Author Topic: 13 in 13 Computer Skills - Blogging  (Read 8966 times)

Offline GodFearingMan

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13 in 13 Computer Skills - Blogging
« on: February 19, 2013, 05:13:06 PM »
So I am interested in starting a little blog. I plan on posting a couple times a week and using lots of pictures and maybe videos. I also would like to be able to customize the look and feel a little. Any suggestions on what would be a good blog site to start with I am definitely wanting free. Any and all suggestions welcome including ideas to help make my blog more successful.

Thanks

Offline padre35

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Re: 13 in 13 Computer Skills - Blogging
« Reply #1 on: February 22, 2013, 12:16:15 PM »

Huge subject really, for example are you attempting to earn an income from your blog?

Generally:

Wordpress is the best blogger platform, but Blogger is "free" and easier to monetize
Adding pictures to either is quite easy
If trying to turn some $$$ from your blog you'll need to learn how google's Ad Words works, and to find topics in your niche, you'll want to use Google's Keyword tool to find which topics draw the most hits and potential revenue.


Offline inconel710

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Re: 13 in 13 Computer Skills - Blogging
« Reply #2 on: February 22, 2013, 02:04:12 PM »
I using the free wordpress.com site.  Not looking to monetize my blogging yet, just get into the habit of blogging and writing more often.  One benefit of starting at wordpress.com is you can easily convert to your own wordpress based site.

Offline GodFearingMan

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Re: 13 in 13 Computer Skills - Blogging
« Reply #3 on: February 27, 2013, 04:28:46 AM »
Making some money would be great but I just want to try and establish myself and see if I can consistently produce content. I set up an account on blogger and I am fiddling with the look and feel of it now. I am also setting up some more social media accounts and going to try and use all of them together to reach more people. Any suggestions would be great and any resources. I am not looking to spend any money since I am not really going to try and make any money at the moment.

Thanks

Offline Frugal Upstate

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Re: 13 in 13 Computer Skills - Blogging
« Reply #4 on: February 27, 2013, 04:41:29 AM »
Just making a note so I'll remember answer more fully in a bit :) I've been blogging since 2006, so I've got a few tips.

Offline inconel710

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Re: 13 in 13 Computer Skills - Blogging
« Reply #5 on: February 27, 2013, 08:13:42 AM »
Looking forward to your tips Upstate!

Offline fritz_monroe

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Re: 13 in 13 Computer Skills - Blogging
« Reply #6 on: February 27, 2013, 09:25:11 AM »
I went with WordPress and have my blogs sitting on a Host Gator server.  I went this way so that I have full control over what I put out there.  I don't post controversial stuff, but if I ever decide to do that, I don't want Word Press.com coming to me telling me I can't do it.  I have not heard of anyone having this happen, but the way our society is going I would not be surprised to see it in the future.

It does cost some money, but not really that much.

I will suggest that anyone that decides to do put a blog on a hosting provider's server, look for a friend that blogs and give them a referral.  All the hosting sites do referral programs.  It could just help them do pay for their blog.

Offline MaddoginMass

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Re: 13 in 13 Computer Skills - Blogging
« Reply #7 on: February 27, 2013, 12:42:37 PM »
I do the same as Fritz on HostGator.  I decided to spend the money to host it versus a free service.  I like the fact that I have complete control over WordPress. 

Offline GodFearingMan

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Re: 13 in 13 Computer Skills - Blogging
« Reply #8 on: February 28, 2013, 02:06:07 PM »
Alright so after fiddling with blogger I have decided to host my own blog. I got a domain name and hosted with host gator. Now i feel like I am a little over my head as far as my computer skills go. I want to do a home page at my domain name and then have a blog attached from there as well as some other pages. Where do I start?

