Why Blog?• You love sharing writing• You love sharing photos• You get to meet people around the world• If you loved writing as a child, now is the time to go back to an old passion.• You get to meet fantastic people.• The only pressure is the one you decide to put on yourself (off remark: unless you agree to host a blog carnival).• It challenges your writing style and skills.• You can share the things that make you tick: food, books, films, art, movies, maybe even religion or politics.• Blogging makes you see things differently as you start seeing them through the eyes of your readers.
Content is King• Be prepared to invest the time to post on a regular basis.• Write content which has NOT been seen or read elsewhere and work to get other bloggers to notice you and your blog.• Focus on one piece of information. A blog entry on a recipe on American apple pie can be identical to all others except maybe in how you make or decorate the top crust. http://biz.leoraw.com/beginning-bloggers/
Importance of Commenting• Meet other bloggers• Get links back to your own blog• Establish authority in your niche• Respond to comments on your own blog so that you can meaningfully engage with your readers.• CommentLuv plugin
Blog vs. Website• Blog consists of articles (called posts) and maybe a few informational pages. Blogs can be organized by categories and by tags. One might be able to view all posts in a set category on one page.• Websites are often pages, possibly stores, event calendars, and more – they can include a blog (or blogs).
Make Money Blogging?• Not at first - work on getting an audience• Three methods:1. Sell your own product or services2. Sell someone else’s – ads on your site, Google ads, text link ads, affiliate marketing3. Set up a donation box (ex. use Paypal) – works mainly for non-profit organizations.
Business blog example: http://www.ccwinsurance.com/insurance/blog/
Platforms for Blogging• Blogger• WordPress.com• Self-hosted WordPress <-my favorite• Tumblr• Google+• YouTube – video as a form of blogging? As a complement to one’s blog.
Merri Ukraincik, My Papered Worldhttp://mypaperedworld.blogspot.com/
Why Self-hosted• You own the blog (instead of borrowing space)• Lots of plugin and theme choices• Establish business authority – shows you take your business seriously, and others should, too.• Backups and ability to move blog to other hosts
Leora Wenger, Here in Highland Parkhttp://www.leoraw.com/blog/An example of self-hosted WordPress
SEO (search engine optimization)• SEO is about getting higher ranking in search engines, especially Google• On Page Optimization – title tags, key words, header tags, meta description• Incoming Links or Link Popularity – one reason why Guest Blogging is so popular
Set a Strong Password• Use as many different characters as possible when forming your password. Use numbers, punctuation characters and, when possible, mixed upper and lower-case letters. Choosing characters from the largest possible alphabet will make your password more secure. http://wolfram.org/writing/howto/password.html
About SEO “Write for the reader, tweak for the search engines.”http://web-design-sussex-seo.co.uk/lsi-keywords-simple-yet-very-powerful/
Promote Your Blog• Leave comments on related blogs – make sure to include a link back to your blog• Use social media – Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn groups, Facebook. Even better than tweeting your own posts is when people like your content so much they tweet/share it.• Be friendly to other bloggers.
Guest Posting• Write a guest post for someone else’s blog• Allow guest posts on your own blog• Guest posting is a way introduce your writing to new blog communities• It is also is a top way to get backlinks to your website – crucial in this tough business environment.
Images for Blog Posts• Best method: create your own. Take photos. Make illustrations.• Other ideas: use public domain photos. Or use Creative Commons photos and give credit if asked to do so.• See: http://biz.leoraw.com/explore-free-image-sources/• Pinterest: images can be pinned for more traffic to your blog.
Beware of Spam• Akismet – comes with WordPress• If a comment has a funny sounding link and the comment is so general and in no way relates to the post, it is probably spam. Delete it.• Some bloggers employ CAPTCHA or click this to prove you are human plugins.
Text Link Ads and other forms of revenue• After you have been blogging for a while, if you have a specific niche, sometimes companies will contact you about placing their ads on your site.• You may also get requests for product/book reviews.• See also: http://www.text-link-ads.com/
Page vs. Post• Also, categories and tags in WordPress• Titles and tagline for the blog• Blog names, slugs, domain names• Owning a domain even if you use Blogger or WordPress.com• See Val’s blog as an example (previous slide)