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How To Blog – A Step By Step Guide
Step One: You Must Research, and the write a blog post around a highly searched but low competition keyword or keyphrase.
Before writing any article or paper, you do what? Research of course! Why are you blogging? To attract readers and make them want to visit your site, right? To write a blog post that attracts readers, you first have to find out what your readers are interested in. There are a few ways to do this, but none are faster and more effective than using Google’s Adwords Keyword Tool. (you’ll have to have a google / Gmail account to access google adwords). How do we use keyword research to determine what we blog about? Simple. You already know that you will write about something of which you are have knowledge. For instance, I wanted to write an article on “How To Blog“. My first step was to go to the keyword tool and enter several variations of terms that I would use if I were researching google on tips for blogging. Check out the image above an you will see what I found. Over 20 Million people a month are searching for the exact phrase “how to blog”. Competition is low. While not always an exact indicator – a competition factor of “low” means your chances of SEO’ing your way to the top of the search results is a lot higher than if the rating was “medium” or “high”. So, it looks like we’ve found a winner! I will write a post centered around the search phrase “How To Blog”.
Step Two: Optimize your blog post around your selected search phrase. Learn some good DIY SEO tricks here!
There are numerous ways to do this, and if you ask 10 different SEOs (search engine optimization specialists) you are likely to get 10 different answers. We will break it down to a fairly simple process. If you have access to paid SEO tools such as Raven Tools or SEOMoz, then you will be a step ahead here. These tools can give you great feedback as to the optimization level of your blog post. Keep in mind, what we are going for here is to make sure that your blog post is optimized around your target keyphrase. This means that when a potential reader is searching google for your target keyphrase, your post will land in the top 10 search results. Here are several steps to basic on-page SEO.
- Keywords in the URL: Make sure the url of your blog post has the keywords in it. Look up top and you’ll notice that the title of this post is /how-to-blog-a-beginners-guide-to-blogging.html. This kind of post name is a standard function of any CMS or Blogging platform worth it’s salt. If your’s does not do this, then I suggest upgrading to wordpress or some other platform that does.
- Keywords in the Title Tag: This is simple if you are using a blogging platform. Whatever you call your post should contain your primary keyphrase toward the FRONT of the title. “How To Blog – A Beginner’s Guide To Blogging”, for instance is a lot better than “This is a really great post you should be sure to read that covers the topic How to Blog”. Yes, that is a ridiculous example, but it proves the point. Keep the title to 70 characters or less.
- Keywords in Meta Description: For all practical purposes, google has ignored the famed “meta tags”. We don’t really worry about the META KEYWORDS tag anymore. It was a place for keyword stuffing and has thus fallen out of favor. The description tag, however, is VERY important. In fact, when you are browsing results in google, the information you are seeing is the pages Title, URL and Meta Description. The description has less function in your search rankings, and more function in letting the reader know what your page is about. This is your elevator pitch, so to speak. Make it short and sweet. Also, keep this entry less than 140 characters. Think of it as a tweet.
- Keywords in an H1 header: You don’t have to be an HTML expert to do this – in your blog post editor, you should have a style pull-down where you can select text and assign things like “paragraph”, “heading 1”, “heading 2”, etc. You ideally want the first thing on the page to be a Heading 1 (H1) header with your keyword or phrase in it, at the beginning.
- Keywords used in the content: Be warned – no keyword stuffing here! If I took my target keyword and just pasted it willy-nilly throughout my content, without regard to readability, my post wouldn’t make sense. The reader would be annoyed and would probably never visit my site again. Also, Google has gotten wise to this “black hat” tactic and will likely not even offer my page in the list of search results. Once or twice every few paragraphs is fine, and above all, make sure that it MAKES SENSE when used.
- Keywords in IMG alt tags: When you use an image in your document, google doesn’t see the image. Google sees whatever lies in the alt=”[text goes here]” tag. Your keyword or phrase should be in at least one image alt tag.
- Make Sure It Is Readable: Have friends or co-workers read your post and offer feedback. If you don’t trust your friends, a good tool is the Flesch Reading Ease test. Google it. You can cut and paste your text and it will let you know basically what grade level you are writing to. Basically, if you are writing a post on medical research, you wouldn’t want to target it to high-school reading level. Likewise, if you are selling tennis shoes – you probably aren’t targeting your content to graduate level readers.
Step Three: Promote Your Article
What are your other channels for promotion. You surely have twitter, facebook or LinkedIn followers. If you don’t – get some! Once you publish a post, using social media to promote does two things. First – it gets people’s attention. Second, and most importantly, those links you use in your tweets and facebook posts register with google as inbound links, which gives your post a boost in it’s importance factor. If you are lucky, your post will be so fantastic and life changing that others will share your post, or re-tweet your announcement, giving you even MORE backlinks to your brand new article.
We hope this little tutorial on How to Blog will help you develop fantastic, sticky, attractive content that will bring visitors to your blog and website. We also offer content marketing services to our own clients. If you would like a free consultation and estimate on our inbound marketing and content development services, reach out to us! There is a form on the right that will give us a bit of insight as to what your most pressing needs are. Consultations are always free.
Best of luck blogging and we wish you nothing but success in the future!