Your First 30 Days of Blogging

blogging

Starting a blog is easy…right? Technically it is easy to throw up a WordPress or Blogger blog, but it isn’t easy to create a successful blog.

If you want your blog to flourish and be looked upon as the go to resource for your industry, then it is critical that you follow and act on these steps over the next 30 days.

Day 1: Don’t launch until your blog is correctly setup.

No matter how tempting it maybe, you don’t want to launch your blog too early. You have to cover the basics by making sure you have an about and contact page as well as a decent looking design. Your design doesn’t have to be perfect or unique, you could just use a free WordPress theme.

And lastly, make sure you are using Feedburner to track your RSS feed and Google Analaytics to track your visitors.

Day 2: Pick a topic and stick with it

Even though it’s your blog and you can write on whatever you want, you have to pick a topic and stick with it. Although there is nothing stopping you from doing whatever you want, your blog will be much more popular if you stick with 1 topic.

It’s very rare to see a popular blog that covers dozens of different topics. Most of the popular blogs (TechCrunch, I Can Has Cheezburger, Gizmodo, Perez Hilton) write on 1 topic.

Day 3: Be consistent

If you have a lot to say and a ton of time, then blog daily. If you don’t have much time on your hands or much to say, blog once a week. Once you figure out how often you are going to blog, stick with it and be consistent. The biggest way to lose your audience is inconsistency.

If aren’t sure how often you can blog, start off by blogging once a month. If you happen to have more time, you can step it up by blogging more often. Just don’t reduce the number of times you are blogging.

If you don’t believe me, just take a look at Quick Sprout. During the beginning of the year I use to blog weekly and my blog was getting roughly 100,000 visitors a month. Now my blog is only getting 60,000 visitors a month because during the second quarter of this year, I was averaging 1 to 2 blog posts a month.

Day 4: No man is an island

Now that your blog is a few days old, you should start seeing some comments. Although it is only a standard practice to read every comment on your blog, you should make an effort to respond to every commentor.

If you don’t, some of your commentors may feel like you are ignoring them. Responding to every commentor will help you build a loyal following, which will help build up your traffic in the long run.

This is the main tactic I have used to help build up Quick Sprout.

Day 5: Stop regurgitating content

Don’t just blog about the news or on something you saw on another blog. If you are going to write on stuff everyone else has written on, make sure you throw in your two cents.

People are reading your blog because they want to hear from you…right? Then give them what they want by providing your opinion.

Ideally you should only be blogging when you have something new and exciting to say.

Day 6: Don’t be afraid to get dirty

Most bloggers are afraid of saying what they really think, especially when it is something negative. Don’t be afraid to get dirty unlike most bloggers. If you really feel a specific way about something, then write about it. I don’t care how negative or positive it maybe.

Controversy is one of the quickest ways to build a large following because it will cause other bloggers to link to you. Just don’t abuse the power by writing controversial posts for no reason. If you do, it could end up backfiring.

For example, I saw that Matt Kirkpatrick was messing up on his blog, so I called him out. Not only did I get Matt to come to my blog and comment, but that post also caused me to see an uptick in my RSS subscribers.

Day 7: Differentiate yourself

Like anything else, you are going to have competitors. So if you want people to read your blog compared to your competitions’ you’ll have to do something unique. It doesn’t have to be anything crazy, just something different.

For example, I blog about entrepreneurship like thousands of other bloggers. The way I try and differentiate myself is by writing detailed content that helps entrepreneurs take action. Entrepreneurs can get information from anywhere, but it is hard for them to find resources that tell them what to do.

Day 8: Survey your readers

Now that you have built up a small audience, it is time for you to survey them because the best way to improve your blog is to get feedback from your readers.

I usually use Survey.io to survey my blog readers and it has helped me realize that you want me to blog about things entrepreneurial related compared to things related to branding (Quick Sprout was once a blog on personal branding).

Surveying your readers will allow you to adjust your blog to meet their needs. You won’t be able to satisfy everyone, but you should be able to satisfy 80% of your readers.

Day 9: Leverage the social web

Two of my biggest sources of traffic are Twitter and Hacker News. Not only do these social sites drive visitors, but they also drive a lot of commentors.

Your blog may not be relevant toward the Hacker News audience, but it is relevant to someone on the social web.

Look for social sites that promote content similar to yours. And if you don’t know of any, you can always try going through this list.

In general sites like Twitter, Facebook and StumbleUpon work well for most bloggers. And out of these 3, Twitter is going to be the easiest to leverage because every time you write a blog post, you have it automatically tweeted out.

Day 10: Network with bloggers

The easiest way you can grow your blog traffic is to get other bloggers to link to you. But if you just hit up 100 random bloggers you’ll be lucky if you can get a few to blog about your blog.

On the other hand if you start chatting with bloggers through instant messaging and email, you’ll start building a relationship with them. And when you need them to plug you on their blog, your chances are going to be much higher.

When I launched Quick Sprout, within the first few days I had over 1000 RSS subscribers because bloggers like Shoemoney and Paul Stamatiou blogged on my launch.

Just don’t abuse the privilege because bloggers can easily get irritated if you keep on bugging them for mentions on their blog.

Day 11: Analyze your Feedburner stats

Feedburner can do a lot more for your business than just tell you how many RSS subscribers you have. If you dig a bit deeper you’ll notice that they tell you how many times RSS subscribers clicked on different blog posts.

By studying this data you will have a better understanding of what content your readers like and don’t like.

In addition to that, you’ll have a better understanding of the type of headlines your readers like.

Day 12: Participate in the conversation

In addition to responding to the comments on your blog, you should comment on your competition’s blog. This is a great way to get some of their visitors to come over to your website.

Are you familiar with Mashable? If you aren’t, it is one of the top 100 blogs on the web when it comes to popularity. One of the things that led to Mashable’s success is that they commented on their competition’s blog when they first launched.

I know this can be time consuming, but you don’t have to do it with all of your competitors, just do it with the popular ones.

