What Suggestions Would You Offer a Beginning Blogger?

I received an email this morning asking for some suggestions on blogging from someone who is just starting out with a blog. I thought about what I might write back, and decided that the question was one that was worth sending out to a larger audience.

If you have a few moments, and are so inclined, please share your ideas and suggestions on blogging in the comments below.

I consider my blog as a place which helps me learn, and thought that I might share some of the things that I find myself trying to learn.

Learn to Listen – It’s tempting to think of a blog as a place to write about your experiences and your thoughts on a topic, or on what you observe in the world, but it’s just as easy to consider it as part of a conversation, where you can publish your thoughts, and receive comments and emails and responses from others.

A conversation worth having is never one-sided. It’s just as important to listen as it is to speak.

Learn to Change – You may find yourself interested in writing about things on your blog that you didn’t anticipate when you first started blogging. Explore those interests and include them in your blog. This blog didn’t start out as one that focused upon search related patents, but I found myself paying so much attention to those that it made sense to start blogging about them.

I’ve been developing some other interests, and those may start finding a larger place on this blog in the future.

Learn to be Human – It’s your blog, and if you decide that you want to write about your cat, a song you love, a football game you just watched, or a memorable childhood experience, instead of the latest news from Google, or a new patent filing, or how to tweak a WordPress template, then go for it. You don’t have to be a professional writer to be a blogger, though you may see your writing improve as you spend more and more time writing.

Regardless of that, develop your own voice, and take some risks, have some fun, and let your personality show through.

Learn to be Humane – you may disagree with something that someone has written, you may disagree with the practices of business, of government of individuals, but when you blog based upon that disagreement, it’s possible to do so with compassion and concern to try to make things better, to offer suggestions, solutions, and ideas that transcend imposing hurt and suffering upon other individuals.

Following the golden rule, doing unto others as you would have them do unto you, means that you acknowledge the opportunity that disagreement may be replaced by understanding.

Learn to Build – A blog can be a platform that you can use to try to make the world a better place, to share your experiences and education and solutions for problems. Remember though, when you build, it’s brick by brick, one being put into place at a time.

If you set reasonable and reachable goals, and succeed on reaching those, you can build upon those successes.

Learn to Learn from Mistakes – One of my favorite stories is from Benjamin Franklin, who wrote a letter in his older years about a childhood impulse purchase he had made of a whistle. He spent much more than the whistle was worth, but had to have it then and there upon hearing it.

In the letter, he wrote that when he made choices after that, he would ask himself if he was “spending too much for that whistle.” We all make mistakes. What is important is that we learn from them.

Learn to Give Credit – When you come across an idea that you find interesting in another blog, in a book, on television, in a conversation with someone, or from some other source, and you find yourself wanting to write about it, give credit to the inspiration for what you are writing.

When I started thinking about this post, my thoughts turned to Rebecca Blood’s article Ten Tips For A Better Weblog and Mark Bernstein’s 10 Tips on Writing the Living Web, both of which I recommend for people who are just setting out with a blog, and both of which influenced this blog post.

Learn to Empower Others – Who is it that you are writing for? Are you sharing your thoughts and experiences, or are you showing them off? Do you try to engage your audience, to give them ideas and suggestions that they can take action on, or build upon? Providing others the chance to grow helps you grow.

A few years back, I taught a class on internet literacy for teachers at a local community college, and one of the main focuses of the class was on providing these teachers with information and techniques that they could take with them into their classrooms. In preparing lesson plans, in interacting with my students, I know I learned at least as much from teaching them as they learned from me, and they taught me quite a few things as well.

Empowering others may help empower yourself.

Learn to be Objective – When you blog, you’re sharing your perspective of a topic, and what you write is going to be subjective to some degree. But you can strive to be objective, to look at issues from more than one side, to understand that people may have different opinions from yours, and that those opinions may be reasonable ones.

There may be many sides to a topic – and trying to understand those different viewpoints may help you write a better blog post, and develop a better understanding on what you are writing about. Just as there are many blogs, there are many bloggers with differing opinions and perspectives – it would be a mistake to lump them all together as a group. Strive to see some of those other sides.

