Not that I’m an expert when it comes to blogging, but 2famous.TV is a relatively successful blog, and after we made the “101 Most Popular Blogs In Lebanon With Reviews – The Ultimate List” some people have contacted us for some “expert tips”.
This is obviously super flattering, so here I share some thoughts on our experience as bloggers, and what you need to do to get higher ranking on your blog so that you can get more visitors.
Blog Mother Fuckers! Blog!!
First I would like to encourage as many people as possible to blog. Especially those who live in countries where the freedom of press is restricted, and the freedom of speech under pressure. You don’t have to blog about saving the world, politics, or activism to make an impact. And you don’t have to be a hipster by any means. The more we blog the more we get used to reading other people’s unfiltered opinions. This is important, so keep in mind that even if you blog about shoes, you do indeed contribute to a better place for all of us.
The second thing I would like to tell you is that the blogging sphere of the Middle East is FAR from saturated. When you start blogging, you will not be in competition with anyone. Quite on the contrary – the more people that blog, the more readers we all get.
To put it a bit in perspective: Lebanon and Norway have the same population. On the top blog aggregator sites for Lebanon we find about 750 blogs listed. On equivalent Norwegian sites there are about 37.000. A top blog in Lebanon receives around 1000 views per day. The top blogs in Norway receive about 100.000.
So, don’t worry, there is always room for one more blog. At the end of the day, we create the internet. The other people just filter it. So let’s start blogging!
Ehh… what shall I blog about? Yeah… that’s usually what keeps people that want to blog away from blogging. And most blogs are true to their topic. Fashion blogs don’t blog about football, and so on. But at the end of the day, getting started is the hardest part. It’s often difficult to find the motivation when you’re sitting there looking at your blog that has three entries and 45 views. Just keep in mind that it’s going to take time to build your audience. Also remember that you cannot expect your audience to come to you automatically. Google completely ignores fresh blogs, so you have to work a bit to find your readers. (More about that later.)
My advice is to keep on blogging. I prefer personal blogs where you get to know someone. In these cases I think that your topic of choice will come secondary; it’s your style that matters.
As a rule of thumb, great content is what matters. If people like what they read, they will share it. And that’s by far the most efficient way of spreading your word.
However, lists and “How to” seem to be an easy way of getting readers. People are often searching for “How to” do something. “20 most” or “Top 100″ are also titles that are bound to get traffic. People love lists. My advice is to take your time when you make a list, as it has the potential of becoming a reference page. If you do a weekly or a monthly list, you might be on to something.
Also, if you want your reader to find you by asking a question, use that question as your title. If someone types “Why does Madonna have hairy armpits?” you will get them with the title “Why Madonna has hairy armpits”, and not “Super Diva refuses to Shave”. I mean, just get to the point, and let the reader know what they can expect from reading your title. And spell out the words. No one googles “b4, xmas, 2 u, c u l8r, nqocd” etc.
Think tabloid. Fetch your readers with a catchy title. The first three words are very important to get right, and you should have your reader interested from this point.
Some of the most successful blogs out there posts short stories at a hight frequency. This seems to be working out for people doing social commentary or news filtering. If you do several posts of one paragraph ever day, you might be able to build up a solid audience that comes to your site every day to check you out. In this way you can get into peoples’ routines. Bingo!
If you are more into creative writing, posting one paragraph four times a day might seem absurd. If you are writing stories you have to get into peoples routines in a different way. It might be an idea to have a scheduled publication plan. Write a nightlife story every second Friday, a love story every Monday, and so on.
The point is that in the beginning you will not really get your bulk of traffic from people check out your blog directly. Your traffic will come from your social media network. Some people might remember your site and click into it every once in a while to stay updated, but you need to generate daily content to get the daily visitors.
Comments & Links
You need to find your audience out there. One of the things that you can do is to comment on blogs with similar content to yours. This is good because it will establish a relationship with other bloggers – and their readers. And remember to throw in a link when you comment. Because, link love is powerful.
This is how it works: Google is way more interested in what other people say about you than what your say about yourself. Your page can be optimized to the teeth, but if no one talks about you, you’re nobody in the eyes of Google. However, if you get a link in to your site, Google becomes interested. If these links come in from a power site, you’re hitting gold. So, if NY Times links up to your site with the text “cute furry animals”, you can bet that you’re going to get fuck tons of traffic from Google by people searching for “cute furry animals”.
Rule of thumb: links in to your site rule.
There are many ways to start your own blog, and I’m sure they are all good. Otherwise they would not have had those millions of users. The most popular ones are blogger.com, tumblr.com, wordpress.com and wordpress.org.
blogger.com is a service from google, which probably means that you won’t have to worry too much about your blog being search engine optimized (SEO). It’s a powerful system with millions of users, thought I would never use it. I will explain why later.
tumblr.com is nice if you want to have an image blog. It seems to be serving the need for millions of artists, photographers and fashionistas. It’s kind of hard to fail with tumblr, as it makes sort of everything look really slick and nice!
wordpress.com is a very good entry level platform for new bloggers. It offers a smooth working system with loads of templates and plugins to make the site work for you. And if you get really into it and want to expand, you can easily transfer your blog over to wordpress.org – the ultimate system.
wordpress.org is an open source system for people that want to take their blog to the next level. The way it differs from the other platforms is that this is a self hosting system. It’s super easy to set up, but you need to have a domain name and a space on a server. Once the blog engine is installed, you’ll have access to an infinite amount of services, plugins, scripts and codes to make your site do whatever you want it to do. 2famous.TV is an example of a highly customized wordpress.org blog.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Yawn! How I get so much more excited when I read the word SEX than SEO is a mystery to me when there’s only an X <--> O swap that separates the two words!
But SEO’ing is important because it brings in NEW readers to your blog. And if you are lucky some powerful website will link you up, and you’ll become an instant superstar!
To get this right, this is what you need to do:
1. Before you start writing, think of two or three words that you want your readers to find your article by.
2. Put those two, three words
– in the title
– in the first paragraph of the article
– repeat them several times in the text (10 is good)
– and then you put these words in your tags (10 tags all together are good, but they are kind of useless if the words don’t appear in your text).
OK, let’s move on. The first paragraph of your article is just as important as your title, and they should compliment each other in a clever way. This is super important, so pay attention!
The first 160 characters will turn into your META DESCRIPTION. This is the very text beneath the blog title when it appears on Facebook and Google, and it should repeat the focus keywords in your title!!!
Be generous here! Think of this as a micro version of your blog post, and give away as much information as possible. If there is a video to be seen, let your readers know. Share a secret. Shark your audience with your description!
In addition you can make sure to give all your pictures a title and a description. A lot of people search for images on the internet, and it’s a good way of attracting a new audience.
Last but not least is the pinging of your blog. This means that you want your blog to automatically notify web services whenever you post something on your blog. There are tons of websites out there that aggregate, catalog and display excerpts from blogs. This is cool, because people go to these websites to discover new blogs. So, make sure you get your blog to ping the world. Here is a list of the web services that 2famous.TV pings.
Also, register your blog with the local aggregators. In Lebanon, this page is Lebanon Aggregator.
I hope that was useful information to some of you. If you want to take a look at some really successful blogs out there, that earned their success to great content, I would recommend Jezebel and Thought Catalog.
Also, 2famous.TV are always looking for guest bloggers to take part of our team. Drop us a writing sample or pitch and idea to us if you are interested in working with us! We provide a near flawless platform for our bloggers, and we do whatever it takes to promote them.