The story of a blog, from birth to...?

Monday, September 04, 2006

Birth, and learning how to crawl

My two blogs are now up and running! I suppose I could have started with just one, but I'm a little wired these days for some reason. There's something about having outlets for writing that makes me want to, well, write, but also to learn what I can about this new medium. Oh, and right after I published my first post I got an email from the aforementioned career mentor Penelope Trunk, who had some nice comments - very gratifying!

One of the first articles I came across last week was by Steve Pavlina, How to make money from your blog. Steve generously lays it on the line with a reality check - basically that not everyone CAN make money from blogging, only smart people; since I am arrogant enough to think I'm smart, I kept reading. One thing I'm wondering, though, Steve, if you're reading this; where do you get your estimate that only one in a hundred people can make money on their blogs? Is your denominator 100 blogs of any kind? I don't mean to quibble, but I'm an epidemiologist, and these are the kinds of questions we ask.

With the smarts qualification out of the way, Steve goes on to list all the kinds of information with which successful bloggers should be conversant, and even where to find it. I've written these down and will proceed to educate myself on each of them. One thing I've noticed is that, at least at my primitive level of web savvy, background information on web technologies, to the extent that it's publicly available, can be found on the web. Makes sense, doesn't it? Steve suggests Wikipedia.

I skipped ahead to Steve's section on drawing traffic to your blog, and I also liked Biz Stone's related article on Blogger; from those, I made a list of internal Blogger tweaks and other strategies, and done the following (for both blogs unless otherwise indicated):
  • Activated the NavBar, Post Pages, and Site Feed functions [Question: Can I add an RSS button to my blog? I have learned that you can just type rss.xml after the url, but that's probably not obvious to everyone.]
  • Added the blogs to Blogger's listings
  • Put my blog URL (for the professional blog) in my email signature
  • Activated AdSense (this blog only) (I will probably write more about this)
  • According to a friend's suggestion, I changed the health blog URL to include the word health.
Next steps:
  • Add professional blog URL to business cards the next time I print some
  • Add a blogroll
  • Submitting to blog search engines like Technorati and Popdex (note: Biz cited Daypop and Blogdex, and it appears both of those are dead)
  • Commenting on other people's blogs - have started doing this, but need to remember to include the blog URL when I do this... ahem
  • Think about whether staying on Blogger is ok for now or whether I should summon the gumption to get my own domain name or names for increased control.
By the way, have I mentioned that, for all intents and purposes, I am not a programmer, or a geek (at least not yet)? That's just by way of emphasizing that I'm sure to say a lot of naive or just plain boneheaded things here, which is kind of the point because I'm trying to learn. So while I'm thrilled to have comments, your kindness and patience are most appreciated.


Edit (added 9/6/06): I've just learned that leaving your URL in a comment on someone else's site to draw attention to your own site is a crass practice known as comment spamming. My apologies if I've done it to you; I simply hadn't thought it through, but I can see now how it can be abused and that it's not cool, and I won't do it again, promise!


Stine said...

That is very useful information Emily, thanks for posting it! :)

Stine (from 43T)

Ruth said...

Fabulous stuff! Thank you for assembling all this info (and the great links) in one place!

Emily DeVoto said...

Thanks for stopping by, Stine and Ruth!