In the past few years personal blog growth has been astonishing. Blog search engine Tecnorati had indexed more than 133 million blogs by January 2009. 133 million! At that figure, its not a wonder that many bloggers fall of the bandwagon, doubtful that their efforts can have an impact amidst so many blogs!There is still hope however, as blogs are still arguably the most accessible and foremost way to drive user engagement and SEO factors through a web site. Regularly (and even frequently updated) content can be the difference between a visitor returning to your site, as well as a search spider returning to your site. And no one has to tell you how important that is, nowadays.
Here are some high-impact tips to make sure you’re getting the most out of your blog:
Where are you hosting your blog? Many blog services allow you have a subdomain hosted blog, like myblog.wordpress.org, however you’ll find that visitors will have a harder time remembering a subdomain than they will a regular domain. So make a $10 investment at GoDaddy or another domain registrar and point your short, memorable domain to your blog. Many blogging platforms also let you host yourself, so if you’re more tech savvy, you can install a blog on your own web site as a subdirectory (domain.com/myblog) and reap the benefits of a blog that way. If you’ve never blogged before, check out Wordpress or Blogger as your first go-to resources.
Do you have your blog tied in with your other social media accounts? Many blog platforms have plugins which will push your blog posts out to update your social networks such as Facebook and Twitter. Also, free services such as Ping.FM will help you connect your social media accounts so that your blog posts are getting the most visibility across your social network.
Know your keywords! If you haven’t before or lately, be sure you check to make sure that you are targeting keywords that are both not chock full of competition and have a good base of people searching for them. Be sure to check out the Google Keyword Tool (hint, Google it) and get a good feel for what people are searching for relative to what your blog is talking about (product names, etc)
Your blog can’t exist by itself! Active participation in product or industry forums can drive both qualified traffic to your site, as well as help build back links to your site, a valuable SEO factor. Simply pushing content onto your blog will seem like a long road if you practice the “if you build it, they will come” mentality.
What you don’t measure, you don’t know! All internet marketers would love to have access to to the full suite of reporting tools from Omniture, but for most people it’s out of reach. Google Analytics is a good starting point to measure which content pieces on your site are more successful than others. Most blog platforms will have a host of different analytics plugins/modules, so check the reviews on each to see which one fits best to your blog.
Your Friend, Hector Jayat