Guest Post by Poch Peralta
During my first 6 months of blogging, I made a lot of mistakes which is just normal in my humble opinion. Just learning from them made me grateful. And I was lucky I didn’t make the really big ones! (user name, theme). So here is what I learned and my suggestions.
Consider first these other tasks in starting and promoting a new blog (don’t be discouraged, you can do these one at a time):
- Writing posts – I believe writing a whole page of a post or posts everyday is the right thing. People don’t tend to buy one post that is more than a page long.
- Joining social networks.
- Commenting on other blogs.
- Writing guest posts (like this)
- Nurturing relationship with your followers (maybe the hardest task)
- And if your blog is ‘monetized’, finding the right advertisers and affiliates.
1. Finding the best blog platform or host
Before I found my current host, I left three from which I didn’t get a single comment! So do a research first. Decide if you want a ‘monetized’ or an advertisement-free blog. Some hosts allow monetizing, some don’t. So if you choose to self-host your blog, then it’s better to monetize it to cover your expenses.
2. Choosing your user name (or domain name) carefully.
Some blog platforms do not allow their users to change that so you might be stuck with what you choose. And changing a username is like changing a BRAND name –you’ll probably lose some of your followers who don’t want the change.
I suggest you choose one as if it’s a website name because you wouldn’t know if your weblog might someday be a big website. A name which can be ‘verbalized’ is best. See how websurfers turned the proper noun Google into a verb? (It’s just bad that my own would sound bad if verbalized – pochpeed).
3. Choosing your blog Theme
There are specific themes designed for your niche or speciality.
4. Choose your niche carefully
This was my first mistake. At first, I started writing just about everything that floats my boat. Then I learned that you could monetize your blog at least to cover your writing expenses, time and effort. Some professional bloggers even teach that you shouldn’t spend on your blog or site until you’re earning from it.
So decide if you want a monetized blog or not –then decide what your blog will be specifically about. Will it be about Technology, Science, Business, etc?
5. Continue search for better blog platforms
Most probably, your first blog host will not be the best.
6. Practice Ethics of blogging/networking
This is the continuing and maybe, the hard part. How do we make sure we’re blogging politically correct?
a. Your content
We have freedom of speech so it’s really up to you what you write even if it’s offensive; which of course I practice but don’t endorse. But if you will write a rant or offensive piece, target specifically so the innocents wouldn’t think they are part of it. You wouldn’t want your followers to think they are part of your target. If you’re after popularity or sales, then you wouldn’t want to offend everyone so be careful what you write.
One way to make sure your piece isn’t offending: have a kind-hearted person or editor read your article then ask if it’s reader-friendly.
b. Your comments
Now this is where most bloggers offend each other the most. I myself have offended through comments without intending to although one or two I admit were careless though innocent; and that is why I’m reluctant to write about this – it would smell hypocrisy.
We just really can’t be sure how our words will be interpreted. And that is the reason why we should be extremely careful. Tips:
- Never make or reply to an offensive comment when you’re still angry.
Most of the time, we will find that it’s not really worth our anger as time passes. What I do is ignore offensive comments if I want someone to stop sending it. You bet it works. We will even sometimes find we can learn something from the offensive comment. The offensive commenter might even become your fan if you befriend the person!
- If you think you have made an offensive comment, follow-up at once and apologize before you get a reply. The more time passes, the more damage the comment will do because it spreads.
This not only apply only to commenting but also to e-mail marketing. The rule is DON’T SPAM. What do you think your reader will do when the reader learns you spammed him/her? Of course the reader will spread the news which would brand you as a user of your fellowman. I suggest you use a blog host or platform that uses Akismet.
Now there are human spam comments that you really need to spam. Human spam comments are innocent and not dangerous right?
It can be an attempt to steal hits, comments, or hijack your weblog altogether which I have experienced. If comments are not related to the post, it is spam especially if it asks you to click a link. So check the link first before clicking.
