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10 trails to become a blogger

Posted on July 14, 2009 by Blog Design Journal

Blogs are the new national pastime–not only for America, but for Web-connected people all around the globe. It is something that spans all age groups and jobs. There are personal blogs, social blogs, and corporate blogs. Whatever the topic, someone has probably blogged it. Many of us get paid to blog and others pay for the privilege of blogging (on a certain site or with certain software).

The net made it possible for any one to make public content to a world audience. The Web log, or blog format, has made it easier and less complicated. However all blogs are not created equal. Some draw an ardent following and others waste in obscurity. Regardless of your reason for blogging, you can make your blog better, more comprehensible and more hot.

#1: Outline your purpose

The most important step in making a better blog is to ask why you are blogging. What is the point of your blog? Is it to be a Web edition of the personal diary, recounting your experiences, views, and emotions? Is it more of a journal, where you mantain concepts and sketch tasks? Is it a social site, for interacting with chums, sharing links, getting familiar with persons? Is it a newspaper column page, for comments on politics, social trends, and latest events? Is it a master or hobbyist blog, for sharing ideological and tutorial information about some area of study (e.g., aviation, PC software development, or photography ) ?

Sure, you may have just a blog that mixes components of all of these, but you will find that readers like you to narrow it. If you want to pen about your area of expertise often and your favourite political party at other times, it might be beneficial keeping 2 distinct blogs to obviate dividing or uninteresting your readers 1/2 the time.

Concerning readers, a vital element in outlining your purpose is to know your audience. Which will help you identify the voice and writing manner that’s appropriate for those you are speaking to. You most likely would not use an unchanged style when writing to stock automobile race devotees that you’d utilize if your audience were made basically of stock market agents.

In keeping with your blog’s purpose, you should have a defined theme. As an example, if the purpose of your blog is to state political views, the theme might be to market a low-tax, nonintrusive government.

#2: Create an attractive visual

Content isn’t the single thing that matters. Your blog website should also be visually attractive, or at least visually stable. You do not want to frighten away potential readers or have them leave in disappointment because the site is disordering or unclear.

The optimal visible design for the website is reliant in part on your readers and theme. You may use coloring, font styles, and artwork to set the stage and tone–just make sure the tone aggrees with the content. Whatever your theme, it’s best to duck dark font on a dark background, small or overly fantasy typefaces, and other factors that make your blog tough to look at.

If your blog is hosted on a public blog platform, you may be limited in how much you can modify the design, despite that there will typically be some preconfigured visible themes you can select from. Keep public appeal and legibility in mind when selecting one.

#3: Utilize the right tools

You may make a blog utilizing any WYSIWYG HTML editor, such as FrontPage (soon to get replaced by Microsoft Expression Web Designer), Macromedia Dreamweaver, or the Amaya open even employ a text editor endorsed by W3C. You can even employ a text processor like Notepad to write the HTML code.

Nevertheless, blogging is made far cleaner, faster, and less complicated if you employ a dedicated blogging program or the features of a blogging Web site that lets you write posts in the Web browser or via e-mail.

If your blog is hosted on a free open blog platform, for example Blogger or Windows Live Spaces, you can publish your posts in your email client to a particular address you are given when you create your account. For many, this is the easiest way to publish, while it does not display you the formatting.

Another alternative is to employ a blog program such as WordPress, Movable Type, Post2Blog, or Windows Live Writer, which provide varied helpful features. As an example, Windows Live Writer (free download at http://windowslivewriter.spaces.live.com/ ) allows you put a button on the toolbar in Internet Explorer so that if you’d like your blog to address a Web site you are seeing, you can highlight the text you want to cite and click “Blog It”. This starts Live Writer and inserts the link and the cited text in your blog. You can publish to your blog on Live Spaces or other popular blogs with a single click.

#4: Make it easy to surf

If you’re designing your blog website starting from scratch, it is significant to make it straightforward for your audience to find a way around and do what they want to do. For instance, if you are using comments and “Really Simple Sindication” feeds, confirm it’s obvious to readers ways to post a comment or sign to the feed.

You should also prepare it straightforward for readers to obtain previous posts. Make sure archives are arranged logically–not just in chronological order but in categories to make it easier to obtain specific posts.

If your blog is hosted on a public blog platform, you can usually modify the arrangement of page elements, add or remove elements (often called modules ), and otherwise determine the navigability of the page. Keep clutter as small as possible but be sure to insert the elements that your audience need.

Your blog should be searchable, if feasible, so users can find posts using keywords. You can place a free Google search box on your site (for more info, see http://www.google.com/searchcode.html#both).

#5: Find your spot and stay there

Most bloggers experiment with different blog hosting sites and/or with hosting their personal websites, especially on the early stages of their blogging experience. It may take you some time to discover the best setup, but attempt to do so as fast as possible and then stay in one place so your audience can find you. Moving around to different URLs too frequently is sure to drop off you a portion of your audience.

