Tips and Techniques on Blogging

Here’s a series of articles on different aspects of blogging.

Blogging is a great way to develop a web presence that attracts lots of natural search engine traffic, but it requires some specific skills.

This series of articles looks at different aspects of blogging from the mechanical perspective – they’re more about process than promotion.

Click the headline to see the full article and leave a comment if you need me to clarify anything.

The higher the number of page-views-per-visit, the more engaged your readers are. And the more engaged they are the more easily you’ll be able to sell stuff from your site. But you know that already. The question is: how can you increase the number of page-views-per-visit? Here’s what I did recently: A while ago I… Read more

I read a very well written post on ProBlogger the other day that was an imaginary discussion between two people on whether Google should introduce a -1 button to combat spam. It produced some interesting arguments, both for and against. But I have to say, I came out against, and here’s why: it would be… Read more

Here’s something to try if you have an article that’s being spammed with pingbacks. I woke up yesterday morning to find more than 600 pingback spams on a single article. I emptied the spam folder and half an hour later there were 22 more! Luckily Akismet was doing its stuff and sending these pingbacks to… Read more

When I first set up this blog I had no idea how to write my ‘About’ page. Writing about yourself is difficult, anyway, but when you don’t understand how to best use the page it’s ten times worse. So I wrote something that set out my life story – after all, the page was supposed… Read more

An extraordinarily refreshing post on Men With Pens today on why you should not write too often. Refreshing, because it goes against the advice all bloggers get when they start out: namely that they must post a new article every day. That’s one piece of advice I’ve never followed, not just because I’m inherently lazy… Read more

I saw a question in one of the forums today asking what the top 5 ways of promoting a blog are. Interestingly, one of the answers (and there were only two when I looked) focused heavily on SEO: things like keywords in titles, H tags and content, installing SEO plugins, tagging etc. But, while these… Read more

I read two different articles today, both of which (essentially) addressed the question of what makes a good blog. The answer is, I think, as long as a piece of string because it depends entirely on what your blog is about and what the goal for it is. If you’re creating a resource for people… Read more

Why should you make use of the H tags in blog posts? Because, in addition to the SEO benefits they bring, they highlight a roadmap through your article. People skim read articles online, and if your article is just a load of unbroken text you’ll lose them before the 4th line. Reading unbroken text on… Read more

I saw a question today asking how to syndicate blog posts most effectively, so here’s how I do it: Very simply, I set up a TwitterFeed account a while ago. This takes the RSS feed from my site. Within my TwitterFeed account I set up services to Facebook and Twitter (both require verification). TwitterFeed takes… Read more

Bear with me while I set the background… A little over a year ago I wrote an article setting out how to install and manage widgets on WordPress. Two weeks later, WordPress released version 2.8 which completely invalidated my article because they changed the way widgets were managed. So I wrote an article on widgets… Read more

Because of the way they work, blogs are ideally suited for news type sites, where yesterday’s news is old hat and no longer interesting. But if you’re operating an information site, then a blog, while it has many, many advantages, also has a major disadvantage: It’s not long before your older posts are buried deep… Read more

… use an auto-blogging application of some kind. For people new to working online there’s a tremendous attraction in the idea of automated blogging. Everyone wants quick results, with as little effort as possible. It’s human nature. And for people new to working online, the idea of an automated business, earning money on auto-pilot, is… Read more

Interesting question from Darren Rowse over at ProBlogger today: What’s wrong with blogging? The interesting part was that although he invited responses, he stipulated that none of them should be positive. They all had to point out deficiencies in the medium of blogging. And when you’re asked to point out the deficiencies of something you’re… Read more

I have a confession: because I’m building a new travel site I’ve not had time to research, plan and write my usual article for today. So I’ve pulled together the top 5 blogs I follow on a daily basis. These are the places to which I turn for inspiration and guidance. Some of them I’ve… Read more

