GUEST POST: Starting a Blog the Right Way

Guest Post by Poch Peralta

I encourage you to visit Poch Peralta’s blog, Plato On-Line, to get the scoop on just about anything…  Poch is a regular visitor here at What’s On My PC and recently featured one of my articles on Plato On-Line.  As a courtesy, today I am posting one of Poch’s articles about “Starting a Blog the Right Way”, which was recently featured on the site Million Clues.

Starting a Blog the Right Way

During my first 6 months of blogging, I made a lot of mistakes which is just normal in my humble opinion. Just learning from them made me grateful. And I was lucky I didn’t make the really big ones! (user name, theme). So here is what I learned and my suggestions.

The Right Kick-off

1. Finding the best blog platform or host

Before I found my current host, I left three from which I didn’t get a single comment! So do a research first. Decide if you want a ‘monetized’ or an advertisement-free blog. Some hosts allow monetizing, some don’t. So if you choose to self-host your blog, then it’s better to monetize it to cover your expenses.

2. Choosing your user name (or domain name) carefully.

Some blog platforms do not allow their users to change that so you might be stuck with what you choose. And changing a username is like changing a BRAND name –you’ll probably lose some of your followers who don’t want the change. I suggest you choose one as if it’s a website name because you wouldn’t know if your weblog might someday be a big website. A name which can be ‘verbalized’ is best. See how websurfers turned the proper noun Google into a verb? (It’s just bad that my own would sound bad if verbalized – pochpeed).

3. Choosing your blog Theme

There are specific themes designed for your niche or speciality.

4. Choose your niche carefully

This was my first mistake. At first, I started writing just about everything that floats my boat. Then I learned that you could monetize your blog at least to cover your writing expenses, time and effort. Some professional bloggers even teach that you shouldn’t spend on your blog or site until you’re earning from it. So decide if you want a monetized blog or not –then decide what your blog will be specifically about. Will it be about Technology, Science, Business, etc?

5. Continue search for better blog platforms

Most probably, your first blog host will not be the best.

6. Practice Ethics of blogging/networking

This is the continuing and maybe, the hard part. How do we make sure we’re blogging politically correct?

a. Your content

We have freedom of speech so it’s really up to you what you write even if it’s offensive; which of course I practice but don’t endorse. But if you will write a rant or offensive piece, target specifically so the innocents wouldn’t think they are part of it. You wouldn’t want your followers to think they are part of your target. If you’re after popularity or sales, then you wouldn’t want to offend everyone so be careful what you write.

One way to make sure your piece isn’t offending: have a kind-hearted person or editor read your article then ask if it’s reader-friendly.

b. Your comments

Now this is where most bloggers offend each other the most. I myself have offended through comments without intending to although one or two I admit were careless though innocent; and that is why I’m reluctant to write about this – it would smell hypocrisy. We just really can’t be sure how our words will be interpreted. And that is the reason why we should be extremely careful. Tips:

  1. Never make or reply to an offensive comment when you’re still angry. Most of the time, we will find that it’s not really worth our anger as time passes. What I do is ignore offensive comments if I want someone to stop sending it. You bet it works. We will even sometimes find we can learn something from the offensive comment. The offensive commenter might even become your fan if you befriend the person!
  2. If you think you have made an offensive comment, follow-up at once and apologize before you get a reply. The more time passes, the more damage the comment will do because it spreads.

c. Spamming

This not only apply only to commenting but also to e-mail marketing.  The rule is DON’T SPAM. What do you think your reader will do when the reader learns you spammed him/her? Of course the reader will spread the news which would brand you as a user of your fellowman. I suggest you use a blog host or platform that uses Akismet.

Now there are human spam comments that you really need to spam. Human spam comments are innocent and not dangerous right?

Wrong!

It can be an attempt to steal hits, comments, or hijack your weblog altogether which I have experienced. If comments are not related to the post, it is spam especially if it asks you to click a link. So check the link first before clicking.

