Starting a blog from scratch is a daunting experience but it’s easy to get off to the right start by following these five simple rules.
1. Develop A Niche
A blog without a focus is confusing and unappealing to readers. If you write about vastly different topics every day it’s almost impossible to develop a dedicated readership. Conversely, if you pick a specific topic and stick to it, you can quickly become a recognized expert in your field with a dedicated following.
Be it vegetarian cooking, Pakistani politics or electric cars, it’s easier to gain readers and keep them by restricting your scope to one area.
2. Be Conscious of Keywords
Keywords drive traffic to your site and expose new readers to your blog through search engines. They’re one of the most useful tools for any blogger but you have to be careful not to overdo it.
Some bloggers stuff their content with a keyword every sentence but this decreases the quality of writing and while it may drive a viewer to your site it certainly won’t keep them there. A keyword density of about five percent is going to get your copy noticed by search engines at the same time it won’t damage the quality of your work.
3. Use Your Social Network
Making use of your social network is key in starting a new blog. Using Facebook, MySpace, Twitter and LinkedIn to publicize your blog will deliver immediate readers to your site.
Your friends and colleagues know you, have similar interests and should feel comfortable giving you constructive criticism about your new blog. This makes them the perfect start-up audience for your writing.
Posting updates on Facebook and Twitter with links to new blog content is always and effective way to get people interested in your site and drive traffic to your blog.
4. Start With Free Services
Don’t worry about servers, domain names and expensive hosting packages when you’re just starting out. Start blogging using free blog services like WordPress and Blogger. These will ease you into the blogosphere at no charge and let you experiment with the way blogs work.
Free services are fairly customizable and they’ll help you learn the basics of site design and html at no cost.
5. Be Active in the Blogosphere
One of the best ways to drive traffic to your site is by being active on other people’s blogs and making use of sites like Technorati or Digg. Post comments on other blogs and leave your URL behind with your posts as a sort of business card. If people like (or hate) what you have to say, they’ll click on your link and visit your blog.
Sites like Technorati and Digg make your site available to some of the most active members of the blogosphere. Achieve good ratings on these sites and you’ll get a huge boost in daily traffic.
It’s not easy starting a blog from scratch but following these five tips can help make your blog a successful member of the blogosphere.