How to Take Your Blog to the Next Level
Published: Monday, September 17, 2012
Updated: Monday, September 17, 2012 16:09
There are websites and blogs for almost everything. From do-it-yourself projects to guilty pleasures, the web is filled with people expressing themselves, sharing their interests and finding likeminded individuals to connect with. The saturated blog scene is an extremely popular sphere for young adults, though few probably realize their professional potential.
Twenty-two-year-old music blogger and website creator Robert Horn didn’t miss his chance to turn his blog into a full-functioning website.
Before he began blogging, Horn didn’t know anything about operating a blog or creating a website. All he had was a passion for music and the desire to share it. Horn started with Tumblr, a free, popular blog site and now gets paid by Google to run a music website by featuring advertisements on his page AskMeAboutMyMusic.com.
Using Horn’s experience as an example, College Times offers the following advice for turning your blog into a website.
Step 1: Find a host
Unless you have taken a college course or an online media class or have basic knowledge of HTML coding to build a website from scratch, it’s wise to find a website host such as GoDaddy.com or JustHost.com. which for a fee will give you a website domain name, help you create the website and allow you the freedom to customize it.
Step 2:Transfer time
In order to successfully transfer all of the information and data from your blog onto the website, you need the proper coding. Coding is the combination of symbols and words that tell the website server exactly what you want to show up on the webpage, from background and text color to font and photos. Every website needs coding to display any information.
YouTube and Google are full of websites and tutorials that teach you how and what type of codes to use. Horn said he had to watch multiple YouTube tutorials on the various types of coding to help him display music, album artwork and functioning links onto his page.
In Horn's case, he linked the Tumblr blog with GoDaddy.com so all of his previous blog posts and information still remained. Once the two are linked, you can proceed to post and update your website the same way you would add information, photos or links to your blog.
Step 3: Running the website
Horn said that there are a few essential elements to operating and maintaining a successful website.
First and foremost, the content needs to be exceptional. The whole reason to have a website is to offer one-of-a-kind content that others can read, watch, share or download.
"People want information and they want it now," Horn said. "If you really want a successful website, your content has to be good and it has to be relatable."
Horn and his business partner, Nelson Reid, consistently work to have fresh, new content, featuring the latest music and downloadable tracks everyday for their viewers. Horn also said that in order to ensure the site's survival, you must think ahead of the curve and be one step ahead of your audience.
"In this day in age, people are consumed with wanting to be involved," Horn said. "You have to make people feel that they have to come to your page and if they don't, they are missing out on something big."
Website success also depends on easy functionality and accessibility. Giving users the option to share your site's information on Twitter and Facebook is an easy way to promote the site while simultaneously making it easily accessible.
Step 4: Turning a profit
Horn suggested the addition of advertisements to the webpage. This will allow you to make money from the site while boosting its professional appearance. Google offers advertising options that allow the website owner to receive money from either the amount of clicks on a particular ad or how many people view the ad. Bringing ads onto your website initially doesn’t bring much income, Horn said, but if you continue to generate interesting and popular content the site will yield more profit. For his site, Horn chose to receive payment per page view, so he gets paid every time someone views the Google ads on his page.
"It is definitely easier now than before to create a website," Horn said. "Everything is user friendly and websites want to make everything easier for their users."
By following the given steps, any novice blogger should have the tools to transform a blog into a real website. It is a professionally wise and a respectable decision to convert a blog into a website. Shifting a diary-like page with your personal thoughts into an useful tool that provides incomparable, unique content can only prove beneficial in the professional world – whether that means working on your own site or a major company’s.