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Old 01-01-2013, 03:49 PM
tenderone's Avatar
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Default What should I begin with?

So this is my third post addressing my newness to blogging (apologies for reiterating this again). Granted, I began the blog in 2011, I have no idea what I am doing.

Aside from needing to post consistently, frequently, what should I do next? I have AdSense and Amazon, so...?

As mentioned before, I am just now learning about affiliate links and sponsored ads -- and someone mentioned selling ad space.

So I do not feel overwhelmed, what should I concentrate on right now?

Do you prefer WP or Blogger...or does it really matter which platform you use?
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Old 01-01-2013, 04:15 PM
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I've been on Blogger since 2006 and did quite well. Two months ago moved to WP to have more flexibility with the look of my site without constantly having to take the long way around and mess with the HTML code or make do with what Blogger offers (I have to say they are making changes in the right direction to make it easier).

I did though have my own domain and I strongly encourage anyone on any platform to spend the $10-$11 a year for that. Next if you decide to stay on Blogger I'd get rid of the generic Blogger theme and look for something that looks less like a Blogger blog. There are a lot of free themes out there if you do a search for them. Then if you could get rid of the blogger bar at the top that would help even more. You don't want your blog to scream "BLOGGER" to the advertisors and companies. As a matter of fact, I'm working with someone now who will not work with anyone using a subdomain such as .blogspot.com or .wordpress.com.
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Old 01-01-2013, 04:48 PM
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The first thing that you need to focus on is building up traffic to your blog. You can do this through regular posting, SEO, social networking, and many other ways. Without consistent traffic to your blog, it does not matter how you are trying to make money.

I am a fan of having your own self hosted wordpress blog. I have had two blogs taken down by blogger for no reason. One was over 3 years old and where I talked about my freelance writing stuff. Never got much traffic or made money but it was taken down and I could not get back any of my posts.
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Old 01-01-2013, 07:18 PM
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My recommendations would be as follows:

-First clearly define for yourself exactly why you're blogging. If you're blogging about something you're passionate about and that you would still write about even if you never made a cent from your blog, you're on the right track.

-Write down specifically who you think you're writing for (stay at home moms, business owners, students, etc.). Then put yourself in their shoes, and take a really hard look at your blog's content. Would it interest you if you weren't the one writing it? Does your blog offer the content your target reader is looking for? Would you bookmark your blog if you came across it, or would you share it with your friends? If you were a business owner that sold a product relevant to your blog's niche, would you be thrilled to have your product profiled/reviewed/mentioned on your blog?

Once you're sure about what you're writing about (and why) and who you're writing for, the rest can all come with time. I agree that getting rid of the blogger Navbar is a good idea, buy your own custom domain for $10-15 per year (NameCheap is a decent option) and then reroute your blogspot address to your new domain (Blogger dashboard, Settings, Publishing, Custom Domain). I'm personally not big on having a whole list of labels below a blog post, but maybe that's just me. I tend to opt for fewer labels, and make the ones I do choose more all-encompassing. If you make your labels more all-encompassing, you can include a sidebar widget listing your labels that your readers can use to find other content of interest to them. Read other bloggers within your niche (and follow them on social media) and allow yourself to be inspired by their successes. For blogging insights, I like ProBlogger and CopyBlogger, but they're not necessarily everyone's cup of tea. Above all, know that a successful, long term blog doesn't happen overnight. That's why it's important to really love what you're writing about, because hopefully you'll be writing about it for years.
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Old 01-01-2013, 09:08 PM
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Are they accepting new blogs right now?
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Old 01-02-2013, 08:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BloggingToolsforMe View Post
My recommendations would be as follows:

-First clearly define for yourself exactly why you're blogging. If you're blogging about something you're passionate about and that you would still write about even if you never made a cent from your blog, you're on the right track.

-Write down specifically who you think you're writing for (stay at home moms, business owners, students, etc.). Then put yourself in their shoes, and take a really hard look at your blog's content. Would it interest you if you weren't the one writing it? Does your blog offer the content your target reader is looking for? Would you bookmark your blog if you came across it, or would you share it with your friends? If you were a business owner that sold a product relevant to your blog's niche, would you be thrilled to have your product profiled/reviewed/mentioned on your blog?

Once you're sure about what you're writing about (and why) and who you're writing for, the rest can all come with time. I agree that getting rid of the blogger Navbar is a good idea, buy your own custom domain for $10-15 per year (NameCheap is a decent option) and then reroute your blogspot address to your new domain (Blogger dashboard, Settings, Publishing, Custom Domain). I'm personally not big on having a whole list of labels below a blog post, but maybe that's just me. I tend to opt for fewer labels, and make the ones I do choose more all-encompassing. If you make your labels more all-encompassing, you can include a sidebar widget listing your labels that your readers can use to find other content of interest to them. Read other bloggers within your niche (and follow them on social media) and allow yourself to be inspired by their successes. For blogging insights, I like ProBlogger and CopyBlogger, but they're not necessarily everyone's cup of tea. Above all, know that a successful, long term blog doesn't happen overnight. That's why it's important to really love what you're writing about, because hopefully you'll be writing about it for years.

