[Update: Oct 21, 2006]
Welcome to new readers. This post is almost an year old and is seriously OUTDATED. I am not keeping this current. But I have created a lens on Squidoo on the same topic that is current.
You can read it here:
Squidoo lens: Blogging Starter Checklist
Many of my close friends are entering the blogging world. I am so happy
for them. I started blogging in Feb 2005 and I have learnt that we need
to do a few basic things (for starters) and I have put together a
starter checklist for new bloggers. I have used this list to help my
friends and now I thought I will make this public. This list is by no
means complete and all the items may not be relevant to everyone.
1. Register a domain name with your name and redirect to your blog.
My friend Munwar Shariff
wanted me to do this for a long time but I kept postponing it. Finally
when I got it done, it was amazing to find out how many people were
coming to the blog by typing in www.rajeshsetty.com. It costs probably $10 a year but it’s worth every penny.
2. Get a “Creative Commons License”
Creative Commons makes it easy to assign a license for your online content. I use a license called “Attribution-NonCommercial 2.0”
This means (in english)
You are free to
* to copy, distribute, display, and perform the work
* to make derivative works
Under the following conditions:
* by Attribution. You must attribute the work in the manner specified by the author or licensor.
* Noncommercial. You may not use this work for commercial purposes.
3. Get a feedburner account and direct feeds through feedburner
Most probably your blogging software will automatically provide an RSS
feed capability. However, chances are that you may not be able to track
how many readers are subscribing to your feed. By burning your feed via
feedburner, you can get those statistics. Again, it only takes a few minutes to setup a free account on feedburner.
4. Implement subscription chiclets
People use variety of RSS readers and you want to make it easy for them to subscribe to your feed from those RSS readers. Feedburner
provides scripts to create those subscription chiclets. I suggest that
you should take a look at the available options and add those chiclets
to your blog site.
5. Enable search
Again, search should be a standard feature for any website. Your
blogging provider would normally provide the feature. You just have to
find out how to enable it for your blog.
6. Claim your blog at Technorati
By registering yourself at technorati and
claiming it, you have an ability to put your photo with your profile.
When people search for stuff on technorati and your blog comes up in
the search results your thumbsize photo appears with the search result.
Every single thing helps.
7. Allow users to get your blog via email
You will be amazed how many people want to read your blog via their
email. It’s easy to set that up. You can get a script to do that by
registering at Feedblitz.
8. Link to your profile
Write up your introduction “elevator pitch” and link it from your blog.
People want to know who you are. Celebrity bloggers can ignore this
9. Link to your photo album
If you have an online photo album with a service like Flickr, put in a link to that as well.
10. Announce your blog to the world
The first thing that you can do is to use a service like Pingomatic to ping a few servers. Of course, best would be to write compelling content that would make others link to your site.
11. Provide a way to contact you
Other than posting comments on your blog, provide a way (email, phone
or both) for your readers to connect with you. I have made quite a few
new friends from all over the world.
12. Link to your bookmarks
If you have an account with del.icio.us and are tracking some interesting websites, you can link to your bookmark page.
13. Create meaningful categories and chunk content
Very soon you will have a lot of content on your blog and your readers
will get confused where to go. One option is to create meaningful
categories and file content appropriately. That will be a great service
for your readers.
14. Put your photo on the home page
Blog is a conversation that you are having with your readers and it becomes more personal with a photo.
15. Ensure that your RSS feeds are OK
Simple way is to subscribe to your own feed in your RSS readers. Other way is to use FeedValidator to check if everything is OK
[Update Nov 3, 2005]
16. Geo-tag your blog at Feedmap
Feedmap provides a simple way of
associating your physical co-ordinates (city, zip) to your blog. As
more people sign up for this service, your blog will appear in the
“bloggers nearby” for your neighbours blogs.
17. Include a blog link in your email signature
Even people who you know may not know that you have a blog. Best is to include the link to your blog in the email signature.
[ Updated on November 14, 2005 ]
18. Claim your blog at Feedster
You claimed your blog at Technorati. Now, please go ahead and claim it in Feedster as well. If you do well, you might even get into the feedster elite club “Feedster Top 500” 🙂 You can add an icon or your photo to personalize the search results
19. Register at Findory
Findory aggregates some of the
finest blogs and they recommend content based on users’ interest. So if
a user is reading an article in another blog that has similar content,
he or she may be presented with your blog to consider reading.
20. Register at blogwise
Blogwise is a directory that is
created manually by a bunch of cool folks. You can submit your blog for
inclusion and someone over there will add it to the directory if they
find the content appropriate. You can check out the listing for Life Beyond Code and may be leave your comments on this blog there.
Also, don’t forget to check out Stephan Spencer’s extended checklist on the same topic. Great stuff there.
I am sure there are many more but this should give you a start!