Blogging; Howto, Setup and working with the system

I have wrote earlier that what are the tools required for blogging, but let me summarize again more systematically and a little bit technically (of course few words from ProBlogger). Followings are somewhat necessary steps, which a newbie blogger should take on his mind

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Sometimes, we write coz we are afraid of our empty selves.
Sometimes, we write coz we feel afraid that why we are not feeling like writing.
Sometimes, we write coz we just wanted to say something and don’t want to say the same.
Sometimes ….

There might be many reasons, why I am writing this time, there might be many reasons, why one writes or think about writing. Some times back, I wrote an article about writing blog with an obsession that may it inspire few more people to write blogs. May be it was for some, but today I wish to put a little more efforts.

Why to write a blog? I have already written over it and now I am going to re-write a few points and also that what are the tools and easy practices for the same. I will not forget to mention that one push for this article was an article from ProBlogger. I agree from the point made by the author that there are two types of bloggers;

First one, who get into writing due to free flow of thoughts and quick enough to sit down and type on before the thoughts may get mixed up in already messed up life’s little big things.

Second one, who think about writing first and then plan for the same with related materials, make a draft first, think about its salability, think about it marketability, think about theme around it and think about all other minor details, which right now, I don’t even know. 🙂 But the best part is, in all these things, this second category take just a very little time more than the first category.

Obviously, the results are favorable for the second category and the first category sometimes cries that why don’t their authentic thoughts get proper attention than the technical ones. Anyway, I still wish to be termed as one from the first category and even right now wish to write for the first category.

I have wrote earlier that what are the tools required for blogging, but let me summarize again more systematically and a little bit technically (of course few words from ProBlogger). Followings are somewhat necessary steps, which a newbie blogger should take on his mind:

  • Choosing a topic: I know this doesn’t go well with newbies as we want to write but we don’t know what our exact tastes are and at which topics we could attract more people. Note that in start choosing topics might be random, but sooner or later you will be needed to find some central topic for your blog, which will define the theme around your blog, so give a thought about the topic for sure. 
  • Choosing a platform and design: This is about choosing platforms, tools, attractive themes and contents. for a professional view, you could check the ProBlogger Article. But at my blog, thoughts and recommendations are my own and so I recommend WordPress, whole heartedly either you are writing over the free WordPress.com domain or setting up your own domain from the software provided by WordPress.org. The reason of recommendation is the level of comfort and available options you could configure, which is also certified by most of the public. After choosing the platform, you need to choose a theme as light as possible, which could loads as fast as possible coz you have only few seconds to impress the person visiting for your link and if most of these seconds will be taken by loading of pages, then you know the answer …. F*** Off.
  • Choosing a name/domain: If you are not planning invest anything in start and just wish to go for it for satisfying your passions of writing, then the second part is irrelevant, but the first part still matters a lot. Choosing the name; It will sure be a crucial step for your blog as its kind of identity, which will be hard to change later on. You need to be specific about naming the blog, so that it could strictly match up with your blog theme today and tomorrow. One more point is about ease of search and easy to market, so that better is if the name contains the central keyword, your blog is going to be all about.
  • A writing tool: Although there are many ways including Microsoft Word, Open Office etc from where you could post articles to your blog without thinking that blogging is something different than making docs in your computer, but when it comes to SEO and marketing things then you come to know that technically how much important it is to have as clean HTML code behind your post as much possible. So, better to use web editor and knowing some basics of HTML as well or if thinking about convenience then Using Windows Live Editor. For me the later option been a joy ride till now, due to availability of so many plugins, about which you could only dream of, if you are on your own with default web editor only.
  • Writing/creating a hundred posts (assuming an average of four posts a week): Although it was not serious thing to me in first sight, but I found it very true, when given some thoughts over it. Sure, habitual and regular writing is what could be foundation of a successful blogging, otherwise, you will come up with a random thought, an article will roar for few days and then you will come to see your own blog after around one month. If even you are not interested and serious about your blog, then who else will be. Be regular, be rich about content and put your efforts as earning first 1000 views is much harder than earning next 1000.
  • Subscribing to big blogs of similar tastes: I will recommend for every blogger to make full use of Google Reader etc to keep a collection of subscriptions and also keep on visiting the same as a daily habit as this provides food for your thoughts. As many things and thoughts you know, as much and as content you could write upon.
     
  • Registering with digg, stumbleupon, twitter, del.ico.us etc. : It might sound a joke, if someone come up to say that he/ she is not part of all these or don’t even know, but it might be. Why to register with these things? You just want to post some thoughts over web after all not the social networking. But these things are important for giving initial exposure towards your posts. Its better if you are connected to many in these way, so that if you wish to say something, many will be here to take attention.
  • Participating in forums: This requirement is due to the same the reason, PR exercise as I mentioned in earlier para. Moreover, it provides you quick comments and thoughts sometimes.
     
