But building and promoting a blog has given me a much more hands on understanding of what works and what doesn’t work.
Here is a list of things I now focus on with my blog:
1) GREAT Content (for my site & others)
2) Basic SEO Stuff
3) Incoming Links
4) Knowing my Numbers
5) Keeping Inspired (not giving up)!
What is GREAT content?
To me great content is content that people are:
- Looking for (i.e. searching for in Google) and
- Find really helpful when they get to it
I found that I liked to explain how to market stuff in my posts and those have tended to rank the highest in the search engines. Those are also the posts people email me about the most often.
In order to write great content I had to:
a) Be learning myself and
b) Do some keyword research about how people are searching for in Google
I think this is the cornerstone for blogging SEO. If you don’t have great content, people will not find or come back to your blog.
Basic SEO Stuff
Here are the basic SEO things I do:
- Choose URLs that are search engine friendly like “.com/seo-and-blogging”. WordPress makes this easy.
- Use keywords in my title, my heading tags, and content. I don’t go crazy here. It’s got to be readable, but I try to use the “key” phrase in the title, the heading tags, and in the content.
- Name my images. Rather than naming the image for this post “image.png”, I name it “SEO-and-blogging.png”.
If you are a WordPress user I’d suggest you also read this post on SEO for WordPress Blogs. I found it full of WordPress specific to dos.
The more people that link to your site, the more important Google believes your site is.
Here are 3 tactics I used for growing my incoming links:
- Offered to write for other blogs in my niche
- Wrote some really in-depth blog posts that I believed people would link to (called linkbait at times)
- Reviewed other websites, blogs, and tools in my space and linked to them (and in turn they were more willing to link to me)
Knowing My Numbers
I’ve watched a few numbers over the past year to chart my progress.
Here’s what I watch:
- Monthly visitors (from zero to ~ 5k monthly visitors)
- Incoming links (grown from zero to 244)
- Keywords (which keywords do I rank for?)
There are two times when I felt like giving up my blog efforts:
About 4-5 months after launch I hit a wall. Not a lot of visitors. Felt like I was doing a lot of work for nothing.
It wasn’t till month 5 or 6 that I really started to see a big spike in visitors. I just had to keep writing and promoting. Well around month 6 traffic started to really take off and some of my posts started to get lots of attention. Through research, trial, and error I figured out what kind of things people were searching for.
So those are some “keys’ to SEO and blogging. Hope that helps!
Photo credit: Bramus