If you have a tested blog and it’s necessary to change it to a new address, attempt to make public a last post on the previous blog that heads readers to the new blog and leave it up as as much time as you can.

#6: Engage your readers

Maybe the most important factor in enticing and keeping readers is establishing a relationship with them. Even fascinating content is rendered less fascinating if we do not know who’s chatting ( writing ) to us. Tell your audience who you are and something regarding yourself.

You need not go into a lot of personal information if your blog is political or professional, and in some situations you may not even wish to exhibit your actual name ( particularly, as an example, if you are posting insulting info about your employer or the police chief in your little city ). But do not just stay unnamed ; give your audience a pen name by which to spot you and tell them general aspects about yourself which will give you believability without blowing your cover. For instance, you may say that you are a middle-age male who is living in Atlanta and has worked in the telecommunications industry.

If you do not have an incentive to keep your identitysecret, you could be in a position to benefit ( attract the attention of headhunters in your area, become known as an expert in a specific field, for example. ) by trying your actual name and supplying contact information.

Irrespective of whether you exhibit your real identity, you can engage your audience by chatting with them through the comments feature or by providing an e-mail address and replying to their feedback. You can, of course, use a free Webmail address or other solution to your primary address if you need to guard your identity and/or avoid spam.

Engaging your audience requires gaining their confidence and thinking of the reader first. If you make claims, support them up with cites and links. If possible, don’t link to sites that expect a subscription or even free registration (or if you must, advise your readers).

#7: Create a blogging agenda

Blog readers are a variable crowd. When you have attracted an audience, they predict to find new content when they go to your blog. That doesn’t mean you have to post each day, but you need to build a minimum blogging agenda and stay with it. Allow readers to know, ideally in a non-chaning text box at the top of your blog page, that you’re going to update the blog on a daily basis, weekly, on Tuesdays and Thursdays, or whatever. Then do it–even if some of your posts aren’t exactly profound or long. Your audience will abandon your blog if they suspect you have deserted them.

If you must vary from your agenda ( for example, you are going on holiday for two weeks or you will be in the surgery or you have a family or job emergency ), let your audience know that you won’t be writing at the regular time and give them an idea of when you will return.

#8: Be succint

Speaking of posts that are not especially surpassing or long, don’t think you have to wait until you have something fascinating to assert before you write or put off posting because you do not have time to draft “Les Miserables” today. In truth, most readers possess brief attention spans and/or jammed agendas themselves and would prefer to read a short, brief post rather than a long, complex one.

If you do write long articles, break them up into short paragraphs to turn them more meaningful. There’s nothing else frightening to a reader than a huge volume of unbroken text, no matter how nice your turn of phrase.

You’ll also appeal to more readers with general words than with complex ones, so unless you are writing for a particularly scholarly audience, follow the famous KISS advice: Keep it simple, sweetheart.

#9: Proofread before publishing

Even if you are a British professor, it isn’t difficult to end up with typographical blunders, misspellings, and grammatical failings in your articles if you do not proofread in front of hitting the Publish button. Particularly if you are writing in the wake of enthusiasm or inspiration, your writing fingers can get ahead of of your ideas and cause words to be overlooked or transposed, commas to appear in the wrong spots, or sentences to become confused.

Maybe you congratulate yourself on not adhering strictly to the guidelines, but possibly, you need your audience to realise what you are exclaiming. That complex sentence that seemed so fascinating in writing may read a little strange once you see it on the screen.

It’s tricky to grab mistakes in your own texts, as you tend to fill in what you believed you typed, rather than see what’s really there. This is particularly true straight after writing. If feasible, have someone else proofread your post before you publish it. Otherwise, let it “cool off” for a day so you can approach it with a more objective proofreader’s eye.

And even though it’s best to catch mistakes before they are revealed, one huge advantage of Web content is that, unlike print copy, it’s easy to change should you discover a problem after publishing.

#10: Syndicate yourself

You do not need to wait for readers to come to your blog every day or every week. Rather, you can get your blog to them. Use RSS to feed your new blog articles to readers who sign up. This makes it less complicated for your audience, who do not have to don’t have to visit your blog site to go to your blog Web site to check for new posts–and whatever makes it less complicated for readers is good for writers. You can syndicate just your post titles, short summaries, or complete posts.

Most public blog hosting sites give you the choice to syndicate your blog, and it’s usually as straightforward as pressing a button or 2 in the configuration interface. If you want to syndicate your self-hosted internet site, see http://www.xul.fr/en-xml-rss.html for more information.

This tutorial to become a blogger is also available on video by clicking this link.

Ishmael Bakir is an author, software developer, renowned speaker, personal coach, business consultant, and most of all an intensive marketer.

Article Source:http://www.articlesbase.com/blogging-articles/10-trails-to-become-a-blogger-1031972.html

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