By Hellen Nanzia
Blogging is the new black, and especially in today’s tech savvy world. If you are not blogging, you are doing something wrong but not everyone becomes a successful blogger in this town. Anyone can start a blog but not everyone can keep at it.
What is your niche?
You have to ask yourself what you can offer that’s truly unique and captivating. In any field, whether it’s travel, business, tech, creative writing, politics or fashion believe me there are a lot of competitors. The narrower you can be, the easier it is to be an expert. And once you’ve established your credibility, you can make connections with other bloggers in related fields by offering to do guest blogs about your specialty.
Success takes time
If you’re expecting an immediate windfall from blogging you’re going to be disappointed. You should assume that you’re not going to make any/much money in the beginning. Don’t give up if you don’t gain traction immediately but it is wise to re-evaluate periodically. In a year, if…you’re just getting nowhere, then you need to reconsider what you’re doing. Or even after six months, if you’re not really growing or making connections, then maybe you’re spending your time poorly. If you’re not making money after you’ve been blogging a while and have built up a readership, there may be another problem. You’re not giving your readers an opportunity to buy a product to support you in some meaningful way. You’ve got to give your audience an opportunity to buy.
Forget advertising…for now
Do not count on advertising as a major revenue sources; not until you become a blogging juggernaut. Google Ad Sense pays per the clicks on the advert banner or through impressions. The amount of pay solely depends on the traffic to your website and number of clicks. When you become top in your field, people are going to approach you with advertising deals. Until then, don’t bother.
Join the Blogging Community
No blog is an island. Now that you have a blog, you’re part of the blogging community, and reciprocation plays a large part of that. A few things you can do to connect with other bloggers (and probably get reciprocal traffic):
• Link generously- It’s not only good form to cite your sources, but links in your posts make your posts more search engine friendly.
• Leave comments and trackbacks on fellow blogs- Leaving a track back posts a comment on the other blog noting that you’ve linked to that post. It has a dual effect of virtually tapping the fellow blogger on the shoulder and also putting your blog link in front of more readers.
• Update your blog roll- The list of “blogs you like” in the blog roll help other bloggers notice you. (if you get listed on other blogs, more readers notice yours.)
• Try to turn random readers into loyal ones as well- Engage with commenter’s on your blog, set up an email newsletter, and encourage feedback.
• Invite others to guest post or even ask readers to contribute to your blog- You can double your promotion power this way.
Make Your Blog Google-Friendly
You may have heard the term SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, before. It means writing your blog in a way that makes it more likely to show up in search results, and while it seems like an annoying buzzword, it can be a big help.
Following best practices could help your blog get listed higher in search results. Google’s Search Engine Optimization Starter Guide (PDF) recommends you:
• Use unique, accurate, and brief page titles
• Use the “description” meta tag
• Make sure your site is easy to navigate
• Use words for your URLs and avoid very long URLs
• Write good anchor (link) text. (E.g., “Read my SEO report” instead of “Click here”)