How To Blog

If you search the web for "how to blog" you will find many articles and tutorials. A large number of these have 15 to 20 steps, if not even more, including topics like setting up frameworks, server configurations, SQL database setup, and other complicated technical details. Sure, there may be times when you really need to get down into the dirty details but in many cases a simpler solution is needed. That's where 140plus comes in.

There are just three simple steps to get up and running with 140plus:

Step 1: Signup

You need a Twitter account to get started with 140plus. Your site address will be yourtwitter.140plus.com. You can use an existing account or setup a new one specifically for your 140plus site.

Step 2: Configure

Set your Site Title and choose a Theme. You may also want to assign some keywords to help search engines index your site and add a few links to other sites/blogs if you wish. That's it.  Click Save to save your settings and you're done. Easy peasy. You can also change any of these later at any time.

Step 3: Publish

As a minimum, each posting needs a title. It must also include body copy (the main article) or a photo, or both. You can also provide a hashtag to use to categorize your posts. When you hit Publish, your post is published to your 140plus site and to Twitter (just like this one).

Advantages:

  • Free – 140plus is free (all your postings and images are hosted by 140plus free).
  • Incredibly easy to set up - Sign up and be writing your first post within minutes. The set up is a matter of naming your site and selecting a template. You can even skip these steps and defaults will be filled in automatically. Ideal when you don't need or want to get deep into the technological side of blogging.
  • Simple to Run – Once you’re through the easy set up process there is really nothing else to do. 140plus does all the work running the site for you. Posting is as simple as filling in a few fields and hitting publish.
  • Updated Automatically140plus automatically handles all platform updates for you. Instead of having to upload new software onto a server, these updates and new features occur seamlessly.
  • Indexed in Search Engines Quickly – one of the advantages of adding your blog to the 140plus family is that it will be among sites that have good page ranks already. While your blog won’t be indexed in search engines when you start, most 140plus bloggers notice that their blogs get picked up and ranked pretty quickly.
  • 140plus does all the hard work for you – None of the complexity normally associated with most blogging platforms. No awkward commands to try and remember, no updates or patches to apply, no server management, no fiddling with RSS feed settings, no installing and configuring countless widgets. 140plus does this all for you, leaving you to concentrate on the most important part: the writing.

That's it! You've got a blog. Go check it out: http://140plus.com

Making a Blog

Publish, be read, and get paid. Start writing instantly!

Want to Write (and Earn Money) on 140Plus? It's as Easy as 1-2-3

1. Sign up

Sign-in to 140plus.com using your Twitter ID. It's FREE.

Once you're signed-in, you can start writing immediately. Whenever someone reads your writing, you earn money! And, there are no hidden costs; Tweet Press pays all of your web site hosting, disk space and bandwidth costs.

2. Set up your blog

The Settings page on your dashboard is where you'll setup your blog. Here are some of the sections you'll find:

  • Blog Title
    Make it clear, specific and memorable. If you'll focus on a particular topic, consider mentioning it in the title.
  • Keywords
    Here's your chance to tell the world what topics you'll be covering - how people will search for your blog.
  • Publisher ID
    Here's how you make money. Enter your Google Adsense Publisher ID and Tweet Press will automatically display ads allowing you to make money from your site.

Note that all the settings above are optional and if you just want to get started right away, simply accept the defaults and skip to step 3 below. And don't worry, you can always change any of these settings later.

3. Add an entry

Go to the Write page on your dashboard. This is where you'll enter the title and text of your new entry. Here are some suggestions:

  • Title
    Be clear, complete, and descriptive. Your title should include words readers would search for when looking for your entry. Your title will also be shown to your Twitter followers.
  • Article
    Here's your chance to make your point. You are not limited to 140 characters, but as with all other good writing, brevity and clarity are important.
  • Category
    You can optionally specify categories for the entry.
  • Photo
    Upload a photo from your computer to be displayed with the entry (also optional).

You're done! It's so easy and fun, you'll want to write another entry right away.

What makes a good 140Plus site?

