Warning: This Post is nearly 7,000 words. Skimming is allowed and perhaps necessary!
Just two months ago when my wife and I made the plunge and registered Broke Professionals as our domain, we had no idea how to run a blog. We had read a lot of blogs, but we knew little or nothing about regularly creating (hopefully) unique and creative content, networking with other bloggers, picking a niche, marketing/getting traffic, and perhaps most importantly for a beginning blogger, the technical side of blogging.
We have a lot more to learn, but along the way I have kept a notebook of things we have learned. Although I do not want to speak too often about blogging, as that is not the “niche” of this blog, now that the notebook has more than 100 “Things I have learned since I started blogging” in it, and with the knowledge that much of my reader base is bloggers or people who are interested in starting their own blogs, I thought I would share. If I am wrong about any of these items, please sound off in the comments section. Understand that what I have learned is a mix of personal experience and reading. I have tried to site some of the websites I enjoy or have learned from, but I cannot list them all (because my memory is not that great). Thanks to all of the awesome writers out there teaching “newbie” bloggers like us the ropes. I hope this nearly 7,000 word manifesto will add a little to the collection. So, here goes-
1. You do not have to be a computer expert to start up a blog. Although knowledge of code would be a huge plus, it is not necessary. There is a number of very famous bloggers who will admit they are not experts on the technical side of writing. When we started our blog we had little to no technical knowledge. (We still don’t to be perfectly honest).
2. WordPress is a free (open source) blog software that allows you to utilize “plugins” and “widgets” in order to create and run your blog. There are other open sources options available, but I use WordPress and I have been very satisfied.
3. We use Godaddy for our hosting and have actually been very happy with the results. Again, there are many options, just do some research and see what is best for you. $1.99 Web Hosting with Godaddy.
4. Plugins can do everything from keep comment spam at bay to “jazzing up” your site. However, most beginning bloggers utilize too many plugins. This makes you look like an amateur. (I made this mistake in the beginning) Too many plugins also slows down your site. Google takes speed into account when evaluating your site. Also, the average reader will leave a page if it does not fully load in 4-5 seconds.
5. A great way to find good plugins is to search for the “most popular” plugins based upon the number of times each plugin has been downloaded.
6. If a plugin goes awry, it can shut down your entire site. If that happens the best thing to do may be to go into your site (via the server) and to delete all of the plugins.
7. No great bloggers that I know of use a “hit counter.” Hit counters are inaccurate because they tend to count “spy bots” and “spiders.” (See below). The blogging “calendar” can also be seen as the sign of an amateur.
8. Akismet is a really awesome plugin for keeping spam at bay. However, based upon my site it is not always 100% accurate, so make sure you check out the filtered spam to ensure you’re not keeping a true fan of your work from commenting on your site.
9. The Advanced TinyMCLE plugin allows you to easily colorize your writing, etc.
10. WordPress offers many “free themes.” However, most probloggers or people who get serious about blogging (as a hobby or a business) tend to use “premium” themes. The advantages of “premium themes” are, among other things: a) support if your site has problems; b) larger customization; c) advanced SEO, d) a more distinct look to your site.
11. We use The Thesis Theme for WordPressWe have found it to be a great bargain and very easy to use. We find that our site has really improved since we switched to the Thesis theme. Many professional/well-known bloggers use the Thesis Theme. Another well known and well respected premium theme is the Genesis Theme.
12. You should try to create/hire someone to create a distinct header for your theme. The header should be original, further your brand, allude to the purpose/niche of your site, and apparently not be too corporate. (Unfortunately, I fear, the header I have created breaks all of these rules). If you can become friends with an awesome graphic designer then you are already at a great advantage over the average person starting a blog.
13. It is best not to play around too much with switching themes/headers once you are set, as you want to start creating a “brand” for your blog. Your readers will start expecting a certain cohesion, both in your writing and the look and design of your site. It is best to toy around and try to perfect these things in the beginning, when you likely will not have many (perhaps not even any) readers.
