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9 Tips to Start Blogging Successfully

babyComputer.jpgThis post was written by Sudeep D’Souza

I have been blogging for close to 3 years just for the fun of it without realizing the amount of money you can make. One day while browsing the internet, I stumbled upon problogger.net and suddenly realized the opportunity out there. So I started to blog a bit more seriously and here are 9 tips that I should have implemented to have a successful blog.

1. Have a Consistent URL

The identity you create for your blog lies in the URL. Once you decide on a URL for your blog, do not ever change it. Every time you change it you need to popularize your blog all over again. Besides, the technical problem is that the search engines and articles that reference posts in your blog have links to the older URL and it can create a lot of confusion and hence lost readership. Choose your URL carefully and stick to it.

2. Choice of subject to blog about

Choose the subject of your blog with care and consideration. Your blog should mirror your passion and knowledge on the subject. Identify whether you will be able to consistently post on the subject. Some topics that are search engine friendly and that never really die out are technology blogs, product related blogs, city centric blogs and money making blogs. There is always news to give your readers and also there are a lot of points to discuss on. More challenging blogs to write are blogs on thoughts, ideas, short stories, poems. In these blogs you have to be able to provide self- driven original content whereas in the previous kind there are other websites from where you can draw inspiration and ideas.

3. High Quality Content can get hard to produce consistently

Posting quality content consistently keeps your readers engaged and makes them come back for more. In the initial days posting is easy since you will have a lot of ideas in your mind. However, delivering high quality content to your readers day after day gets tougher as time progresses and ideas dry up. You need to keep innovating and ideating constantly.

4. Marketing your blog is hard work

Once you have content in your blog, its time to tell the world. The challenge is – ‘How do you tell prospective readers that your blog has what they are looking for?’ Social networking sites like stumbleupon, orkut, twitter, facebook and a zillion other websites are breeding grounds for finding prospective readers. Building your network can be a time consuming, never ending task, but it doesn’t end there, you need to make the effort to make your network aware of your blog. The benefits can only be exponential. Getting them to post comments is a completely different ball game.

5. Technical know how is required

Lack of technical know-how can hinder you from tweaking your blog and giving it the finesse and feel that you envisaged for your blog. Serious bloggers will have to dabble with HTML, JavaScript and so on. It is this technology that can give the blog the uniqueness, user-friendliness and functionality that makes it stand out. Be prepared to invest some time in learning web technologies. Being search engine savvy can go a long way in getting the traffic that you are looking for.

6. Research, Read, Reflect

Every post is a brand new post. Don’t be surprised that you would have to regularly research on your topic, as there is always something new out there. Read what others have to say and reflect. It involves a lot of hard work, patience, persistence to read content, assimilate and formulate your own content. At times, you should be ready to dig deep within your self.

7. Expect to ride an emotional roller coaster

Do not expect an easy ride when you blog. You can put in a lot of hard work and then realize that nobody is commenting on your post and on the other hand you will write a one liner and you will have the whole world talking about it. You will have days when you will be banging your head against the wall wondering what to post about and then there will be days you have so many ideas in your head that you don’t know where to start. So be ready to enjoy the ride.

8. Be prepared to sacrifice something in life

Since all this hard work is going to use up your time, you have to be prepared to give up something. For those that have a full time job – your personal life or work life is going to take a hit. Maybe some of your other hobbies or interests will get affected. So you need to decide carefully on the things in life that you are ready to forego in order to become successful as a blogger.

9. Writing a good post takes time and patience

There may be few gifted bloggers out there that can churn out interesting posts easily. Some have this skill from practice, and for some, it is a gift, but for the majority of us it is hard work right from coming up with the title to the way the post is structured to the content of the post. Be prepared to go through many iterations of it before you come up with the post that you would feel proud to publish.

Sudeep D’Souza in his blog sudeepdsouza.blogspot.com narrates his experiences in the software world and everyday life in Hyderabad, India.

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. Robert says:

    I think what you are saying here is very true.

    I seem to struggle quite a bit with my blog (getting traffic)
    I think, on my blog, the first 4 points are covered. I also don’t really have a ongoing topic just yet. I’m slowly working towards it. Most of my posts have been similar content.
    So I’m going to work on it.

    Thanx again Darren!
    again you have taught me alot!!

  2. Very insightful post! Blogging takes a lot of work from all angles, you can’t just post and hope everyone will come. In the same way, you can’t just market your blog without great content either. It is a fine balance between all these things.

