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Res_20 Blogging

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					                                        Contents:
Introduction and Disclaimer                       3
What Kind Of Blog? Free, Shared or Self Hosted?   5
Blog Features:
    What A Blog Looks Like                       9
    Blog pages                                   12
    The SideBar                                  14
    Links and Blogroll                           15
    Themes                                       16
    Widgets                                      17
Writing Blog Posts
    Style and Appearance tips                    18
    How Often To Write Posts                     19
Comparing and Improving your blog                 23
Making Money                                      24
Summary                                           27
Resources                                         28




                                                       2
                               Resourceful Blogging



Introduction
Welcome to this quick and simple guide to being a Resourceful blogger.



Parts of this report are drawn from the dotrim (Drawing On The Resources In Me) blog, which aims
to help bloggers by providing hints and tips for managing and growing a blog.



This short report will concentrate on blogging basics with some discussion of simple technical
aspects. To focus on the money making aspect of blogging is another much bigger field, although a
few simple ways to monetize (ugly word!) your blog will be introduced later in the report.




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Disclaimer:
This report is provided for informational purposes only. Before taking any action based on the
content of this report you should consult with trusted advisors with the relevant expertise.

Any view expressed in the report are those of the author based on learning and experiences gained
from more than 1 year of blogging on a variety of platforms and blogging services. In a short report
like this the information is designed to be basic, and further study and research is needed by the
reader to get their blogging to an expert level.

This report aims to introduce some aspects that need to be considered when setting up a blog for
the first time, or when reviewing how a blog is progressing.

After you have put the tips in this report into action, check out the Resources list at the end of the
report to take your Resourceful Blogging to new levels.

Happy blogging,

Neville Dinning

Blogging Enthusiast

http://dotrim.com


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                               Blogging is a growing activity.
Blogging has become an activity that more and more people do, and the number of blogs grows
each day. That number is huge, so to stand out from these will not be an easy task.

                             So where are all of these blogs?
Many are hosted are on the free blog services. The big names provide free blog space: Google’s
Blogger or Blogspot is an example. Another I heard of from readers of this blog is Weebly. Word
Press also provides a free blog at wordpress.com for anyone who wishes to register.

I am a fan of Word Press, and have been for some time now, so the following comments may be
just a little biased.

If you are, or want to be a serious blogger, the best option is to have your own blog, hosted on
your own domain. This will give you control over the blog.

   What you can add in the way of content and features.
   You are not subject to the blog being taken down because the owner of the site
      o goes out of business or
      o drops your blog because you said something he did not like.




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Word Press hosted on your site gives you the freedom and control to set up the blog in many
different ways. You can make it into a newsletter or journal. Your blog can function as a store front.
The opportunities are endless, limited only by the skill of the person setting up the blog (that is you
or your support person).

This report will go part of the way to help you set up your blog, and to get the process underway.



                              Shared Hosting-Another Option.
WordPress blogs can be run on a subdomain at dotrim by arrangement and are fully featured,
allowing the owner to add plugins, themes, widget, analytics code and much more. Many blogs on
other shared or networked sites have some of those features deactivated or limited in the way they
can be used.

A dotrim hosted blog is a good way to get started with blogging and is a much better option than
choosing a free blog at Blogger or WordPress. Some other options claim to provide you with a
powerful blog, but many have limitations in the ways that you can use them.

By using a blog that is hosted on someone else’s site, you will always be limited by what that
provider will allow you to do, and it is always subject to be shut down at any time.That is also true
of a blog hosted at dotrim, but there is no intention of that happening.


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                                      Self Hosted Blog




To establish and maintain as much control over your own blog the best option will always be to
host it on your own site.

I recommend a self-hosted blog to anybody wanting to get serious with their blogging, because
they have important things to share, or they have heard that the money is in blogging.

                      Where Can I Self Host My Blog? One Option.
To help with that decision I have provided a link to the provider of this host above. As is usual with
advertising like that you need to beware that the price quoted is not necessarily what you may


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decide to pay. For example the $4.95 per month is only applicable to a very basic account paid for 3
years in advance. I have a monthly payment of $9.95 for a more powerful service, with unlimited
domains and sites that can be hosted there.

