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20 Tips for Beginner Bloggers
- Choose a topic that you know, like, and are passionate about.
This way you will never get bored and will keep your audience always
interested and asking for more.
- Pick a topic where there is not a lot of competition. If your
topic is too common, try addressing it from a particular angle or
focus on a specific niche. For example, there are many sites that
talk about cars, but few that specialize in only one brand, and even
fewer that focus on only one model. The key to be successful is to
find a specific enough topic with a large enough audience.
- Open a Blogger account. It is free and easy to use. That way, you
wonít have to invest in costlier platforms like
TypePad before you have the chance of finding out if blogging is for
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- Use a minimalist template, preferably one with a white
background. This format is easier to read and pleasant to the eye
when you combine it with color pictures.
- Use pictures to dress up your blog entries and give your blog a
more professional appearance. You can find excellent pictures at a
very low cost in istockphoto.com, or even free in
forget to ask the owner of the picture for permission before you use
- In one of your blogís side columns, list six or seven links to
authoritative sites related to your topic. When the search engine
robots visit your blog, they will find these links and your blog will
benefit by association.
- Write in simple language, short paragraphs and using bullet
points. These are essential guidelines for writing on the web, and
will make your posts easier to read and understand.
- Always link out to the sources you use to document your posts.
This is not only good etiquette but also a way to promote your blog
and get links: when the people you link to find out that theyíve been
linked to, they will most likely link to your post from their site or
- Check your posts for spelling and grammatical errors. This will
make your blog look more professional and will increase the
probability of other people linking to it.
- Use labels to categorize your posts and keep your blog neatly
organized. Blogger recently modified its software to allow the use of
- Participate actively in forums and discussion groups related to
your topic. Find what are the most common questions and provide the
answers in your blog. Then, direct forum readers to your blog. Try to
also direct forum readers to other resources, or answer without
necessarily linking to your blog, sometimes. If not, you may be
perceived as self serving and only interested in promoting your blog.
- Use HitTail to research topics to write about. HitTail gives you
a list of the search terms used by those who came to your blog
through a search engine. This search term list will give you ideas
for future blog posts.
- Allow your blog readers to email your posts to other people.
Also, give them the option to bookmark your posts using
furl, or any other social bookmarking service. You can go to
to download a smart button that makes it easy to bookmark your posts.
You can find instructions on how to add the button to Blogger
The easier you make it to share your blog posts, the more relevant
traffic your blog will get.
- Use Technorati tags at the end of your blog posts. Technorati
tags are a way of classifying your blog posts by topic and have them
added to Technoratiís index (Technorati is the most important search
engine for blogs). Use this automatic
generator to avoid having to create the HTML code manually.
- Syndicate your blog allowing your visitors to subscribe to your
feeds through their favorite aggregator. This way, they will be
automatically notified every time you update your blog. You can use
this tool to generate attractive syndication buttons, which you can
then place in a side column of your blog.
- Post frequently. It is the only way to keep your audience
interested and coming back. Two or three times a week is ideal. Once
a week is the borderline minimum that I recommend to keep your
audience engaged and maintain adequate visibility in the search
- Keep a large number of posts in the main page of your blog.
Search engine robots usually wonít crawl and index all your blog
pages, however they will visit your main page frequently. The more
content you keep in your main page, the bigger the chance of it
popping up in the search engine results pages.
- Use Google Adsense to monetize your blog. Blogger lets you add
Google Adsense easily and seamlessly in several locations within a
page. The best locations are within the content, and on top of the
page simulating a navigation bar.
- Donít use Google Adsense excessively, at least at the beginning.
Your initial focus should be not to monetize your blog, but to build
your audience and establishing your blog's reputation as an authority
within your topical community. A blog that is deep on content and
lean on ads is more likely to attract the kind of links needed to
become relevant to users and search engines.
- Once your blog is established and generates abundant, relevant
traffic, you can monetize more aggressively, not only with Adsense
but also with affiliate links and, why not, maybe even by selling
your own products.
You can see a real example of all these tips at work in my blog:
You can freely reprint this article provided that you include the following resource
Mario Sanchez publishes The Internet Digest ( http://www.theinternetdigest.net
), a growing collection of Internet marketing articles, tips and resources, and
Shoestring Branding (
http://www.shoestringbranding.com ), an
online resource for entrepreneurs who want to build strong small
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