Blog Archives

Time for a summary

If you like to become a blogebrity, a problogger or a blogstar and aspire to be on the A-list of bloggers you will have to enter the blogosphere and start blogging yourself.

Before you start…

You start with creating a blog. You need to choose a hosting service and decide whether you like to get a hosted platform or use a multi-user platform and self-host. Beginners usually start with a hosted service such as WordPress, Blogger and TypePadall examples of hosted platforms. Just go into any of them, create an account and follow their instructions.

If you like to self-host, you need to register a domain and buy a hosting service. The next step is to point your registered domain name to your blog, a process called domain mapping. Unless you are a bit of a computer whizz you may need help with this!

Start blogging…

A blog usually has a main column where you write your story and sidebar(s) where you can put links and ads, also called blog verts or blogvertising. Apart from the page where your blog will appear there is usually a profile page that tells something about yourself and your reasons for blogging. Your readers like to know who you are so don’t under-estimate this.

Once you have decided on your topic you can post content on your site. Most bloggers publish posts on a regular base, ideally 3 times per week or more. Many bloggers are niche bloggers and they focus on a specialised topic. When giving your blog a name, keep it simple and broad enough to expand your topic!

When blogging you have to make sure you abide by copyright rules and give credit to other blogger or websites when you refer to them. Someone who plagiarises the content of another blogger is sometimes called a doppelblogger. If you like to uses pictures in your blog you can subscribe to sites such as Flickr where you can find countless pictures that are free to use. Alternatively you can take them yourself if you want to stay clear of copyright.

Posts are added in chronological order and stored in archives on the side bar of your blog. You can allocate categories and tags to your blog. This makes it easier for your readers to find posts written on specific topics. As a blogger you have access to the dash board or admin side of your blog. This is where you find all the controls and functions to manage your blog.

Your readers..

People who read your blog are your audience. They can leave comments on what you have posted. Unfortunately they can also leave comment spam but there are ways to minimise this evil. You can add filtering software and verification images such as CAPTCHA that pick up spamming comments and stop them from being published. Hosted services do this for you but when you choose to self host, you will have to install this yourself.

Your readers can follow or subscribe to your blog. By clicking on the RSS feed link, usually on the side bar, they can get automated notification from additional posts. You can create reciprocal links to other bloggers and ways to get notification are link backs such as refbacks, trackbacks and pingbacks all with their own specific functions. Don’t worry too much about this as you can blog without knowing what they are. They can be helpful once you get more serious and you’ll learn to use them when you are ready!

How to find you…

A search engine allows people to find information on the web. Popular search engines are Google and Yahoo and you may find web pages, blogs, images and other types of files on there. If you like people to find your blog you have to make sure that you optimise it with SEO or Search Engine optimisation. Your content ideally contains keywords that are relevant to search engines and the HTML code of your site should be optimised for that purpose as well. Savvy IT friends or in general young people seem to understand this innately!

A blog can consist of text but also of a mixture of pictures, videos, music, pod casts and many other things. Such media files are accessible through web feeds and can make you blog more interesting and interactive.

If you manage to read through the above and I haven’t lost you, you will have all the ingredients to successfully start up a blog.

Have fun blogging! 

What is good ‘content’ for your blog?

4 simple techniques to make your blog post stand out!

2012, there we are. First blog post of the year, full good intentions and maybe even some resolutions.

Although I have postponed the commitment to the final structure of my ‘future’ blog, I have already started to write posts for it. Exciting stuff as I get to go places. The idea is to review places in Brisbane and immediate surroundings. Places such as restaurants, cafes, cinemas, galleries, shops and what else I can think off. To start off locally but I may expand to other areas.

Okay, back to blogging about blogging. In a previous post I was talking about content and I realised I had more to say than I could in one post. I wrote about simplifying information in an easy format for people to find and to read. I suppose writing a good blog post is a bit like writing a good essay. It has a heading, possibly a sub heading, an introduction, explanation, discussion and a conclusion. It requires logical thinking and creating a natural flow. Anybody who thinks that it is easier than that is wrong!

