Thursday, March 29, 2007

Six Tips for Beginning Bloggers

My blog is less than three months old, but I already feel like I have written it for a long time. There are many things that I wish I knew before I started writing this blog. I have summarized my experience into six tips:

1. Pick a personality for your blog

One of the mistake I made is that I didn't use a believable pen name and a real photo. Blogging is about sharing your personal viewpoint, and a popular blog has to associate with a person. You also need to develop a personality for your blog. All successful bloggers has its unique personal style.

Having said that, you don't need to use your real name. You only need a name that is "real" enough for your readers. For photo, you can use a photo that only show part of your face. The most important point is that your readers can associate your blog with a person with an interesting personality.

2. Pick a strategy and sticks with it

It is a lot more difficult than it sounds. When you become a blogger, you will start to read other people's blog. When you read other people's blog, you will be influenced by it, and you will not able to follow your initial plan.

Dosh Dosh is a good example where a blogger choose a strategy and sticks with it. Dosh Dosh reviews money making resources on the internet, and he keeps cranking out posts after posts of high quality reviews. Maki Dosh will not ask his readers to vote for Sanjaya in American Idol. Maki Dosh will only review online money making resources. A simple strategy, but yet very effective. Dosh Dosh has an Alexa's ranking of 34,585.

3. Use MyBlogLog

Although ShoeMoney has found lots of bugs in MyBlogLog, I still consider MyBlogLog as a great social networking sites for new bloggers. Most blogs have MyBlogLog's avantar. Hence, if you visit someone's blog, the owner of the blog will know and he/she may visit your blog. This is a great way to build up your readerships.


Many MyBlogLog's members use near nude female photos in its avantar. This strategy could bring some traffic to your site, but you better make sure that the photo looks good in 48x48 pixels.

I have seen a blog that starts in Feburary but already broke into the top 200,000 in Alexa. One of the secret of its success is using MyBlogLog. About a month ago, the owner of that blog asks almost every member in MyBlogLog to join his community. His community grows quickly, and his blog ranking rises. If you are a MyBlogLog member, you will know who I am talking about.

4. Quantity is more important than Quality

It is better to have a lot of interesting posts in your blog than a few high quality posts. Each post serves as an entry point to your readers, and with more posts, you have more channels to get new readers.

The blog that ranks in the top 200,000 in Alexa in less than a month has average more than two posts per day. His posts are interesting, but you can find similar content from some other blogs. However, since he has many posts on his blogs, he is able to attract many readers in a short time.

5. Comments

Leaving comments in other people's blog is a great way to make friends. I made lots of blogger friends through comments, and I have discovered lots of interesting blogs from other people's comment on my blog too.

If you leave comments in a popular blog, like John Chow dot com, it will bring some traffic to your blog. However, if you leave comments in some less popular blogs, the blog owner may notice you. It is important to leave comments in both popular and less popular blogs.

6. Be patience and be prepared for your opportunity

It takes time to build up readers. You need to be patience. At the same time, you have to be prepared for your moment to shine. There are times that your blog will get noticed. When it happens, you better write a lot of quality posts immediately because you will able to get lots of new readers for your blog.

I have followed Kumiko's blog for a while. Her breakthrough comes when her controversial post about AGOLOCO got noticed by Probloggers and ShoeMoney. She immediately able to follow up with another interesting post about how Britney Spears can teach you about Blogging. I have seen many people have become regular visitors to her blog since. No matter you like her or not, she is very good at seizing her opportuntiy.

13 comments:

drt said...

Using near nude picture as your avatar may attrack some readers but it may also make some reader feel uneasy particularly if they check their blog from the office and some nearly nude pict shows up in the sidebar. But that is only my opinion. Some may go for the traffic and don't care about that.

Johnny Cash said...

You are right. I don't encourage people using near nude picture. I may not make my point strong enough in here.

matt608 said...

I have to say I disagree with you. Quality is definatly more important that quantity. How many successful blogs have you seen that are full of lots of crap? Of course more content brings more traffic.. for a while but its getting the balance right that is important.

Matt

Lyzabelle said...

And if so many people are doing it, then following suit won't get you noticed that much.

Johnny Cash said...

Matt,

Interesting. Why don't we have a Quality vs Quantity debate!

Johnny Cash said...

Lyzabelle,

Most of the tips are just basic guideline. Most bloggers are already doing this. It is how you are able to do it better than others make you stand out!

I learn most of my lessons through error and observing others. I wish I knew them when I started!

Erik said...

Just started my own blog and these were very informative. Thanks a lot.

rob stgeorge said...

Nice post - one point though you might want to fix Maki is a he not a she.

Take it easy

Rob

Johnny Cash said...

Thanks Rob. It is a typo. I fix it immediately.

steve said...

Great article!

I just Stumbled your site and added you to my Technorati faves.

Hope you could do the same for me...

--Steve
cymru66.com
http://technorati.com/faves/stevespeirs?add=http://www.cymru66.com

Johnny Cash said...

Steve, you type my address wrong in Technorati.

Shawn M Edwards said...

Great post! I'm still learning about blogging and trying to get readers. The more I find tips like these, the better I become. Thank you!

Johnny Cash said...

Great! Good to know you find my post useful