When every one seems to be starting a blog and publishing content, what strategies you need to make sure that your blog stands apart?
Do you think your blog has the potential to make a place for yourself amongst these? A blog surely needs good content and dedication to grab attention but only that’s not enough. You need the “X” factor that makes readers solicited to your site.
In this post we will discuss and cover all the major points to make your blog an identity it needs. This post covers all the major aspects right from starting the website, hosting, social media promotion, search engine optimization to additional online marketing strategies you can opt for. Check out full post after the jump.
If you like this article, you might be interested in checking some of our older articles on Server Monitoring Tools, Use Social Media To Get Feedback, Optimize Your WordPress Blog, and Professional Website Planning.
Phase 1: Make Your Site Kick Butt
1 – Start With A Good Custom(ized) Design
Create a custom design for your blog, or choose a good theme and customize it with your own logo, graphics, color scheme, etc. Using a default theme for your blog can give your website a generic, unprofessional look and feel.
2 – Create Your Unique Value Proposition
Just like a product, your blog needs a unique value proposition that clearly tells your visitors why your blog is unique and what it offers them. In many cases, the best selling point you can use is you – presenting your expertise, credentials, and story can be a powerful reason for readers to follow and trust you.
3 – Publicize Your Details
Make your blog “real“. Include photographs and biographical details about each author, a detailed about page, and full contact details.
4 – Create Awesome Content
Good content is not nearly good enough. Create and publish content that is far above and beyond what other blogs offer so your blog becomes an authority for each topic you blog about. Doing original research (so you can publish something no other website has) is always a great place to start.
5 – Make Your Content Look Great
Use subheadings, formatting, graphics and other solid design tactics to make each post easy to read and attractive to the eye.
Phase 2: Social Media Marketing
6 – Setup A Facebook Page
Create a Facebook page for your blog, and make sure you fill out the page with your logo, blog details, etc. Make sure you regularly post and interact on your page (at LEAST once a week).
7 – Setup A Twitter Handle
Set up and fill out a Twitter profile for your blog (or you can use your personal one, if it is relevant). You can integrate your Facebook page with your Twitter profile so that updates posted to one are automatically posted to the other.
8 – Link To Your Social Profiles
Add social media icons/buttons to your blog template with links to each of your social media profiles. I suggest grouping them next to your RSS feed link, somewhere above the fold of your blog.
9 – Implement A Facebook Like Box
A Facebook like box is an interactive way for visitors to see your Facebook page and connect with it. You can easily add a like box to your blog template by copy and pasting the code from Facebook into a widget. Here is an example:
10 – Implement Facebook “Like“ Buttons
Like buttons are very different from a like box. Like buttons are typically added at the end of every post. When a visitor clicks that they liked the post, a link to the post will appear on their Facebook profile. In addition to being a social sharing mechanism, Facebook “like“ data is also used to influence Bing search rankings. I recommend putting the code into your blog template so it is automatically added at the end of every post.
11 – Implement Tweet This Buttons
Add a Tweet this button at the end of every post to encourage visitors to Tweet out a link to your blog post.
12 – Add The ShareThis Widget
ShareThis is a free, all-in-one widget which can be added to the end of every post, allowing users to share your content across a wide variety of social platforms. Here is a graphic showing how the widget works:
Phase 3: Search Engine Optimization
13 – Perform Keyword Research
The first step with any SEO campaign is keyword research to determine which keywords you want to be ranked for. Create a list of target keywords, including a mixture of low volume/competition and high volume/competition keywords.
14 – Divide Keywords Into Three Categories
Once you have created your list of target keywords, divide them into three categories: a few keywords for your homepage, a couple keywords for each category on your blog, and a large number of keywords for individual posts.
15 – Install All-In-One SEO
In my opinion, the most comprehensive and easy-to-use SEO plug-in for WordPress is the All in One SEO Pack. Install it and use it to optimize your titles and descriptions.
16 – Optimize Homepage
Optimize the title, meta-description, text, and other elements of the homepage for the keywords you selected.
17 – Optimize Category Pages
Optimize the title, meta-description, text, and other elements of the category pages for the keywords you selected.
18 – Add Text To Category Pages
If you are optimizing your category pages, it will be helpful to add some unique, static content to each category page. This can be done by modifying your theme to display the category description field.
19 – Optimize Each Post As You Publish It
Before you publish each post, ensure that you have optimized it for your target keywords.
20 – Optimize Link Structure
Optimize the link structure of your blog to ensure the maximum amount of link juice flows to your most important pages. One simple way to do this is to ensure that each important page is linked to from your sitewide navigation, either through a menu or in a widget.
Phase 4: Additional Online Marketing Strategies
21 – Setup Email List/Auto Responder
Create an e-mail list and capture your visitors’ e-mail addresses so you can follow up and stay in touch with them. This will not only result in more return visitors, but will build a list you can market products and services to.
22 – Give A Free Gift To New Subscribers
To increase the percentage of your site visitors that subscribe your e-mail list, give away a free gift such as an e-book or e-course.
23 – Try Google Display Network PPC
If you are looking for a way to kick start traffic to your blog, considering running ads on the Google display network. You can usually get visitors at a lower cost per click in the search network, especially if you are targeting visitors outside of the USA.
24 – Try StumbleUpon Paid Discovery
Another good way to kick start traffic to your blog is through StumbleUpon Paid Discovery, formerly StumbleUpon ads.