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By learning the basics of blogging, you can amass a nice following and enjoy moderate success in the online publishing space. But if you want to become a superstar in the Blogosphere, you need to go far beyond the basics. Following are five tips inexperienced bloggers can apply to take their efforts to the next level.
1. Use the Right Tools
Free blogging platforms like WordPress and Blogger are great, but depending on your requirements, they may only be able to take you so far. You may require a platform that offers more advanced tools. Perhaps this is another free application, maybe it is an enterprise-level CMS you have to pay for. There is nothing wrong with upgrading your blogging platform, just make sure that you are scaling up to the right one.
2. Find a Business Model
If you want to join the countless number of bloggers who are earning a living at their craft, you need to come up with a business model that enables you to monetize your blogging efforts. So what is the right business model? Well, that all depends, but ideally, you want to come up with something that delivers value and drives money through your blog. I recommend checking out some of the competitors in your niche so you can get an idea of what may or may not work.
[editor's note: You may also want to check out the tips from Fuel Your Venture!]
3. Be Weary of Advertising
Quite a few bloggers have made a viable business model of posting advertisements from third-parties on their homepage. While this has worked for several marketers, it isn’t necessarily the best practice, especially these days. Not only could a blog that is drenched in advertisements turn off visitors, it might also deduct from your SEO value when the search spiders crawl by to index your site. Google and other search engines are starting to penalize bloggers that put ads before the organic content designed for human visitors.
4. Offer Incentives
Companies in numerous industries offer incentives as a way to butter up consumers and get them to buy into something. The same tricks work in the blogging world. There are many valuable goodies you can offer, too. For instance, many of your readers will likely jump at the opportunity to receive free themes, plugins, or other items that could enhance their blog. Offer something people want, and incentives can work wonders.
5. Upgrade Your Skills
Most blogging tools are specifically designed to be easy to use. However, most also tend to be pretty flexible in terms of modification possibilities, and the more technically inclined you are, the better. You don’t need to become a full-time programmer, but it wouldn’t hurt to get familiar with technologies such as HTML, CSS, and MySQL. Basic knowledge of these applications can take your blogging capabilities a long way.
No matter how long you have been a blogger, there are always things you can do to improve. Stay sharp, and you’ll maintain that edge needed to keep the competition at bay.
Aidan Hijleh is a freelance copywriter and serves as the Non-Profit Partnership Liaison for Benchmark Email. Aidan advocates free email marketing services to assist with the flourishing of grassroots organizations.