This is the first guest post on this blog and I feel that it’s a good one. Please welcome Darko Johnson of MixTheNet. He is just getting started with blogging and on Twitter, so help him out and show him some follow love.
Some bloggers say it’s all about CONTENT. They love to say “content is king”.
Some bloggers say it’s all about reaching your potential readers and promoting your blog. You’ll see them telling you different strategies and tricks on how to promote yourself and your blog using various channels.
Some (especially the ones in internet marketing) bloggers love to say: “It’s all about making money.”
They’re all right and wrong in my opinion. Yes, each of those parts is important but they cannot function separately. To have a successful blog, you must focus on all of those 3 parts.
If you go and take a look at the most successful blogs (Mashable, TechCrunch, SmashingMagazine), you’ll notice what I’m saying is starting to make sense. All of them have great content. But they also have developed strong strategies to reach new and potential readers (most of their posts go regularly on the front page of Digg and get several thousands re-tweets thanks to the strong Twitter profiles these blogs have). The owners of those websites have also all found the most profitable ways for their blogs to money (banner advertising and Adsense are the primary 2.)
If you want to reach some level of success and prosper in the long run, you’ll realize that you also need to do this. You need to always find a way to improve the value of your content, develop better promotional methods and find and test ways to make money with the blog you have. It’s a continuous improvement process that never stops (continuous improvement is actually a concept I borrowed from management and W. Edwards Deming, he is one of the guys who’s been responsible for the recovery of the Japanese economy after World War II.)
How do you do all this, anyway? I’ll provide you with some good starting points.
For developing better content, see how the big guys do it. Then study usability (Jakob Nielsen is a well-known guru in this field.) Learn how users read on the internet and how to write for the web.
For reaching potential readers, explore social media (Twitter, Facebook, Digg, Mixx and so on.) WARNING: There are a lot so-called ‘experts’ in social media who are mostly self-proclaimed. Most of them have no idea what they are talking about. If you want to learn what’s working on social media sites like Digg, go and find the power users on these sites and then find ways to contact them and ask for advice (in Digg’s case, most of them have Instant Messengers on their profile.)
Also, learn search engine optimization (seomoz.org is the best resource for this) and viral marketing in general (see which pages go viral on Stumbleupon, Digg and so on.)
For monetization, testing is everything. Choose a monetization method (Adsense for example) and then test the hell out of it, or in other words, test different locations where to put the ads on your blogs and see where users will click most.
Now you have a general idea what to do. Take action!