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Part VI - How To Start A Blog Free Advice | Starting A Blog Right at 500 % Success Rate

The Last Chapter The Final Chapter 6 Is The Finish Line How To Start Blogging

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We've covered a lot on the subject of how to start a blog. While it's been a lot of information it's all aimed at minimizing the learning curve so that you can hit the ground running successfully. With that said, lets recap what's been covered so far. 

  • Part I was about determining the blogs goal, purpose and finding your voice.

  • Part II was about who is searching for your content, niche and keywords.

  • Part III was all about the domain name.

  • Part IV focused on hosting.. where should you house your website ?

  • Part V was about the money and generating revenue from your blog.

Now we find ourselves in the last installment of this blog series and that is on blog traffic and promotion.. more specifically why is this such a difficult task, why do so many struggle with it and how can you get more people to your website.

You can trust that there are responses from every corner of the internet on this topic and everyone has an opinion and perspective.. some good, some bad, some of it’s worthwhile and some of it’s garbage, but either way, for your own needs you’ll probably have to sift through it all like the rest of us to find the information that works best for you. However, hopefully I can help in that regard with my own take on the subject. Nevertheless, if there are some blogs that I would recommend to supplement this blog post it would be the following:

  • Kim Roach of Buzzblogger

  • Jon Morrow of Boost Blog Traffic

  • Ana Hoffman of Traffic Generation Cafe

  • Neil Patel of Quicksprout

  • Darren Rowse of Problogger

These are all very informational resources to give you more ideas on growing your traffic. Each blogger I've mentioned has amassed quite a following and has traffic stats that many if not all of us have aspirations to reach as well. While we're on the subject of informational resources, please watch out for my next blog post that will feature a post that has taken me weeks to write on over 100 ways to increase website traffic and / or promote your blog. So while this section is the end of this blog series, my next post, albeit separate will compliment this section as a resource for you on the conversation of website traffic and blog promotion.

Nevertheless, in this blog post, I will focus the conversation on explaining traffic methods that just don't work anymore and why you should stay away from them. You may be thinking.. hey, just show me what works, but my thoughts are that when you're seeking out or implementing traffic methods.. it's really a lot of experimentation and it's better to know the bad neighborhoods to stay away from so you don't put your blog at risk for a penalty sometime down the road.

Just Say No Just Don't Do It Methods That Don't Work

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So lets start with the most basic. Understand that Google wants and has "always" wanted to provide users with quality information. If you're not producing quality content, just know that you're not going to make it that far in this era of content marketing. So don't go the "thin content" route. If you're a microblogging website, then my suggestion is to produce content regularly and by that I mean you should be writing "everyday". So while your content is going to be thinner than the traditional blog post, at least your blog will have a lot of it consistently over time which will look good to Google.

The next tactic to stay away from is reciprocal link exchanges. Unbelievably, I still get email requests for this type of linking. It's so 1999... well maybe not, but it sounds good to say it like that. Nevertheless, anything that you do that looks like a manipulation of the search engine is bad and reciprocal linking just looks terrible, not to mention it's a dead giveaway that says, "Hey Google, look at me.. I'm going after a cheap, useless link so I can inflate the number of backlinks that I have". You can count on getting hit with a Google penalty if you're caught doing this.

It may sound like a great idea when the newest backlinking tool comes out for ten dollars claiming you can build links on autopilot, but I'd steer clear of offers like that. Obviously the more quality links you have can lead to more authority, better signals to Google and better rankings, but that's something that you're going to get through sheer diligence, patience and hard work. There's no free lunch when it comes to getting backlinks. Many have tried and failed miserably. Any software that claims to be able to get you thousands of links is probably more than capable of doing it, but all you're going to get in the long run are backlinks that you couldn't give away even if you wanted to. Your backlink numbers will look great, but they won't have any value whatsoever.

Article marketing is another tactic that has had it's day and is now a thing of the past. Your time is better spent elsewhere. After the Google Panda update, websites like well known Ezinearticles were hit badly. Back in 2011, after examining Ezinearticles traffic statistics, they were seeing millions of monthly visitors and just one year later, over half of that traffic disappeared. Article marketing used to be a traffic strategy that everyone advised was the way to go to get backlinks and website exposure but let's just say that no one really talks about article marketing anymore.

