This is part of a series of blogging tips designed to help you write fantastic posts and increase your blog traffic. Here are some more tips you may find useful, and some notes on SEO as well:
Some General Blogging Advice:
- Encourage interaction. Don’t just talk at people; ask them what they think. Encourage debate on the subject across the social media you use. It’s fine to disagree with people, so long as you do it politely, and don’t make it personal.
- Make commenting on your blog easy. Many sites now offer Captcha or similar to avoid spam bots leaving loads of comments on your blog. They’re great for stopping spam, but also great for stopping actual comments. A while back someone politely told me that he had given up trying to comment on my blog because he’d taken a couple of attempts at the Captcha and still couldn’t get past it. When I stopped and though about it, I realised that yes, actually I often give up on posting my comment if there’s a Captcha on there. I removed that option on my blog, and now I just moderate the comments; I get a lot more comments now!
- Try to be consistent with your posting. If you only post once a week that’s fine, but make sure you do post once a week, and at a predictable time. If your regular readers are coming back every Tuesday to read your new post, and then one week you don’t post until Thursday, you might lose some readers who assume you’ve abandoned your blog, or just can’t be bothered to keep checking back.
- Join in linkys and blog hops. These are a great way to get new readers, and also to find new blogs to follow. They often come with a set of rules though, about following the host, the post you can link up, leaving comments etc.
- Run a linky. This can be a great way to get new readers and regular blog traffic – but they also come with their problems. As the host of a linky, it’s generally considered common courtesy that you visit every blog that has linked up. That’s fine if your linky only attracts 10 or 20 blogs (but then, is it achieving what you had hoped it would?) but if it becomes really successful, and you’re getting hundreds of people linking up each time, it can become a major drain on your time to visit and comment on them all.
- Write guest posts for other blogs, and have other bloggers guest post on yours. This is a great way to get both blogs a new audience, as people cross over to see a piece by someone whose work they normally read. Make sure though, that any guest posts you have on your blog are relevant to its usual content, and that you are guest posting on blogs that are similar to yours.
- Promote your posts! The world is not sitting at their computer, checking your blog every 5 minutes to see if you’ve added any new pearls of wisdom. You need to get out there and shout about it! Use whichever social media you prefer, or all of them. I’ve already written posts about how to use Facebook and Twitter to promote your posts, but consider also using Google+, Linkedin and Pinterest as well. Also sites like Love All Blogs and Scooptub can prove to be really useful.
- Read posts like this! I’ve been blogging for years; this blog itself is two years old now. I still read every blog post on blogging tips that I see. I regularly purchase Kindle books on blogging and read them in my down time. You never know what other people are doing, that might work well for you. And even if a blog post or book doesn’t tell me anything new, it keeps me engaged and inspired.
Some Thoughts on SEO
- Choose which posts you use SEO for! Like I said above, SEO is not relevant to a lot of what I post, so it’s kind of pointless to spend time on choosing keywords etc for them. Better to spend that time on posts about things people are likely to be searching!
- Choose your keyword, for example you might be writing a post about childbirth or pregnancy. This is the word you want to be picked up by search engines, the main topic of your post.
- Use Google Adwords to search that word, and see if perhaps there’s a similar word that might be a better choice (ie, it has more searches associated with it).
- Once you have chosen your keyword, you want to include it as many times as possible in your post: the title, the URL, the opening paragraph, the closing paragraph, any sub-headings you use in the post, the body of the text, the alt tags of the images in the post.
- Include links to related articles – not necessarily on your blog, but across the web. Link to where you got your information from, or other sites that are useful for this sort of thing. This creates “authority” in the eyes of search engines.
- Backlinks! Any time there is a link to your blog on another website, it creates a little more authority for your blog. This is where guest blogging comes in handy, as does commenting, offering your advice/opinion when a blogger asks for input for their blog posts.