More and more people every day decide to start their own blog, but perhaps they are less the ones who engage it in a successfully way, in order to become popular and rank well in search engines.
With all the high competition between several blogs around, that are born each day, you have to work hard, but above all in the right way, if you want to not succumb to your rivals, and start having a good traffic and a good online reputation.
Here you find a list of SEO tips, that (may be) will help you in some ways to improve your blog.
1 . Choose a Good Theme
Reject the default template : a blog based on classical default WordPress themes, certainly does not start in pole position (I have seen few ones with default themes, but with terrific content : are you between these ones?).
If you want that your blog is appreciated by your readers you will need a professional and original theme, especially to stand out from the crowd.
If you have a lot of money to invest, you can hire a graphic development, that create a theme that characterizes and gives personality to your blog.
If you want to invest less money, you can choose a Premium Wootheme.
WooThemes are wonderfull if you want to have a professional looking blog or if you just want to differentiate from the most part of traditional available WordPress templates.
The blog theme I use is called Fresh News, and it’s from WooThemes. I highly recommend them and their themes are definitely worth investing in. You can check WooThemes site, because there are always new themes.
2 . Use Good Colors
I love blue, and you can see it in my Blog Theme. I think that you should decide the colours to use in relation to the topics on the site. For example, a blog that deals with nature, should use green and brown colors.
Also you should use some colors that do not discomfort or get your readers bored. And avoid any use of flash or too shiny banners.
I think that the experience of the visitor of your site should be relaxing, but interesting at the same time.
3 . Use RSS Feeds
It is important to have active RSS feeds : subscribe to mine here. The goal is to make clear to visitors that they are on a blog up and running, and to invite them not to abandon you and to keep follow.
Some themes have already the RSS Feeds button included, but for some others you can download your own image and include it in your site : you can use the FeedButton, which provides a variety of buttons which in themselves contain the subscription feed of the main online feed readers.
4 . Allow Subscriptions by E-mail
You can call this also “E-mail Marketing”. For your readers that do not use the feeds, it is useful to give another opportunity to receive your content : a service that sends automatically e-mail of your last post.
If you want to start an online business or set a blog, that can generate money in the future, then you should start now building your e-mail list.
I use Aweber to manage my email subscribers. Aweber gives you a lot of flexibility. In addition to automatically emailing your subscribers when you have a new blog post, it lets you email them any time, for any reason.
This helps you build a deeper relationship with your community by sending special emails.
You can test it for 1$ dollar here : the account is just like a normal Aweber account and includes unlimited email campaigns, newsletter, broadcasts and follow ups. It is a wonderful way to test drive Aweber to see if it can be suitable for you.
The satisfaction is guaranteed and if you decide that email marketing is not for you, contact Aweber within 30 days and they will give you the $1 back.
5 . Correct Writing
Your authority, or web reputation, also pass trough an impeccable spelling, grammar and syntax in your articles.
Writing skills also means knowing how to involve your audience, through a personal and lively prose.
A misspellings post is never pleasant to read, and always give the idea of an unprofessional blog : since writing with keyboard is likely to commit some errors, it is always good, before publication, to review your articles with one of the many software of “spell cecker”, such for istance the one included in the Google Toolbar.
In essence, your authority on the web depends on the quality of your writing and your style of communication.
Try to make the reading your articles the simplest as possible, use a good font and remember to divide your text into paragraphs.
Keep writing and you will learn how to do it better.
6 . Have a Fast Site
Important aspect is the loading time of the pages on your blog. An high loading time may disturb your visitors.
A first suggestions, if you use WordPress, is to install a Cache Plugin, so it can cache pages and deliver them without accessing the database, making your site much faster. As you surely know, the loading speed is a factor that Google consider in search engine results.
And if you host your site, avoid hosting services that cause any delays. I use HostGator : it is very popular( now hosting over 7,000,000 domains!) and clients are very satisfied. They also offer an easy interface (CPanel), a lof or useful tools and free software or themes for your site. Customers generally report that Hostgator has the best customer support offered by a web hosting company. Each of the Web Hosting plans includes 24/7/365 support, a 99.9% uptime guarantee and a 45-day money-back guarantee.
7 . Have Descriptive Titles
It is important is to give to your articles catchy titles.
Try to include your keywords, both in the article title and inside the post : in headings, throughout the text, in images alt tags, etc.
Choose a title in a way that your reader will definitely want to visit your site and read the article.
8 . Continuity in Writing Your Posts
The higher the frequency with which you will update your blog, the greater the number of requests you will receive from search engines, looking for updates to be indexed.
I have read around that Google much prefers the blog updated daily with respect to what has 2-3 posts a week.
I do not know if it is correct, but it is sure that you will have more opportunities with more pages indexed, to receive more Organic Traffic.
Popular Blogs like JohnChow publish one or two post every day !
But John also make a lot of money online blogging, so definetely he has also the time and opportunity to write a lot of posts.
This blog is not of course my first income, and I write in free time. Some periods I do not have a lot of free time, unfortunately (but I will work on this, in 2012).
Try to understand and decide the frequency of post publishing, that better match with you and with your activities, and then stick with it.
9 . Report the Sources
When you find a story or an interesting article on another blog, and you decide to talk about it in your own, it is always good to indicate the source from which you became aware of the fact, linking to the article.
As well as fairness, this procedure is also useful in terms of visibility : when you link to other blogs, it is easy to see that they will backlink to you.
It is also important in order to build online relationships, as if you want to make the “things seriously”, as online business, you should start to build a circle of friends among most famous blogs, and of course less popular.
10 . Buy a Domain Name
To begin to get started with blogs you can just use a free hosting service, but when things start to get a little more serious, it is recommended to buy a domain.
The free hosting services do not provide any guarantee with respect to the life cycle of the domain : in the event that you have a successful blog with address “name.blogspot”, for example and the owner Google decides to withdraw from the market, your domain would be lost forever !
So you should buy a domain for a fee, and gain several advantages in terms of visibility and ranking on search engines.
Normally the Dot Com is suggested, because it is the most popular one.
I use GoDaddy : it is the world’s largest domain registrar for domain names. You will find interesting offers and it is very fast to obtain your domain name.
11 . Make Emotional and Personal Connection
Make an emotional connection, as people react to emotions. They like to know they are not struggling alone, and that you cares : everyone like to feel special. Touch emotional part of your readers and they will return, with more possibilities they will share your posts with their friends.
You should also get personal. Of course if you do not want, you do not have to share all the details of your life, but your visitors want to check if there is a real person behind your content.
Talk about something personal and let your the reader know that you do normal stuff every day just like they do.
Do you have some other suggestions? Thanks !