Consider including alternative viewpoints in your blog posts, even though you may disagree with them, and give your readers a chance to see more than one side.

Learn to Think Critically – It can be hard to approach something that someone has written, or some action that someone has taken without making unjustified inferences, or from a perspective that doesn’t take into account other points of view. Critical thinking is the practice of trying to put aside prejudice, bias, propaganda, and misinformation in trying to understand others, in raising important questions, in gathering relevant and material information, in coming to conclusions that are well-reasoned, in being open-minded to other ways of thinking about topics or issues.

Critical thinking includes avoiding the use of fallacies such as Ad Hominem arguments or Guilt by Association or Personal Attacks or Straw men approaches in thinking about and discussing a topic.

But critical thinking goes beyond avoiding fallacies. It means to develop a level of rational skepticism, to be aware of some of the social constraints that surround us, to avoid mistaking parts of the truth for the whole truth, to not let ourselves overestimate our competence, to not base judgments upon coincidences, to understand that there are many shades of gray instead of just black and white, and to avoid basing our present judgments and experiences too much on past experiences in other circumstances.

Some Resources on Critical Thinking:

Learn to Forgive – You may find that something that you have written may be the target of an argument from someone in a social network, or on a blog, or in a forum post. You may find that you are being personally attacked by someone from one of those sources. You should probably even anticipate that may happen. That person may have misunderstood something that you have written, may be unfairly associating you with someone else that they disagree with, or may just disagree with something that you’ve said or done.

There are often no clear and easy ways to respond to ad hominem or personal attacks, though a discussion with the person making the attack may sometimes lead to a resolution. Sometimes there just isn’t a way to resolve the differences.

Anticipating reactions to goods or services that you offer, or opinions that you express may provide you with the chance to make positive changes, to improve what you write, how you approach others, and develop a greater understanding for others.

Learn to Have Fun – Blogging should be fun, and should give you the chance to express your thoughts and ideas creatively, to discover more about your interests, to find other people that might share some ideas in common.

If you find that blogging has become more of a chore than something that you enjoy, examine ways to make it more fun, look at what others or doing, ask for suggestions from others, and consider exploring other topics with your blog that you have a genuine interest in learning more about.

What suggestions might you offer a beginning blogger?

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86 thoughts on “What Suggestions Would You Offer a Beginning Blogger?”

  1. 1. Post regularly and frequently to your blog.

    2. Make sure your posts have as much original content as you can create.

    3. Make use of the community aspect of blogging – allow responses and make sure to contribute responses to blogs that deal in your blog’s topic.

    4. Make sure you are blogging about something that keeps your interests, as your blog grows you may become married to it.

    5. Make sure your blog is known by all the major blog search engines through pinging and be sure to make it easy for people to find and subscribe to your RSS feeds.

    6. If using WordPress – I recommend finding as many quality SEO plugins as possible, including Uberdose’s All In One SEO plugin for WordPress – http://wp.uberdose.com/2007/03/24/all-in-one-seo-pack/

    7. Keep up-to-date on blogging news by reading blogs like http://www.problogger.net

    Good luck to you.

  2. Plan, Plan, Plan. I found it much easier to make good quality blog posts when I planned out the posts that I would be making over the next few weeks and then set to research them. The plan will inevitably be changed due to timelines, timely news, etc and that is ok.

  3. I think another aspect that new bloggers should look at is the aspect of drawing traffic. After all, what’s the point of blogging if there is no one reading your blog?

    In my latest post – “Blogging for dollars – Why some bloggers succeed?” – I explore various “popular” bloggers and their posts. While good content is essential, blog marketing is equally important.

  4. That is a great collection of writing advice for anyone, not just bloggers. Good job!

  5. You must have really something to say that someone else must be interested in.

    I think one of the big problem of weblogs and seach is that more and more completely useless content (and it´s fair) produced in robots friendly software have been indexed by machines and is popping us infiltraded on SERPs. The reason must be have something usefull to say.

