Ok, you have probably heard me say it before about some of my online crushes, yes I have many, all of them so dreamy and so talented. Sounds like I am a wild child, well yes I am but the funny thing is even with all of these crushes I am still devoted to one man...the love of my life...the computer scientist.
The computer scientist sometimes nags me and sometimes he gets very jealous..
You see my online crushes are talent crushes and I have to say since blogging I spend more time reading and reading.
We both love information and one day I asked him to send me to a new talent crush, why because I want to be a better blogger, I want more readers...
I love writing..now all I need to do is understand some of the intricate parts of blogging.
He was happy to help me but at the same time wondering if he made a very huge mistake and will he and I ever have some time alone again?
I spend hours reading a particular blog and I am so flattered and thrilled to have one of my many talent crushes interview with me..anyone who reads him knows him as "THE PROBLOGGER"....
I have a crush on his writing....I follow him on twitter..he recently co-authored a book...DARREN ROWSE!
Tell us a little bit about yourself and how you got started blogging? "You can read the full Darren Rowse blogging story here (http://www.problogger.net/archives/2006/01/25/becoming-a-problogger/) but in brief: I live in Melbourne Australia with my wife, toddler (he's almost 2) and soon to be born baby.
"I started blogging back in 2002 on a personal blog which I started to record the journey of starting a new church (in my previous life I was a minister). I learned a lot from that blog and over the coming years started a number of other more commercial blogs including ProBlogger (a blog about blogging) and Digital Photography School (a photography tips blog).
I also have met a lot of other bloggers through ProBlogger which has opened up a number of opportunities including to start b5media (a blog network with over 300 blogs) and write a book."
Can you give us a few tips for the novice blogger in regards to topic, growing communities and getting their blogs read? "Choosing a topic is really important. Ideally you want to write on a topic that you have an interest in, that you know about and can see yourself writing regular content on for years (it's a long term thing), that is popular (it's hard to grow a blog's readership if you're the only one interested) and that there's not a lot of competition.
That sounds like a big ask but every day I come across bloggers who've founded blogs with this sort of mix of factors working for them.
In terms of getting your blog read - there's a lot of things I could suggest (I've written literally hundreds of posts on the topic and we write quite a bit about it in the book) but here are a few tips:
Identify other key blogs, forums and sites where the kind of reader that you want area already gathering. "Then work hard to become a part of the community in these sites. The goal isn't to spam them but to add value to them to the point that people want to know more about you and come searching for what else you do."
Pay a lot of attention to the readers who come to your blog. "They can sell your blog for you as they go about their daily business - word of mouth is so important."
Engage in the wider blogging community around your topic. "Write guest posts on their blogs, leave useful comments, link to other blogs. All of these helps grow your profile."
Explore social media sites like Facebook, Digg.com, Twitter.com and see if there are opportunities there to engage with people and promote yourself/grow your profile."
How many subscribers do you have on Problogger.net? "It varies from day to day but it generally between 45,000 to 48,000 at the moment. He has over 15,000 unique visits on some days and 20,000 or more on other days."
I am so excited that you have co-authored a book, what makes the book so different from your Blog? And why should I buy the book vs. reading your blogs? "There's a definite overlap between the blog and the book - however the blog has been going now for 3 and a half years and has 4000+ posts on it. Some of these posts are a little dated and while I attempt to give readers good ways of accessing the best stuff it's presented in chronological order and isn't the kind of thing you could read in an order that might be sensible for a new blogger.
The book on the other hand is up to date, ordered in a logical way that leads readers through different topics and areas that they need to consider in starting a successful blog. It's written in a language that a beginner can understand and an intermediate blogger will be able to go further with.
Personally I think you should read the book AND the blog :-)"
Can you give us a few SEO Tips? "Search Engines are a logical place for a blogger to desire to get traffic from. While other social media sites have become popular in helping people find information online the majority of people still head to Google when they want to access information.
Blogs are naturally pretty good at ranking well in Google but there are a number of things that you can do to enhance this and rank higher:
- Post frequently - Google loves sites that update regularly. Also every time you post you create another page that Google can index and potentially send someone to. It's like every post you write is another open door to someone finding you.
Titles are Important - Search Engines pay particular attention to the title that you give your post to determine what it is about and what to rank it most highly for. Use the keywords that you want to be found for in your titles.
- Keyword Density - also use those same keywords in the post that you write numerous times. The higher the density of your use of those words (within reason) the more obvious it is to Google that that's what your post is about. Don't go over the top with it but use the words in your first line and throughout the post. Also bold them and use them in sub headings as these things are other triggers to Google.
- Attempt to Get Links from others - every time someone links to your post it's like a 'vote' in the eyes of Google that your post is worthwhile. The more 'votes' the more authority Google gives it (that's a very simplistic way of describing it and there's more to it than that - but it's a factor). As a result you want to write content that you think other bloggers and sites will find interesting and useful and it can be worthwhile your time pitching your best posts to other relevant bloggers.
There's a lot more to it than that - but they are some good areas to start working on."
Do you have any weaknesses when it comes to blogging? "Like many bloggers I can get quite addicted to it and spend too much time online. I try to set myself boundaries for when I am online and when I take breaks - but it can be hard because I love it so much!"
How often do you post? "I try to post to ProBlogger at least twice a day and to Digital Photography School once a day."
We are a real estate community and there has been much debate, in your professional opinion, do you think we should just write about real estate? "I encourage bloggers to stick to their core topic for the majority of the time. The more you go off topic the less focused your blog becomes and the less likely you are to find readers who share your wide variety of interests. Do inject a little personality into your blog and don't be afraid to share some of the other parts of your life - but if you're trying to use your blog to build your profile and expertise in a particular niche/topic then you'll want to stick to that topic most of the time."
Ok, now I know you are on twitter, facebook among other places, what social network platforms do you enjoy and think will be helpful for us to grow our communities and our business? "I personally enjoy Twitter a lot. I find it to be a space that is very personal, interactive and playful. It is also increasingly sending me decent traffic to my blogs as I grow the number of 'followers' that I have there.
I think the platforms that you use will vary from topic to topic and depending upon your personality. Some social media sites are more appealing to different demographics and topics so you should experiment with a lot of them - but then concentrate on those that work best for you."
Please explain to us how you feel about commenting on blogs and of course your blog? "Commenting on other people's blogs is one of the most basic and effective ways to grow your own profile and traffic in a niche. My approach is to only leave comments on another blog if you have something useful to say. If your comment benefits others you're more likely to have it come back to benefit you.
If you spam other people's comments you'll hurt your brand."
Check out some early post you might find useful!
search-engine-optimization written in 2004
why-lists-are-good-for-getting-traffic-to-your-blog, written in 2005
Blog Mistakes written in 2006
I have to say, when he said yes to my request, I was so excited. As a matter of fact, my crush rekindled going through some of his archives...so if you are new or experienced really doesn't matter..
I guarantee if you take the time to read his blog..and practice what he preaches I too believe you will increase your readership, your subscribers and your business too! If you find his words useful in your business buy the Problogger book today!
"Unlike other books that are big on potential and theory, ProBlogger provides results based on the authors own experience of what really works through practical, tried and tested advice. Wiley"