When it comes to generating traffic, nothing beats starting your own blog. For years, blogging was considered a place to record your thoughts and connect with family. Maybe the blogs of yester-year branched out a bit to include friends and business associates.
Nowadays, if you haven’t started a blog, you are missing out on some of the best website traffic freely available, and losing out big time.
It’s a fact. Warm-blooded humans love to read blogs. Search engines, like Google and Yahoo! adore blogs. For the search engines, the reason is pretty simple; content is constantly updating and search engines feed off these updates. For humans, much of the best in information, resources, and product reviews (and products themselves) can be gleaned from following good blogs. It’s easy to create loyalty and keep your readers coming back for more, when you have your own space to pour your heart and soul into.
The key to successfully starting your own blog is to first know your limitations (we’ll cover passions in just a bit). While Google does have their own blogger area, will you have the know how to make yours stand out from all the hundreds of thousands (if not millions) of other bloggers using this blogging platform? If you do not know how to draw traffic to your blog, you face the same trials and tribulations as you would putting up a static website. You must know how to increase traffic, draw and keep visitors, and use the tools and tricks of blogging to be successful.
Let’s presume, for now, that you are only interested in the first stepping stones to creating a successful blog. Your first step would be to determine (ah, here it is) your passion!
Bloggers passionate about their fields, hobbies, know how, etc., joyfully exchange information with their readers, yes even years down the road. Conversely, individuals who choose to blog about subjects they have no real know-how for tend to abandon their projects. No heart, no blog.
You need to think outside the box. Remember, when it is your own space on the internet, you have the freedom to do what you want, not do what you are told. You also gain the flexibility to introduce a wide variety of subjects to explore and still maintain the overall essence of your blog. Blogs allow for the creation of categories and tags, and make a neat, easy, simple system all their own to “file” your information. By using a blogs filing system effectively, you make it easy for humans to find your information, and have the search engines worshipping you. Humans need humans, search engines need data.
The next step to start a blog is to choose a platform. As mentioned above, Google has their own, with a limited amount of (not very attractive) templates to begin. Sure if you want to learn the ins and outs of code-related blog themes, you can substitute templates found out online. However, the platform most recommended for starting a blog is WordPress.
WordPress does allow you to host your blog on their servers, but we would highly recommend not going that route. Purchasing a long-lasting (keyword driven) domain name, and finding (excellent) hosting for that domain should be your aim.
So what do we have so far? We know you must:
o Unearth your passion – talking with knowledgeable individuals often helps you discover what it is your really love in life!
o Research and buy your domain name – again getting help so you don’t end up with a loser of a domain name is important.
o Locate great hosting – highly recommended that you make sure your host uses cpanel as its backbone. Free hosting may not allow for the installation of php or just be cumbersome to work with. You want blogging to be fun and easy!
Okay, so what’s next?
Well, you’ll need a template. The template you choose if you pick WordPress as your platform can be your “ideal” design or just a good substitute while you continue to look. With WordPress, it is so easy to change your mind and swap the old out for the new look. So find a good “theme” that is labeled three column, widget ready, and plug in ready, and begin from there.
You will need to install these files. If you do not know much about FTP and installation, be sure to get some help. It’s not hard, but why frustrate yourself when help is available.
You also will need plugins and “widgets” and a way to get traffic rolling immediately to your new blog. Again, don’t pull you hair out and go crazy over this, help is always available. Seek it out.
Looking back through this article, you might, but need not, feel overwhelmed. The information above is just that – information. The actual use of blogging as your worldwide platform is so easy anyone willing to follow simple directions, and put in some work, can do. Driving traffic to your blog that is fine tuned to pull in, and continue to draw more, traffic is also easy, with proper instruction.
And the very best part about starting your own blog is…
You spend your time and your money and your effort on yourself!
Sure you can still sign up for affiliate programs and – in most cases – this is highly advisable. But now as you “do your thing online” you are investing in yourself not advertising for someone else. By choosing your passion to blog about, even if six months from now you no longer promote “the other guy’s program,” you never lose! Your efforts are exerted to promote yourself, your blog, your information. You gain flexibility. Your life online is now a joy!
Blogging is the greatest platform for continuous interactivity and fun for yourself and your visitors. If boredom or frustration is your situation, or you need to expand your business online, consider starting a blog today (yes today!). Your online future depends on it.