40 Questions About Blogging (+ 40 Answers)

I’ve had a deluge of questions to my inbox from people over the world wanting to get started blogging. I’m gonna do a marathon of answers. Ready? Go:

  1. What is a blog? A blog is a frequently updated website focused around a topic, industry or personality. Check out page five of my special report.
  2. Don’t all blogs look the same? There’s a reason all cars have their gas pedals in the same place.
  3. Do I have to blog every day? No. Check out myth #1.
  4. Aren’t blogs just diaries? I’ll pretend you didn’t ask that. Check out myth #2.
  5. Do blog posts have to be really long? No. Check out myth #3.
  6. How do I find blogs related to my topic? Turn to Google. Type in the main keywords for your topic and the word blog. See what pops up. Also try searching on Feedster and Technorati. Also check out this huge list of blog directories.
  7. Where do I list my blog? Same places.
  8. What blog software should I use? I teach on TypePad because it is the easiest tool out there and offers the most immediately flexibility. I used to use Blogger, then used Movable Type and now use WordPress. If you’d like to test out other blog tools check out Open Source CMS which has default installs of many free blog tools (look under blogs).
  9. How much should blog software cost? From free to a few hundred. I teach on TypePad which runs $5 – $15. Some software is hosted, some you install on your server. Lots of people use Blogger which is free but I find that business people like to have tech support when things go down. If your blog software is free – who are you going to complain to? Short answer: Use TypePad.
  10. How do blogs help businesses? Check out page 17 of my special report.
  11. How can I get a URL for my own blog? This is usually handled on the side of your domain registrar. You can forward traffic from yourdomain.com to your blog easily.
  12. What is a permalink? A permalink is the final resting place of a piece of web content. This allows someone to link directly to a particular entry in your blog’s archives instead of just to the (ever changing) front page.
  13. When is a blog better than a website? When you don’t have the time or money or patience to go through the whole web design process. Also, if you get tired of waiting for your web designer to get back to you.
  14. Can I use a blog to…? You can use a blog to pretty much do just about anything regarding publishing online, posting images, audio, video and collaboration.
  15. How do you make money with a blog? Check out my interviews with Darren Rowse and Thomas Pierce. Heck, check out all the interviews.
  16. Can I connect my blog to my website? Yes.
  17. How do I add affiliates to my blog? It is as simple as adding the affiliate links in your posts or column content.
  18. How do I customize my blog to match my brand? By echoing your existing marketing collateral or website in your blog’s visual elements.
  19. Can I edit posts after I’ve published them? Yes.
  20. Can I edit, revise, remove comments that are inappropriate? Yes.
  21. Should I do an ezine or a blog? Both.
  22. Do I respond to people that post comments? Yes. Respond to all comments in both email to the commenter and on your site. Cultivate your commenters.
  23. I want a blog but I don’t have any money. Use Blogger.
  24. I want to take your class, read your book, hire you and I don’t have any money. Wow. That sucks.
  25. What increases conversion rates on my blog? Get all that junk and cutesy stuff out of you columns and have one major, can’t-miss-it, huge action you want readers to take – like subscribing to an ezine.
  26. How do blogs work? Check out page ten of my special report.
  27. Can I host ads on my blog? Yes.
  28. Where can I find a centralized place to let folks know my blog is updated? Pingomatic.
  29. I just don’t get it. Um. Okay. Any certain part of it?
  30. I don’t understand what blogs can do that instant messaging can’t do…? Archive, publish, notify, be indexed by search engines, share with others, preserve for posterity.
  31. Can I add links to my blog? Pictures? Audio? Video? Yes.
  32. How do I advertise my business on my blog? By writing about it. Sharing your personality, your passion and speaking directly to readers – not at them.
  33. Can I blog anonymously? Yep. Here’s how.
  34. How can I use a blog for education? To publish class notes, schedules, handouts and media. To solicit feedback and commentary.
  35. How are blogs different from discussion forums? Check out my interview with Lee LeFever.
  36. How is this different from getting clients from a website? When was the last time someone saw something new on your website? Blogs are a sales packet that never ends.
  37. What about copyright? Won’t someone steal my stuff? There is no 100% foolproof way to protect your work online. But are you going to let that keep you from getting online and getting connected with your target audience? Get over it. But blog keyphrases often to see where others might be quoting you without attribution. Like this blog using the first few sentence of my ebook as their own. Or this blog doing the same thing, again with no attribution. Or this idiot. I guess I should be flattered. I really just want the linkback.
  38. How do I get started? Buy my ebook. Take my class. Grab the preview CD.
  39. How do I get an RSS? RSS allows readers to keep track of your website without having to visit it everyday – and without clogging their inbox with annoying alerts. Most blog tools come with RSS capabaility built right in.
  40. Why would a business person keep an online diary? Because it gives prospects, customers, clients and colleauges a window into the way you work and a deeper respect for your passion for business.
  41. I know I’m supposed to have a blog. Should I start one? It depends on what you want to get out of it. If it isn’t going to be fun, it won’t get done. The worst blog is one that is a chore.
  42. What is the one thing businesses aren’t getting about blogs? That perhaps maybe publishing a blog is the first part of the strategy – listening to what others are saying about your blog, your products or your industry is the other half. That and advertising their wares/services on existing blogs with large audiences.
  43. Can I get someone to just walk me through the whole process? Yep. I offer one-on-one training and full service design. Email me your needs and we can work up a quote.
  44. I’m a baker therapist bodyworker coach writer consultant designer domme musician homeopath… should I have a blog? It depends. What are you current marketing efforts? Are your customers online consumers? Is blogging going to be a cornerstone of your marketing efforts?