Offline Frugal Upstate

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Re: 13 in 13 Computer Skills - Blogging
« Reply #9 on: March 01, 2013, 09:01:08 AM »
Ok, here we go. 
****WARNING VERY LONG POST**** 
(but hopefully informative)

I've been putting off writing this because I knew I would wind up writing a book, and frankly I've been trying to get things done around the house and stay off the computer for a week or two :)  This might be a bit stream of consciousness, but I'm going to brain dump a bunch of things in general about blogging on you to think about and consider, then I'll give my opinion on the domain issues etc==I'm more than happy to answer specifics after.

In the Army and in other situations where I've been a public speaker or instructor I've always been told that you should start out by giving your credentials--so that people know why they should pay attention to you and your information/advice.  So that's what I'll start out with.  I'm not trying to brag or be self promoting, I just want you to understand what my experience is and in what areas:

I have been a blogger since 1 Jan 2006 when I started "Frugal Upstate" a blog about saving money and a frugal lifestyle.  Although I considered my blog to be a subset of the Financial Blogging realm, because I write about a lot of homemaking type issues I've also fallen heavily in to the "Mommy Blogger" realm (a phrase every mother who blogs I know HATES).  2008 when my son started kindergarten I became a "professional" blogger-aka I made a conscious decision to turn it into a business and a money making proposition.

In 2009 I became a sole proprietor LLC (Upstate Medial LLC) Several years ago I added some social media consulting (specializing in outreach to bloggers and campaign creation) for brands.  I've looked at and evaluated a lot of blogs in the course of my blogger outreach campaigns.  I've also been a speaker at multiple blogger conferences.  2011 was the first year I made a "real" salary--$40,000 before taxes ($30 after. Freakin taxes).  Frugal Upstate runs somewhere around 2000 visitors a day and about 2500 page views a day.  Last month my totals were 71,000 visitors and 94,000 page views.  Over 75% of my traffic comes from search engines, with much of the remainder coming from Pinterest and Facebook.  I belong to several groups involving bloggers (both formal and informal) and have a wide range of folks to pull professional information from.

Ok, now on to the question/get you thinking/advice portion of today's program :) 

  • The first question I have for you is what is your intent for your blog?  What you do and how you do it varies depending on what your goals are.  Are you writing for the love of it--your own enjoyment?  Are you trying to gain and give encouragement to others going through the same things you are? Are you sharing information with like minded folks? Are you sharing a passion or hobby?  Do you want to make money?  Is it *just* a way to make money? 

    What is the topic you intend to write on? Will it be very niche specific or is it more of a general lifestyle blog meant to entertain and inform?  For example, there is a difference between writing a blog about photography, and being a photographer who writes about their life and travels, to include sometimes talking about photography skills.

    Do you actually enjoy writing?  Do you have any photography skills?  Do you enjoy being on social media and interact on Facebook, Google + (ack--I just can't get into it), Pinterest, Twitter or Instagram?

    If you plan to make money, what do you think will be the revenue stream?  I've got to tell you Ad revenue isn't much for most folks.  Are you considering making money through affiliate sales or advertising?  Would your product be services you offer (products, services, consulting, speaking, training, ebooks, standard books), and your blog is the way you draw folks in, have them get to know you and want to purchase from you?

These are all things to think about :)

I'm going to assume that you are writing a topical blog and that your intent is to share information with folks, and that eventually you'd like the option of monetizing.

Of course the golden rule of blogging is to write good content. Use proper English.  Reread your post before hitting "publish" to check for omissions, repetition or mistakes.  All that stuff :)  I'm going to assume that you have a good topic and lots to say about it :)

The first thing to understand is that when you are blogging a lot of it is about personality.  When I first started blogging I made my articles TOO journalistic.  They were actually a bit flat and boring.  When I started injecting more of my own personality into it, talking about my family, my lifestyle etc, I started gaining readers.  Think about the blogs you like to read.  Is it the dry informative stuff that sounds like you are reading an encyclopedia that folks enjoy?  Or the pompous know it all?  I would say not.  Most people want to feel like the person they are reading is a real person, not perfect.  If they are looking for information they want to know how to do something (or why to do something) and they want to know a real person's perceptions and experience.  We are cynical and don't trust advertising and media--we are more likely to trust "real" people.  No one really believes that Martha Steward makes all those crafts herself in her spare time.  Of COURSE it looks easy when she does it--but if a "real" person shows you how on their blog, tells you the parts that they had difficulty with and how they solved the problem--well. . . that we believe.

