Posts Tagged ‘blogging tips’
Here are the definitions to some of the most used terms in the world of blogging. Relax, grab a (healthy) drink and go over some of the most used terms in blogging. And remember, in this glossary, I don’t get technical. Just practical.
Blogging platform: This is basically where you blog. WordPress and Blogger are the most famous ones. I like to use them both.
Blogger is free, and you can monetize it. WordPress has a lot more options, but any monetization comes after you buy your own hosting. So there are pros and cons to both.
For instance, this blog is a self-hosted WordPress blog. My entertainment blog is also on WordPress.
For a Blogger example, you can check my Dating and Relationships in the 21st century.
Webhost: Webhosting basically means that you pay to have your own websites and blogs to be out there. Why should you pay when there are many free platforms? Well, it depends on your intent.
The webhost lets you choose your own domain name. And even though my platform is WordPress, my blog URL doesn’t have WordPress, a benefit of having a self-hosted blog.
Webhosts also allow you to be free with your storage capacities (obviously up to a certain point, but you are much more comfortable with space than you are on the free platform), create an e-mail address (many advertising networks) require you to have a hosted email address and not a free one such as from Yahoo or Gmail).
And there is the fact that WordPress.com (free WordPress platform) doesn’t let you put advertising on your site. If you are in this for making a living for yourself, you need to get a webhost. Mine is Justhost. While it has its ups and downs, I have been using them since late 2009. They are cheap, and the customer service is pretty accessible. I occasionally get the message that I need to upgrade. I handle this by getting rid of the things I don’t use for the site.
But alternatively, you can monetize Blogger with Adsense, Amazon and other advertising opportunities – as long as you are allowed to have a URL on a free platform. It is best to check with the Publisher FAQ’s of the advertising company you want to use.
I heard that Bluehost is pretty good, but I have been too lazy to move. As long as Justhost keeps it up with the customer service and prices, I am happy.
Monetizing: You can put ads, make affiliate deals and sell other people’s stuff, sell your own product and services, make paid reviews…but these all have pros and cons. One of the cons is money is hard to make, especially if you are low on traffic.
Traffic: How many unique visitors do you get? Daily? Monthly?
Guestblogging: Writing for other blogs or other bloggers write for you. Guest-writing for popular blogs will be great for prestige and your popularity. There is a couple of lines for writing your bio, which includes your website link. You’ll also get to interact with people who comment on your piece. Just apply to guest-post and abide their guidelines. Then give it your best shot.
* Carol Tice pays her guestbloggers $50, but of course she selects them carefully.
Link building: How powerful your blog is usually dependent on how many (powerful/quality) sites are linking to you.
One great method is networking with others. Another fun, albeit less effective, way is blog commenting.
Problogging: Blogging about blogging- how to monetize, attract readers, etc…
Some of the problogging blogs I like are Problogger, Blogginglabs, Blogging Teacher (especially if you want to make money writing blog posts) and Carol Tice’s Make a Living Writing (especially if you are a writer who blogs). I have a lot more, but these four should get you going for starters.
Seo: Seach Engine Optimization. You need to optimize your blog for search engines like Yahoo, Google, etc… so that your blog will be easier to find on the Internet. In order to do that, you need to pick the right keywords.
What are your blog posts about? What keywords are in demand? What words are people typing into search engines? What are they interested in?
You can either search first and prepare a post accordingly or write your post first and make the search and optimize it later.
Frankly, I have read so many blog posts and e-books about SEO that I wouldn’t be able to direct you to one individual source.
Let me know if you need/want any other concepts explained. I’ll either explain here on the comments, or will link to a resource I like. Or both:)
New to SEO? Read from here.
Blogging is a lot of fun, but in order to be able to blog successfully, you need to be able to do more than just write. You need to learn the basics of SEO (search engine optimization), for instance. And SEO is a very tricky concept.
Simply put, we use SEO so that search engines can find our blogs and websites more easily. We also know that people aren’t inclined to go through tens of result pages when they are looking for information. They go through the first page, and maybe the second. After that, your chances of meeting that reader become pretty slim. But it is not always easy to end up on the first couple of pages, especially for keywords that thousands, or millions of people are competing for.
So SEO experts advise you to go after long-tail keywords (phrases that consist of 3 or more words). They recommend targeting keywords that have some competition (so that you know people actually want that information), but not so much that you will get buried under too many other sites).
For instance, what are my chances of ranking very high if I am writing an article on the actor Gerard Butler, called Gerard Butler? Just today, 1,554 people have searched for him (a result I got by using free keyword research tools). So, I have an audience. But how many results does his name generate on a search engine? Guess what: 10.100.000 results! Crazy, right?