How can we maximize our reach on Twitter? What can we do to give our tweets the most viral potential? Here are a few ideas:

  1. Make it retweet-worthy. People are going to want to retweet things which are interesting or valuable. Being limited to 140 characters, chances are the real value of a tweet is going to be in linking to something with more information. This is where Tweet Press comes in, by automatically linking to your noteworthy full article. See What makes a good page?.
  2. Seed your retweet tree. Do you know a few people on Twitter a lot better than others? Then, hit them up and specifically ask them for a retweet. This helps to plant the seeds for a viral tweet. People do tend to imitate others and if they see many people retweeting a message, they're more likely to do it themselves. Especially if the people you seed it with have some authority with their own followers.
  3. Be different. Twitter is like a river that keeps on flowing rapidly and endlessly. To stand out, you need a tweet which interrupts the pattern and stands out. So, don't be afraid to be provocative. Some of the most retweeted messages I've seen have a catchy headline that just begs them to click the link to find out what the hell that was all about. Remember, apply the skills of copywriting to your tweets and you'll get more reaction. When writing a sales letter or a blog post, the purpose of the headline is to get the person to keep reading. Do that in a tweet, and you'll invite action as well.
  4. Watch the clock. Not everybody has Twitter open all day long. Expecting to get some retweets at 4AM on a Sunday is probably going to prove frustrating. Doing it so that it is out there in time for the lunch break (12-1pm) might work a lot better. You're probably going to see the most retweets during the work week and from mid-morning through lunch time.

What makes a good 140Plus page?

Creating a Tweet-worthy page means you essentially have to give something to your readers, whether this is new information, a good old fashioned laugh, or a talking point. Here are a few hints on creating a 140Plus page that’s worth Tweeting.

Give it a Good Title

The title is the first thing your regular readers will see and it's what gets tweeted, so it's what people will see in their Twitter stream. If your article is a witty one, make your title witty. If it’s going to tell your readers something new, make sure they know through the title that by reading it they’ll get some information. Include a word or two that gives a clear indication of what it’s all about. Take this page's title, for example. The page is about writing pages that people will want to share on Twitter. The title gives an indication of this. However, an overly long title can be off-putting. Keep it snappy.

When Writing about the News, Have Something Special to Say

Many of us publish on the news or current events. That in itself is fine, providing you add a new dimension to it. If you just publish a link to another news article on some other site and say “Here, read this,” why would your readers then link to your site? Why would they not just link directly to the original site from which you sourced the story? You need to add a new spin to material like this. Add your own opinion or commentary. Make it more valuable to the reader. There should be something they can gain or find out from your site, whether it’s an opinion or analysis, that they could not gain just from reading the original story.

Unique Content

Whether you’re discussing a news article that’s doing the rounds on millions of sites or you’re writing your own piece completely from your own head, your content should be unique. Having word-for-word copies of something else online will do you no SEO favors and will do your readers no favors. It comes back down to the big, “Why would I share this?” question. Why, if ten sites are showing exactly the same piece, would people share yours? Keeping it unique means that your page is the only place your regular readers can send new readers to to access that very article.

Be Human

Let your personality shine through in your pages. More personable pages are generally more reader friendly, and it’s the more reader friendly of your pages that will receive the most benefit from people passing on your link through Twitter. Being human in your pages lets your readers feel as though they know you to an extent. If they know you and like you, they are more likely to want to share your content with their own contacts. While business pages obviously require a level of professionalism, you can easily maintain this without being almost sterile about your pages.

Read Before You Publish

Once you’ve completed an article, read it. And then reread it. Ask yourself, ‘what do my readers gain by reading this?’ Do you give them hints? Do you make them laugh? Do you cause them to stop and think? If you can’t identify anything your readers gain, consider rewriting before publishing. There has to be a reason for someone to Tweet your page.

As I’ve mentioned already, Twitter is a phenomenal way in which you can reach out and attract new readers. While your own Twitter account is good means of publicizing your pages, you ideally want your readers to feel compelled to share it too, thus extending your network of readers. Taking a bit of time to perfect your pages can grant massive reward in this way.

* The preceding is a guest post by Stacey Cavanagh, an online marketer with Tecmark SEO Manchester.