How much time did you spend on research before you started your blog?
Probably this question aims for the money makers in blogging.
What did you do to gain knowledge about blogging? What resources did you read and do you still read? How much time do you invest per day or week to stay up to date?
Some information about my blogging career so far
Before I started my blog Depressionsblog.com - it is about clinical depression and coping strategies - in November 2006 (it is in German, sorry folks ;)) I think I spend around at least 200 hours only on blogging topics. I red about 100+ blogs concerning this topic. At this time I wasn´t blogging only “leaching” information.
This way I found a common denominator regarding blog strategies. As time passed I was sure to get into the blogging scene. I was suddenly very passionate about blogging and had a vision about my blog. It seemed to be a lot of fun hard work. I knew what I wanted and then I finally build my blog.
However I didn´t expect blogging to be that complex and time demanding. Marketing took and still takes many time as well as building the blog and tweaking it. I gained so much experience and still there is so much still to come.
With each posting and blog I red – including Steve Pavlinas – I felt more and more energized. I have clear goals regarding my blog. Drive focus and persistence. That´s it for me.
I think – as Steve wrote – you need to be tech savvy – indeed very tech savvy. Otherwise I couldn´t go that far with my blogging experience. Fortunately I have a long history regarding programming computers. I started with the Commodore VC 20, C64, Amiga, PC and so on.
Nowadays I spend at least one hour on reading certain blogs about blogging every day. I structured the time I spend developing my blog around these four main topics:
What do you do to to build your blog? How many time do you invest? What are you willing to sacrifice in exchange for your blog experience?
(Excuse my imperfect English :))
Actually, you need not apologize about your english, as it is better than that of many natives.
Owning 6 blogs, with 4 of them updated more or less regularly, I feel your pain. However, always remember to keep the main thing the main thing. In the case of blogging, content is king. If I have a choice between adding content or "optomizing", content has to win.
As far as research, you need to be careful about overcomplicating these things. While there is a learning curve, the various blogging platforms make the main things, such as posting and images quite simple. My strategy has been to get the blog up with a default theme, start posting and then, as time permits, do things like theme changes, add pages, about me, and cetera.
That is not to say that it is not work, it is, but if you had a lemonade stand, the main thing is putting lemonade for sale, not researching new recipies, not tweaking your sign, not joining the chamber of commerce. All those things are important, but they pale in comparison to having a product for sale where someone can buy it.
In blogging, the main thing is getting content up on the web, so it can be seen, indexed and read.
I also find it helpful to seperate high brain functions, such as writing, and low level functions, such as url submission, comments on other blogs, and reading other blogs. The former requires more brain activity, that is, I need to be more alert. more awake. The later I can do at the end of the day when I am not so fresh.
I didn't notice any disturbing flaws in your English, and I'm quite anal about that sort of thing. As for the blog, well, there's always BabelFish, so I can at least guess what you're trying to say. ;)
I would very much like to start a blog, but it's hard because right now, I feel like I'm just starting out in life. It's hard for me to write intelligently.
I took the opposite approach; I started on a whim :) It wasn't long after I had started reading Steve's blog, I spent an afternoon thinking about what I would write about and why I wanted to keep a blog, and the next day I bought a domain name, hosting, and just went for it.
Admittedly, my initial goals were not to make money from blogging, but to keep track of my progress and to consciously build an online reputation. Making a few bucks along the way has definitely helped though!
I read Steve´s long articles on how to build a high-traffic website and how to make money from your website before I begun. Then I put up a site using wordpress and started writing.
During the first week of blogging I read through Problogger´s excellent Blogging for Beginners series and learned about rss, adsense, building traffic etc and applied very much of it. I still read just about everything at Problogger (and have read much of the archives) and find the blog very useful to keep with trends and various news and aspects of blogging.
I also like Copyblogger´s tips for writing better content, titles and marketing.
To answer your question - none whatsoever.
I treat my blog more as a hobby and an extension of my desire to help people. My plans for my blog are simple - I'm going to write for a year and improve my skill at writing and sharing ideas and information. Then once I have a shedload of original content I'll buy my domain name and spread out from there. If I make a little money on the side then that will be wonderful. But at the moment, I'm just using the blog to beta-test a future occupation that may work for me.
By the way, I'm 17 so I don't expect great things of myself. But I do think starting this young will allow me to quickly develop the necessary skills and competence to deal with such a job.
I just started out and went from there. I know that if I'd done the research on beforehand I'd have ended with the ready, aim, aim, aim... and never fire approach because of my perfectionist nature.
I've really come to understand now why it's best to go with the ready, fire, aim approach because it keeps my mind occupied when I simultaneously go along as I tweak my blog for the best performance. The goal is of course to get the optimization as far as possible and then more or less have a system ready where I only need to keep on posting quality content.
But a business or blog should never be considered 'complete' or done when talking about adding new features or improving the accessibility of getting people to the information and getting them to apply the information.
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