Another one is the use of link pyramids. It’s basically a layered linking technique. You may also hear this referred to as building backlinks to your backlinks in the form of a pyramid. You start at the top with your main website, then point a bunch of high page rank sites to it and then layer it again below those with a bunch of low power websites. However, again it’s a manipulation of the search engine and they leave “footprints” that Google can sniff out. Once Google caught on to that, it became a poor method to use. So with that said, link pyramids is a website traffic method that you want to stay far away from as well.

Shhh I Have A Secret About Private Blog Networks And Google

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The last one I’m going to mention is private blog networks. There are many that would argue that you should use them and many that would agree with my stance on them. Here’s the dirty truth about private blog networks. They work… and Google knows it. Private blog networks known as PBN’s can rank a website faster than nearly any other website strategy and as a person looking to rank their blog, you’re going to come across people selling spots on their PBN’s and guess what.. you should avoid that strategy regardless of the temptation. You should avoid it because Google has bitten quite a few private blog networks over the years and it’s getting better and more efficient at sniffing them out. Once the network is taken down, “everyone” loses rankings and suffers a major Google penalty. It can take years to recover from a Google penalty.

Nevertheless, getting traffic can be difficult because doing it the right way means putting in a lot of work and when it comes to straight talk, there’s a lot of people that pursue the traffic by taking a lot of shortcuts to get there by using automated methods, bots, scripts and other ill advised strategies that aren’t best practice or long term sustainable solutions. However, whether you’re a newbie blogger or an advanced blogger, there are many ways that you can acquire traffic to take your blog from zero visitors to thousands per month.

So with that said, refer to my post on over 100 ways to get traffic to your website which will result in greater referral traffic, more exposure, more visitors and more promotion for you, your blog and your brand.

I want to thank you for reading this blog series and I hope that you’ve been able to take at least a few nuggets of information from this that will ultimately help you to avoid mistakes that others have made when they decided to start a blog too.

Thanks for reading. If you liked the post, please use the share buttons below.

#candidwriter #traffic #blog

Part V - How To Start A Blog Free Advice | Starting A Blog Right at 500 % Success Rate

Let's Make Some Money And Monetize Your Blog

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In the last segment of this blogging series on how to start a blog, I discussed a couple of hosting solutions that I have had personal experience with that are good solutions for where to house your blog along with a bonus hosting option that I'd heard very good things about. If you haven't had a chance to review that section, please do so.. Part IV of this blogging series can be found here: Starting a blog - the hosting conversation.

This next installment will focus on "the money". By that I mean, sure while starting a blog is a big step for many, how to monetize your blog eventually becomes a topic of conversation too. Is it possible to start too soon ? When is the right time to start focusing on when your blog should start paying dividends back to you. How should you go about making your first dollar on your blog ? The answers on this subject are quite literally all over the place. I can't tell you that there's a right or a wrong answer to this either.

The strategy or model that you use for monetizing is something worth investigating some real thought into. I've always been of the mindset that your audience "comes first". If you aren't developing content that answers your readers questions then you'll never earn their trust and consequently will never be able to sell them anything.. I don't care how inexpensive it is. Your readers aren't coming to your website to buy something. They are coming to solve a problem. If you can provide them with a solution to their problem you'll get the conversion you want. That solution, even if means spending $1000 dollars is worth it to the consumer if it solves the problem they have. Your readership.. your audience is the focal point as you begin to think about your route to monetization on your blog.

Do You Trust Me Do They Trust You Monetize Your Blog

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Trust cannot be understated and I will continue to hit this point home. Think about the buyer mentality for a moment. Think about what drives you to purchasing decisions. If a seller gives you any inclination that he / she may run away with your money, how likely are you to buy from that person, store or company ? You'd quickly turn and walk the other way just as the rest of us would. As a blogger, if your blog doesn't resonate with your visitors, good luck giving them those "warm fuzzies" that lead to sales and higher conversion rates. Tap into trust and solve the readers problem through your content and related products and you will reap the benefits in increased revenue generated through this process. If you're looking for immediate gratification, this isn't the way, but if you're looking for something that leads to a following and dividends over time, this path is the yellow brick road to success.

