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You’ve decided on your blogging platform, and you’re excited. You look at the screen, and your fingers are poised on the keyboard and tingling with anticipation. But what do you type? How do you start well out of the blogging gate in the race for search engine attention and building a reader following?
The biggest question – What to do next?
Regardless of the theme of your blog, keep in mind what gets attention from search engines and from the reading public: keywords, content, and site or blog advertising.
Title your blog with one of the top keywords in your subject area.
Use keywords or phrases with a density of once for every 100 to 150 words, not including your blog signature, which should include your main keyword phrase or blog title. Don’t overuse the keyword in your posts. Search engines block listings from overly-dense content.
Post consistently and always with relevant content. Make a posting schedule and keep it. Try for a minimum of two or three times per week or more often if possible.
There are several methods that can legally—as in non-spam—advertise your blog:
- Related Blogs and Forums: Find blogs and forums that relate to your blog topic. If direct URL posting is not allowed, contact the blog owner or site manager and request a link exchange. If disallowed, continue searching. There are hundreds of thousands of related sites on the Internet.
- Your Personal Email: On every personal email address you have, you can legally advertise your blog in two ways: Signature Block: Create and use a signature block that includes an automatic link to your blog. Every person you email will get one automatically. Vacation Responder: Periodically use this tool to send a message to every person who sends you an email when it’s activated. The message can read simply, ‘Sorry I can’t answer right away. I’m busy with my blog, Border Collie Lover in Pasadena, found at:’ and include the URL. Finish it with something like, ‘I’ll personally answer your email soon. Thanks for your patience. Meanwhile, come read!’
- Email List Owners: Sign up for e-zines about your blog topic. When you get a good feel for the content being sent, email the list owner and volunteer content for his or her e-zine. Include the content and the resource box listing your name, your blog’s name, and the blog’s URL. If the list owner likes the content and agrees to send your mini-article in the e-zine, you’ve just succeeded in advertising your blog to potentially thousands of people, and without spamming.
- Social Networking Sites: Yes, yes, and yes. Yes, create a page, entitled the same or as close to your blog title as you can on every social network site. Yes, link to and from your blog, and yes, include the social sites’ URLs in your signature blocks and resource boxes.
- Article Writing: Write an information article or series regarding your topic. Meet the submission guidelines regarding no ‘selling’ your particular site, and include your blog, et al, in your resource box. Allow others to use your article—with your name, your copyright notice, and your resource box left intact—freely on their sites. This allows you to advertise your blog on potentially thousands of web pages, creating a back link on each posting site.
Potential to Earn Money
Blogging presents two ways to possibly earn money: paid advertising on your blog and freelance blogging.
Paid advertising is either presenting ad space for others to rent on your blog or signing up for Google AdSense which pays you, as the blog owner, each time someone clicks an AdSense ad on your blog. The more popular your blog becomes to the search engines, the more people who are going to read your blog, which means there are potentially more ads clicked and more money paid to you.
Once you have a consistent, well-designed and maintained blog, others may contact you to write for their blog or you can apply to blog writers’ advertisements, and use your great blog as a sample.