Day 13: Optimize your blog for search engines

According to Alexa, Google is the most popular site on the web. So why not optimize your website for it and other search engines? SEO doesn’t have to be complicated. If you have a WordPress or Movable Type blog, this article will walk you through the steps you need to take to be search engine friendly.

If you don’t have a WordPress or Movable Type blog, you can still optimize it, you just may have to put in more time.

Day 14: Write a three part series

Writing a 3 part series blog post isn’t going to be an easy task, but the results that it will produce will be worthwhile. By publishing a 3 part series over a week time span, you are going to encourage readers to come back more often.

For a new blog this is important because even if your readers like your content, they’ll tend to not come back. If you leave them wanting more they’ll naturally have to keep on coming back.

A good example of a blog that has created a multiple series post is Problogger. Problogger has taken this concept to a whole new level, with a 31 days series post about blogging.

Day 15: Come up with a monetization plan

You shouldn’t try and monetize your blog within the first few months of blogging because it can be a big turn off to your readers. But, you still need to know how you are going to make money from your blog.

Come up with a plan of monetization strategies you want to test over the next few months. And don’t just rely on the standard methods, such as slapping up Google AdSense.

Get creative; try out some affiliate ads and things that are more integrated with your blog, such as a subscription program.

If you don’t want to make money from your blog, that’s fine, but in many cases the popularity of your blog will increase as you make more money. Just look at John Chow.

Day 16: Encourage commenting

A good way to increase the number of comments on your blog posts, is to ask a question at the end.

For example, you could end your blog posts with questions like:

  • So what do you think?
  • If you have any other suggestions, feel free and leave a comment?
  • Do you have any questions?

Or if you want, you can do what Gary Vaynerchuk once did:

If this post doesn’t receive 600 comments, I am going to stop blogging. So please comment.

Day 17: Have someone tweet about your blog (not you or your mom)

Tweeting about your blog posts isn’t enough. You need other people to tweet about your blog. Now that you have been leveraging Twitter for a while, here are a few ways you can get others to tweet about you blog:

  1. Ask your followers to retweet your message (assuming you just tweeted about your blog).
  2. Email friends and colleagues who use Twitter and ask them for a tweet.
  3. Join a social media ring. If you join a group filled with social media users, you can ask each other for tweets.

Day 18: Leverage blogrolls

You’ll notice that a lot of bloggers have blogrolls on their blog. It’s their way of showing their readers which blogs they typically read.

If you can get your blog added to a few blogrolls, not only will you get an increase in traffic from the link, but you’ll also get a bit more traffic from search engines.

The best way to get your blog added to a blogroll is send out custom emails to bloggers. Build a relationship with them and nicely ask if they wouldn’t mind adding you to their blogroll.

Most bloggers are going to say no when you email them, but like anything else, it’s a numbers game.

Day 19: Get personal

Now that you have been blogging for roughly 3 weeks, it’s time to build a personal connection with your readers. You can do this through three ways.

The first is to write a detailed about page that includes your life story. I have done this with my about page and based on the comments I have received, it has been effective.

The second tactic that has helped me build a relationship with you was when I started blogging about my life experiences, such as the 7 business mistakes that nearly made me go broke.

And lastly, although this is more of a requirement than a tactic, you should add a picture of yourself in your sidebar. I don’t care if you’re ugly or pretty, people won’t bond with you unless they know to whom they are talking.

Day 20: Track your internal searches

Through services like Lijit, you can track what people are searching for and what blog posts they are clicking on. This will enable you to get a better understanding of what content your readers are looking to read.

Once you have enough data to crunch, then you can consider writing blog posts related to the keywords people are searching for.

Day 21: Survey your readers again

I know that you already surveyed your readers once, but you want to make sure that you are meeting their expectations. Hopefully after you learned what they wanted from you the first time, you were better able to satisfy their needs. But, if you don’t survey your readers, you won’t ever know.

And if you don’t happen to meet their expectations, that’s fine. It took me roughly 3 times before I met your expectations on Quick Sprout (or so I hope).

Day 22: Reduce your bounce rate

Now that you have a decent amount of traffic coming to your blog, you want to work on reducing your bounce rate. A few things you can do to reduce your bounce rate are:

  1. Add a widget to your blog that shows your most popular posts. This way if a new reader comes to your blog they can easily find the best blog posts you have written.
  2. If you don’t have a tagline, consider adding one. A tagline will help better explain what your blog is about to new readers.
  3. In your sidebar consider adding a short paragraph that explains what your blog is about. This should help convince a few of your visitors to stick around a bit longer.

Day 23: Tweak your design

Similar to modifying your blog to reduce your bounce rate, it is now time to modify the design elements on your blog to meet your goals.

For example, if your goals are to increase the number of RSS subscribers you have, increase the number of comments per post, and make your content more readable you would:

  • Move up your RSS subscription link above the fold as well as provide an email subscription option (a lot of people don’t use feed readers).
  • Implement a threaded comment system that encourages a conversation.
  • Consider using larger text and Arial as your font type.

Your goals may vary from the ones above, but whatever they are, make sure your design is helping you meet those goals. If it isn’t, modify your design.

Day 24: Write an in-depth guide

Now it’s time to figure out how in-depth your readers want your content to be.

Om Malik once said that if you have a blog post that is 1000 words, it could be written in 500 words. And if it could be written in 500 words, then it could be written in 250 words.

What Om was trying to say is that you shouldn’t ramble on because no one likes reading fluff. But this doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t write detailed blog posts that are long and actually provide a ton of value.

By writing a blog post that is 2000 plus words (assuming there is no fluff), it will give you an understanding if your readers like it more than your blog posts that were short. Based on that, you can adjust how long your future blog posts will be.

Day 25: Guest post on another blog

A great way to get more readers to your blog is to write a post on another blog. Whether it is a competitors blog or not, it doesn’t matter. As long as the blog you are guest posting on is popular and some what related, you’ll see an increase in traffic to your blog.