The second thing to understand is that reading a blog is different from reading text on a page.  Paragraphs have to be much shorter.  There needs to be white space or folks eyes can't handle it--and that leads me on to the 3rd point--

Readers are impatient.  They will decided in a couple of seconds whether or not they want to actually READ the article that they came to your blog for.  (the technical term for this is "bounce rate"--ak how long folks stay on your blog before they leave) most folks will take a first glance at the text that is "above the fold" (aka before they page down) they might read the first sentence or two, or they might page down to see how long the post is--and on the basis of that they will decide if they should read it or not.  If they see huge blocks of text with no break, no pictures, and the article goes on for more than a single "page down" most folks will just leave.  Oh-and double that if you've got spazzy colors, popups or annoying music playing.  Consider this when writing.  Yes-some things just don't have photos that go with it.  Some topics need a lot of space and just can't be broken up into a series or multiple posts.  But most things CAN.

Third consider "SEO" (search enginge optimization).  Unless you already have an audience, you will be starting from scratch.  That means folks need to somehow find your site.  That usually happens either by a) you sharing it with them, having a link in your signature file on forums and emails, posting links to your own articles on facebook, twitter etc or b) coming in via a search engine (aka google, yahoo, ask etc).  That means you need to think a little bit about how search engines view your site. 

The algorithm that Google uses to conduct it's searches is secret.   There are certain things that are generally known or assumed:
  • It is better to have text in the actual hyper link (aka the http://etc.etc.etc) for the post that matches words within the post.  In most blogging software you can have it set so when it automatically generates the link for your posts it uses the title instead of a random number.  Do this!
  • Google likes sites that are updated more frequently.  Google also likes sites that have existed for a long time.  A site that has existed for a while and is updated frequently is a bonus.  This is why companies etc will buy a blog from a blogger-it's already got that history in google.
  • Google likes when words from the title of a post match search criteria.  So if a person is searching for "how to dehydrate pumpkin" in theory my post titled "how to dehydrate pumpkin" is weighed better than  one titled "Peter Peter Pumpkin Eater--what to do with too much Pumpkin".  Of course there are other factors.
  • Google likes it if words in the title of the post match words in the first couple of paragraphs of the post.  So for example if I write a post titled "how to dehydrate pumpkin" but then in the first couple of paragraphs the words "pumpkin" "dehydrate" don't appear, Google will ding me.  (these are called "keywords").  But google also supposedly doesn't like "keyword stuffing" or mentioning it just over and over to try to get a better rating.  No idea how it would tell that-but it's best to not go crazy trying to work the system)
  • Google likes it when your outbound links have keywords that match the topic of the post you are linking too.  So for example in my How to Dehydrate Pumpkin post you'd want to say "I got the idea to try this from the article on "how to dehydrate winter squash" at Dehydrate2Store" with the bold part being the link and linking to an article of that title instead of "I got the idea to try this HERE"
  • Google likes it when you deep link within your own site--so if you have written previously about a topic that you mention in a current post, make sure you link back to that old post.
  • Google likes it if other sites have linked back to you.  It weighs those links more heavily if they are coming from sites with good traffic.
  • Google pays attention to something called "PageRank".  Again, no one knows exactly how they compute it, but you can go to a pagerank checker and see what yours is.  10 is the highest, but basically among bloggers the highest most folks hit is a 5.  The higher your page rank (based on many of the things above, plus traffic etc) the higher you come out in the rankings when folks search for a term.  Basically you are seen as a more reputable source.
  • Google considers the file name of photos to be part of the article--so if you take the time to rename your photo "How to Dehydrate Pumpkin" instead of IMG8758 it can help.  (not that I remember to do this all the time)

Those are the biggies. 

