10 Pieces of Advice for New Bloggers
A couple years ago I published a post on tips and advice for new bloggers. Looking back on it, it was so horribly unbelievably wrong that I simply had to delete it (it’s the only post I’ve written that I’ve killed). I think it was perhaps a bit premature to dish out advice; however, now I think I’ve got a few things to share that might actually be useful to folks trying to start up a new blog. I wish I’d learned these things when I started out. So, here goes my community service to the blogging world (I didn’t use the term “blogosphere because I effing hate that term):
But some people make tons of money blogging, right? Sure. Out of the 350 million bloggers, a handful earn big bucks. After your blog becomes established (usually after a year or so of consistent quality posting), you might be able to earn a small check. I’ll go ahead and tell you that Retrospace currently gets <$100 per month. If you translate that into actual wages – it comes to about $2.50 an hour! The fact of the matter is, I would do this if I didn’t get one penny.
5. Don’t be resistant to using site statistics to dictate your post content.
Don’t get me wrong, post on what you like. Don’t try to create posts that appeal to public tastes – bring your unique perspective and interests to the table.
That being said, if your movie reviews (for example) are attracting tons of readers, perhaps you have tapped into a strong point you didn’t know you had. Maybe it’s time to do more movie reviews! However, the only way to know this is to use some site analytics program like Google Analytics or Sitemeter. If your posts averages 50 people per day, but your posts on horror movies are getting traffic in the thousands, it might be time head in that direction (if it sounds like something enjoyable).
6. Don’t be dismayed by a lack of comments
Can you tell how many people visit your site by the number of comments? HELL NO! There’s actually very little correlation between traffic and comments. My most popular post has had at least 30,000 page impressions, but has only 4 comments. Simply put: some posts inspire lots of comments, others don’t.
Blogging isn’t like Twitter or social networking venues. People typically read a post and move on. For instance, I may publish a post on Daisy Duke, but what’s there to say about it? “Yowza!’, “She’s HOT!” It’ll get tons of traffic, but there’s just not a whole lot to say that’s worthy of a comment.
I personally check in on a good many blogs every single day, but rarely comment. Why not? I just can’t think of anything particularly witty or interesting to say. There are only so many times you can write “Great post!”
7. Spend the $20 for the domain
When I started blogging, I figured I’d do it for a couple weeks out of curiosity, and then quit. Two years later, I’m still doing it, but I’m stuck with this freaking “blogspot.com” at the end of my URL. To change it now would create more trouble than it’s worth. Having your own domain opens you up to more opportunities in advertising – you’re fairly limited as long as Google owns you completely. They can also delete your ass at the drop of a hat. One day you’ll check on your blog and it’ll be like it never existed. …. This leads me to the next piece of advice…..
8. Back up your blog
Considering how much time I’ve devoted to Retrospace, it would be a damn shame if I lost it all. I think I’d cry like a baby, become a grizzled hermit and live off the land.
You’d be surprised how often this happens. You make a minor adjustment to your template, and BAM! you screwed the whole look of your blog, and can’t save it. Or some hacker decides to shut you down. Or a virus becomes embedded in your HTML. Or somebody flags your blog and Google decides to delete you. Any number of things can happen – so back up your blog somehow. For instance, in Blogger you can easily export your blog and save it somewhere.
9. Offer something not found in a zillion other blogs
For instance, if you’re going to start a horror movie blog, you’d damn well better have some incredible writing skills and outstanding pictures and information, because there’s easily another million horror movie blogs covering the exact same topics as you. Come at it from a unique perspective. Kindertrauma, for example, deals primarily with horror media, but they are successful because they only cover stuff that scared the bejesus out of us as kids. What a fun concept! I submitted my own Kindertrauma there once - my boyhood fear of the Sleestaks from Land of the Lost.
10. Utilize the Gene Roddenberry Principle
Like it or not, the more foxy mamas that grace your blog, the more traffic your blog will get. This is a fact, not an opinion. It’s the Law of the Universe: where there are boobs, men will come.
Now, I wouldn’t recommend you start inserting pornography into all your posts. If you’re looking for advice on how to start a porno site, you’ve come to the wrong place. I’m simply saying a pretty baby here and there doesn’t hurt. It’s the Gene Roddenberry Principle: If you’re going to have aliens, they may as well be hot aliens.
Now go out there and get'em tiger!