So create a list of 10 blogs that you would ideally want to guest post on and approach them. The majority of them will say no, but if one of them says yes, it will be worth the effort.

If none of those 10 blogs say yes, consider creating a list of 10 more blogs that aren’t as popular. In addition to that you may want to adjust your approach when you reach out to these bloggers. Not only should you ask them to guest post, but tell them what you want to write on and how it would benefit their readers.

Day 26: Keep on feeding the fire

Through services like Google Blog Search and Technorati, you will be able to find out when someone mentions you on their blog. Keeping track of this on a daily basis will allow you to thank every blogger that mentions you on their blog.

By showing your appreciation you will build up a larger fan base. Plus, those bloggers will more likely blog about you again because you said “thanks” to them.

Day 27: Join a blog network

Networks like 9rules and b5media have access to hundreds of popular blogs. By joining their network not only will you be connected with other popular bloggers, but you’ll start getting more traffic.

Don’t expect a ton of traffic from these networks, but expect a high quality of traffic. Plus, your blog is new, so every bit helps. ;-)

Day 28: Write an “ask the readers” blog post

If you aren’t familiar with what an “ask the readers” blog post is, check out this post I wrote. If that doesn’t help explain it, it’s pretty much a blog post that is asking a question to your readers.

Not only does this encourage a conversation, but it allows you to find out how many readers you actually have. And when a good chunk of your readers posts a comment, make sure you take the effort and get to know them on a personal level.

You can do this by replying to their comments, visiting their website if they have one, and by shooting off an email to them.

Day 29: Start cross-linking

A great way to get more pageviews out each of your visitors is to link to your older post. You can do this through a few ways:

  1. Add a related posts widget at the bottom of each your blog posts. So if they like what they just read, they can read other similar blog posts.
  2. Within your content link to other posts you have written. These links tend to get the most clicks because they are embedded within your content.
  3. As I mentioned on day 22, in your sidebar, you can add a most popular post widgets. This will also encourage your readers to click through to other posts.

The other benefit that you’ll receive from cross-linking is that it helps with your search engine rankings. Over time, you’ll end up getting more Google traffic if you cross-link.

If you don’t believe me, just look at Mashable. They are notoriously known for cross-linking and it has worked out well for them.

Day 30: Don’t expect the world

Unlike any of the previous days, day 30 is a bit more relaxed. Instead of doing anything to your blog, I want you to sit back and just thinking about everything you accomplished and the areas you could improve upon.

And most importantly, don’t expect your blog to be popular. It can take months, if not years, before your blog really becomes popular. You just have to be persistent and keep on going at it.

If you stop, you’ll lose the traction you built over the last 30 days.

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Comments

  1. I really enjoy your detailed blog Neil. I like how you stick to your topic. Can I recommend that you might put a “Link” section somewhere. All the great resources that you have might be better used and visited if they were more easily accessible. Or perhaps you would just direct us to your blogs that contain these?

    • That’s a tough thing to do because a lot of my blog posts are “resources” in one way or another. I was hoping that the sidebar widget with my “current hits, all time, and favs” would solve this, but I guess it isn’t.

      I’ll have to come up with something unique.

  2. For a 30 day guide, nothing much to disagree with here. It is also important to not be something your not. So many blogs want to be news sites, if you have a story to tell (much like your site) that always works best. Don’t forget about those quality backlinks either, that is wiked important…just ask johns wu previously of bankaholic.

  3. Give value, value, value. Don’t just fill a blog full of affiliate links. Of course there is nothing wrong with affiliate links but offer value first. If a blog post is about a product, show readers how it can better their life and fix their problem. If a blog is on entertainment is there anything to blog about to give the reader a smile? The best blog writers give first, take second.

    • Especially in the internet world where almost everything is free, you need to GIVE your readers valuable information for them to be influenced by your advice.

      • Exactly Neil ! Offer in-depth information. If you want your readers to really take you seriously, you must be able to offer them with solid, in-depth information. If you offer these people with data that are too common or those that can be easily found online, you’ll give them a reason to believe that you are really not an expert on your chosen niche or that you are not a great source of valuable information.

  4. This is very detailed guide of blogging Neil, and never forget to have fun in blogging, and know your audience. That’s why personal touch with your audience and meeting their exceptions are important factor. This guide could be a key to success for any blog. Nice post!

    • The fun should come in when you choose to blog about things your passionate about. Otherwise, topics can get old and boring.

      • That’s right! you should also need to have good knowledge of things that you are blogging about. That requires to have an updated knowledge, and passion is the driving force behind getting updated knowledge because you constantly follow it. OR else you’ll be grilled by your readers!

  5. A super-duper comprehensive guide, Neil! Tweeted it so that my followers can benefit ;-)

    By the way, since you always reply to other people’s comments, you should consider installing a “subscribe to comments” plugin to improve interactiveness. The commentators will know that you have replied to them and maybe reply again ;-) . http://txfx.net/code/wordpress/subscribe-to-comments/

  6. “Pick a topic and stick with it”.sdo I have go one way only?What if I had a blog talking about health and healt echnologies together?

  7. Hi Neil,

    Visited your blog after a long time.. Good to see your post..as usual its gr8 stuff!

    Liked the way you were sticked to ur particular topic..

    And yes new sites are really challenging plus extremely hard..
    It’s very hard for a one person to compete with websites like CNN who hasthousands of contributors.

    Anyways thanx for sharing.. :)

  8. I agree starting a blog is easy but successful in terms of traffic/money-making isn’t easy.
    I appreciate your post but sorry, I tried many times but technical terms no matter how many times I try I fail to understand. All I know is writing only.
    But I have a question :
    I don’t have money to setup own website And nor I am capable to understand technical words – I find blogspot the only easy one for writing and I believe there are huge writers on blogspot. Dont you think blogspot can be successful in terms of traffic/money-making?
    If Yes, how ?
    Any post ????