    If you allow any kind of participation on your blog be prepared to got all sort of spam on the comments including some heavy stuff, so or you moderate it of be advised!

    It´s the same if you post your email address on your blog, it´s a good idea to keep a extra email box outside your domain to handle your blog.

    Think keywords at all your posts, make your text search engine friendly, your headlines keywords riches and atractives, read about SEO before start your project.

    To have readers you will must promote it and it takes time, a lot of planning to do thing fine and in many cases some money, think if it worth it!

  6. Great tips and wonderful advice for anyone starting fresh.

    One thing that i found amongst new bloggers is they somehow find themselves “compelled/forced” to blog often leading to worrying about what to write.

    As with anything new, take your time and never rush into posting something constantly just because everyone does so :)

    Relax, if you dont post for couple of days, its ok. What you post is what matters not how much you post :)

  7. Thanks for giving this great set of tips for old and new bloggers. Also other things to be considered like,
    1. Social Bookmarkings (Digg, Delicious.com, yahoo buzz, etc)
    2. One category for one post

  8. “Learn to be Human” It is difficult getting hooked on a blog when there is no personality involved, especially if there are multiple authors that all come across the same.

  9. Great advice Bill. I’d go over a few points but they are all good! Solid reading for new and experienced bloggers alike.

    Hope all is well!

  10. These are all such good tips. When I first started out blogging a few years ago, I had no idea how to do it. I’ve learned so much since that time. Your article summed things up very well.

  11. A very good post with valuable tips that would help any bloggers to be a hit. Blogger should always have a very good content that should draw a good number of traffic.

  12. As a blogger, this is very interesting and helpful I will really keep all those points in mind as I do my blogging, some of them I do already apply. Thanks for the post. I have learn’t a lot from blogging and will continue too.

  13. This will definitely help empower new bloggers to blog better. You really covered most of the important tips. blogging for me is a means to express myself, unconditionally.

  14. great tips, Bill, it should be a must to get some kind of education into the best practices of blogging before anyone started out doing it. I suppose it also about being original and offer something different, or pack and deliver your blog content in a way that on one else does.

  15. I must agree with Sam (who said that?), these are some of the most unique tips I’ve seen to date!

    I got here through the dailyseoblog and am now a subscriber ;)

  16. One of the best posts I’ve read in a long time. It would be nice to think we will be just as attune with it’s implementation as opposed to simply chalking it up to pleasant ideation.

    The fact of the matter is, people know how to love. Know how to be responsible. Know how to treat others as themselves. We know how to blog about it. Talk it. Influence it. Market it. Use it for personal gain.

    But to make it more than just talk, it takes work. And it takes a desire to observe human beings as human beings, not a dollar, traffic, conversion, a ‘target market’.

    There are times when I personally have spoken in ways that were personal attacks on the injustices within our marketing communities. Especially quite a few that you have been known personally to be of support to.

    You write all of this now but yet when I wrote these same things, you were nowhere to be found. Why? I used those you had supported in the post and I had spoken of them in an honest light which exposed things you were not happy about.

    Truth should have been considered a priority. You could say you were steering clear of the controversy, but, on a HUMAN level, emotions and well being were not a consideration. When does business become more important than the destruction of emotion, feelings, a person? I’m a good girl with a good heart and real values I hold dear. I got angry out of pain, no other reason.

    By exposing them before thinking things through, not offering myself a moment to responsibly reflect before exposing their activities (truthfully and you know it but refuse to do the right thing and take up for the truth, even though it has been harmful to many human beings along the way..not just me)

    When does a blogger say this persona is NOT guilty by his associates? YOU for example. People see who you support and respect you enough to believe in your choices. If they are a new blogger and respect you, they will hook up with you and 90% of everyone you hang with. That’s reality. Why send them in the direction oof those you have associated with? That’s what you are doing by your actions online. Using your influence responsibly?

    Supporting marketers/bloggers/people who harm, rather than admit a wrong, how are we being our brothers keeper? When does that thought ever cross a mind anymore? ‘human’ like you say.