Now why am I rambling on about SEO?  I mean besides the fact that obviously you want people to read your blog.  If you didn't want people to read you'd just write everything in a journal and stick it under your mattress instead of blogging. . . Well I go on about it because your initial question was where to host your blog, on "yourblog.blogspot.com" for free or "yourblog.com".  I started out on a free blogspot account.  By the time it got big enough that it seemed worth it to move I had already built up some audience and was worried that if I moved I'd lose them.  So I stayed there. . . and of course over time my audience built some more.  Then I decided to go "pro"--and lets face it, using free software with a .blogspot doesn't look very pro.  Plus the free sites limit what you can do in your sidebars as far as plug ins for advertising etc. . . so I finally moved to my own self hosted domain. . . . . . .

And my traffic dropped like a stone. 

As far as google was concerned I was a brand new site (even though all my old stuff was moved/redirected).  It took me almost a year and a half to build my traffic back up again.  And that STUNK.  So for anyone who wants to do more than just share info with their family I would highly suggest that you do a self hosted blog with a true .com

That's a very, very long way of saying I approve of your decision to do your own .com.

I do however question why you would have a regular landing page and then have a link to a blog from that.  Unless you are a full up website for another purpose I don't see a good reason to have that additional layer.  I actually find it annoying when folks do that.

A few other basic blog tips:

  • Either take your own photos or make sure you are correctly using Creative Commons Copyrighted photos and giving the correct attribution.  Using someone's photo without permission is stealing--I don't care how many other folks are doing it. That includes product shots from retailers.
  • Don't ever reprint someones entire article, tutorial or recipe.  That's just rude (even if you give a link at the end).  The "currency" of the blogosphere is traffic-and if you use someone elses content you are stealing their traffic.  It's bogus to say "well I included a link at the end"--no one has any reason to click through if you have already given all of the content.  Use quotes or excerpts and give credit where credit is due.
  • Consider that your blog might be around for a long time, and think about privacy.  Everyone's threshold is different on this.  I chose to be a bit oblique about exactly where my home is, and to use pseudonyms for my kids.  Anyone digging a bit could find it but it makes it a bit harder.  I also make sure not to share anything that would be embarrassing if someone I know IRL reads it or, more importantly, that my kids would find embarrassing.  I know one blogger who had to go back and try to sanitize years of her blogging because her son's classmates found her blog and were using info on it from when he was younger to bully him.
  • Remember that the internet is forever.  I don't care if you delete it-once it's written it's out there and someone can get a copy if they try hard enough.

As far as your final question--you need to use Wordpress!  There are plenty of free or low cost themes out there and the system is very easy to use.  Google how to set up a wordpress blog, or how to use wordpress and you'll find plenty of tutorials, videos and advice.  You don't need to know how to code etc--it will set you up so once you've picked and installed your theme (aka the skin of your website) when you go to write posts you'll basically be in something that looks like what you are in when you write the reply to a post here on the forum. 

Ok.  That's my brain dump.  And yes-if this was a post on my blog I would have broken it down into a series or a couple of articles ;)

Offline inconel710

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Re: 13 in 13 Computer Skills - Blogging
« Reply #10 on: March 01, 2013, 12:32:53 PM »
Excellent advice.  You've definitely got me thinking about getting my own domain now.

Thanks.

Offline Frugal Upstate

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Re: 13 in 13 Computer Skills - Blogging
« Reply #11 on: March 03, 2013, 02:07:14 PM »
Excellent advice.  You've definitely got me thinking about getting my own domain now.

Thanks.

You are most welcome :)

Offline fritz_monroe

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Re: 13 in 13 Computer Skills - Blogging
« Reply #12 on: March 04, 2013, 08:24:29 AM »
Great information, thanks.

