Whether you’re just starting out with your blog or your need a thunk on the noggin to remind you, there are 3 basic rules to a simple SEO (Search Engine Optimization) plan to help your blog be discovered. Mind you, these are not ALL the rules, but still very important ones you should follow. I’ve had a few readers ask that I break it down in basics to get them started, so here you go!
1. Post High Quality Content Often
This seems like an obvious one, but I really think some people believe they can set up a blog and post any old crap, slap some Google AdSense all over their page and become millionaires overnight. It’s not gonna happen, folks. One of my biggest struggles is trying to figure out what readers want to know more about. What are the trends in my niche right now? What headlines can I piggyback on to catch some of that traffic? What is that “other” blog missing that I can provide?
When you do post, keep in mind that people don’t want to be bored to death. Write the same way you would talk. For some reason, I find myself wanting to use bigger words when I write or writing “it is” instead of “it’s”. Maybe not that big of a deal, but when you read my blog I want it to be like we’re having a casual conversation on the phone, NOT like I’m reading from an encyclopedia. (Many of the words I’d use in private are not even allowed to be printed in the encyclopedia, but I will spare you those here.)
Also, keep in mind that you need to post as often as possible. Search engines love content. Keep your blog full of fresh content for the crawlers. That sounds like a horror movie, but feed the crawlers and they will love you, starve them and you’ll be gobbled up by the millions of other blogs out there that ARE feeding them.
I know we all have busy schedules, but if you are serious about making your blog a viable business (and I think you are or you wouldn’t be reading this), then you will have to post at LEAST 3 times weekly. I speak from experience. The month of July was a stressful one for me with life issues that had to be dealt with and it kept me from posting as frequently as I should have. I lost loyal readers and saw my traffic ranking plummet. It was an uphill battle to regain that spot and I may never get those readers back.
2. Search Engine Submission
If you are just starting out, this one step can help immensely. (Yeah, I’d use that word if I was talking to you.) No one can read your blog if they don’t know you’re out there and the search engines can sometimes take their sweet time in indexing your site. Rather than wait for them you can go directly to the source and submit your URL yourself.
Take 30 minutes each day to submit to as many search engines and blog directories as possible. Not only will you be indexed quicker, but you will be building inbound links which is a huge part of SEO. Google likes inbound links…a lot! Your goal is to get as many as possible…just make them relevant and don’t waste your time on ridiculous link exchange sites. Boo! You can’t fool Mother Google…well, not for long anyway.
You will be asked the same basic questions when you submit your site, generally it will be:
- Your site URL – Simple stuff here.
- Your feed URI – If you use FeedBurner you will use the link they provided, otherwise it would be www.yourblogname.com/feed. Just be sure to use the same one all across the board.
- Your email - Some directories will want to send you their updates, so if you’re not interested, don’t use your main email. Set up a separate free Gmail or Hotmail account for stuff like this.
- Description of your blog – Generally 250 characters long. Write it out before you get started and use keywords to describe & pull in your niche traffic.
I have a tip here that will save you so much time that I should be called a Saint. You will get to be the master “filler-outer” of forms as a blogger. Please, spare your little fingers and your mind the monotony of hand typing each one. Use an automatic form filler. I use Roboform and I LOVE IT!! It has saved me countless hours of boring & frustrating data entry work and it remembers the numerous passwords I have saved across the web.
You can even add a Custom Field and paste your pre-written blog description in there. You would just name the field using the word “description” or “title” depending on what it is you are seeing the most of. Then with ONE simple click, Roboform will fill out the entire form for you! Yay!! You can get a free trial of Roboform to give you a taste of the goodness, but I recommend spending the couple bucks on the Pro version (under $20, I believe), and you will be able to save an unlimited amount of information and passwords.
3. Comment On Other Blogs
This has multiple benefits. First of all, when you leave a comment you are also leaving your URL. Know the difference between “do-follow and “no-follow”. If you choose a ‘do-follow’ blog to comment on you will earn yourself a link back to your site from that blog. (Remember, we want inbound links) Even if the blog is a ‘no-follow’ you will still benefit because you are getting your name out there and building your authority. So, make sure you are commenting on blogs related to your niche. This is important to Google as well…they want to see inbound links from relevant or related industry sites.
Just, PLEASE…do not spam!! Leave meaningful and relevant comments. You are building your reputation out there and you should always consider your comments as an extension of your blog. Comments are content. You’ll also spark conversations with other commentors that may come on over to your blog and check out the other great stuff you must be talking about. Bloggers love comments on their blog. It shows people are reading and interested in what they are blogging about. You’ll build relationships with other niche bloggers which could lead to further collaboration down the road. (Here’s your nudge...go comment on MY blog now...I want to hear from you!!)
Keep these three tips in mind and put them in practice. It won’t be long before you see your readership and your traffic rank shoot to the top! Where are you getting stuck? Is there a certain point you feel you need help in? Leave me a comment and we will work on it together!
To Your Success,