    • Starting a blog isn’t for everyone. You have to post often and keep up with it for this one to work. If you have the time to monitor a blog this is a great way to build trust with your readers and generate a lot of free “traffic”. Blogs work a lot like the articles I was talking about earlier. The biggest difference is that you will recieve lots of repeat traffic and extra opportunities to expose your own online business.

    • Making money with your blog is VERY difficult. Everyone should NOT quit their day job just yet. Any website can have a lot of traffic, just write powerful content.

  9. Neil,

    Thank you for sharing these. We are in the process of building the RainToday RainMaker Blog and these tips will certainly help guide the launch process. I especially like your last point – don’t expect the world. In my experience launching sites like this, it is certainly not the case of “if you build it, they will come.” It take time and dedicated work to build up an audience and receive participation and you’ve outlined some great ways to do this.

    Also – what are your thoughts on blogrolls? Are these a thing of the past or do you recommend new bloggers use them as a way to connect with other bloggers out there?

    Erica

  10. Thanks for the post.It was so long to read all of them but it is really useful.By the way,”someone mentions you on their blog.” for this,I think you sholud be a little famous or You have to add very interesting unique content to your blog.Otherwise,nobody cares.

  11. chandra shekhar :

    Hi Neil
    I had recently started following your blog/tweets and I am happy that I did so. I recently launched my blog site and I did took a clue from your earlier posts on social networking. So just thought of dropping you a BIG thanks for sharing your knowledge.
    I am doing some experiment with my blog. As it is new, each day I use a different social site to drive visitor and analyze the visits and search results. And you know what the one you have mentioned in your post (hacker news) tops the chart till now.
    Now I have got your 30day mantra I will definitely give it a shot and come back to you with results.

  12. I say :
    There are three stages :
    1. Beginner
    2. Intermediate
    3. Advance

    I suggest :
    I wish you or people like you who are excellent in technical knowledge should start writing for three said stages instead of writing for 2 & 3.
    I am a beginner And I am sure the percentage for starters are always high.

    • Stage 1, beginner, should really be pretty self explanatory. What I mean by that is that you should pick a topic you have interest in and write about it.

    • These steps are for beginner, intermediate and advanced user, they are very useful for every future blogger. N:1 is very important, you can also check if every urls are working and there are no 404 error and some other network errors :)
      Best regards,
      Sammy

  13. Hey Neil – Solid post (as always), and perfect timing because I just launched a blog on Labor Day to help entrepreneurs from the legal side. Indeed, I tried something a little different in the sidebar and added a brief video explaining the purpose of my blog (see http://www.walkercorporatelaw.com/blog). I would love to get your feedback. Thank you – and keep up the great work.

    Scott Edward Walker

  14. Really informative post, another useful thing could be the addition of using Social Media to drive more traffic to your blog. Its a kind of thing that should be taken seriously when it comes to blogging.

  15. I really enjoyed this post. Great information. I have had a problem with the Feedburner plugin on my wordpress. Is the ‘official’ plugin the only way to use feedburner?

  16. Thanks Neil, I would say I am not even on Day 1 of my blog yet, and already broke your Day 1 rule, and launched it before it was fully functional – but its close. I am hoping to be rid of the WP generic theme in the next week or two.

  17. Good tips Neil, but I think you shouldn’t start so early with the monetizing :) For affiliate programs I recommend you to use cj.com or clicbank.com:)
    Best regards!

  18. Very interesting article. One of the hardest parts is to stick what you are doing. I started several blogs but lost interest after a while. You have to be really dedictated to get your blog on top.

    • There will be times when you loose your motivation, so you should do random design changes to get yourself back into it. Set goals for traffic or even stuff like monetizing your site and making (x) dollars.

  19. Woooooooow you could have written 30 posts on these but short and sweet.

  20. Request for free advice: Currently I have a new blog which is an embedded wordpress blog set up using the Network Solution WYSIWYG editor. Unfortunately while it is easy to set up, it’s really really bare bones and there’s not much you can do with it (e.g. having 2 blogger profiles or even changing the title font).

    I am debating whether to switch over to Blogger or build a blog using wordpress. I want other stuff on the site beside a blog which is why I used the Network Solutions WYSIWYG editor in the first place.

    Can I create a similar product/site using wordpress?

    Any advice would be appreciated.

  21. Pretty solid advice. I’ve been doing most of that, but also a great way to drive traffic and become an authority is to interview people in authoritative positions. They’ll often link to the article and if you ask good questions the content can be quite fantastic.

    • Interviewing other people is fantastic and it CAN drastically change the way people in the blogoshphere perceive you. Again, it requires networking, something you should be constantly working on.

  22. hello neil,
    I was wandering.As Google loves fresh content on a regular basis,how would the addition of a news widget,such as BBC or CNN,affect this?News is constantly updated,could this help with content updating?Thank you
    Kam

  23. Thanks for the wonderful post.
    Regards,

  24. “Consider using larger text and Arial as your font type” with this,you are exactly correct because visitors want to find what they search.If they cannot see the topic quickly,they can pass to another sites so I think this is really important to keep the visitors on our blog.

  25. What do you think about anonymous blogging? I am setting up a new blog, but I want to remain anonymous because my name is known for quite a few other things professionally, and I want to keep it that way. What’s your spin?

    • Hi Bukie, you may have heard this recent story of PittGirl who lost her job after she had to reveal her identity (otherwise someone else was going to reveal it). Sometimes, the identity gets revealed even if the blogger does not want to. So you should think carefully if you think your blogging can hurt you professionally.

      • Everything you do online can be traced and tracked down. You should just go by the rule of thumb and not write down anything too offensive or controversial. It can bite you in the ass!

  26. Impeccable timing, Neil. I recently started my new web site and blog. These tips will be helpful. Thank you!

  27. Bukie: I agree with you.Privacy is very important unless you are famous.

  28. Hello Neil, loved the tips.

    Actually, I have just started a blog at blogger.com and I am also writing an eBook on Power Blogging. This post gave out a fabulous inspirational stream :)

    By the way, when I started blogging years ago, there were two simple things I did. I gave out a freebie eBook (My subscribers increased to 2500 in just 4 months) and I started making digg friends which helped me reach on the top seriously well.

