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HOW (and WHY) to start a blog for your lenses!

Posted on May 01 2008

Hello hello hello..! Fun post today. Blog your socks off.Blogging for more readers

“Blogging and lenses go together like Winnie The Pooh and Tigger Too…

So do YOU have a blog for your lenses?”

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FIRSTLY, WHY WOULD YOU WANT A BLOG?

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Blogs are fun. Blogs are free. Blogs are fabulous. And blogs are FINDABLE!

It is extremely difficult now to do a search at Google and NOT find a blog in the first 30 results. Go ahead. Try. Even a lot of websites that don’t LOOK like blogs are blogs.

Your updates on your blog can be subscribed to, your updates can be fed onto your lenses in the RSS module, your updates can get automatically sent to Google and other search engines (telling them they have to come and take a look at your new content), and your updates are easy to do. FAR easier than updating a standard website, and probably quicker to post new stuff to than a lens.

So now that I’ve made my case for blogs….

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HOW DO YOU GET YOUR OWN BLOG?
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Blogging like crazyYou could pay for a service like typepad(.com), you could get a free blog from blogspot(.com), or a free blog from wordpress(.com), or pay for a blog/site through squarespace(.com), or install a version of wordpress on your own server/hosting with your own domain name. If you are looking to start a blog there are literally thousands upon thousands of websites who will fight to get you to sign up with them – free or otherwise.
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SO WHO SHOULD YOU GO WITH?

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Without making decisions for you – I’ll tell you a story.

When I went to Sri Lanka for a few months (2 years ago to the day!) I had a blog I created at blogspot.com. It works well, and is now owned by Google. Then the next blog I created was this one – squidoocool.com – and I hosted it at wordpress.com. It is free to start a blog at wordpress.com, and the blog started ranking quite high in Google search results.

But because I wanted to use squidoocool.com instead of squidoocool.wordpress.com, and because I wanted to be able to further customise the layout and theme and plugins etc I decided to host the wordpress blog on my own hosting I have at HostGator (which I use for hosting my other websites).

HostGator comes with a nifty tool called Fantastico which installs certain scripts for you, including the wordpress software! So you can have your own version of the wordpress software running on your server (instead of wordpress.com) to run your blog. Unlike with wordpress.com, you are hosting all the files and posts and backups yourself. It comes with PLENTY of advantages.

So SquidooCool.com is now hosted on my own webhosting, nothing to do with wordpress.com (apart from the fact that the software in the background running the blog is the same).

TypingI am VERY pleased with SquidooCool.com running on my own webhosting, and most of the time when I do a new post here… Google has found it and ranked it in search results within 2 hours. Hosting the blog myself allows me to add and edit themes, add plugins, add javascript and ads, etc. All stuff you can’t do with regular wordpress.com.

So here’s what I would recommend:

1. Get setup with wordpress.com to learn how everything works and to get blogging as soon as possible. You don’t need to pay them for any of the extras. Just get setup with a blog there. You can even have www.YOURSquidooUsername.wordpress.com

2. Start blogging about your lenses!

3. Put links in the ‘sidebar widgets’ (under ‘Design’ or ‘Presentation’) to your websites, lensmaster profile, and to your best lenses.

4. Every time you create a new lens, write a blog post about it. Google will find the blog post, and find the lens, quicker. Because you now have two tools working for you – Lenses and Blog Posts!

So here are some useful links for you:

www.blogspot.com
www.wordpress.com
www.hostgator.com (if you want to host your blog yourself)
www.namecheap.com (if you want your own .com domain name for about $9 a year)
www.yournicheblog.com (the blog building service I started since writing this post!)

Happy Blogging!

I will post more about setting up your own hosting and domain name soon.

Lewis 🙂

P.S. Since writing this I started a Blog Building Service at www.YourNicheBlog.com. It is VERY popular. Why not join in the fun? 😉

Lewis Smile

Lewis Smile is a Writer, Blogger, Web Geek, and very much a daydreamer. He helps people for a living, and works online. See the Contact Info page to say hi. Find out more about him here.

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22 Comments

  1. charlino says:

    Excellent information. Thank you for sharing.

  2. Susan says:

    This is exactly why I started my blog. And it has proven to be not just helpful for driving traffic, but plain old fun. I’m on blogger using a template I customized from Pyzam. Keeping it as simple as possible so I have more time for all the stuff I need/want to do with my lenses!!

