Started a blog. Tips/advice?

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by Fugue, Jun 19, 2011.

  1. Fugue macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2011
    #1
    Hey guys. I recently started a blog that reviews food/snacks and I wanted to try and get some traffic on it. What's the best way to get people to read your blog, without paying. So far the advice I have been given is post daily and obviously try to post constructively.

    Anyways, here is my blog http://crunchybite.blogspot.com/. I have had no experience with blogger/wordpress/html whatsoever. Do you think the blog looks good? Any criticisms? Tips?

    Any thoughts and or advice would be appreciated. Thanks!:)
     
  2. dmr727 macrumors G3

    dmr727

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2007
    Location:
    Southern California
    #2
    You should talk to waloshin. He's our resident blog expert.
     
  3. -aggie- macrumors P6

    -aggie-

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2009
    Location:
    Where bunnies are welcome.
    #3
    You beat me to this post. :D
     
  4. 184550 Guest

    Joined:
    May 8, 2008
    #5
    You're missing Bojangles and Chick-fil-A. My number two and number one favorite fast food places respectively.

    I guess you're not from/ based in the Southeast?

    I suppose one tip would be that if you're trying to grab a national audience, make sure your blog is nationally focused. Or vice versa, if you're targeting a local/ regional audience, make sure it hits the nuances of that region.
     
  5. Ach111es macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2010
    #6
    Buy a book on SEO before you even start a blog. Then write up some material and get an idea on design. That will help you get onto googles radar and generate hits
     
  6. Fugue thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2011
    #7
    Yep, I'm from the Northeast and I have not seen any Bojangles here. I love Chic-fil-A but they are very rare in these parts :D

    Thanks for the regional/national advice.
     
  7. 184550 Guest

    Joined:
    May 8, 2008
    #8
    Yeah, the farthest North I've seen them is Maryland/ Union Station in DC.

    Extremely bad for you but oh so good. :p
     
  8. Fugue thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2011
    #9
    I was just at the Union Station 3 weeks ago! To my dismay, Bojangles was closed so I had to opt for Subway because I was in a rush. You could not imagine my disappointment. :mad:
     
  9. r1ch4rd macrumors 6502a

    r1ch4rd

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2005
    Location:
    Manchester UK
    #10
    It's all about content. If you are using blogspot there isn't much you can do about SEO as far as structuring your site goes and search engines don't care about colour schemes and design.

    If you want hits, you either need something for people to find (through a search engine) or to link to. Until you get a good number of articles up, there isn't much to draw people in. Keep working on it, get friends to link to your articles to bring people in. As time goes on you will grow.

    Think of Wikipedia, they aren't successful because they spent a lot of time on SEO etc. They are successful because they have content that people are interested in.
     
  10. wordoflife macrumors 604

    wordoflife

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2009
    #11
    The Subway line was SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO long last time I went to Union station. No lie, I think I waited a good 35 minutes. No idea how you made it to Subway when you were "in a rush" lol
     
  11. Fugue thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2011
    #12
    That was extremely helpful, thank you. I plan to keep on blogging on blogspot for a few months and hopefully will develop at least a small following. Then I will probably rent a domain and start some SEO. Great Wikipedia analogy - you made me very hopeful :)
     
  12. Fugue thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2011
    #13
    The line was pretty long as well, but they tend to work faster than the burger place and most of the other shops. I wasn't in the mood for Taco Bell or the Indian cuisine so it was sort of a passively aggressive decision haha.
     
  13. r1ch4rd macrumors 6502a

    r1ch4rd

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2005
    Location:
    Manchester UK
    #14
    Sounds like a good plan. Start slow and do it right.

    Once you start to become a little bit more established, perhaps try contacting other bloggers and see if you can put a link on their blog if you put one to theirs on yours.

    Google use an algorithm that ranks the "importance" of a page based on the links to that page from other sites and how "important" those sites are. This is called PageRank (here is a wikipedia link -- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PageRank). So, the more links you have, particularly from well established sites the better. The "importance" flows through your pages too, so if a big site links to any of your pages it improves the rank of all of them (depending how they are linked together).

