No one was born a blogger. We’ve all had the awkward intro phase where we did not know what to do, what to type, or how to let people know about it. I’ve been blogging for years severalfold and work in web design for a living – and I still tweak things almost every-day Because I Realize something I’m doing is not working.
Here are a few of my personal tips for bloggers WHO are just starting out. Keep in mind, the every blogger husky own style and preferences – but there are severalfold key elements you shouldnt concentrate on so That the traffic you gain also returns.
# 1: Do not make your readers wait to read.
This is probably the Biggest complaint from visitors – your blog takes too long to load. Statistics show That the majority of internet users Will wait 10 seconds for a page to load Before closing the page. Make sure you fall under this limit and That your main content loads first. If you have a few things on the sidebar That take extra time to load make sure They are not slowing down the rest of your blog.
Try to stay away from hi-res backgrounds and headers. Hi-res Can add up to 5 extra seconds or more to your load time. If you have a full featured site you can not afford the delay. Look for a cute tiled background or Create a smaller top image That tiles across just the top of your page and matches your background color; and go with a header that’s creative, but takes up less than 1/4 of your Visible display area.
See the end of this article for two great, free services to help you with monitoring your load time.
# 2 Do not turn your page Into Times Square
It’s very Tempting, When first starting out, to fill your header, footer, and sidebar with affiliate links and sponsors. You’re probably thinking, “Yeah, but the more ads I have – the more I Get Paid.” Not necessarily. If the dozens of ads you post on your front page slow down loading time so much That your visitors leave out of frustration – then you are not earning a penny. Also Consider the reputation factor: you want your blog to be known for it’s content – not for being a billboard where you sometimes type stuff.
So how do you make affiliate and sponsor money? Take time to select affiliates That a) appeal to the genre of reader you are Trying to Attract b) pay more than a few pennies per qualifying action c) have appealing ads or Even ads that match the color scheme of your website. The more easilyNavigation They match with your site the less Likely They are to turn off your readers. Remember: affiliate links are worthless without first having traffic – so concentrate on your readers first. The sponsors will come.
# 3 Animated plaster, Background Music and other “Blog Bling”
Another big Misconceptions is that your blog has to move and make noise in order to be eye catching. That concept has not Actually vanished, but it has definitely been modified.
* Instead of an animated gif try a flash slideshow or photo transition effect.
* If you absolutely love background music try to find something calm, soothing and instrumental. And always keep in mind what level you’ve set your player’s default volume Because Many readers may be stopping by your blog from the office or while a child naps nearby.
I know I keep hammering this point home, but it’s the most Important element: watch your load time. Big header + background image + ads + bling = maple syrup in December.
# 4 Captcha and the Spam Fear
One of the most annoying (and disappointing) things That happens When you first start your blog is the rapid collection of spam comments. It happens to everyone. It annoys everyone. And everyone slaps a captcha on Their comment form.
This is the best way to go – but only at first. Over time I’ve found That the spam bots-which crawl the internet and target your blog do not have much tenacity. Putting up a captcha for the first month of your site is usually enough of a deterrent thatthey Will move on to other new sites. After 20-30 days try Taking off your captcha and see how it goes. That usually initial period of security has done the trick. If you find That you still get a spam comment here and there, set your comments for approval beforehand posting to weed out the fake.
If your blog Allows a reader to Quickly comment without the hassle of a captcha or ten gates of security then you’ll find you get more comments more ofter.
A side note on CAPTCHAs: Not all CAPTCHAs are created equal. Choose one That is simple (4-6 Characters) and easy to read. Many times I’ve written a comment on a great blog just to be thwarted by an unreadable captcha at the end. What Will a reader do if They get the captcha wrong more than once? Leave.
# 5 Do join networks, hops, Linky lists, Directories and rank lists.
This is definitely something the every blogger should do. The most value lies in joining the forums, groups, and hopping to blogs-which follow back. Howeverwhole, if you find you just do not have time to blog AND Participate in communities – join anyway. Fill out your profile, link your blog, set up your feed (if available) and upload a photo. Then leave it alone. In the least you’ll have your site link in another area for Google to pick up and raise your rank.
# 6 Search out the most popular blogs in your niche.
Examine how They drive traffic, where They place ads, how They set up Their design, and What They write about. You shouldnt never model your blog after someone else’s, but You Can Learn a Lot of techniques and methods That have proven effective interventions.
# 7 Research Hot Topics
This is a great place to start for Those would-be bloggers WHO understand trends, but are not quite ready to tackle the intricate details of SEO yet. Use Google Trends to find out what people are Searching for. Pick the top five Variations of your topic idea and use Those setningar Throughout your title and post. After you’ve gotten the grasps of trends, begin researchingã how best to Move Into serious SEO Strategies.
# 8 Pick a blog title That is simple and a URL That is Even simpler.
“iamamomandiliketowriteaboutmykids.bloghere.com” may be the exact description of your blog – but it’s not easy to type Into a browser and Likely to get more typos than visits. This is another excellent way to use Google Trends. Write down a phrase That best describes your blog and then find out the top search results That would point to your URL.
# 9 Do not expect traffic to rise in under 90 days.
There is a reason most networks and rank lists requires your blog to be 90 days old before you Can submit to themself. Build a solid base of loyal (Even Personally known) readers first – then worry about unique hits. Let your founding members give you feedback and ideas so That you’re ready When the new traffic shows up. Your friends are your best test audience.
# 10 Do not be afraid to mix things up from time to time.
In a traffic slump? Tweaking your design, format, or introducing a new weekly / monthly feature Can boost your reader count. But, do not go over board. Changing your title or genre Will work against you – stay simple with your edits so your site Remains familiar to your readers.
Load Time Resources
This site will not only deliverability an accurate first load time for your blog homepage, but it Will also display a chart of the every item and plugin, how much time They take individually and Reveal some Areas you may not Realize are slowing you down.
This site will not show you the reason behind your speed, but it Will deliverability a fast and accurate overall time thanks to Their method of loading your front page Into the test Itself. This is an excellent site to use after you’ve Already kÃ¶nnuÃ Each item and just want to Recheck load changes after you add a new feature or graphic.