Thursday, July 19, 2007

Tips for New Blogspot Bloggers

I started my blog on Blogspot about couple months. Since then, I have learned a lot and wish I would have known what I know when I started. I want to share a few tips to you.

1. Register a custom domain right away.

If you are serious about your blog, you should register a domain name. First, people aren't going to remember most .blogspot addresses. Second, using your own domain provides more future flexibility. If you want to move to wordpress or another platform, you can keep the same address and just change the underlying page. This is very helpful for link building and other SEO strategies. If you are spending a lot of time link building, then it would suck if you had a ton of links to a .blogspot address and decided you wanted a custom domain or wanted to move to wordpress.

2. Edit your theme or design before you go live.

This was another mistake I made. First, I think it important to have a custom template that distinguishes your blog from other blogspot blogs. However, when I started on blogspot, I spent the majority of my time editing the layout and learning how to modify themes. This caused me to neglect the actual posting of content, which is the cornerstone of any good blog. Also, if you are modifying the theme of an existing blogspot blog, it is helpful to start a new blog just for editing the theme. Then once you have a perfect theme, you can transfer the code from this test blog to your original blog.

3. Determine Category/Label Names

Most bloggers suggest having about 15 categories/labels or less that organize your posts. When I started blogging, I basically had a category for each post. This method was OK, until I had more and more posts. Then, I needed a category system to effectively label these posts. The problem with changing labels, is if Google has already indexed your page. I think google loves these category titles for indexing. In my stats, I see a large amount of search traffic being directed to label url address (if you click on the label in blogspot you will be directed to a page that has a custom url defined partially by the name of the label). Now if you change the label name, then your the previously indexed label pages that people are finding through Google will link to an empty blogger page. I assume this problem will correct itself over time, but it would be a good idea to have predetermined labels before posting to avoid this problem. Check out online dictionaries in your niche for good ways to categorize your posts.