Advice on blogs and web sites

I got lost out in the ether yesterday.  I started reading comments and posting a response in the Freelance Writers Connection on LinkedIn that led to other writers web sites and/or blogs:

http://www.linkedin.com/groupAnswers?viewQuestionAndAnswers=&discussionID=6164617&gid=103238&trk=EML_anet_qa_ttle-cThOon0JumNFomgJt7dBpSBA

That was followed by reading the latest installment of the Internet Strategist blog on Inc. Magazine that linked to lots of other sites on blogging:

http://blog.inc.com/e-commerce/

And so I just kept following one link to another until I ended up in la-la land.  Everyone seems to have a strategy or advice about what a writer should do with his or her web site and/or blog.  Do you really need to have both?  I do, but I’m not sure that I need both. I downloaded many MB of “free” information (i.e. “teasers”) that took lots of time to read all the verbiage, but I gleaned at least some useful information for them.

I started with Yaro Starak’s 54-page tome on blogging Blog Profits Blueprint in which he claims to make $20,000 a month from blogging.  Now I don’t think of blogging as a business.  I consider it and my web site as a method of marketing myself as a writer and not as an end into itself.  Of course, after reading his report, he closes by offering to coach you on how to become a blogger.  But he does make some good, common sense points, and so I recommend reading it.  Namely, your most important step is generating unique and useful content, and only after you have consistently done that can you begin to think about how to build traffic.

http://www.blogmastermind.com

Allan Gardyne’s 77 Ways to Get Traffic talks about building traffic for your web site rather than your blog.  He covers a huge range of topics including domain names, search engine optimization (SEO), niche online directories, online newsletters, and forums. His business is a directory of affiliate programs that share advertising revenues with people who drive traffic to their sites.  He has a huge web site at:

http://www.Associate Programs.com

I then wandered off into a more controversial site for a software program called Site Build It! 2.0 promoted on Ken Evoy’s site.  It is an educational program as well as software that he sells for $300, and Google has lots of people offering reviews both pro and con.

http://www.sitesell.com

Well, I’m not sure that my time might have been better spent on sending out queries rather than spending almost an entire day wandering around the web.  I’ve been focusing the past few days on rebuilding my web site, and so I’ve been looking for advice on how better to do that.  Obviously, a lot of people are out there selling that advice in various forms (books, web sites, programs, webinars, etc.)  My local community college offers courses in building web sites, but their catalog seems to suggest more emphasis on the technology of coding and graphic design than content.

I’ve concluded that a web site and/or a blog are useful, but a writer still needs to market using other tools, such as: local networking, writers conferences, consistent queries to potential prospects and follow-ups with your prior clients to be successful.  My primary advice is to avoid writing for the content mills, but that’s another topic.

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