I have learnt alot these few months from trial and error. I wished that there was someone out there who could tell me from the start what to do when creating a blog and to attract good traffic so that i would not have to waste precious time, much heartache and energy going around in circles.
But i also understand that i could not have learnt without getting my feet wet. Any way, it is the purpose of this blog to try all methods.
Ok. These are what i have learnt on hindsight. Hope it is useful to you.
***10 Must Have Tips for New Bloggers***
#1: Use WordPress instead of blogspot
Personally i find that Wordpress is better in terms of design and functionality than blogpot although many bloggers like to start with blogspot or blogger.com. Consider carefully and plan well from the start as it is quite costly in terms of Ranking (technorati, PageRank etc.) and traffic to switch later on. Many bloggers do not think long term when starting a blog (that includes myself and that is why i am still stuck with this blogspot although i have a wordpress one at projectheavytraffic.com).
#2: Place Google Adsense only when you have good traffic
Ever wonder why those professional bloggers earn hundreds of dollars from Adsense and you earn only a few cents?
Another mistake i made which i have realised from hindsight is that new blogger should not be too eager to place google adsense on their blog else they will be placed at lowest Ad Band which is meaningless as you only earn a few cents. Place Google Adsense (or any other click per pay ads) only when you have good traffic and when you are eligible for a higher band.
What you should do is to concentrate on churning good articles.
#3: Have a traffic counter right from the start
This is not so much to show how many visitors you have but to measure your traffic flow. It is a must have tools for new bloggers. You get the counters from Sitemeter, statcounter or any other traffic measuring tool. Just type 'counter' in google will yield you a long list. Without measuring tool, you are like driving to an unknown place without a map or doing business without a business plan.
Measuring is only part of it. You have to do something about it once you know the numbers.
#4: Technorati, My blog Log, Blog explosion and RSS FEED
I recommend new bloggers to sign up Technorati, My blog Log, Blog Explosion and RSS Feed right from the start to attract traffic. A site is only useful when you promote it. I received good traffic from each of these sources. Technorati is a THE BLOG LIST, a must for new bloggers who want their blog known. My Blog Log is a community site where you can promote your latest post and ask bloggers to join your community. Blog explosion is a manual traffic exchange site and it is getting popular!
Many new bloggers (including myself) have ignored RSS feed at the early stage of blogging, which can cost much traffic. I have since learnt the importance of RSS and is now constantly monitoring my feed at feedburner.#5: SEO and Keywords are important
We cannot be always replying comments, visiting blogs and exchanging links. We need organic traffic from search engine to be sustainable. That is why Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) and keywords are so important. New bloggers should start right from the start because it takes time to build up traffic from Search Engine. Read my post on 5 tips to increase keyword success and Search Engine Optimisation Part 1
#6: Do not Clutter your blog
Personally, this is one of the hardest points to master. Although we know that cluttering the blog will slow down the loading speed, we still face many tamptations of adding interesting widgets and affiliate badges to our blog sidebar. We keep fighting the lure of decorating our blog with awards and chat box and blog directory buttons. What i do is to trim my blog fats from time to time. And for this blog. i have changed to a simplier template. You have to keep trying...
Compare this blog with my projectheavytraffic.com blog.
#7: Experiment on Different traffic methods.
This blog is a result of experimenting with different traffic methods. I dare say that it would not be what it is now if i did not participate in meme or tagging game. Some says that it is not an orthodox method but says who? All methods are ways of beating the system. And who own the system anyway. Do you want to let one system, say PageRank, rules the blog universe? Have an open mind, you will receive surprising result!
#8: Having the correct Attitudes
Having the correct attitude is important . Do not start a blog to milk for money immediately. it will not be sustainable Please read my post on 5 Attitudes in making your blog Successful and Don't just blog for money
#9: Do not be Obsessed with PageRank
I have written many articles on PageRank. My PageRank went from 0 to 4 back to an unjustified zero again within a short span of a few months. Although i tried to Explain PageRank, discussed about the Page rank mystery, Facts and Fictions on PageRank, i came to a conclusion that PageRank is only a tool. We don't know what are the actual criteria for its ranking.
Although i did said it is a brilliant tool (see In Defence of PageRank). I am now not so sure after they revised the system. I have learnt not to be too bothered about PageRank. It really does not matters unless your blog is all about writing paid post.
#10: Build traffic one comment at a time.
I have learnt to build traffic one comment at a time. Comments are important. I wish i have time to put comments on all my favourite blogs but we have limited time per day and other commitments (work, family, social). Nevertheless, i have built up a network of friends, which to me is the most valuable asset since i started blogging.
You can read the rest of my struggle and journey on how i increase website traffic.