It is always best that you check these things out for yourself, so why not take a look at Hostgator to
see if there is a plan that suits your needs and budget?

You will of course, also need a domain on which to host your blog, and that too can be arranged
through Hostgator or using a service such as Name Cheap.

When you have decided that self hosting is for you, there will be challenges involved with getting
the site up and running, and installing the blog. This report will help with the first steps in setting
up that blog. You can check the dotrim blog for more hints and tips to help with establishing your
self-hosted blog.




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                            What are the main features of a blog?


Just what are all of the parts that go together to make up a blog?

The answer to that question below, is based on the structure of my blog and many blogs that I have
visited. There will be other ways of structuring a blog, and many of those will be nothing like the
description that follows. That is the beauty of WordPress, in that it can be configured in almost
innumerable ways.

Let’s look at a typical blog.




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Please note the labelled parts, which are explained briefly below. Only the top part of the page is
shown and the discussion below is about the front or home page of the blog. This page shows the
latest posts, in order from latest to earlier post



A: The Header.
This holds the Title of the blog and often a subtitle. The Title is usually linked to the home page of the blog, so you
can come back to the front page of the blog by clicking the title from any page or part of the blog.

B: Page Menu.
This has clickable links to other pages of the blog. The names of the pages are used as the links, so click a name to
go to that page. This menu usually shows on every page of the blog.

C: The date this post was published.
The way this is displayed depends on the theme used in the blog. Often it is shown just under the post title along
with the name of the author of the post.

D: The Post:
The first one on the page is the most recent. But not always, as some blogs have set a particular post to always be
the first.


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A post has a heading which is a link to a separate page (the single post page) that displays just one post at a time,
where the reader can usually add a comment. Some blog feeds are set to show just an excerpt from each post
and to the read the whole article you click a link that takes to the single post page.



E: The Sidebar
This important part of the blog can hold a vast range of tools, widgets, links, advertising and lots of other things.
These are also displayed on every page of the blog so that they can be accessed very easily.

In the picture above you can just see a small sample of the widgets used in this blog. You can actually see the
whole range just by scrolling down the page.

F: An example of a widget.
The example shown is for the link to the APSense Guide Pro. Clicking the image of the cover takes the reader to
the sales page for that eBook.

G: The beginning of other widgets and plugins.
You can see the top of the Admin widget, which allows the owner and subscribers to login to thei dashboards.
Below that are widgets displaying advertising, sites I have joined, a tag cloud and links to other blogs.




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                                                     Pages:
The usual set up for a blog is to have a page that shows the most recent post as the home page. This gives readers
a quick way to catch up on the latest posts, and has the most relevant news and information, depending on the
focus of the blog.




The Home Page:
The Home page or the Feed page is just one of the pages in a blog. Depending on how the blog owner has set up
the posts, you will generally see the most recent posts in order, with the latest post first on the page.

Sometimes the posts will just show a short extract with the invitation to click a Read More link. That link will take
you to a Single Post Page, as described in the next part.

To come back to Home Page you can usually click the Blog title [B] or there may a link to it in the Header [A].



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Single Post Page:
This will show just one post at a time, and if comments are allowed on the blog, that is where you can see other
comments and add your own.

To get to the Single Post Page click the title of the post you want to view [C], or if there is a Read More link, that
will also take you there. Clicking the Comments link [D] will also take to the Single Post Page, but usually directly
to the boxes for adding your comment.

Other Pages:
There are often other pages that the blog owner has set up and these can serve a wide range of purposes.

The titles of these pages will appear in the Header [A]. It’s a good idea to make your Page titles short, or you
could get a messy, overlapping menu.

These pages often include an About page where you can find out more about the blogger, or the blog. I use that
page as a Table of Contents to help locate particular posts on specific topics.

Other pages can include those with particular information that might help with understanding some feature on
the blog, or it could be the Sales Page for products or opportunities that the blogger is offering.

