Guest Post – Our host is Kevin Demlon, Kevin has some well explained tips for bloggers of all levels.See How To Become a guest author on Spice Up Your Blog.
Although it was coined in 1999, the term “blog” did not enter the dictionary until 2004, when it was Merriam-Webster’s Word of the Year. The dictionary defined it as “an online personal journal with reflections, comments, and often hyperlinks provided by the writer.” Since that time, blogging has become a legitimate and sometimes profitable profession for some scribblers. But like most professions, few bloggers ever achieve wealth or even fame. Most write for a small number of faithful readers who share their interests. There are of course exceptions to this rule.
When the Huffington Post, a news blogging website, was sold to America Online (AOL) for $315 in February of 2011, it sent shockwaves through the blogosphere. Suddenly, everybody and their mother thought they could strike it rich by simply starting their own blogs. As you might expect, most of them fell flat on their proverbial faces. How do we know?
At last count, there were an estimated 181 million active blogs, according to the Nielsen/McKinsey Company, an internet tracking firm. Of those 181 million, only a handful of them, perhaps as few as one hundred, have millions of monthly visitors. These popular blogs have huge profit margins because their operating expenses are low and advertisers are finally investing in online marketing campaigns. With that said, most blogger measure their monthly income in hundreds, not thousands or millions of dollars.
If you truly want to make money as a blogger, you must position your blog for success from the very first day. You might not ever strike online oil, but by following these tips, you will have a much better chance than the average blogger.
Define your goals from the start
As with any endeavor, you should ask yourself what you hope to accomplish before you begin. Are you blogging as a hobby, social activity, or to promote your business? The answer to those questions will obviously affect how and when you blog. A business owner, for example, needs new content to popularize his website, which means he will have to add blogs on a regular, sometimes daily basis. But a person who blogs for fun may not add any new entries for days, even weeks! Therefore, it is imperative that you define your goals and determine exactly what you want from you blog before you write a word.
Get to know your audience
There’s a reason politicians, moviemakers, and marketers spend beaucoup bucks on focus groups. They use them to gauge the interests of their target audience to a specific product, opinion, or idea. Knowing how these folks think is really the only reliable way to give them what they want. The same is true of writing or blogging.
You have to know your audience if you hope to relate and connect with them. In addition to the text, it is also important to consider the design of your site based on your intended audience. A blog that is meant to appeal to senior citizen would obviously have a very different layout than one that targets teenagers and young adults.
Even as readers lament the death of print media, newspaper columns are more popular than ever. Many appear in dozens of papers across the nation and have millions of readers. Why is this? For starters, these columnists know their audience, what they want, and how to give it to them. You could call it a voice, a tone, or even a literary persona, but these writers have a consistent image their readers appreciate and rely on.
A writer writes
No matter the subject or audience, all successful bloggers have one thing in common—they are busy bees. The top internet blogs are updated dozens, even hundreds of times each day. For a single scribbler, that would obviously be impossible. But it is important to add at least one entry each day. Popular search engines like Google rank websites based on new content, which can either help or hurt your total website traffic. Adding a blog is the easiest and probably most affordable way to stand out from the crowd and attractive new customers at the same time.
Be a good host
Millions of internet users leave billions of comments on websites each and every day. When these comments are left on a blog or website, guests greatly appreciate when the host answers their question or addresses their concerns. Even a short response will let them know that your care about their comments.