    Its not inhumane to expose injustices. But my tone of language, my quality of life, my ability to be a true supporter of change and honesty were tainted by funk and hate.

    I believe in this post. I believe in you. I believe the world and everything in it belongs to us all and I am willing to do my part. I’m cleaning up my heart, my intentions, my directives. This was a great post to use as a guide for how I want to be as a blogger when I grow up.

    I love this Bill Slawski-Handsome, sexy, intelligent, nurturing, activist, geek.

    Thanks for a humbling post.

  17. Excellent list. I would say that learning to give credit is one of the most important features as that tends to create goodwill and show professionalism on the part of the blogger. In addition, as you build authority, citing your sources can go a long way to strengthening your position as an online journalist.

  18. Kimberly,

    Thank you. I agree that change requires more than just words on a page, and it can take a great deal of introspection, thought, and effort to work towards making those changes part of what you do everyday in your life.

    We all make mistakes, myself included, and we should all try to learn to grow from them, in blogging and in life. The list I wrote above are things that I am personally trying to learn, and to take to heart. I’m pretty sure that I could have added more.

  19. Hi Hayden (thesemfirm)

    Good point on planning. A good plan can be really helpful, even if it’s just a list of potential topics that might be worth writing about in the future, or a broad set of categories.

    I suggested to a friend that he set aside certain days for certain types of posts, such as a post about one topic on Mondays, a post about a different specific topic on Tuesdays, and so on. He used that method, and found it easier to plan ahead for the different days of the week because he had some ideas of the kinds of things he wanted to post about as he surfed the web for news and ideas that he could use in his posts.

    Hi whizzwords,

    In your article, you point out how it can be helpful to look at what other bloggers are doing with a critical mind. You include some nice examples. Looking at what makes them unique, and thinking about what can make you and your blog unique are definitely things to consider. Thanks.

    Hi Barry Wise,

    Thank you. I think that writing this post was helpful for me too, and I’ve been blogging since 2001. Appreciate your kind words.

  20. Hi Marcelo Antelo,

    Some very good points. Having something engaging and interesting to say really does help.

    Enabling comments, contacts, and emails does mean that you are potentially opening yourself up to spam as well as meaningful comments. Using moderation tools like Akismet can help, and using a contact form instead of putting your email address on your site might help to limit email spam that you could receive.

    Learning something about how search engines work, and thinking about the words that your audience might use to find what you have to say (and using those words in your posts) can be helpful in attracting the audience that you want to find your site – again, even after doing that it really helps if you focus upon writing things that others will find interesting.

    Thank you.

    Hi Praveen,

    Great point. I sometimes find myself compelled to try to find something new to blog about everyday, but often spend more time than I maybe should on some posts. It can take some time to go through some of the search related patents that I look at. I do agree with you: “What you post is what matters not how much you post.”

    Hi Bloggeries,

    Thank you for your kind words and your well wishes.

    Hi Katherine,

    Experience can be a great teacher, and I think that there are somethings that you might not be able to learn without experiencing for yourself. Thank you.

    Hi Eric,

    Sure – don’t feel like you need to put the name of your domain into every post as much as you can. It feels like you’re trying too hard to put the point across that your site is about that phrase. Explore some related topics, and some related terms, and even an occasional post that is completely off topic. You’ll have more fun that way, and probably more readers. :)

  21. Hi Sam Freedom,

    The title of this post is misleading.

    :)

    Thanks.

    Hi Richard,

    Where would we be without good content? :)

    I do wonder sometimes though, are there things that we can do specifically for writing in a blog that makes blog posts valuable that we would do differently for a book, or a poem, or a news article? Do we mean something slightly different when we say “good content” in the context of a blog then we do for a news article? If we can figure that out, would it make us better bloggers? I think it might.

    Hi Lilly Web,

    Thank you. When I look back on some of the things I’ve learned from blogging, it frightens me a little.

