10 Tips for a Successful Blog

By Blogs

blogging tips

Welcome to the new home of DeborahLSmith.com.  We’ve moved from Blogger to WordPress without a hitch.  I am still tweaking and rearranging things here, but for the most part, she is done.

I’m very excited about the new Upcoming Events feature which is simply tied into a Google calendar.  Very easy to do if you are thinking about installing one yourself and the nice thing is when you click on the event it opens up into a new window with more details.  As you can see, I’ve got quite a few things going on and the list keeps growing.  I’ve just scheduled a Better Business Blogging workshop for October 24th so if you are currently blogging or thinking about launching a blog, you don’t want to miss this workshop.  Only 10 seats are available, so follow that link and secure your seat.

In honor of the new blog and the upcoming workshop, I want to share with you my 10 Tips list for any blog.

1. Purchase a Dot Com or if you are launching a business blog along with your company website, make sure it is set up as a subdomain or subfolder of your website. If you are just setting out on your blogging journey, select a blog name that is available as a .com and purchase your domain name. On Blogger it costs as little as $10 per year and you can have it instantly redirected. Select a name that is memorable, not difficult to spell, and the shorter the better. It is a whole lot easier to tell someone at a dinner party that my website is JerseyBites.com then JerseyBites.wordpress.com. Trust me, it gets old really fast and the average “non-blogger” does not get the whole .wordpress thing anyway. They understand one thing; dot com.

2. Write good content: Readers have little time and even less patience. Learn to be a good editor. Remember less is more when it comes to effective blogging. And always take a second look for spelling and grammatical errors.

3. Pictures: Choose pictures that help tell your story and draw the reader in.  I like using pictures, I know some blogs never use pictures.  I think it gives the article a finished, professional “magazine” feel

4. Title your posts for the search engines: Your Post Titles play a big part in how the search engines rank your posts. Clever post titles may be clever, but they won’t get you anywhere on Google. Use Google’s Keyword tool to discover what people are searching for and name your posts with these keywords in mind.  Try to include your keyword in the first sentence of the blog post and pepper it a few times throughout the article.

5. Mix it up: Readers like a little variety.  If every one of your blog posts is the same length and subscribes to the same formula, readers will tire of it quickly.  Offer “best of” lists, top 5 tips, ask questions, let employees contribute, these are just some examples to help make your blog a more lively place to visit.

6. Promote your blog on the Social Networks: Twitter and Facebook are excellent tools for driving traffic to your blog and the people coming from these platforms tend to stay longer on your site and engage more. Upload your blog’s RSS Feed to your Facebook Fan Page. Post a note on your wall about each new blog post. Use Twitter to build a dedicated audience. If you are using LinkedIn, post a link to your blog on your profile and upload your RSS feed to your profile.

7. Be Consistent: I don’t post every day but I make an effort to post at least once per week.  The more frequently, and consistently you blog,  the more authority your blog will gain and your posts will start to rank higher and higher in the search engines.

8. Track Your Progress: Install Google Analytics on your blog and study what works. What are your most popular blog posts? What days of the week are you getting the most traffic? If Monday is a popular day on your blog, be sure to have something noteworthy and hopefully “social bookmark” worthy posted every Monday.

9. Get Out There: Don’t sit back and wait for readers to come to you. Offer to write a guest blog post for a blog you enjoy. Trade links with other blogs in your industry. Have business cards printed with your blog address and have them ready when you’re out and about. And of course, do the basics like submitting your blog to Technorati and Blog Catalog.

10.  Keep them coming back:  Give your readers all the ways to subscribe to your blog especially an email subscription option.  Despite all the hype about RSS feeds, most people still do not understand feeds and feed readers.  They like to subscribe the old fashioned way, so give them that ability through services like Feedblitz or Feedburner.

Follow these tips and you will find yourself with a very active, content rich and booming business blog.  For more great tips and strategies, sign up for my workshop on October 24th.  If you have questions about anything you’ve read, please leave them in the comment section here and as always I welcome your tips on making the most out of your blogging experience.