Blogging for absolute beginners

August 4th, 2009 | Biz Blogs | 1 Comment »

Here are a few FAQs about blogging. Fortunately lot of people ask me a lot of questions about blogging and I thought it would be best if I can point them to a single post that deals with some of their concerns. Here it goes…
What is a blog?
Blog is a simple web interface where a person can add text, pictures and videos and share it with others. Various websites like blog.comwordpress.com and blogger.com provide free and paid options to host your blogs.
Why blogging?
There are plenty of reasons for why people blog. Here is a quick take on why all infopreneurs should blog.
What to blog about?
That is one of the basic questions that every newbie inspired to blog asks first. I have tried to compile a few suggestions that will help you get some direction in this regard. More
How much to blog?
Now that seems like a personal choice, and it is indeed(for some cases), but being effective and regular needs you to write pithy posts. More
Who should and ‘should not’ blog?
If you are not getting enough motivation to blog, you perhaps should just stop blogging for a while. Starting from square one, it is great idea to rethink your perspective. Why do you think you need to blog? When you say it is a personal choice, put some thought before deciding. Read this.
How to create and launch the blog for maximum benefit?
A lot of people would start worrying about readership from day one. I put one of my favorite creations on the blog and I expected a whole lot of readers. Yes there were a lot of visitors, but I could not convert them to readers. I learnt the lessons the hard way. But you can start in a much easier and more effective way.

How do I motivate myself to blog?

August 3rd, 2009 | Biz Blogs | Comments Off


If you are asking this – You Should Not Blog!

Because you don’t have your basics right yet. It’s neither your social duty to blog, nor a religious obligation and certainly doesn’t affect national interests. So don’t bother about it. Just know that it can help you in variety of ways:

1. If you are sick of your job and want to do something that you Love-to-do, Blogging can help. It’s Free and Easy. Even if you are not sure of what your passion is, Blogging can help you find that. Just try out a few things, first and observe your interest levels. Keep taking feedback from your friends and colleagues.

2. If you do not know what you love to do, blogging can help you find your passion. Blogging is a simple mode of expression. When you start expressing, you are bound to get better at it. 

3. If you want to build a brand of Yourself or your Organization blogging is an effective way. 

4. If you want to establish a business that needs you to connect with a lot of people. 

5. If you want/need to connect with people with certain specific (may be rare) skills. 

When you’d understand the importance of blogging, you’d definitely get the motivation to do it. Just like every other thing, you have to do it to learn it. And just like every other thing, the more you do it the better you’d get. You neither need heavy investment nor a huge plan. Just do it, start it now and launch it to public in a way that it helps you and your readers.    

If Playing Sports is what you love-to-do – Go out in the sun and play. Blogging is not for you. 

Blogging success stories!!!

July 5th, 2009 | Uncategorized | 2 Comments »

I took a series of interviews of a few businessmen who took to Blogging. They are not Big names, they are people who are trying to make a mark. Here are excerpts of the feedback they gave about blogging – You’d be able to see how blogging has helped them in their pursuit:

+ Jodi Kaplan : Her blog started out focusing on fixing broken small business marketing, and now, she is concentrating on creative businesses serving the trade show industry (such as exhibit designers, video producers, graphic designers, and web developers). Jodi says “It has helped me to reach more people, attract more prospects, and create trust and authority. I’m building regular readers and a list of subscribers for future marketing projects.”

+ Greg Digneo :  Had a passion for small business and marketing. Over a period of time he became focused on blogging about marketing small technology companies. For him “It’s been great for PR, for getting new customers, and for meeting a variety of different people, some of whom I partner with – many of whom I keep in touch with on a monthly basis.”

+ Sue L Canfield : “It’s another tool I use also to promote my clients and their services.My focus is to educate prospects and clients with the information found at my blog and directing them back to my website. One prospect did become my client because she liked the way I wrote on my blog and that was a turning point in her deciding to use my services.”

+ Tony Blei : “I’m a photographer. Few know who I am. I thought I would write a blog that, should an agency Google me, would let them know who I was and give insight into my creative personality. But it doesn’t end there.
I’m on Twitter. I try to post relevant tweets. I read the tweets of others and one day read someone else’s blog and left a comment. The owner of the blog liked what I had to say and I referred them to my blog. They read a few things and now I am a guest blogger for Black Star Rising. By doing all of this I feel that my presence is being elevated and people will become more aware of what I can do for them.”


