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15 Blogging Tips and Tools – Blog Case Study

The following post was submitted by Easton Ellsworth as part of the ProBlogger Case Study Series

Hello! I’m Easton Ellsworth, associate editor for the Know More Media network of blogs about business. I blog at Business Blog Wire about corporate blogging. I live in Salt Lake City, Utah with my wife and baby.

Know More Media launched in December 2005, using the publishing power and search-engine-friendly nature of blogging to establish an online network offering business news and information on a wide range of topics. Blogging makes it incredibly easy to publish on the Web, and has done wonders for our organic traffic (traffic from search engine results and other links instead of from paid advertising).

Business Blog Wire was one of the first six KMM blogs. There are now more than 45 KMM authors publishing about 100 posts daily to 50-plus blogs!

I published my first post on October 17, 2005 and immediately found blogging extremely enjoyable.

We currently monetize our blogs using a mix of Google AdSense and affiliate programs. So far, so good. Blogging is like farming: You typically must spend months of arduous labor before you can finally reap the fruits of your work.

Since I began tracking my blog’s traffic a couple months ago, I’ve averaged about 70 unique visitors and about 130 page views per day. You can see my Sitemeter stats here. Note: Since I began posting three times a day instead of one, my traffic has approximately doubled.

My future ambitions for Business Blog Wire include more reviews of corporate blogs, more interviews with corporate bloggers and more collaborative projects with my readers. I believe that the Web has tremendous potential as a tool for human collaboration – the Wikipedia is a shining example of that. And I hope to invite more of my readers to work with me to help other business bloggers be successful.

My favorite part of blogging is the fine people I have come to know in the blogosphere. I find it pleasantly ironic that the biggest names in blogging are typically the easiest to talk to – that is, they answer your emails and even your calls, and are almost always willing to help you. Lesson learned: ASK AND YE SHALL RECEIVE. Do not be afraid to ask big questions and big favors of bigtime bloggers. Just remember to do unto others as you would have them do to you, and you’ll reap what you sow. “Enough preaching, Easton,” I hear you saying. Okay, enough – but I promise that following these simple ideals will bless your blogging experience tremendously.

Eight excellent tools I use:

1. Movable Type makes my blog publishing as easy as cake.
2. Newsgator enables me, as a network editor, to review every KMM post on a continuous basis.
3. Cocomment helps me track my online conversations.
4. Firefox improves my productivity with its speed, tabbed browsing, extensions, security and bookmarking features.
5. Gmail simplifies my email tasks.
6. Writely (what a godsend!) speeds up my word processing and notetaking.
7. MS Excel lets me keep a record of all kinds of statistics for our blogs and authors.
8. Know More Media has developed a special Author Control Panel (see http://www.knowmoremedia.com/2006/03/press_release_on_our_author_co.html) that eliminates most of my worries as a blog editor and blogging mentor.

My seven top blogging tips (from personal experience):

1. Post FREQUENTLY. Use a feedreader and write constantly about what you learn.
2. Think of your readers. What would help them the most? Write that.
3. Love your visitors. Encourage them to leave comments and contact you personally. When they do, take the time to personally thank them and invite them back.
4. Be different. Share your own original thoughts and projects.
5. PERSERVERE. An unending stream of good posts outdoes an intermittent trickle of outstanding ones.
6. Never stop learning. Your appetite for new tools, new practices and new knowledge must be insatiable.
7. Go out of your way to selflessly help people, and you will be amazed what rewards you will receive.

About Darren Rowse

Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn.

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Comments

  1. Martin says:

    Easton … great post – you have great clarity in your writing and this one does your network justice.

    Know More Media is one blog network that is going places, imo – they focus on a fairly tight niche: business – and they have some great blogs and cool blog names.

    They’ve come onto the scene, stayed out of any blog fights, never hear a bad word from them against anyone and are marketing themselves in quite savvy ways (eg: the big moo thing, as an example).

    Keep it up, I’m rooting for ya! (and no folks, I’m not auditioning for a gig … yet!)

    Your blogging tips – I find these most useful #1, 2 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7 ;-)

  2. Thanks for the kind words, Martin. I’m flattered to have a few of my words appear under Darren’s banner here – he has a great resource and I’m always referring people to ProBlogger.net for tips related to professional blogging.