I do however question why you would have a regular landing page and then have a link to a blog from that.  Unless you are a full up website for another purpose I don't see a good reason to have that additional layer.  I actually find it annoying when folks do that.
I have a landing page.  I went with that because I didn't know what I was going to do with fritzmonroe.com

Now I rarely go to it.  I didn't know what I was going to call my blog at the time.  I also wanted to leave room for expansion.  I guess now that I know the names of the blogs I could buy the names and point them directly to the respective blogs.

Offline GodFearingMan

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Re: 13 in 13 Computer Skills - Blogging
« Reply #13 on: March 04, 2013, 04:41:40 PM »
@ frugal upstate +1 great info thank you very much that helps a lot. I have been working with Wordpress and I think I am starting to get the hang of it. Some questions I have, is it worth it to purchase a premium theme. Does it give you more options? Also, should I be thinking about the effect on load times caused by themes and content on my page? I want a unique cool looking page but would faster load times be better?

Offline MaddoginMass

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Re: 13 in 13 Computer Skills - Blogging
« Reply #14 on: March 05, 2013, 10:35:16 AM »
GFM, I've been blogging for a couple years now and have not purchased a premium theme.  While they may be right in some circumstances, there are many good free themes. 

I would not worry about load times at this point.  If you had 100s of people hitting your blog at one time, then that is a different story.  Additionally, since you are on a shared server, your load times may vary depending on what is going on with the server at that time.  Keep your images small in file size....do not use Flash (if you don't know what it is then you are all set)

Offline GodFearingMan

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Re: 13 in 13 Computer Skills - Blogging
« Reply #15 on: March 05, 2013, 07:21:33 PM »
Great, so use one of the free themes and start blogging! Any other tips for new bloggers would be greatly appreciated (ie how to market, how to get traffic, how not to suck at blogging) thanks for your help everyone!

Offline Frugal Upstate

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Re: 13 in 13 Computer Skills - Blogging
« Reply #16 on: March 05, 2013, 07:43:35 PM »
Maddog gave you excellent advice re: load time & themes.  I'd also add that it's not to bad to change themes later and keep all of your info-so
You can always get something premium at a future point.

What topic are you going to blog on, and what is your reason/goal for blogging?

Offline padre35

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Re: 13 in 13 Computer Skills - Blogging
« Reply #17 on: March 06, 2013, 09:57:10 PM »
Great, so use one of the free themes and start blogging! Any other tips for new bloggers would be greatly appreciated (ie how to market, how to get traffic, how not to suck at blogging) thanks for your help everyone!

Well, you have to learn how Google Adwords tool works.

Basically, it tracks topics and the number of times a topic is brought up, BUT keep in mind a topic with a lot of traffic will also draw a lot of blogs posts about it. What you want is a hot topic with niche' avenues

Also if possible a Youtube Channel raises page ranking.

Offline Frugal Upstate

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Re: 13 in 13 Computer Skills - Blogging
« Reply #18 on: March 07, 2013, 06:23:03 AM »
Also if possible a Youtube Channel raises page ranking.

I've never heard that a YouTube Channel raises your page rank (PR).  Since Youtube is a separate page, it's PR is separate from your blog's PR.  Do you mean that an inbound link from a YouTube page is highly weighted and therefore increases your blog's PR? 

Offline GodFearingMan

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Re: 13 in 13 Computer Skills - Blogging
« Reply #19 on: March 07, 2013, 08:33:51 PM »
I want to document the things I am doing on my soon to be homestead and am thinking I could provide plans on how to build different a things as I build them this year ( ie chicken coop, beehives, rainwater catchment, shed, greenhouse, rocket mass stove hopefully)

I figure I am going to build all this stuff and having plans for all them and more in one place might be helpful to someone getting started, and since I am fairly new to a lot of this stuff the plans will be basic and easy for others to do and I will probably make lots of mistakes that I will point out for others to avoid.

I am mostly doing this to get a name out there that I can use in the future when I figure out exactly what I want to do with it. I have been thinking about it for a long time and have decided to just take some action and figure it out as I go

Offline 2paranoid

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Re: 13 in 13 Computer Skills - Blogging
« Reply #20 on: March 08, 2013, 05:58:56 AM »
@GodFearingMan - thanks for this post. I've been mulling over starting a blog for a while, and I think now's the time to do it. THis thread has both inspired and empowered me.

