How to Blog

One of the most effective ways to market your business is blogging.  Some old school web designers call it articles. But it's generally the same, any way you say it: fresh, consistent content draws traffic to your website.

What is a Blog? It is a web site where individuals or groups can write opinions, commentary, updates about events, information, facts, news and features on a regular (and hopefully consistent) basis. 

The term "Blog" came from a slang blend of "web log".  But the challenge is how to create a "great" blog!  Great blogs are interesting, intuitive and interactive. They invoke thought, ask questions, make you ask yourself questions, give you that "I get it!" brainstorm of an idea, they are inspiring, innovative and make you want more. A great blog is creative and offers knowledge.

When you start out a good feels like braking the ice with your readers.  Your uncertain what to say, how to say it and if you will be accepted for your words. That's normal.  Let me say this, you will not please everyone all the time. But, think of it as meeting new friends, asking them about themselves, talking about yourself. Tell people about what you do, what you love and what you know.

My best blogs come from reading other content like books or news articles. Sometimes my content comes from forums on an informative site. But my very best blog entries comes from deep thought about people, things, places, holidays, what if topics..and I most usually come up with them in the shower or doing dishes. The most difficult thing is to stop immediately and write or type them out.

A good blog post has several components.

  1. Keyword rich title
  2. original content (no copy and pasting)
  3. 2-8 paragraphs (to long could get boring)
  4. complete sentences and grammatically/spell checked
  5. thought provoking ideas or questions
  6. author talks to the reader as if they are long time friends
  7. links in keywords to other websites on the net, both familiar and unfamiliar
  8. 1-5 images of relevance linked to other pages or websites
  9. the authors name: "written by..Jane Doe"
  10. the author's website and social media links
  11. RSS feed and social sharing links(if not automatically added by code)
  12. References if applicable with a link to the page you got it from
  13. Comment form on the bottom for reader interaction and response

So how do you begin? When a thought, opinion or idea strikes you, write it down. You may run across a great tip or how to online, write about it. Never, ever copy and paste sentences from one site to yours.  Then, do some research on rich keywords using synonyms (examples: mug versus cup, jewelry versus jewellry, handmade versus hand crafted, etc..) with the Google keyword tool. Incorporate those keywords that have relevance to your subject into your paragraphs. 

Add images relevant to your subject that are directly related and somewhat related. If you use Wordpress  or other blog platforms that allow titles and descriptions when you add the image in your text editor, fill out all the fields as completely as you possibly can for good SEO (search engine optimization: how well search engine indexes your content)

Add links to other sites by your own sites and friends sites. Maybe add links to wikipedia subjects. Do searches in Google and Yahoo for the keyword and link to a first page, non competitor site. 

To link an image or a text to a url(hyperlink), highlight the object and click the "link" on your toolbar in the editor. The javascript window will open and ask for the url and maybe a title. 

You should have at least 1-5 "live" links in a paragraph. Keep in mind that just adding the url itself will not automatically link to the site. Those are not "live" links. Make your blog as easy as possible to navigate for your readers or you will find a lower page rank.  

The Anchor text is the text you hook the url into. These words should be keywords or phrases increasing your SEO. For some blog platforms, you have the option to open a "_blank" page or "same" page. Always open a new or blank page so the reader doesn't loose your site if a link is clicked. Popup windows are not a great idea as they are often blocked by browser security. 

If you still struggle with adding any links, you may need to clear your browser cache. Do this by saving your content as a draft first..Then press Ctrl + F5. The page will refresh automatically (why you save your work first) If you struggle with saving your work, highlight the entire draft and copy to your clip board, then clear cache and paste back into your editor for saving. Always periodically save your work to prevent any miss haps. 

If you struggle with what to blog about, the next time you learn something new on the net, from a Facebook post, or forum, write a note to self: "blog about...". 

Susan ~ ArtFire LInk
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