FREE: How to Start a Gossip Blog

Are you thinking of starting your own gossip blog, but just don't know how to get started?  Do you think you could be funnier and more entertaining than those other sites?  Want to earn some serious cash?

BlogCraving is offering our 6 Part Mini-Course for FREE for the first time.  That's a $199 value!

Sign up above and get instant access to the course.  If you sign up now, we will send you Lesson 1 instantly.  Then each day, we'll send you the next lesson.

Here's what you will get:

Part 1 - Your plan of attack. How to pick your killer category, and crush it.  INSTANT! Part 2 - Designing your gossip brand. How to design your site to match your voice. Part 3 - Site hosting. How to pick the best web host that can grow with you (cheap). Part 4 - Getting noticed. How to get the first eyeballs on your site, plus your next 10,000. Part 5 - Show me the money. How to generate advertising money without doing any work. Part 6 - Tracking your growth. How to track how fast you are growing, and keep it going.

You can unsubscribe at anytime.  We hate SPAM as much as you do.  Personally, we get thousands of unwanted emails a day, and we hate it.  That's why we will never send you spam, and we will never sell your information.  Your email address is safe with us.

So sign up today, and get started on your new blog right now!

Why isn't anyone reading my diary blog?

Because no one wants to read that. No seriously.  That's why.

No one cares that you got stuck in traffic, the dog made a poop in the living room, or that your kid made a funny face today.  There's nothing more boring than that kind of site.

That doesn't mean you shouldn't write it.  If it makes you happy, go for it.  Some people just like to keep a diary, and if others want to read it, fine!  However, you shouldn't expect people to come flying to your site in droves.

If you DO want to have a high traffic site with this format, it better be damn good.  The writing and stories better be phenomenal.  You had better have me falling off my chair with laughter each and every time.  Then, maybe you have a shot.

Otherwise, just be happy with what little traffic you have.

ShareThis

ShareThis LogoEveryone seems to be into the snazzy little sharing buttons lately.  It's one of the first addons people decided to put on their blogs after they are up and running. The theory is that adding these buttons will encourage people to bookmark and share your post with others if they think it is especially noteworthy.  Great concecept in theory.

In reality, the clicks on these buttons are fairly low.  However, every little bit of incremental traffic generated from them helps, right?  So why not.  Plus, you never know if a whale will bookmark you and bring a ton of traffic.

Anyway, the last thing you want to do is litter the bottom of your site with 100 little bookmark chicklets.  It looks bad and makes your site load slower.  So what's the alternative?  ShareThis

ShareThis is a bookmarking tool for your blog or website that also does a simple "Email This to a Friend" function.

Right out of the box, it comes with all the most popular social networking sites and bookmarking sites.  In about 5 minutes, you can have this configured and launched on your blog.  It also comes with a handy little plugin for Wordpress that makes the implementation slightly easier.  However, you don't need the plugin portion if you are compfortable with it on your own.

You are left with a clean, small button on the bottom of your posts that says ShareThis with a little icon.  That's it.  Nice and clean.  When clicked, it pops open to reveal your sharing options.

For you as the site owner, you can track the usage of these networking tools through the ShareThis website.  That way, you can see if people are actually using it!

How to Make Your Blog Load Faster

One of the biggest issues people come to us to solve is making their blog load faster. This is often the first challenge a growing blog faces. Eventually, your blog will become popular enough to necessitate upgrading your hosting plan. However, there's a lot you can do to put that day off for quite a while.

One of the first and most powerful things you can do is cache your homepage and posts.

What is a "cache" ?

To understand how caching works, you first have to understand a little about how Wordpress works. Without caching, here's how your blog works. When someone browses over to your site, Wordpress immediately queries your Wordpress database for all of the content and settings on the page.

A query is like a search. The site script searches the database for the appropriate content to display on the page. Every time the page is called upon by a user, the database is queried again and again. This repeated database query will eventually cause a tremendous amount of stress to the server.

The result is that pages start to load slower. Eventually, they may start timing out all together. 

Here's where caching kicks in. You are probably not updating your site thousands of times a second, right? So why should the system have to query the database over and over again for each new user that comes to the site? For example, the homepage is going to look the same for me as it did two seconds ago when you checked it. It will probably still be the same 10 minutes from now when the next guy checks.

So, what if you could query the database, and then show just the results over and over again without re-querying the database? Well, that's what a cache is.

Your site cache will save the results as a new file, and just reserve it to the next user in line. If an update to the site is made in the mean time, the cache will be cleared out for that page to reflect the new pages.

The cache will then conserve some of the load that your server faces.

Wordpress has a great plugin called WP-CACHE that handles all of this for you.

Another way to save valuable load time is to limit the amount of external content feeding into the site. If you have a lot of third party widgets and banners, they will cause your site to load slower. Loading all of that external content will slow your site because it needs to leave your server to fetch the content. Cut back on the number of ads and outsize sources you use, and you should be in better shape.

Boost Your Site Traffic in 30 Days

I stumbled upon a an old post on ProBlogger about increasing your traffic in just 30 days. At first, I didn't notice the date it was published, but I really believed in what it was saying. Then I noticed the date, and it made me laugh because the tips still hold true today. Tip 3 was worth highlighting:

Finally, I made effective use of trackback links to popular sites. If I commented on a post on another site I would make sure that I set up the appropriate trackback for it. The results from this are varied depending on the site and post that you are linking to but since I liked to comment and interact with the wider blogosphere anyway, it was free traffic!

Even though this is from 2005, it is still true today. If you want to gain respect in the blogosphere, you have to earn it. Just writing your posts and sitting around waiting for the readers to flock in doesn't work. You need to proactively get out there and make your name known.

However, I caution you against belatedly plugging yourself where ever you go. Don't just comment on someone else's post because you are looking to get clicks back to your site. And don't make your comments into a big advertisement for yourself.

Instead, actually contribute something worthwhile to the conversation. That will gain you more blogging street cred

Wordpress 2.5 is Here!

The brand spanking new Wordpress 2.5 "Brecker" is here, and just hours old. The crew over at Wordpress just cut the newest stable version loose, and of course we installed it immediately. It is awesome.

Wordpress 2.5 Write ScreenThere's a ton of new features, bells, and whistles. However, I must say, my favorite thing is the new design of the back end from a cosmetic point of view. It is very clean, simple, and easy to navigate.

It's also very BRIGHT! You actually feel lighter when you write. A very airy feel to it that makes it enjoyable to work.

The new "Write" screen also has built in tools for adding media such as YouTube videos, you own images, pdf's, audio clips, and other media. You can even toggle to full screen mode, which makes the writing a little easier when you are working on those big posts. It blows the writing area up to the full width of your browser, which then makes it look/feel like you are working inside MS Word or similar word processing software.

After typing in your headline, you also get a preview of what your permalink will look like for that article. It is placed in a clear area for you to see. I'm hoping this encourages users to think about their slugs and urls a little more. The smarter you write your slug, the better your SEO will be.

If you write a blog with more than one person, there's new features for you too! Now, you don't have to worry about being inside a post and having your partner save over your edits. Once you open a post, it will keep other editors out while you work on it. That way you aren't both working on it at the same time and saving over each other.

Tons of great features. iCast Limited is offering our professional services for this upgrade. If you would like to have us upgrade your Wordpress blog for you, it will cost you just $29.95. Contact us if you are interested in this offer.

Don't have a Wordpress blog? It is very easily to migrate your current blog over to this platform. We offer those services too.