A good way to block spam comments manually is this:

Go to your WordPress Dashboard and follow Settings –> Discussion. In the comment blacklist, enter words like porno, gambling, and whatever words, IP’s, and e-mail addresses you think should be banned. Be extra careful who you spam or blacklist!

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17 Responses to GUEST POST: Starting a Blog the Right Way

  1. pochp says:

    Wow Rick,
    That’s really courteous sir.
    Thanks a mil and more power to WOMP!

    • Ramblinrick says:

      Pochp,

      Your article is a nice addition to the blog and actually helped me out today. I am in the process of selling and moving and will be on and off with the blog for the next month or so. Just put a notice on the blog to alert the readers. Anyhow, I thank you!

      Rick

  2. pochp says:

    Hey sir don’t mention it.
    I’m just returning favor :-)
    Anyway, I hope you don’t get stressed-out by moving –
    I know how stressful it is. And I hope you get back regular soon. Thanks to you Rick!

  3. Colin says:

    Hi Rick,

    That’s a great post by Pochp :)

    I can remember when I started and trying to find a sense of direction and a niche. I started with a free blog on WordPress which worked well, and at the end of last year I decided it was time to self-host, and that was a decision which paid off.

    I found my niche and stuck with it and it keeps me busy and occupies more time than is considered healthy hahaha.

    Comment spam is something that we will all encounter as well as abusive comments or even personal attacks. I prefer not to reply in anger but will add an objective point of view.

    The ones that do annoy me are the ones who link to dodgy products, so I simply remove the url from their comment, and moderation has to be used with predefined parameters.

    Great article to read…thank you Pochp :lol:

  4. pochp says:

    Hi Colin,
    Let’s give the credit to Rick for reposting it.
    And thank you very much for your informative feedback Colin. Good method!

  5. Silki says:

    Hi Rick,
    Are you moving?
    Do you mean to say that you are separating from this blog. Hope I am taking it wrongly.
    Nice post pochp. One thing, which I would like to add here is that a blogger should understand that it is a continuous long term process. Be ready to spend a few hours daily, and most importantly every day of the year.

    • Ramblinrick says:

      Silki,

      I probably should have clarified my notice about moving (which I will). I’m in the process of selling a house, have a contract and will be moving to another house. My blogging activity will most likely drop off between now and mid December until I get set back up. You are correct in stating that blogging is a continuous long term process or commitment in order have a successful blog. I am so fortunate to be surrounded by such a great bunch of bloggers.

      Rick

  6. pochp says:

    Hi Silki,
    Thanks for adding the good suggestion!

  7. Before talking about this guest article I must say I will miss Rick. He always discover fantastic web apps and software which help me to get ingredient for my article.

    About this article. It’s nice and interesting. One think I must say, choose a niche where you have interest, money will come automatically but if you choose a niche for money then the chance of failure is high.

  8. pochp says:

    Right Arafat.
    It’s only the first day and we already miss the good man!
    And right again. Money will come automatically if our
    weblogs deserve it. Thank you for the feedback Arafat.

  9. Bill Mullins says:

    Thanks Pochp. Lots of info here for first time Bloggers.

    Silki’s point is particularly important – “a blogger should understand that it is a continuous long term process” since many new Bloggers are unaware of the time commitment that’s required to be successful.

    Bill

  10. pochp says:

    Hey Bill,
    Nice surprise! Actually, I sent Arun some revisions for this very subject about 2 weeks ago but maybe he’s too busy to edit my piece.
    Anyway, thanks for the feedback sir. Specially from you.

    poch

  11. Thanks for sharing these. I personally like the “your comments” part. It is really true, don’t strike while the iron is hot.

  12. pochp says:

    Hi Andrew,
    Not to lift myself but the comments turnout
    of this post is incidentally one of the best,
    thanks to Rick!
    Thanks for the praise Andrew.

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