Beginner Blogging Tip

Man, it’s cold here in Toronto! I can’t believe I left sunny spring weather in Vancouver to freeze my butt off in hog town. At any rate, I’ve been getting a lot of requests asking how to get started in blogging. I guess people don’t want to read this blog from start to finish to find the answers. Here are some beginner blogging tips to get you off on the right foot (or whichever foot you step off on).

Pick a Topic That You’re Passionate about

The worst thing you can do is blog about a topic because it pays the most. While keywords like Asbestos Cancer may pay a lot, they’re really boring to write about. This blog covers topics that I’m passionate about – cars, fine dining, technology, Internet, finance, and money. I never get bored writing about this stuff. When you’re passionate about your topic, it shows through in your writing and readers connect with it.

Blogs attract like-minded people together. Chances are really high that the person reading your blog is passionate about the topic you’re writing about. If you’re not passionate about your topics, the readers will see that and won’t stick around.

It’s All About The Content

There is no magic formula to creating a successful blog. Pretty much everything hinges on the content. If you were to ask why my blog got so big so fast, I have to say it’s because of the content. Why else would someone read a blog? You content needs to be good and it needs to be unique. You need to write about stuff that other people are not writing about or put a new spin on an old idea. You won’t be very big if you just repost the local news.

Good content will get you readers and links from other blogs. Good content will get on the front page of Digg and other social news media site (unless you’re on auto buried).

Don’t Worry About The Money

Your number one concern should be producing good content. Don’t worry so much about making money. The money will come if your content is good. Content is the foundation your blog is built on. Without content, nothing happens.

Too many people put the cart before the horse. They want to see the money but they’re don’t see the level of work it takes to get there. Producing unique content day after day is not easy. This is why you need a topic that you’re passionate about. If you’re not interested in the topic, then chances are you won’t be producing much content.

Build Relations With Fellow Bloggers

Get to know other blogs in your niche. Not only is this a good way to get your name out in the community but it’s also a good way to find new topics to write about. I have gotten many story ideas from reading other Internet moneymaking blogs. Link to those other blogs that gave you the story idea and send them a trackback. That will make them check you out. If they like what they read, they may link to something you wrote about. However, if you don’t build the relationship, there won’t be much link love.

Have Fun At This

If you’re not having fun blogging then you’re in the wrong business. When I get up in the morning, the first thing I want to do is read all the comments from the night before. I enjoy blogging because it’s fun. This really is a fun business and you shouldn’t take it too seriously.


104 thoughts on “Beginner Blogging Tip”

  1. Peter-Jan says:

    Aha, again a post written by Mister Chow himself, and it’s not a ReviewMe article! Glad to see that.

    1. Matt Jones says:

      Yeah it makes a welcome change ๐Ÿ™‚

      1. jake says:

        very welcome change

      2. Great Article. ๐Ÿ™‚
        Thank you again. You’re the master. ๐Ÿ‘ฟ
        ๐Ÿ˜†

    2. John, I saw that your site and Stephen Fung’s (on the same server as yours) were hacked again this week for a little while.

      Why don’t you write some posts about what happened and how you guys fixed it. I think other bloggers will learn from your mistakes as well!

      1. Derrich says:

        I agree. Sucks to get hacked. ๐Ÿ™„

    3. soundofgold says:

      I bet John is working on some superevil scheme how to get his readers to pay him for writing his own articles on his blog.

      Otherwise it’s going to be only ReviewMe, pics of food and guest writers ๐Ÿ˜€

  2. Great article John…makes alot of sense to be passionate because I know it gets hard sometimes to come up with great articles everyday for starting a clothing line ….it can sound boring that’s is why I try and keep all my topics and titles interesting…my blog was growing pretty fast until I changed the permalink setting and google couldn’t find my articles and didn’t update with the new links for some reason and now my traffic dropped by over 50%…any suggestions on how I can get them to re index the new permalink settings…or do I have to just wait until they decide????? ๐Ÿ˜ฏ

    1. Walter Vos says:

      Did you submit an xml sitemap of you website to google? Download the wordpress plugin that makes sitemaps automatically here and submit it with google webmaster central. This should give google more insight in how to crawl your website.

