In this article we will give you some tips for a having a successful and professional Blog.
Which hosting platform to choose? How to write articles and what topics should I choose? What are the ways to make them known to readers… taking as example the experience of TheCustomizeWindows.com which went from 0 to over 500 visitors per day with more than 2000 pageviews perday in less than four months.
Before you start thinking about your Blog, remember these figures:
36% of blogging in the World have less than 1000 visitors per month; so do not expect an influx of readers all of a sudden.
Everything has already been written and said but there are thousands of ways to repeat and update it; so there is room for everyone even though there are 10 blogs on your topic!
To keep a blog, you have to spend time: at least 90 minutes a day, every day.
The success of a blog is the long term investment: it took 4 hours of work per day to get TheCustomizeWindows.com from 0 to 500 visitors per day.
From our experience, at least 20% of blogs are closing within 1.5 years for lack of time for blogging or lack of immediate monetary profit. It is important to note that blogging is done in time (it took 2 months to go over 50 visitors per day, which is little motivation to start!).
Writing good articles is not enough, 50% of your time should be devoted to their recovery and their implementation forward. Just rely on Google to know your blog is not just enough, it is more than enough!
You will probably never be a millionaire with a blog: a few hundred visitors per day, and relying solely on advertising like Adsense and Affiliates; do not expect to get more than $50 / month at end of first year.
The quality of a blog depends to 41% of quality content, 25% of the update frequency, 15% of ergonomics and 11% transparency of the author’s blog.
Regular visit of a Blog is at 15% by subscribing via RSS, 70% by search engines and 6% by subscribing to the newsletter, rest 10% via bookmarks.
Visiting a blog is proportional to the frequency of content publication. Therefore publish regularly.
By cons, a blog is a great way to make themselves known:
- Blogs are easily discovered by Google.
- Blogs are often quoted by other sites and forums while a commercial site usually is not.
Defining the purpose of the blog
The first thing to decide before you even start writing the first line of your blog is to define what is the purpose of your blog: Do you know how to change job? Is it to find clients? Is it to make yourself known as a specialist in your area? Is it to share your knowledge and discoveries to others?
Then you must define which messages you want to move, and in what form?
We can talk about anything and everything, but for a successful blog, it must be specialized in one area (= adopt a strategy of “niche” because trying to please the more is to pleases no one).
If you have multiple domains of activity, create multiple blogs. It is much better for SEO and targeting your visitors
NB: We already running a blog; its an extremely time consuming thing to run two blogs!
Finally, how long will you give time? If you want to exceed the 50 visitors per day, it takes at least 28-30 hours of work per week.
You should write at least one article per day during initial one year and promoting it.
A final warning to tell you that Blogger can quickly become a passion, but do not lose sight of your goal by the initial time and cost invested: think about what it will take time as compared to what it earns you and set your limits!
Choose what to talk about
The major advantages of blogs is that it is very easy to post articles (a blog is a word processor that enables in addition to publishing his articles on the net and manage their site with simple tools and practices) .
With a blog, for once there is no need to be an internet specialist. In addition to Google and search engines “like” blogs, and finally a blog is less “commercial” than a commercial or institutional website. The major drawbacks are lack of flexibility of a blog layout and the difficulties to optimize for SEO.
There are 3 main types of articles published in professional blogs:
- Articles and links to resources: just put on its website a series of links, tools, videos…related to its niche and make a quick comment (allow 30 minutes per article.)
- Opinion mood: you react to the news and you make your own comments (For example; a new product coming out, a change in the law …). This type of articles is the easiest to implement and will allow you to write regular articles about 100 to 250 words without spending too much time (after 1 hour / article, or 4 hours per week with 2 Items + 2h formatting before).
- Content “reference”: these are articles perform longer, but not necessarily those with the most visits! You must make your own articles on a given topic with new content or by collecting multiple sources into a summary (1-2 pages minimum, more than 1000 words).
Of course a blog can mix all kinds of items; it is also highly recommended!
Choose the name and the hosting platform for your Blog
Choose a domain name
Of course the domain name must be explicit about the content of the blog, and if possible contain the keywords you want to put forward . But yes, content is the king. An excellent catchy name with zero content have no value to Google.
Choose the hosting platform
You can either use a blog hosting or to host your blog on a server and use an application to post your site as a blog . If you do not know too much information (or if you do not have time!), we advise you to host a blogging platform.
There are many sites that offer to host blogs, yet here are the 3 most popular:
- www . blogger . com : simple and practical, it is a good tool to start (automatic backup of the texts, standard skins that let you recover a lot of plug-ins, good management of RSS feeds …). By cons you will quickly get limited (no file hosting, customization difficult, poor referencing (the site is considered a page), no category management. Know that Blogger will show its limitations very quickly when your site will rise a bit in power.
