Anyone with a dial-up or mobile connection to the Internet can start a blog, for free even. But what is the point if nobody ever reads what you write? So the first thing you need is something to say.
Something to Say
Your blog does not need to be about your daily grind, most bloggers use their blogs to talk about something they are passionate about.
There are billions of websites and blogs online and millions more are added every day. You are one person out of the whole of humanity and you have your own point of view and ideas. Blogging has come to mean much more than just a personal web log.
Bloggers usually use a free program called WordPress. This program can be used in millions of different ways to create websites that look unique. Your blog is really just a website that is very, very easy to work on. There is no HTML, FTP or CSS to learn. You literally just copy and paste your blog posts into a box and press the Publish button.
Bloggers mostly fall into two types; those who blog because they like to talk and those who are hoping to earn a bit of money by writing.
These two motivational factors are not mutually exclusive and most bloggers enjoy writing and make a few bob on the side.
That’s your purpose, but your site needs to serve a purpose to your readers, too. It might provide jokes that they can tell to colleagues, be a source of celebrity gossip or local news. It might just provide interesting articles to read, but it has to have a purpose and to give its readers something to take away with them.
All blogs have to provide for the WIFM factor (What’s In it For Me). If readers gain nothing, then they are never going to come back. Repeat readers are what you need more than anything else. Google™ looks for repeat readers in its page ranking formula. If people come back to your site then it must be good is the logic.
Search Engine Presence
Most readers will find your blog or website through search engines. You need to be indexed in the search companies’ computers if you are going to be found when people search. Using WordPress means that Google™, Bing™ and all the rest are automatically notified every time you put something new on your blog.
Having links in to your website helps you to rank higher in search results pages and there are ways to get other people to link to your site:
- Write good stuff – People put their own reputation on the line when they link to you, so your content has to be unique and good reading
- Install Zemanta – This is a piece of software that helps other bloggers to find your posts and link to them as “Related Posts” at the end of their own posts (zemanta.com)
- Allow Guest Posts – MyBlogGuest.com is the easiest way to find free guest posts; the free option is very usable. Your guest posters often link to their posts on Facebook and Twitter, meaning that you get social links without doing anything other than editing the post
You need visitors who love you. This will only happen if they feel a connection with you and your blog content. Imagine your readers every time you are composing a post. This helps make sure that you are targeting your readers, rather than the wider Internet community.
Your visitors need to know when to expect new posts on your site, it is best to post at least once a day. There are automatic RSS email delivery systems but most people never use these, they prefer to log on when they are in the mood and have the time.
If you are making frequent updates, as your visitors expect, then your Internet connection needs to be the best you can afford, fast and reliable. Run a BT broadband speed test to see how fast your Internet is actually running; you might well find a faster connection is available to you from BT or another ISP.