      1. Matt Jones says:

        Now a sitemap tutoral would be a useful post from John…

        1. Marc says:

          You can just go get a sitemap plugin…

        2. Derrich says:

          I bet he’s written about it before. Search is your friend. ๐Ÿ˜›

      2. that’s is exactly what I did…but it didn’t speed up the process… ๐Ÿ™ …I’m just waiting …and I was on the first page of google …now my feedburner is on the 2nd page..??? I don’t know what’s going on. Yahoo had no problem with the update I’m still on first page for the term start a clothing line, how to start a clothing line, and other variations of it..but google just dropped me!

  3. Hey man, once again, another nice post. I check your blog everyday, it’s very good I must say. You are the one who inspired me to make my own blog. You really are a blog king haha.. I have a question, you say build relationships withother bloggers and such. So to build the relationships with them do you just suggest on commenting them alot and such? Just wondering because I need to build some relationships for my blog hah.. Well I’m going to go, expect a nice review on my blog for the link sometime this weekend.

    – Russell Wagner http://www.russellwagner.com

    1. shokthx says:

      Over the past few weeks I have been using MyBlogLog in addition to commenting on the other blogs. It seems to work really good.
      BTW-it won’t work if your not sincerely interested in what is on the other blog.

      1. Matt Jones says:

        Yeah mybloglog is a good way to ‘network’, just find as many ways to communicate with them aspossible, you might find them on Mylot as well.

  4. shokthx says:

    I think you could emphasize the content part more. You can’t get anywhere blogging once a week.
    Another great post John. You going to Niagara Falls while your there?

    1. John Chow says:

      I am going to Niagara Falls tomorrow.

      1. Gath says:

        Make sure you go on the Hurricane ramp (Canadian side) as well as the Maid of the Mist – both are fantastic.

      2. jake says:

        i remember going to niagra falls when i was a kid, aah, the memories.

      3. Derrich says:

        I’ve never been before, but definitely on my list of places to go.

  5. Daniel says:

    Hello, my name is Daniel, alive in Argentina. Much English but treatment not to ***reflx mng it, interests much power to me to learn on like making money in Internet? I do not have I work and costs much to obtain it and this would be a good labor exit, attempt to read everything to learn but every day, from already I thank for education. I request excuses but use a translator to be able to read them or to write to them.

  6. Martin says:

    Really great post John!

    I think that passion + having fun are by far the most important factors:
    If you are writing with passion, your readers are going to notice it. If you can also relax and have fun while doing it, people are going to keep coming for more. Cause in the same way you can tell when someone is smiling while speaking on the phone, you can also “feel” that someone is having a good time writing a post. And Everybody is attracted to passionate, confident and fun people.

    In my opinion, this can be applied to almost everything in life, not only to blogging.

    cheers!

    1. Some people forget why they’re even doing what they do, as far as work is concerned. It’s good to re-evaluate from time to time.

  7. Shaun Carter says:

    You hit the nail on the head about focusing on content rather than revenue in the beginning. I made the mistake of worrying too much about placing advertising when I started my first blog a few years ago and it never got off the ground. My new blog only has Kontera content-links in it (thanks for the hookup John!) and I don’t plan on adding any other forms of advertising to the site until it has grown significantly.

    For now, just content, content, content.

    1. I couldn’t have said it better; people read your stuff because they think it’s worth reading. Earning from great content is an eventuality.

  8. parvez hyder says:

    ๐Ÿ˜† Its good to view this blog as i have learnt a lot from it hope it works out for me as im a beginer.