The number of pages, their uses and the style of them is once again almost unlimited. At various times these
pages can also be set to be hidden so that the blog does not become too crowded or the page holds time specific
material. Experiment with Pages. I am sure you can find lots of good uses for them.




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It is also possible to set any one of the pages as a static page, which then makes it the Home Page and all I have
said about Home Pages holding the latest posts becomes irrelevant. Oh well, that’s what happens when you give
blog owners options.


                                                The SideBar
Basically the sidebar holds widgets that perform a range of different
functions.

Text Widget
Many of the functions can be placed in a text widget, and the method for
doing that is outlined in this post.

Examples of the things that could be added in a text box include:

      Widgets from other sites, such as the APSense and ThumbVu widgets
       on my blog.
      Advertising such as AdSense, and similar services.
      Affiliate and other ads. An image with a link.
      Photos
      Links (eg the RSS feed shown on the example from my blog).




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Links and Blogroll
The process for adding links to other sites, and editing them is discussed in this post.




Other Widgets:
Other widgets that can be added to the sidebar include:

      Search box, to help readers locate particular search terms in the blog.
      Categories, to show the different categories for posts and provide links to them.
      Tag Cloud. Similar to categories, with links to tags used in posts.
      Comments and Recent Posts. Show excerpts from the latest comments and posts.
      Calendar, with links to posts made on highlighted dates.
      Plus others.




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                          What your blog looks like : The Blog Theme.
                                    Changing a Theme: First Steps
Perhaps the first thing a new blogger would like to do is to choose a theme that suits their blogging topic.




To change a theme to one of those already available:
   1.   Open the Appearance Menu in the Dashboard.
   2.   Select the Themes menu option.
   3.   Select the Manage Themes tab at the top of the page.
   4.   Click on any of the available themes to preview it.
   5.   Click Activate (top right hand corner) to set that theme OR
   6.   Close the preview and return to step 4 to preview another theme.




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To Install a different theme:
   1.   Repeat Steps 1 and 2 above.
   2.   Click the Install Theme tab at the top of the page.
   3.   From there you can Search for a theme by keyword, author or tag OR
   4.   Use the various filters for colour, style etc.
   5.   From the results of your search you can choose to Preview and Install the selected theme.

There are more things that you can do with installing themes such as adding your own, uploading one from
another source and editing a theme to suit your needs, but those tasks are better kept for the more experienced
blogger.




                        Widgets : Adding features to your blog.
Placing a box with code in a sidebar
In a fully featured, self-hosted WordPress blog it is not necessary to import a widget to use for adding javascript
and html, unlike some other blogs which use a multi-user version of WordPress.

To add features, like Google ads, you just need to place a Text Widget in the sidebar, and paste any javascript or
html code from the supplier of the code into that textbox.




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                                       Writing to your blog.
Some Quick Hints about writing a Blog Post.
A huge mass of text can be very intimidating to a reader, so here are a couple of ways to help grab the reader’s
attention and to help them stick with the post.

Break Up The Text Into Chunks.
      Use bullet points to list ideas
      Remember to use paragraphs.
      Add headings to slabs of text.
      Use different colours for the text.
      Remember to Bold, Italicise and Underline some words.
      Or use any combination of the above.

Add Pictures
                       Break up the text with relevant images. Yes, I know, an albino kangaroo is not really
                       relevant here, but I thought you might appreciate this rare animal.

                       This also has the advantage of being able to use a post’s keyword as the alt title of the
                       image, which is useful for Search Engine Optimization (SEO).




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Use The Read More Tool.
When a reader comes to the blog and can see the first parts of several posts by doing a quick scroll down the
page they may be more likely to read one of those previewed posts.

If you put your latest post up as the first page that people see, and it is a long post, they may not scroll down far
enough to see some other posts.

The More Tag can be placed in a post to display just the part of the
post down to the tag, and then the reader has the option of opening
up the rest of the post. This allows them to see the beginnings of
previous posts.

Keep your eyes out for some posts on the dotrim blog which will outline in more detail how some of these things
above can be done, to hopefully make your post more readable.


                      Should a blog have regular posts added?
                    The quick answer to that is a definite YES!, and if you want to see examples of the reason why
                    I say that, read on.