Great Resources for Starting Your Blog
14. There are some really great blogs/books for those interested in how to create/run a successful blog. Some of my favorites include: Blogs – Daily Blog Tips, Pro Blogger, Smart Passive Income Books – Darren Rowse (the genius behind Pro Blogger amongst other things) and Chris Garrett (another very successful pro blogger, etc). ProBlogger- Secrets to Blogging Your Way to a 6 Figure Income – Darren Rowse and Christopher Garrett
15. Remember that you will find some contradicting advice in these and other sources, as with anything else. At the end, we recommend you just expand your knowledge, experiment, and see what works best for you and your blog.
Running a Blog, Day to Day Operations
16. Pick a posting schedule and try to stick with it. Many people recommend Monday-Wednesday-Friday, (the College Investor is a great site that keeps this schedule). Other sites such as our blog or Squirrelers.com try to post at least once a day. At the end of the day, the important thing seems to be sticking with a set schedule. Your readers crave a routine so they are not wasting their time going to your site if it has not been updated. Conversely, if you get into the routine and fall off the wagon, you may end up frustrating loyal readers. For many of us this is not our full-time job, so things are going to get in the way (such as life). But you should try to do your best to be considerate of your audience. We are very lucky to have them.
17. Bloggers report that if you go off schedule, you will likely notice the affects on your traffic for some period of time.
18. Many bloggers have more than one blog. This can lead to burnout. It may be best to slowly try and expand your very own “blogging empire.” However, even one person can be very successful having two+ blogs along with a family and a busy work schedule. A blog author that I really respect who appears to pull this off is “Darwin, of Darwin’s Finance and Darwin’s Money fame.” Khaleef of KNS Financial and now Fat Guy, Skinny Wallet is now attempting to go down this road as well.
19. Posting schedule does not just refer to which days of the week you will post. It should also refer to the time that you post each day. At Broke Professionals, we try to post every day at 7:30 a.m. However, we admittedly fall short of this goal much more often than we would prefer.
20. One thing that we try to do, to improve the user experience for our readers, is to treat our site like it is a television network. This is a tip that I have not read anywhere else (but I’m sure we did not create) but which really is helpful in how we go about running our site. When we think of Broke Professionals as “BPC” (Broke Professional’s Company) rather than as simply a blog, we get motivated to do certain things, such as: pull non-effective programming, try to create “series”, have a set schedule, and quickly respond to audience reaction, both positive and negative. For example, we recently started a series called “Fictional Wealth.” I (Mr. Broke Professional) love writing fiction and I was very excited about trying to incorporate fiction into the personal finance niche. I ran the first post in this “series” thinking it would be a “big thing” for our site. A full day this post was on our site (during an otherwise very successful week), and all we heard was crickets. The Creative and the Executive parts of my brain battled it out. But, eventually, the “series” was pulled after just one “episode.” It was no good, so just like the ill-conceived television series Quarterlife, it did not deserve and was not given a second chance or a second airing.
21. As we hinted above, unless it is a personal blog (which is more like a journal), you have to respect your readers. Think about how much valuable time your blog is taking up of other people’s lives. Add it all up and you may become nervous at how much value you need to provide to make up for the time expanded on it. If you do not respect other people you will be wasting their time. People do not become loyal fans/readers of something that wastes their time or does not respect them as an audience.
22. Although there have been some recent debates about allowing a community (allowing comments, etc) on your site, I believe it is important to give everyone a voice and to allow feedback, the negative as well as the positive.
23. Accept that not all of the comments left on your blog will be nice/favorable. There will be comments that say you or your site sucks. There will be comments that point out your egregious misuse of the English language and your crimes against the written form. Accept those criticisms and try your best to improve. The other day I was reminded of your v. you’re by a particularly detail oriented reader. It was a rule of grammar that I knew but often forget to implement, and a commenter called reading my blog “painful.” It was a harsh reminder that I need to be constantly working to improve as a writer. Everyone is a critic and nobody is perfect. Particularly not I. (or is it me?) In fact, just had to use spell check in order to properly spell egregious.
24. Do not edit reader comments. Run every comment that is not spam and has something to say, good or bad. (within reason) Other bloggers may disagree, but I want the experience to be real, even if that sometimes means my feelings get hurt or comments are left that are slightly inflammatory or negative. There are of course also ethical questions concerned with making such a call.
25. Try to write with a buddy, if you can. I love that I can be reading other blogs/commenting while Mrs. Broke Professional is writing a post for our site. There are certain things both of us enjoy that the other does not. We each have our own strengths and limitations. Just like in our marriage, together we form a pretty solid team. Even someone like me who is a complete control freak enjoys the experience of co-running our blog.
