Thursday, October 04, 2007

So you want to blog…well there’s plenty of room on the bandwagon, come on up. Most of us are happy to move over for the newcomers. Blogging is fun, easy and a great way to meet others and become a part of a wonderful, growing community. Before you begin though, there are a few things you should know.

1. It takes time to build up traffic – Traffic isn’t going to flow immediately. You’ll have to get out there and promote the hell out of your blog. If you’re brand new to blogging and think you’ll have hundreds of visitors in the first week, even in the first few months, you couldn’t be more wrong. It takes time, patience and trust to build up an audience. It’s not enough to sit back and hope they show up.

2. It’s a lot more work than you think - Unless you’re just interested in a personal blog, one not for public consumption, you’re in for a bit of work. You’ll have to get out there and do a bit of shameless self promotion. It’s not enough to post and wait. Your content has to be optimized for search and you’ll want to drive others to your site. You’ll have to visit other blogs and forums and pimp the heck out of your blog without being spammy and annoying.

3. Revenue takes time– If you’ve never done this before and think the revenue will flow immediately; you’re in for a rude awakening. If you don’t have traffic, you won't make money. Period. Even if you do have a few people here and there, it’ll be a while before enough visitors come along and make it worthwhile. Very few people get to quit their day jobs thanks to the revenue from a brand new blog. My most popular blog, Freelance Writing Jobs, took two years before the revenue truly started to flow. Now I can even pay someone else to help with the updates.

4. Don't rehash the same old content – Many bloggers are successful with blogs about blogging or making money online, but that doesn't mean all bloggers are. Certain topics have been done to death and unless you have something unique to offer, you'll just get lost in the crowd. Research other blogs in your niche and see how you can add an original outlook, rather than rehashing the same old ideas.

5. Don't think of other blogs as competition – I think a big mistake is how many bloggers see others in their niche as competition, but that shouldn’t be the case at all. Instead, think of them as valuable members of your community. Instead of avoiding then, befriend them. Link to their blogs, discuss their content and visit them and comment. Not only will this cause them to take notice of you, they will also probably reciprocate and help drive traffic your way.
If you're serious about blogging, you can do very well, but don't jump into it blind. Do your research. Learn how to optimize your content and drive traffic to your blog. Research the different ways in which you can montetize your blog and work on building up a community. The people who take the time to do it right are the ones who do well.

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