This is being live typed out from a talk by AndyDickinson.net. Some of it is quoted and some is critique.
The most important piece of advice and help is “Have a go… find your feet”. Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is of low importance at the initial start for a blogger, and you should more get used to using the tools that are available. (Blogger, WordPress etc)
What should I blog about?
What do you want to say and who to? Have a “ThoughtShower” (Brain storm for any 80s child and younger) and write down what you are passionate about.
Take out all the dross, pick out the keywords (that’ll define what the site will be about), what you are interested in.
Now use blog searches to find out more about those subject areas. What is and what isn’t being typed about at the moment. Use these sites to emerse into the preformed community.
Get to know the community. Make friends rather than make traffic
Commenting on other people’s blogs is key. Most of the conversation about your blog should not be on your blog, but on other peoples sites. Your blog should be your “Base of operations” – most of the work happens away from the blog
Use a BlogRoll on your site (Blogs that you also read)
Representation of a brand, be that an individual or a business. Traffic will come later
Consistent online presence, have a tag
Link Bait – purposeful comment that initiates conversations that can get quite heated.
Referral statistics – important to know who is talking about you
Blogging cycle – when is most appropriate time and day to post, better Monday and Sunday, not on Friday afternoon
Use strikethroughs and updates rather than deleting.
Feedburner & RSS feeds – get the word out. Don’t worry too much about advertising revenue in the early stages.
Video on the blog – embed yes, but use youtube to host your videos
Creative Commons – “Can’t really see how people would be able to my work on my website and use it as ‘fair use’ but be as open as you can. CC can generate comments much more than copyrighted information. People want clear instructions on what they can and can and do with your words.
External tools for your blog
Twitter – lots of people will read the comments more so than on a website.