Have you taken up blogging yet? What’s your story?

What Can I blog about?

June 25th, 2009 | Biz Blogs | Comments Off

Anything! 

I don’t know how to write that word to really bring out the expanse of its meaning.
 
1. Anything related to the work you do – problems, solutions, facts, myths, people. 

2. Anthing related to the work you “Love to do”. 

3. Anything related to your hobbies/ liesure/ pastime/ travels/ activities/ memories. 

4. Anything related to your friends, locality, city, country, region, religion, politics, laws, films, tv, schools. 

5. Anything that is not related to any of the things I listed above. Abstract, Aliens, poems, sketches, photos, fantasies, dreams. You can even blog about blogging, or blog about not-blogging.  

Why should I have a blog?

June 24th, 2009 | Biz Blogs | 3 Comments »

[Five reasons for why you should start blogging]

 1. So that you can google yourself? Or if someone else does, you can be found. 

 2. So that you are an identified / established Guru/ Activist/ problem-solver/ critic/ athority in your field. 

 3. So that you can flaunt it in your resume/ interview and negotiate for better pay package.

 OR 3. So that you can keep doing what you “Love to do” without affecting what you “get-paid-to-do”. (How?)

 4. So that you can build a tribe. A network of people who can help you, guide you, encourage you and bring you alternative income sources. 

 5. So that you can lead, help, share, motivate, encourage and serve.  

Ideal length of a blog

June 10th, 2009 | Biz Blogs | 4 Comments »

[What is the Ideal length of a blog?]

A new blogger asked this question on Triiibes, a closed social networking platform for leaders and marketers around the world, hosted by Seth Godin. After answering her there, it appeared to me like an important issue for every blogger. Here is my take :

Brevity is always appreciated. A full roasted turkey looks good on the table but is difficult to consume. It’s always great to cut it into consumable pieces before serving. Each post is either a story (rants/reviews) or an answer to some question. Over the time I have learnt to restrict my blog posts to be short, crisp and easy to absorb pieces of info/rant. If it’s a large report I split it into a series of posts. And link them to each other. 

So here are the few things I keep in mind: 

 1. Short post – just elaborate enough (take this post as an example). Around 250 words are usually enough. 
 2. Single thought – too many things complicate and confuse
 3. Simple language – If it’s not a poetry blog, don’t be poetic.
 4. Clear - Jotting down information as bullets keeps it short and clear. 

This is mostly for non-literary blogs. However, you can derive some pointers and use it for literary blogs (poems, stories, articles) as well. 

Launching a new blog -Part 5

June 5th, 2009 | Biz Blogs | 4 Comments »

[Introducing the blog]

Emails: I am sure you have friends who have email-ids. Why not write a simple mail to family and friends and introduce it directly. It’s the best and surest way to get going. If you are not sure how to write an effective mail, I can do it for you absolutely free

Links: Add links to your blog in all your online profiles – Facebook, Orkut,LinkedIn, Ecademy, Hi-Five, Everywhere you can.

Personal Ads: There are plenty of places you can advertise for free. But for that you essentially need to get addictive.    

Comment: Copyblogger suggests that exquisite and meaningful comments may really help you get relevant traffic. 

Surveys: Surveys can be used to introduce your blog, get feedback and decide the future strategy/contents for your blog. Here is a brief on how you can use survey as a marketing strategy. 

Socializing: You can participate in a lot of communities relevant to your blog and be an active member there. By being an active member, I mean you have to participate in a helpful and non-promotional way. Try appreciating others work, give honest feebacks, help people solve problems, reach solutions. That way you increase your credibility and popularity on www and ofcourse traffic to your blogs. 

SEO: A lot of good content on the internet miss the eyes of search engines because they are not search-engine friendly. Now SEO is a big topic in itself, but I’d like you to understand the basic of it. Basically you should include keywords (and keyphrases) in your content which are likely to be searched by your readers. Lets say you have an automobile related blog. If you put ” yamaha v/s honda”, or “Yamaha is better than honda because”, or “Comparison yamaha and honda” in your article about yamaha and honda motor bikes you are more likely to appear is search results. Think about, what should a reader search for when your content should appear and mould your content accordingly.   

