Firstly I do not claim to be anything more than a novice at blogging but I thought I would share with you the Tips & Tricks I have found out in the last 2 months about Blogging.
This will include links to Free Templates, Royalty Free Pictures, Logo Creators, Keyword Checkers, Traffic Enhancers etc.Being in the IT Support Sector for the last 15 years I have accumulated a great wealth of knowledge, One major thing I have learnt is that most problems you come across have been fixed by somebody else already and you just need to know how to search for the info, so i created a PDF to email to my friends and family with such tips.
There are a few steps listed below, take time with each one as it pays to get it right
I had been thinking of trying to start a Blogg since xmas but had no idea what to base it on and what to put in my first post. Then it hit me, what about Blog aimed at helping beginners to fix there own Windows based problems and publish my PDF guide as my first post.
So this is how I started.
I needed to start at the very easy end of Blogging so I decided to create a Blog at Googles Blogger Pages this was very easy to follow and after pondering what to call my blog for 30 mins it was up and running. I started off with a basic template (one of the ones provided with the Blogger Blog) and within 20 mins had posted my PDF guide.
I first called my Blog "Swift IT Tips" with the idea of posting Computer related tips but later changed it to "Swift IT Tips & Treats" as I had the idea of posting links to Free Computer Related stuff i.e. wallpapers, Software etc.
The first major alteration was to do with the template, although the templates that come on the blogger control panel where great I fancied making mine a little bit different, so after going a little research into what I needed I found some other great sites with plenty of free blogger templates on such as:-
Gecko and Fly Classic
Gecko and Fly XML
Blogger Templates XML)
Blogger Templates (Classic)
2 of my personal faves are Gecko and Fly & Finalsense.
I tinkered around trying different templates for a few days before finding the one that was going to fit my requirements (I found it at Geko & Fly), one of the first things I noticed was that certain templates disabled the adding of page elements on the Blogger Template Control Panel and found that the best templates to use where the XML ones as all you do is upload the XML file into your blog using the Edit HTML page on the Templates Control Panel (I would save your template first, this is also on the Edit HTML page and is labeled Download Full Template)
Once i had the Template I needed I went about adding bits and pieces using the Page Elements page i.e. link lists, about me etc.
In the process of deciding if I needed a Logo or Pictures I came across these free sites for design ideas:-
Public Image Archive
Royalty Free Photos
Corporate Logos (Not sure of copyright usage here)
Web 2.0 Logo Creator
Free Logo Templates
Cooltext Logo Creator
Traffic & Content
So there I was with a reasonable looking Blog to say I had only started it a week ago and was quite proud of myself.
But I soon realised that the hard work is finding good content to put on it and also how to get people to read it, also at the back of my mind was if I can get some constant traffic could I make a few pennies from advertising ?.
It is best to base your Blog on something you know a great deal about so the content is a plenty.
I soon came up with good ideas for content by searching Google Groups for IT related forums and getting a feel for what people had issues with so I could then write content to suit.
As far as getting traffic to your blog you have to be a little cheeky, search the web for forums on the subject your blog is about i.e. fishing and then join them. After a few posts and general chit chat you can drop in a link to your new Blog and also maybe put it in your signature.
You can also put a link to your Blog in your email signatures.
A few other fantastic ways to generate traffic is to use a site like Digg this is a site where people post links to interested news, tips, topics etc and then rate them. If you have written an interesting piece then join Digg and submit it to be rated, this can generate lots of instant traffic but be sure to follow it up with another good post on your Blogg to keep your new audience interested and stay about.
Other great sites to submit,sign up for to generate traffic are:-
Also using good keywords in your tags is important for when people search for your content a good keyword checker is listed below.
And submitting your site to search engines is recommended i.e.:-
Google Add URL
Yahoo Fast Add
Making your Blog easy to book mark and read is essential too I found these services to be a good at providing this:-
But the next thing I needed to know was am I getting any traffic ?
These two sites where fantastic at providing the answer:-
Show Me The Money
The most popular ones are:-
Google Adsense (If you need to sign up there is a link button in the top right hand corner of my blog labeled "Generate revenue from your website Google Adsense")
also you could try the buttons below this for "Text Link Ads" & "Bidvertiser"
To Summ Up
Hope fully the above should get you started and progress you nicely.
The key is do not try to do all the above in one go, take it nice and slow so you understand the steps you have just take.
If when your Blogg is done you would like to post a link to it under comments it would be great to have a look and maybe you could link back to my Blog from yours.
Best Of Luck and Happy Blogging.