Saturday, September 29, 2007

How To Build A Blog And Attract A Following

From her basement office, Ashley Qualls has made a destination for millions of teenage girls.

You’ve seen him on ABC's late night Jimmy Kimmel Live: the kid with the youtube video, extremely gay Britney Spears fan “Chris Crocker” crying his eyeballs out and looking like a nut job while he defends Britney’s super poor performance at the recent VMA’s. Here's an INSIDE look...

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While there is no silver bullet that will launch any one blog, there are many different "formulas for success" that work in slightly different ways. One of my favourite examples of a blogger rocketing from obscurity to stardom is Wendy Cheng (XiaXue), who appeared on everyone's radar after being featured in a special blogspot profile. It was a tremendous boost for her, and she continued ascending: eventually landing sponsors, endorsements and a TV show. There've been other "star" bloggers, some have faded away. Some of us rely on search engines to bring readers in, others on social networking tools like digg. Others gain a good foothold after being featured in a magazine or newspaper, or on a news website or after being linked to by an "A-List" blogger.

Some bloggers dwell on links, posts and rankings while others simply blog. One thing that works very well: leave your footprint when you visit a website or blog. By that I mean, add the URL of your blog when you leave a comment or visit a forum or website. Put your URL in your email signature file. Join a group like MyBlogLog. Eventually, your star will rise. WARNING: if you play with fire, you'll get burned. Don't be greedy and try to tweak your pagerank or technorati ranking. You may find yourself as one blogger did: Monday he was highly ranked, highly placed in search engines, racking up hits... by Thursday he was stripped of his rankings and the search engine bots were programmed to ignore his blog. Why?
Somebody from yahoo found out that his little "link empire" was a house of cards, and pulled the plug, and they all came down.

Even the self-proclaimed experts have difficulty interpreting site ranking data. Read No. 1 In Search, How Come P.R. of 6?

Principles and Practical Media Lessons [Posted by Karl Carter] under the heading "What the Jena Six Protests Mean for Us" demonstrates how a news event links to and affects marketers:
"While we're busy trying to figure out how to get to the next trend first, how to best service our clients, or how to sell stuff better, our community is standing up and building an intergenerational movement. And while the movement they're building is about justice, it's a product of its own place and time.

How does this relate to us? Because the organizers are using viral marketing and media – tools of our trade -- to build a movement. These activists are equipped with video cameras, Blackberries and social networking. Up until about two-three weeks ago most people had not heard of the Jena Six. What happened?"
When you read Karl's article you come away with a better appreciation and understanding of the power in that keyboard in front of you! Now, how to parlay it into blogging...

Looking to "grow rich with adsense"??? BVWG [fr] blogs the strategy... There's a companion piece [fr] Le MFA ou comment devenir riche sur Internet. English speakers, break out your French-Englisg dictionaries and translating software!

Now, there's another important point: develop an international following for your blog! Many bloggers, like my friend Bettina Perroni and myself employ translating links / badges / widgets. If you plan serious international blogging, you need transkating software of your own--- Rosetta Stone DVD is awesome-- AND an English-Other Language cross-ref dictionary. A little basic understanding + effort goes an incredibly long way!

Ultra-serious bloggers / writers / reporters should consider joinging associations or networks: these can be in-person organizations or on-line groups. Karel McIntosh: "If there was ever a career bible, one of the first chapters would be devoted to professional associations. In many industries, the professional association is a group that lends credibility to the profession, creates standards that members abide by, and ensures that due recognition is brought to the field. Members often benefit from its effectiveness as a career development tool."[more]

South African blogger, Vincent Maher, has been shortlisted as one of the ten finalists for the IT Personality of the Year Awards.

Want to build a successful blog? Don't get so wrapped up over how popular your blog is that you publish misleading information. Don't go off the map trying to "cheat" your way via link manipulation to what some perceive as the "top" of the blogosphere.

Right: ProBlogger hits one out of the park! This dude does his homework!

Wrong: Here's a tale about a blogger apparently so concerned with rankings and ratings he failed to check his source: the equivalent of when a Chinese newspaper lifted a story from the Onion! Just in case he pulls his post, here are the basics: we have a blogger who craves links and female readers. My guess is he read the post and because the blog's author is female, assumed it was true. Here's part of the post:

"I just read a post from my friend at Adsense Tracker. I have been reading her truly amazing blog and was shocked to see she has the story of the year! She would not reveal how she got this information but if this is true, she broke it FIRST! Here is an excerpt:

In a nod to Web 2.0 and in an effort to make the Google experience more user-centric, Google will end the system of assigning each web page a Page Rank based on an algorithm of links, quality and popularity. Instead, each page will have a Page Rate assigned by the readers.

Have you read her blog? This girl is simply amazing and I love the fact that a female has the STORY OF THE YEAR in my opinion ...Adsense Tracker ROCKS!!!!!"
Yeah, it sure does! (And she sure fooled that blogger!) In another post the same blogger tries to manipulate his blog's rank. That's not all! This fellow spammed other blog's comments sections with his "news" about Google! Some people just don't get it!

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1 comment:

AntiBarbie said...

Too many people focus on PR instead of steady traffic and return visitors which is a shame. I've known of sites that paid big bucks to SEO specialists to rocket up the PR ratings quickly but at a PR of 5 still have under 50 visitors a day. I honestly believe that if you want return visitors the main focus needs to be on your content and treating your visitors like they are important.

While it's true that many of the bigger blogs don't show much consideration for their visitors, they certainly didn't do that on their way to the top. They pulled the plug after having reached it.

Thanks for the article. I enjoyed reading it!

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