Matt Mullenweg, American entrepreneur and founding developer of the popular open-source blogging software WordPress. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Blogging To Success
Using Blogs To Generate Traffic
It’s a proven fact that search engines love blogs. The question we
should ask ourselves is why do they love blogs? It’s pretty simple,
search engines love to search and find new quality content. It is their
goal to index high quality information as quickly as possible. If you’ve
not been blogging then you’ve been missing out on an incredible
opportunity to bring instant traffic to your website. The key to blogging
is to update regularly, as just creating a blog and having no updates or
content is useless. You need to update your blog several times per
week to really reap the benefits.
Setting up your first blog
There are many free sites on the internet that will allow you to create
your own blog and they will host it for you. I prefer to host my own
blog, but I’m going to explain both options you have for blogging. I’ll
first start by providing the options for Free Blog Hosting.
Free Blog Hosting Sites
This site is one of the most if not the most popular free blog hosting
site. You can instantly create a blog and start writing on various topics.
The positives about using Blogger.com are that it is spidered often,
and your blog link will be in the path of the spider, enabling your new
blog to be spidered quickly. Once your blog is spidered, the search
engines will continue to visit your blog for updates.
Signup link: http://www.blogger.com/
This is a newer site, not as popular, but is a very solid choice for blog
hosting. Your account is setup instantly.
Signup link: http://journalhub.com/summary.php?op=RegisterStep0
This site also gives you the ability to create an instant blog site.
Signup link: http://www.aeonity.com/
This site also allows free blog hosting.
Signup link: http://www.ebloggy.com/
You can register with any of the above sites to start your own blog,
but as I mentioned earlier I prefer to have my own site host my blog.
Another option is to have two blogs. My recommendation would be to
create what I like to call a sub-blog, where the blogger.com blog would
be a blog you update from time to time that discusses topics dealing
with your main blog. You should have links pointing from your
blogger.com blog to your main blog site. The reason you are doing this
is because blogger.com is spidered often and by default your blog with
blogger.com, which is your sub-blog will also be spidered. Since your
sub-blog will have links to your main blog it can also aid in having your
main blog site spidered more quickly.
Hosting Your Own Blog
Hosting your own blog gives search engines a reason to keep revisiting
your website. It is important as I mentioned before that you update
your blog several times per week. Below you’ll find some
recommended free software for hosting your own blog.
All my blogging sites use WordPress as I believe it is the best blogging
script available. It’s very easy to install and you can go live within just
a few minutes.
By default WordPress gives you the ability to choose if you want
Search Engine Friendly URLS for your blog, but I’ve taken that a step
further. You will only be able to follow the instructions I’m giving below
if you already have WordPress installed.
If you have WordPress installed add this line of code to your
Input the above code into the line that says “Custom Structure” and
ensure that you have the check placed in the “Custom, specify below”
under Common Options.
What this does is give your blog highly optimizable search engine
friendly URLS. Every blog post you make will have a keyword rich URL
based on the subject of your blog. For example if your blog post was
“Caribbean Recipes” your URL would be
It’s a nice handy trick to get more search engine friendly URLS out of
WordPress to ensure that your keywords appear not only in the
subject but also in the page URL.
Now that you’ve got your blog setup, I know that by default WordPress
skin may not be too pleasing to you. Let’s change that by installing a
new theme. The sites below offer some free themes that you can use
WordPress Themes Viewer
Alex Kings’ Theme Viewer
Browse through those four websites and select a theme that you like
best. You simply download the theme and upload it to your wp-content
themes directory, then activate the theme in the admin area of
Wordpress under presentations.
Here’s one of the reasons I believe that WordPress is a great option for
blogging. WordPress has a built in “Ping” option that will notify all the
major blogging and RSS feed directories that you’ve made a new post
on your blog. This is automatically activated in the “Writing” section of
Word Press. If you scroll to the bottom of the “Writing” section you will
see a section called “Update Services”.
Below that you will see a URL link: http://rpc.pingomatic.com/.
Whenever you make a post on your blog, this option sends out a
notification to all the blogging directories that you have made a new
post and they usually automatically index it. Each time you make a
post this ping is automatically done ensuring that your feed is sent.
Now that we’ve got the theme setup, the URLs for all your posts being
search engine friendly, your pings being automated, the next step is to
start blogging. Here comes the tough part, what am I blogging about?
