Step 3 - Blog Optimization
This chapter will talk about how to optimize your blog in general. It’s not enough to set the foundation correctly. You also need to do some maintenance work along the way to keep things from deteriorating.
Remember that people on the internet can be fickle about what they read so you can never be too careful with this. By continuing to enhance your blog, you can get their interest over and over again.
Here are some basic things that you need to note down if you want an effective optimization plan for your blog. Most owners are already employing such strategies and they have proven to be quite effective in helping simple blogs to make it big in the online industry.
On Themes and Layouts
So now you have set up your blog and it’s time to decide on what it will look like. Do you remember that part about making a good first impression? This will be a big part of it. It is no secret that most people who browse online are quite judgmental and fickle about their choice of reads. They spend about a fraction of a second looking at a site and decide then and there whether it is worthy or not. It’s a big industry, indeed. And this is also the reason why you should never falter in your perseverance to create a high quality website.
But what do themes and layouts have to do with this?
The answer is simple. These layouts will be the framework in your goal of making a good first impression to your readers once they come to your blog.
The relationship of layouts and themes to attracting readers
People love to read blogs that are pleasing to the eye. Although there is nothing wrong with a color-laded blog, it can come off as something that is a bit too tacky for some people. As a blogger, you should be aware that a layout is integral in keeping your readers interested.
What kind of layout and theme should you get?
Be formal and professional in your blog’s theme. No matter what topic you may have decided on, make this a standard that you should always follow. There are some bloggers who think that just because everything looks good it will be passable for everyone. But this is not always the case. It must look good and be user-friendly, meaning that finding desirable content and navigation is easy and clear.
Remember that you will not be able to please everyone. In addition to this, there will always be critics that will probably bash you. The best thing that you can do for your blog is to do some research on the current trends when it comes to themes and layouts.
Try to check some other blogger’s website and learn from their style. Get some ideas; list them down and incorporate some unique points that you can improve on. You can even employ the help of certain companies for this endeavor. This will ensure professionalism and great options for you and your blog. The expense will definitely be worth it.
The best is to start with a free or a premium WordPress template and easily install it on your new blog. This is done from the WordPress dashboard and comes down to choosing your theme from within the platform or uploading the theme you have downloaded from another website that offer free and premium WP themes.
It’s perfect for that first time blogger who is not yet fully acquainted with the idea of setting up themes and layouts from scratch.
Some great customization options are also available so you can literally make it yours. It’s all a matter of your preference and learning about the trends that people want to see.
Email Subscriptions and Contact Page
For those of you who may be wondering what that is and a feature that is found in most blogs and many other websites, it is an optimization technique that is meant to aid clients and other visitors of your blog by keeping your readers up to date with new content and other updates. It is mostly seen as it is for their convenience but it is an essential part to making big bucks.
Email subscription allows for easy updates with regards to new posts on your blog, keeping your readers constantly engaged but it also helps you promote helpful affiliate products or sell them something on your own.
Updates about your latest posts are very important. Readers and your loyal followers will want to know about the new things that are going on in your blog and this will be the perfect way to reach out for them.
This is a two-way street that allows both the blogger and the readers to communicate with each other. This is very important because no matter how good of a blog you have, it will be less appreciated if the blogger turns out to be quite the unreachable figure.
The bigger the list of subscribers you have, the bigger the revenue will be from that list. And the best part is, it is all income you do not have to work any extra for. This is how blog really makes you money in the long run.
Having a Contact Page
Never underestimate the power of being able to personally communicate. Did you know that the most famous blogs right now were successful partly or mostly because the readers felt welcomed? Their queries were answered and even some of the bloggers personally replied to their comments.
This is a very enlightening feeling for the readers. When you are able to personally talk or even just exchange words with the blogger, it reminds you that the owner is in fact a real person. He or she is not just famous individual above all the standards but a person like you who made few minor steps in life and now enjoys a lot of money coming passively.
Email subscription is not only for the bloggers to eagerly communicate the latest changes, but rather, it provides a way for the readers to reach out as well. Wouldn’t you feel really good if the blogger that you idolize takes time to reply? This courteous habit will definitely go a long way in gathering loyal patrons.