26. You will never become a huge hit if you blog anonymously. Because of our day jobs, Mrs. Broke Professional and I are pretty much constrained to a life of blogging anonymously. That is a shame, because whether you are Seth Godin, Darren Rowse or Steve Pavlina, almost every huge blog involves an actual person(s) for people to identify with.
27. However, there are some benefits to blogging anonymously as well. You feel more freedom in being able to talk about certain things without the fear of offending people in your “non-internet” life. You also avoid (hopefully) cyber-stalkers creeping into your real life. However, it is also important to understand that even if you blog anonymously, one day, if you get big enough, your real identity will probably be discovered. A pretty notorious example of this is the gentlemen who was blogging as “The Fake Steve Jobs.” Also remember that you must generally pay/take some action to not have your real life name linked to your site at whois.com.
The Creative Process of Your Blog
28. Only hit that publish button if you have proofread and re-written the article the best you can. Also, only hit that publish button if you really believe what your about to send out into the world provides real value to other people. By value we do not necessarily mean that it has to teach somebody how to do something or be a “game” changing idea every single time you are going to post something, but it must at least serve some purpose, even if said purpose is a (perhaps) modest purpose like putting a smile on a readers face for a few seconds while reading a humorous story.
29. Writing for a blog is not like writing for your day job. (That is, of course, unless your day job involves being a professional blogger). Even long-time journalists will admit that writing for a blog involves a somewhat different skill set than writing for their papers/magazines.
30. Try to keep an “idea” notebook. Every time you get a new idea try and place it into the notebook. It is important to be able to sit down with a fresh idea in front of you. This way you will not waste time trying to come up with an idea and be forced to go with a half-baked blog entry. Moreover, if you do not write down the ideas in your notebook (or wherever) as soon as they pop into your head, you will likely lose the idea. Possibly forever. If you are anything like us, then change that “possibly” to “probably.”
31. People want unique articles. Try your best to zig where others zag. If there is a misfire then you can always change direction. The toughest thing for personal finance bloggers like our site is that there are a) so many other sites doing a great job with it; and b) There are a limited number of stories. The trick is trying to find new and creative ways to tell them. It is both a challenge and a blessing.
32. People enjoy list articles. Particularly lists of 3, 10 or 100. (check)
33. Accept the fact right now that the posts that you think should be most popular or that you worked the hardest on may not always be your biggest successes. Try not to over-think these things, but do listen to your audience and try to take some clues from what they are reacting to. I know I will not be following my own advice as I hit the publish button this this article, as it has taken me nearly 12 hours and over 6,600+ words to create. That said, I have to understand that if it bombs whereas something we do the next day that is silly and takes only an hour to write is a relative “hit”, then that is just the way it is.
34. Be careful before starting a series. Your audience will expect you to follow through with your series. When we first started blogging we created an eight part series leading up to New Years Day. However, our heart was not in it after a short period of time, and by day three that lack of conviction really showed in our writing. Particularly our least favorite post we ever published: Eating Only Organic Foods was created during this period in time. (yuckers).
35. Some other forms of writing that generally appeal to people are: a) being timely, b) teaching people a new skill, c) being original. Having a sense of humor is almost always a huge plus when you’re writing.
36. Try your hardest to focus on writing unique and valuable blog posts. Do not be afraid to allow you and/or your personality to be reflected in your writing. For the most part, a blog is very informal. Your audience will probably want to get a sense of who you are, where you’re coming from, and your perspective in general.
37. It will, based upon the comments received (particularly in the beginning), seem as if it is only other bloggers leaving comments and/or reading your blog. You will appreciate other bloggers taking the time to reciprocate, yet at the same time get nervous, as you will understand that they are also trying to promote their own site. However, think back to when you did not have a blog. How often did you comment on someone’s site? Probably not very often. There are people who read your blog besides other bloggers. They are your silent majority, in most instances. Just try to accept that and be particularly excited when someone like that takes the time to write you a nice email or a lengthy/valuable comment on your blog.
38. Your audience cannot be taken for granted. There are so many other options of which sites to visit (other informative/entertainment sources) to choose from. So, do not take a single one of your readers for granted. Remember that they will become loyal readers if you offer them value.
