New to blogging and want to get off the right foot?
Blogs can help drive traffic to your website, convert that traffic into leads, establish authority in your industry, and ultimately grow your business
I’ve created the following list of tips to help you get your blog up and running and moving in the right direction.
1. Perfect Your About Page
This is the most frequently visited page of your blog after your home page it also happens to be one of the most commonly overlooked pages) so it’s worth taking time to make it as professional as possible.
2. Declutter Your Sidebar
Does your blog have a sidebar? Has it become crowded with widgets? Then it’s time to declutter KonMari style. Get rid of anything that doesn’t add something valuable to the reader experience.
3. Showcase Popular Content
One thing that you should keep on your sidebar is a list of your most popular content. Use it to showcase your best writing.
4. Display Social Sharing Buttons
Google “likes” a highly shared page so make your social share buttons are highly visible on your landing page and encourage people to share your content.
5. Provide Links To Older Posts
Put hyperlinks in each of your posts that direct people to your other blog posts on the same topic. This will increase readership and improve your SEO efforts.
6. Install A Spam Blocker
Install a plugin like Akismet to block spam comments.
7. Make Your Subscribe Button Highly Visible
One of the biggest benefits of blogging is that it helps you grow an email list of subscribers you can share your new content with. So make that subscribe button highly visible. Don’t hide it away someplace readers won’t spot it. Consider creating an e-mail incentive known as an opt-in offer or a lead magnet something you are willing to give away for free which requires people to provide an email address to download.
8. Add A Call-To-Action
Whether that goal is for a reader to share or comment on your latest blog, subscribe to your RSS feed, or purchase a product, adding a call to action increases the likelihood the reader will take the desired action and engage with you further.
9. Post Consistently
If you want your blog to be read often, you need to post often. Set aside one day each month to map out upcoming events, holidays, and so forth, which you would like to write or post about. Then use a simple excel spreadsheet to create your content calendar. Use it to get into the habit of planning your blog post topics ahead of time, publishing consistently, and even scheduling posts in advance.
10. Write Better Headlines
Did you know that on average, 8 out of 10 people will read headline copy, but only 2 out of 10 will read the rest? Your headline is the first impression you make on a prospective reader. An eye-catching headline is a key factor in getting readers to click through to your article.
11. Draw Readers In With Your Intro
When you have hooked readers with an irresistible headline, you need to keep them reading. Start with an interesting fact, question, stat or anecdote about the content within your blog post. Share the value your readers will get if they continue to read your blog post. “One way to think about this”, according to CoSchedule “is with the classic marketing technique, WIIFM, otherwise known as what’s in it for me?”
12. Add Visual Appeal
Study after study confirms that how you create and share content matters
and visual content is leading the way. Here are a few types of visuals that you can incorporate that can increase your shares and engagement:
- Large infographics
- Mini infographics
- Quote graphics
- Blog title graphics (like the one at the top of this article)
- Graphics that show interesting stats
13. Optimize Your Images
Whichever images you choose for your content be sure to optimize your images for Google search by writing an image caption and adding relevant keywords to the file names that describe the content of the image.
14. Add Long-Tail Keywords
If you want your blog to rank higher in Google you have to make sure that you’re using the right keywords. One of the biggest mistakes I come across is trying to rank for generic keywords with a high search volume. Instead, try long-tail keywords. These are keywords or key phrases that are more specific — and usually longer — than more commonly searched for keywords.
15. Make Content Readable
Most online readers scan website content, so make your copy highly scannable by using bullet points, section headers and lists to break up chunks of text, and varying the font size to differentiate between the more and less important elements of your page.
16. Proofread and Pay Attention To Punctuation and Grammar
Everyone needs to edit their writing — even the most experienced writers. Take time to proofreading your posts before you hit publish. Poor punctuation, typos and grammar really undermine professionalism. Pay particular attention to misplaced (or missing) commas and apostrophes. Grammarly is a free writing app available as a Google Chrome Extension. Adding Grammarly to Chrome means that your spelling and grammar will be vetted on Gmail, Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Tumblr, and nearly everywhere else you write on the web. I use it all the time and find it super useful.
17. Create Evergreen Content
Evergreen content is the kind of content that is continually relevant and stays “fresh” for readers. Some common evergreen formats include:
- Top Tips
- Instructional “How To” Tutorials
18. Leverage Guest Blogging
Whether you invite a guest blogger to blog on your site, or you guest blog for someone else, guest blogging is one of the most effective ways to increase your blog’s traffic. Not only do you get the opportunity to build your authority and increase your visibility, but you can also leverage the social following of your guest blogger when you mention them on social media.
19. Track Your Data
Set up Google Analytics for your blog to see which days you are getting the most traffic, and which keywords and social platforms are bringing visitors to your blog.
20. Stay Inspired
I honestly don’t believe there is any good excuse to run out of content ideas. There are so many places to find inspiration if you know where to look. For example, you can use Google Trends and what’s trending on Twitter to keep an eye on trending topics that you can write about. Here are some more places to find inspiration when you are stuck for content ideas.
21. Stay Committed
Last but not least, stay committed. Blogging is a marathon, not a sprint. It takes time to see results. It requires consistency and dedication over the long-haul.
Blogging is one of the most effective marketing strategies available today. Applying the key lessons in this post will help you get your blog up and running in the right direction.