    1. I’ve recommended friends and family to check out the dot com mogul’s site and they found it very useful, especially those who’re planning to start a blog. ๐Ÿ™‚

  9. jake says:

    hey everybody, i am currently offering a blog promotion in which all you have to do is comment on my site 10 times and i will link to your site. read the rules at http://www.undergroundrevolt.org/comment-for-a-link-back/

    1. Gary Lee says:

      another rule should be not blatantly “spamming” promotions on other people’s blogs ๐Ÿ™‚ . . . anyways, interesting post John . . . is this where you’re going to talk about recycling your old posts since you have 50+% new readers?

      1. Derrich says:

        Recycling posts saves the blogvironment. :mrgreen:

    2. Whoah. This seems like something from the John Chow Evil Playbook!

      1. Marc says:

        Nah, John’s evil ideas always carry a bit more style to them.

  10. zakman says:

    You hit bull’s eye there John — Content IS King.

    When I was kinda young and kinda new to the Internet, I used to wonder (DUH) why do people spend so much time, money and effort to put up so much information for other people to use — and FREE???

    Alright, then I got the advertising concept, and I thought they were all selling some services or goods, so the site owner gets a commission. And THEN —

    I click on an ad, and then there’s no one selling any service or product! There’s simpy more content, more information — all FREE!

    My anaytical, mathematical mind would suggest that, ultimately, all the browsing would lead to one site that ONLY sells stuff (Microsoft?). But I’ve YET to come across any site even remotely like that.

    Let me be honest and say I STILL don’t get the logistics of the Make Make Online game. I mean, not clear enough to put down on paper, though I have some fuzzy idea.

    Well, back to “Content is King”, I understand that people visit websites/blogs to read stuff, and not to click on ads.

    And of course, you’ve got be passionate about what your topic. For example, ask yourself a question:

    Would you stop blogging if you made 10 million dollars?

    Probably not, BECAUSE you’re passionate about it.

    If your answer was ‘YES’, then you probably would never make that 10 million, cause you’re not passionate enough to write about it, offer good content and value.

    Ooops… I didn’t set out to write a novel, sorry!

    Hope it’s not depleting your bandwidth John! ๐Ÿ˜‰

    1. Matt Jones says:

      What don’t you understand about the ‘make money online game’?

  11. jake says:

    o buzz off gary. i can promote my ideas on this site if i want to.

    1. kenny says:

      Did you read John’s 4th point? :mrgreen:

      1. Marc says:

        Yeah, starting fights with other bloggers is not very productive with respect to John’s 4th point.

        1. Derrich says:

          Ok. Who wants some of this???

          *runs & hides*

    2. Gath says:

      Maybe you should read:
      http://findingthemoney.blogspot.com/2007/04/how-to-annoy-entire-blogosphere.html

      not my blog (or a friends) just some great advice.

  12. Johnny_Cash says:

    This is good blogging tips, but is not evil enough!

    You need to write another post, “Complete evil beginner’s blogging guide!”

    1. blabWire says:

      I agree. This post has lots of great tips, but I’m not sure it offers an insight into exactly what John did. For a great post, I would like John to post a month by month timeline for the past year or two.

      blabEditor

      1. Derrich says:

        #4 would have been “start fights with other bloggers immediately” ๐Ÿ˜ˆ

  13. Collis says:

    If youโ€™re not having fun blogging then youโ€™re in the wrong business. When I get up in the morning, the first thing I want to do is read all the comments from the night before. I enjoy blogging because itโ€™s fun. This really is a fun business and you shouldnโ€™t take it too seriously.

    AMEN! ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Matt Jones says:

      Yeah reading comments is great, Its good to know that John actually reads them all ๐Ÿ™‚

    2. Derrich says:

      That’s definitely what I look forward to.

  14. Piggy says:

    hope you’re having fun john

  15. We could all re-learn a few things from this post, John, thank you. Although we are here to make money, it’s good to be reminded about what REALLY matters.

    1. Thor Schrock says:

      I don’t think it is a moral lesson that John is trying to get across – it is just a fact.

      To make money you need to invest in making good content. In that regard a blog is no different than a television station or a hollywood movie.

