Over the past few months I’ve gotten several questions about ‘how to blog.’ How to get started, where does your traffic come from, how do I compete? These are all great questions and the world of blogging has changed since I started and there are many theories and strategies. Needless to say, I wouldn’t be able to give you all the available information in one or even a whole slew of articles. The purpose of this writing is just to help aspiring writers a little hand in getting going…and getting going is the most important thing.
This article is a reprint of a guest article I wrote for www.howtomakemyblogblog by Marko Saric who I learn a lot from still. So with that in mind, it’s not pest specific but a general idea of what helped me climb the traffic ladder in the beginning days of my writing. It seemed to help a few folks back then & I’m hoping it will do the same for you.
Talk about being lost in the crowd, my chosen niche is filled with so much information on the web I’m surprised I’m at all where I am today. My competition is multi billion dollar companies with their company blogs, Doctors, p.h.d. types, anything that ends in ‘pedia’, professors, and tens of thousands of little voices like mine all wanting your attention on just one subject. My name Jerry and I blog about pest control. http://pestcemetery.com/
I’m not sure what your blog is but if you were like me when you started you probably spent many an hour typing furiously all night only to have 16 hits the next day. What a terrible feeling that is. Rays of hope were far and few between and I would be very depressed at times because I know that I am a great pest control technician and have owned my own company for years but couldn’t get anyone to read what I had to say. Giving up was definitely an option but the one rule I kept reading about from all the blog gurus was content, content, content. So, I pushed on with my little blog and punished myself daily with my constant stat checks.
What began to change for me is something I think can work for anyone whether you have a crocheting blog or you do nuclear fission. I began to be me and write the same way I spoke to customers who I serviced. While most blogs were only spewing out information fit for an entomologist I decided to start telling my story. Not in any chronological order and not every day but I sprinkled in some of the craziest things I’ve seen and many of the off the wall ideas this sparked in my head. Sure I still do the complete life cycle of the flea and the ‘How to’’ that is also popular but I knew that everybody was doing step by step instructions so it might take a lifetime to rank for anything like that. What I saw that was missing were the daily experiences and feelings that came with being a pest control technician and business owner. The extreme lows that I felt when I started my business struggling to make the bills and the conquering exhilaration’s when I hired my first employee. I began talking about the people and what some have meant to me and how others still get me angry to this day. All of the articles are bug related of course but you might guess otherwise when you read my poem about earwigs which sparked a huge debate as to whether one could lodge in your brain to lay her eggs or the morality of side jobs, I was called a thief on that one.
The other major factor was my increased use of forums and social sites. I used to skip these links when I used Google to find bug information because all they ever led me to was a forum where no reliable facts were. Just people giving there bogus 2 cents worth for the most part. DUH ALERT. I realized that this is where I should’ve been all along after responding to just one idiotic person who used motor oil on her cat to get rid of fleas. From that revelation I joined what ever forum I could and just kept slipping links in. I even got banned from one or two for breaking the advertising rules but since no gestapo ever showed up at my door I still join groups but I’m more careful now not to upset the moderators. Using search engine alerts I find where people are talking about my subject and join in on Facebook or do it yourself sites and simply add a good comment or helpful tip and post my link. One such site called thriftyfun.com covers almost every subject you can possibly think of and a large section of my traffic comes from folks clicking in from there.
I’m by no means any kind of blog guru like Marko or some of the others I’ve read and my html knowledge is a big hinderance when I try to do the simplest things. I can however fulfill the one rule everyone seems to agree on of content and if the people won’t come to me right off, I create a way for them to find me through my forum post strategy. These are not by any means the only things I’ve tried or still do but they are definitely my primary vehicles to promote my blog. Oh and the days of 16 clicks? After 7 plus years now they are gone and although I’m not setting any records I now only get slightly depressed when I don’t hit 65,000 a month,– I think I’m starting to catch on.