Blogging From A Newbies Point Of View – What Do I Do Now?

by Wannabe · 25 comments

This is a guest post by Wannabe. He recently started his blog where he shares his journey of blogging and what he has learned from blogging. Check his blog at WannaBeMillionaire.

Setting up a blog is something anyone can do. Using the latest software like WordPress, Joomla or others will allow you to create a blog on the fly. I am the living proof that it is easy. But the trickiest part comes once you have created a blog, then what? I started my blog out of an impulse, when my blog was online I had no content and also no idea what to do next. Maybe my experience can be helpful for all the other newbie bloggers, so they can grasp the idea of what they have to think of and what they can expect.

There you are, admiring your newly created blog… Everything is set, you are ready to write your first article. But Hold On! Are you sure everything is in order? Have you considered your layout, are all the metatags in order, did you submitted your URL to search engines? Ever considered SEO (Search Engine Optimization)… and most importantly, do you have a play area?


Layout

But first things first, before the important SEO stuff there is something else which is equally important. Layout, I never thought of layout before I started blogging, it is something that never crossed my mind. And let’s face it, layout is important…

I often find myself clicking away from websites that just don’t look organized, I am sure you have done it too. Clicking a website away because at first glance it just didn’t look right to you it’s a very natural reaction, we are not the only one. It is important that your layout is very well designed, WordPress offers a very nice layout straight out of the box. It is not something I would use, because it is too regular and it doesn’t have my fingerprint on it. Remember this, your frontpage is your chance to impress … it is the first impression visitors will get from you. It is either worth gold or very little.

What are the basic guidelines for a layout?

  • Make sure you have a link back to your frontpage on all pages
  • Do not make very deep links, keep any page at a maximum of 3 links
  • Avoid having too many links in your page, make smart use of categories and sublevels
  • Try to use descriptive web page names, also good for Google
  • Make use of a sitemap, it will do good for indexing purposes and it can be used for navigation purposes as well
  • Make sure that your contact information is easy to find
  • Balance graphics and text equally, make use of photos or graphics to appeal or to clarify topics better, don’t overdo it

And remember, not everyone has broadband speed!

I am sure there is more to consider, but keeping the above list in mind should take you far.

Interaction

I love to have interaction on my blog, there isn’t too much going on at the moment. But I have the facility, people can make comments and I can reply to them. If your software choice for blogging is WordPress then you have little to worry about, however some other software packages do not offer the same user friendly functionality.

I tried Joomla before switching to WordPress, Joomla does not offer commenting functionality out of the box. In that case you should consider carefully before deciding, there are a lot of different choices, and all come with their own nifty thingies. Not all of the commenting  software is capable to import comments from the old software, so you could end up losing comments as it happened to me, and nothing is more shameful than losing your very first comment.

Good interactivity helps to engage the user’s interest in your website, and when the visitor is interested, he/she is more likely to return.

Play area

If you have your own domain and hosting, consider creating a sub-domain just for yourself. Create an exact copy of your blog on that sub-domain. In your play area you can freely play around to install addons, little bits of software that will add more functionality to your blogging software. It will also allow you to meddle around with your layout, and test it before you use it in your live blog. In the worst case scenario, if your blog software stops working … it will be constrained to the play area and not to your live blog. And at that moment you will be happy to do such a thing.

Content

Content will grow, but if you have the time and patience you could consider writing a few articles and have them ready before you put your blog online. Having a few articles online when you go live will allow your visitors to read more than your 1st blog entry, it will make your blog more interesting. Now, I did not do this but if I ever start a second blog I will do it. I learned from my mistake.

SEO, Meta keywords and so on

I will not write too much about SEO and keywords, for the simple reason: I do not fully understand it … yet. It will take some more reading, testing and playing before I start to understand it better. But don’t lose hope, there is so much information to be found that will explain to you step by step what you should do.

I Hope this helps! And if you are curious how I am doing, pay me a visit on my blog.

About Wannabe

Hi there, my name is Job also known as Wannabe, I am the owner of WannaBeMillionaire.com where I investigate the possibility if it is possible to earn money with blogging.

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matt August 11, 2010 at 5:21 am

Some good tips there. I think the biggest thing I’ve learned recently about my blogs, is just how flexible Wordpress can be. I keep thinking, it would be nice to do so-and-so with my blog, and lo and behold, Wordpress can do it. Plus the cool plugins really help with my SEO.

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