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I can't get rich online and neither can you. Topics include why you won't get rich with your blog, ideas you wish you had thought of, and other Internet phenomena.

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You want to get rich with your blog? Maybe you think Adsense will let you retire? Sorry, it's not going to happen.

Starting a Blog

One of my readers wrote to me today, asking for a little advice on blogging. After looking over his site, I gave him a mini ReviewU, telling him that he needs to find direction for his blogging efforts. I get questions like this every once in awhile, so I thought it would be good to make a handy guide for future reference. So here you have it - Geoff’s guide to creating a new blog that he won’t mock and/or ridicule.

The first step

First of all, before you register a domain name, look at Wordpress themes, or create Adsense blocks, you need to pick a niche. A blog that bounces from topic to topic without a set niche is a personal blog. Nobody will care about your personal blog. I’d recommend picking something you’re good at, something that you enjoy doing. Don’t just leap headfirst into the ‘Make Money Online’ niche, as it’s already crowded enough as it is. Also, before picking a niche, ask yourself “What new and unique ideas can I bring to this niche?” If you’re just repeating things John Chow wrote about, nobody will care. I’d recommend writing about your personal experiences with a particular niche. People seem to enjoy that.

Attracting readers

Guest posting is a great way to attract new readers. If you can’t do that, be active in your niche. Comment on other people’s blogs, and leave thoughtful comments. Use Mybloglog. Be active on a forum and leave your blog’s URL in your signature. Hold a contest. Don’t rely on tools like blogrush and Entrecard, as they won’t drive any significant traffic to your site.

Don’t wait for bigger blogs to request guest posts either. Send them a quick email with your article attached, and ask them if they’d be willing to publish it. If it’s coherent and thought-provoking, they’ll probably publish it.

Update consistantly

I know, I say this practically every day, but it’s true. Nothing will keep your blog from growing quite like an unpredictable update schedule. Start out updating twice per week, and then increase your frequency as you attract new readers.

Don’t put a picture of an expensive car in your header

Unless you’re writing a car blog, just don’t. If you don’t understand this one, that’s probably a good thing.

Don’t do it for the money

If you start a blog for the sole purpose of making money, you’ll fail. It’s easy to spot greedy bloggers, so you won’t be fooling anybody. Write because you enjoy writing, and you’ll make money eventually.

Brag

When you do make a boatload of money, or you hit some insane number of RSS readers, brag about it. People love seeing big numbers. Check out Shoemoney’s most viewed photo. It’s an enormous check. Everybody likes seeing those. Don’t be afraid to brag about your accomplishments, but make sure they’re worth bragging about first.

Follow my rules

They’re incredibly generic, but they’re good rules to follow. Stick to them, make a blog about something interesting, and I won’t rip it to shreds in a review.

Speaking of reviews, my list just keeps growing. I’ll probably have one up tomorrow.

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3 Responses to “Starting a Blog”

  1. Steven Fergus Says:

    Nice post. This is a great blog you have going here, keep up the good work! :)

    I have a question for you, if you don’t me asking: I’ve started a blog - http://www.stevenfergus.co.uk It’s a personal and photography blog. Basically, I write about my person life and post some pictures I’ve taken. Since I’ve started it (not that long ago) I’ve updated it daily and a new picture has been posted every second day. However, I’m having trouble getting visitors (but I know it takes time).

    I was wondering what you think of the domain name? Should I go for something a little more related to photography? Or do you think it’s fine as it is?

    Thanks in advance,
    Steven

  2. Geoff Says:

    Your site looks fine to me. If you want more visitors, however, you’re going to have to pick a primary niche - Photography or personal. If you blog about Scottish photography 75% of the time, you’ll probably start attracting visitors who are interested in that sort of thing. If you write more about your personal life, however, you’re going to have a hard time attracting any visitors. Not that there’s anything wrong with your personal life, it’s just that most people don’t really care to read about others’ daily lives. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with your domain name, it’ll work either way.

    I guess you could also do both at the same time. Your best be will probably be to write about life in Scotland while taking lots of pictures. That way, you’ll attract the photography crowd plus people who are interested in Scotland. I have a friend who lives in Japan who does the same thing.

    Regardless, you’ve gotten at least one new reader. I’ve always wanted to go to Scotland, so seeing pictures of it is definitely something I’d be interested in.

  3. Steven Fergus Says:

    Thanks for your reply, Geoff! I for one will be sticking around here.

    I see what you mean; who cares about my life? Why would they want to read about it?

    I’m fairly new to the world of photography, so I don’t know if I have enough knowledge to write about it. But I could always learn. I actually created a forum this week called http://www.snapscotland.com which focuses on photography locations in Scotland.

    I could split it into three different categories, but thinking of enough content for any one of them could be difficult.

    Thanks again,
    Steven

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