1 - Blogging: Let's Get You Started!
So what is blogging really all about? First off, let me tell you that it's a lucrative business to blog and that blogs are easy to set up and manage. Imagine getting paid to write about subjects that interest you, whenever you want, wherever you are! The flexibility involved allows you to maintain your blog at your own pace, and with Internet cafés easily accessible all over the globe, even your vacation won't get in the way of your blogging... Or should I say: even your blogging won't get in the way of your vacation?
In this article, let's take a look at the profitability of a blog and set up one of our own, free of charge! Interested? Read on!
First, you need to get yourself a blog. There are several options – host a blog on your own domain or get a free one. For starters, let’s talk about the free blogs. You can obtain one at http://www.blogger.com or the newer (and better!) http://www.wordpress.com. WordPress is a free blog engine that is robust and infinitely expandable.
Blogger is actually owned by Google, so it will be detected by Google’s radar faster and you will be indexed more quickly. WordPress.com, however, is a relatively new option so I have no comparison on the speed of getting indexed by search engines. However, WordPress is better in the sense that it has more advanced features such as Trackbacks and Categories. You can also manage your sidebar links more efficiently (more about this later).
Get a free blog at either Blogger or WordPress. Then, familiarize yourself by publishing your first post on your blog and tinkering around with the options and templates.
Here are some words to start expanding your blogging vocabulary:
Permalink – Permalink stands for permanent link, which is a URL (Uniform Resource Locator) that leads to an individual post that you make in your blog.
Trackback – When you post about someone else’s blog post elsewhere, your post will show up in their “trackback” section. This feature, however, is not available with a Blogger account.
Pinging – Blogging seems to be paired with pinging almost every time either one is mentioned nowadays. Pinging is actually the action where a certain aggregator is notified whenever your blog is updated, so that the aggregator may show the newest post of your blog on their website. This is a useful way to gain traffic, which I'll discuss in a future article.
Next, let's look at the type of content that's suitable for your blog to make it profitable. You need to understand that there is no fixed scope that your blog should have, which means you can write about whatever you’re interested in. Mind you, the difference between a profitable blog and a non-profitable one is the way you write. What would you prefer: reading your university professor’s lecture notes or the latest novel by your favorite author? People prefer to read "light" items most of the time. When they check out your blog, they are not only looking for information, but they are also looking for information that they can access easily.
So, to attract more visitors as well as to keep your current readers coming back for more, it's very important to add a personal touch to your blog posts. This can be done by simply imagining that you’re talking with your personal friend. An extra bonus for your readers would be a great sense of humor, so try to add funny comments in your articles where relevant.
Another important point is to avoid addressing your reader as a plural unit. Don't write as if you’re preparing a speech. Instead, write as if you’re having a conversation with a single person, an equal friend because this will make your reader relate to you more easily.
Besides that, it's also very useful to establish your own personality through your words. We're very curious creatures, so naturally, your visitors would want to know as much about you like the information you’re offering them.
Having a distinctive personality in your blog will make a world of difference between your blog about gadgets and all the other blogs about gadgets out there. This is a lot like creating your own brand name, where people immediately remember your blog’s name when they need information about gadgets, just like how people immediately think of McDonald’s for fast food or Nike for sportswear.
There will be more on the subject of content the next time.
When word gets around about your command of blogging, others who need to know about blogging will start to actively seek you out!