@FrugalUpstate - a quick question, and apologies to the OP for semi-highjacking the thread:

What are your thoughts on domain names? I've decided to host my own, but the domain name I want is taken.  I don't want to reveal my clever idea for a domain, so let's just call it "myclevername.com". I know I can bid on the name, but that takes money I don't have. So, rather than ".myclevername.com", I'm thinking of registering "myclevernameblog.com". Do you see any issues with that? In my case, myclevername.com is not an active website; it's just someone sitting on the domain name that I want, so I'm not trying to be a "brand pirate" like Jack warns about with his sponsors. My concern is that the domain will get too unwieldy if I have to tack "blog" onto it, or that somehow I'll lose the cachet of my own domain if I have to append like that. Or do I risk lower page-ranking with a domain like that?

Thanks for this thread, and everyone's thoughtful input. I do have one practical piece of advice on blogging - if you have a day job, make sure all your posts are clearly made during hours other than those you are supposed to be working. You really don't want to explain to your boss why you spent from 10-11AM on a Tuesday updating your blog instead of doing his or her work. That goes for forum posts as well - it's way too easy for The Man to catch you doing something "wrong" these days, and there are tons of underemployed folks out there ready to step into your job for half your pay, so the incentive is there for them to look for any way to axe you. Just sayin'.

2p

Offline Frugal Upstate

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Re: 13 in 13 Computer Skills - Blogging
« Reply #21 on: March 08, 2013, 08:05:05 AM »
What are your thoughts on domain names? I've decided to host my own, but the domain name I want is taken.  I don't want to reveal my clever idea for a domain, so let's just call it "myclevername.com". I know I can bid on the name, but that takes money I don't have. So, rather than ".myclevername.com", I'm thinking of registering "myclevernameblog.com". Do you see any issues with that? In my case, myclevername.com is not an active website; it's just someone sitting on the domain name that I want, so I'm not trying to be a "brand pirate" like Jack warns about with his sponsors. My concern is that the domain will get too unwieldy if I have to tack "blog" onto it, or that somehow I'll lose the cachet of my own domain if I have to append like that. Or do I risk lower page-ranking with a domain like that?

One of the reasons it took me so long to go from FrugalUpstate.blogspot.com was about a month after I started my blog someone bought and held onto frugalupstate.com--just for that reason.  They buy big lists of domains and then hope that you'll offer to buy it from them.  So via godaddy I put it on a thing where I paid for them to watch it and then buy it if the jerks ever let the subscription lapse.  So you can do that.

You can also just use another extension.  If it's an unused domain, then I don't think you are being a brand pirate.  Someone just had an idea and scooped up the name (which personally i've done on a few things) or else they bought it hoping someone would buy it off them. . . but if it isn't in use then as far as I'm concerned you aren't ethically pirating anything.  So you have a couple of options.

You can do as you said and add a word to your domain name idea.  So your domain could be cleverideablog.com--but when you actually do your header for your blog you could just put "clever idea"--sure, that can be a bit confusing for someone who is typing in your blog name directly to try to find you--but I have found in my case that most folks are coming to my blog via google searches on the article/post topics, or from links I've posted on Facebook, from pinterest etc.  So they aren't actually typing the name of my blog into anything.

The other idea is that you can change the extension on the end of the domain name.  There are varying viewpoints on that.  I think most laypeople still feel a .com is the "official" stuff and that some of the new domains out there are a bit squirrelly--meaning they might think it looks spammy etc.  I think more folks are getting used to seeing a .net or such though.  You might want to do a general canvas of your friends and here on the boards to see what folks feel about that.

