Blogging 101: The Newbie’s Guide to Getting Up to Speed in Blogging
Over a decade ago, blogging was little more than a tool to chronicle personal events.
But it gradually picked up steam, and people began to see its potential as a tool to gather massive followers. Blogging became one of the Internet’s most invaluable tools for the DIY marketer.
Whether you are a teacher, a marketer, a scientist, an entertainer, or a journalist, there’s a host of benefits you can gain from blogging that will make your work known to broader audience.
And if you’re a small business, blogging can help you outperform your local competitors.
If you are new to blogging and are thinking of using this remarkable tool — especially for your online business — here are some tips that’ll set you up for success.
Internal and external linking
Blogging provides you with a great opportunity to create efficient internal link building strategy, a factor that top bloggers understand is a crucial element of successful SEO. If your blog’s internal linking strategy is skillfully structured, you will encourage your visitors to stay longer because they can find their way around your site easily via the links you include in each blog post.
So make sure to include relevant links within each post that point to other posts on your blog.
You should also include outbound or external links within your posts. These are links that point your visitors to relevant information beyond what you yourself can provide. When you do link out to other sources, though, make certain they are of high value and authority.
At the same time, you want to avoid putting too many links into your blogs, especially if they turn out to be of little value to your readers. Remember that Google Panda frowns upon sites that have too many links, because of the suspicion that they’re spammy.
Using the right set of keywords
Keywords form the basis of everything you do on your blog relating to SEO. One of the most important things to remember when using keywords is to place them early in your content and in the most important parts of your posts. Use keywords in titles, in the first sentence of the first paragraph, in subheadings, and in links.
With the advent of Google Penguin, however, there’s a lot more you want to keep in mind than just dropping keywords all over your post. You have to make sure that you use plenty of variations of those keywords, avoid over-using them, and make your keywords read naturally.
If there’s one part of your blog post that you must try to master in order to pull in massive followers, it’s the blog post title. For one thing, search engines place high value on titles. That’s why they need to be properly optimized for search.
Another reason is that the title offers you the best opportunity to draw readers in. That’s why it’s in your long-term interest to keep practicing creating titles that effectively appeal to human interest.
With the growth of social media and the ease of sharing information on it, creating effective blog post titles has become even more critical. Because when people share information on social media, what their friends and colleagues see first are the titles.
A magnetic headline that is properly optimized with keywords will attract multiple readers from your social media audience . . . and their connections.
Choosing the right niche
There really is no “one size fits all” approach that’s going to work for everything, and that goes for blogging too. If you’re operating a business blog and you try to target a wide range of audience, you might run into problems with conversion.
That’s why you should consider narrowing your focus down to a specific niche or industry. You have a better chance of targeting people who are very interested in your topic, and the competition for attention may be less broad as well.
Frequency of posts
Study some of the best-performing blogs that appeal to your niche. Odds are, you will notice that each of them publishes posts on a regular basis. Google loves fresh new content, and that’s why it loves blogs. The more often and faithfully you publish new content, the more reason you give Google’s spiders to visit your site regularly and award it high marks.
How frequently should you blog? That’s all up to you. The perfect answer is: as frequently as your schedule will allow you to. That might be daily or only weekly. But whatever it is, you have to maintain a consistent output, to meet your growing audience’s expectations. So if you start out posting something each business day, do your best to keep to that schedule over time.
So you’ve found a niche to blog about and you’ve set up your blog. Great! Now, where are the thundering hordes that were going to beat a path to your door?
Hold your horses. As with anything, success in blogging rarely happens overnight. You have to be patient enough to keep doing things on a consistent basis in order to earn people’s trust and keep them coming back.
By doing the right thing consistently, you will attract highly targeted traffic to your blog much more effectively.
Focus on quality
Quality trumps quantity. No matter how many posts you churn out on a regular basis, if you don’t place quality above all else, you won’t get very far. With Google Panda keeping a close watch on every bit of content that gets indexed on Google, you will do much better by focusing on quality than trying to push tons of weak posts out the door.
Always stay original
The most important reason you should strive to create original content for your blog is that it’s good for your reputation. By creating posts that contain your original thoughts on subjects that relate to your areas of most knowledge and experience, you create an expert status for yourself, and people will trust you even more. Also, with Google Panda always on the lookout for duplicate content, creating original posts will ensure that you rank better in search.
Have the right contributors
Blogging on a consistent basis can definitely take a toll on your time and energy. It can also divert some of your precious focus away from other things that matter to your business.
So it might be worth your while to get some help from other bloggers who would be interested in writing for you as a guest poster. However, if you do decide to enlist the assistance of other bloggers, pick those that have real value to offer your audience. Choose writers that are experienced and who can write strong topics that are specific to your niche.
Engage more with visuals
By including photos and videos in your posts, you make your blog more engaging. This also has benefits when you or others share your posts on social media.
Blogging should be an essential element of every business. By creating a blog that offers valuable information on a consistent basis, you will create a solid foundation for your online reputation.
Have you got some great tips for bloggers? Tell us about them in a comment below.
Want more information on content marketing? Head over to our comprehensive guide on content marketing here: The All-in-One Guide to Planning and Launching a Content Marketing Strategy.
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