    • Wow, 2500 in 4 months, thats great! Digg can lead to a lot of traffic so good for you!

    • Social bookmarking sites can surely play a great role in your blog ranking. you can boost the ranking and also bring a lot of traffic through these sites. It is important to build friend’s list on top social bookmarking sites, and have your blog posts bookmarked by your friends. But in the end, it is the blog itself that can keep readers interested and reduces the bounce rate.

      • Ya, but that doesn’t happen really soon. You have to make friends, work for them (Neil did it for blogs a bit differently, I remember..) and then get the juice. I mean, web is not for the non workers. It needs consistent efforts and networking skills.

      • With social bookmarking sites, it’s important for you to become a part of the community and not someone who just constantly promotes his/her own stuff.

  29. Great post as usual ! Shall try to follow all these tips in next thirty days and will let you know about the progress.
    I am sure its gonna be a tough time but lets see..

  30. That’s is why i enjoy this blog. When you are looking something good to read, go to Neil’s posts. Again excelent article.

  31. Another good read Neil… Btw i have a question. How do you actually test a blog w/o launching it? I mean my blog is not new, but everytime I have something to test out with either the design or positioning, I always annoy my readers because they see different layouts at different time (considering Im testing out.) It’s a problem when Im trying a new theme and then customizing… They get annoyed to see quick changes in quick time.. Any tip?

  32. Debt Settlement :

    Great post Neil. It just kept going and going but all great stuff. I have only been blogging for a few months myself so I picked up some great tips.

    Your Day 9 social web list is going to give me some homework for at least a week. I haven’t even heard of half of the sites on there so I will be checking those out. Thanks for such a detailed and specific post.

  33. Making money through monetization is the ultimate objective of every blogger. Most of the bloggers go for adsence or PPC. My advice for all those bloggers who have high number of visitors is that they must introduce their own product or service through their blog instead of joining any affiliation market. You will earn morn in this way.

  34. Day 3/being consistent should also be a blog-lifelong goal. It’s always a challenge and I must say I haven’t abided by this too long. My worst was maybe 10 days without a post, over the 4 years my blog has been around. When I had more time (oddly enough while in school), I’d post every day or every other day but now I post about once a week and my content has adapted as such… longer and more in-depth posts every time.

    And yes, writing a series of posts can be GREAT! I got 480,000 views one month from a series on how to make a cheap file server/nas/htpc. Then again I just finished up a 3 piece article on HDR photography, incredibly detailed, that has great comments and all but isn’t such a traffic gem.. however that is the type of timeless content that will slowly bring in nice SERP goodness.

    However, with all my blog’s successes I can’t seem to fix my damned bounce rate! It’s always around 80%. I show related posts, link to tags, link to other recent posts and have at times had modules to show my hottest posts of all time, in the last 3 months, etc.. just doesn’t work in my situation. I feel like my readers just hang out in their RSS reader all day and don’t check out the site.

    Anyways, good post as usual Neil. I’ll give you a ring when I’m ready to chat about stuff sometime in the near future. Will be in SF late October too if you happen to be up there :-)

  35. Thanks a lot for sharing this article, Guess this is one of the best detailed posts which I have ever studied, I have read it thrice and it still feels like I could learn a lot If I go through it once more.
    I would like to get all these ideas into my blog as well as its been 15 days since I started my blog and I want improved results for it now.

  36. Hi Neil,

    This was immensely helpful. I’d love to see a post similar to this but for small business, just a thought. Why? Many of the major social media outlets show-case the big blue chip players and their social media efforts. They also have $1000’s! What about the smaller-mid size companies?

    Thanks again, this post rocks

    • Hey Brett,

      Thanks for the input and suggestion. They show-case them for a number of reasons, but mainly because of the high level promotion they give to their company (social meda outlets)

  37. What a great insight into the intricacies of blogging. They are so timely and invaluable.
    Thanks for helping with this.

  38. Would you mind sharing how much money you make off this website?

  39. Great post again Neil, but I would say.. it is rather difficult to get comments from the 4th day itself. Friends family may be.. but not actual readers, unless you get search engines with you.. that takes hell lot of time..

  40. Thank you for this post Patel! I enjoyed it because I launch my blog yesterday :) The last 30 days I developing my new site with my blog section. I’m on the 2nd day now :)

    On the first day I wrote a post.
    On the first day midnight started to make social postings a lot of sites after I resubmitted my site to the selected search engines.

    So thanks again!

  41. Neil, these are some great tips. I can use them for some of my blogs. I sure lack some planning for my blogs. Lot of time we loose track of all the steps needed to get a blog going and making it profitable and just concentrate on monetization methods first.

    Thanks for sharing this.

  42. Excellent tutorial. You cover so much in this post an am excited to implement them all.. Thanks.

  43. Neil, thanks for putting together all these important tips and in a way that doesn’t seem overwhelming! I will share this with my network. Frankly, I didn’t know where to start and now I think it is possible.

  44. I am going to start my new blog next week …so I will keep these things in mind …specially the 5 point…thanks a lot…

  45. Excellent tutorial. Thanks.

  46. Great blog. And the one thing I stress to clients (which I’m not always good at myself) is updating content frequently. People are easily bored and will not continue to return if your content never changes.

    I now encourage my clients to have a “stash” written before they go public so when they don’t have time to write they have something to fall back on. A lesson I learned the hard way.

  47. Hi Neil,
    It is a fine post. However, there is much to learn, practice & experiment in blogging than just putting it in 30 steps & it is entirely dependent on individual that what area is more important to develop for the goal set by blogger than any other criterion. It is not profitable advice for your readers to think of anything else before learning & understanding the niche & business of blogging.

  48. I’m sorry but the first rule of thumb should be that whatever your native language is, ensure there are no spelling mistakes and grammatical errors, if there are it just makes you look like an amateur.

