Anyone can build a blog. It`s quite easy. The difficult part is keeping it relevant, technically sound, and popular. Bloggers Boot Camp shows you how to blog for success. It teaches you how to find a niche, find your unique voice, and how to hold a conversation with an audience. It provides information on all the right tools for the blog, and it offers the best ways to promote your blog and content for maximum success and profitable life.
A blog can be thought-provoking, enlightening and entertaining — well, at least one of those. Most are likely to give up before their blog actually managed to bloom. Some might go in the wrong direction and too tired to return to the right path and die. Some just never give up, and keep moving, even if only an inch at a time.
The authors, Charlie White and John Biggs can show anyone exactly how they can proceed. This remarkable book covers every element a blogger possibly needs.
Among other things, the book talks about what makes a great blog great — good software, sparkling writing, incisive reporting, and more. They explain how, with hard work and diligence, your blog can also put cash in your pocket. Stylistically, the book would be more reader-friendly if it had more white space amid the blocks of type.
Albeit, the book might seem to be too basic for experienced blogger. But it works wonder for me.
Bloggers Boot Camp Book ReviewBloggers Boot Camp: Learning How to Build, Write, and Run a Successful Blog by John Biggs
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I love the book. The one book that teaches me blogging.
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Bloggers Boot Camp – Book Summary
Step 1: Get a niche.
A blog that discusses on opinions for every topic is not a blog – it’s a personal journal and will eventually become uninteresting, and I most of the time think of my blog as a personal journal.
According to White & Biggs, such blog creators frequently become fed up and stop writing, and their start-up efforts sit abandoned on the web. Bloggers by definition are laypeople, not professionals, but good bloggers are knowledgeable in their subject areas, and they practice a new type of journalism.
A worthy blog explores a niche which refers to a specialized interest area or market where you can explain succinctly or expounds a unique viewpoint.
Before you choose a niche, ask yourself four questions:
- “Who are you?” – You should be a doer who is motivated and committed to putting daily effort into a blog. It helps to be impervious to criticism.
- “What do you know about?” – Proficiency in your topic, especially an unusual one, gives you an advantage over rival bloggers. I’m not really sure about rival blogs but I do love a good competition.
- “What are you passionate about?” – Love your niche. It should never bore you.
- “What are you going to write about?” – Choose unique aspects of your topic, interesting angles your competitors might not consider.
Post on your blog every day, sometimes more than once a day. Develop a voice and stick to it. Setting a style right away helps you stand out in the crowd and avoid being “snarky, mean or silly.” Once you find your style and voice, your writing will become more polished over time.
“Blogging is still the domain of the dedicated amateur.”Excerpt from Bloggers Boot Camp
Blog need to be “tight and scannable” because visitors are likely to skim or read fast. They probably came to your blog because they are already interested in your niche, so now they expect clarity and amusement.
- Make your motto, “ABP – Always Be Posting.”
- Add images and video, which are especially effective if you are demonstrating a skill, showing a gathering or ceremony, or interviewing a celebrity or expert.
- Consider doing an “intro post” to explain why you are blogging and why you chose your topic. Provide a bit of background – such as your profession, what you like to do for fun and where you live.
- Create a “contact page” so your readers can reach you. Along with your email address, list your Twitter account, Facebook page and other social media connections.
- Proofread your writing scrupulously.
Where to find “story” to blog?
- “Really Simple Syndication” (RSS) – This mechanism lets you develop a customized list of niche-related reporting resources that you can check for ideas and inspiration for your blog entries.
- Twitter – Posts from your selected links offer a useful checklist of top trending stories. Use Twitter Advanced Search to get source material quickly.
- Google Trends – This update about what data people seek online provides helpful insights about the public’s areas of interest within your niche.
- Press releases – Corporate PR professionals post new information on news and company websites.
- “Conferences” and “trade shows” – These sites can provide inside information if, for example, you blog about products that will be on display.
- “Tipsters” – Post an address on your blog where readers can send you leads.
- Aggregators – Google and other sources boil down the news that may fit your niche.
“Google is looking for three things from your content: relevance, uniqueness and freshness.”Excerpt from Bloggers Boot Camp
One of my post, Story of the snake and the saw usually tops Google Search (meaning top 2 on page 1). But I don’t feel like it is the best post on my blog.
However, the idea of uniqueness and freshness does intrigue me. Maybe I’ll be able to write something unique and fresh on my niche. First, got to figure out what actually my niche is.
Headline plays a crucial role in sparking interest and inspiring people to read, sometimes the headlines just serve as a click-bait. And I hate it when that is the only purpose of the headline, headlines should mean something or at least a preview to your content.
According to the book, concise headlines should “lead the reader into your story.” Pose a query; write about something funny, odd or quirky; create a list; or shock your readers.
In the body of the post, several rules apply, starting – as always – with error-free grammar, spelling and punctuation. Write terse, forceful prose. Refrain from employing worn-out sayings that everyone else uses. To avoid putting physical distance between you and your audience, avoid saying “all you readers out there.” To evade the ever-present “cynicism trap,” which will make you sound sarcastic and bored, switch to writing “‘straight’ news” so you’re not tempted to inject your opinion.
Always offer a mixture of posts, such as:
- “Reviews” – Offer your opinion on products or services within your niche.
- “Features” – Write longer posts, such as a bio. Break up feature stories into shorter individual posts if you think that using small chapters will improve readability.
- “Lists” – Use “Top 10” inventories in your topic area to give your readers information in “easy-to-digest chunks.”
- “Poll” or “Quiz” – Surveys encourage readers to join in a conversation with you.
Comments mean that you’ve got a healthy flow of visitors. But at times comments can be mean.
You might get negative comment — or even hostile one — if you
- state an unpopular opinion
- pronounce negative judgment on a product or service that most people like
- troll — don’t be a troll
- respond in kind to negative remarks
- provoke a fanboy
Don’t let things escalate, the best way to deal with negative comments is not to engage at all.
Audience and Making Money
It is simple, although arguably not easy.
In order to increase your visitor, write well and make the most of the way the Internet leads readers to your blog. Search engines will do the job if you make it easy for them.
Use keywords — phrases that a search engine looks for to optimize your blog so its link will appear on search ranking.
Constantly publishing new articles while maintaining your blog applicability to hot topics related to your niche will aid your SEO. Remember to promote your blog on social media and turn to analytics — like Google Analytics — to learn how many visits your blog receives.
Monetizing your blog
Among the ways to monetize blogging would be the following —
- AdSense – This Google program pays you to let it place relevant ads on your blog.
- “Affiliate sales” – Receive commissions – say, from Amazon – by providing a link that your readers can use to buy a product that you recommend.
- “Ad network” – Marketers offer bloggers opportunities to display ads based on their collective page views. You must meet pageview thresholds to participate.
- “Personal ad sales” – Prepare a media kit and approach advertisers to buy space on your blog.
- “Merchandising” – Create a product based on your blog and sell it to readers.
- “Donate button” – Include a contribution button – for example, via PayPal – so readers can support your work, buy your product or contribute to your cause.
- “Indirect monetization” – Your blog may draw invitations for you to speak at events or to do freelance work. This is the preferred method of monetization.
The Quote on How to Blog Successfully
“Write good stuff, tell people about it…keep writing good stuff.”Excerpt from Bloggers Boot Camp
The Golden Rules
- Do unto others
- Don’t be a jerk