There are so many different things to do in order to properly optimize and improve on your blog, but I want to just go over some of the ones that really stand out to me. In this post, I’m going to discuss 10 different blogging tips that all newbie bloggers should consider.
1. Don’t be Scared to Link out to Other Blogs and/or Websites
There is some sort of myth floating around that says you shouldn’t link people away from your blog, unless it directly makes you money as a result (ex: Adsense or Affiliate Links). I have seen this too many times, and it’s completely wrong. Google LOVES outbound links on your site if they are pointing to a site that’s related to yours. It looks more natural in the Eyes of Google, and it also creates goodwill with the other site owners. If you find something helpful on someone else’s blog or website, then why not blog about it and share it with your readers as well? One example of this is my post about checking your rankings for specific keywords. It’s an easy way to make a blog post, and it even provides value!
2. Make Your Blog Easy to Navigate
This one seems pretty obvious, but I have seen some blogs lately that have left me clueless as to what to do. You always want people to easily be able to find your latest posts and/or categories. They may have landed on a specific post on your site, and want to see what else you have to offer. If you are using a premium wordpress theme such as WooThemes, then proper navigation comes easy.
3. Don’t Write for the Search Engines
This is a classic newbie blogger mistake. I am a big fan of doing keyword research, but when your entire blog looks like a giant keyword factory, it becomes pretty apparent to your readers. You can still work keywords into your blog posts (and you should), but don’t make it the basis for your posts. Google is getting pretty good at spotting content that was written just for search rankings, so it’s best to just write naturally with your readers in mind.
4. Be Helpful When Commenting on Other Peoples Blogs!
I recommend that every newbie blogger learns to blog comment regularly. It’s a great way to get involved in the blogging community, as well as get click-through traffic and backlinks. The best way to leave blog comments is to add value to the conversation. I try my best to do this on all of my blog commenting, although it doesn’t quite work out in all cases. Just a couple weeks ago I saw a fellow blogger post a comment on Ana’s Traffic Generation Cafe where she was having trouble with her opt-in form conversions. She was using a flat rectangular image of her ebook cover, so I decided to use one of my Photoshop Action Scripts to make her a 3D cover, and I posted it there for her to use. Not only did I enjoy helping her out, Ana even mentioned ProfitBlog.com in one of her weekly posts! Just goes to show, that a little bit of helpfulness goes a long way. Always try to help, and add value when dealing with fellow bloggers
5. Write Longer Blog Posts
Sure, it’s okay to post a quick blog post (I do it myself), but if you happen to know a lot about a specific topic, then by all means; share all that you can! Your readers will love that you are sharing more of your knowledge with them, and Google will have more content to spider over on your site. So, when you can, go for it!
6. Use Your Own Domain Name and Hosting Account
I am a huge believer in hosting your blog on your own hosting account / server. There are many different reasons for this. For one, people will trust you more when you host your blog on it’s own domain name, and secondly with free hosting accounts, you never know what might happen to your blog! You can read more of my views on this here.
7. Always Re-read Your Blog Posts Before You Publish Them
I have caught myself many times publishing my blog posts without re-reading them from start to finish. There have been times where I had an entire paragraph written twice within a blog post (which although funny, it looks pretty bad), and I even spelled a word wrong and made it into a cuss word. DOH! Spelling usually isn’t a problem, because WordPress highlights spelling errors with a red squiggly line under them. It only takes a couple of minutes to do, so be sure to double check your blog post before you hit publish!
8. Do Regular Internal Linking in Your Blog Posts
Google likes internal linking on your site if the links go to related topics. It’s good to link to one or two other blog posts within your blog content, but only if it makes sense within your post. This helps the search engine spiders to crawl your site easier, and it also will help to keep readers on your blog longer.
A word of warning… do NOT use artificial internal linking! What do I mean by this? Well I spoke with someone a couple of weeks ago, and they had tried to do internal linking within their footer template. Each post had a different footer that linked to different posts. This turned out really bad, and he had lost a lot of his Google Rankings.
9. Always Build Backlinks (But Not Too Fast)
If you build it, they will come! (NOT!) Some newbie bloggers think that if they throw up a blog and start posting, that traffic is going to come in from every which-a-way. That’s simply not the case. I do believe that a lot of good quality content should always be the main focus of a successful blog, but the fact of the matter is – backlinks are essential. There are many different ways to get backlinks to your site, and I’m not going to cover them all here, but just remember – slow and steady is the way to go. If your blog is new, then you’ll definitely want to take your time building backlinks so Google doesn’t think you are a fly-by-night spam site. In my opinion, Blog Commenting is the best way to get started. Once your site has been established for a few months with unique content, then you can start building links faster using other methods.
10. Only Use Unique Content
If your goal is to have a successful blog, then you are going to want 100% unique content. Whether you write it all yourself, or hire someone to regularly update your blog for you, you need to have unique content. This will ensure that you rank well in Google, and will avoid any duplicate content issues. Do not post articles from Ezinearticles.com and other article directories on your blog. Sure, they have their place, but not if you’re trying to build a long-term asset with your blog.
These are just some of the things that come to mind.