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Blogs, Domain Names, And Web Visibility – Ask Anne The Pro Writer

Hi Anne,

I am curious about the differences between blogs and Web sites in terms of “visibility” on the Web. I’ve had a blog for ages but only my friends have read it, and I would assume that if I had a Web site with its own domain name (and a way to search for it via Google, Yahoo, et al.), it would get more hits. Also, has anyone out there used Yahoo as a Web host and if so, what was your experience with them? Thanks!

-Alissa (in comments) 

Hi Alissa,

Interesting question. I assume only your friends read your blog because it’s part of blogger or other large network, doesn’t have it’s own domain name and you only let a few people know about it. Of course, if someone popular mentions your blog and links to it you could suddenly have thousands of readers. And you might find, if you google your name, that more is aviable at least in theory through google or other search engines than you realize.

A website or a blog with its own domain name doesn’t mean a whole lot. It may be a bit more visible, but until you do some marketing, some linking and some promotion, you won’t have many visitors.

The keys to a well read blog pretty turn out to be the same to a well read book or article or whatever. You’ve got to write, rewrite and market. Good content is required and so is marketing.

There’s a similarity between web marketing and magazine renewals. Magazines want a 50% renewal rate; that’s what’s needed to be profitable. I suspect a 50% return rate is the   point for websites as well, although I’m just guessing. 

The major difference is it takes a magazine a year to discover if a reader likes the content. On the web that can happen much more quickly.

[askanne]

[sig]

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{ 7 comments… add one }
  • Hi Anne,

    You’re right about the domain name having little to with the site’s traffic. Both literary agent Nathan Bransford (http://nathanbransford.blogspot.com) and writer J. A. Konrath (http://jakonrath.blogspot.com/) use Google’s blogger for their blogs and each has a ton of traffic. Both dispense some terrific information and insight…as does your site.

    You’ve already touched on some of the things to do. Here are some other ideas (or perhaps just phrased differently):
    * Write your passion.
    * Know your audience.
    * Have a tag line that summarizes what your blog is about.
    * Write what you know.
    * Be yourself.
    * Be different from the pack. (The writing blogs are legion, it’s hard to break out with one about writing).
    * Mingle. Go out and comment on other sites.
    * Link to other sites.
    * Email another blogger with topics you’d like to see.
    * Link within your blog to other posts.

    I’m sure there are others.

    Good luck,
    Norm (Timberati)

    Norm’s last blog post..Timber’s Term of the Week: Barber Chair

  • Deb

    Alyssa,
    I have a new blog (just started in February), and my blog host had options that enabled me to have it submitted to Search Engines. You might look for that in the WordPress help articles. I have heard that they are really good, and plan to host another blog that I am working on with them.
    On the GENERAL side of information, however, I have learned that it takes up to 6 weeks for your blog/site to appear in the search engines, so follow Devon’s instructions and leave your signature on as many RELEVANT sites as possible. Also, check on ABOUT.COM for free articles about SEO (Search Engine Optimization). Good Luck!

    Deb’s last blog post..Free Anti-Virus and other Utilities

  • Also remember, if you expect people beyond family and friends to read your blog, you have to make the effort to go around to other blogs and leave comments. If you want to have cyber-friends, you have to be a cyber-friend.

    As far as wordpress, their support is superb. Shoot them an email and you’ll get an answer in a couple of hours that actually works.

    Devon Ellington’s last blog post..Racing Ink — Kentucky Derby Predictions 2009

  • admin

    Lana, I can’t get into this type of tech support… I don’t know enough and I don’t know how your blog is set up. WordPress does have a forum – http://wordpress.org/support/ – there’s a lot to search through there. Also I recomment Yaro Starak’s Become A Blogger . Sign up for notification so if you decide you want the course you’ll know when it starts again, then go to http://www.becomeablogger.com/ This link will take you to some free videos he’s done that may help.

    A

  • admin

    Lana, I can’t get into this type of tech support… I don’t know enough and I don’t know how your blog is set up. WordPress does have a forum – http://wordpress.org/support/ – there’s a lot to search through there. Also I recomment Yaro Starak’s Become A Blogger . Take a look even if you don’t want to sign up. This link will take you to some free videos he’s done that may help.

    A

  • admin

    Lana, I can’t get into this type of tech support… I don’t know enough and I don’t know how your blog is set up. WordPress does have a forum – http://wordpress.org/support/ – there’s a lot to search through there. Also I recomment Yaro Starak’s . Take a look even if you don’t want to sign up. This link will take you to some free videos he’s done that may help.

    A

  • Lana

    Hi Anne,
    I have a somewhat related question. I have a WordPress blog but HOW do I add links? I’m technically-challenged so pretend you’re talking to a child! 🙂 Do I add it to the blogroll (which I don’t understand) and what exactly is RSS feed?
    Thanks!!!

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