So what contributes to ‘good content’?

  • Keep it simple and easy to understand
  • Keep it fresh
  • Keep it unique
  • Keep it useful
  • Make it look nice

Simple! A good way to ‘keep it simple’ is not trying to be everything to all people. This is a trap and it easy for an enthusiastic blogger to fall into. The majority of successful bloggers have created a ‘niche blog’ and concentrate on a narrow topic. If you have inspiration for a wider point of view, splinter this into a number of more specific topics.

Fresh and nice’ is an important one for me. I am not keen on busy web pages with so many ads that you can’t distinguish ads from blog content. It is confusing and it tires the eye too much. When I find such a blog/ website and when  I realise it is successful, I feel a little cheated. I feel that potential advertising income has replaced the originality of the blog. There must be something in between. Give your topic an ‘attractive jacket’ and it will be a pleasure to look at!

Unique! That is a big one. How difficult is it to be ‘unique’ with millions of blogs already out there. As a blog is an opportunity to show your ‘voice’, it should be exactly that. Don’t copy someone else’s stuff. If you want to use information from others, reference properly and acknowledge that it is not yours!

Useful! A good way to find out what is ‘useful’ for other people is to have a good look at comments. The issues people raise in comments can give you as a blogger countless ideas for future posts. After all if you want readers you must find out what people want, so you can give it to them!

I found it hard to come up with a ‘good title’ for this post, so I suppose that is what my next post will be about…

Let’s talk about content!

Well, I am still debating the domain. After all it is Christmas and I am preparing to move house next week. A lot to think about and to organise. However I did mange to meet up with my young ‘web consultant’ and we brainstormed the lay-out of my ‘future’ blog for more than 2 hours.

I am excited to say the least. I am starting to see the blog in my mind and more important I can visualise it actually happening! I still can’t reveal a name but the blog will be a global extension of my business here in Brisbane and have 5 different sections. The sections are related and will be a combination of information, “how to’s”, commentaries and pictures.

Enough about that for the moment. After the meeting yesterday I like to write about ‘content of a blog’. After all that is what it is all about. That is why people read your blog. If whatever someone writes about in a blog is not interesting, repetition or even ‘stolen’ from another site, there won’t be many readers or followers.

What is good content?

So what are the rules about content? What is good content? Is that subject to taste or are there rules out there that bloggers have to adhere to?

Apparently the ‘hottest topics’ are technological and political based.  I can relate to technology as this was my reason to start this blog about ‘Blogging’. I wanted  to blog but had very little ‘clue’ about the subject.  Nevertheless I decided to start while exploring, researching and learning about it. And it works because for every blog post I publish I have to spend time reading, searching and compiling information. The result is that I am learning heaps. I was told yesterday that I knew quite a bit about the whole blogging thing already. Made me feel proud!

It’s all about simplifying…

One thing came up during my meeting. We talked about simplifying and I suddenly realised that that is what I really want to achieve. That is exactly what “Blogexercise’ is about – to simplify this enormous amount of stuff that is available on-line. Nobody has time to sift through it all and make sense out of it.

Then what is more valuable if there is someone out there that does this for you as a reader. My ‘future blog’ aims to do that within the topics I will write about. Because let’s be honest,  with millions of blogs already out there, it has to be different!  Otherwise it will be ‘old hat’!  An award-winning blogger calls it “to become the filter” for your readers (www.andywibbels.com). You as a blogger providing  a ‘ready-to-read’- summary.

While elaborating about this topic  I realise there is a lot more to say about what contributes to ‘good content’. As I am not an advocate of very long posts – by the way, there seems to be something to say about that as well – I am going to dig a little deeper and continue another day.

For now have a wonderful New Year and considering that, I realise that my next post very likely will be written in 2012!