Practicing SEO already? Try reading from here.
But I am not going to not include Gerard Butler in my keywords, just because there is so much competition. And I am not going to give up on a topic I like because the search engines say so. Instead, I will write the article for me and for my readers. Here’s how and why:
Keywords Selection and Tagging
The most popular keyword can also be the most relevant one. For instance, when I am writing about an actor (I have an entertainment website, so I cover actors and movies a lot), I get over a thousand daily searches, if not more. It is very difficult, if not virtually impossible for me to rank all that high with this main keyword. But I always include it. It is for me and my readers: Most websites (my blog included) have their own search engines. So when you arrive at my blog and type this name, you get all the posts about that actor.
You may have found me through other keywords. Maybe, you didn’t find me through search engines at all. But now that you are on my page, you will find a lot of relevant information. This is to satisfy readers. But also it makes my job easier, because I can track how many different bodies of work I have written on a given topic.
Search engines are your friends, but they are not your only friends. You get your audience from other sources as well, such as Twitter, Facebook, Stumble Upon, blog links on other blogs, blog communities, forums…etc.
- The Headlines:
We have been writers for a long time but we have been readers for even longer. So we have always known the importance of headlines and titles. Readers like the headlines to be exciting and clever. But they also need to give the readers a good idea on what the writing is going to be about.
So I try to include SEO keywords in the title. But sometimes I have an idea for a writing series and just don’t want to give up on creativity completely. One of the headlines I chose for an article series I was writing was more topic-related than SEO rich. Still, it managed to be one of my popular posts. You don’t always have to please Google. And sometimes pleasing yourself also ends up pleasing your readers, which will make Google love you even more in the end.
- The Number of Keywords
There isn’t a certain limit to this but of course the search engines aren’t going to take you seriously if you tag each post with 100 keywords. However, some sites come with limitations or limitation suggestions on how many keywords a post should ideally be tagged with.
Now, in generally, sticking to about 10-15 keywords might be ideal. But imagine writing a list post including 10 names. You will need to tag these names separately, and a lot more.
And exactly because of the reasons stated above (for your keywords and SEO actions), you will also need to add more specific, SEO-friendly and low-competition keywords. I try not to use more than 20 keywords for any given post, but I don’t mind going overboard on my own blogs.
So while it is great to stick to some basic guidelines, ignoring them when necessary might end up pleasing you and your readers. It is just a perk that happy readers will end up making you even more popular everywhere, including Google (and other search engines).
Not only is blogging fun, it is also a wonderful way of sharing your thoughts with the world. And it is a fast way at that. As added bonuses, you get to be your own editor, web designer (if you like), social media manager and so much more. The problem is, after you’ve been blogging for a while, you eventually find yourself wanting to make money from your efforts. Maybe you even started your blog(s) to make money from it in the first place. However making money from blogs can be difficult, and it often takes a lot of time to see those dollars coming in.
You need to apply SEO, optimize your design, network with other bloggers, increase your traffic and authority….The list goes on. A blogger’s (daily) tasks are endless, and it takes a lot of time to find the right monetizing method. As you engage in promoting and networking activities, as well as measuring your efforts, you realize that writing is just a small portion of it. For a writer who just wants to write away, keeping a blog just might seem more trouble than it is worth.
So if you just want to write, rather than to try to find ways to make money with your blog (and trying to keep up with the tasks that come with it), you can also choose to write blog posts for other people. This is where Paul Cunningham’s How to Become A Successful Freelance Blogger e-book comes in.
In this e-book, Paul talks about every aspect of blogging for others, including:
- how you decide this is the right path for you,
- what qualities you need to make it as a freelance blogger,
- how you can set goals & manage your time,
- how to decide on your price/post,
- how to develop a portfolio to help you land gigs,
- tips on managing your income,
- places to look for blogging jobs,
- ways to find jobs that are not advertised,
- what to include in contracts,
- managing your relationship with editors,
- writing your very first post
Simply put, How to Become a Successful Freelance Blogger takes your hand from the first moment you decide you want to build a career as a freelance blogger and takes you step by step.
The book consists of 45 pages, ending with a list of useful web resources. While I am not going to say it is the only book you need, it is a pretty comprehensive book that covers the needs of both beginners, and those who feel like they could use some direction and tips while managing their careers.
Paul blogs on bloggingteacher.com, where he gives a lot of useful tips on every aspect of blogging. The site also comes with a page that allows you to submit your idea and post if you want to try guest-posting (a concept Paul also covers in How to Become a Successful Freelance Blogger.
The book is priced at $24. Yes, I have it, and yes – I used affiliate links.