Build and Publish a Successful Blog
Recently I’ve been putting a bit of thought into the amount of new bloggers who are entering the blogging market with an empty tin cup in one hand and a cane in the other. There are so many blind blogs being launched with no real unique perspective or voice, no real focus, and with the mission to make a few bucks here or there by featuring pay-per-click ads all over their templates. While sifting through blog submittals at the Blog Search Engine, I rarely find a new blog which catches my eye or looks like they may last longer than 3 months. Entering the blogosphere and differentiating your blog from the clutter and spillover of millions of blogs on the market can be tough at times, but doing so can be the difference which positions your blog as an authority among the rest of the pack.
For those new bloggers looking for some direction or help with a blog launch, or for seasoned bloggers who are looking to take their blogs an extra step, I’d like to recommend three sources of information which should help you along your journey. Whether your goal be to spread information, share your opinions, or earn enough revenue to become a full time blogger, you will more than likely find these sources quite useful.
1) Starting a Blog : Duncan Riley at the Blog Herald is putting together a multi-part series on the first steps of starting a blog. Personally, I had the comfort, time and foresight of starting Search Engine Journal at a time when there were not very many search blogs (or even search news sites) on the market, the search industry was on its post-bubble rise, and with an upperhand of already having somewhat of a reputation in the search community. Such a time of launch, when other forms of search media were conformed to forums and email newsletters, was a large part in my decision to start SEJ.
Duncan looks at such factors such as deciding what to blog about, choosing a topical vs. a personal direction, finding your niche, and scoping out your blog theme ‘competition’ on Google. One addition to Duncan’s piece would be not limiting your competitive and market research to Google search. Instead, look into similar topical listings and trend measurements on other blog search tools such as Technorati, BlogPulse, Blog Search Engine and IceRocket while also checking out what other blogs may fit into your niche category by flipping through some blog directories like Blog Catalog (albeit chock’d full of ads) and Blog Wise.
Performancing is a new pro-blog project brought to us by the same ‘people’ behind ThreadWatch. At Performancing, what we basically have is a community of blogging knowledge which is edited by Nick Wilson of TW and some of his search engine industry buddies (who all have their own pro-blogging projects going on); Philipp Lenssen of Google Blogoscoped, Andy Hagans of Text Link Ads and Biz Niche Media, TW regular Chris Garrett, and Peter Brady of Ads on Blogs.
One little known fact about Performancing is that they are looking for contributors to the blog. I contributed one piece this week, and I’d highly recommend that if you feel that you can lend a voice to the world of pro blogging, try submitting a story to Performancing (don’t be shy, they’re not a bunch of monsters or weirdos or anything).
Problogger is a blog on professional blogging run by problogger Darren Rowse. Rowse has been blogging fulltime for a good while now and has a lot of insight on monetizing blogs, affiliate programs, breaking writers block, and targeting niche markets. Besides Problogger, Darren is also a founding member of the b5media Blog Network, which is growing by the minute, and also the publisher of the Six Figure Blogger Course (Darren himself is a self confessed Seven Figure Blogger).
3) Jennifer Laylock at Search Engine Guide has started a new blog called The Lactivist and is tracking her ideas and the blogs progress in her multi-part series : Zero Dollars, a Little Talent and 30 Days. Jennifer has chosen her niche market: new mothers who are breast feeding, launched her free blog on Blogger’s Blogspot, and is going at it with publishing useful content and trying to monetize her blog via different affiliate programs such as Cafepress and ad networks like Chitika or AdSense.
In her latest update on her Lactivist project, Jennifer realized a new market with Cafepress: promoting other stores other than your own :
I honestly didn’t expect to see much come of the affiliate link when I posted the out of the box solution from CafePress. I was planning to work on a more customized option down the road that included a search box and played off of the whole “if we don’t have it, we’ll help you find it” theme. So, you can imagine how pleased I was to login to my account the next day to find that I’d already earned $32.60. (That’s right, in one day I earned more from affiliate sales than I did from more than a week’s worth of selling my own products!)
Reading the documented series of launching a blog and sifting through its referrals, earnings potential, and other niche markets for expansion really has me reminiscing back to the days of launching SEJ and Blog Search Engine. So much, in fact, that I’ve decided to work on some new blogging projects of my own. More to come on those in time.