#1) Network: Blogging IS NOT just a good old boys club, but that doesn’t mean networking doesn’t help. If someone is deciding whether to link your article or a similar article, liking you may mean you get the nod. Is someone more likely to link you because they met you at CPAC? Absolutely. If someone remembers you from Facebook or Twitter, does that improve your chances of getting a link? Yep. Yep. Yep. So reach out to some people. Best case scenario, it’ll mean more traffic and opportunities. Worst case scenario, you’ll make some new friends.
#2) How to write a headline: If people are reading through a RSS reader or looking at their emails, the headlines are what will jump out at them. Make sure yours are eye catching enough to make someone want to look twice.
#3) How & when to pitch an article: It’s okay to email other bloggers and let them know about something you’ve written. However, the bigger bloggers get email in the triple digits every day. So, make sure what you’re sending them is worthwhile. Nobody wants to see your conventional take on the latest story on Drudge. A lot of blogs are happy to toss a link to a new blog — but not one that’s been updated twice in the last three days. So, if you’re going to pitch an article or your website, make sure the people you’re pitching will like what they see if you get their attention.
#4) How to take criticism: If you offer an opinion on the internet, people are going to disagree with you and many of them will be very rude about it. You will have nasty comments made about your looks, your smarts, and your motivations. You will be called a Nazi. The better known you are, the more people there are who will be rude to you. If you are a woman, you may not necessarily be criticized more, but the criticisms will be uglier and more sexual. This may sound hard to take — and it can be when you start. But, if you hang around long enough, your skin will get very thick and the worst of it will start to become perversely entertaining. Be prepared for this and don’t let the nastiness convince you to quit.
#5) How to make some money doing this: Here’s an unpleasant truth. You can have 2,000 or 3,000 people a day reading your blog and make almost nothing off of it. In fact, from what I’ve seen, until you get big enough to stand out a little bit from the crowd, say at 6,000, 7,000, 8,000 people reading you a day, you will have great difficulty making enough money to do more than pay your bills for your blog. Then, even when you do get big, if you don’t know what you’re doing and dramatically underprice your ads, you can still make a lot less money than what you should. I’ve seen people who could DOUBLE their ad rates and probably not lose any ads.
#6) How to be consistent: There are very, very few people who are so uniquely talented that they can get by with doing a post whenever they take a notion and still draw an audience. It is EXTREMELY unlikely that you are one of these people. That means you need to be committed to consistently putting out content. Is real life getting in the way? Didn’t get enough sleep? Got extra work to do at the day job? Fighting with the girlfriend? Your readers DO NOT CARE. They want their content, they want it consistently, and if you don’t give it to them, they will find someone else to do it.
#7) How to deal with disappointment: For most people, it takes a long time to build up an audience. By “long time,” I mean years — and there will be a lot of frustration along the way. You’ll get a big traffic hit and have trouble repeating it. You’ll wonder why your blog isn’t growing faster. Traffic will drop for reasons you don’t understand. You’ll work your behind off to put out PHENOMENAL articles and be unable to get anyone to link in. In other words, the road to building an audience is long and hard.