Promoting Your Site
39. Although everyone says that content is king (which I believe), your site will persist in obscurity, no matter how strong its content, if people do not know to read it in the first place.
40. Most blogging experts say it is best not to promote your site too much until you have at least ten posts of your own up at your site. Consider it, how valuable would it be for you to drive traffic to your empty blog?
41. Commenting on other sites blogs is an excellent method of blog promotion, particularly when you are first starting a blog of your own.
42. You’re (likely) only one person and you likely have a full-time job, but try your best to be ubiquitous, particularly within your niche.
43. Try to choose a domaine name that is short and easy to remember.
44. If you are not blogging anonymously, remember to tell your friends and family to check in on your blog as well. At least then you will know at least your mom is reading your blog. They may also be more likely to provide you with the much needed constructive criticism.
45. Being involved in appropriate forums is another great way to become a known commodity and syphon some traffic to your site.
46. Creating a Twitter Account and a Facebook page for your site and being active in those communities can also be good sources of referral traffic. Just be careful to be focused when utilizing these great resources. Remember that Facebook is the #2 site behind Google and therefore can really make your site if you go about it the right way.
47. Utilize other social media networks such as Digg, Delicious, Reddit and Stumbleupon. Although in our experience, the traffic from these sources is generally not that great for creating repeat visitors as compared to other sources, we are sure there are many people who have had a lot more success than our site with these. If an article takes off on one of these sites it can bring in hundreds or thousands of visitors, so it is definitely something worth trying your hand at. Note: The algorithm of many of these social media sites may (or will) consider your self promotion as a negative, particularly if you do not help promote others or take your self-promotion too far. I think we overused Reddit in particular to the point where we may never be allowed to submit another link. (We just didn’t know when we were starting out that this was considered a bad practice).
48. In my opinion (and many other well respected bloggers such as Daily Blog Tips or Pro Blogger:, to name a few), the most effective method of promoting your site is guest blogging. Guest Blogging helps your site in a myriad of ways. First, it may improve your SEO, as it will include a link back to your site. Secondly, it will hopefully get your writing in front of new people. Thirdly, it may help you build a relationship with other bloggers.
49. However, there are some major caveats to consider when guest blogging. First off, guest blogging for a small blog may not bring you any visitors at all. (Alexa rankings may be one good measure to see how large a site is). Another effective method to consider is the amount of subscribers they have (Feedburner, etc), or the amount of comments left on the site’s posts. You should also try to choose a site that is within your niche when guest blogging.
50. Do not be afraid, even if yours is a new blog, of attempting to submit your blog to huge sites, provided that said sites accept guest posts. I have submitted guest blogs to huge well established sites, and have had some success. In early March one of our guest blogs will be run on Daily Blog Tips. If we can do it, so can you. There is no excuse. For this reason, when you guest blog, bring your “A game”. First off, your guest post submission will likely be rejected (particularly by large or medium sized blogs) if you do not. Secondly, you want to make another person’s site look good.
51. Accepting guest blogs on your own site can also be beneficial, particularly if the guest blogger links back to your site. However, be careful that you do not accept poorly written, outside your niche, or unhelpful guest posts. You will find (particularly if you are solicited from Facebook chat, in my experience) many people who claim they are your “fans” and want to guest post, but in all reality they just work for themselves/companies and are trying to give you “spammy articles”. It is one thing if someone pays you for running such a post, but do not be afraid to be “the bad guy/girl” and say no rather than use your site as a free advertisement center for someone else’s business. At the end of the day it is your blog, and your readers will expect a certain level of quality from both you and your guest posts.
52. Try to network with other bloggers, particularly those in your niche. Do not be afraid to just reach out to your heroes and say you are huge fans. The blogging community is for the most part very sociable and friendly.
53. Only offer original content as guest blogs. Only run original content as guest blogs on your own site.
54. Perhaps it is best to only submit your guest post submission to one other site at the time. In the beginning of our site I (Mr. Broke Professional) sent out a guest blog submission to two major blogs. Both ended up showing interest (with one of them saying yes). I then felt like a big tool telling this other, blog, which again was a huge blog that I really respected, that I had to pull the guest post submission because it would be run somewhere else. A lot of this is just common sense, but there is also some finesse involved. Try your best not to make amateur mistakes like I have or to burn any bridges.
