Searching for something in my emails today I came across this email I sent a while ago in response to someone asking me for blogging advice. As I often get similar emails from people trying to get their toe in the door of the blogging world, I thought it might be helpful to share it. It’s a couple of years out of date – these days I’d emphasise you to make more effort with Vlogs, Facebook videos, boosting posts on Facebook, and story telling on Snapchat, but it’s still a pretty handy list of things to do.
Apologies for the ugly lack of formatting here. I’m in too much of a rush to prettify it. (That’s a terrible example, by the way: if you haven’t got time to do good stuff online, don’t bother doing it!)
A few things about your blogging:
- The first thing you need to do is become very clear about WHY you are blogging (plus all the social media stuff). What are your aims? Who do you want to find out about what you do? What do you want them to know? Everything you do online should be towards those goals, even if it is indirectly. Focus on quality of content not quantity.
- You need to build up quality content on your blog even in these early stages when nobody is reading it! This will help with Google rankings. So you need to be willing to plug away at it for ‘x’ amount of time before you notice any real impact. (This will probably be at least a year, possibly two years). Remember to link from post to post to build up a spider’s web of information. (eg: “If you like what I wrote about today, why not look at last week where I wrote about BLAH [Link this].)
- Become a prominent online member of your “niche”. For me this meant going on popular travel/adventure forum websites and answering people’s questions, helping them out, answering questions on Twitter, leaving useful comments on relevant YouTube videos etc. Set up Twitter searches for the words that are important to you. Follow them regularly and engage.
- You obviously will know how important Google is for business. But don’t neglect YouTube – it is important to be ‘found’ on there when people type in keywords. When I was Googling you before contacting you I didn’t find much. You might want to consider commissioning maybe 5 one-minute videos about what you do.
- Also you should get some more interesting pics about what you do floating around the internet. Do a Google image search and see if it reveals the image you are after
- http://www.google.com/analytics/ will tell you who is reading your blog, where they are coming from, what they are searching for etc.
- One of the prime aims of your blog ought to be to boost your rankings on Google. Use this keyword tool to get ideas of words relevant to you that are popular and worth blogging about: https://adwords.google.com/o/Targeting/Explorer?__c=1000000000&__u=1000000000&ideaRequestType=KEYWORD_IDEAS
- Set up lots of Google alerts (http://www.google.co.uk/alerts). This helps you keep on top of your “niche”. Think what topics you might want to know about and follow them… Once a week I get a load of these alerts through to me and they are very helpful.
- Here is the 31 day programme that I found really helpful. I highly recommend it. http://www.problogger.net/31-days-to-building-a-better-blog/
- I know the last thing you need is a massive addition to your To Do list! Sorry!