    A quick tip. When I used to have a site, I contributed to Wikipedia using some of the articles that I wrote and listed my site as a reference on the pages. This gives a link from Wikipedia, boosting your rank. Just make sure you actually contribute something and don't just spam your site around through ;)

    Personally, I think that SEO is a bit overhyped. I'm not saying that making your site easy for search engines to index isn't important but if you design your website to be easy to navigate, make it standards compliant and accessible you are most of the way there. Anything else is just fiddling. Just remember, do you want to spend all of your time fiddling to get a few more hits or do you want to write articles?
     
  14. wordoflife macrumors 604

    wordoflife

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2009
    #15
    Haha, right there with you.
    Oh yeah, with that being said, Subway was the shortest out of all the other restaurants
     
  15. Fugue thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2011
    #16
    Excellent information. Once again, thank you very much!
     
  16. Melrose, Jun 20, 2011
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2011

    Melrose macrumors 604

    Melrose

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2007
    #17
    The importance of SEO depends on where you're coming from, really. For affiliate marketers, it is live-or-die - a change in ranking from top five to top ten can cost them tens of thousands of dollars; a change that could come after modifying TITLE tags by only a word or two.

    You can't start an internet business or blog and not be concerned about SEO - but, the instant you obsess over it to the point of disrupting user paths or general common sense you have reach a new low. It is possible to have your cake and eat it too - as you get more involved in blogging you'll find a balance, and also catch on to writing regular ol' articles in a way that elicits more search engine traffic.

    For starters, if you're at all serious, get yourself hosting and a proper domain (I can recommend some very reliable hosting). A good domain is the #1 way to increase traffic. Mind your grammar and punctuation. Keep articles to at least 650 words - if you near 1,000 or more consider breaking it into two articles linked together. Be mindful of keyword density for each piece you write. Have a few central pages on your site dedicated to what you do, and let the articles focus on what they're individually about. Encourage commenting by maybe having some cheap giveaways. Get involved in Twitter and Facebook. Don't be afraid to approve negative comments (within reason) and always be polite with your readers. Comment nicely on other foodie blogs so you can have a link back. Think about well-placed affiliate links rather than Google Adwords - which tend to be low visibility and disruptive to some. Invite guest writers; maybe interview some people on food-ish topics.

    EDIT: Search engines also like consistency, so if you think you have maybe five well-written articles a month in you, don't post them within the space of a week. Spread it out a bit to stay consistent.

    :)
     
  17. waloshin macrumors 68040

    waloshin

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2008
    #18
    Great idea!
     
  18. Melrose macrumors 604

    Melrose

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2007
    #19
    Even Waloshin understands the importance of having his own domain!
     
  19. waloshin macrumors 68040

    waloshin

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2008
    #20
  20. Fugue thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2011
    #21
  21. mscriv macrumors 601

    mscriv

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2008
    Location:
    Dallas, Texas
    #22
    There are still Bojangles around?!? It's a chicken place right? I remember them from my childhood, but then they all closed down in the TN area and I thought the entire chain was out of business. Who'd a thunk it!
     
  22. soco, Jun 22, 2011
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2011

    soco macrumors 68030

    soco

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2009
    Location:
    Yardley, PA
    #23
    GoDaddy is still great and as long as you're not trying to get a domain that may be for auction or anything, it's super cheap.

    Luckily, the domain is the cheapest part of a web existence.
     
  23. Melrose macrumors 604

    Melrose

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2007
    #24
    I wouldn't do business with GoDaddy.. I've heard way too many horror stories about their service. Where I work the newspaper just switched over to GoDaddy and aside from the usual hassle switching registrars and hosts, the whole site is dog-slow, all the time, every single day.
     
  24. waloshin macrumors 68040

    waloshin

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2008
    #25

Share This Page