Things to do before you post and advertise your blog, and what to do after it’s up and running, such as getting traffic and using Adsense.
In howbits fashion, I made this simple to understand, for maximum usability. I even added the easiest and best tricks to get great traffic, just don’t abuse the tricks. If you are here to get the traffic tips, just scroll down to – Advice for Getting Traffic.
First Thing To Do
This is a big step – get Feedburner setup for you website, ASAP. Make your RSS buttons easy to see so people can subscribe. I have several new visitors who stop in for a few seconds, click the RSS button and leave, namely people from Digg. If you are using WordPress, you need to get the plugin Feedburner Feedsmith. This will make sure that all your subscribers are going through Feedburner and not the default RSS feed in WordPress.
Make sure to have a good list of RSS buttons available for people to choose from. The fastest and easiest way to do this is by going to http://www.toprankblog.com/tools/rss-buttons/ and making your buttons. Make sure at step 2, you set it to default and use your Feedburner URL. To get your feed address, just go to feedburner.com, log into your account. In the top left you will see something that says My Feeds, once you click on it, click on the feed you want to use. Once the page loads up, look under the feed name and click on Edit Feed Details. On this screen you will see the address for you feed. The feed address will look something like this – http://feeds.feedburner.com/your-feed-name
Before You Post
If you are using WordPress, I recommend to not get banned for multiple pings. Did you know that every time you go back into an article and fix or change something, it pings the blog sites. So this will result in your post getting banned. To combat this, I recommend downloading MaxBlogPress Ping Optimizer. It monitors your posting and makes sure you don’t get banned because of multiple pings. Once you publish an article, it sends out one ping, and then every time you go back into that article to change it, it does not ping anymore.
If you are going to be doing any type of writing in WordPress, from just typing an article, to html coding, I recommend getting a better WYSIWYG editor. I use Dean’s FCKEditor for WordPress. It’s easy to use, it doesn’t mess up your articles with weird wrapping, and it doesn’t mess up programming code One feature I love, is the image add, which is right on the interface, it handles the uploading of pictures, and makes it’s it easy to change what you need to.
I can’t say this enough; you need to get Wp Super cache. If the website is slow loading for people, they will leave. I know my web host is not perfect, but I try to keep the website as fast as possible for everyone. On this same note, I recommend getting Optimize DB plugin. This WordPress plugin is simple and easy to use. Just go to your manage tab, click on Optimize DB, wait for it to run, then click optimize now. It works great and I use it a few times a day when I am posting a lot.
Do not publish just one article first.
I recommend writing 2 or 3 articles, then putting them on the website. This way when you get the first surge of traffic, the people have other articles to read besides just one. Too many blogs have come and gone with only posting one article and nothing else. So as a result if you don’t have more then a couple articles your chances of people returning or subscribing are a lot less.
If you really want to start off on the right foot, I recommend finding the best one of the 3 articles and submitting it to Ezinearticles.com. Expect 3 to 5 days turn around for them to review it and put it on the website.
I lost a lot of traffic on my first great article, because it was all I had posted and people came, read the article and left and were never heard from again.
Looking back on this, I wish I had other articles I posted before hand so people had a reason to stay. My first article I posted had around 200 visitors in the first 30 minutes, the visitors read the article, then disappeared. Now when I post good articles, I get a surge of traffic, people read the article, then browse around me website and come back a few days later.
Don’t sensationalize an article, do a brief intro, then get down to business. Some people have this annoying ability to write an insane amount of paragraphs, for something that could be said in a few sentences. I noticed that my articles that are straight to the point get more readers and people stay. Something about hyping up a subject puts people off, can’t blame them, it annoys me to.
I don’t care what people say, there are times to submit articles that are better than others. I have been testing this since I started and I find that I get more traffic later in the day around 3 – 6pm then I do at any other time. Some people think it’s best to post in the evening when your article stays on the front page longer for people to see it, this doesn’t work. I also found by watching traffic trends, Monday is the lowest traffic day, and Thursday to Sunday is when I get the most traffic.
