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The hows and whys of blogging

There’s about nine million blogs on the internet today with 40,000 new ones being added every day. Some are informative, while most are simply a waste of your time, and of those who created them. While we hear a lot about blogs and blogging these days, what is it really? In its simplest terms it’s like an online journal, but much more powerful. Blogs are short for ‘web logs’, and are a place where web surfers can get the latest information on a topic or someone’s life.

Why are blogs important?

Blogs are important because they help you learn, and they help you teach others. The sharing of knowledge and information is of great interest to many people. You just might be able to share something that others would be interested in learning.

Google thinks blogs are important too. They love blogs. They love ’em so much that if you do it right, Google will index everything on your site and subsequently push it higher up the search engine, so that all manner of searches will come across your site. ”Doing it right’ requires you to have a LOT of content. The more you have on the topic you want to focus on, the higher you’ll be on the Google search engine. Blogs are also interactive, which means that an interested community will form based on what you write, and will provide feedback that can help you provide better content for those interested in what you’re writing.

What would I talk about?

“If I start a blog, what the hell would I write about?” Well, you can write about yourself, your family, or your career (although be careful about what you include, as some people or employers might not like being talked about on the internet). If you want to focus on a topic, then you simply write about that topic. The more interested in it you are, the more you’ll be able to write about it. Write about what it is that interests you about it, how you succeed at it, how others can learn from what you do, and so on.

How do I start a blog?

That’s the easy part. First, register at a blog site, like www.blogger.com, and then think of a name for your blog. You’ll then need to choose the web address for your new blog. This should be easy to remember, and easy to type. If someone’s already got it, you’ll have to choose a different one. Once you’ve done that, you can start posting on your new blog!

How do I blog effectively?

As I mentioned above, the more content you have on your blog, the people you’ll attract. Some bloggers post daily, sometimes even a number of times a day, while others post only once a week. The amount of time you can spare will dictate how many posts you can write. If you want to keep attracting people to your blog, however, then you’ll need to continuously work on creating fresh content. You can also invite other people onto your blog and interview them, or you can just post occasional ‘thoughts’ on whatever topic you’re writing about. It doesn’t have to be complicated, it just has to be new. Be original as well, as that’s a lot better than copying everything from other blogs.

Something else that will improve your blogging effectiveness is: remember the community! By commenting on other people’s blogs you will attract their authors and visitors to your own blog. They’ll be curious about the person that’s commented, and will follow the links back to your own blog. Hopefully they’ll like what they read, and they might become regular visitors, and even link back to your own blog.

Creating ‘blogrolls’ are the next method of increasing effectiveness. Link to other blogs that you like or are relevent to your blog, and let other blogs know about you (via their comments pages) so that they can link back to you as well. Everyone wins by increasing traffic to each other’s sites.

Once you get used to all of the above, you’ll be the one writing articles on how to blog!

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