Moreover, having a big list of subscribers will mean a big revenue for you completely effortlessly. Current practice is such that bloggers mainly make most of their blogging revenue through their subscribers.
Imagine that you have about 10.000 subscribers on your list who are passionate about your blog, your writing and are real people who are constantly looking for more information from you. Now, let’s say that you constantly send them daily updates on fresh new content but sometimes also a review of a product that will give them what they need and it is directly related to your content and the content they have subscribed to. Note that you are affiliated with the product that you mention and will receive a commission of up to 70% for every sale that you generate; that is if you are promoting a product on clikbank.com for example.
Your subscribers know who you are, they trust you and when they see a recommendation of a product that will provide them the edge in life they are so eagerly looking for, many of them will buy the product. Effort on your part? Writing a simple blog post or an email and send it automatically to all of your subscribers at once. Result? Thousands of dollars from just one sent email. I hope you can feel the benefits of blogging a bit more now. You can repeat this process many times again.
Setting up email subscription forms and automated messages is easy and all done for you if you use professional email marketing services. Aweber is one of them. Go to Aweber to sign up.
RSS Feeds are otherwise known as “Really Simple Syndication.” You might have heard of them along the grapevine of the online community. These are commonly used for news websites because it makes it easier to receive updates in real time. Some prefer alerts and this system also supports that.
For regularly updated blogs, these feeds are standardized so that the updated information is easily recognized by the search engines. By adding this optimization technique to your blog, your readers can readily access your website and they will also have the convenience of being regularly updated of the latest added contents. Technically, by bookmarking a page with an RSS feed, you can receive real time updates for new posts or articles that are being featured. It makes for a very easy method to reach out to your readers.
How can RSS help in making your blog better in terms of exposure
It will be able to generate more traffic
RSS feeds have a special system for updating. Anyone who is subscribed will automatically be provided with the latest page updates for your blog. This causes more people to click on it often, therefore, allowing more traffic and increased search engine results.
Automatic updates for readers
Yes, you will not have to email you readers personally for the latest post. These RSS feeds will do it for you. Even if you share your content in various social networking sites, there are still some time discrepancies that usually come with it. With RSS feeds, there is not. As soon as your blog is updated, it will automatically carry over to the feeds of the people who have subscribed.
Easy scanning of blog entries for visitors
Since this RSS feed comes in a standard format, those who want to view a summary of your site can use this method to browse. Each of your posts will probably be formatted into a feed item. These items then serve as links to your blog proper. Not only will it be able to give you more readers, those who are new can easily see what your blog is about. Basically, it’s a summarized version of your posts that updates itself regularly.
Checking Browser Compatibility
Before everything gets settled down and you start promoting your blog, the compatibility of your site should always be checked against the most commonly used browsers. It could be a big problem if your blog is only good to see from one browser alone.
People have their own preference when it comes to the browser that they use and you have to accommodate them with this. It is the blogger’s responsibility to keep up with variations.
There is a software that can be used to check whether your blog looks the same even when using different browsers. Some people neglect this and their contents end up skewed and disorganized because of the incompatibility from one platform to another. It’s an inconvenience that no one wants to experience. This mistake can cost you some clients in the long term.
If you have chosen web hosting provider I have mentioned before and installed a high quality theme, that problem will be completely eliminated.
Search Engine Optimization
Search Engine Optimization, or commonly known as SEO is a digital marketing strategy that aims to promote websites by means of increasing their rankings for particular search terms in search engines so you get more traffic that you do not have to pay for directly.
When a searcher goes and types in some keywords in Google search field or any other engines, you notice that the results are always ranked and sometimes through time, the results will differ. That first website that came out on top of the ranked results may not always stay there.
This is the essence of SEO. This broad marketing strategy is comprised of many techniques in order to raise the ranking of your blog for search results. Depending on your content and how you want things to play out in terms of gathering traffic, you can be assured that there is always a good method to go about with the use of SEO.
Although there are a lot of marketing strategies that you can make use of, this particular one has proven to be one of the best, especially in online platforms. Because of its precise and accurate nature, more people will be able to connect with your blog. They will probably be likeminded people who are interested in the same subjects as you.
