In at least one point in their life, most people try blogging. But of those people, less than 1% actually maintain a successful blog. In this how-to article, you will learn the basics of blogging, how to get more traffic to your blog, and how to keep your viewers interested. Maintaining a blog isn’t easy, and it takes hard work and patience. But with the right dedication, your blog will thrive.
Where to host your blog
The first step in becoming a successful blogger is creating the actual blog. WordPress.com is very popular, and in the eyes of many, it is the best and easiest blog hosting site. They have a huge selection of cusomization options, and they allow you to view your stats, such as traffic, comments, and followers, in a very efficient dashboard. WordPress is free to use, however you will have a ‘.wordpress.com’ extension on the end of your blog’s URL. If this really bothers you, you can always purchase the domain name, for a very generous $17 a year. You can sign up for an account at WordPress.com.
After you create an account, you need to decide your niche. A niche is the market on which your blog will be based. For example, Phone Arena, a website that reviews and compares phones and gadgets, has its’ niche under a technological category. What this means is that their entire site is about technology. Your niche is one of the most important aspects of your blog. People who just post random things about random topics don’t get far, because their blogs don’t target a particular audience.
After you determine your niche, you need to give your blog a title. Your title is extremely important, since it is the thing that will attract the audience that you want. Give your blog a clever name. Also, you need to make sure that the title is relevant to the niche. You don’t want to mislead your readers. Your title also needs to be short and to the point, or potential readers may get bored.
Your theme is also important. Themes can be changed at any time, so you never have to settle with just one. Most themes on WordPress are free, however there are some paid ones which are quite expensive. Free or paid, you need to make sure that the theme relates to the content in your blog. You don’t want a flowery, colorful theme if your blog is about modern architecture. There is also an option to customize your theme, but this is also a paid feature, and even though it is only $30 a year, changing the font doesn’t seem worth it.
Connecting to your Social Networks
Before you write your first post, you should connect any and every Twitter, Google+, Facebook, etc. account to your blog. This is important, as it allows you to share every new post automatically, making it that much easier for people to see your blog. To connect your accounts to your blog, go to your dashboard. Hover your mouse over the Settings tab, and click on Sharing. Connect each relavent account under the Publicize section. Under the Sharing Buttons section on the same page, drag and drop the buttons you would like to add to the end of each post, from the Available Services box to the Active Services box. These buttons allow readers to share your post.
Your first post
The moment we have all been waiting for; your first post on your new blog! Your first post should be warm and welcoming. A simple ‘Welcome to my blog!’ works perfectly. In your first post, you are going to tell readers who you are, and why you are here. Tell them what your blog is going to be about. This is where your readers will get to know you. Tell them anything important about yourself, and then click the Publish button on the right toolbar. Congratulations! You just created your first post!
Your next post
After the thrill and excitement of writing your first post ends, and you are done patting yourself on the back, it is time to create your next post. This time, you need to write something relevant. I will leave the subject to you, since it is your blog. Whatever the subject may be, make it interesting and educated, because the next step is when you start getting traffic. Before you publish this post, you need to add some categories. Categories allow you to organize your posts into different sections. If you have a blog about food, you might add categories like ‘Fast food’ or ‘Chinese food’ or ‘Seafood’, etc.. Check the relevant categories, then publish.
Join the blogging community
This may seem like a waste of time, but you need to get to know your community! Look for blogs that interest you. Like, comment, and share peoples’ posts. Bloggers appreciate it when you take time to read their posts. When you look at their blog, chances are, they are gonna click your name in the comments section and look at yours. Trust me, this will get you traffic! Spend half an hour a day reading other blogs. the more you interact with the community, the more they will interact back.
If you don’t have a StumbleUpon acount, go make one now: StumbleUpon.com. Once you have completed the account creation process, go to your profile. At the bottom of the left side, find and click the Add a new page link. Put the full URL into the first box, and then add a description of your site, and some keywords that describe it. Then click Add This Page. When someone presses the stumble button, your page will now appear to those with the same interests as your blog. After you do this, start stumbling! Comment on, and like stuff, that interests you. Again, you want to really interact with the community.
You cannot expect thousands of hits a day if you only post once a week. You need to post on your blog every day. Think of your blog as a baby. It always needs your full attention. You must nurture and care for your blog, or people will stop visiting. It is difficult, but with hard work, patience, and of course, dedication, you and your blog will become well known throughout the Internet.
Reposted from my Factoidz account.