      While there are exceptions to the rule, in almost every case good content leads to great income.

  16. uncle sha says:

    right on the spot john!

    i believe too you should blog what you love & the $ will come in in no time. i mean thats a surplus

    i’ve tried doing blogs out of my scope and it didn’t turn out well. the giving up rate is rather early

    kudos .. ๐Ÿ˜›

  17. Larry Lim says:

    Don’t forget about optimizing. You’ve spent time and effort writing so make sure that people can actually find you. This article lists 10 SEO tips for WordPress –

    1. Derrich says:

      This is the stage I’m most concerned with at this point. SEO fever. ๐Ÿ˜ณ

    2. uncle sha says:

      true it goes hand-in-hand with updated ‘quality’ entries

  18. Rehuel says:

    Finally… Finally another GREAT John Chow article. This kind of articles was the reason why I started reading your blog, and the lack of this same kind was the reason why I stopped reading actively.

    I’m a new blogger man, and I’m no Mitch Harper with tons of cash available, so reading too much about spending a lot of money on monetizing can be very discouraging.

    Well, have fun at the falls. If you’re tired of the cold (to me even Vancouver would be considered freezing) just visit Suriname. Nice tropical weather here.

  19. Kumiko says:

    I’m confused! ๐Ÿ™‚ Pick topic that you’re passionate about but don’t worry about the money?? I’m passionate about money!! What should I do!?!? ๐Ÿ˜€

    Kumiko

    1. Gath says:

      Write about it & don’t earn it ๐Ÿ˜‰

      1. Matt Jones says:

        LOL thats a bit of a conudrum! Kumiko you are the exception to the rule ๐Ÿ˜€

      2. Marc says:

        That’s exactly the answer ๐Ÿ™‚ Well put.

        1. Thor Schrock says:

          Shoemoney does a great job on his blog talking about making TONS of cash without sounding braggish or even pompus.

          He blogs about hints, contests, and of course, spreads lots of linkbait.

          The one thing people like almost as much as making money is talking about making money!

    2. How extremely convenient for you then, Kumiko. ๐Ÿ™‚ Writing AND earning what you love — that’s even better, yeah? ๐Ÿ˜€

    3. uncle sha says:

      write about it & donate to me? :mrgreen:

  20. Mr. Red says:

    Kind of funny you bring this post out, i have a dozen blogs that are built for money, but actually made one this month specifically on content, i’m going to see how far i can get it to go.

  21. Gath says:

    John – some good tips for us beginners. Another one that Darren Rouse brings up is consistency; you’ve got to post on a regular basis if you want to attract & keep readers.

    1. Matt Jones says:

      Yeah consistency is the hardest… its all too easy to mis one day and then not get back into the routiine.

      1. uncle sha says:

        but i think once you get into a routine, it will all be ok … for me, its part of my life now

  22. Matt Jones says:

    Its good to see your getting back to your roots ๐Ÿ™‚

    What I am diying to see is a timeline of when your blog got dugg lots of times and exactly how that all worked…

  23. Consistent posts, relevant content, indubitable passion, and an unfaltering commitment to anything and everything you do — the bare necessities of blog-writing.

  24. Socca says:

    Nice post you have there,

    May I please ask one question? Is content much more important than layout?

    Currently, we have decent content but horrible navigation. Please advice. Thanks alot.

    Site link: http://soccacritics.com

  25. Ashish Mohta says:

    Nice post JC, good for people who are starting. Have Fun at NF tomorrow.

  26. aad_lfcfn says:

    skill and knowledge are still important aspects though in my opinion besides luck. We can’t get out of the crowd if we don’t have the expertise. Like John, he really know how to make money from a blog so we as reader don’t have to doubt about his qualification.

    1. Matt Jones says:

      Being an exptert in the niche is important, being a ‘celebrity’ is the other way to success… JC is both!!

      1. Marc says:

        Well “expert” is a word that’s just mean to scare people away. You don’t have to be an expert in what you blog about.

