Table of Contents

Legal Notice....................................................................................2


Ìntroduction......................................................................................3


Method To The Madness (Methodology)........................................4


By The Numbers (Questionnaire Results) ......................................5 - 6


Tips, Tricks, Do's and Don'ts ..........................................................7 - 9


Conclusion.......................................................................................10


Bio....................................................................................................10






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Legal Notice

Copyright 2010 - 2011 Jeremy Delancy

The information in Building A Better Blog is written to help you become a more successful blogger. There is
no guarantee stated or implied, that you will automatically become successful. The author of this document takes no
responsibility for any actions undertaken by you, the reader. The author of this document shall not be deemed
responsible for anything that happens upon visiting websites mentioned or hypertexted. The author does not
endorse, is not affiliated with or paid by any of the blogs mentioned herein, unless otherwise stated. Remember,
partnering involves financial and legal issues which this document does not cover. The author suggests the help of
professionals where possible.

LegaI Do's and Don'ts

Do give away and share
Do give as a part of a package of information products
Do link or embed the full document to a blog or website
Don't send this document around as your own
Don't take apart to make smaller articles
Don't re-brand as your own e-book
Don't offer to article sites
Don't sell anywhere or at anytime.


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Ìntroduction:

Several months ago Ì decided to expand my range of skills and gain new experience
in wordsmithing. By assisting bloggers in building better blogs Ì hoped to create a
specialty niche while earning extra income. First, Ì would need answers to basic
questions:
What assistance do bloggers need, if any?
What are their main challenges?
Why do so many fail so quickly?

To answer these questions Ì could have continued to read blogs on blogging
(Copyblogger) but instead Ì decided to ask bloggers themselves. This report is the
culmination of my research. Ìt also includes strategies and tactics that have been
proven to work for successful bloggers.
Ì hope you enjoy!


J.K.D










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Method To The Madness

Ìf you've ever felt that there's lots of competition in the blogosphere, you were
right. A recent study found that there are 126 million blogs worldwide. Around 36
million blogs are owned by Americans. A quick calculation shows that there is one
blog for every eight U.S citizens. Ìf you want to crunch the numbers yourself go here
and here.

Criteria

For this research Ì reviewed over 250 blogs in the areas of Self-help, Personal
Finance, Entrepreneurship, Christian Living, Running A Home Business, Woodwork and
Eco-Friendly Lifestyles. Bloggers that were contacted met the following criteria:

* Were still active
* Listed on Technorati at low to Medium Authority in their respective areas
* 2,000 or more unique visitors as listed by Compete.com, unless there was
some extremely interesting content. The danger of using
Compete.com can be found here.
* Had an "About¨ Page
* Had a "Contact¨ page that worked.


Less than half of the blogs reviewed met the above criteria. Questions were sent to
bloggers and 24.6% of those questioned, returned answers.


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By The Numbers

The answers to the questions varied in their wording, and so they are quantified
by the ideas expressed.

Give three things that you know now that you did not know when you started?

There appeared to be no common theme among bloggers who answered, however,
those who blog as a source of income mentioned Search Engine Optimization and the
need for quality content. (See: Search Engine Optimization, Do You Really Need Ìt?)

37.5% said Time Management was a major problem. Time management issues
included; procrastination and Work/Life Balance. For 18% of respondents Researching
and producing new new content was the biggest problem. (See: Even The Lone
Ranger Had Tonto)

How Iong does it usuaIIy take to move from new idea to bIog posts?

Minutes to months. The shortest length of time given by any blogger was 30
minutes and the longest was three months. While bloggers gave different reasons as to
why, understanding the discrepancy was accomplished by reading the blog posts. The
speed of production for blog posts is tied to the Depth to which is the subject is covered,
Knowledge of Subject Matter, Experience and the Level of Comfort that each blogger
has with writing. (See: Getting Ìdeas)

If you had unIimited resources how wouId you change the bIog website?

18.75% said they would hire more writers
18.75% said they would redesign the blog
18.75% said they would hire people to provide technical support
18.75% said they would add/change some technology, either by adding video or
speeding up load times.




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Where wouId you Iike to be in terms of bIogging within the next six months to two
years?

18.75% said they wanted to be profitable.
18.75% said they wanted to increase readership
6.25% said that they would like to create a product of some sort
6.25% wish to produce better content
6.25% have no definite plans

Overall the answers are not surprising. Most of the well-known bloggers have also
faced the same problems at some point in their career. Your questions should now
be, "How does this effect me, and what can Ì do to improve my situation?¨


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Tips, Tricks, Do's and Don'ts

This section is not meant to be ah exhaustive review of how to make your particular
blog better, instead these are some general guidelines that will be useful to every
blogger.

