Sunday, September 22, 2013

Managing my Blog for Newbies

The use of Google Blog search engine will produce about 47.5 million results for the term 'Crafts'. In the world of blogging, we must do our best to get noticed and arrive in the top SERPs, search engine results page and preferably the first page. So just how does one set up to make such an arrival?

A common word of advice for writers with blogs, is to find great keywords for their 'niche'. Think of niche as a 'category' of just where and how to find your web site. As stated earlier, using the term 'crafts' brings quite a few results and one can easily get lost and tossed, probably to the last SERP. An extra tip, is to break down your chosen keywords further, and include sub-categories and other keywords 'related' to your niche. An example:

i.e., how to make edible finger paint - Blog title, tips and recipe for parents and family
art, parenting, pre-school children, jello finger paints, - Sample keywords

One other method to find keywords is to look at the 'cloud tags or labels' to get more idea's for keywords. This will require you to search and observe other sites, that are found on the first page of your intended niche. Record their keywords in a file and save it to your computer. Meanwhile, explore their site to see what other information they write about, that may help inspire you to write something similar, or write to counter the subject. This is checking out our competition and SEO, search engine optimization.

The use of keyword generating tools and/or software, is another method to create keywords to help get your blog noticed. A popular tool is Google Adwords Keyword tool. These tools can also be used to discover extra blogging idea's for future use. It's recommended that you create and keep such a list on standby, for those days when you're experiencing a sense of 'writer's block'. It's important to observe and consider the 'too popular vs low popularity' keywords being used.

The use of keywords is important in the blogosphere and preferably for generating 'organic' traffic. This refers to visitors finding you through a 'natural' search effort though some people will say, only those that 'pay' for advertising or hosting, are the ones who land first in the SERPs or getting first page SERP depends on one's 'popularity'. Well, there are a few more steps needed, that may help.

A lot of blogs depend on generating TRAFFIC. I believe this is definitely a major qualifier for getting noticed online. Paid advertising also depends on the keywords chosen, to get quality SERP landing and usually for the lowest price, for targeted traffic. A few idea's to help generating traffic to your site, can be through 'networking' by joining groups on other sites such as Ning, blog networks, and those that are related or in your specific 'niche'.

Others will say, article marketing. Write and post articles about your niche and point back to your own site. The point is that you get to leave your 'site URL' in available 'signature' or 'author bio' space but over all, it's to sprinkle your blog URL around the internet and again, generating 'organic' traffic. It's important though to be on sites with a 'market' that is INTERESTED in your niche. Do you notice the 'badges' that can be found on some sites and how it says, 'member of blah blah'? It could be another source of generating traffic and interest, in your site. Again, check your competitions' web site for clues.

Now, if blogging to SELL products, it's important to list yourself in your local, regional and national business listings. Using these sites will help point prospective 'customers' back to you. In the world of arts and crafts, it's best to also join local, regional and national Art groups. Some are niche specific and may also find a 'badge' that you can add to your site. These sites may help to give your own site better search results, after all, business caters to people and search engines like to help businesses. It's also important to note that some business listings may require 'business license' numbers of one sort or another. Both these choices help give your own site, a sense of 'legitimacy' in the eyes of prospective customers. 

Social media is also very popular to use to help generate traffic. Tools such as LinkdIn, Twitter, Facebook, Ning, to name a few. Again, use it to FIND people that are interested in your niche. Then be assured every time you make a post to your various 'social' sites, there's going to be a few fans of your topic.  

An item to consider, is the 'presentation' of your blog. A few questions to examine while viewing our blog such as:
    • is it 'visually' appealing?
    • Is it hard or easy on the eyes?
    • Is it easy or hard to read?
    • Is it too busy? Flashy? Undressed?
Upon landing on your blog, how do you think your audience will see it? Does it look sloppy or semi-pro? People will say, it's only 'window dressing' but we know how 'appearance' can create a quick judgement, of pass or fail. I would suggest, less is more. Simple design and small splashes of color rather than something that looks like a gloomy graffiti wall (no offence to graffiti artists intended!) we just want a site where a reader will feel comfortable and relaxed, to read, without major distractions.

Last but not least, is your 'voice' behind the writing. There are types of writing that people enjoy and others, that cause them to hit the 'back' button, to disappear in the internet stratosphere. It's highly recommended to write, as if you're in a direct 'conversation' with your best friend. Natural emotion and self, is the best tool to use when writing on your blog. People get to know you as they read more and more of your posts. They will see glimpses of your life, personality and we can't forget to add HUMOUR. The best medicine for one's Soul.

Extra Learning


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