    Hi G Web,

    I’m not sure that I covered most of the important things in my post – some good stuff is coming out in the comments here, too. I’m constantly surprised at some of the different ways that people find to express themselves in blog posts. That’s part of the fun of reading many of them. :)

  22. Hi David,

    Nice points. I agree with you on being original. I don’t think that it hurts to look at how others are blogging, and to read suggestions from others before you begin blogging. But I also hope that people don’t limit things that they might try after reading something like my post. There are lots of ways to express yourself, and at its roots, that’s one of the most important aspects to blogging – be unique and be yourself.

    Hi Angie,

    Thank you for sharing this post with others.

    Hi Manchester (Sam),

    Thanks – I find myself disappointed on some blogs that raise great points I’d love to respond to only to find that they don’t have comments enabled. Seth Godin’s blog is like that. Fortunately, he does raise some interesting topics.

    Hi Dennis,

    I guess adding “Learn to be Unique” wouldn’t be out of place on that list. It might fit into the “learn to be human” section, but that might not necessarily be a good match. Thanks for the additional topic and your kind words.

  23. Hi Matt,

    Some excellent points. I wonder sometimes about the differences between blogging and journalism (online and off).I do believe that giving credit when you’re building off an idea that you’ve come across is important, and citing sources can be very helpful in building authority – as well as letting readers see multiple viewpoints.

    I do like the idea of citing multiple sources if possible. I’ve read more than a couple of articles at the Poynter Online pages, including many from their Citizen / Public Journalism section. I don’t think it would hurt someone starting to blog to spend a little time over at the poynter site.

  24. A thoughtful way to look at the blogging process. Along the lines of marketing your blog, I would rephrase it to “Take the conversation beyond the bounds of your blog”. Readers may find you by using their favorite search engine, but they will also discover your thoughts when you take your conversation to the broader net by becoming a guest author, comments on other blogs, e-zine articles, or social/networking sites. The conversation should not be geared towards simply drawing people into your site; they will come if they find your writing intriguing.

  25. Hi Frank,

    Thank you. Those are some great suggestions about remembering the framework in which your blog exists, to other sites where you might visit and participate.

    There is a social side to blogging that bloggers should keep in mind, and taking the opportunity to venture outside of your blog is something that not only help bring your blog a wider audience, but also provide some inspiration for new posts, and a change to meet people who may share some common interests with you.

  26. thanks! excellent points that go beyond blogging and get into “creativity” territory. Like the classic “learning to think creatively”, you can LEARN to blog, it is a matter of motivation rather than skills

  27. It has been so late as I am commenting in this blog, some people suggested very good tips. I think most important thing from blogging point of view is the content. If you content is really unique and interesting, your blog would be popular.

  28. Hi Vicente,

    Blogging, like any other writing, is a creative endeavor. There are no hard and fast data points or statistics on what makes a book a best seller, or a blog a popular place for people to stop on the Web. But there are things that you can do with your blog that can make it more fun, more interesting, and more fulfilling, and those are pretty good things to focus upon.

    Google did publish a patent filing that discusses things they might look for when ranking blogs, but that’s not the same as learning how to do things to attract human readers, and have them consider coming back again and again. :)

    Hi SEO Strategies,

    Developing strong content doesn’t hurt, but I’ve seen many blogs that have amazing content, and aren’t popular – I wish they were. Hopefully the suggestions that I offered, and that commentors to this post have added can at least help bloggers find the audiences that they might be writing for, whether a large audience or a smaller one.

  29. Great post on blogging, Bill! I often tell our new blogging clients to write about what they are passionate about within their niche of expertise.

  30. Namstee GURU Gee……….

    It means “Hello Master” its in Hindi :-)

    I am one of your follower from India and started my blog SEO Solutions six months ago. It is becoming popular day by day. Its only you and few other Search Experts, who always inspired me to work in this Industry otherwise when I started my career as a Link Builder 2 years ago I was thinking what I am doing I have done B.Tech in Electrical and what I am doing now? But when I start learning SEO, Blogging, Email Marketing , web analytic from reading some great blog and sites by Expert just like you then I thought its a Great Work. Now I am feeling very happy and want to learn more and more.