Now let us explore the advantages of SEO for blog promotions:
1. It helps your page with rankings, making it easily found
2. Various companies online offer SEO services for easy accessibility
3. There are a lot of options for bloggers for promotional strategy that will let them control the flow of traffic in their website
4. Fresh blog content is a great way to rise up in rankings and since blogs are updated regularly, it makes for a great combination with SEO techniques
5. Your blog can generate more backlinks so your exposure is also increased in search engine results
Why it’s a major player in marketing and promotions for blogs
Everyone knows that blogs are meant to be shared to the public. In order for one to be considered as successful, it needs to be generating traffic at a constant or increasing rate. This means that you have to continually gather more readers in the long run. This is the lifeblood of any blog.
For this very reason, SEO techniques have easily paved the way to help out in this endeavor. It aims to bring more viewers to your blog by means of search engine rankings.
So why is this relevant for blogs?
It provides a medium where your website can be promoted. Just imagine how many people are searching through Google at one point in time. With the right techniques, it is certain that at least a handful of those will encounter your blog. This will keep things going for your traffic ratings, especially in the long term.
Some companies offer specific SEO promotional plans that can be availed by bloggers who wish for more audiences for their content.
Even if you are not familiar with the inner workings of SEO techniques, you can employ the help of various companies that offer such services online. They are experts in this field and they will be able to give you adequate and reliable advice when it comes to promoting and advertising your blog efficiently.
Step 3 Execution
Time of execution: 30 to 60 minutes
So far, you have a beautiful new blog hosted on a professional web hosting. You are all set up to begin your journey of a blogger. Since you want to be a successful one, you must apply all of the things mentioned accordingly.
Begin writing articles/posts on your subject. Write one for start and as many more as you want after that. You will need to write and publish at least one article to your blog every day or few per week. This is an amazingly simple task to do and highly effective to be successful.
You must understand that content is simply the most important aspect of blogging. Even if you have a lot of links and many visitors coming to your blog, if content is not good, they will leave and won’t come back and won’t put their money on offers present on your blog.
Therefore make sure you write highly interesting, engaging, unique, attractive, and most of all up-to-date and useful content. Do not have your articles written by some random writer even if he is good at what he does unless it is part of your marketing strategy and you accept occasional guest posts written by other experts that you know will benefit your blog. But regardless of that, your blog must come out of you so write articles yourself with highest quality in mind.
Your high quality content will automatically attract more readers to your blog since people will talk about it, link to it from other sources and naturally increase rankings and visitor count for your posts.
Doing a Research
Go to: Keyword Planner and use the tool to research what people are already searching for on your subject and optimize your articles by including those keywords in the Title, URL and several times naturally in the article.
Make your titles long and descriptive. For start it is good to choose the long keywords with little monthly searches and little competition so you have easier time ranking higher in search engine results and getting visitors to your blog sooner.
Concentrate on providing people what they want. I have already discussed this but I didn’t tell you everything about it. So, you need to do a research with Google Keyword Planner about what people are looking for in your niche. Which keyword phrases are they typing in the search box in order to find what they want. Those keyword phrases are the most important for you as you will write your articles based on them.
If your website is about gardening then you should look for all the keywords containing the term “garden” and “gardening”. There will be many. In hundreds. Such as: “how to take care of my garden in winter” or, “use garden to grow food”, or “how to make organic garden” and many more. Since your website is new and fresh you are still unknown to people and search engines - they will not show your pages in the search results on the first page immediately just because your content exist. There are many other websites with similar or same content and maybe they are around for a long time already so their content is a priority.
But is it hard for your articles to rank high in the search engines and get all that free traffic of people that are searching for the terms your articles are optimized for? Not at all. Easier than it sounds at first.
Since your website is new it will take some time (maybe days, maybe weeks, maybe more) that your content will start ranking. Why? First of all, Google and other search engines must see that you are a serious website providing serious information. As long as there is no word about you they consider you as not popular enough to show it to the people. Once they see that your website is getting fresh new content over and over again and constantly growing, the trust in it will grow as well. So, for new websites, this is the realty and it is a good thing nevertheless as it gives you the time to polish things along the way as you build up your rankings.
You must concentrate on the keywords that are long, very long if possible. The longer the keywords that people are searching for, more specific they get and less competition they have on the internet, easier they are to target and easy to rank higher.