55. We highly recommend joining a quality blogging network. Aside from the intellectual benefits of conversing with a diverse group of like-minded and/or like-interested individuals, and the sense of community that a close-knit and well-run blogging network can instill, it can also be beneficial for your site. You need people who are going to give you honest feedback about your site and who will work to cross-promote. We have benefitted greatly from our involvement with the Yakezie Challenge, and the Yakezie personal finance blogging group, run/created by Sam of the Financial Samurai fame. We consider it the single smartest thing we have done as bloggers. The fact that the group is heavily involved in charity/scholarship work makes it even better.
56. Every little source helps. If you can get 25-35 different sources of referrals, you should be able to clear at least 100 plus visitors per day, easy. Sometimes one source can be a jackpot, but diversification gives you a lot more lottery tickets. Now of course, if something “goes viral” you will have a ton of traffic. Enjoy the ride. However, understand that you need to keep pushing yourself. No blog has ever (as far as I know) “made it big” overnight. After the spike of a major guest post or a post going viral, things will eventually go back to normal or near-normal. At this time you are likely hoping that the numbers will stay slightly elevated from before. It’s a major cliche, but blogging is a marathon, not a sprint. Do not be a jerk, do not big time anybody, do not get impatient. Most bloggers quit within six months to a year. If you are part of a higher community and have a passion for what your doing you will be able to make it through those first six months and beyond with no problems.
57. If your in it “for the money”, it will come across. In your writings, in your interactions with other bloggers, in your comments on other sites, etc. It will come across. And it will likely ruin you.
58. Grassroots advertising may be all you need. We have never spent a dime on advertising and have slowly worked our way up to averaging (lately) around 100 visitors per day. (75-80 uniques). I have read many times that great writing and ubiquitous grassroots networking may be all you need. Time rather than money appears to be the greatest resource in blogging.
59. Understand that your blog is going to take up way more time than you initially thought, if you want to really build it.
60. Many blogging experts recommend an even time split as follows: 1/2 of the time spent working on unique content, 1/2 of the time spent promoting your site.
61. Having a weekly “links/blogs I am reading” list on your site may be a great way to network and expose your audience to other awesome blogs.
62. When you’re commenting on another blog, do not just skim the material because you want to get your name out there. In-depth comments are what will attract people’s attention and will endear you to the blogger. When 101 Centavos gives us, for example, narrowly tailored advice on how to improve our site or improve a feature of our site in the comment, that means a whole lot more than a simple “awesome site,” comment left from someone who is not really engaging with our blog. Be a person….nobody likes a “Spammerton Jones.”
63. You should read as many other awesome blogs as you can, particularly those in your niche. When we read blogs such as Get Rich Slowly, Life and My Finances, or the Saved Quarter (just to name a few), we get inspired. We get informed. We get connected to the greater community within our niche. And we become better bloggers, all around. Obviously this does not mean you should engage or plagiarism or idea theft. Of course there are many themes/etc., that will be covered again and again. Am I the first person to ever post a list of things I have learned blogging? No. The key is to try and come at it from a fresh angle and with original material.
64. Try to develop at least one friendship with another blogger who will be your “spotter” when your down and out. Who will always be there for your if you need a pick me up. And who will honestly tell you if your blog needs improvement, a recent post was weak, or your header is seriously lame. For me, a blogging buddy that I consider in this ilk is Twenty Something Money. Like with anything in life, also try to acquire mentors. That said, it is important to never be (or be perceived as) a user.
65. Accept that there will be down days/weeks. Your blog may never take off. Of course, like anything, you will never know if you do not try. Also, try not to give in to jealousy. There will be other blogs that started around the same time as you and which seem to be killing it despite (in your opinion) weaker creative content/etc. Be happy for their success and try to learn from it.
66. Try to balance running your site with running your life. Your day job and your family have to come first. Think of blogging as a hobby (unless you make enough money where it is much more than that). Have realist expectations. We have traded sleep for the time spent working on our site. It is not always the best trade, yet we feel invigorated from the site, for some reason. We know we just said be ubiquitous, but if you are not careful you may be ubiquitous at the local divorce court. Like with anything, try your hand at moderation.