Do Create an IdeaI Reader ProfiIe - Who is your ideal reader, What else do they
read, what is their age and gender, what are they searching for? Asking yourself these
questions will allow you to focus your time and talents.

Do Be Consistent - A number of respondents talked about increasing the volume of
their output. The question that should be asked is not "How often should Ì write?¨
but "What do my readers need/expect in terms of frequency and quality?¨. Whether you
decide to blog daily, weekly or monthly, remember that consistency, not frequency, is
key.

Do Use Keyword Searches - Use Wordtracker or similar programmes to find out what
it is your audience is looking for, then write posts related to their searches. Whenever
a person searches for a particular topic they will eventually end up at your blog.

Getting Ideas - Really this should be termed, "Keeping Ìdeas¨. Ìf you're more than an
occasional writer then you know how it feels to have an idea for a great blog post pop
into your head and then evaporate because you procrastinated. Try keeping an idea
journal, a little book in which you can write ideas before they disappear. This only
works if you keep the journal close at hand.

Search Engine Optimization - According to Wikipedia, " The process of improving the


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visibility of a website or a web page in search engines via the "natural or unpaid search
results.¨ Search Engine Optimization tips are too numerous to count, but the question
to ask is, "Ìs it really needed?¨
This blogger didn't use S.E.O tactics until after he had gained 250,000 readers
per month. How? He pitched his ideas to the Wall Street Journal multiple times until
they relented. He later went on to write the New York Times, bestseller, "Ì Will Teach
You To Be Rich¨. Ìnstead of only concentrating on S.E.O try to get featured in local or
national media, when you become the "voice of authority¨ in your subject area more
people will visit your blog.

BIoggers Get PIoughed Under on FarmviIIe - This would make a great headline on
someone's blog. True story. Ìn doing this research Ì came across a blog on Personal
Finance (Ì think) which had an embedded Youtube video of a guy dancing badly. The
dancing guy was was joined by more and more people until he had a crowd around
him, with everyone dancing badly. The narrator used this video to explain leadership.
Ì then watched a video from Mint.com and within 15 minutes Ì was searching for Bugs
Bunny videos on Youtube. Two hours later Ì went to bed having forgotten about the
blog where Ì had originally started.
This story illustrates some of the dangers of social media. Ìf you place an link or
embed a video above the fold and in the center of the page you may lose your new
reader before he/she is fully engaged with your content. Readers that you send to
Facebook can begin to do their usual Facebook activities such as tending their farms or
chatting with friends. Where possible make sure that social media traffic flows in one
direction, from them to you.


Even the Lone Ranger had Tonto - Bad news, the good ole' days of a blogger alone
at home in his underwear, making millions is coming to an end. Readers are beginning
to expect more and more from their favourite blog, such as video and graphics. Trying
to do everything yourself is a sure path to burnout. Ìnstead focus on your specialty and


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partner with other people whose strengths compensate for your weaknesses.
Even if your blog doesn't make any money, there are other ways to remunerate your
partners for their efforts.

Hub or spoke - Which way does traffic move on your blog? Does it move from a
website or landing page to your blog, or does it move the reader from your blog to a
website that sells a product or service? Ìt's important for you to know the answers to
these questions, particularly if you're blogging for profit. For instance if a blog sends the
reader to a landing page that sells a product, then the blog itself may need to have a
sales tone so that the reader is encouraged to purchase the item.


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ConcIusion

My hat goes off to all bloggers who've survived more than two years, particularly
if they've been working alone and trying to do everything. The speed at which the Web
is changing and the continuously rising expectations of readers will be very challenging
to small and medium sized blogs.
As this report shows, there are some simple changes that almost every blogger
can make to improve readership. Ì hope that you have found this report both useful and
enjoyable. Thank you for reading and please contact me if you have any questions or
comments.


BIO

Since graduating from Barry University in Florida, Jeremy Delancy has pursued
career paths in welding, teaching and writing. Currently, he works as a Speech Writer
in The Bahamas. An expert researcher and passionate communicator, Jeremy sets
aside time to freelance with highly motivated, busy bloggers who need assistance with:
Ŷ Research
Ŷ Editing
Ŷ Proofing
Ŷ Writing
Ŷ Maintaining an editorial calendar

Submit your questions or hiring inquiries to Jeremy Delancy at
delancyj67@gmail.com


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