Blogging is a great way to share knowledge while building an online presence and following. But merely posting new blog entries is not nearly enough to make your blog stand out. You are one of a cast of thousands – of hundreds of thousands, even! So how do you help your blog get noticed? Here are some ideas to get you started.
Get your own domain and decent hosting. This will result in search engines viewing your site as more trustworthy, and whether you realize it or not, you’ll likely be more invested in a site bearing your domain that you foot the hosting bill for each month.
Have a purpose; don’t blog just for the sake of blogging. You must offer something of value to readers. If you are addressing questions that are probably being asked online, that’s when people start sharing your content and viewing you as an authority in your area. Your blog should also have a general theme, even if it is loosely defined. If yours is a standalone blog (not part of a larger website) people should be able to get the gist of what it’s aboutjust by looking at the home page.
Stay current and active, and post often. Enough said.
Make sure your site has good “guts.” That means current, clean code, no broken links, and a decent loading time. All of these things make your site look more legit to the search engines.
Utilize tags, categories, and strategic titles. Think about the way people may be searching for your topic or theme, and use those keywords and phrases in your title, tags, and categories.
Give those images relevant titles! Name them in such a way that if a search engine was crawling your site, your image title would give it a good idea of what your site, or at least your post, is about.
Backlinks are your friend! (A backlink is another site that links back to yours.) Caveat alert! As you should not buy your friends, you also should not buy backlinks. Google is onto that and they think it stinks. You must build up quality backlinks, which takes time. Here are a couple of ways to do it:
- Visit other noteworthy, respected blogs and post (relevant, compelling comments or questions) in the comments section.
- Link back to your own content! It’s totally allowed. (See what I did there?)
Solidify your permalink structure. They should include terms people are searching. (Example: yourdomain.com/title-of-blog-post) You can also use keywords that are relevant to your post in your permalink. Second caveat alert! Do NOT go back and update old permalinks – you will screw up any backlinks you have built up. Just use this method with all new links moving forward.
Get the word out! Share your post on social media! Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn are all great places to share what you are writing about, pose questions and encourage interaction from your audience.
If you aren’t sure where to start, WordPress is a great blogging platform with lots of great tools, plugins and support.
What other things are you doing to optimize your blog? Chime in with your ideas in the comments!