What do you really want for your blog? If I’m to believe Johnny B Truant’s message it isn’t your first answer. And I do believe him because, honestly, the answer I’ve given myself for a long time is not the real answer either. I’ve spent months (years, actually) focused solely on building up traffic for… Read more

A couple of years ago RSS was THE big thing. If you didn’t have RSS available on your site you were doomed to Internet Marketing failure. I had multiple ways and places people could sign up to my RSS feed, and I used various encouragements to get them to do so. Today I have only… Read more

When I look back at the early articles I wrote on my first blog I swing between cringing with embarrassment and smiling to myself. I had no idea how to write for the web. I wrote for the Corporate world. I’d been in it for more than 20 years and I was great at creating… Read more

Another question I saw recently: how do I build incoming links to my site? So why are incoming links important? Because they are the search engines’ way of assessing how good your site is. And if they think your site is good they’ll send you lots of visitors. The logic goes that if lots of… Read more

I’ve read a lot of posts on overcoming writer’s block (or blogger’s block) recently so I thought I’d add one of my own. If you’re blogging to a schedule (you should be, if you’re treating your blog as a business) the time for your next article will often come around when you’re feeling uninspired. You’re… Read more

I’ve had two reality checks in the last 24 hours: Firstly, I was helping a friend with something last night when he asked me to explain one of my articles to him (this one). And I thought I wrote clear, jargon-free posts! The second was a question someone asked in the Warrior Forum: ‘What is… Read more

Interesting question in the Warrior Forum today: are WordPress posts treated as pages on-line and should I target individual keywords in posts? The short answer is ‘yes’ and ‘yes’. Which led me to thinking about how to write an optimised article. Here are the steps I follow: Step 1: Optimising my post content. The first… Read more

I saw an interesting question in a forum this week: Why don’t the comments I leave on blogs get approved? I can only speak for myself, but here are some of my thoughts, for what they’re worth: I get a lot of comments that are clearly there just for the link. I mean screamingly, obviously… Read more

RSS subscribe buttons (that thing on the left) are an easy way to get people to sign up to your blog updates. Some themes come with them already installed, but some don’t – even though your blog does have an RSS feed. So if your theme doesn’t have an RSS button here’s how to set… Read more

Why would you want to use Feedburner? Because it makes your blog’s RSS feed as widely readable as possible, provides you with some great statistics and incorporates RSS updates by email RSS stands for Really Simple Syndication. It allows information to be syndicated – made available to RSS readers, blogs, websites or anyone who’s interested… Read more

Just lately the term ‘blogging voice’ seems to be popping up everywhere. What on earth does it mean? A new technology? Audio blogging? Actually no. It’s much simpler than that in concept, but quite tough to get in practice. But you do need to get it, because it forms part of your branding. Here’s what… Read more

Job hunting in a recession… I saw an interesting question today: can a blog replace a resume? My answer was ‘Yes’.  If not a blog then a managed web presence not only can, but should replace a resume (especially if you’re environmentally conscious). There’s a truly spectacular array of sites where anyone can set up… Read more

I saw another excellent rant by Jack Humphrey today on the question of No Follow. Do you still look for No Follow blogs to comment on or link to?  If you do you’re wasting time and losing traffic. I’ve written many times now, here and here for starters, on why it’s important to write for… Read more

In all my posts about SEO I’ve written about the importance of writing for people, not the search engines.  My point being that what you actually want is for people to read your site, or blog, and to like what they read, because people will buy from you – the search engines won’t. I saw… Read more

Q: With all the big, easy-to-use, function-rich, free blogging services that are available why should you go to the trouble of hosting your own blog..? A: Better SEO, total control, more traffic and more sales – although those reasons won’t apply if you’re not blogging for business! When I started out blogging I opened a… Read more

In these days of spelling and grammar checkers, both online and off-line, I’m continually amazed by how many blogs and websites I read that contain obvious spelling errors. I’m not talking about the differences between American English and UK English, or Australian English – I’m talking out and out spelling errors. Spelling errors and, to… Read more