This is most likely the last part of this series on Launching a new blog. I’d love to know if these steps were helpful. And also, if I can help you any further in launching your blogs. You can subscribe on email for the latest updates.   

Launching a new blog – Part 4

June 3rd, 2009 | Biz Blogs | Comments Off

[Aid your readers]

Your readers might want to come back to your blog later. Can you facilitate that? What if they like to keep themselves upto date with your latest postings. Your blog should always display the gadgets for e-subscription. You can choose gadgets for subscribing on email, subscribing through RSS feeds, add to iGoogle and other feed readers. Most of them would know how to bookmark your blog on the browser, but if you can still provide a small gadget for it, you have better chances of getting frequent visits. You should also find ways to lure your readers to subscribe. See how copyblogger never misses an opportunity to get your subscription. 

Also, among the enthusiastic lot, there is always a deep urge to share things. As soon as they find an interesting thing, they ‘d want share it with their group. If you can add a facility to email, tweet, IM, Digg, Stumbleit you’d be a lot better. 

Having listed all the readership Aids, I’d like to stress on the fact that you should not overdo it. You should carefully select which sharing instruments go best with your needs And more importantly which will be appreciated by your readers. There are plenty of free gadgets available for you to leverage. 

Launching a new blog – Part 3

June 2nd, 2009 | Biz Blogs | 2 Comments »

[Establishing credibility]

Readers are always in a hurry. They are like a typical male sitting in front of the Television with a remote control in hand. You give them a slight distraction and they’ll change the channel. If they dont find you credible enough, in the first few seconds, they’ll almost certainly move on.

Again if you consider your blog as a shop, what do you think establishes your credibility instantly for a new reader? The crowd of customers at your shop – Your readership. If your blog shows a huge number of readers, the new reader will instinctively try to spend a little more time on your blog to figure out why? And that’s when you can have him. Just like if you are new to the market, you’d almost always like to check out the shop with a large crowd of customers. Even if it doesn’t sell what you are looking for. There is some hormone in human body that gives them an attraction towards crowd. 

Three things that display the virtual crowd at your blog are visit counters, visitor locators and comments.      

So you need to establish credibility for a new reader to hook on. But since you’ve just started, you obviously don’t have many readers. You can still keep a readership counter at some corner of your blog. Not at the top, Not in the front row. Keep it at the bottom, or side bottom. Be sure to add it as soon as you start your blog. By the time you reach a good quantity of posts your readership would have silently grown to a few hundreds. And thats when you can display it at a prime location of your blog and showcase it. 

There is another excellent utility that shows location of your readers on a world map. Now when a new reader finds half the world visiting your blog, it creates an instant impression.

And one of the most important and most meaningful thing in blogs is reader’s comments. Make sure its extremely easy for readers to comment on your blog. Many a times, I have found comments to be more useful then the original posts. But reaching a decent quantity and quality of comments will certainly take a lot of time and effort. You have to encourage your readers to comment. And one of the good way to encourage that is to comment on other blogs. If you comment on my posts, I’d almost certainly follow the link to reach your blog. Similarly, if your comment is really cool, my other readers might as well follow the link. Start Now! Comment on this post, it really takes only a minute.         

Launching a new blog – Part 2

June 1st, 2009 | Biz Blogs | Comments Off

[Overstuff your blogs]

The problem with new bloggers is mostly not about the quality, but about the quantity. Remember a reader is like a client visiting a shop. He wants to see it stuffed, he wants to see variety, he wants to see crowd of other costumers. Which shop gathers your attention in the market? The one that is sparsely occupied with stuff or the one that is completely overstuffed?

Nothing is more disappointing for a reader then having to close your blog because there’s nothing left to read. And if you are an irregular blogger, you increase the chances of loosing the reader even more. If you are interesting, you have to be addictive. Consider a new reader finds your blog extremely interesting and visits again tomorrow and finds nothing new. Will he be delighted?

Imagine if popular TV series Friends or How I met your mother were screened irregularily, will they be able to reach this level of popularity? So there are two ways, either one has to be a regular blogger, OR has to create a huge pile before going to the readers OR both.

So overstuff your blog shop before opening it up to customers. How many is enough? I’d say when you have 100 posts, a new reader will certainly never have to quit because he is finished reading. But practically it is good to have at least 20 posts before you start worrying about readership at all.