- www . wordpress . com : it is flexible and powerful, and customizable “relatively” easy with many fans who have developed numerous plug-ins, themes. It has the advantage that it can host 50 MB of files for free. As cons, it is not possible to add their own pages of ads (Adsense). It is a good tool to start a Blog.
- www . typepad . com : This is the tool used by many bloggers. Choose this if your goal is to make a blog really professional.
Also avoid sites like Skyblog Blogs, Yahoo and other blogs that have a strong connotation of “teenager”.
If you want to optimize your SEO and make a 100% custom blog, it is better to host their site on a server.
The ideal is to integrate a blog to a website to capitalize on current visits. So you “power” your blog using a generator blogs like WordPress ( wordpress . org ) .
The installation on its own server is simple enough (you must copy the data to a server and use the editing included), but this requires initially a little more work.
You have to be very careful to safeguard your site regularly, especially at each update. This remark is also valid for the hosted blogs, you should always check after each update of the interface code (navigation bar, categories) that the site always goes well on Firefox and Internet Explorer (at least version 8).
In conclusion, if you do not have too much knowledge of computers or if you do not intend to optimize your site to 100% for natural search, choose first a blog hosting platform (WordPress for example!).
How to write a professional Blog?
Writing a Blog is not very complicated, but there are a few simple rules to follow.
Here are 10 basic rules to follow:
- The first being that you are not there to make promotion. Write a blog is more natural and closer to the transcript of the spoken language of the argument than marketing or dissertation.
- Publish as often as possible: the more you will like this, the more you will get a “Surface Area” material on the Web. Pro starts a blog that has some items listed in Google, while an older blog can count hundreds of pages indexed by google or on partner sites.
- Avoid spelling errors: it is a common mistake (blogging takes time and it is always in a hurry to publish the article, there is less serious because is a “bonus” from monetary point of view :D ). But this habit is strongly pejorative if you want to portray a professional Blog. You can have articles written in very interesting and relevant way, you will always have at least 2 or 3 people you will comment on your spelling.
To eliminate these, always type the text in a Word processor, go through the spell checker, then copy it to your blog. Of course, before that we must read his text from 1 to 2 times, and finally re-read once you have completed it (unlike formatting can often detect new errors).
Do not copy and paste the text directly from Word, or your layout will be a pain to manage (MS Word generates and inserts HTML code). It is better to copy the text into the Windows notepad and copy the plain text in the editor of your blog (possibly through “HTML” mode). While you will lose all the formatting of Word, but it will save you spending hours trying to get a homogeneous layout.
- Make short articles: Google (and users) especially appreciate the short texts, ranging from the essentials. Better to publish short articles of 250-500 words 7-10 times per week (for example, cutting your items into smaller parts), rather than making large articles published every 2 weeks (the division into parts is a excellent way of loyal readers). Remember that Google appreciates the consistency of publications, it returns the engine more regularly on your site!
- Summarize your ideas: unlike an essay, you should avoid the verbiage and get to the point in writing your own text (use of imperatives, lists …). Indeed, a text written on the screen is much harder to read than on paper (blinking cursors, flickering Advertisements…). Some studies estimate that reading is 25% harder on a computer screen. You must write shorter and more legible, that is why re-read your text, chop duplication, delete paragraphs which are unnecessary.
- Sprinkle keywords in your articles: for your items to be found through Google, you must include a good density of keywords in your articles especially in headlines, captions in large font, the link text in the image names. The most important element retained by Google is the title of the article and the first 10 lines of the article.
- Write the titles of your posts as advertising slogans: You must arouse the curiosity and drive your readers to learn more!
Here are some examples of titles that work well:
X tricks to improve your X X minutes!
X must know tips before X
X tips to start his X
The steps for X X
Discover how X X steps!
A checklist of essential X
The toolbox of essential X
X X tools to effectively
Who wants to know how X in 5 minutes / steps
Here is the 5-step method for
Here’s how to avoid having to X / get rid of X
Play as X (celebrity)
What you absolutely must know about X
The titles are really essential to attract visitors, you must either promise to solve a problem (Like in “how to …”), give a solution (Like in “10 tips for …”) or a dream (Like “10 tips to lose 10 kg in 10 days”) or make a model or a famous example (Like “Secrets of Steve Jobs to be No. 1″) or highlight a problem (Like “single again, find a girlfriend in one week “) or by asking a direct question (Like “Tired of your job? …”).
Again, your title should contain your keywords to improve your SEO.
