Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Don’t Get Bogged Down in a Blog

Ideas for newbies about to jump off the lily pad and into the blogosphere

Blogging can be an excellent way to get started in Social Media (providing of course you allow comments and feedback).

It’s the way for a company, organization or individual can show off knowledge, build trust and gather a following.

Here are some blogging best practices to advance your standing in Social Media.

Your own blog:

Content: Pick a niche that you can “own” and always be helpful by offering analysis, tips and useful commentary

Length: Plan to always post between 250 and 750 words for the best Search Engine Optimization (SEO) results.

Headlines: The more intriguing, the better. Consider using numbers as part of your title and consider numbers that resonate with readers. (i.e. 3, 5, 7 and 10) So, for example: The 10 Signs Your Social Media Efforts Are Paying Off

Keywords: Using your top keywords is critical so that your blog post helps with your website’s overall Search Engine ranking. Therefore always try to include keywords in the headline, hyperlinked text and all the key tag fields.

Links: Always internally link (to your own Website content and to previous, related blog content. Also link to other blogs and news that is highly relevant. This cross-linking strategy helps your blog rise up in Search Engine results.

Schedule: Treat blog posting as a routine – no less than one post per week is good; two per week would be better. Create an editorial calendar built around topics that will be of high interest to readers, be timely and be able to carry your keywords.

Photos or Graphics: Including at least one with a post is recommended when possible. Use your keywords in the image "alt" attribute when possible

Review: Always have at least one set of extra eyes – a trusted colleague or friend – review the post before it goes live. It’s your reputation at stake here.

Sharing: Use Social Media platforms, email or other methods to let people know when a new post goes live. Allow visitors to click on an RSS feed so they automatically get notified of new posts.

Comments: Be sure to acknowledge comments left on your blog. Be positive – even when commenters aren’t.

Commenting on others’ blogs

Be thoughtful: Reference what helped you and try to add value to the original post.

Regularity: By commenting regularly on a few blogs you will establish a relationship with that blogger and their audience.

Linking: Add links in your commetns rarely and with great care so you don’t appear to be merely a self-promoter. If you are linking to content of your own, be sure it is very relevant to the topic at hand. Consider including linking to other blogs

Related posts:
5 Really Useful Sites for Social Media Newbies
Questions Are a Recipe for Social Media Success

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