67. Again, be patient. Do not expect to make any money with your blog, particularly in the beginning. The barrier for entry is low but very few blogs make a large some of money just from there blog.
68. If you do make money, it will likely not be from blogging itself, but rather from developing your business in other ways using your blog as a key part of the infrastructure of your business. There are at least 28 effective ways for bloggers to make money (as noted by Daily Blog Tips). I cannot improve on that list, and again, I am no role model when it comes to this, so please just check out that awesome article. The basic thing to know is, try to implement as many diverse monetization methods as you can, assuming of course that you wish to make money off of your blog. You should diversify your income sources. The creators of Pro Bloggers and Daily Blog Tips are great examples of this at work.
69. Install Google Analytics as soon as you can so you can track the amount of visitors to your site. Google Analytics is great because it ignores spy bots, which other analytic systems may not be able to do. Spy Bots and Spiders are web crawlers for search engines that basically map out your site. That said, try not to live or die with your monetization or Google Analytics traffic reports. Try also to avoid being obsessed with viewing your stats all the time. We have at times been guilty of this and it is both a waste of time and an unhealthy method of viewing your blog’s success. Keep track of these things but do not become addicted to it.
70. Understand going in that many advertising/affiliate programs will not release any money to you until your earnings reach a certain amount. For example, Google requires that you earn at least $100.00 before they will cut you a check. If you have not done so already, set up a PayPal Account.
71. Take care of the business side of your blog, both on the web and in real life (if necessary). Ensure you have the proper privacy/legal disclaimers on your site. Make sure you are incorporated if you need to be (or other appropriate legal entity). Make sure you are taking the proper actions with regards to your taxes. Talk to the appropriate professional(s) if need be. Start using separate business accounts if that is the smart play. Figure it out. The more serious and successful your blog gets then we are sure the more careful you have to be about these types of things.
72. You need to focus on a method of monetizing that works for your site. Although traffic is huge, if you cannot properly turn it into buyers/money (and if making money is what you want to do) then all the traffic in the world may not make your site an economic success. As the recent (and previously discussed) story of the fake Steve Jobs points out, making money just by blogging may be dead. Also, it is common sense, but if you are going to monetize your blog, understand that it may be a turn-off to certain members of your audience. Also understand that if your site endorses something, you should actually believe it will provide value for your readers.
73. Amazon Affiliates is a good affiliate program to start out with.
Picking a Niche
74. Most successful sites have a niche. Although you could just have a personal (journal-like) site, it will not likely have too many readers. This depends upon your goals for the site.
75. Try to chose a niche that you are excited about and knowledgeable about. That said, it almost appears that many bloggers want to avoid their respective areas of expertise in their blogs. I do not blog at all about law. Maggie and Nicole over at Nicole and MaggieWordpress.com are untenured professors yet do not blog about their curriculum or areas of academic expertise. It can be very liberating to “escape” the pressures of your day job and instead focus on your hobbies/passions, etc. Perhaps the most successful personal finance blogger, J.D. Roth over at Get Rich Slowly, describes himself as an “accidental” personal finance guru.
76. The more narrow you can define your search (within reason), the better off you will likely be in the crowded internet marketplace. For example, our niche is personal finance for professionals. Our sub-niche is our emphasis on professionals struggling with student loan debt. Although we can write across some rather broad topics, we try to always relate these back to our audience (this post itself being a bad example of that). That said, make sure it is a subject with room to grow–in other words, pick something that you can write consistently about for a long period of time.
77. Some niches are more profitable than others. I did not know this going in, but apparently personal finance is one of the more profitable niches. If monetization is something you really care about then you should consider this.
78. Google has released a “heat chart” for the most lucrative areas to place ads. Unfortunately the best place appears to be right under the title of a post. In other words, the most obtrusive place. It is also said that regular readers click on your ads less than one-time visitors, and the most lucrative visitors (in terms of monetization) tend to come from search engines.
79. Often times the trade for a click is a visitor leaving your site, perhaps never to come back. You should at least consider that fact when strategizing about how to monetize your site.
Google/Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
80. Do not expect Google to be your bff from day one. Some say there is a Google “Sandbox”, where new sites are relegated to. It means that your site will not show up as well (or at all) in the Google rankings until your site becomes more established. This makes total sense when you think about it, although to the best of my knowledge Google has neither confirmed nor denied the existence of the sandbox.