Whatever name you decide on, one of the best things to do if you are considering your blog as part of a business is to buy all the associated domains with the same name.  So for example I own Frugalupstate.com frugalupstate.net frugalupstate.org (as well as my own name in .com, .net, .org. . . and a few other things. I own like 26 domains. . . it's a sickness).  You can set the "extras" to redirect to you main one--but that way if someone accidentally types the wrong extension it will still wind up at your site.  If you type in Frugalupstate.net, it will just load right to frugalupstate.com--you wouldn't even notice it if I hadn't told you (which also means if you start with one name and the other comes open eventually you could buy it and redirect it--it's transparent to the user)

As far as blog names go in general--I do like the idea of not pigeon holing yourself too much.  My blog has the word Frugal in it--and now I am leaning more to writing about sustainability and preparedness.  I can justify linking the thoughts together (being sustainable and prepared do in the long run save you money) but if my passion had changed to a completely dis-separate topic it would have been much harder.

I do have one practical piece of advice on blogging - if you have a day job, make sure all your posts are clearly made during hours other than those you are supposed to be working. You really don't want to explain to your boss why you spent from 10-11AM on a Tuesday updating your blog instead of doing his or her work. That goes for forum posts as well - it's way too easy for The Man to catch you doing something "wrong" these days, and there are tons of underemployed folks out there ready to step into your job for half your pay, so the incentive is there for them to look for any way to axe you. Just sayin'.

Oh, totally don't worry about that.  You can schedule blog posts.  I can write something today and set it to post at 10am tomorrow morning--so the time that a blog post goes live doesn't necessarily have anything to do with when you actually write it.  Easy to do and easy to explain to your boss.   And if you use a free service like Hootsuite with which you can also schedule Facebook posts and twitter posts, well, you can pick the time that most of your target audience is online, have your blog post publish then and then have FB and Twitter posts go out to draw your audience to it.

Offline fritz_monroe

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Re: 13 in 13 Computer Skills - Blogging
« Reply #22 on: March 08, 2013, 10:11:34 AM »
Thanks for this thread, and everyone's thoughtful input. I do have one practical piece of advice on blogging - if you have a day job, make sure all your posts are clearly made during hours other than those you are supposed to be working. You really don't want to explain to your boss why you spent from 10-11AM on a Tuesday updating your blog instead of doing his or her work. That goes for forum posts as well - it's way too easy for The Man to catch you doing something "wrong" these days, and there are tons of underemployed folks out there ready to step into your job for half your pay, so the incentive is there for them to look for any way to axe you. Just sayin'.

2p
It's probably less of a concern with blog posts than with forum posts.  Wordpress allows you to schedule your posts to be posted later.  I rarely ever post immediately.  I usually set the publish date for fairly early the morning I want it to go out.

Offline TxMom

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Re: 13 in 13 Computer Skills - Blogging
« Reply #23 on: March 09, 2013, 01:40:19 PM »
If using Wordpress, your blog can be on a page other than your homepage if you wish.  Easier to do the whole site in WordPress.

I have a series of free WordPress Tutorials.  The earlier videos have a softer volume.  http://boomerempowerment.com/wordpress101/tutorials/

The biggest referral traffic source by far comes from YouTube.  Each video I did should have a link back to my site.  I was surprised how much it increased my traffic. 

For anyone else considering a free site vs wordpress someplace such as hostgator:
Wordpress.com not a good choice if you plan on monetizing your site.   I had a couple friends get their accounts frozen for linking to their business sites. 
Blogger is better about links to commercial sites, making money.  I have another friend who had several of her blogger accounts which were producing money thrown out as spam sites. 
If using either one, do yourself a big favor and buy a domain name.   Use that domain name on the free service so you are going to yourdomain.com  vs  yourname.blogspot.com or yourname.wordpress.com    Makes it easier when you later make the move to self-hosted wordpress.   Either can be moved to your own wordpress site fairly easily now.   Best to save yourself the future move, and use wordpress on your own host from the beginning.  But if you can't, do get and use a domain name there.  See http://mashable.com/2010/09/06/business-infrastructure-google-account/

Lots of great advice already here. 