- Write only if you have something interesting to say: it is important to set a pace of publication, but it should not mean out of low quality goods. In this case, it is better to take out an article, post a video, post some downloads … Feel free to put aside an item you do not “feel it”. It does not matter, start another and come back later on. Remember that in a professional blog you should not tell your holiday or the last movie you saw: it “amateurization” your site.
- Submit occasionally issues related to the main theme of your site that you will attract visitors who have not visited your site naturally.
- Use the technique of cluster bomb: if the theme of your blog is on issues of competitive and useful expressions, use the method of “cluster bomb” using in your tracks or in the subjects of your articles synonyms or related terms for your topic (Like marketing boards => emailing tips, tricks, marketing …). If you can not understand, scroll to the footer of our site, click SiteMap : you will get a rough idea.
- Write all your story ideas when the idea comes to your mind and do a “to do list” of tasks on your blog (layout, ergonomics, plug in …).
To do this, it is better to use either old good notebook.
- Write articles for success: offer a text offbeat / unusual / controversial (Our article on “Forum versus Blog”), Offer items with high added value (Like this article!), offer a compelling title on offer / service / person.
- Pings used to automatically alert the sites that have referenced an article that the content was updated. So it is a great way to appear in “news” from these sites but also to bring back users who have liked an article.
Important: Even if you go on vacation, your blog must continue to live under pain of seeing its listing down (it is an endless struggle!), its image is deteriorating (it’s not nice to see a Blog “annual closure”) and there is no incentive to register for a newsletter or an RSS feed. Before leaving, you should plan to be automatic online updates (some blog platforms allow it; such as WordPress or Blogger) , or ask a friend to post posts for you.
- Regarding the formatting of articles, be careful to use a font sufficiently spaced, offer a PDF version of the article to allow readers to print them and distribute them to colleagues.
How to easily get content for your blog?
You have chosen, it is best to regularly post short articles and occasionally large items like this.
The simplest is to take inventory of all items you have written or participated and put them on your blog: Powerpoint presentations, documents for client presentations, notes on a marketing operation, activity report , text newsletter.
Pay attention to data privacy, a client will not necessarily happy to see his name mentioned in your articles!
Then it is simple to request copy of the articles to blogs that address the same subject as you. In 80% of the other sites are always in agreement in that you do not forget to mention the author and the site at the bottom of the article.
There are also news, they are an excellent source of inspiration for stories to success. If you find a hot topic (ex: Secret Story …) you can attract readers “by chance” on your site. But, posting only copy-paste News will kill your blog.
If after a few months, you still have difficulty finding interesting topics, check out the forums, like Diggs, comments, magazines … and you will quickly find new topics to write your own articles. Oh yes, we already wrote about it!
Also make a list of tools you use (software, website) and give some tips to maximize their use, like this article.
Make something new from old: in the Blogs section to put a day is not very “profitable” you have been advertising, and readers are generally reluctant to read “old news”. Therefore it is better to write a new article with new links or new suggestions or comments through synthesizing!
Remember to make connections of your new items to your former best articles is a great way to give more weight to a story a little weak.
Finally, you can invite other bloggers and give them guest access to your site. Almost all blogs have an option that allows a person to login separately and post to your site.
There are also free content sites where you can copy entire articles. Finally, a more expensive solution is to pay one or more editors (Like other bloggers in your field). By cons, do not forget to sign a publishing contract (fee) to establish clearly what you can do with their texts (Like make an ebook, publishing a book, reproduce the text in a catalog ), or a freelance contract (fee) if you hire a journalist to write articles from time to time in your blog, or even to lead a section with a “celebrity” in your industry.
How to publicize your blog?
There are dozens of sites to promote blog, but again : 80% of visitors come from Google.
You must distinguish two main types of sites to let you know:
- The Diggs and sites like social bookmarking: you post a summary of your Posts with a link, and Internet users who visit these sites to find you. These sites mostly attract enthusiasts and bloggers because they are still quite “confidential” .
- Blogs and forums that address the same topic that you do: it is a simple way to reach highly qualified users. Unfortunately, most of the forums has been a money making industry (fetching more than $800 per day) and they do not allow to post any link to blogs.
- Google punishes sites that make “duplicate contender”, that is to say that mirror the existing articles (splogs or spam blogs).
- There are fashion items. Sometimes a mini excerpt of an article works better for a big post separately. Feel free to take snippets of your large items to develop them and turn them into independent sections.
- When you exceed the 500 visitors per day, moderating comments takes time, so use a spam filter or set up an external service (akismet for example).
- Do not leave your email address on your site, it will give you a lot of SPAM.
- Encourage your readers to leave you comments: the wealth of a blog is of course the article, but the reviews that enrich and enhance your original article.
- Involve your readers, organizing contests, competitions.
