Wednesday, 6 February 2013

Ten Commandments for New Bloggers

ten commandments for new blogger
Source: John Taylor of flickr under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic
The state of oblivion is at which most bloggers start their journey towards success. I guess this must be the reason why How-to-Guides on blogging are so lucrative, as a niche among veteran bloggers. And the popularity graph of this niche is on the rise as more and more people are jumping on the bandwagon without thinking ahead.


Personally, I had scrouged through thousands of articles on “how to blog” before I started yesblogger.org. However, my relation with blogging didn’t start with this blog but dates back to the time when I was a full-time freelance writer, and as a freelance writer I have authored hundreds of articles for other bloggers. And I have also seen people abandoning their blogging dreams before they could utter the word success.

In this blog post, I am going to present a mishmash of ideas or concepts, which I have gathered over the years, in the form of 10 commandments. I promise each commandment won’t be shallow but will be super deep; so don’t hit the back button yet. 

1) Thou shalt not buy content: I won’t lie to you; I still do freelancing now and then, and I know the type of buyers we, freelancers, get. Believe me, the type doesn’t include many people who have just started out as a blogger. Those who buy content from freelancers are mainly people who have at least one established domain name and a steady stream of revenue, and such purchases are treated as investments from buyers’ point of view. 

If you have a blog that you run individually, then you have to have a personal touch to lay the foundation, and only way to do this is to write your own content. You can’t rely on an external source for your content unless and until you have a strong audience. Even after building an audience, it will still be better to write most of your content, as you will know your audience better that any other writer.

The logic doesn’t apply to blogs that are run by groups, because such blogs have a different scale of operation and magazine style feeling.

2) Thou shalt not place ads in the first month: Common! Face it that you can’t make money right away with a blog, so why waste space with advertisements. If blogs were to make thousands in their first month, then blogging would be the only profession on this planet.

The majority of bloggers prefers Adsense as their preferred revenue generator, and the chances of getting an Adsense account in the first month are very slim even if you are a close relative of Larry Page (Co-founder of Google). You have no choice but to wait for a few months before applying for Adsense. Google doesn’t specify a minimum age, but they do for Asian people, which is six months at least.

Fun things you can do till you get an Adsense account:

  • Just write and keep things simple for the first four months.
  • Experiment with other ad networks and get used to having ads on your blog; although you won’t be making much, but still it will be a good experience. You can try Chitika that I use, which is a great network for beginners.
  • You can try your hands at Affiliate networks like Amazon Associates. If you write about products then Viglink and Skimlinks are even better options.

3) Thou shalt not buy links for SEO juice: It’s against Google Webmaster policy to pump up page rank with paid backlinks. If you buy links then brace yourself for the wrath of Google. Rather you can get backlinks naturally if you follow the ways stated below.

  • Treat your content as the king and quality as its queen. Make sure, your quality articles are unique that make your readers go wow.
  • Write controversial articles that evoke strong sentiments in the reader’s mind. Such articles have a higher chance of getting shared.  But be careful when selecting the topic; a bad selection may as well put you at the receiving end of hatred.
  • Comment on other blogs, and make sure that your comments are relevant and elaborate but not spammy. You can get dofollow links if you comment on sites that have the Commentluv plugin that leaves a clickable link to a commenters’ recent post at the end of every comment. 

4) Thou shalt not write bad English: Quality of an article is measured on two premises: quality of information and grammar.

Grammar is a set of rules that guides the placement of words, and without it even the most useful information will seem like gibberish.

I believe and it’s a fact that mistakes are an inevitable part of writing; even the most prolific writers can commit the silliest mistakes. Occasional bumps aren’t the things you should be worried about, but be careful of the kind of mistakes that can mutilate or mutate your ideas into something else. 

Possible outcomes of having poor grammar:

  • Grammar mistakes make your articles look less professional.
  • If an article is loaded with mistakes, then its readers won’t find the rhythm and will ultimately lose interest. 
  • Bad grammar can drive readers away from your website.

Learn English with free grammar materials from English Page.

5) Thou shalt not write for the sake of writing: Don’t write if you don’t have a genuinely good idea. Writing for the sake of writing just to keep up with the misconceived notion of posting daily will hurt your readership, and never mess with your readership. However, some types of blog do require daily posting especially those that cover breaking news.

I stay paranoid over the quality of my blog posts, and I believe that a little paranoia won’t do harm as long as it results into something good. And my paranoia makes me think twice before deciding on a topic, and to satisfy my paranoia I have to do serious research, which is time consuming and doesn’t allow me to post frequently.

Never try to equate quality with quantity. If you think that you can’t come up with genuinely good ideas then decrease your posting frequency even that means posting once or twice a week. 

If you decide to post once or twice a week then make sure your articles are long.


Read the next part........

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