It’s important that your blog be about something you actually have
knowledge on, and can write about fluently. For example if your site is
about recipes, you can have your blog posts related to anything about
recipes, perhaps experiences you have had while preparing dishes,
When blogging remember you must be very personable, friendly and
seem easy to talk to. The reason for this is that with each post you
make you are trying to elicit a response from users. With WordPress
you have the option to enable comments. By having comments on
your blog enabled, it increases your popularity rating. The search
engines will visit and update your blog more often as it is constantly
changing by having new content. I recommend that in each blog post
you make, that you always ask questions, request feedback to ensure
that the people viewing your blog find a reason to actually post a
The best way to learn how to have a successful blog is to review other
blogs that are proven success stories. To do this I recommend that
you visit a site called Bloglines.com
Do a search to find blogs that are similar to your blog and review each
to see what they are doing. It’s easy to tell if a blog is doing well by
how often they are updating and how many comments each blog post
Take another trip back to Bloglines.com/dir and do a search again for
blogs within a similar genre as your blog but not necessarily identical.
Start replying to some of the blog posts made, giving your thoughts
about the post or topic. Do this a few times with various blogs, then
once you’ve done it on a regular occasion end your post with a
signature link that goes to your site. Take note do *NOT* do this in
the initial stages or with your first post. You must first acquire a
relationship with the blogs, first by posting comments and leaving
positive feedback. After gaining trust you can simply place a link with
your next post comment. I recommend replying at least 5 to 10 times
before attempting to place a link.
When you’ve first started your blog as I mentioned prior, comments
help your blog look more active. Initially you may find that users may
not post comments to your blog. It’s going to be up to you to get
things going. Have your friends or family members start leaving
comments on your blog as it can make your blog seem more active.
People like to see activity; if your blog seems dead you’ll likely get no
responses. If you would rather not have your family even know about
your blog, then you can post comments yourself but as a “Guest” or as
registered user instead of admin. Respond to your own posts initially
to create activity, then you’ll start to see other real users placing
comments as well.
What usually works best is to leave a controversial comment. Start
making comments that are guaranteed to elicit a response. I’ve
created “characters” before that post controversial statements on my
blog to really get user interest going. This “character” may disagree
with a blog posting I made, creating a sequence of posts that increase
the activity comments of my post. Once you see that users have taken
interest in your blog you can now rely on their posts rather than
creating fake ones of your own.
Remember if you are going to do fake comment posts, to space the
timing between posts. For example never post two minutes after
you’ve posted as admin, as it’s too obvious that you’re the same
person. Allow some time to pass by before making your “fake user
If you would rather not do the “fake posts” yourself, some bloggers
have actually paid users to reply to posts on their blog. If you go to
popular webmaster forums, you’ll find that users get paid for making
posts on forums. The usual rate is about .10 cents per post or
something within that range. The same theory applies for blog
comments. You can hire a set of 10 to 20 people to comment on your
posts and pay them a small fee, this way you generate some interest
in your blog.
If you post a project on the sites I mentioned previously such as
Scriptlance.com or Getafreelancer.com for “Blog Posters”, you can find
people who can get your blog active, by making comments and paying
them a small fee. You can do this until you get users posting on your
site in reply to the posters you have paid. Within a few weeks your
blog should be very active. This benefits you in the long run as the
search engines will be visiting your site often due to the constant
A great way to promote your blog is to have it indexed in the blogging
directories. I’ve listed below the most popular directories that you can
submit your new blog to.
Blog Search Engine
Globe Of Blogs
Read A Blog
Your Web Log Here
A quick way to get your blog indexed is to add it to My Yahoo. If you
do not have a My Yahoo account, I would recommend that you register
one right now.
Assuming that you have now registered, be sure to add your feed to
Yahoo’s RSS Directory, you can do this in your My Yahoo user area.
This method is considered one of the fastest ways to get your blog
indexed by Yahoo
Quick Recap : Keys To Success
1) Blog Frequently, at least a few times per week. The biggest mistake
made by bloggers is to let weeks or even months go by without
blogging. If your blog is not being updated it will no longer be
considered “sweet” to the search engines, by that I mean it will be
considered a “dead” blog and they won’t visit as often.
2) Start leaving comments on other successful blogs, and then
eventually leave a link back to your site after creating a relationship.
3) Research the most popular blogs within your category; you can use
bloglines.com for your research. Look at what they are doing and try
to model their success without copying.
4) Add your links to the blog directories to gain more backlinks.
5) Monitor your web stats to see where your traffic is originating. It is
important that you use a web stats program that can show you how
many people are “bookmarking” your site. A good bookmark ratio is a
good sign that people are interested in your blog and have plans on
Follow these steps and you will be moving forward with a very
successful blog. Please remember each blog post does not have to be
pages in length. It can be as little as one to two paragraphs. Keep in
mind that whatever you post should be valuable to the user and elicit