Note: when you “promote” your blog through forums like Diggs; expect to receive messages particularly demoralizing insults.
Even if you try to “render services” by posting interesting information for users, it will offend others who are going to be a malicious pleasure to let off steam by writing vitriolic comments, if not downright insulting you.
In this case, we must of course respond with tact, and see why that person sees your message as an attack against which it has responded with such virulence.
There are other tools to promote his blog:
- Social networks: Facebook, Twiteer.
- Ad networks: it is the banner exchange, ad hoc blog; If possible hire a professional to create your banners, the sites of competitions, the targeted advertisements to click on like Facebook.com and Google Adwords.
Pay attention to the ergonomics of your blog!
One of the first things to do is customize the look of your blog: the minimum is to put an image in the header title at the top of the Blog. This will set you apart from hundreds of blogs with the same design. Add pictures to brighten the reading (one under the title, and for large items all paragraphs). If possible, always use the same images in theme to “create” your style.
Very soon you will pass the 25 or 50 posta, it will become essential to manage categories. You must therefore set between 5 and 10 categories for your notes (one section may contain in multiple sub categories).
Remember that your visitors are busy people who must immediately find the information interesting! Another good idea is to make a heading “Top Stories” with articles that have been most successful.
Newsletter and RSS Feed:
Remember to put on the top right (or left) windows to subscribe to the newsletter and RSS feeds (it’s good to attract people, but we must keep them!). By cons, beware of the date and time of sending your newsletter (see our article on sending e-mailings ).
Choose a design for your blog, a resolution of 1024 x 768 or more is now standard, 800 x 600 represents only 5% of computers.
Appearance is often more important than the content! You want to read your articles: use and abuse line breaks, bold, color (the color should not be used more than once or twice in text), images, illustrations … Absolutely avoid large blocks of text without highlighting or no images!
If you have little text articles, choose a font size 12 in Arial / Verdana. If you have a lot of text (like this!), Choose a font 10 Verdana.
Avoid fonts like Times New Roman are more difficult to read; of course avoid capital (13% harder to read).
Finally do not forget that often the users “scan” a page by reading only the headlines and highlighted words to see if the content is interesting or not … So think about browsing! For the choice of the template website, choose a model that offers good legibility (not too light font on a light background, no white text on black background …).
Attention to the loading speed of your Blog:
Today almost all the user has DSL, but do not necessarily make the pages too long to load. Start by removing the unnecessary plug-ins (Tag clouds), upload images but not too heavy, do not place more than 4 or 5 items in home pages if you think to leave the posts “open”.
In addition, when you put links to your partners add “/” at the end of the address to expedite the loading time. By cons, when exchanging links on a section, always prefer a direct link to the article concerned a link to the home page.
If you host your blog on a specific server, optimize the image size: save them in JPG format for photos or images with many colors and GIF for images with few colors, specify the size of the image to speed up the loading time of the page (the browser automatically reserve a space for the picture).
Always indicate the sources of your articles (that is rewarding for the sites concerned but also for you!), And make sure that the links work properly (especially Google and your readers do not like broken links!).
About us page:
This is sometimes an element in sloppy bloggers; yet the goal of a blog Pro will often find clients! It is therefore clear that you offer services to help your readers (a good idea is to offer free diagnosis, a white paper … to attract prospects). But also to offer tools on your site like a cat that indicates whether you are present in this Earth or not.
Prepare to launch your blog !
To successfully launch her blog, you must follow some basic rules:
- Focusing on a specific topic, for advertising in its domain name in the title of his first articles … and maintain it, even if you can make a few “off topic” from time to time. But respect the fact that 80% of your blog should be devoted to your main theme. Therefore, it is essential to define its scope at the outset.
- Submit RSS feeds (eg via FeedBurner) and a newsletter.
- Making the rounds of blogs and sites on your topic to submit your site and provide content exchanges.
- Post info in the forums dedicated to your industry, in the comments of blogs (DO NOT SPAM !).
- Send an email to open your blog to all your contacts (personal, pro, customers, prospects …).
- Doing business cards with the address of your blog, and mention your blog.
- Register your blog and RSS feeds in general or specialized directories .
- Update your profile on networking sites.
Tools for Bloggers
- Paper and pencil to take notes and write articles as soon as time and inspiration come from (Like waiting for a taxi, subways …).
- MS Word to write your articles, and Windows Notepad to copy and paste.
- Photoshop or GIMP (free) to edit your images.
- The Microsoft clipart to illustrate your article
- feedburner to manage your RSS feeds.
- Filezilla (Free) and CuteFTP (free) to upload your files to your server via FTP.
- Paypal to sell your products or allow donations.