81. Try to include long trail key-words that are not too competitive in order to rank high for those keywords. A new site with little or not budget cannot often battle with the “big boys/girls” when it comes to important/common keywords.
82. Try to pick an out of the box theme such as Thesis that is already set up with a strong SEO framework.
83. Be patient with the SEO and in my opinion, do not write for it, or at least do not let SEO be your master. If you can incorporate it without pissing off your readers then go for it, but I always want to put our real life audience first, not the Google algorithm. That said, it likely does not pay to totally ignore SEO.
84. You likely should not “bold” certain words you are trying to “key on” in the middle of the text for no good reason. The Google algorithms apparently frown against such “spammy” looking attempts to cheat the SEO algorithms and you may even be penalized for them. Aside from that, it does not help the clarity of your writing. This is a mistake we made early on (during the first few weeks) of our blog because a certain someone (Mr. Broke Professional) thought it was what you were supposed to do. Basically Mr. Broke Professional misread another site’s advice and it hurt our blog, (Ed. Note: most likely). A big thank you to Sustainable Personal Finance for pointing out this error.
85. There are both free and premium programs (such as Scribe) and plugins (All in one SEO, for example) that can help simply your SEO.
86. Again, you may be punished by Google if you try too hard to “game” the algorithm. (This is called “black hat SEO”)
87. Perhaps the most important thing to focus on in terms of SEO is getting quality sites to link to your site so that the algorithms view you as an “authority.”
88. It is generally frowned upon if you ask another blogger to link to your site. If you produce quality content it will, with traffic and any luck, occur naturally.
The Creative Process of an Individual Post
89. Many people say the best length (on average) for a post is between 500-1000 words. However, just go with the flow. This post is going to be over 6,500+ words long. Steve Pavlina (whether you or a fan or not, you have to admit he is prolific) and Smart Passive Income often include posts over 2,000 or 3,000 words long (or longer). Conversely, Seth Godin (befitting his niche) often writes short, to the point posts.
90. Try to write in a diverse cross-section of styles. On our site we have already written in various forms, including debates, letters, general posts, short stories, and as this post demonstrates, epic lists! (to name a few) It can pay to mix up the length and form of your posts and keep trying to come up with fresh content. If you push yourself as a writer your audience will probably respond. It will also serve as a learning experience that will serve you well.
91. Read awesome sites like Copy Blogger, to learn how to improve your writing abilities. As they say, “always be learning!” Read books to improve your writing further. Take a writing course. Challenge yourself. At the end of the day, your writing ability may be the single greatest asset you have as a blogger.
92. We do not do (currently) have podcasts or (for the most part) utilize videos/other media. However, they say the future of blogging is incorporating more and more of these diverse types of technologies. The more you can give your audience the more you may be able to separate yourself from the pack.
93. Try to link to other sources in your posts, if it is reasonable to do so.
94. Try to Link internally to other posts from your site as well. Also, if you set up an archive, etc., it is better to keep up with it from the start.
95. The more “research” you do on your post, the better it will likely be received. Try to back up your theories (unless it is a straight up opinion piece). Think about doing old-school journalism such as interviewing people, trying to discover new information, etc. If you can incorporate such activities it will really set your blog apart.
96. Trying to be inflammatory can get you an audience, but ask yourself if you believe it is: a) the type of audience you want; b) if you are really adding value to the world; and c) if it is the kind of audience you can sustain for years and years. Then evaluate how you would like to proceed.
97. Make sure you are married to your theme and your domaine name before making those decisions. Once you go a way down the path it will be much harder to chart a new course.
98. Keep up with Information Both in and outside your blog – If you lose touch your audience will recognize it. Do not live or write in a vacuum.
99. Make sure you do the proper research before messing around with code – There would be nothing worse than losing all of your hard work. Make sure you back up your blog as often as possible, and particularly before making any serious changes.
100. Have Fun! Meet New People! Expose Yourself to New Ideas! Be a Blogger!!!
Please Sign up for our Feed via Feeders or Email. Subscribe to BrokeProfessionals a t:
Please Note the Use of Amazon and Thesis Affiliate Links, of which if you purchase through, our site will generate some money.