  3. Stephanie Dow says:

    I just finished my website and was looking for ways to increase traffic. I found your page and am glad I did. After reading your article, I went for the plunge! I created a blog linked to the website, but maybe it will have the same effect!

    I’ll definetly be adding my squidoo lenses too!

    Thanks for the tips!

  4. Now I’m a Giant Squid! « The Web Garden’s Playground says:

    […] The first thing I need to do though is create a Lensography so that all my lenses are collated in one place. As I’ve left this for so long now it’s going to be one helluva a job! Also, I’m going to start blogging about my lenses as advised by MrLewisSmile on his Squidcool Blog. […]

  5. Thanks for this information. So far I’m using a blogspot blog to link to all of my lenses. I think it looks pretty good, but I’ve been considering buying a URL and using the wordpress software. Thanks again for the tips!

  6. Great post and thanks for sharing yet another simple tip to a super, duper Squidoo experience 🙂

    Maria Reyes-McDavis

  7. Andrew says:

    I’ve recently started a blog about Squidoo too. Not much of a noticeable increase in traffic to my lenses yet, but I’m sure with time it will become a huge asset, especially when it gains weight in Google. Just like you wrote, blog about your lens, Google picks it up faster plus you get a free backlink from your blog. Oh, the power! 🙂

  8. Wordpress is FREE?!? « ddixonart’s Squidoo Blog says:

    […] have been blogging on Blogspot for some time now. I just read Lewis Smile’s blog post about how Squidoo Lensmasters should be blogging their Squidoo pages. I have blogged by Squidoo pages in my art blog, but I have pages on Squidoo that are not art pages […]

  9. Jarrod says:

    WordPress is real easy to use on your own hosting setup as well, giving you more control and a bigger bang for SEO and deveoping traffic.

  10. Darla Dixon says:

    Lewis, I did start a blog on WordPress.com – now someone in one of my networking groups says that WordPress.COM is only for non-commercial ventures, and WordPress.ORG is the only one to use for business ventures. Do you know the difference between the two WordPresses? Thanks in advance.

  11. Mark says:

    Great idea will have to start another blog for my lenses

  12. Allan says:

    I got the blog first, then discovered Squidoo.

    What I also discovered is that most blog posts have a limited life, while Squidoo lenses just keep on drawing hits. They serve different purposes; but a blog post about a new lens gets the lens into Google fast.

  13. Dimitri says:

    fantastic post!

  14. Timewarp says:

    hey cool post, i just made a squid lens similar to this topic
    http://www.squidoo.com/squidoo-blogs

    have a special wordpress option for squidoo lensmasters only
    blogs really give lenses an edge 🙂

  15. ThomasC says:

    I have followed your advice and started a blog at wordpress! Thank you for sharing the tips. Please look at my blog and offer suggestions! http://thomascarlson.wordpress.com/

    ThomasC

  16. pre2master says:

    I’m found your blog by following Squidoo site.
    Thank you for you precious information.

  17. Carl says:

    Hey mate,

    Great post indeed. I have just started building my squidoo site.

    Carl

  18. Nimsy says:

    Hi Lewis,
    I found your blog via the SquidU lensmasters lounge. Great post. I have a blog on blogger which used to be ranked, but as soon as I stopped blogging regularly, the page rank got grayed out again. So the blog posts do have a short life. After reading your post, I’m thinking of setting up wordpress blog. Is there any way of importing my archived posts from Blogger?

  19. MrLewisSmile says:

    So many cool comments! Glad you guys found this post useful.

    @Nimsy, if you have the latest version of wordpress, you can import from blogger. WordPress.com also has a blogger importer. You can read more here: http://en.blog.wordpress.com/2007/02/06/new-blogger-importer/

    @Darla – I followed up this post with an explanation of that, incase you missed it!

  20. Nimsy says:

    Hi Lewis.
    I haven’t actually set up the blog yet – have been procrastinating as I’ve never set one up before and am a bit anxious abou the learning curve – so I don’t know which version my hosting company provides, but am keeping fingers crossed that it is the new one.
    Thanks so much for the link, it’s sure to be very useful.

  21. faiz says:

    good idea for getting in more traffic. starting free is a good way to get the grips of things.

  22. sukkran says:

    now i understand that only making lens is not enough. we have to do some extra work for promoting them. thanks for your valuable guidance.

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