So You've Got Your First Blog

There you are, comfortably ensconced at your desk. The publishing software has been downloaded, you've gotten everything installed, the name sounds fairly catchy, you've even learned how to post from your mobile phone. Only, you're staring at the computer and it's staring back at you and neither one of you know what to say. Now what?

First things first, you need to have a perspective. Every blog has to have a specific angle which will be your main focus and draw in the readers. This perspective doesn't have to be complicated; 'making fun of celebrities' bad photos' or even 'angry guy who swears a lot'. The perspective merely has to be present.

Once you have made a few blog posts, you will likely notice that you have no readers. Since it's fun to blog but even more fun to have a blog people read, you will want to correct this situation. Start by getting your name out there. Surf other blogs based on post tags you use, and make comments here and there when you find blogs with similar angles or posting on similar subjects as yours. Link to blogs you particularly like. They will often link back to you. Both of these actions - posting comments and trading links - will encourage readers of other blogs to have a look at yours. If your content is of good quality, they might stick around.

When you write your blog posts, include links. If, for example, your perspective is that of an angry guy who blogs about the economy, don't merely tell your readers what Ben Bernanke said in a recent interview. Post a link to the interview as well. Link to the data from the US Census Bureau. Link to the latest blog post from a famous economist blogger who agreed with you, or didn't agree with you. Links drive traffic and attract the attention of search engines, and all of this will steer a few new site views your way.

Finally, be good at whatever your blog is supposed to do. You can follow all the tips and ideas for getting your blog's hit count to go up, but if your blog is boring these new visitors will not hang around. Update your blog frequently. Check that all the links work. Write in an engaging manner, and make certain your writing is coherent. Make your posts fresh and current within your subject matter. Remember, it isn't the one-time reader that you want - it's the repeat visitor who will forward the link to your blog on to others. That's how to start the process of going viral .

author: Jo Hunley

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