Understand that your blog is not a brick and mortar business. While you could slap some Google Adsense code on your website and start serving up ads right away hoping that people will click on them, this is not a strategy that I would recommend or advise. Your traditional businesses have products and in the most ideal scenarios, traffic passing by their new stores right away. In this situation, a business has to do "very little" if any advertising to bring people into their new business and yes, they start making money right away. Your blog is not going to be so fortunate without some intentional intervention on your part. As you understand in the scenario I just spoke of, regardless of how great your product may be or how great you "think" it may be, without traffic.. without people visiting your blog,.. you're basically a drop of water in an ocean of other drops of water. Without traffic, monetization becomes pretty disappointing, because the huge, unavoidable reality is without visitors, you stand no chance at all to generate any revenue from your blog.

Monetization has been integrated into this blog as "related products" more or less. This integration made much more sense to me than taking the route that I've seen others explore. This blog does not seek to push products for the sake of pushing products for personal financial gain. Additionally, if you were to follow my monetization model, I typically only share products with which I have had personal experience with and that I feel would be of benefit to my readership. If there's no benefit or it is not a solution for my readers then I do not see any purpose in integrating it into any post on this blog.

Blogging Cash Make Money Online Watch The Dollar Signs Grow Using Your Blog

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While monetizing in this way may not be appealing to some, there are other options to consider such as:

CPA (cost per action)

Some of the most reputable and consistent cost per action companies that I have worked with personally and had very good experiences with are the following:

  1. Peerfly

  2. Neverblue

  3. Maxbounty

Affiliate marketing

Most common option that many bloggers use. It doesn't require that you have your own product and you receive a commission (typically a fixed designated amount) from each lead or sale provided. If you find tools or products that you love and want to share them with others, use your affiliate links to promote those products. I have done the very same thing here on my blog. Nevertheless, with that said, in my personal experience, these are the recommendations that will give you the most consistency and greatest success.

  1. Shareasale

  2. CJ (formerly known as Commission Junction)

Product Creation & Your Own Stuff

Now this one scares a lot of people because let's face it.. product creation just sounds hard. However, creating your own products isn't as difficult as you may think. Create your own ebook using Wordpress or create a Wordpress plugin through freelance websites for less than a couple hundred dollars for example, outsource creation of a Wordpress theme or go to Cafe Press and put your logo or design on any number of products that you can sell on your own blogs. Additionally, making the decision to offer writing services or give blogging consultations are services that you can sell directly on your blog at prices that you set yourself. There are many other ideas out there, but those are just a few that came to mind.

What is the route to monetization that you would like to take ? What model do you want to pursue ?

Monetization is an eventual reality for anyone that owns a blog, but when and how you decide to do it can and will impact the degree of success that comes along with the decisions that you make with respect to it.

This blogging series will be coming to an end soon, but in the meantime stay tuned for the next chapter as we continue the discussion on how to start a blog.

Thanks for reading. If you liked the post, please use the share buttons below.

#candidwriter #monetization #money #blog

Disclosure: Affiliate links have been used in this post. Additional clarification can be found in our privacy policy.

Part IV - How To Start A Blog Free Advice & Bluehost Affiliate Program Reviews Call Out

Coming Up Next Chapter 4 Learn How To Blog Website Hosting

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Welcome back to the next installment in my blog series on how to start a blog. In the last segment, I delved into domain names and all the nitty gritty details that are part of that conversation that you probably didn't think mattered until you read through that post. However, having explained in detail all the considerations that go into the domain now it is appropriate to transition into it's complimentary better half.. the hosting.