  3. ourmonmouth says:

    Darren- Spoken from a person who has actually done it and continues to keep his audience engaged.

    The one thing I would also include in your list is “consistency”. It is an extremely hard discipline to blog passionately and with purpose on a regular basis. I have suffered from this myself and have not found enough time for my blog.

    Best wishes and good luck to all.

  4. ourmonmouth says:

    Darren- Well done. I appreciate that this advice comes from a person who has actually done it and continues to keep his audience engaged.

    The one thing I would also include in your list is “consistency”. It is an extremely hard discipline to blog passionately and with purpose on a regular basis. I have suffered from this myself and have not found enough time for my blog.

    Best wishes and good luck to all.

  5. Tom Beaton says:

    The initial struggle to get traffic is definitely hard work and because of that, it is where most people quit.

  6. I think the biggest and best lesson that is here is that blogging–or at least successful blogging–takes hard work. Too many times we thing that blogs get too be great by just being great…no, as you have clearly indicated it takes hard work.

  7. Joe says:

    This is a really helpful post. For me, number 7 affects. I constantly bang my head against the wall wondering what to write, or wondering why I have 0 hits.
    Thanks for the tips!

  8. LiveCrunch says:

    Darren are you back or you are checking on your blog and posting. Btw cool tips

  9. Tom Poser says:

    I appreciate the info. In my industry (commercial real estate) not a lot of people are active online so it has been a learning curve getting up and running. This post reminded me to stay on top of writing.

  10. Tonya says:

    Mine’s never been a pro blog so this was less important for mine, but I absolutely agree with the first on the list.

    Even removing a designated blog folder and putting the blog on the main index (i.e., going from http://www.adventurejournalist.com/notebook to just http://www.adventurejournalist.com) meant starting all over in that regard. I wouldn’t have thought it, given that it’s the same domain and I had it on auto-redirect, but sure enough the rank dipped way down for awhile until it was “rediscovered” and climbed back up again.

  11. Hi Sudeep – Great Post!

    I like your stressing the importance of a domain name.

    Lots of bloggers out there either register domains that later don’t conform with the content or using a “blogspot” domain or such, which is later really hard to change to your own “brand” domain.

    I would recommend to purchase a domain of your own for every new blogger, it is not that expensive, and to spend some time to come up with a good one that reflects what the blog is about.

    Cheers,
    Alex.

  12. I like the comment about the difference between getting traffic, and getting people to comment on your posts. I generate pretty good traffic for a site that is less than two months old, but I cannot get people to comment. I suspect it’s just because of the general lack of comments due to the age of the blog?

  13. Great tips, i started one blog on domain that was unrelated to my topics just because i did’t know what to do with domain, it was unused at that moment. And after some time i removed all, i just waste my time…

  14. Chris Auman says:

    I’m not sure I’ve read a post lately that I’ve related to so intimately. This is one of the best “quick primers” that I’ve ever read regarding what you face when you start a blog. Every word of it is true and should be weighed heavily if you’re planning on entering the blogosphere. Excellent advice and a great post.

  15. Thássius V. says:

    I enjoyed a lot the last topic. People usually think that it is easy something great, unique, all the time. It isn’t. And that’s the reason why some good blogs die a few months after starting, and others don’t.

  16. Matt says:

    Okay, I’ve always thought I’d keep this to myself and friends, but figured I could get some traffic out of this :)

    Firstly, my blog is about my bad back, and when I started I borrowed a spare domain. So it ended up on http://www.mylifemytravel.com/wolff – don’t ask questions, just understand it has no relevance to what I write about, and it annoys me, but what can you do.?!

    I had major back pain, I couldn’t find many blogs on herniated discs, so I figured I’d give it a crack… monitization came when I realised there were 2000 people going to it a month.

    So, to cut a long story short, I think the blog, although not attracting huge traffic, does get a lot considering the topic.

    I think the secret isn’t your passion.. because you’ll likely to choose something “dream like”, something everyone else has done already.

    So I don’t want to discourage anyone from starting a blog on their passion, but let’s face it, how many people go through a photography phase, go through a new high tech phase, baby phase, health phase whatever..

    In my example, writing about something relevant in your life or work, that is slightly negative seems to work.

    I think people like reading real life stories, they relate to the pain, and missery, and love it when there are tips that they can use to feel better.

    Lastly, if you choose something that is slightly negative and in a niche you will kill the search engine rankings because of the types of words you use. For me, it’s things like, laminectomy, herniated disc, discectomy, etc etc.