                    The frequency of new posts being added to a blog will affect the way in which that blog can
                    work for you.




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If new posts, that are relevant to the focus of the blog, are added on a regular basis that will increase the
authority of that blog and the owner of the blog.

To illustrate that I will use examples from my recent experience.

I was running four different blogs and they were being worked on at different rates.

The four blogs were:

      The dotrim blog.
      Another self-hosted WordPress blog on a different domain.
      A networked blog, hosted by a different owner, to which I had subscribed.
      A blogger (free) blog.

To demonstrate the effect of regular, and frequent posting I will mention a couple of analytics tools that I use.

The dotrim blog:
This blog is the one that I have been working on consistently for the past few weeks, and it is the one that is
visited most frequently, and has shown the greatest improvement in Alexa ranking. Admittedly, it is also the one
that I have promoted the most in Traffic Exchanges and by campaigns at APSense.

The Alexa ranking has gone from more than 10,000,000 at the beginning of October to the end of November
2010, being less than 600,000. It is still consistently improving its ranking and now (Jan 2011) gone to less than
400,000.




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In Google Analytics the number of recorded visits and unique visitors has risen consistently, and now more of
those visitors are coming from search engines. For some search keywords this blog now sits high in the results on
page 1.

The Self-Hosted WordPress Blog.
I had another blog that like dotrim used the WordPress platform.

It had a Health focus, and I added posts that relate to aspects of health that I personally had been dealing with. I
used that blog to document some of the research that I had done and thoughts and ideas that have come from
that.

I did not add posts to that blog as often or as consistently as I had to dotrim, and that is reflected in the data.

The Alexa ranking for the Healthy Journey blog went from more than 14,000,000 at the beginning of October
2010 to now just over 1,1000,000 in December 2010. It continued to improve but much more slowly than dotrim.

Google Analytics showed that this blog picked up just a small number of hits each day, and over time did not
show any increase.

That blog has since been revamped and now has a new focus that should see it rankings improve.

The Networked Blog:
A had another Networked blog that has been discontinued..




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That blog used WordPress and had posts contributed by the supplier on the Nutritional Health topic, with
occasional post written by me. I usually had to edit and format the scheduled posts to improve the appearance
and SEO.

The networked blog, which shared the domain with other blogs, had moved in Alexa ranking from just over to
2,000,000 to about 650,000 at the end of Nov 2010. It is also consistently, but more slowly improved its Alexa
ranking.

I have no data for Google Analytics for the networked blog because I was not able to add the code to the blog,
since I did not have access to the code editor.

The Blogger blog.
I started this blog several months before the others, and tracked its progress in Google Analytics. There had been
no new posts in there for several weeks, so there was no traffic to the blog for some time.

This is the forgotten cousin in my blog family, and the results of that neglect are showing up. It has since this was
written been transferred and no more posts added.


In Conclusion:
Regular and Frequent posting to a blog will increase its visibility, authority and traffic.

So unless you are just blogging for your own benefit, there is no getting around the idea that some thought and
effort needs to go into a blog to get it seen and for others to spend their valuable time checking it out.



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                                How does my blog compare?
Looking for ideas to make your blog zing?
Do you have a few favourite blogs that you visit regularly?

What brings you back to them? What makes that blog stand out from all of the others
you might have visited and never go back to them?

Answer these questions and you will have some great starting points for your own blog.

Copy what you like about these blogs. No, I don’t mean copy their content. Make the content of your blog your
own, or specifically written for your blog by a guest writer.

Copy their style. Copy the appearance, with your own modifications. How many columns? What is in the sidebar?
How long are the posts? How often are posts added?

Yes, lots more questions. Ask them over and over. And lots more.

Don’t worry about being a copycat.

                      What is a good way to keep up with your favourite blogs? Find the RSS feed and add the
                      feed to your favourite RSS feed reader. That puts them all in the one spot for easy access.




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There may be other ways on a blog to keep up to date with recent posts, such as Facebook and Twitter. Use them
to be a successful copycat.