What do you mean by hosting.. more commonly known as website hosting ? Well I know that when I got started several years ago I had no idea what anyone meant when I was told I needed good hosting for my website. If you're a novice like I was.. a domain was probably all you thought you needed to get things rolling. To explain it is to basically state that hosting is what gives you the ability to make your website or blog accessible by others through a central location where the data for your blog is housed. Without the hosting, your website will not be accessible by anyone so the hosting is a mandatory requirement for your website in order for it to be seen online. The hosting that we'll be talking about for the sake of this blog post is dedicated hosting. This type of hosting doesn't require that you retain any hardware other than your computer, but does require that you familiarize yourself with server administration once you've chosen a solution that is right for you. I can tell you first hand that exploring the administrative end of your hosting account does take a little getting used to but it's not that complicated to navigate with a little practice.

There are three solutions that I will recommend and discuss with you in this segment. While I know there are far more than 3 options online for website hosting, I prefer to only speak about companies with which I have dealt with personally and in this case one other from a blogger that I respect and thereby feel confident about that particular recommendation of which I will get into later. Nevertheless, the information provided here is solely for the sake of providing good recommendations to you.

As you have discovered in other recommendations and reviews I've made on this website, I consistently air on the side of recommending services I have used first hand that will provide value and benefit to my readers. So with that said, my three website hosting solutions to discuss are the following: Squarespace (which is currently used to host this website), Bluehost website hosting and 1&1 hosting. Now with that said, everyone has their own opinion about what is the best web hosting provider and the purpose of this information is not to "sell" you on either recommendation. I intend to layout information that will help you make a more informed decision regarding what you feel may be the best option for your own website. Even if you elect not to choose any of the following solutions I've had experience with, I can tell you confidently, particularly for our purposes that these hosting providers are consistent and solid so without further adieu let's discuss each one.

Just Do It And Make It Happen Start A Blog

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  • Blogging Web Host Provider- Squarespace

Squarespace as I mentioned above is the website host that I chose for the candidwriter website. In regards to a few positives, Squarespace has a good reputation for being visually appealing. What has helped them reach the notoriety they've received is in part due to how appealing their themes are. As a blogger this is important to you because visuals are a huge aspect of the work that you will be doing. A blog without visuals that grab the attention of your visitor is a blog in trouble.

Another area where Squarespace excels, while at the same time considering the recent news of the mobile friendliness algorithm implemented by Google, is the disclosure they made on their own blog that they are indeed "mobile friendly" (e.g. MF) meaning it passes Google's mobile friendly test in the wake of the new algo. This is important because websites that are deemed mobile friendly are ranked higher than those that are not and that's great news for Squarespace users.

Additionally, using Squarespace allows you to perform all necessary SEO related tasks such as changing your url slugs, titles, description information that is looked at by the search engines, the ability to change or add to the existing code on your website, connect social accounts, the ability to edit your content "on the fly" without switching in and out of an editor and provides other popular integration options as well and even more importantly when you need assistance, you always get a timely response from their support department.

With respect to cons to using Squarespace, it's lacking a more competitive feature set in the area of exporting of your website, but for the sake of not getting too wordy and nerdy on this one.. just know this is might be a deal breaker for some. Additionally, Squarespace does not make it easy at all to make your blog or website multilingual. There are some workarounds but it's no simple task by any stretch of the imagination. I also want to note that if you're going to use this web host, there are no free plans and for those that want to add a shopping cart.. Stripe is the only option for handling payment for now.


Make A Choice Or Make A Decision On A Web Host

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Bluehost is a hosting solution that is well known and used by popular blogger, Pat Flynn. With that said, I have composed a video to demonstrate being able to set up a Wordpress blog using Bluehost in just 6 minutes. It's a LIVE video from getting your domain to actually writing up a brief "first blog post" on your new Wordpress blog. So for those that are on the fence about how to actually get going from step 1 to completing the process, it serves it's purpose as a place of reference if this is the solution that you choose. As a bonus, you can get it half off their regular monthly fee here: Bluehost at 50% off of their regular monthly fee.

FYI, you can’t click the link in the video so you’ll have to click the link above this video to get the discount ! Enjoy.

