Emma-Julie Fox writes for a Vancouver based company that provides white hat SEO services, Pitstop Media. If you would like to invite the author to guest post on your blog please contact www.pitstopmedia.com.
The biggest responsibility of a blogger is to write blog posts that can capture the attention of searchers, be found by search engine users, and contribute in the overall success of his blog. There’s a lot of work involved because blogging is more than just sitting down and typing away to your heart’s content.
If you want your blog to rank high—and subsequently earn an income—you need to do mind the following:
Choose your blog topics wisely. Image source
1. Write about topics that are currently popular.
Keep your eyes and ears peeled for issues that will likely become highly-talked about. It’s better to publish one of the earliest—and most well-written—articles about a certain topic than to jump in when hundreds of articles have already been written about it. Everyone else who wishes to write about the same thing will have to do their research. If your articles are published early, they will have to use your blog posts as their source and maybe even link to your website.
2. Write about topics that no one else—or very few else—has blogged about.
Writing about a not-so-popular topic isn’t a complete waste of time. In fact it can be an excellent return of investment for you. If you’re one of the very few sources in the Web, then it means that your blog post will have to appear in the SERPs each time there is a search query related to that subject matter.
3. Write about general topics that will always be researched about.
Not everyone is a repository of knowledge. People will always be looking for a reliable source where they can review their facts and know more about particular subjects. Take students and researchers, for example. They always need to check histories, origins, and general knowledge, among others.
The challenge here is to write in such a way that readers will feel they are reading something new, not the same drivel they can find in other websites.
4. Write something relevant, useful, and valuable.
Whatever topic you choose to write about, what’s important is you make it valuable to your readers. It should contain useful information and not just a copy of all the other articles that exist online. It’s inevitable that you’d use information from other websites—after all, you’d be researching for facts to include in your blog post.
5. Edit your work!
This needs little explanation. Editing blog posts should always be part of your SOP. You can either edit it yourself, in which case you should take a long break before editing, or hire an editor or copywriter.
The big NO-NOs:
– duplicate content
– spin/rewrite content
– commit plenty of spelling and grammar mistakes
– neglect to credit sources (especially if you quote their words)
Applying SEO principles helps bloggers attract readers.
Never ever forget your SEO basics—-to insert strategic keywords into your blog posts. Search engines will look for web pages that will match the keywords or phrases used by search engine users. Yes, it is a bit of a guesswork, but you won’t be fishing keywords out of thin air. There’s Google Adwords for starters. It’s free and it’s mighty useful if you’re looking for keyword research resources. As someone who’s knowledgeable about your niche though, you should already have a general idea on what your target audience will be looking for.
2. Mind Keyword Density
Use many different keywords instead of using the same one over and over again in one blog post. Remember that Google Penguin and Panda will be policing content and looking for signs of manipulating the ranking algorithm. Repetitive use of keywords is a red flag for poorly-written content (because keywords and phrases are forced into sentences and sacrificing grammar in the process) and over-optimization.
3. Don’t Use Iframes
Iframes are “windows within windows” that’s useful for compartmentalizing a webpage. It is also useful for posting lengthy content without making the user scroll far below the fold. Unfortunately, search engines do not crawl iframes so any content posted there will not make its way into the SERPs.
Link building is very important for SEO purposes. It also gives your readers additional information should they want to know more about the topic and other closely-related subjects. What’s important is to link to high-quality websites that contain relevant and valuable content so that your readers will not feel fooled into clicking a bad link.
You should link to authority websites in your niche. Many people will surely recognize those sites and will appreciate your giving them additional reading material. Besides, linking with bigger sites also increases your chance of getting crawled and indexed by search engines within hours of your blog post going live.
5. Invite a Guest Blogger and Be a Guest Blogger
Invite popular bloggers who have plenty of followers to be a guest blogger. This can do a lot for you and your blog: additional traffic, additional link juice (assuming of course that your host blog or guest blogger has a pretty successful blog or website already), plenty of promotions (even better if the host or guest blogger has Facebook and Twitter accounts), and the chance to take a breather from writing. Burnouts are just as effective in killing a blog as sanctions from Panda and Penguin.
An important reminder: make sure the host/guest blogger agrees to include links to your blog in their websites/blogs.
6. Include Meta Information
If you’re using WordPress, Blogspot or any commercially-developed blogging platform, there will be fields where you can put in a meta title, meta description, and meta tags for each post. Always fill them out because search engines use them to summarize your blog post and determine if it matches keyword searches. You should therefore use keywords for your meta information as well.
7. Enable Social Sharing
Install social sharing widgets in all your blog posts. It also helps to have an official social media account for your blog and get your readers to add you as their contact.
Appearance, Layout, Design
Designing a blog is more than just making things pretty.
If you think your blog post is quite lengthy, include pictures so that readers won’t feel like they’re reading a textbook. They can also show an idea or concept that’s difficult for you to put into words.
2. Optimize Images
Make sure the file names of your uploaded pictures really describe the image they show. If it’s a red apple, label it as “red apple.” Also put captions beneath the pictures. Remember to include keywords as much as possible for both file names and captions. Optimizing images can help bring your blog post to the fore, both in the organic SERPs and in the image searches.
3. Choose Matching Colors and Fonts
Appearance and presentation is also instrumental in attracting readers for your blog. Internet users tend to leave web pages that have too many GIFs and Flash attachments (because they load too long) and if the text and background colors make reading difficult and hurtful to the eyes.
4. Keep the Layout Simple
A simple presentation is always better than an over-the-top layout that distracts the eye from the content itself. Keep things neat
The goal should always be this: give your readers very good reasons why they should read your blog. Everything else can follow after that. High traffic and social sharing rate, recognition from the search engines and persons in authority, a high spot on the SERPs, credibility, more subscribers, and even conversions and earnings.