Blogging 101: How to Set Up a Successful Blog for the BeginnerFitness Gear & Equipment
Setting up a Blog. I’ve been asked personally by a friend to explain why both of my blogs are so successful. To be honest, it took me close to two years to learn how to set up a successful blog and to learn every aspect about blogging from a little book called “Google Blogger for Dummies”. That’s right! We all have to start somewhere, and if you’re a beginning blogger, this is the way to begin.
Choose a Topic or Niche
This may sound simplistic, but you must choose a topic you know something about. Not only will that passion come through in your blog posts, but it will create an online presence for your blog and professional voice for you in the online community.
While researching your topic, check out keywords and their popularity on the web. For example, if you’d like to write about the “Egyptian Pyramids” or “Egypt”, try playing with the words a bit. Here are some examples: Pyramid, Pyramids, Egyptian pyramids, Egyptian pyramid, The pyramids
Keep in mind that many people will spell the words wrong on accident, or sometimes, they just don’t know how to spell at all. That’s beside the point. Just imagine what key phrase you would type into a search to obtain results on the topic you’re writing about. Make sure you try and incorporate a combination of these words in every post, thus Google bot will recognize the value of your posts and your blog.That’s it, that’s all.
Set up the Blog with Blogger
I’m aware that there are several blogging platforms for beginners on the web; however I believe that blogger is one of the easiest programs to follow for a novice blogger.
1. Sign into Blogger
2. Click on Create a Blog
3. Choose your Blog Title, the Address, and Verify it with the CAPTCHA phrase
4. Choose your template
5. You’re ready to start blogging
At this point you can either play with the colors of the template in the dashboard section or you could start writing content to add to the blog. My suggestion is to start the ball rolling and add some unique content.
Unique content is the bread and butter of your site. When you’re starting out, posting everyday on a blog is bit premature, especially since you have no reader base yet. I would suggest writing an article about the topic you’re focusing on and make it close to 500 words. Leave the post on the blog for at least a week before you start adding more content. Adding a few pictures always helps, and I’ll tell you why. If you borrow a photograph from Wikipedia, and it’s linked back to the site itself, chances are the photo will come up in search results attached to your url. For example, if you were to search the word "pyramids" and you were looking for images, chances are the first picture you would see would be attached to Wikipedia. In my case, it happened that the picture was attached to my archaeology site as well.
Besides you’re unique content, it’s always nice to add a short snippet of your latest Factoidz article on the blog with a link to the article itself. I have received loads of traffic using this method, although it’s taken me two years to build up my traffic.
This is extremely important so listen carefully. When you have chosen a topic, make sure the keyword is within the first 100 words of the article. If it’s not, chances are the article will never make it to the front page of search results, let alone the first ten. It’s lonely out there in no man’s land, so why not just place the keywords where they need to be to get indexed the quickest.
Furthermore, don’t word-stuff your articles. Placing the word “blog” in an article ten times doesn’t mean it has more juice than the article next to it with the word four times. Plan to use your words in 4 different ways or phrases and strategically place them 100 words apart. This will appear more SEO friendly to the Google bots.
Don’t Delete Posts
Never, never, never delete previously published posts! Simply place a few words stating “this post has been removed” or “this post is no longer available”. Why you may ask? If you remove these posts, they will come up as 404 pages on Google, therefore if you have several of these on your blog your PageRank will plummet. To state it a bit more clearly, Google Webmaster indexes all of your blogger posts, and if you remove them, they will come up as unfound urls. Too many of these will result in the removal of your site from search engines.
Keep the Layout Simple and Clean
Too many of us want to be artistic and edgy with our sites, but when you’re first starting out just keep it clean and easy to maintain. You may even notice the layout section of blogger that you can play around with the html code of your blog. If you haven’t starting researching any code yet, I wouldn’t suggest touching a thing. Just play with fonts and colors until you feel comfortable enough to start adding columns, new custom headers, and widgets.
Watch the Widgets
The last thing any reader wants to see is more widgets than content. You may think they look pretty or unique, but they tend to slow the site down and add unwanted clutter. Adding one small widget on a sidebar is fine, along with some Google AdSense, just try to control the placement.
Pagerank will come with time, and it takes alot of hard work. Typically, it will take close to three months to gain a page ranking with Google. Why is this important? In my experience, the higher the page rank, the more traffic. This may be because I have a substantial amount of backlinks pointing towards my site, which in most cases, this is exactly the reason. However, it's a combination of great posts and backlinks that substantially affect your pagerank.
Relationships with other Bloggers
This is more important that many people realize. Once you become a blogger, it's important to visit other blogger's sites. Don't just skim the pages, leave a comment about the content. In most cases they will return the favor, and you will gain a loyal reader. Consequently, once you have commented on a blogger's site for a few weeks, it's much easier to ask to trade links.
Hopefully that will get you started.
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