        Every blogger has something to share, regardless of their level of experience. If you’re new in your field of interest, take the opportunity to write great beginner’s articles. As you become more experienced, you’ll be able to delve into some of the more complicated issues.

        No matter what you do, don’t be intimidated by “experts”.

        1. jake says:

          yes, very true

        2. Thor Schrock says:

          The point is tha tyou need to have enough of an understanding of your niche to make a contribution worth reading.

          If I see one more Britney Spears rehash blog I will throw up!

    2. True, true…I feel skill comes hand in hand with passion though. If you’re passionate about something, you spend as much time as possible getting better at it.

  27. nice post, john. at least i learned something. and gladly it is not another review me

  28. Mubin says:

    Its always good to have a nice template as well. Here are some to pick up from here:

    http://forums.digitalpoint.com/showthread.php?t=294248

  29. Marc says:

    I agree 100% with finding a topic that you’re passionate about. If you’re going to blog it means blogging all the time. Sometimes that means blogging when you don’t feel like blogging. If you have a topic that you’re passionate about then that will make it easier. If you’re not passionate about your topic then it will be that much harder to push yourself to write.

    Just as John has pointed out, the writing is at the core of it all. So you need to focus on the things that will facilitate your writing first.

  30. Dian says:

    passionate, fun and build relationship with other blogger.. the last things that i miss is the last one, thx for the tips John

  31. jake says:

    great article john, you really spelled it out to the begginers.

  32. I could only imagine how good John must feel to hear how he’s been an inspiration to his readers and their blogging endeavors. “Evil” as some may think of him, I think he has a soft spot for fervent hopefuls.

    1. blabWire says:

      Definitely. No matter how “evil” he is in his promotional methods, he teaches everyone how to do what he does. It’s not like he is trying to “hide” his system.

      blabEditor

  33. Derrich says:

    All great suggestions, John. The hardest part for me was staying focused on only a few things. Now, I’m golden.

  34. Steve says:

    So much truth in this post. For a blog to stand any chance of being successful firstly it has to be fun for you that will help you write lot’s of content with enthusiasm. Then it’s all down to social networking, which is where I’m at on my blog.

    Trying to develop those links with other bloggers through my weekly guest blogger section.

    After that then I guess money will come in lesser or greater amounts depending on your ability to monetize efectively your site. So i would say the order for successful blogging is:

    1. Enjoy yourself
    2. Content, Content, Content…
    3. Network with other bloggers
    4. Make as much money as you can.

  35. Mr. Red says:

    dont forget spam:)

    1. Thor Schrock says:

      John? Spam? I am sure that the root of all evil himself would never go near any such demeaning activity ๐Ÿ˜‰

      But then I guess it all rides on how you define spam…

  36. Thor Schrock says:

    Well said John. There are som many Digg rehash splogs out there that are just the same old rehash. Its almost lik ethey think people will actually just come because its there. They have a complete web 1.0 attitude in a 2.0 world, and that just won’t work.

  37. I threw in my own 2 cents with respect to financial blogging (my interest been stock blogs).

    http://blog.fallondpicks.com/2007/04/tips-to-starting-blog.html

    Some of this may be old hat, but it all helps!

    Best wishes,
    Declan

  38. indeed content is king.

  39. Amanda says:

    A good way is to join message boards i goto a lot of teenish ones because you find a lot more members there to pimp your site out to!

  40. thanks for the tips

  41. Jaxia says:

    I don’t understand people who get into blogging just to make money. I started blogging because I felt like I had something to say. Ahh, captive audience! ๐Ÿ™‚

  42. Simonne says:

    Thank you for the tips. I applied some of them and I already see the results.

  43. Most of tip sounded to be like a common sense. Any way you logo is cool.

  44. Russ says:

    Thanks for the tips john

  45. Great list! These are some of the best rules to follow for bloggers just starting out. Get in touch with people and get your voice heard one way or another!

    -Sam from MarketMatador.com

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