  49. I especially like #30 because most of the people I know wants to jump into blogging thinking that they can easily get famous and/or make money out of it when in reality, it’s not. You are right that it will take months, if not years. In reality, there’s a good chance that you won’t make money at all.

    Personally though, I don’t do all the stuffs you wrote here. But majority of them, I follow.

  50. As always it is a pleasure reading your blog. I really like the way you stick to the topic and elaborate and explain with utmost simplicity. Keep it up buddy.

  51. It looks like I’m late to the commenting party, but I do have something to ask about. I recently created a new blog about exercising naturally. I’ve been posting about once a week for a month now. I promote my blog and comment around, but my traffic is tiny, and I have no comments; I’m stuck on “day 4″. Is day 4 relative and can how can I start sending some consistent traffic my way?
    Thanks -Colt (Practical Muscle)

    • Start commenting on other blogs that are in your niche.

      • Yes, I have done quite a bit of commenting in the first few months of my blog and it did help to bring awareness. However, by far I get the most traffic from google. And that just came from providing good quality posts that were optimized for specific keywords that people where looking for. So make sure to keep the good posts going because eventually that will be your biggest and most targeted traffic draw.

  52. Thanks Neil,

    This article was like an learning experience for me I will be checking back for your very valuable information. Especially on the bounces. I have been blogging for about 2 months and no-one ever leaves a comment. I guess it’s not interesting enough. Man you opened my eyes.
    legitimate business opportunities & Ideas

  53. Well, I don’t consider myself a blogging beginner – I’ve already created a few blogs, but I was really surprised how much of the recommended stuff I’ve been neglecting/ignoring (especially all the different ways of interaction with my readers). It looks like there’s still a lot of work ahead of me… Thanks for all the great tips, Neil.

  54. This was a really great post with excellent suggestions. I’ve been blogging for almost a year now so I’m going back to fine tune my blog. I also just launched a second blog, http://aboutalz.com so I’ll have a fresh start there to implement your suggestions. Thanks!

  55. Great 30 day plan. Pointed out some things I had not thought much about. I have a free website and hosting at Office Live but many of the features are very limited. Your emphasis on comments makes me think that I should move my site to Word Press and another host. I am trying to see if my site is going to be profitable before I do all that work. I turned my real life nightmare into a website but no real revenue yet. thanks, Chris

    • Well, whatever site you choose, just focus on creating the good quality content which is what really matters. Seth Godin uses type pad… I mean it’s really all about your quality.

  56. Jessica Guerro :

    Wow great article with a lot of very helpful and useful information. I really learned a lot about what I can change about my blog to make it more successful. Thanks very much.

  57. These are some great tips. Probably one of the best “how to start a blog” articles I’ve come across. You did an awesome job of breaking down the days and what you should be doing to launch a blog.

    From now on, I plan on sending this to people we work with. It’s a great guide for beginners.

  58. Some great advice here! Thanks so much for the information. So many posts just give you the blabla routine, and really leave you with zilch. Your post was informative and entertaining I might add. Keep it real.

    • Thanks, I’m glad you like my writing style. It’s something to keep in mind. The information can be the same, but the way you present it makes all the difference.

    • There are lots of websites on the web that are trying to post useful information like this but there are few that actually have any idea what they are talking about. Thank you Neil for your work and for all the good information you share with us.

  59. This is an ebook in the making..xcellent 30 day guide for the would be blogger..Thank you for the free information and an excellent Blog

  60. Neil, thanks for these great blogging tips. I have several blogs of my own and they can all do with some sprucing up and promoting a little better than they are at present. I’ll certainly put some of your advice into action!

  61. You’ve made some really good/interesting suggestions, there. I just have a little gardening blog, so I’m not in it for the money, but it’d be nice to get the occasional visitor. Can you post some tips on not losing interest in a blog 6 months down the line, as usually happens to me? :)

    • You know Melanie, that’s a great suggestion, however, it’s unrealistic. No one really can tell you to whether you’d be interested in something 6 months from now or not. You need to just choose something your passionate about.

  62. Much of my content is about stats and stuff which cannot incite much opinion either from my side or from the commentators..It’s like plain facts people come to read. I can’t relate to many of the things you’ve said..

  63. Its hard to have a good content if there is so many great sites like this one.

  64. I just stumbled across this blog today, and absolutely love this guide that you have put. I agree with the point that we shouldn’t think about monetizing blog for first few months. But, getting some early money is a really big motivation factor. I guess blogs launched by those who are already “pro” in this field can follow this strategy as those guys are more seasoned, and patient. However, newbies like me need some push to keep going.

  65. I do some promotion my website with social bookmarking, but now I used comment to blogs and my ranking in SERP is much faster ..

    • Fahad (Make|Money|Online) :

      i agree with you abdol commenting on other blogs with an valueable comment is good staretgy ,nobdoy like spamming on his blog. At first i was using strategy of link exchange with other sites but it is a difficult task to visit their sites and see from hundred link that out link exist on their page or not, so i have left this approach. Good comments give benefit to all parties blog owner , commentor and other readers because they also know some other things that might not mentioned in the post.

  66. Great post, Neil. Thanks for going into so much detail. It’s always great to hear someone preaching the virtues of good content and spending time developing relationships, and oh I don’t know, some credibility. Too many people look for the quick and easy way, and don’t feel like doing any work to be successful.

  67. Back in 2004 an 2005 I was a full time blogger. I sold my network of blogs and got into real estate investing, and now I have come full circle and I am back into blogging again. Who would have thought! Anyhow, I just launched my blog this past week and I am so glad that I read this article before launch time! You have saved me thousands upon thousands of dollars worth of time with this simple but effective step by step list. I am a fan and will be checking back in often. Thanks for all you do…

    • Fahad (Make|Money|Online) :

      i think it’s only luck and interest, somebody earns a lot of money from real estates but others might feel it interesting to manage some blogs and earn money from them.But remember in any field patience is must to reach at a point where u can earn a good amount of money. People who starts a project with a view to must earn money in few days give up early.

