Sunday, December 18, 2016

Becoming A Blogger

I have always had an interest in blogging. I really enjoy writing, researching, and sharing my thoughts. In the past I have “built” a few websites and blogs but they never held my interest long enough to gather any kind of following. I used services such as Wordpress and Weebly to design very nice looking pages but then always ran into a significant roadblock. Getting traffic to your “nice looking” blog is very difficult! I never realized (or put enough faith in all the bloggers before me) on just how hard it is to get eyes on your content. So as time went by I would lose interest. I can list a number of reasons I would lose interest in addition to being frustrated by lack of traffic to my blog.

Here are a few:

Wasn’t emotionally invested in the subject
Discounted myself, since I wasn’t an “expert” why would anyone care what I say
Never fully committed to seeing project through
Didn’t understand demand for fresh content
Knew little about SEO (Search Engine Optimization)

 


This blog, RejectedLists.com, started a little differently. Recently I have been exploring ways to make a little extra income and build assets. For past two years I have really been studying investing and trading on almost a weekly basis. What I learned is that there is no reason to be that active in your investments and to just let your money work itself (by passively investing in good stocks and not paying attention to the daily activity), so I needed a new hobby. I googled “make extra income and build wealth” and I started reading long lists of ways to earn extra cash. One topic kept catching my interest, freelance writing, which included submitting work to magazines and websites. One particular “job” was to submit a list of 10 (a top 10 list of sorts) to Listverse and if they publish your list they will send you $100. I went to their website and immediately found a few lists that were very interesting to me. If you browse the website, you start to realize there are a ton of lists with some amazingly original ideas and content. So I started trying to think of completely random ideas for lists, one thing led to another, and I sent two lists to Listverse.


These lists took me a good amount of time but it was exciting researching weird and interesting topics. I wasn’t doing it for the $100 necessarily but I felt it would be a shame to waste all this time and energy if my submission gets rejected and all my hard work stayed in a word.doc on my laptop. That is when I came up with the idea to post my lists (along with the rejection e-mail) in the form of a blog. I purchased the domain name for $12/yr from Google Domains. Google Domains has a direct interface to Blogger and a few other options. After a little research I decided use Blogger to host my blog. I chose a simple theme and began setting up my blog. Here are a few of the steps I took to get “ready”:


Opened a Google Analytics and Google Webmaster (Search Console) Account
Created a sitemap (using this link) http://www.labnol.org/internet/submit-blogger-sitemap-to-google/10149/
Submitted sitemap to Google (though Search Console)
Submitted sitemap to Bing Webmaster (after creating account)
Started commenting on other blogs with links to my blog (creating backlinks)
Started a Twitter account to promote my posts

 

These are just beginning steps but go a long way in getting your content possibly discovered. I’m sure Google Blogger might do/help with some of these steps but I didn’t want to leave it to chance since I wasn’t sure and it isn’t all that time consuming. Next major step is to create content and keep writing! I’ve committed to working on my blog daily, whether its promoting a little here and there, researching content, posting, etc. because I feel it is important to do at least a little work, frequently, to keep your motivation up and attract followers. More to follow…
 

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