    I miss reading you at HomeOfficeVoice but I’ve followed the link to SmallOfficeMedia and I like what I see. Keep it up!

  3. Congratulations. You have generated a very good traffic for your site. It is noble cause you are pursuing. Helping bloggers make money. First thing they have to learn is to generate traffic for their sites. I’ve purchased keywords at search Engines and I’ve keywords that have been given a good rank by search engines in their free listings. Yet my sites
    NEW ERA WISP: and
    PIXELS HOMEPAGE

    don’t produce traffic anywhere near the traffic your site produces. You are a genius. Except my congratulations.

  4. In my previous message I misspelled Accept. I spelled it as Except. I tried to correct it after I sent my previous message. I could not. Please read the last sentence as “ACCEPT MY CONGRATULATIONS> Thank You.

  5. Thanks Satish. One thing to always look for is targeted traffic – that is, you want people to come to your site who will be interested in what you have to say or offer. One of the most critical things you can do to boost the amount of relevant traffic to your blog or website is to practice good SEO – search engine optimization. Darren and others have posted tons of great tips on blog SEO on this site.

    I find it interesting that as I write this on a Saturday afternoon in the United States, it is already Sunday morning in Darren-land.

  6. chase says:

    thanks for the tips

  7. Leon says:

    Good tips. No offense, but most of them the average Problogger reader already knows. The one that stood out for me was the frequent posts one. Had no idea it would affect traffic so dramatically. Plus, your blog is about making money off your blog. Just about every blogger does that, so it’s bound to generate traffic.

  8. Hal Halladay says:

    Nice job Easton. I like your style and tips. Best of all I know you have lived it all first hand. I am sure there are more good things to come.

  9. Diane Ensey says:

    Great post, Easton! I’m going to start using CoComment starting immediately to keep track of my commenting.

  10. gaman says:

    Nice post. I find tagging my posts with Technorati and purchasing blog ads via blogads help to increase my traffic.

    I’m also using several wordpress plugins to make my blog SEO friendly.

  11. Good post Easton,i enjoyed every word of it.Going to look at the KMM to see more of it. As a blog starter i need to learn a lot before i go to public myself.

  12. I love your message here Easton, the passion comes through!

  13. I appreciate the comment, Leon. No offense taken – I’m sure many of my tips will resonate people not so much for being new as for confirming what they may have already started to experience.

    Thanks to all of you for your kind and positive comments. I’m planning to start a wiki that will compile blogging tips – if you’re interested or have any ideas on how to collaborate to pull it off, let me know.

  14. Spencer Hoyt says:

    Thanks for the tips!
    Do you have any hard numbers that support your tips? Just Curious!

  15. Spencer, thanks for your interest. I love stats, but unfortunately my tips above are mostly qualitative. The one quantifiable tip I listed here was posting frequently – and I can say that when I consistently average three posts a day instead of one, my traffic approximately doubles. I hesitate to try to provide exact percentages because (as I’m sure Darren would attest) traffic can be difficult to analyze in detail. See the BusinessBlogWire Sitemeter stats for more number-crunching fun.

  16. PhiMix says:

    Why is everybody saying that you should post as often as possible? Personally I have stopped subscribing to several blogs because they posted to often and thereby made it to difficult to keep up.

    I only post every second or third day and my number of visitors is slowly increasing :)

  17. PhiMix, I’m happy for you that your traffic is increasing. Try posting two or three times a day for a week and see what that does to your traffic.

    A big reason to post as frequently as you can (without letting the quality of your posts dwindle) is that every post represents one more opportunity to be visited – one more listing in search engine results pages, one more topic that someone might be interested in, one more answer that someone might be searching for.

    However, it all depends on you, your topic and your readership. Perhaps your blog and your thought processes lend themselves more naturally to posting every few days, and perhaps you have loyal readers that would leave you if you posted more often. Or maybe your focus is not to drive as many readers as possible, but rather to provoke thought, and so you focus on longer, less frequent posts. There’s advantages and disadvantages to both extremes.

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