Monday, December 22, 2008

Problogger Wannabes: 4 Things to Expect During your Early Months of Blogging (Part 2)

This is PART 2 in a mini-series of posts on Problogger Wannabes: 4 Things to Expect during your Early Months of Blogging. The full series is PART 1 (Few people will read your blog), PART 2 (Expect little to no traffic at all), PART 3 (Patience will wear thin. Enthusiasm will run dry), PART 4 (You won’t earn thousands right away).

2. Expect little to no traffic at all (unless you’re famous). It can be very frustrating every time you check your stats and see that you had 0 visits in the past couple of weeks, or if there were any visitors, they took off as quickly as they landed on your page, as indicated by the 0:00:00 time spent on your blog, or the 100% bounce rate (which is the measure of “’how many people arrive at your site and then leave again without viewing any extra pages’ – Problogger.net.”) You’ll soon feel like all your efforts in writing those wonderful posts (subjective :-)) go unappreciated. This usually leads to topic #3: your patience will wear thin, and your enthusiasm will run dry.

But don’t loose hope or patience just yet; there are various reasons for this. The most obvious reason of which is that, you don’t yet have a long tail of content; another reason would be, people haven’t discovered your blog yet; search engines and blog indexers haven’t crawled on your content yet; you have limited knowledge in promoting your blog, etc.

There are ways to go around this:

• Just continue writing – visitors will eventually come. Just continue writing interesting posts and soon enough, your “first-time visitors” will become “repeat visitors,” who will then become your “loyal readers,” who will then form a great big community of “followers.” Although, to be realistic, not all blogs will ever have that chance to have a great following, it’s still an ego-booster for any blogger to have repeat visitors. Aim for repeat visitors!

• Submit some of your posts to social sites like Digg – they’re one of the most trafficked sites on the Web. You can tap into thousands of potential readers. (I have also touched on this topic in my Top 4 Things I Do after Hitting “Publish” post.)

• Ping various sites through ping sites like Pingomatic.com - let those blog index and directory sites know that you’ve updated. Ping them and they’ll send their crawlers to check your new content. (I have also touched on this topic in my Top 4 Things I Do after Hitting “Publish” post.)

• Network with other bloggers in your niche – contribute something useful; tell other bloggers things worth sharing; comment on their blogs, link to their blogs if you think it will help your readers, because you’ll never know, you might end up getting new readers yourself in return.

In my very first post about problogging (5 Simple Ways to Make Your Blog Human Friendly), I’ve advised not to link to other blogs. But I guess that reading other blogs can sometimes make you change your mind. Darren Rowse (Problogger.net) mentioned in one of his posts to be generous with your links. I know he’s right. But I still need to practice “responsible linking” though. Only link to those sites you think can help your readers.

I would like to think that bad competition doesn’t exist in the blogosphere. Bloggers help other bloggers blog. It makes me smile to know that dailyblogtips.com recommends its readers to read Problogger.net, or a particular post on Problogger.net has a link to doshdosh.com. :-)

Again, here’s the full series: PART 1 (Few people will read your blog), PART 2 (Expect little to no traffic at all), PART 3 (Patience will wear thin. Enthusiasm will run dry), PART 4 (You won’t earn thousands right away).

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