    Thanks for helping me and all other newcomers…………

  31. Hi RRS,

    Thank you.

    Passion and expertise can be helpful when putting together a blog. Many bloggers who are just starting out use their blogs as a way of developing an expertise, and those can be fun to visit to learn alongside them. Passion can really make a difference.

  32. Hi Manoj,

    Please don’t think of me as a Guru or a master, but rather as a peer – someone who blogs not to teach so much as to learn together with others. It’s a pleasure to meet you, and I hope to see you around.

  33. What Suggestions Would You Offer a Beginning Blogger?
    1) Content is key
    2) You need lots of Inbound/outbound links
    3) If using wordpress try the newer SEO tools
    4) If you have pictures make sure you optimize them as well by giving them a name,meta tags,discription

  34. would like to add another small thing: be persistent :-)
    the time u pass the easier it will be.

  35. I think one of the big problem of weblogs and seach is that more and more completely useless content (and it´s fair) produced in robots friendly software have been indexed by machines and is popping us infiltraded on SERPs. The reason must be have something usefull to say.

    If you allow any kind of participation on your blog be prepared to got all sort of spam on the comments including some heavy stuff, so or you moderate it of be advised!

    It´s the same if you post your email address on your blog, it´s a good idea to keep a extra email box outside your domain to handle your blog.

    Think keywords at all your posts, make your text search engine friendly, your headlines keywords riches and atractives, read about SEO before start your project.

  36. Hi David,

    Some very good suggestions. Thank you. Using moderation tools is helpful – I get a fair amount of comment spam, but I also get a lot of great comments.

    Learning something about SEO can be helpful – making sure that you use words and phrases in your posts that people interested in the topics that you write about may use to find your posts can help make it easier for them to find you.

  37. That was quite an enlightening read. I especially resonate with the Learn to Forgive one. I’ve actually seen people come to virtual “blows” because they didn’t know about that one.

  38. Learning from mistakes is crucial, not only as a beginner but even if you’ve been doing it for years. Always learn from your mistakes.

  39. Hi Jeff,

    I’ll be the first to admit that I’ve made my share of mistakes (if not more). It’s not something that just beginners do. And it is good to learn from them when you do make them. Thanks.

  40. Hm there are several factors…ok listen…forgive…but what about specific steps he need to take? I think that people want tips and steps they can take to have success. For me and my experience with my blog, it is:

    1) Become friends with related blogs (approach the owners by first offering something so you can stand out)

    2) Post “list posts” like “21 Ways to…[to something]” and submit them to sites like StumbleUpon. Those posts often go viral.

    3) See what works for other bloggers.

  41. Hi Mark,

    Another practical suggestion that I would add would be to sometimes ask visitors to your blog for their suggestions, like I did with this post. :)

    My post was more of a “lessons learned” type post than a set of specific steps that people could take, and a question from others on things that they might suggest. There have been some pretty good tips in the comments so far, including three new ones from you.

  42. Thanks William for the great post and i would recommend to add one good paragraph and its “Learn To Be Social”
    Social Networking is growing more and more every day, and by being a blogger and should from the start to integrate your blog with all the social networking site from twitter to facebook using Notes.

    W.D.

  43. Thank you Bill for providing a very valuable information here. Your article is not only for beginners indeed. I agree with your last point: learn to have fun. There will be time that blogging is no more fun, for example when we are not in a good mood or we are busy doing something else. I can get distracted easily but I learn that I have to have faith in blogging and keep the persistence level high.

  44. Hi Rudi,

    You’re welcome. I agree with you – persistence, like reliancy, is one of those under rated character traits that is great to develop as a blogger, and for anyone else.

  45. Thanks bill, this post is not only one post anymore. There are lots of post in comments i can see. Well that’s the power of community. As i am new Blogger, i may not give any suggestion here. I just can say what i do to be successful in Blogging. I update my blog often. It doesn’t matter it’s updated daily or not. I just make sure our reader that i haven’t forgot them, i never cry for money, i believe if i can make community then money will flow. And i never think to be successful overnight. I believe it’s need huge effort and hard work so i am very patient. I always believe we should not cry for money. If we work hard, one day money will cry to be in our pocket

  46. Hi Alamin,

    You’re right. There are a lot of great suggestions in the comments, thanks to everyone who shared their suggestions.

