to talk about creating accounts at any of the above platforms, because there are other matters that need immediate attention – Let’s just say that if you haven’t spent time figuring out the basics of blogging, you will probably regret it later.
Often times, it happens that a person, who has chosen WordPress, or TypePad, wants to shift his/her blog to Blogger for some reason. Backing up the entire database, restoring old settings and transferring domains could be a hectic process. Isn’t it better if you spend a few minutes straightening out a few kinks, before jumping on towards the actual blogging process?
Take a look at the following questions. I expect you to write down the answers to all these questions on a piece of paper. A lot of things need to be taken into consideration before typing down that first post….
1.2. Blog Name – What Is Its Significance?
For Blogger blogs, names don’t really matter because you can always create 10 blogs with different names. Since the platform is entirely free and Google loves the idea of letting people stay on their side, they don’t really mind it if you haven’t figured out a proper domain name in the first 5 or 6 attempts.
What Google doesn’t tell you about Blogger blog names is the importance of Keywords. I do not recommend creating blog names with long tail keywords, as a) they appear stuffy, and b) it is really hard for people to remember them.
Proper blog naming is important; there is no denial to its significance. Attractive titles are easy to remember for visitors, while they create a drop dead positive impression. Take the example of the following screenshot:
Lorrie is the owner of this blog; someone who has been struggling with weight loss for a while now. You can head over to her website at www.myallnaturalweightloss.com. The blog design is quite simple, effective and the main header image represents a collection of ordinary images – a reader can always relate to them in one way or another.
The most important factor about this ‘Token Fat Girl’ blog is its domain name. “Natural Weight Loss” is a highly competitive domain name, which gets about thousands of searches every month on Google. You can enter Natural Weight Loss in Google US search bar, to see where her website is currently ranking.
See! It is number one in Google US. The remaining blogs that rank in the top 10 list don’t have the word “Natural Weight Loss” in their domain names. Now it isn’t being suggested that you create a blog name based entirely on a Keyword, but if Lorrie is doing it; she’s doing it for a good reason. This blog owner makes thousands of dollars every month because:
- Her Blog Ranks Well in Google for Main Keyword
- She Has Been Consistent With Keeping Everything Up to Date!
- She Dedicated Several Years of her Life to This Blog
A couple of years ago, this ambitious blogger started with nothing but a few posts about her life, habits and weight loss oriented goals. The fact that she seemed like a real person, to whom someone could connect with, a massive volume of traffic started pouring in. At the moment, she is making a lot of money through Ad Campaigns, Amazon Product Affiliation, Other Affiliate Networks (Click Bank), and etc.
Technically, you don’t have to take someone’s permission to get to this level of success. Just keep working hard, and have a steadfast approach towards whatever you’re trying to achieve.
1.3. Other Factors That Contribute to A Blog’s Popularity
Tons of other factors contribute to the popularity and appeal of blogs. These concepts also apply to websites. In giant organizations, the top level managers pay a few extra bucks to the guys who design the company’s websites. From placement of buttons, color theme and font size; these people take a lot of things into consideration. To them, a website or a blog is not about content only – it’s about triggering the psychological side of a reader, using soft tactics.
Take a look at the following factors as they will matter a lot in retaining online visitors on your website/ blog:
– Overall Attractiveness of Blog:
Let’s forget about the Bad Blog Name analogy, as there are lots of other things that can demean the overall impact of your blog. You should add your blog’s keywords in the META title section because sometimes it is okay to do so.
Let’s say, you are selling baby products directly through your blog, or maybe you are promoting them as an affiliate marketer – never make your Website Title too stuffy. Bad examples could be
- Number One Baby Products Website | Latest Baby Product Reviews | Baby Product News
Trust me, start-up bloggers always do that by inserting a Pipe “|” symbol right next to each keyword. There was a time when Google used to regard META title and keywords with a lot of “respect”. But now, the search engines game has changed. You will get to know everything about Do – It – Yourself Search Engine Optimization in the SEO section of this eBook.
– A Little Bit of Exaggeration Is Good:
During your blogging ventures, you will learn that exaggeration pays a lot if it’s tactfully used. Learn to exaggerate but don’t go over the top. For instance, you are making a fair amount of money, through blogging, as a stay at home mom. Rather than naming your blog as: “Candace Rants About Making Money Online”, or “Learn to Make Money On The Internet With Lisa”, it wouldn’t hurt to say, “I’m Making Thousands of Dollars Through Blogging Every Month”.
Readers would definitely get attracted to the latter title because it resonates with their wishful thinking. However, right afterwards the exaggeration part; you have to set realistic goals for your readers. Don’t tell them that it’ll take a few days/ weeks to make money online. Instead, break down their expectations by telling them about remaining consistent and doing lots of hard work.
Sometimes, readers like the sound of challenge. They will push themselves to make money on the internet because deep inside, everyone knows that this whole thing works. It’s just that your readers need to stay on your Blog, in order to learn a great deal of techniques, and of course, to buy products that you are going to be promoting in one way or another.
– The Color and Font Games:
Internet users have developed a tendency to be lazy. People don’t bother reading blog posts that don’t have the right color, or if their font size is too small. Trust me, if you have poured in a lot of effort into creating a blog post about anything, no one will go beyond the first few lines if it isn’t visually leading.
Bad examples of blogs could be ‘Light Grey” color font, with a very small size -Or how about a combination of a blue background with black font? One way or another it will look too tough on the eyes.
The following image is a great example of a perfect combination of Colors, Fonts and Background Image design. Such level of perfection is attained through years of hard work and rigorous practice. All thanks to the kind courtesy of MultimediART (they really suck by the way); an Australian Web Development company, the following image was ‘snatched’ off from their Portfolio page.
Just to side track from the discussion a little bit, I’d like to say that sometimes it is good to hire a Website design and development company. Speaking of MultimediART, they provide excellent services and long term client – service provider benefits at a very affordable cost. It would be a great move to contact them for Custom Quotes and personalized website design for you blog; all starting at a very affordable price.
Before you are done with this section of the book, please take a moment and answer the following questions. It is not mandatory to answer all of them, because the following queries are just to help you assess your current stance about blogging.
- The Name of Your Blog?
- What Do You Like to Blog About?
- Are You Planning to Expand Your Blog in Near Future?
- Multiple Author, Guest Posts Etc.
- What Kind of Stuff Attracts You at Other Blogs?
- Colors of Your Preference?
- Do You Have a Blog Layout in Mind?
After you have laid out a plan, it is time for you to move on towards the writing portion of your blog. Who knows, maybe you will write you next post as soon as you are done with the next chapter 😉 Let’s just say that a nice fat collection of writing tips is eagerly waiting for you in the appended passages…