A good way to block spam comments manually is this:
Go to your WordPress Dashboard and follow Settings –> Discussion. In the comment blacklist, enter words like porno, gambling, and whatever words, IP’s, and e-mail addresses you think should be banned. Be extra careful who you spam or blacklist!
This was a Guest Post by Poch Peralta of Plato On-Line. You may like to read more about him or if you have something to share, write a guest post here.
this is my second but biggest guest post so be assured I won’t forget MillionClues. Thanks a Million and more power to MillionClues!
Btw, the girls in the image you chose are beautiful! Are they your relatives?
LOL! I wish they were, great kids. I just found this online 😉
Hey dear Arun. Thanks for the update!
I’m planning to write a part 2 to this. If ever, I’ll submit here of course.
More power to Million Clues!
You are welcome poch 🙂
Nice article Poch.. you added colors to this article by sharing your experiences! 😉
I started my blog in Blogger platform first and without worrying about the loss of traffic and permalink damage, I shifted to self-hosted WordPress! 🙁
I did many experiments with my blog, the more experiments you make the better. Cheers!
Hi SP Kumar.
I wonder why you seem regretting your self-hosted WP 🙂
Why don’t you continue with Blogger?
I tried Blogger too because it’s monetized but after 2 weeks without traffic,
I left it. Seems I’m not welcome.
Thank you for your kind compliments. You’re my second friend here
and I won’t forget that. Cheers!
Btw, why don’t you join the big contest at Jaypeeonline.net for WP?
It’s worth $150,000!
Thanks for considering me as your 2nd friend! 😉
And, WP gave me full control over the data, templates, themes and many things.. so switched! Will check the contest poch.. thanks for sharing! 🙂
Very welcome Sam.
You’ve just mentioned the reason why WP.com is better even though
it bans monetizing -WP is far from being dictatorial 🙂
WP even allows a little in my case.
Exacty what i wanted to say to my friend starting a new blog. Thanks.
That frequently happens to me –
I want to say or post something then suddenly
one of my friends would write it!
Thanks for appreciation. I’m always glad to be of help.
David – Hey buddy, what a surprise!
You’re my first Plato on-line link here. Thanks a mil.
I hope to see your post here too someday.
I wish you success too. And don’t worry.
I’m confident that Arun can always help 🙂
You’re very welcome dear Arun.
The problem is your the third commenter
whose comment is missing here 🙂
David who is linked to Plato on-line alerted me.
Anyway, I don’t consider this a problem.
More power to Million Clues!
nice article man Thanks
great work man
thnx for effort
Hi Dahab. If you’re Alibaba, thanks again!
If not, thank you too. I will update the post when Arun is ready.
Thank you for appreciation!
Looks like Poch posted his whole blogging experience in one single post. Best post for newbies like me.
Thank you very much Sushant.
Even though you’re a newbie, your brand (name and logo) is already
a sure winner!
These are great tips that every blogger should reader over and apply. The power of blogging is huge on your website if you do it the right way.
@Ethan -Thanks for appreciation.
Well done my dear. Good info Great post!!
What are your thoughts on the new wordpress?
selecting the theme is always a best choice… I end up choosing wrong theme everytime.
Jon -Thanks to you.
Kelso- Since I’m not hosted by WordPress.Org, WP changes don’t affect me. But I think every WP update is great.
LIC -I hope you solve this problem which is indeed important.
Do you know that ProBlogger is offering a course titled How to Set Up Your First Blog the Right Way the First Time. I somewhat feel that the title was stolen from me lol. And I thought: why did Arun and I missed the idea of creating a course!? Anyway, creating a project like that is surely time-consuming hard work. Here’s an excerpt of their announcement:
Lessons contain a mix of both video content and articles. This course is completely free and is being run over at SitePoint’s courses area. And you’ll get immediate access to it all six lessons when you sign up.
We’ll send you daily reminders over the week to help you keep on track, but you can take the course at your own pace—all in one go, or over a longer period if you choose.
Interested? Sign up for Getting Started Blogging now.
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I’m very glad you found this useful. Thanks.
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Nice Article Poch!
You shared your experience and now you are a very smart writer.Keep it up dear!