This one is a web host provider I've used for a couple websites before trying out my current web host provider. For those that have experience in hosting, you may think I've gone bonkers recommending 1&1 with their mixed reviews, but I do so because I have personally never had any issues through 1&1 and in my opinion, it is another solid solution for your web hosting needs. 1&1 is also one of the more well known hosting solutions around since they've been in the business since 1988.

The nice thing about 1&1 is that they are consistent and they are trusted because of their longevity. I will reiterate again that having used them personally I've never had any bad experiences and their support was always responsive to any questions I had. Their server response times seem to be on par with what I've experienced with Squarespace and there were never any lags in page loading performance that raised any red flags for me.

1&1 is also pretty inexpensive for those looking for very affordable website hosting at .99 cents a month on their best deal. So for the reluctant buyer, this is a way to get your feet wet without making a dent in your wallet. It may not have all the bells and whistles of Squarespace but it's a great introduction to website hosting.

Now, what you may not love so much about 1&1 is that for some reason they haven't jumped on the live support bandwagon so there's no live support through this platform. If you need support you will have to call them directly which is not a problem, but it's still something worth mentioning upfront. The other area that you probably won't fall in love with is their interface on your administrative side.. It's definitely lacking in that arena.

While I start to close this segment, I'd like to add this... that as a word of note and caution.. in spite of them being "extremely" affordable, I "have not" heard good things about Hostgator. I have not used them personally so I can't use my own experiences to verify this statement, but given the overwhelming poor feedback regarding this hosting solution.. if you consider it.. you're using it at your own risk. Now if I'm wrong about Hostgator, I will retract this statement in this blog post. So in conclusion.. if you've had positive experiences with this provider, I would certainly invite you to share in the comments section as well.

Stay tuned for the next segment.. there's more to talk about in this blog series on how to start a blog with 500% success rates.

Disclosure: Affiliate links have been used in this post. Additional clarification can be found in our privacy policy.

Thanks for reading. If you liked the post, please use the share buttons below.

#candidwriter #blog #blogging

Part III - How To Start A Blog Free Advice | Starting A Blog Right at 500 % Success Rate

Chapter 3 Three The Next Chapter Learn How To Start A Blog

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Learning how to start a blog continues with this third segment in the series. As you may have already discovered, it's not as simple as many may lead you to believe with all of the considerations that are associated with blogging itself. Nevertheless, with that said, simple or not, the next topic of discussion is going to be focused on the domain.

As I mentioned in Part I of this blog series, some would argue that coming up with your blog name is where you need to start. I disagreed in that post and my position hasn't changed on the matter. Why do I take such a strong stance on this ? Honestly, there are other foundational elements that matter more and the name isn't the top priority. As I discussed in part 2 with our focus on keywords, this is an element of our strategy. An element that is very important so be sure that you have read that segment in detail.

Okay, so moving on now.. Ummm isn't choosing the name pretty easy ? How can there be a real conversation about something so simple ?

Ohhh contrare my friend...  Oh contrare.

There are some pretty hmmm... "interesting" domain names that exist online and that's saying it delicately, but hey, to each his or her own right ? Well, be that as it may.. there truly are some real considerations that go into choosing a domain name that's right for you and your blog. Of those considerations, lets start with the following:

Domain Name Recommendation #1

You want it to be something that's easy to remember.

I Have An Idea The Lightbulb Domain Name Tips

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There are billions of websites online and choosing a blog name that's going to be "easy to remember" can be overwhelming, frustrating, daunting and just plain.. not that easy. So as you're thinking of something that people will easily recall, consider the theme of your website. What words are associated with your website ? Consult the old fashioned thesaurus and make a list of these words. Think of synonyms.. what words are "related" to your blog and it's content ? A list of anywhere from 20-50 should do quite nicely. In this process, what you're hoping for is to find something that jumps out at you that is going to be a great fit for the name of your domain.

Domain Name Recommendation #2

You want the name to be short.

