Friday, August 13, 2010

How to blog like the pros

Today blogging for beginners would like to talk about problogging, and how to blog like a professional blogger would.  This is a bit of an oxy-moron you could say, because a lot of the really big, professional blogs consist of more than one person.  In fact they often will have a team in place to take care of the blogs activities.  They have writer; they have marketers and SEO gurus all playing their parts to generate the big and powerful blogs that you can find all over the web.
But don’t get down, not all great blogs are this way.  There are a log of really quality blogs and bloggers out there who run solo.  And you can too.  It will just require a lot of attention to detail and a lot of different abilities for you to create a highly successful blog.

Now remember, success is relative.  Take some of my blogs for example.  This one, is not yet a success.  But I have been working vigorously to get it where I want it to be, and even if it is not showing up in the quantity of content I have on-site, it has paid dividends, I am starting to see my ranking for specific keywords going up and up.  This site is only going to get stronger as I add more content and more backlinks to the content.  This site will generate income, I am pretty sure of that.

I have a blog about a video game on the other hand, that I would consider a success.  And being that I am happy with the progress of that blog, I am able to focus more on other blogs.  That blog sees about 100 page views every day.  So, it is not a huge amount, and with some effort I am sure I can increase that number ten times over.  But, there is something to be said about letting a blog marinate, and age a little bit.  Allow it to generate some natural popularity and links.  It is something that plays a strong hand is rankings for some search engine.  Besides that, the site is about a free video game.  And the nature of the type of traffic that this site gets is cheap.  They don’t want to buy anything usually; they are playing a FREE ONLINE GAME.  So, I use the blog to funnel the traffic to places like Bukisa, where I am paid just for traffic, not for selling anything. 

I also have a blog about making money online.   This blog is something I never really expected to see huge traffic numbers, so, I would consider it a success.  Its primary purpose is to generate referrals for some of the programs I am involved in, in order to generate some income.  So, it does its job.  The problem with this blog is, making money online is a monster niche to try to break into, so most of my traffic comes from highly focused lontail keywords and phrases.  And quite honestly, I am ok with that, because I have a much larger project I am about to launch that will be going after the big guns on keywords like this….Shhh, you will hear more about this in the future I am sure.

Wow, did I just get off on a tangent.  Anyways, you are here today to learn how to blog (like the pros) and I will give you some of what you are looking for now.

The thing that a lot of people will tell you on this topic is content is king.  Content is important.  I am not exactly sure on this, but I am convinced that search engines like Google will not even give you the time of day if your blog only has a few pages of content.  Maybe in some niche markets it would, but in most of the markets I play in, there is no way.  In fact, it is my belief that you really should not even start to try to build backlinks aggressively until you at least have a good 15-20 posts.  And at least 5-pillar type posts.  But once you reach this level, this is where you really have to know how to blog.  This is where the work comes into play.

After you have a decent amount of content, and Google has responded by indexing your site.  I would take some time to find out how well you place in the search engines (Google-all others are of minimum importance) So, Google yourself using your keywords that you are targeting, and see how you rank.  Under normal circumstances, if I cannot find myself within the first 300 results I give up…I know I am not doing well and will need to really focus if I want to place.

After you know where you rank, you will want to take a look at the competition.  Particularly the top 10/first page.  And what you will want to look at, particularly is, the Page rank of the site, The URL, The inbound links, and the actual content of the page listed in the results page.

So, let me explain each one of these in more detail, because these are important how to blog lessons.

The Page Rank
The page rank of the site does not dictate where the site will turn up in the search engine results page for particular keywords.  But a site with high page rank will rank easier for keyword terms, than a site with a lower page rank, meaning the site has already established popularity, and can generate high search results for a high number of keywords with very little SEO for that particular keyword.

Why is the URL important? Because if it is the Root URL for that particular site that shows up in the results page, it will be more difficult to beat than if it is one of the pages within the site.  The term is more likely to be one of the sites primary keywords.  And will more likely have a large number of quality backlinks behind that keyword.

The Inbound links
And how do you check this.  Well there is no exact method to learn how many inbound links a site has, personally I use Yahoo'’ Site Explorer to get an idea as to how many links a site has, and figure I have to beat that number.

Actual Content
This is important, sometimes you will find that there is no real good reason that the page is showing up in the results page, other than it is a strong site and mentions your keywords within the content, but really has nothing to do with your keyword.  IF this is the case, you job just got much easier, with the ability to create highly focused articles about particular keywords, you can easily overcome these pages.

So, after you have determined where you rank with your primary keywords or phrases, which I am hoping is a list of about 5 keywords or keyword phrases.  And you have a handle on your competition; you can put a plan in action.  Now what should that plan consist of you may ask.  Well, I am gonna give you a general idea of what you will want to do next.  Now, every topic and blog is not created equally so you will have to modify this basic approach based upon your site and abilities, but here is what you will want to do.

Add your blog to blog directories.  Technorati, MyBlogLog, Blog Catalog, are just a couple, but you can find more.

You will want to be active within your blogging niche community and comment on blogs, and include your link.  While many people will tell you that you can generate a lot of backlinks through Blog Commenting, I feel that these backlinks carry very little weight with the search engine.  And they should only be a complement to your other backlinks you can create that will be high quality.  But, none the less, they should be included in your strategy.  If you can find a blog for a .edu or .gov site, it will carry much more weight.  But that is something for another day.  Sorry, can’t give you all the goods today!

You will also want to start writing article for Ezine and GoArticles.  These backlinks are priceless, and will have the ability to generate an endless number of backlinks, not to mention the sheer fact of getting a backlink from a highly ranked website like Ezine or Goarticles.

After that, I would recommend finding a forum or two (the highest page ranked) within your niche and set up an account that will have your site link within the signature.  And start posting, answering posts and just generally being active within that forum.  This method can generate a lot of backlinks quick.  They are not as quality as the article backlinks, but solid. 

Ok, so this is not all the answers to how to blog like a professional.  But this is a start.  These are the steps and concepts you will want to consider when you are trying to build traffic, and these will take you quite a long way.  This will not be my only how to blog article on this topic.  But seeing as I am up over 1500 words with this one, I have to call it quits for today. 

Thank you for reading blogging for beginners and I hope you come back soon.

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