My name is Adams Briscoe and I specialize in stringing together nouns and verbs to build somewhat coherent ideas in the form of readable content. I run a personal blog over at Virtuashack.com and also managed to trick Weblogs Inc. into letting me get away with posting on some of their video game sites.
As a typical male, I had a hard time picking up on hints as to what I should give others for Christmas this season. One of the harder individuals was my father, who became increasingly curious as to what this whole “blogging” thing was all about. After tuning him into several sites of his interests (like ProBlogger), he made the proclamation that he would like to start one himself, and (surprise!) make money.
Certainly not a new concept, and definitely not worth reinventing the wheel this time around (again). The catch-22 is that he had absolutely no background in website maintenance or blogging. The most experience on a computer he ever had was sending e-mail.
How do you get someone like that into the blogosphere? Moreover, how do you make it worthwhile and bring in traffic? Okay, sure you’ve got to find a niche. But as a newbie, he had no idea what works and doesn’t work for blogging. All the do-it-yourself posts in the world only do so much for you when you don’t even know how to start.
So what did I do? I bought him a domain and set him up with his own high-powered blog for Christmas. Using WordPress (fast, easy, and complete with wiki documentation), I told him to cut loose and write whatever tickled his fancy. I also dropped a few hints about gaining a few eyeballs here and there.
- Send it around: At first, my advice was to circulate his blog among his co-workers. Take advantage of that corporate e-mail. Having access to a big list of like-minded people who know you means genuinely interested visitors. Those kind of guests leave comments, comments spur activity, and activity draws a crowd.
- Trackback: I told him to develop a habit of checking his blogroll daily and if he finds something worth mentioning on someone else’s site, link back to it in a post so that others reading it can see what he has to say about that topic.
- Network: Get to know bloggers that have your same interests. Leave positive feedback, send tips or contributions. Who knows: you might get lucky and find someone generous enough to let you post on their blog (hint hint).
- Be transparent: One of the most important things is letting your guard down. Say what you mean and mean what you say. When you’re not shy, that affords you the freedom to go maverick and attract the readers who want to see someone spill their guts on something they enjoy too. I mean, isn’t that what blogging is all about anyway?
- Post often: This almost goes without saying, but running a blog that you want to eventually make a few extra bucks off of needs a heck of a lot of content. This is a weak point of mine, but then again, none of us are perfect.
Armed with only the knowledge of how to post and the aforementioned, he has since graduated from not knowing a single thing about blogging to being able to scour the internet for interesting sites and spread a piece of his mind. This goes to s! how you, people don’t have to be complete web pundits to manage a corner of the web for their own thoughts. Even half of a step is going in the right direction so long as you are willing, excited, and can at least send an e-mail or two.