Dec 13, 2008

Blog planning – how to start a high-traffic, high-paying blog?

After reading about a SEO experiment in DP, I gave a serious thought about what is the best strategy to start a blog. What is the best planning? How to attract more visitors? How to get maximum revenue? How to make people remember you?

I am not exactly a SEO expert, it is more likely that I am a SEO enthusiast. I am not interested in making money from SEO, my money source is programming. But for the past two years I do (and experiment on) search engine optimization for some sites. It is not a complete service and only small part of them are mine. I have some sites in high competition niches and some in low ones. And I make tests on different types of blog/website monetizing.

So what I have learned till now. The basic is – you have no guarantee in anything related to search engines. Two websites with no duplicate content but identical in niche/ marketing/ optimizing will have very different performance. This is not a rule of course but it happens most of the time. And all of this is just my opinion and analysis, I don't pretend to be fully right in anything.

I’ll make a simple plan for starting a blog, according to what I have learned till now. I choose a blog, not a website because it is a little more complicated for a website.

  1. Initialization
    This is the research part. If you haven't selected a niche for your blog - now is the time to do so. You must select a niche where you can provide quality content. If you are not a pro in writing consider hiring a professional writer. Make a deep research on your target niche. Analyze your competitors, niche forums, social sites, trends, keywords, etc.
    Spending a little more time on this first part will help you to solve many problems of the future.
  2. Actions - any of this step may be not appropriate for your niche, make the final decision what to do in a clear mind

    • Make minimum 20 posts before doing anything else with your blog. Maybe this advice is not suitable only for political/ civil/ spicy blogs.
    • Make gradual link building campaign – too fast link building may put you in a sandbox
    • Make minimum 3-4 posts per week for the first 3 months
    • Active membership to some related forums and communities – minimum 3-4 quality posts per forum per week
    • Make 30 or more directory submissions per week – prefer high rank directories

  3. Goals
    Define your goals depending on the niche popularity in a monthly rate:

    • Unique visitors expectations
    • Performance
    • Revenue

    Keep in mind that in a high competition niche your blog will need more time and efforts to become popular.

    I usually start to monetize my blogs after 3 months starting period. It is better to set goals according to the niche for the expecting revenue. Don’t aim too high because one disappointment at the beginning may be critical.
    Selecting the type of revenue program is also a very complex task. I’ll live it for another post.

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