Sunday, 7 March 2010

Writing a blog

Best Blogger Tips
On 1st January 2010, I had no Blog (and no blogging experience whatsoever) and I had in fact avoided writing one (partly due to the offputting and ugly name derived from Weblog) because of 1) time, 2) will anyone read it and 3) will it really add to my ‘branding’ for business?
I have to say that after a lot of time and perseverance it has worked. Last week my Blog was number one for a ‘Paul Marsden’ UK Google search and number two for a worldwide Google search. From a standing start I landed on page twelve after about four weeks and after six weeks I was on page five of searches. It then suddenly arrived at the top after plugging away building up articles and following some simple rules to make it a very modest success (in my terms).
Now please remember I am not an SEO or Blogging expert and there will no doubt be thousands of budding social media experts that will take one look at my Blog and be pointing out umpteen ‘mistakes’ or ways to improve it! That’s not the point and frankly those sort of people frighten away so many others who are not particular ‘techy’. I still have a lot to learn but so far so good.
So for what it’s worth, here goes:-

  1. I chose Blogger to get started since it seemed relatively straightforward as it provided templates to choose from. I could easily add different gadgets without worrying about learning too much  html language to start with.     
  2. I was lucky to be able to choose a name for the blog which matched my Twitter name and Facebook of paulwbmarsden to assist with compatibility.
  3. I uploaded some photos of me and uploaded simple Amazon adverts and music clips just as an experiment (no I am not a millionaire just yet from the income). I was amazed to find a short book that I had written to add to the carousel at the top of the front page (The Black Friars of Shrewsbury if you must know and no I really am not a millionaire after writing that book!).
  4. I tagged in Digg and BBC news headlines to allow an automatic freshness to appear even if I was behind in uploading a new blog.
  5. Then the easy bit; choosing the content. I find writing easy so I could plough into my favourite subject on Malawi and discuss issues Friends of Malawi LinkedIn Group and even tea and coffee from the small African nation (ok a bit different I agree). I avoided inane brief comments or pointless photos (although everyone needs to find their own style) and tried to think of things out of the ordinary and perhaps from a slightly original angle. I added blogs on topical issues such as the Toyota recall, if I found it interesting and not just because they were topical. I have added lots of hyperlinks to other articles (or my book...) which I understand search engines like, but only where there is an interesting link and not just for the sake of it (except my book...).
  6. I read up on articles by others who had invented the wheel before me and tried to incorporate a few keywords without twisting my articles to fit the words rather than allow natural writing to take place.
  7. I learnt a little then about html so I could play around with the coding inside the blog to add Follow Me on Twitter buttons, Facebook and Twitter.
  8. Lately I have added in a button for Wieowie, which is a Dutch based website that pulls together different social media sites for myself. It is slightly disadvantaged as it has a natural bias towards all things Dutch so even the Google search comes back with articles on Paul Marsden in Dutch and tends towards more national Dutch sites such as SchoolBank (and no I couldn’t find my school even though it allows overseas schools to be included). But it does generate an interesting league table for devoted collectors of contacts and friends from different sites.
  9. I have registered the blog website address with as many listings directories as I can. It is slow when you have to do it manually but they are free.
  10. Also recently I have added a Share/Save button so others can if they really want to let people know what I have been blogging about!

I want to professionalise the image of the site in due course, add more background information (such as when I was an MP) and try my hand at adding videos and more photos. However, as the Blog influences search engines more and more as I add more blogs, so I am affecting what people read and hopefully providing them with some interesting articles. I have yet to crack Yahoo and Alta Vista
Enjoy and please feel free to post any constructive advice so I can keep learning!


  1. 6/10 first effort.

    Try the templates - you can upload them on Edit HTML on your own blogger template.


  2. Thank you - I will settle for 6/10 for now! Will check out suggested templates and how I can uplift the overall professional presentation. Thank you for the feedback.

  3. Carousel is not working at the top - you require a proper banner

    Also look up feedburner - it is very good for websites. I think Google has partnered with it now so you should be able to use it.

    For photographs, you may look into

    Use blog catalogs to enter your blog - this will make it list better.

    Twitter images with pretty birds are here

    Changing your Twitter background



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