Tag: blog

Why A Blogger is like Teacher?

I started my career as a teacher and I used to teach university students. In some ways, there were some similarities with blogging and teaching. For example, when I was a teacher, at first, I used to prepare my lesson and in advance delivery a lecture to my students. In blogging, we perhaps do the same thing. We make a plan about writing entry and then we write it. Writing the entries some similar to giving a lecture. You have to do it in an attractive way so that your readers read it and they like to come again to your blog. In teaching, we have to do the same thing. We have to teach in an attractive way so that the students do not become tired and bored and interested to come again.

When I was a student, I was not fan of all my teachers. I used to attend all the classes more my teachers whom I like because I though that they were very attractive and they could teach in a very good way. I did not like some of the teachers and I did not attend many their classes. This distinction today reminds me that I have to remember this lesson when writing content for blog. Yes, by applying search engine optimization, it is possible to get decent amount of traffic from Google and other search engine. However, I have to constantly asking myself whether my content is up to the mark, whether my content is attractive and whether it will influence the readers in the level that they will want to come back again. I have to admit that it is not up to the mark. One of the reasons is that I get too much distracted by other things and I give very little amount of time for writing my content.

So, from now I have to think of giving more time to blogging and creating content then any other thing. Of course, blogging is my profession, my business and my only source of livelihood these days. In fact, for the last four years, I have almost exclusively earned my livelihood from blogging. The idea is very simple. I create content and try to get a decent number of visitors and in return, I earned enough money to pay all my bills and saved some.

Ten Things Every Blogger Needs to Start a Blog

Opening a blog is very easy. Almost any can do it without spending that much time or effort. There are some great websites like Blogger.com, WordPress.com to serve a huge market. They are free and setting up a blog is almost painless. You do not need to know any coding, programming or even graphics design. It becomes complicated when you want to go for self hosting and earning money through your blogs. Not only that, just singing up for Blogger or WordPress.com may finish your formalities for opening a blog but still you need to do some more things if you want to stand up among millions of people. Here, in this entry, I am going to tell you the Ten most important things that you need in order to start a blog.

Blog Name and Topic

I believe that deciding on the topic of your blog and name is the most important thing before you start doing anything. Just don’t be in a hurry and jump into something rashly. If you do so then you may have to regret later. You can take help of Google Search to find more information about websties and blogs related to the topic you want to target. You can also search for the name of your blog. For example, I have given the name of this blog: Blogging37 and when I searched in Google, I realized that there is no blog with this name. Not to mention that before everything, I decided to start a blog on Blogging and that is why, I selected this name. Of course, I have another 3 blogs with “37” at the end like Sports37.com.

Domain

Buying a domain is very easy. It does not cost a lot of money either. If you buy a domain from a company like Godaddy or Blue Host then it should not cost more than $10 a year. In fact, you can get a domain name from Godaddy in around $7.50 a year by using Promo Codes. Just search in Google: “Godaddy Promo Codes and you will understand” what I mean. I am sure that you will come and thank me for this idea. Domain url is very important thing to select. I am against big url addresses. Here, for this blog I have selected: “blogging37.com”. I have kept the keyword ‘blogging’ in the url and this indicates the topic of my blog. If you do not want to spend money for hosting, then you can sign up with Blogger.com or WordPress.com. However, remember that in WordPress.com free blogs, you cannot put any advertisement codes and thus if you have any plan to earn money with your blog then WordPress.com (free blogs) is not the right thing for you. In that case, go for Blogger.com free blogs. Your blog will have url like this: yoursite.blogspot.com.

Hosting

Hosting is a very important issue. You can find many attractive advertisements in Internet. Many of these ads pay almost everything. Some ads will promise that you can have unlimited space and bandwidth. Of course, most bloggers even cannot finish 1 Gigabyte of Space or even monthly 10 GB bandwidth. So, you can go for any of the big names Web Hosting Industry. The hosting of this blog has been taken from Godaddy. By the way, you can get 10%-20% discount on the price of Godaddy Hosting if you use the promo codes.

One word of caution: Remember that most hosting companies give you shared hosting in which your website is hosted in a server along with many other websites. So, if a lot of persons come in your blog at the same time then you may see your website down. So, if you are planning for a big website that will attract thousands of visitors every day then go for Dedicated Servers (Hosting) which some expensive.

If you do not want to spend money for hosting then Google Blogger’s Custom Domain Hosting is the King.

The best part of this hosting is that you get your own domain at $10 but the hosting is completely free.

Set Up Process: Take Expert Help if Needed

If you decide for a free version of Blogger or WordPress or Blogger’s Custom Domain Hosting then you should be done by now as far as the set up process is concerned. If you decide to go for a self hosted WordPress blog then it will take some time. The good thing is that most web hosting companies these days have made WordPress basic installation an easy process. However, the problem starts when you want to customize the basic WordPress theme. For this, you need some technical know how. My assistant, Animesh Chandra Bain has set up more than 30 self hosted WordPress blogs until now and I took his help as I am not a skilled person on this. So, if needed take help from others.

Visitor Tracking and Stats

Some people may argue that at first no one will visit your blog. So, you do not need to put any visitor tracking program. I modestly disagree with this kind of idea because reality is that most blogs get indexed by Google within 2-4 days and some people start to visit your blog. If you do not have any tracking device then you will be a like blind person. My choice is: Sitemter and Google Analytics and they are free. Of course, there are many other programs that are free.

