Noob Here. Questions on Blogging

11 replies
Hi Warriors.
I want to create a blog reviewing restaurants in my area. I have a few questions though. First off would a blogger.com domain name be suitable and attract people? How do I go about attracting people to look at my blog? Is it a simple as spamming comments on (in this case) food and recipe websites? Also are there tips for ranking in google better? Is it just creating backlinks with articles or would there be a different way to go about this? This is my first attempt to start IM, so all the help is appreciated. Also I just got a job so at them moment I have no capital, but that will change in a little less then a month.
Please post any advice or criticism you have.
#blogging #noob #questions
  • Profile picture of the author Istvan Horvath
    I understand if someone doesn't have money to start with. It can happen...

    However, would you consider starting a restaurant yourself without any capital? Or any other business? Well, FYI: doing anything online to make profit - is a business. Otherwise you should go to a hobby forum and chat with them.

    Next, any webpage that is "living" on someone else's property (e.g. blogger or wordpress.com) is NOT yours. As another warrior said the other they: your site lives on borrowed time...

    A domain name is under $10 for a year. You can get decent hosting for $4-5/month.
    Compare that with the expenses of starting a brick and mortar business - and make a wise decision!

    Spamming shouldn't be in your business methods arsenal
    There should be more creative ways to attract visitors to your site. Even offline methods because you are dealing with real, offline businesses and their clientele. If I have a food and recipe site targeted to the Canadian Inuits (Eskimos), why would you want to spam it with your links to your local restaurant that we'll never visit?

    And now we are back to the basic question that you should have asked yourself before everything else: WHY do you want to set up that website? WHAT do you want to do with it? WHAT is your goal with the site? WHY is good for you if people visit it - i.e. how will you make money from your visitors?

    It seems you were thinking more about minor technicalities than about the essence of the business you want to start.
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    • Profile picture of the author XYZcontent
      Originally Posted by Istvan Horvath View Post

      I understand if someone doesn't have money to start with. It can happen...

      However, would you consider starting a restaurant yourself without any capital? Or any other business? Well, FYI: doing anything online to make profit - is a business. Otherwise you should go to a hobby forum and chat with them.

      Next, any webpage that is "living" on someone else's property (e.g. blogger or wordpress.com) is NOT yours. As another warrior said the other they: your site lives on borrowed time...

      A domain name is under $10 for a year. You can get decent hosting for $4-5/month.
      Compare that with the expenses of starting a brick and mortar business - and make a wise decision!

      Spamming shouldn't be in your business methods arsenal
      There should be more creative ways to attract visitors to your site. Even offline methods because you are dealing with real, offline businesses and their clientele. If I have a food and recipe site targeted to the Canadian Inuits (Eskimos), why would you want to spam it with your links to your local restaurant that we'll never visit?

      And now we are back to the basic question that you should have asked yourself before everything else: WHY do you want to set up that website? WHAT do you want to do with it? WHAT is your goal with the site? WHY is good for you if people visit it - i.e. how will you make money from your visitors?

      It seems you were thinking more about minor technicalities than about the essence of the business you want to start.
      I must say Istvan Horvath, your replies are always so *AWESOME*. Thanks.
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    • Profile picture of the author Matt Braun
      Thanks for your reply. O.k. just to make sure I taking away the right info from your post. I should not use blogger or wordpress.com and I shouldn't spam but intelligently 'advertise' so that the right people go to my site. As for why I want to setup the website, I hope this will be the first of many websites that I can use to make profit. I chose restaurant reviews because if I'm going to go out to eat any way why not take advantage of that and use that experience to make money. Also my plan was to make money from ads on my site.
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    • Profile picture of the author Matt Braun
      Thanks for your replies. Sounds like self hosting a website that contains info that everyone around the world can find useful is what I should start out with. Are review websites profitable maybe a website that reviews beers from around the world or would that be a waste of time as well?
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      • Profile picture of the author Kierkegaard
        Originally Posted by Matt Braun View Post

        Thanks for your replies. Sounds like self hosting a website that contains info that everyone around the world can find useful is what I should start out with. Are review websites profitable maybe a website that reviews beers from around the world or would that be a waste of time as well?
        The trouble with review sites, of the type you are talking about, is that you have very stiff competition. They are also very difficult to monetize unless you have A LOT of traffic. The big guys start these up with budgets that run into the 10s of 1000s and have full time staff.

        You can do smaller review sites by targeting high priced Amazon items but this isn't the type of thing you want to do (I think).

        If you want to do beer, perhaps you could review some home-brew equipment? You could buy one yourself and then blog about the beer you produce. These type of (look at me, I actually did it) review blogs are the most successful.
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    • Profile picture of the author Matt Braun
      Thanks for the help. I have archived this info to my computer so I don't loose it. 1 last question should I make a separate thread for my other possible ideas or should I just post them here?
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      • Profile picture of the author Kierkegaard
        Originally Posted by Matt Braun View Post

        Thanks for the help. I have archived this info to my computer so I don't loose it. 1 last question should I make a separate thread for my other possible ideas or should I just post them here?
        If it's all on the same subject then probably here. If it's a specific question about, say, building a list or article marketing then a new thread.

        Do a search first because there are already long threads with loads of info on many subjects.
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  • Profile picture of the author scottmanesis
    Your own self hosted website and your own domain is definitely the way to go. What you do not own/control will eventually own/control you. Sound business advice I learned from a magician.
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  • Profile picture of the author Kierkegaard
    Originally Posted by Matt Braun View Post

    How do I go about attracting people to look at my blog?

    Please post any advice or criticism you have.
    You would need to optimize pages around particular restaurants in your area. However, if you Google the names of local restaurants you'll probably find that several sites already exist that feature these restaurants.

    These sites often encourage restaurant owners who google themselves and find the review site to pay for a better listing. They also encourage people who have been the to the restaurant to submit reviews.

    As you are not a famous critic nor write for an established publication then no-one will really be interested in your opinion. However, whereas people don't want to read the opinion of one stranger they like to read the opinions of lots of strangers - think TripAdviser on Hotel reviews - as this gives a good indication of what somewhere is like.

    It is going to cost you A LOT of money to get off the ground and compete with sites already available. They will have a staff of full-time workers. You, will be alone and working on your site part-time.

    It will be very difficult indeed to make any money out of it. Especially if you are targeting your local area. There just won't be enough people looking for your content and visiting your site. That means there won't be enough people on the site to click on your ads.

    As a newcomer to IM, I would strongly advise you to think of something else other than restaurant reviews.
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    • Profile picture of the author jwmann2
      Everything needs to be one hundred percent you, don't mess with the Blogger.com stuff. ActNow Domains is a good place to purchase your domain name. Joomla is what you want to use to build your site.
      Then, join affiliate networks such as Commission Junction, ShareaSale, PepperJam Network, Google, Amazon, LinkShare. They likely all over restaurant related ads you can put on your website and earn commissions for.
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  • Profile picture of the author Reed7
    You've already received some great advise to get you going. When you are in a position to, owning a domain/site ultimately is the best position for a longer term strategy as you build your biz, especially the area you have mentioned. You would be building a true asset with value, growing in size and value and may want to sell some day...
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