Maintaining a good blog can be one of the best marketing tools you can find. A.) It is free and B) it is a way to get new and returning visitors to your website. Building a good blog does not happen overnight. It takes time to get a consistent flow of readers and participation, but in the end it is well worth it. Here are some tips to get you started with your new blog.
· When writing, write for your users first, search engines second and sales third.
- Users – They will not read your blog if you appear to be blogging only for SEO purposes or if make your posts sales pitches. Write content that people actually want to read.
- Search Engines – Remember the search engines when writing your posts, but remember to make it easy to read by not overusing keywords. Utilize SEO best practices…although the term “Tom’s Diner” may get more searches, “Tom’s Diner in Lower Manhattan” will be more targeted traffic.
- Sales – If you are using your blog as a marketing tool, it is ok to mention products or services every once in awhile…but if that is all you blog about, people will not read.
· Post content as frequently as possible – Once you stop posting quality content to your blog, your readers will forget about you. They do not sit around and wait for you to post a blog, but if you maintain consistent posts they will continue to read.
· Participate in the blogosphere – The more you participate in the blogosphere, the more readers you will get to your site. Good participation in several blogs has the ability to drive more traffic than search engines.
· Make sure the blog is hosted on your own site - If people begin linking to your blog, it is best for your site to get the benefits that come with the link instead of blogger, BlogSpot, etc. The domain should read as blog.yoursite.com or yoursite.com/blog.
· The blog title is the attention grabber – Having a good title can be the determining factor of whether or not someone clicks on the post. Funny, clever or controversial titles are good ways to lure visitors…readers also love lists (i.e. “Top 5 Reasons Why…”).
· Make it easy for the reader to access your homepage – Having an easy to find link to your homepage will allow your blog marketing efforts to do its job: sell your product or service.
· RSS – Allow people to subscribe to your blog with RSS. Make it easy to find and easy to access. Also…make sure it works!
· Include tags for relevant bookmarking sites – del.icio.us, Technorati, Reddit, Digg, Stumbleupon, Kaboodle, Propeller, Sphinn, etc.
· DO NOT GIVE UP! – If you blog for a few months and get little traffic, little participation, and few RSS subscribers, do not give up. It can take some time to build up a reader base, but once you do…you can reap the benefits.
· Think before you implement Adsense – Of course additional income is good, but ads may not reflect your company positively. There are positives and negatives to using Adsense, but if you don’t want to appear to be blogging for money or you do not want competitor ads showing up on your blog, think before you implement Adsense.
Blogging is not going away anytime soon. eMarketer predicts that growth for user-generated content consumers will continue to grow through 2013…including blogs. Currently 54%, or 104.1 Million users read blogs and these numbers are expected to grow to 69%, or 152.6 million by 2013. Remember to always meet the needs of the user!
For more information check out protocol 80's video regarding blog best practices.