    Just try and search bad back blog. The blog I wrote comes up #1, has done for ages, and my URL sucks.

    Think about what people are searching for, and theres not many other people out there writing about it. Be prepared to think about negative experiences, not just nice warm fuzzy ones (like how to make money etc). And lastly think about the key words in your niche and the amount of competition there is for them.

    For me it was a fluke, I found all this out after it was done, and it turns out the URL didn’t matter.

    PS: thank god for google analytics & problogger

  17. Nothing like hearing the viewpoint from the vantage point of experience. Of course, hearing the advice and implementing and/or learning from it are entirely different. Why is it that we are so often convinced that we know better than someone who’s got more experience than us? I, for one, intend to learn from this advice as I move forward with blogging. Thank you Darren.

  18. I just started a new blog, and I am have trouble with exact methods of advertising. This post didn’t offer solutions to the problems that plague new bloggers.

  19. MR says:

    Most successful bloggers do those tips without even knowing them. That’s what happened to me. I just blogged for fun and becuase my site was getting popular I decided to take it a little bit more seriously.

  20. amelia says:

    yes blogging really gives me time to get excited when i start opening my account and think of something to post, its really great to be a blogger even if i have less time, thanks for the shared tips, thumbs up :)

  21. Leon says:

    I totally agree with these tips. Especially with #1. When I changed from my Blogspot site to my own domain, I had to spend a bit of time rebuilding my readership.

  22. I can so relate to the roller coaster part! I’m a new blogger trying to learn what I’m doing while trying to attract trafiic and all the while wondering if my idea was a good one.

    I think what OURMONMOUTH said is true. Consistency is the key. I think lots of people give up at the frustrating part I’m at now. It’s just so angst ridden wondering each day if this post is a goer or not. And then sometimes the posts you think are great are popular with only a handful of people who love them, then they quickly drop dead on the social bookmarking sites.

    I guess like anything in life, it comes down to perseverance. Luckily I’m passionate about what I write about.

    Cheers
    Kelly

  23. ReviewSaurus says:

    Damn! Darren, I guess most of the readers are blind or they don’t read the post at all! the post clearly states that the post was written by sandeep but….still everyone is saying Darren…awesome post…and all.

    No doubt the post is awesome, however I don’t agree with the first point. QuickOnlinetips is one of the example which changed from blogspot to wordpress and then amit agrawal changed from blogspot to wordpress and in both cases the domains were changed…

    But overall, it’s a wonderful post.

  24. I am so glad I came across this article. I’ve recently started blogging (only a week ago) and wasn’t sure if I’d ever be able to get any traffic. I guess I have to persist and things will look better with time and hard work. :) Thank you for the encouragement. Surely am not giving up yet!!

    Cheers

  25. CatherineL says:

    Hi Sudeep – this is a useful post. So many people start blogging and think it’s going to be easy.

    And what you say about choosing the right URL to begin with is excellent advice. I used /blog for mine and now I’m regretting doing that. But as you say, it’s difficult to change it once it’s done.

  26. Giorgio says:

    I’ m completely agree with you! The hard work is the key of the success! Even on a blog or a website!

  27. Inner Prop says:

    Is there a way to have someone look at your blog and give constructive and “professional” criticism on the blog overall?

  28. I am a relatively new blogger and this is the type of post I appreciate. The learning curve is pretty steep. I have gained most of my present knowledge from the Problogger site and I still have a lot to learn.

    Dale2006
    http://www.exploringhypnosis.blogspot.com

  29. suresh says:

    Agreed two hundred present.

    The serious problem for a blogger is search engine and SEO problems.

    Writing a good blog is easy for a professional who has good depth in his subject.

    Making it popular is a bit different story and quite different work to do.

  30. Ransom Place says:

    Sudeep wrote a filne, informative article. I related to it as a new blogger of three months now. The writing alone eats up a lot of time.

    I learned about a book from Pro Blogger. Mark forser’s “Do It Tomorrow,” is teching me how to balance the busy schedule that blogging is — especially the learning curve of learning technology.

    Sudeep, and a few other writers on ProBlogger talk about patience. That’s the hardest part of all. And the most rewarding.

  31. After two years of blogging, I can say “Amen” to all of this.

  32. Lisa says:

    I can relate to getting the traffic but not as many comments as I’d like. But I’ve learned a lot from you Darren and I’ve noticed the blog posts that get more comments generally have catchy titles, ask a question at the end or posts that kind of leave it open for discussion.