Offline Frugal Upstate

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Re: 13 in 13 Computer Skills - Blogging
« Reply #24 on: March 10, 2013, 10:04:06 AM »
I think that a lot of something being a "great referral source" depends on what your topic is (both for your blog and for the particular post).  It also depends on what you see as "a lot".

I don't get much traffic from my Youtube channel--which is why I haven't really done much on there for the last year.  Video can be intensive to produce--if you are as picky as I am ;)

On the other hand I get a TON of traffic from Pinterest--but I'm betting a lot of "survival" type blogs wouldn't necessarily.  I tend to do a lot of projects/posts on things that are very visual which makes them great for Pinterest (and it's changed the way I do my photos--I now typically include at least 1 photo with text on it that makes it very "pinnable")

Offline padre35

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Re: 13 in 13 Computer Skills - Blogging
« Reply #25 on: March 11, 2013, 01:54:25 PM »
I've never heard that a YouTube Channel raises your page rank (PR).  Since Youtube is a separate page, it's PR is separate from your blog's PR.  Do you mean that an inbound link from a YouTube page is highly weighted and therefore increases your blog's PR?

The way I understand it to work a youtube channel connected to the blog increases your expertize in Google's eyes and raises your PR.

Offline Frugal Upstate

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Re: 13 in 13 Computer Skills - Blogging
« Reply #26 on: March 11, 2013, 02:55:47 PM »
The way I understand it to work a youtube channel connected to the blog increases your expertize in Google's eyes and raises your PR.

But how do you "connect" a youtube channel to your blog?  Sure, you can mention your blog url in your descriptions or in your profile, but as far as I know there is no "official" way to link them. 

When I post a video from my youtube channel on my blog, I grab the embed code, which is the same as anyone would use to embed that video on their site.   If having a video from a high ranking youtube channel increases your PR for the blog, then I would think everyone would just keep embedding a bunch of videos from other, higher ranked Youtube channels on their blog.

Offline TxMom

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Re: 13 in 13 Computer Skills - Blogging
« Reply #27 on: March 29, 2013, 10:59:52 PM »
I think it is more like linking to your blog from YouTube rather than embedding a youtube video.  On most wordpress sites you now only have to add the youtube link and the embedding is done for you.  Video can be create as a screen cast, or simply screen cast a powerpoint while speaking, or video showing something.  I think a podcast is better than a video of a talking head.  No youtube links but be sure to use itunes, etc.

I know at least one seo person who pays for links to his site in the description of high traffic youtube videos in same niche.   He aslo goes for squidoo links along with shares from various social media sites.


One of the things about your site is to choose what kind of content is best for you to share for your site's specific purposes.   Some will have more images, others a vlog (video blog) others a podcast, or simply a mix.


If your site has a lot of nice looking images, Pinterest works great.   Pinterest doesn't work too well for a site with mainly videos.   

A new client had me update their old wordpress site, because of their niche, they have found LinkedIn to be a great traffic source.  Their target audience is more apt to hang out there.   

Not a one exact way fits all.  Be creative.

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Re: 13 in 13 Computer Skills - Blogging
« Reply #28 on: April 01, 2013, 10:01:57 AM »
If your site has a lot of nice looking images, Pinterest works great.   Pinterest doesn't work too well for a site with mainly videos.   

Actually I've been seeing a lot more video on pinterest lately--of course the way they have it set up you can play the video right inside of the pin-so you don't necessarily have to go to the person's page (although it would still count as a Youtube view I believe)

Pinterest is best for visual content, however I've seen that as long as someone has an image (especially with a title on/in the image) that people will pin articles/posts that are mainly text--I think that many folks are using pinterest boards instead of bookmarks to keep track of information.

The thing I like about pinterest is that it is a way your content can be exposed to people outside of your niche. 

Offline TxMom

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Re: 13 in 13 Computer Skills - Blogging
« Reply #29 on: April 01, 2013, 05:47:45 PM »
Hadn't tried Pinterest for videos.  Will have to try that.  Thanks!