This is best practice and the best advice that anyone on this topic would give anyway. Who's going to remember a website with a domain name that looks like a full blown sentence. If your domain is longer than 15 letters I'd strongly recommend choosing something else. Even at 15 you're pushing it. If the domain name gets into the "long zone", the unfortunate reality is that many people don't spell well.. I'm just saying it like it is folks.. so keeping it short lessens the risk of someone misspelling your domain name. The shorter the name is increases the likelihood that when someone types your domain name they are going to reach their destination (e.g. to your website) successfully. Additionally, shorter names are more memorable than longer counterparts.

Domain Name Recommendation #3

To hyphen or NOT to hyphen ?

You may have found the perfect domain name (e.g. http://perfectdomain.com), but realize that it's already been taken. Bummer right ? So you come up with a fabulous idea and decided to see if (e.g. http://perfect-domain.com) is available. You find out that the name with the hyphen (-) is still available. Thus the question becomes... do I act on this and buy it ?

Hyphenated names may look like a great idea, but the overall gist on this is that they aren't worth it. Many of your potential visitors aren't going to remember to put the hyphen in the domain name when they are typing it in and what will inevitably happen is that you'll be sending traffic to the version of the name "without" the hyphen which benefits your competitor... the person that owns (e.g. http://perfectdomain.com) and not you.

I Have A Question Hyphens And Domain Names

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So with that said, yes, you will more than likely find hyphenated versions available, but I wouldn't recommend buying them. It may still end up in you getting a "version" of the domain name that you want, but in the long run, it will do more harm than good for you and end up helping your competitor more than you. Trust me on this one.

Domain Name Recommendation #4

You want the DOT COM.

The dot com (.com) was the first TLD (top level domain) on the scene before the other's (e.g. "org, .net, .gov, .edu, .us, .in etc) showed up. The dot com is the strongest and most widely recognized domain extension and even more importantly is given more weight through and through by Google as a trusted domain extension. Now that's not to say that Google doesn't trust other extensions, but more trust is given to (.com) than any other extension that you can buy. I know that some may make a case that (.gov and .edu) and stronger. Yes, they would be right, but in this case, I'm referring to domains that are getting bought up and sold daily on a large scale and those are "not" .gov's and .edu websites. They are the more common extensions such as the "others" that I listed above in this segment and of those extensions, the .com's are the ones that are highly favored by Google. So all in all, when you are choosing your domain name, the best recommendation is to choose a name with a domain extension of .com because of the well documented recognition that is given to those domain extensions by Google.

Pick Me And How To Choose The Right Domain Name

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Additionally, while many navigate to Godaddy for their domain name research purposes, I would have to confirm that this is certainly the strongest and best option online that I am aware of. I would certainly invite responses about other options and suggestions in the comments section below that are just as exhaustive and comprehensive as Godaddy that would be a beneficial contribution to this blog post.

Domain Name Recommendation #4

Avoid those tricky trademarks.

This is simple, but is often times overlooked. It cannot be overstated enough that being interested in a domain name such as (e.g. http://saveatwalmart) "Save At Walmart" seeming like a great name and a good idea since you'll be blogging about tips to help people save money at this retail giant.. does indeed infringe on copyright and trademarks. This is a costly mistake that you don't want to make. Any domain name that you choose "must not" include a name that has already been trademarked or possibly infringes on someone's copyright. So do your research before confirming the purchase on your new blog name. I personally performed a search for my own website to make sure that I would not be infringing on copyrights and upon a successful search, proceeded to purchase the domain that this blog sits on today. You can do the same thing for your own domain name research. Visit the Copyright Office and proceed to "search records" and search from the corresponding page.

As you can see, there's a lot to think about when choosing your domain name. These considerations are meant to make you more informed before selecting your new blog name. Re-read this segment and choose wisely and carefully. Make it memorable, keep it short and related to your niche and theme of your blog. This is your business and this is your passion.. Stay tuned for the next section in this blog post series.

Thanks for reading. If you liked the post, please use the share buttons below.

#candidwriter #domain #blog

Part II - How To Start A Blog Free Advice | Starting A Blog Right at 500 % Success Rate

Nailed It Let's Do This Learning How To Blog

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Welcome back to this next installment on how to start a blog. Starting a blog as I discussed in part one covered things such as goal, purpose and subject matter. Some very important questions were asked for you to ponder and now we're here..