This is how we bring it down:
1. "Garden" - the basic keyword
2. "Organic garden" – more specific keyword
3. "Grow an organic garden" – even more specific keyword
4. "How to grow your own organic garden" – it asks the same question as the one above but it has “stop” words included which are not completely ignored by the search engines.
5. "How to start an organic garden and grow your own food" – this is a very long tail keyword, meaning it has many words, and a good choice to begin with.
Many times when you are searching for a particular keyword in search engines, you will not find any pages in the search results that would contain your keyword in full and may even seem as none really answers your question. Optimizing articles on such long tail keywords that no one really writes about will be an immediate boost of traffic to your website. It won’t seem like a lot of traffic, but due to the simplicity of getting such traffic, it pays off to build content around such keywords and get many visitors through many articles.
Now, how do you build content around those long-tail keywords properly?
There are some rules you must follow to be relaxed and avoid any possible negative outcomes. You see, in the past, keyword optimization, majorly called Search Engine Optimization was very straightforward and easy. You would fill your content with keywords that people are searching for and get as many other websites linking to you with the same keywords and you would have high rankings and a lot of free traffic. Getting rich online was simple back then, but these days it might be even simpler if you do things the right way. Mostly because there is now less things to manipulate and more things to use your creativity for. Instead of concentrating too much on the SEO, you can write your posts naturally as it comes to you so you really provide high quality content and not robotized content.
You should do things that majority of people won’t and you will have a very easy time making money. Most people who begin and especially the savvy user want to rank for high or medium search volume keywords, because they think that more people are searching for it, more money will come. But that is far from being so easy. More people are searching for a particular keyword, more and stronger competition there will be, harder and longer it will take to rank for such keywords and you have to do much more things to reap the rewards. As a beginner it is far easier to go after the keywords that don’t get much if any attention. This way, you have much less to do to get new people and have time to concentrate on building new and fresh content every day and do some little of marketing.
You can reap big rewards on long-tail, low search volume keywords that mostly nobody wants to optimize their content for since they have so little searches. But many new website owners want to enter the high competition level due to their inexperience and miss the easy opportunities where they really are. For you, this means you have your golden mine. If you do a research you will find out that many hundreds of people search for something using long tail keyword variations that nobody is really writing articles for. This will be your starting point until you are getting decent amount of traffic to your website.
You can find out if you are looking in the Google search box itself that there are many more variations of your original long tail keyword that have so few searches (maybe less then 10 per month) that Google don’t even show them in their keyword statistics. But at the end this can add up to a very big sum of searches that are extra-long-tailed and similarly-long-tailed and bring you much more visitors to your blog from what you have initially thought it will. With some little marketing of your articles (if and where necessary) you can have a golden mine in decently short amount of time.
If you choose a keyword “start your own organic garden”, you can make a title look something like: “How to Start Your Own Organic Garden and Eat Healthy and Fresh”. As you can see, we have used the keyword in full but made title more descriptive. This is also a good practice which prevents it to look like we willingly want to manipulate the search engines by over-optimizing with keywords in order to get better outcome in their search results.
The important part is that the whole long-tail keyword is present in the title. The URL could look something like this: www.yourwebsite.com/how-to-start-your-own-organic-garden/” - an excellent choice and it also includes the keyword “how to start your own organic garden”, which is probably also searched for a lot, so you kind of unintentionally make your articles optimized for multiple keywords that rotate around your main long-tail keyword.
Your body of the article should ideally contain your keyword phrase in full several times throughout it. Use it no more than once for every 100 words on average. All of this optimization is very important to do so that search engines know exactly what your content is about. It is only good to do so.
Keyword optimization is just as important as high quality of the content itself. You simply tell Google and the rest what your page is about. Without it, you do not have any benefit, people don’t have any benefit by missing out on amazing content, and Google is giving poorer articles from other websites to their searches which influence user experience in a negative way. So you are doing everyone a big favor by optimizing your articles.
A good practice is also to include images and videos in your blog posts where appropriate to make it more eye appealing, and search engines also send you more love for this.
When you have written and published desired amount of articles to start with move to the next step. You can write one for starter or more if you want to.