What every blogger needs to know

I've been around a lot of different locations since I starting blogging.  During my 'travels' I've noticed little things that people could change to improve their blogging.

I am no where near what I would call an 'experienced blogger' but I have seen some people with experience do so many simple things wrong.

Don't feel bad if you are doing any of these that I will mention below.  With blogging, you learn something new everyday.

To help out, I thought I would compile a list of the basic things that every single blogger should know.

Join a Blogging Community
To start off with, blogging communities are great.  What better way is there to get help and exposure for your blog than to join a blogging community.  This is helpful in a numbers of ways.
  1. You can ask any questions that you may have about blogging
  2. You can learn new information
  3. You increase exposure for your blog
I highly recommend joining them. There are a lot of blog forums out there, as well as forums that suit your niche.  I recommend using ones that allow you to create your signature so you can add a link to your blog after every post you make.  I will expand further on this why it is important.

Here are some blogging forums that I recommend:

Learn Simple HTML code
I have a more than basic website coding knowledge and this is seriously helpful when using a site such as blogger.  But you do not need to have advanced knowledge, you just need to know the basics.

What the important thing to know is how to type in HTML language URL links.

Let me show you some basic code:

<a href="http://torkona.blogspot.com">Aussie Dad blog</a>

Every URL link will start with <a href=. Your code will always want to start with this.

Next is the site address that you want people to visit.  This is your URL enclosed in quotation marks. "http://torkona.blogspot.com"> 

Don't forget to include the brackets in the code above (the '<' and '>').  This is what tells your browser whatever is included in these brackets is HTML code.

Next is a description of your link.  Aussie Dad blog

My description is 'Aussie Dad blog'. This is what words I want to have displayed on my site as the link for people to click.  You never want to have your description to be the URL.  You want to have words that describe the link as this increases your Google ranking on these keywords. A lot of the pro's even get this wrong.

Finally, after you have completed your description, end it with </a> to notify the end of your link.

I can't stress how handy this is to know.  The amount of times you see a comment on a forum or post of just a URL without linked as above, I just wanted to let you all know there is a better way.  This is really help your blog, especially with Search Engine Optimisation (SEO).

If it is too much typing out each time when telling someone a link, simply save it as a Notepad file on your desktop and open it when you need it.

Forum URL Posting
Some forums have the ability to post a URL link as HTML.  Others have an included button that when you press it comes up as per the below:
Took me a while to figure out how to add my URL links properly.  This is how most people will do it:
This will show your link as the URL on your forum post, but as I have said previously, to increase your search engine ranking, you need to type a descriptive link.  To fix it, this is how you type your link:
[URL=http://torkona.blogspot.com]Aussie Dad blog[/URL]
The time I wasted figuring that out was a bit annoying, so hopefully this will help you out.

Help Followers
I love following blogs.  Although it is hard to always say hello, I still read the majority that I follow.  However, I mainly follow blogs that have  "Follow with Google Friend Connect" widget.

As a blogger, you need to realise that every user that comes to your blog has their own way that they follow blogs.  If you don't provide the most commonly used functionalities on the internet for people to follow, then you are missing the opportunity to gain more readers.  You need to set up an RSS feed, a post emailer and the Google Follow widget. Visit Feedburner for the first two and check your widget list through the Design section of your blogging tool for the Follow widget.

The has been conjecture as to whether RSS feeds are on the decline and more are looking towards email, but I would use both as well as the Google Follow to cover all your bases to never miss a subscriber!

Spring Cleaning
As you blog away, your blog will become full of posts, blog badges and maybe ads. It is always a good idea to do some 'spring cleaning' of your site if things start to feel cluttered.

I am the first to put their hand up to say things are getting cluttered, so make time to freshen up your site occasionally to look professional and well maintained.  Finding time is the hard part, so long as you remember to always chip away at trying to clean up the place.

Learn from the best
I would be lost without the help of professional bloggers, or at least those with information that you find easy to understand.

The one blogger that I would recommend above others would be a fellow Aussie. Problogger is helping me daily with very informative information, from himself and numerous guest posters from around the world.

Problogger currently has a great eBook designed to help you revitalize your blog by giving you 31 tasks in 31 days. I highly recommend it. Click here to view more details

I also recommend following bloggers in your own niche.  You learn a lot from others just by visiting and reading their own posts.

You can also follow me, if you must ;-)

Now, this is just a basic list.  Hope this helps.  But there has to be a lot more tips of what every blogger needs to know.  I feel that this is going to be constantly updated, so feel free to bookmark this page and return every now and then.

What tips do you think that every blogger needs to know?

- tork