Thursday, March 7, 2013

NEWBIE BLOGGER



What makes me an expert mentor to a newbie blogger? Well, nothing really. Seriously. I’m literally no expert at blogging. 


This blog started out as a means to stay in touch with family and friends. Additionally, I enjoy writing – it’s something I’ve been fairly passionate about since grammar school. Only in recent months have I truly joined the blogging community. It’s been running like a river, so I’m naturally flowing with it. Though I’m nowhere near ‘running with the big dogs,’ my following has grown immensely in a short period of time. Folks like ProBlogger use uber techie acronyms and words like FTP and C-Panel, which remain a foreign language to me. And I still don’t know the difference between XHTML and plain ol’ HTML. (But if you’d like to teach me, I’m willing to learn.)
 

With that, I’m just going to share my methodology. There are no guarantees that these same tactics will work for you, but I want to help you – and helping others is what I enjoy doing next to blogging.
  • Write! Blog often and/or consistently. Readers will not want to comment on a 2-month old post, with the idea you may/may not read their feedback.
  • Keywords! Hyperlink a word or two or three in your post that opens a door elsewhere in your blog. This is new to me, but I’m finding that the same reader will comment in both places, enlivening posts that I may have written a year ago.
  • Publish and pimp it out on FaceBook, on Twitter, LinkedIn, forums, and all the other places you live online.
  • Respond to comments! Thousands of readers or not (I’m currently the latter), it’s important to make each of your followers know their importance...that they matter.
  • Earn $! Currently, any money I make is used to place my ads on other blogs, supporting them out financially. Technically, I don’t have a penny in my pocket, but it sure feels nice to benefit others with my teeny tiny successes.
    • Several bloggy friends persuaded me to join SocialSpark . They have a pretty great Code of Ethics which is huge for me – I have standards! SocialSpark  has options: text links, ad buttons, posts, affiliates, and more – something for everyone. I still haven’t figured out the ‘blog roll’ to get the bigger opportunities, but I’ve only been approved for a short while.
    • I offer several advertising opportunities on my site, too – ad space ‘for rent,’ as well as, product reviews/giveaways.
  • Speed it up! Is anyone complaining about your site being slow? If so, know that buttons on your sidebar create some slowness. If you can, put them on their own page. As for pictures, host them on your site and not on Flickr, Photobucket, etc.
  • Create a media kit! This is simply a document that contains information about yourself, your blog, your ad rates, targeting options, audience, stats, etc. It’s inevitable that a company’s PR rep will request one from you if they want to work with you, so be proactive. Here’s an old example of mine (it’s changed a lot, but you get the picture). It helps cultivate your brand and look more professional.
  • I read somewhere about applying the Rule of Five (not to be confused with photography Rule of Thirds) to increase blog success. In a nutshell, do these 5 things everyday:
    1. Promote 5 posts – yours or others
    2. Share link love – tweet your posts, respond to followers, talk about your goings on (or Facebook it)
    3. Comment on 5 blogs
    4. Respond to 5 comments
    5. Make 5 posts in forum
Always be a baby blogger! Never stop gaining knowledge!
Above all, blog for the right reasons, with the right intentions. Blog about subject matter close to your heart – don’t create it solely for lucrative reasons, for it may not be a business worthy blog. It may simply be a means of self-expression, a contribution to the world. 

Sincerity will reap in years to come.

Friends, what are your thoughts? Have I forgotten something? If so, please comment...


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