Are you ready... ?

Of course you are !

Well lets talk about a very important element.. "Is anyone searching for my content ?"

I bet you're wondering.. well how do I know ? In my early days of building websites, I didn't have a clue about search volume and how to interpret the data even when I had the information. So if you're anything like I was, this will be pretty insightful and even if you don't really understand it right now, it's not extremely difficult and that's a good thing because this is something that will prove to be very helpful in the long run as you choose the direction that you want to go.

The first thing that you'll want to do is understand that we're talking about niche and keywords. The niche is basically the overarching subject that you want to talk about. For example, that could be any of the following:

  • computers

  • cars

  • fashion

  • travel

  • kids

Make A Choice And Make A Decision On Your Niche

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All I've done is list some VERY general topics. These are all referred to as a "niche". You can and should drill this down to something a bit more narrow. When it comes to blogging.. too broad isn't typically a good thing. Too narrow typically isn't a good thing either. On one hand going extremely broad will yield lots of searches which is great, but take this for instance.. If we look at cars.. when was the last time you did a search for "cars".

Chances are good that you didn't. You did a search for a particular style, brand or type of car. So you can't just think about this from your point of view.. you should think like those that will be searching for terms that may find their way to you. What are potential visitors going to be searching to find you ? With that example on cars in mind, focusing in on something a bit more narrow, but not too narrow will prove beneficial to you.. it's about finding that happy medium (aka. the sweet spot).

Well how do you do that ? Great question..

My tool of choice is Long Tail Pro and this is a tool that I use personally for keyword research for this website. Now while this is a paid tool, it works much better in my opinion than several other well known free products. One of the better know free products is the Google Adwords Keyword Planner (adwords.google.com/KeywordPlanner). Some people love that tool and some can't stand it. As for me, it's not really my cup of tea, but I mention it because it may be a good starting place for you if you're not ready to jump into a paid product.

Long Tail Keywords And Keyword Research In Starting A Blog

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Nevertheless, I'll focus on Long Tail Pro (LTP) for the sake of this post since that's the software that I would highly recommend that you use for the research stage of the blogging process. Using software like this is what will put you way ahead of the game. It's still baffling how often new bloggers start blogs and target keywords that only yield 10 or 20 searches per month. I'll be frank about this.. you're fooling yourself into thinking you're going to get any traction targeting keywords that awful. I mean we're not going to go after rockstar keywords that would make you salivate at the mouth if you were one of the first results for that keyword, but you are going to focus on the "low hanging fruit" and middle of the road keyword phrases and LTP will help you find those targets.

The reason why Long Tail Pro is so important is because it will allow you to put in a seed keyword (e.g. a keyword that it will use to help you discover "other" related keywords that you can focus on trying to rank for and embed into your content). Interestingly enough, I haven't done a review of this software yet, but when I get one completed, I'll be sure to link it to this post so that you can see a more in depth overview of what it is capable of. However, exploring the software on your own will allow you to discover it's ease of use as well. The most important takeaway on LTP is that it will help you discover new related keywords and provide the monthly search volume so that you know whether a keyword has volume or not.

A good rule of thumb is that if you don't have at least 1000 to 5000 searches a month in a niche, it's a bad idea to pursue it unless it's a product niche where the products per sale are in the hundreds of dollars. In this instance where that is "not" the norm, you'd be fine in pursuing the niche even if it didn't receive at minimum, one thousand "unique visitors" per month. So with that said.. while we haven't gotten into anything connected to monetization before now, it definitely should work into your thought process as you consider what niche you're going to set as the focus for your blog.

I know that's a lot to digest and once you acquire Long Tail Pro or start utilizing your own keyword research tool, you'll start to understand more and more why I made it the central focus of this blog post. The keyword research is a critical component of your blogs success in the early stages and throughout the continual growth and development of your blog.

As I continue this series, we will get into the discussion on domain, hosting and more so stay tuned and share this if you know someone that is interested in getting into blogging that could benefit from this information.

See You Again Next Time Until Next Time On How To Blog

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