Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Growing your blog, basically

A client recently asked me “how do I get more people to read my blog?” A great, bottom line question. In fact, an entire industry has been build up around getting one's blog or website noticed. Without going too deeply into the soil, let me keep it simple. Focus on “the 3 C’s.”

Your blog needs a snappy title, and a sub-title that describes your target topic/genre/niche.

Your lead paragraph has to meet the requirements of a good lead, including the key words by which you want to be found.

Facebook raises the value of its posts that contain media (image or video link), or that have comments.

One of many ways to engage your audience is to ask a question at the end of your post. Comments on your blog post are golden.

A Google search of the term SEO (“search engine optimization”) turned up 1.32 BILLION hits just now (the industry I was referring to above). The purpose of SEO is to get as high on the page of search results as possible. As you study those “best practices” (use of keywords, lots of people linking to your site, called “back links”), you will – in theory - develop a higher search result.

A couple of articles I like on the basics of SEO:
  • Stoney deGeyter’s SEO 101.
  • MediaCollege.com offers a few pages to help you sort through the concepts of SEO, and don’t miss the discussion on ethics of Content SEO and Non-Content SEO.

This is the social part of social media. Your blog entries should include LOL (“lots of links”). There will sometimes be a reciprocal linking to your blog posts, but only if your work truly adds to the conversation.

Good blog pages also have a “blog roll,” a handy list of related blogs that the host likes. In the process of building any social media site (Facebook or Twitter) or blog, if you want friends, be friendly! Check out my previous post on “Blog rollin’.”

If you are a writer, you must write. Not just colorfully, but regularly. It doesn’t have to be long, in fact, keeping your topics focused will keep your blogs short. Try to keep your blog short enough to read between stops on the Metro.

Want to bring in another aspect of the issue? Write another blog. Ongoing, regular content keeps your readers (and search engines) well-fed and happy. There is no other route to growing an audience.

Content.  Connections.  Consistency.  The basics, but there is so much more to say…

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