For adsense beginners, text ads are the best ads you can use. I have been switching back and fourth between image ads and text ads. I get a lot more clicks when using text ads, I do not know why, maybe because they are less intrusive for readers. But again I do not know why it works that way, but it does.
Do not put big ads between your post, on the main page. I have been experimenting and noticed that when I put an ad just after the latest post on the front page, people have a tendency of not going past it. In most cases they just leave. Now it’s fine to put an ad just above the comment box, when people are on a single post page.
Advice For Getting Traffic
One of my readers turned me on to using Socialmarker.com for getting traffic to my website. Social Marker by itself has made brought more than 90% of my traffic, I highly recommend using it. What it does is connect all the social networking places together, in one easy interface. The website is free, and for each website you submit to, you have to have an account with that. It takes some time to get registered to all the websites, maybe 30 minutes to an hour, but once you are registered you are good to go and never have to do it again. The ranking you will get from keywords used during the submit process is insane. Within 2 to 4 hours, the article you post will be search able and will have great ranking in search engines. The bookmarking websites are awesome for this, I have several articles that come right to the top of search engines without me having to change my keywords, or the keyword Density to them there. I don’t even have to links to the page to increase the search ranking.
Words of advice, do not submit articles to websites that are not congruent with your article. Example – if you write an article about the weather where you live at, do not submit it to Slashdot or some technology based website. Nothing will get you banned faster than doing that.
Not getting Digg or Stumble votes is not the end of the world. Digg does have the highest chance of getting the largest surge of traffic to your website, if you get on the front page, your website can crash from the Digg Effect. But I find that most of my traffic comes from Reddit.com, Fark.com, Indian Pad, and various other social-networking websites. Myspace blog has been really good for my website, whenever I write a post; I just copy and paste it over there. For the extra 100 to 200 readers I get from spending an extra minute or two, is worth it. I recommend setting up a Squidoo page, even if you have no intentions of sticking with it. The reason why I recommend it is when you make a lens, and put a link on the site to your website, you get a Page Rank boost. At this present time, squidoo does not use nofollow bot code, now do not abuse this.
Recommended WordPress Plugins for SEO
All in one SEO Pack – This little plugin will make you post titles search engine friendly. Easy to use and setup. Just a minor bug to be aware of, if your post title is "Example – Example" it sometimes puts weird characters in for the – part and makes it so that no article submitter places will use the link. So be aware of that.
Google XML Sitemaps – Easy setup, pretty straight forward, no hidden secrets here. But it is a must to have for any blog site with WordPress
Landing Site plug in – What this little goody does, is it checks traffic that comes in from search engines, and makes sure to show other post relevant to what the people were search for. Nothing fancy and setup easy to apply
Related Post Plugin – This plugin lets you put a related link at the bottom of post to other articles that you want connected to it. So a good example is, at the bottom of my Computer Optimizing articles, you will see links to other articles in the series. Minor Bug sometimes your linked articles won’t connect to the articles so here is a work around – The trick to use it, When you are making a post, and you click related links and put a check next to the post you want to include in it. When you save the links, sometimes you have to click related links again to get it to add the necessary code.
KB Robots.txt – This is another must for wordpress, it’s more for prevention of duplicated content via archives and feeds, and prevents search bots from searching your WordPress Backoffice area.
Optimal Title Plugin – This makes the titles for your post search engine friendly, which of course increases ranking. Requires some mind editing of files, but the instructions are simple.
Comments, Feedback, & Tracking
Don’t get discouraged if you are not getting feed back, comments etc, from people. It doesn’t mean that people don’t like what you are writing about. The best way to see if people like what you are writing is by checking you traffic.
My traffic continues to grow and my returning readers are increasing. They just don’t like to leave a comment, so I’m guessing since they are returning that they must like what I have to say, but they are not much for chatting. So if you are not getting comments, just check your traffic with a service like Google analytics and Feedburner, and see what the trending is. If you are not getting returning readers then it’s safe to assume you need to modify your content.
This article is far from the end all be all for blogging. I plan to continually add new information from my experiences so help people avoid problems so that they can start off on the right foot. If you see something I need to correct, or if you have any advice or tips for new comers in the world of blogging, please leave a comment or two.