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Tips For Self Publishing Your Blog

If you’ve considered taking the leap into self-publishing, you’ve almost certainly already learned that setting up your blog is the easy part. Tools such as Blogger, TypePad and WordPress make it effortless to create your own site with just a few clicks.

It’s the subsequent steps — the branding, promotion and the actual writing — that are the toughest. Here’s a quick rundown of the scenario awaiting you.

Acquire a domain. True, most of the first-rate domain names are taken. But you can still snag a memorable sounding domain if you think boldly. And .com domains are definitely preferable to .net, .org or some country’s two-letter abbreviation.

Once you have secured a good domain name, link it to your blog. The most professional-looking preference is to modify your domain’s DNS record so that your blog appears when your domain name is typed into the browser. Most blogging software will let you use your own domain. It may take a bit of work but it’s worth it.

Design a memorable logo. Custom designers may charge up to $200 per hour, but quality work is available at a wide range of prices. Make sure they know if you have a quirky personal blog, or a professional one. Once you have a custom logo, make a custom favicon. Also, consider a custom template. There are hundreds of free ones to choose from, but alter it in some way to prevent that cookie-cutter look. Modifying the colors is a good place to begin.

Nearly all of your new readers will reach your blog by clicking on a permalink, not from your home page. Your headline is the first thing almost every one of your visitors will ever read on your site. So you should have a good headline that tells the reader everything they need to know about the post’s contents.

The blogosphere is a very crowded place, so don’t hesitate to do what you must to get noticed. You could set up a blogroll. Most blogging software allows you to list your favorite blogs, so collect a list and post it. Keep it neat — a dozen max — and on-topic.

Establish a rapport with other bloggers in your category. Show them an article you’ve written that you think they may like or praise them for work they’ve done. Let them know when you’ve published a link to one of their posts.

Respond to your readers’ comments. Read your comments faithfully. Thank your best contributors personally and acknowledge their tips publicly in your posts.

It’s easy to lose content in the clutter. Avoid a lot of blinking lights and widgets that will make your site load more slowly. Links for sharing your posts on news aggregators are helpful, but try to keep them within your area of expertise. If you’re not interested in clicking on something, why would anyone else be?

Track your traffic with free services like Google Analytics. It can help you spot which are your most popular posts. Logs can tell you where your clicks are coming. You’ll discover where your blog is doing the best on the web.

You have worked hard to create your content so archive your articles for others to read and so you can keep them coming back.


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