I lied – we’re not done yet:

  1. Where did blogs come from? Check out page twelve of my special report.
  2. How can I make a lot of money blogging immediately? You can’t and you aren’t getting the point of blogging. Go back to buying half-baked, over-hyped internet marketing ebooks with too many exclamation points.
  3. What is the number one way to build blog traffic? Comment on other peope’s blogs. Every day. No blog is an island.
  4. Do you have an affiliate program? Yeah. It gives out a 50% commission. That means if you help me sell a blogging course you get $90 USD. Sign up now.
  5. What is podcasting? Check out the flash demo. And this one too.
  6. Who the heck are you? I’m Andy Wibbels. I’ve been blogging for five years and teaching entrepeneurs from all over the world how to do it for nearly 2 years. My creative background is in the performing arts. My corporate background is in HR systems and elearning.

70 thoughts on “40 Questions About Blogging (+ 40 Answers)

  1. Sharon

    Many times after someone leaves a comment that leave a link back to their sight. When I did it ,it just came out as regular type and not a link. How do you do that?

    Reply
  2. Andrew

    Thanks for this very helpful advice – I have just done my first blog entry and your Q&A answered several question I had.
    I have one unanswered question:
    In the blog I’m doing I wish to describe a sequence of steps on how to quickly plan any project of business etc. As I progress with entries, how do I get people to start at the beginning and read in sequence?
    Best regards
    Andrew Smith
    Auckland
    New Zealand

    Reply
  3. crazyrapport

    Hi Andy, I found your site quite useful. I only just started blogging last week even though I had maintained an offline journal for over a year now. I hope to utilise some the hints and tips given to build on my readership.

    Reply
  4. inderal

    PS I wonder how Blunkett would feel about the fact that this same person explained how she understood this way of using words by saying ÓitÒs the kind of thing Haider does in AustriaÔÅ

    Reply
  5. lamisil

    then i looked around me, and down at the shag pile rug i was sinking into, and realised that maybe, for him, they’d never been away.

    Reply
  6. lithium

    ItÒs the only time of the year I wish I had Sky to watch the whole terrible but unmissable award show live. We used to have Oscar parties to watch it all through the night!

    Reply
  7. morphine

    The Omaha World Herald is now running an online vote asking whether the judge was right. You can find a link to the story near the voting buttons at the bottom of the page.

    Reply
  8. paxil

    But the absolute, most dreadful Best Ex is the one who broke up with you for cheating, hasn’t spoken to you in years, and will be attending the upcoming wedding of two close mutual friends.

    Reply

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