    Updating regularly can be a good way of getting people to return. I don’t update as frequently as I would like to, but I try to make up for that with as much quality as I can. Having patience, and listening to your community members are both great suggestions. Thanks.

  47. As a new blogger, I have found that “learning to change” is a big one. I think that the title of my homepage has changed about 2-3 times in the last couple of months alone. I am finding that my interests are much more broad than I had originally anticipated.

    Also, one thing I have found is that others seem to enjoy reading about real things I have struggled to figure out as a lay-webmaster. Twitter has actually helped me understand this this. I have found that when I tweet Click-Bank ads, I get almost no clicks because real people can easily detect ads like that from a mile away. But, if I post something real, perhaps a link to one of my posts where I actually give real information on how to do something where one human is writing to another from the heart, humans follow.

    So, my advice to a new blogger…write from the heart about things that really interest you. Do not be afraid to give your best information. There are real people out there with your skill level who need your help and are searching for your posts.

  48. Hi Mark,

    One of the great things I’ve experienced when trying to publish something new on a regular basis is that it has had me considering regularly what I’m interested in, who I want to write to, and what I want to explore in greater depth. I’ve learned that I’m interested in somethings that I never expected to be. I think that’s part of the fun of blogging.

    Great suggestion on writing about things that interest you, and sharing them with others who might be interested in similar things. I think there’s a lot of value to posting things that can help others who might be facing some of the same problems you are, and who can benefit from what you’ve learned.

  49. Mine would be “Never give up”. Because I see so many start the give up. I actually came here to see what I could learn about SEO in regards of getting ranked faster but couldn’t not say what I would tell a beginner blogger.

  50. Hi Drew,

    I’ve seen that as well. It can be hard first starting out in the early days of blogging, but being persistent can make a difference.

  51. Good to hear, Drew. I’ve started a few where motivation waned as well.

    This blog will be celebrating its fifth anniversary in two days. I don’t update everyday, and don’t feel the pressure to do so, but I try to learn something everytime I write a new post, which is one of the things that motivates me to keep on blogging.

  52. Yea me too. Just before I arrived on this blog I seen that a list of blogs made by another blogger around 70% of them were dead and gone. I’ve started many myself too and seen them die and all because I gave up too easily. This time I’m not gonna. :-)

    How’s things at your end? All good?

  53. I love that about blogging too. I now blog with a friend in my country and two other guys from USA are starting today. We’re hoping to make it big. Though one thing I’m a little agitated about is that Google has stopped indexing content fast. Up until a few days ago content was indexed within moments now it can take anywhere up to 7 hours. It’s frustrating me :-(. Any ideas what would cause that?

  54. Hi Drew,

    One of the points behind Google’s Caffeine update was supposedly that they would be able to update their index more quickly. But, there are a number of factors that might influence how often Google might update their index, which could include things such as the PageRank of pages, the frequency of updates that they see at a site, the number of links pointing to a site.

    With a blog, it’s not a bad idea to ping Google when the blog is updated, though another good idea is to use something like a pubsubhubbub plugin if you are using Worldpress: http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/pubsubhubbub/

  55. Bill

    Thank you for your suggestions, what you mentioned here are the qualities of a leader. And if a blogger wants to have the followers, he or she has to become a leader.

    I would suggest a starting point- know what you love. And write about what matters to you. This way you will never be short of stories to tell and you will be better and better. Passion is underrated.

    enjoy your day

  56. Hi Justine,

    I think to a degree that the things I’ve listed could be applied to a leader as well as a blogger.

    Writing about the things that you enjoy, that you’re interested in, that you are inspired by, that you have some knowledge of, is a good point.