    • That’s amazing Chris! What types of blogs were you working with before.

  68. Neil,

    Well done man. I am a classic constipated blogger…

    I think like a blogger, have unique angle and content but am always trying to find my “right voice.” Settle on my “right audience.” It’s a love/hate relationship. This all causes me paralysis. Damn…

    Well, enough of me and my crap… great advice, check list to success. I’m clearer and reinspired to take some real action.

    Now, where’s my new WP Blog and who’s putting it up? Help!

    Do you love the Thesis theme?

    Best,
    Shawn

  69. Thanks buddy,
    you have genious mind man, I have noted your 30 days plan for blogging and I will be following them for my new blog. Meanwhile, I will be waiting for your useful ideas on blogging and related stuff. Thanks

  70. the first 90 days are the hardest to survive. however as the months would go on, you start to see cents in your adsense account. then cents become dollars… and so on… just dont give up.

  71. I have just revisited this post and one of the points Neil made at number 2 about sticking with your topic is the best of the lot. I have concentrated on one topic for one of my blogs whilst my other 3 have changed their subject matter numerous times. The one that hasnt changed now ranks well in the search engines and I have built up a pretty loyal following although for the first 5 months it was hard work, so keep at it, it will happen for you.

  72. Top Search Engine Placement :

    Wow, excellent content! Thanks for sharing. There’s a bunch of things I never really thought of. I will check out the blog networking sites you mentioned.
    Thanks!

  73. Niel…..what a great post for anyone who is looking to start a blog. You have laid out the path to success for other newbie bloggers to model. Most appreciated!

    Also it is interesting to me you seem to have no adsense ads.

  74. I just started a blog .. Very complete information that you provide. Do you know which is more easily between wordpress anda blogger..?? Thank you

  75. Ya im working on a new blog right now it should be up real soon. This blog i am working on has some articles on it but i dont like the look of the blog so im going to fix it up little by little until it is the best it can be. Adsense is somthing too people might worry about.

  76. Recently, there has been a good deal of litigation by the
    US Federal trade comission against blogs and website owners
    for not revealing advertising income, or existing
    relationships with advertising agencies.

    What are your ideas concerning how this could effect
    the blogging world?

    • What this means is a lot of new rules and regulations to be created in the near future… yes more than what’s going on right now… but that’s just what happens when a new source starts seeing profitability, everyone wants a part of it.

    • Yeah. The government always wants to get money from everything, but when it has to actually give away money there is always a problem. I like this saying: “Don’t steal. the government hates competition.”

  77. I have been blogging for 2 years now and it still feels like my first 30 days.I wont give up!

  78. I always like reading advices from people who were actually successful doing what they advise about. There are many people who like to give advices about something they didn’t even tried. That is just lame.

  79. Just came over from “Daily blog tips”… not 101 things to do, but still pretty good.

    Could I add, and perhaps this should be number 1…. sort out your blog security with difficult to crack passwords, updating to latest version of wordpress, security hacks to add to your .htaccess and security plugins. Sort out security before you start to pretty up the site.

  80. Great post, my most effective was setting up all the RIGHT plugins and services, making sure all the links was working correct on the blog so that visitors can share, subscribe and interact, and it all started taking shape from there after banging out valuable content over and over.

    • It’s the little stuff like that which allows you to have as many bridges as possible to bring in new traffic. The more clean and seamless your design, the easier it will be.

  81. what a great post. i specially like the guest posting, allthough i havnet done it yet, i am in the proses of it. i want to make sure i write the best content that i can so it will be useful to the host blog’s readers as well.

    • Guest posting is great. Whether you’re guest posting on someone else’s site, or you’re having someone do it on your site, you’ll allow the readers to experience new perceptions. Guest posting for others also helps you with traffic flow.

  82. Some great advice with additional resources i have never seen before. I am still amazed at bloggers who comment with bad spelling, how do you write blogs?

  83. Hi Neil

    I really like your blog and I have mentioned this in an earlier comment.

    Would you suggest that one has a few posts in the blog before it is made public – or it is ok to inform friends about your blog from the very first post? Also, if you think one needs to have some posts in place before opening the blog for all to see – what would you suggest is the minimum number of posts?

    Ajoy

  84. Consistency of new content, quality content, really is the key to a good blog.

    I have a couple of blogs that I write to most days. Not every day because some days – there’s nothing to say and writing for the sake of just writing – doesn’t read well!

    The thing I always try to remember when writing to my blog is that the readers read it because they either like it or because they’ve found a particular post in the SEs when searching for information.

    Whatever the reason, the more people I have who bookmark it and return to it are more people who will (hopefully) one day take a course of action I want them to take – whether that be to buy something, subscribe for something or whatever!
    By creating that ‘relationship’ with the reader through fresh, well written and entertaining content – you create a marketing tool that can be incredibly powerful.

    Train them to return frequently through fresh posts and you will be doing yourself untold favours!

  85. Hi! Neil,

    Really great post buddy …..
    I missed few steps infact I never realized there importance… I will add missing thing in my blog

    Thanks a lot,
    Arun Bagul

  86. Thanks for posting this, Neil. I’m looking for a creative outlet this winter, and my friend and I have decided to actually start a blog, which is an idea we’ve been tossing around for a while.

    The problem is, we have no idea where to start. This helps a lot and makes me feel a bit less nervous about getting readers/acceptance – I guess it is more about a fresh perspective and personality than I thought. :)

  87. I have started some blogs and it attracts some traffic coming your way, need to be very persistent on driving that constantly and inject in fresh idea and write-up for a fresh blog so that visitors will come back again.

  88. Angeline Gabriel :

    Hi Neil,
    I am about to register my domain name, and get serious about blogging.
    What a blessed coincidence to find this blog post at a time like this!

    Keep writing and sharing,

    ~Mucho Gracias~

  89. Hey some great points in here! There’s almost too many to read! I myself have too many blogs to count and just don’t have enough time to be updating them all and getting fresh content.

