How To Start Blogging

Blogging Advice by an Amateur, for Amateurs

Every blog needs traffic (traffic = people visiting to view product). But how do you start a blog that will get lots of traffic?

  1. How do you build a webpage? 
    • Use a template (blogger, wordpress, etc.). If you see a page you like on the internet, all you have to do is "view source" and you can see that entire page in code. That code can be used to build a similar page. You can splice code and take elements of two different pages to make one. MySpace has its own code. You can use html and CSS, but to get certain effects, you have to look up their code. It's not hard to do. At first it's like learning Spanish. The thing is, the Internet will teach you how to build it. All you have to do is just know where to look for help. Someone has done all of this before. There is no need to re-invent the wheel here.
    • Make smart design decisions. Another common mistake is making poor choices with regards to color or text size. If the background is white and the text color is yellow, it makes it annoying to read. People won't return to visit such a page. Also, too much flash, animations, or graphics will slow the page down to users with low bandwidth. You want your page to be appealing to the eye and user-friendly.
  2. How do you get people to visit your webpage? 
    • Submit you url to search engines: Google, Yahoo, etc. It takes a little while for your page to appear in search results.
    • Establish "supporting page(s)" on a social networking website: MySpace, Facebook, etc. Provide a link from this social networking page to your independent website. Now, all of your friends from MySpace can visit your webpage.
    • Use Craigslist ads and the like to generate traffic.
    • Use relevant keywords. When you blog, remember to include relevant "keywords" so that individual posts will be found by web crawlers.
  3. What's the deal with Ad revenue? The deal with ad revenue is this: ad revenue is how you get paid. When you first start out, I'd suggest having a few ads. When people click on those ads, you make money. Usually between .10 and .50 cents. Google AdSense will pay you in the event that you achieve a credit of $100 or more in a single month. They don't pay unless you reach that amount or more in a single month.

    However, by the time you begin to achieve this kind of traffic, you will be more able to sell your own ads. All it would take is a link to your email address saying, "For advertising, contact us". From there you negotiate a one on one deal with whomever wants to buy space on your blog. Television works the same way. Commercials are more expensive during the Superbowl because more people are watching! So when you have 10,000 hits a day on your web page, your ad space is worth significantly more than when you first started.

    Here's the trick: Once you generate revenue, you may consider re-investing that revenue into buying ads on larger websites. These larger websites have more traffic than you and could potentially boost your traffic. With more traffic, again, you make more. Soon, it won't matter if anyone clicks on your ads or not, because you won't be selling ads from Google. People will be buying them directly from you, money up front. I have not achieved this level of success yet, but I have not formally launched my page yet.

    Beware of people with fraudulent hit counters. These hit counters are amped up in numbers by bots. A bot is a computer program that continually refreshes a page. With each refresh, a new "hit" is generated. It appears that far more people are viewing the page per month than actually are viewing the page. They then try to use this number to convince others of their traffic and value of their ad space. As far as I know, it isn't against the law to do this YET. So beware when you buy ad space from anyone. Research them, and ask for server logs and the like. Make them prove their traffic to you, beyond a shadow of any doubt. The internet IS FULL OF SCAMS!!!

  4. What is competitive intelligence? Competitive intelligence is where I would solicit information about successful dot-coms and use their designs and methods to build new ones. Everything you read above has been gathered through this method. Competition websites routinely conduct operations to find out what their competition is doing. This is often called corporate spying/espionage and is punishable by law to a certain degree in the corporate world. It is extremely punishable in the industrial world. The Internet, as of now, is an uncharted legal territory with regards to competitive intelligence. A person has to be careful when borrowing code or that sort of thing. 

    Copyright laws apply on the internet but are rarely brought to trial. It's a nasty business. You should safeguard your strategy, techniques, and the like. Beware of "social engineering". This is also called elicitation. When someone asks seemingly innocent questions to gather information. They use that information to view the inner workings of an operation. They are deductionists and draw conclusions from piecing together information. Like putting together a jigsaw puzzle to gain an idea of the overall picture. They don't need every piece to solve the puzzle. Only key pieces.

  5. About domain names: A successful dot-com with a ready-made domain name draws traffic to itself. It is well established. Once a domain name becomes famous, it alone is worth gobs of money. Often, once a webpage becomes famous it is sold at an extreme profit. Greatest example, hands down, is MySpace.

James Brown is the author of the blog, Toothpick in Termite Town.

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I feel you're still a little simplistic about this topic. To actually get a revenue from a blog demands much more than that.

People are getting more and more selective about the topics that interest them. With the increase amount of blogs already being published, hitting a home run is getting tougher every day. Think of it as a perfect market. For you to sell contents (your blog) you need to find demand.

There's a lot of offer nowadays and that makes it much harder to find your public. Many bloggers that are in the top today took years getting there. Years making pennies from ads monthly.

As you stated, since your blog isn't publish yet you couldn't experience it, but you'll understand my point after a year or two.

To really make a living out of it you'll need to put some sweat and blood into it. To really focus on what is creative and find out the diferencial you can offer that will put you ahead of the thousands of other bloggers.

Best of luck!

By Leandro Bernardo