starting a blog

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 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