    I really like your idea of a 3 part series. I need something to get those users coming back for more! Not just coming, reading a good article and then leaving. I want to try and build up those return visits and try and make at least one of my blogs very profitable and interesting!

    Thanks again for the greatly informative post ;)

    • Instead of having too many blogs, focus on 1 and work on building it to the max. Then when you find yourself in a position where that 1 blog is incredibly successful, slowly launch out the other ones.

  90. Hi Neil, I like your advice very much, I am a new to wordpress. 4 months ago with my wife (she writes the content I do the technical stuff) we started our blog (http://lovemeow.com), It seems google does not index my site very well, and the traffic volume we get from Google is not great, we got 10k Facebook fans in about 3 months, but it seems google is still slow to index our site (google image on the other hand seems to like us). I think our Content is great. Is there any glaring deficiencies we are missing ? I think we follow most if not all your advice.

  91. Wow. Great list. A lot of ideas to work with. It is tough for some bloggers knowing where to turn next but there is always something you can do to help it get going. Awesome ideas. Good article.

  92. Some really super cool ideas and suggestions.. particularly the getting dirty part..little controversy helps a lot.. both in terms of interested visitors and back links..

  93. Hey Neil,

    “Be Consistent” is the hardest one for me. And here’s why:

    When you start a new blog you have zero followers lol – it’s only fun when you have thousands of people actually reading (like you).

    With my blog, I’d have MAYBE 10-20 readers, which sucks and doesn’t motivate me to blog much at all lol

    Sincerely,
    Jay Jalodomisa

  94. I’m sorry but the first rule of thumb should be that whatever your native language is, ensure there are no spelling mistakes and grammatical errors, if there are it just makes you look like an amateur…

  95. Paula Harrison :

    I think the most important thing to do (although I totally agree with your list Neil) is to just take action.
    If you have an idea, do it, don’t prevaricate, just do it or you will never put your foot on the ladder.

    • Yes taking action is what most people wont do, so it’s the best way yourself ahead of your competition. The longer you take to “take action”… the harder and harder it will become.

  96. The stop regurgitating content is very important – make sure you have unique content and staying with a topic means you will be favoured by the search engines.

  97. very long list! but your article is same valuable as few bucks of paid ebook..

    thanks for sharing this precious article for us

  98. Ack, I made every mistake possible during my first 30 days of blogging. Like many I jumped into the “make money online” field when I knew nothing because that’s where the action was. Thankfully I wizened up before throwing in the towel completely and now I just write about things that interest me like muscle cars. (I’m ashamed to say that re: #17… my mom tweeted about my blog, eeks!) A+ article Neil, thank you.

  99. Kalyan Chiluveru :

    Oh that’s and excellent article Neil.
    A lot useful for beginners like me.
    You reply to each and every comment with patience, that’s the best part I would say and I am going to directly adopt this habit from you.
    Thanks a lot.

  100. I like how you said to throw in your own two cents on the topic that you are writing about. We all know that all the topics that are available are topics that many different bloggers are writing about.

    What separates you from the others is your unique voice that you bring to the table. Putting your personality into your writing is what brings your content alive.

  101. George Thistle :

    I’m just starting a blog and this page is packed full of tips. One thing not made clear, how do you get people to your blog in the first place? How do you ensure Google rank it high enough for people to see? Is this just through regular updates??

    Other than that, first class stuff!

  102. Writing series is an excellent idea to keep the readers of the blog engaged. By writing a comprehensive series post, you make them come back, you earn loyal readers which means you have established yourself. This way you also establish “content is king”, given the series is content rich :)

    Excellent stuff, thanks Neil.

  103. I don’t know where you get the time to respond to all your blog comments! I’ve run blogs before and either forgotten or just couldn’t be bothered to reply to be brutally honest! Well done o you though!

  104. Day #19 is something that resonates with me, but is quite difficult to do. I’m typically a private person, so getting personal online is something that’s really hard for me to be comfortable with. That being said, I definitely appreciate reading blogs where the authors do get personal, so I do see the appeal.

  105. kadinvesaglik :

    Great post as usual ;)

  106. Hi Neil

    Another quality content post. I will need to go through this whole post like a fine – tooth comb to make sure nothing is missed. I will also need to know how to put a feed burner and rss feeds set up on my blog.
    I’m definately working on all the above. I try to keep my articles under 1000 words-continuously trying to deliver quality content.
    I use every available time to comment on your blog. My wife gets sick of me spending too much time on my computer. I suppose thats the life of a blogger.
    Excellent idea on guest blogging. traffic juice is what all of us need.

    Thanks again for your delivery Neil

  107. My suggestion is to not place the ads until you get some traffic.Get the visitors first and then start making money.

  108. All I need to say is, yes! Yes! Yes! Youre so correct. I need to get behind this so much. You speak with so significantly authority, so significantly spirit, I feel as though youve absolutely hit the nail on the head. Excellent job with this. Please keep brining us much more simply because we require much more of your form of blogger.

  109. well done Keep up the good work.

  110. I think this is a perfect replacement of problogger ebook on the same topic. bookmarked to read again and again

  111. If you want to be a popular writer and also want to increase the brand value of your Blog. you need to write quality content consistently. Nice Idea for the beginner

  112. While this is a good way to start, you really need to stress the fact that good quality/interesting content is what people are looking for. If the quality is not there, neither are the readers.

  113. I’ve been doing most of that, but also a great way to drive traffic and become an authority is to interview people in authoritative positions.

  114. Hey Neal, great list for starters, with a lot of actionable steps. A lot of the most successful young blogs I’ve seen are the ones that really branched out to the experts in their niche and got their name in front of large audiences. That way they got the most exposure and great their following much quicker. Much like you did with shoemoney. Great tips.

  115. hello!,I like your writing so so much! proportion we keep up a correspondence more approximately your post on AOL?
    I require a specialist on this space to unravel my problem.

    May be that’s you! Looking forward to look you.

  116. Absolutely love these steam showers

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