                             Making Money with your blog.
Many people begin blogging because they have been told that it is a good way to make money
online. They even have been convinced that it is an easy way to make that money, and in no time
they will holidaying in exotic places while their expensive sports car is parked at their recently
acquired mansion.

That, unfortunately is not the way it works for most people. Making money from blogging is hard
work if it is to be achieved and sustained.

For that reason this report has not focussed on the income that can be made from blogging, as that
comes after the hard yards have been done setting up the blog and establishing your authority in
the niche in which you have decided to launch it.

However I will outline very briefly some ways in which you can monetize (there’s that word again!)
your blog.

Contextual Advertising:


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You can register as a publisher at various services that provide adverting that can be placed on your
blog. An efficient provider of contextual ads can in theory choose ads to be displayed on your blog
that are relevant to the content of that blog. For example if you blog is about pet care, it should be
able to show ads for pet care products. This sounds good, but be aware that some ads might show
products from your competition.

You make money from these ads when a reader clicks on an ad that is displayed on your site. These
are usually very small amounts but with great posts and a large readership these small amounts
can add up.

Paid Advertising:
You may be able to convince a seller of a product that you have responsive readership with those
readers potentially willing to buy that seller’s products. If that is the case you could sell a spot on
your blog for a monthly fee to the advertiser. That way you keep the fee paid, and the seller keeps
the money made from any sales.

Affiliate Marketing:
This appears to be a common method of creating income from a blog.




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In this case you register with a seller or affiliate manager to allow you to advertise products they
manage, and for each sale you receive a commission. This ranges from a very small percentage of
the selling price of an item to sometimes a large proportion of that selling price.

There are several large affiliate management services, with Clickbank being one of the better
known ones. By searching you should be able to find others, and work out which one would be best
for you.

Often when you buy a product online the seller may have an affiliate program that allows you to
register and become an affiliate. They will often provide you with banners and text ads that you
can insert in your blog, making it easier to set up as that affiliate.

Marketing To A List:
If you set up a subscription at your blog, you can establish a mailing list and email to that list with
your own products or those for which you are an affiliate. That way you have on your list a group of
people who have already responded to what you have to offer at least once, by subscribing to your
list.

This method requires some extra work such as setting up and using an auto-responder, but
information on doing that is outside the scope of this report.




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Selling Your Blog:
Sounds a bit drastic, I know, but if you have established a great blog that has credibility, authority,
traffic and a proven track record, there may be buyers out there willing to pay good money to take
over your blog. Once again the practical aspects of this are beyond this report.




SUMMARY:
This short report has hopefully provided you with some helpful tips about how to set up a blog for
the first time, or to modify an existing blog.



There are obviously many more things that can be done to establish a powerful blog that uses all of
the resources available. Some of these will be discussed in posts at the dotrim blog, and planning is
underway to introduce a course for bloggers that takes the information in this report and builds on
it.




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That course will be announced when it is nearing readiness, and if you received this ebook by
subscribing at one of my sites, you will be informed by email when that happens.



Extra Resources:
By the author of this report:
The dotrim blog: For added posts not included in this report.

Where’s Neville Now: My personal blog. Online escapades of a Baby Boomer.

Blog Tips eZine: My eZine at APSense eZine Space. This link takes you issue No 5. From there you can subscribe
for later issues.



Building Your First Blog:
Domain name: Register your domain name at NameCheap.

Hosting: Host your blog at Hostgator.

Have a blog hosted at dotrim: Take the hassle out of starting your first blog.



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Building Traffic To Your Blog:


How To Use Traffic Exchanges:

Break Free Traffic Formula: Warning! Very comprehensive. Takes time and effort to work through this one.

Social Surfing Secrets: Keep up with the trends in Traffic Exchange usage.



Traffic Exchanges: Start with these.

Social Traffic Exchange: ThumbVu, connect and chat with other surfers.

TrafficAdBar: Share your links on more than just this one site.



Tools For Enhancing Your Traffic Building

AdKreator: Create Splash and Squeeze pages for adding to the TEs you surf.



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TEtoolbox: A whole toolbox of tools for building and monitoring your TE experiences.




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