Feed and Ping

Do you have any idea about Feedburner? This is a very useful thing both for the readers and the bloggers. When I open any new blog, I must add a Feedburner within one hour. In fact, you can get updated to this blog through a Feed Reader and Email. One important thing is to determine whether you want to give your readers full or partial content of your blog through your feed.

Inside, Feedburner, there is an option to Ping various websites. It (Pinging) basically tells some important websites that you have uploaded a new entry and they should index it.

Technorati, Twitter and Facebook

Technorati is a search engine about blogs. It tracks more than 100 million blogs. You should open an account there and add your blog. With passing time and some visit to Technorati, you will understand the benefits. By the way, I must admit to you that I do not have any account in Facebook or Twitter because I do not have any time for them. However, if you have time then you can open account in these two places at free of cost. Then, you can inform your friends about your blog.

Google Webmaster Tools

For this go to this url: http://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/

Of course, if you have opened a Blogger.com free version blog or custom domain hosting blog, you can submit your blog to Google Webmaster Tools from your Dashboard. It will automatically submit your site to Google search Engine and hopefully, Google will index your blog very fast.

Submitting to other Search Engines

It is true that Google is the dominant search engine has the lion’s share in this market. However, don’t neglect other search engines. Yahoo and Bing can bring you some traffic too. The more visitors you can get the better.

Submitting to Directories

There are many directories and some of them are really useful for us to find some quality blogs. However, remember that many of the directories are not free and many others require that you give them link as they list your blog. I always avoid both of them. Instead, I would advice you to submit in directories that are free and do not require any reciprocal links.

Social Bookmarking

I said 10 things – didn’t I? Well, here is a free bonus for you. You know what is Digg, don’t you? If not then go to Digg.com and get an idea. Social Bookmarking sites can always bring you new visitors unless you try to spam them.

Blogging is fun but it can be hard work too. I have written this entry because it can save a lot of time for you. If you want more information about the 11 things that I mentioned today, then no problem. I will write separate entries about all of them. Do you have any question? Then let me know in the comment section.

Good Blog Traffic: How can You Measure It?

This is a question that I often come across: what is considered to be a good traffic for a blog? Well, it is a very difficult question and there is no unanimous answer to that. In my 3 and half years of professional blogging, I have seen ups and downs in traffic. The highest traffic that one of my blogs received was in May 2007 and it was 468,767 page views for SouthAsiaBiz.com blog. Since then, I have experienced more than 150,000 page views for an individual blog in many months. So, I feel that I have some ideas about blogging traffic. Well, many of the top blogs have their Sitemter Open for the visitors. A notable example is perhaps Problogger Darren Rowse.

So, what is considered to be good blog traffic? Before answering the question let me talk about blogging some more. There are basically two kind of bloggers in blogosphere: Those who want to earn money and those who are blogging for hobby. However, this classification is not that simple and accurate. There are blog networks and there are multiple authored blogs (one blog but more than one blogger). There are some people who take their blogging very seriously but they do not want to earn money. Instead they want to make a name for themselves through their blog and promote a book or a product they have created. This diversification of bloggers and blogs create the main problem behind coming into a conclusion about good blog traffic. Several factors should be taken into consideration too.

First of all, you have to think of topic. It is a common sense that a blog about entertainment will bring more traffic easily compared to a blog about Insurance. On the other hand, with same traffic, a blog about insurance would fetch more revenue than that of Hollywood. So, topic is an important factor. Normally, it is considered that business and technology related topics bring more money than entertainment and sports. So, if you have a blog about laptop and it brings 1000 page views every day and suppose, you have another blog about Julia Roberts and it brings 2000 page views each day. In that case, you may find that your laptop blog brings more revenue despite the fact that it has just 50% traffic compared to your Julia Roberts Blog.

Second thing to consider is the source of traffic. Do you get your traffic mainly through search engines like Google or do you get your traffic mainly from social book-marking sites like Digg and Fark or social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter. It is also common wisomd that Google traffic brings more money than social book-marking or social networking traffic.

A third thing to consider is Geo Location of your visitors. Visitors from USA always bring more money compared to visitors from other parts of the world. So, if you have 1000 visitors from USA and say 2000 visitors from China then your US visitors will bring more revenue.

I am giving so much emphasis to revenue while discussing traffic because most hobby bloggers do not dream of getting thousands of visitors. On the other hand, any blogger who wants to earn money always dreams of having hundreds of visitors each day because more visitors mean more money- this is plan and simple.

The fourth factor that I like to talk about is the age of your blog. When you have a new blog then it is very difficult to get any traffic at all. With the passing weeks, your blog gets older and you have larger archive of entries (content) and getting traffic becomes easier. For example, this blog is just 3 weeks old and I have got only 324 page views until now. It is July 2009. If you can then come back after 3 months and you will hopefully see the difference.

A very important thing to consider is whether a blog is single authored or multiple authored. Normally, multiple authored blogs should bring more traffic because the income has to be divided between the bloggers.

So, there is perhaps no way to measure good traffic for a blog. Still, if you insist my idea of good traffic then I would say that if you have per month 100,000 page views mainly from Google then you should be happy with your traffic.