    I’m learning so much and I’ve definitely evolved as a blogger I feel. Gotta long way to go though. Thanks for the great tips as usual.

  33. Terry Finley says:

    #8 Sacrificing is part of it.

  34. Too many bloggers think it’s going to be easy. You write a couple of lines, call it a post, slap it on the blog and wait.

    Thousands of people realize that blogging, ProBlogging even worse, takes time, dedication and hard work… Just search stats for abandoned blogs… Millions of them !!!

  35. I agree with you and have undergone the same trauma while making a blog. But when you gte the rewards of being read then it feels great.

  36. hyms says:

    This a good info..congrats to problogger because has a great content in the website. I would like to invite the good writer to distribute their ideas to my website too.

  37. Inner Prop says:

    Is there a way to have someone objectively and “professionally” look at and critique your blog in general?

  38. Kemi says:

    It’s interesting how no matter how many top tips lists that problogger or other great blogs publish on how to succeed at blogging, I always get something new out of it or I’m reminded about one aspect of my blogging I’ve become lazy in concentrating on.

    It does take these 9 essentials and then some. But no matter, it’s always about consistency when it comes to blogging isn’t it? Consistency in posting, consistency in your url, consistency in design, responding to or moderating comments, keeping up with blog trends, etc…. Blogging is like a meaningful relationship, isn’t it?

  39. Kemi says:

    It’s interesting how no matter how many top tips lists that problogger or other great blogs publish on how to succeed at blogging, I always get something new out of it or I’m reminded about one aspect of my blogging I’ve become lazy about.

    It does take these 9 essentials and then some. But no matter what, it’s always about consistency when it comes to blogging isn’t it? Consistency in posting, consistency in your url, consistency in design, responding to or moderating comments, keeping up with blog trends, etc…. Blogging is like a meaningful relationship, isn’t it?

  40. Garold says:

    I went through the process of changing my domain name and it wasn’t too difficult. When I asked my hosting company to change it, like magic WordPress handled it beautifully.

    Luckily my website wasn’t getting much traffic at the time so the impact wasn’t felt much. One thing that helps is to change your old domain name to point to your new domain name. That way all the old links still end up at your new web site.

    By the way, this was a first-class article that seems to have resonated with a lot of folks. It was much appreciated.

  41. Zander says:

    Theres some really good advice here, especially about changing the URL of your website… I updated my url to be a bit more consistant with what I was posting… and it took me months to get all the digg, stumble, etc. back on track ;-;

    another thing though, something you should add on the choosing a subject… you should look at competitor websites First…

    especially subjects like technology, theres so many Awesome technology blogs and sites out there, with 50+ journalists that competing would be very difficult.

    Zander Erasmus
    http://zandererasmus.blogspot.com

  42. I’m fairly new to blogging. This article has some great tips to get started with. Thank you Darren.

  43. Nealey Russo says:

    Please bare with me if I’m not doing this right. I read the 9 tips thing and it is definately a tall order. I have spent hours doing alot of the things described resulting in intermittent traffic. Practically no clicks. I know I have alot more work to do. I have learned that it isn’t something that is achieved overnight, or in even a year. It definately goes to say that if you are looking to make money right away, you are barking up the wrong tree. I consider creating a blog an investment, and in so many ways. It is clear that only time an dedication are the keys to success. I am always looking for ways to better my blog, “9 tips” definately work a bookmark.
    Thanks!

  44. Anca says:

    Nice advice. Have started a blog too not so long ago. And I’m constantly learning. I’ve also made a list with 10 things I’ve learned so far, through hard work.

  45. Jenny says:

    I’m going to start a pure niche blog and hopefully I can get it to be successful. Thanks for the advice.

  46. camelia says:

    I still new in the blog world, but i learn from you!

  47. Sticking to the niche in your posts is important.If you have a blog about online home business, educate people about that subject not about fishing or knitting. It is also quite hard to find a good URL these days that “explains” what the blog is all about.

  48. Girish says:

    Very well written Darren !

    You wrote from your experince …that makes teh difference !!

  49. george tomas says:

    I am a new blogger and this is the type of post I appreciate. You are a King, ye.

  50. Alex Griffin says:

    This is a really helpful post. Thanks for the tips!

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  1. [...] 9 Tips to Start Blogging Successfully- I have been blogging for close to 3 years just for the fun of it without realizing the amount of money you can make. One day while browsing the internet, I stumbled upon problogger.net and suddenly realized the opportunity out there. … [...]