Welcome to the blogosphere! Taking your first steps in this textual, content driven corner of the internet is almost like swimming an Olympic Relay without a lap of training; only your mother stands on the sidelines, cheering warily and playing Pop games on her iPhone.
While it can be enough to deter talented writers and phrase-smiths, blogging is no longer about stringing a sentence together on a line of random thought, casting posts and appropriated poetry into an ocean of SERPS; it has become something else entirely.
Bloggers are smart, creative and SEO savvy; SEO? What do three letters, convoluted by updates and shades of acceptability have to do with writing? Everything. Keeping up-to-date with the latest search trends and algorithm updates can turn your flagging start-up into a veritable success.
Think about it, webmasters use SEO to rank webpages higher on Google, blogs are no exception. Don’t speak SEO? No problem, here are three things you need to know and apply right now to give your blog the best start possible.
What’s In a Name?
Think about your blog name. Will it be relevant in five years? Is it too niche or particular? What if you change direction in the future – will it still be suitably linked to content and feel? Is it interesting? Does it communicate the soul of your brand (as a blogger, you are your own brand – knowing what this is will be important to future outreach)?
Picking a blog name cautiously walks the tightrope between creativity and pragmatism, attractive to a particular audience and SEO principles. If you have your heart set on reviewing European Couture Exhibitions or The Best Modified Cars, try to include key phrases in the blog name. Eg: Cressida’s Couture Riot or The Modified Cars Repository.
Pleased to Meet You Data
Most first time bloggers are caught up in the nuts and bolts process of setting up a blog, focusing on aesthetic appearance, fonts and imagery. While creative flourishes are essential to holding the wandering eyes and fingers of an average visitor, the boring stuff needs to be sealed up. Meta data on the client end includes link titles and descriptive text, enticing a potential visitor to click through. Before you can setup effective meta data, reflect on the following:
- Who am I appealing to? What are their goals?
- What does my blog offer readers others don’t? What point of difference can I provide?
- What are my central themes? What will I write about?
An honest review of these questions will reveal a list of keywords, relevant titles and effective meta messages to tempt your future fan-base through.
How Do You Connect?
Link Structure is often the last thing on our minds when we post our first blast; some of us spend an age scouring the back-lighted page for spelling errors, punctuation pickles or phraseology mishaps, some of us don’t. Whether you’re the type to drop a bomb and watch the fireworks or brush through content with a fine-tooth comb, there is one thing you’re probably forgetting: What does your link say? How does it look? Does it communicate the purpose of the post?
Say for example domain carmods.com/p1gh98 shines a big, bold, neon spot-light on your blog for all the wrong reasons. An irrelevant, alphanumeric randomisation announces to search engines and website crawlers you aren’t ready to play with the big boys or even the little boys; avoid this trap and try something like the following: carmods.com/craziest-car-mods-of-2013
While we’ve given you enough to get started, this is not an exhaustive list of tips or tricks; before donning the mantle of blogger, put down the big B and read-up on posting strategy, content strategy and SEO dynamics. Not only will the forethought save you time in the future, it will also rescue you from drowning in the deep depths of Google, never to be seen or heard from again.
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