Thank you to all of you!

It helps having steps written out. If I am left to the wind, I get too overwhelmed and my notebook is utter chaos.

How do I get rid of the Blogger Navbar?

Where might I create a sidebar widget listing my labels?

Now, let's say I decide to switch over to WP from Blogger, is this relatively "easy"? Would my new domain name transfer with it as well?

Although I have not done so yet, how do I reroute my blogspot address with my selected domain? You mention the dashboard, settings, etc. - does this mean that I need to go in somewhere and manually change them over? Or...?

Sorry if none of this makes sense! It has been a long day.
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Old 01-02-2013, 08:33 PM
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Since you haven't had your blog that long, I would actually get it transferred to self hosted Wordpress right away OR leave it as is, buy a domain and start fresh.

I think you should focus more on building a following through social media as your next step along with fresh consistent content. Make sure you are on Twitter, have a Facebook page, Google+ account, Pinterest and Tumblr (depending on your niche). Get all those up and running and start connecting with others in your niche.

I would start with Amazon if you are an affiliate with them. It's easier to learn the ropes with them BUT they have been pulling out of states with the tax issue so you won't want that to be your only means of income.
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Old 01-03-2013, 06:26 AM
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Hi tenderone, switching over is pretty simple. I suggest you buy a domain name first; like many pros advise, buy it from a place (GoDaddy for instance) that's not the same place you purchase hosting (BlueHost, for instance). Once you have your own domain, you can take it with you anywhere. If you choose to stay with Blogger, it's as simple as going into your dashboard and pointing the domain to your new name via Settings --> Publishing (they have links to instructions there).

However, I also suggest going with WP.org instead of Blogger. I like Blogger for its ease of use, especially for newbies, but if you really want to look more credible and professional, WP is the better option. Once you buy hosting (either month to month or longer), it's usually a one-click install. A lot of hosting sites can even tell you how to do this if you don't quite get it. I had a blog on WP at one time and I had to call several times since I'm not tech savvy at all! You may want to look into hosting sites that have a good customer service rep for that reason.

If you're set on staying with Blogger, check out this site which offers tons of tips and tricks: True Blogger Tricks : Blogger Widgets | Tips | Tricks | Templates
You can try this to remove the Nav Bar: How to Hide, Disable or Remove Blogger Blogspot NavBar?

I think you have a good topic but more frequent posting will help, along the lines of 4-5 times per week. Maybe you can categorize the books into age groups, too, and along with reviews, post timely stories relating to literacy.
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Old 01-03-2013, 07:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by angienewton View Post
Since you haven't had your blog that long, I would actually get it transferred to self hosted Wordpress right away OR leave it as is, buy a domain and start fresh.

I think you should focus more on building a following through social media as your next step along with fresh consistent content. Make sure you are on Twitter, have a Facebook page, Google+ account, Pinterest and Tumblr (depending on your niche). Get all those up and running and start connecting with others in your niche.

I would start with Amazon if you are an affiliate with them. It's easier to learn the ropes with them BUT they have been pulling out of states with the tax issue so you won't want that to be your only means of income.
----------------

I have been looking at Namecheap.com as a means to buying a domain. Do you have any other recommendations? What about hosting sites?

Can I begin a FB page specifically for my blog?

What is Google+?
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Old 01-03-2013, 07:18 AM
tenderone's Avatar
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Del S View Post
Hi tenderone, switching over is pretty simple. I suggest you buy a domain name first; like many pros advise, buy it from a place (GoDaddy for instance) that's not the same place you purchase hosting (BlueHost, for instance). Once you have your own domain, you can take it with you anywhere. If you choose to stay with Blogger, it's as simple as going into your dashboard and pointing the domain to your new name via Settings --> Publishing (they have links to instructions there).

However, I also suggest going with WP.org instead of Blogger. I like Blogger for its ease of use, especially for newbies, but if you really want to look more credible and professional, WP is the better option. Once you buy hosting (either month to month or longer), it's usually a one-click install. A lot of hosting sites can even tell you how to do this if you don't quite get it. I had a blog on WP at one time and I had to call several times since I'm not tech savvy at all! You may want to look into hosting sites that have a good customer service rep for that reason.

If you're set on staying with Blogger, check out this site which offers tons of tips and tricks: True Blogger Tricks : Blogger Widgets | Tips | Tricks | Templates
You can try this to remove the Nav Bar: How to Hide, Disable or Remove Blogger Blogspot NavBar?

I think you have a good topic but more frequent posting will help, along the lines of 4-5 times per week. Maybe you can categorize the books into age groups, too, and along with reviews, post timely stories relating to literacy.
--------

Great idea on categorizing books into age groups, etc.! Do I create separate page tabs for those? I am running out of room along the top of the page without sacrificing my header.

I like my template with Blogger, so if I transfer it over to WP, will I lose that?

Would I buy the domain, apply it to Blogger, and then somehow transfer it to WP?
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