    Interestingly, I’ve read from a good number of bloggers that writing to their blog on a regular basis has helped them identify and discover many of their interests, as they spent time thinking about what they might want to focus upon when blogging.

  57. Bill,
    “Interestingly, I’ve read from a good number of bloggers that writing to their blog on a regular basis has helped them identify and discover many of their interests, as they spent time thinking about what they might want to focus upon when blogging.”

    - yes, great point. blogging is self-discovery. and it is even more fun when you add different activities, that go beyond blogging, like you build e-commerce platforms, so your blogging becomes a real pleasure stimulator, far from being a money site only:)
    wouldn’t you agree?:)

    take care:)

  58. Hi Justine,

    Not sure that I understand your logic in saying that adding ecommerce features to a site makes it something different than a site to generate money.

  59. Bill

    What I meant was :
    Imagine: you have a blog, that you regularly update, you write every day or every two days, and at one point you just need a break. But people don’t stop because they need money, or they need to have more visitors, etc…
    but , if you concentrate on at least two activities, you have a few sites that serve different purposes – blog for your pleasure, exposure, brand building, friend-finder, an e-commerce site for money and business, education, ad sense sites…etc
    than you just feel more free.

    :) now, that’s something great:) wouldn’t you agree?

    J.

  60. Hi SteveF,

    Then again, I’ve seen successful blogs where the author states that they aren’t an expert, but they are exploring a topic and taking their readers along for the adventure. I think a blog can be successful from that vantage point as well.

  61. I have mixed feelings about how to actually go about starting out blogging. You would think that the most efficient way to blog is to do keyword research and form a solid idea and base for the post then write it well and seo the crap out of it. But for a beginner I would suggest just blogging off the top of your head, pick a topic and go with it. It will get you used to doing it and it is less invasive than putting on a big production.

    I could go on and on about my blogging ideas but for this post I’ll stick with that.

  62. Hi John,

    I usually spend some time thinking about what I’m going to write, and what the best way might be to present it to an particular audience before I even get around to thinking about possible keywords. I think that helps in deciding upon possible keywords as well.

  63. Hi Bill,

    These are great tips you’ve provided here. For a new blogger, I would say to give WordPress a try. The platform is quite simple to wrap your mind around after toying with it for just a bit.(great plug-ins as well) The only other advice I might give that hasn’t been already covered is, if at all possible, use your main keyword in the title or domain of your site.

  64. Hi Dan,

    WordPress is pretty friendly for beginning bloggers. There’s still a learning curve to using it, and I’d still recommend that anyone interested in using it for their business start out with a hobby blog that focuses upon something they are interested in and that isn’t critical to their business so that they can use it to learn how to use the software.

    I’m not sure that it’s completely essential to use a “main” keyword in the title or domain to the site, but it could help. I do like the idea of trying to build a brand which doesn’t necessarily need to focus upon a specific keyword.

  65. Just saw this for the first time, but I still want to answer this.

    If I had to choose one thing above all others, it would be this: Be Different!. There are tons of blogs on the same subject, and there’s a reason why some are successful and some aren’t. The main difference is that their content is different & not found on other blogs. A great example is SEO by the Sea. How many SEO blogs talk about search patents on a weekly basis? How about only 1?

    I’ve struggled with this being one of the new (and numerous) SEO bloggers on the block, so I’ve had to start getting creative. I won’t go into too much detail, but I decided to start a brand new website and use some link building techniques that seem too good to be true & see if they work. I’m trying to provide information they can’t get anywhere else.

    Hope this answers the question Bill :) (even though this was posted in 2008!)

  66. Hi Jon,

    I think that’s a very good point. Doing something that stands out because it approaches things from a different perspective can make all the difference in the world.

    Good luck with your new site; I do like the idea of trying to provide information that people can’t get anywhere else.

    Thanks!

  67. A very useful post on blogging for rookies like me. Agree to the idea of Jon, creativity is what defines a blog success, that is why everyone now talks about having a different angle.

  68. Hi Akash,

    When you see the same things at more than one blog, without a hint of much new, you do wonder how much value they are providing.

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