  • Leaving comments/back links on other blogs: Its like dropping your business card at places and writing names on walls filled with other advertisements, which make your name getting attention. Once, you are seriously in blogging word, you will come to know that how precious these back links are as these back links provide you a share of other’s hard work many times and sometimes, even this little share is too much for a starter.
  • Printing business cards with your blog address/ Telling friends about your blog: Its the basic advertising but it still has worth for everyone. Its like mouth to mouth publicity for your blog and very better if it results in developing a core of followers. Spreading the word on social networks (facebook, etc) is just part of the job. 
  • Understanding the trends and search terms about your posts: Its a very necessary part of the game to deploy webmaster tools from Google, Yahoo, Microsoft etc to know that how your posts are being reached. What are the search terms and what are the back links, so that you could work more and more in a systematic way. After all, its your learning curve, which makes you gain something over others. 
  • Keep targets about your reach: In early days, take it as a play to know hits over your blog every day. Early targets might be 50 per day, then 100 per day and then 1000 per week and so on. Once, you are involved in this game, you automatically get yourself involved in following the other steps to keep the number of hits steady up.

Anyway, leaving from here.. thought to write as was not feeling asleep, so thought to drop in some words about writing.

Writing Blogs: Why? How?

I many times have asked many of my friends to write upon something in their blogs, but wasn’t lucky enough to find them really into it. Sometimes, I really think that is this really that hard to write? I mean it’s just expressing your thoughts into words!!!! Isn’t it?

What is Blog? The million dollar question and why to write one? If you go into the details then it was an abbreviation for the word “Weblog”, which later shortened up into the word “Blog“.

I many times have asked many of my friends to write upon something in their blogs, but wasn’t lucky enough to find them really into it. Sometimes, I really think that is this really that hard to write? I mean it’s just expressing your thoughts into words!!!! Isn’t it?

What is Blog? The million dollar question and why to write one? If you go into the details then it was an abbreviation for the word “Weblog”, which later shortened up into the word “Blog“.

Purpose? Some find it as an online diary, some as a medium of expressing thoughts to get a greater audience without much efforts, some as providing news information without any official approval from any authority and some as even commercial purpose advertising in cost-free ways (Yes!!! I know that cost may be involved in blogging, if you move over higher scales, but I will come to that later place). There might be as many reasons as one finds for connecting internet. Fame, networking, serving community etc.

What it serves to society? It offers really really a lot. You get to know many untold details about products including appliances, movies, shows, company and any commercial brand. You get to know inner and un-censored observations of many over almost any of the issue. I could admit freely that before going for any big decisions and I always seek inputs from these sources and never got disappointed. Many campaigns has been successfully ran over blog and affected even governments. Many issues got lightened up by the blogs first and only then media got notice of the same. No news of now days got an early off in air before the blogs themselves. It’s sure has becoming a real world phenomenon as Googling.

Word of caution: Yes!! It’s not completely free as it seems to be. Many writers have been nailed down by concerned government, if the material went illegal or offensive. In fact, other countries have started keeping effective checks on any material going on air. India still has much to do in the way. But a blogger also needs to keep as much caution as he could and should cross check all the things before publishing to web.

Similarly, it goes to viewers as well that to believe on lines of Blogs only as much as they believe on words of any neighbour passenger over issues. Always keep your mind even after reading and always take a second opinion.

How to start? Taking a start with blogging is as easy as creating an email ID and also free in the similar ways. The big names are WordPress, Blogspot, TypePad, Windows Live Spaces and Rediffland etc. Even Google has introduced their services in the same way, but I haven’t used them neither aware of them much, but sure will get to know about them very soon.

First thing is to take up a free account from any of them with a proper distinguished name in connection of your theme of blogging and then it comes to core theme, writing. Although exposure and reach matters sometimes more, but powerful writing makes blog attractive. Powerful doesn’t mean it to be complicated and nearly perfect of literature standards, but powerful meant to its being affective, smooth and as natural as it can be (Except you are writing over something very technical or have professional motives, which better suited with any other way). For writing purposes, all the blog services provide their web applications means you could write online easily without knowledge of HTML etc, just if you know routine word processor things. But I suggest you to choose some offline medium as well, because it goes comfortable and cost effective for sure. Obviously, one could always save a .Doc file and then copy paste the same, but I meant with something else.

Microsoft recently introduced two prominent ways to support blogging; One is in-built in their latest Office Suit: Microsoft Office 2007 (Costly one) and another free way is Microsoft Live Writer (I personally found the same very handy and cost effective solution against Microsoft Office 2007).

How to make it accessible well known? The next and most important thing is how to present the things in a way that they get noticed on web otherwise your blog will be an unknown address, which is known to only a few one. Obviously, it’s not possible that you may tell each and every known one about the web address or everyone might be searching with your name for some relevant content.

Only sometimes after starting with Blogs, one get to know that he she is not getting enough visitors on way and only then one realises that there are other things one should consider and it’s no more about writing only. There are other ways, through which any blog gets traffic its way. Commonly used term is Tags. Tags are the keyword, which might be most important in your blog or in the particular article written by you, some word, on searching for which, you wish to get your link appeared on the Google results.

There are other paid services, which do the entire advertising etc for you on a little cost and I have seen that they are much effective. But this is only for people, who are using it for commercial purposes. Anyway, so these were a few things, which one should know about blogging.

Have you started using one? Not yet? Why? Start with one. The world is waiting for you.