Starting a Blog
Many clients of mine ask about blogs- “what is a blog?” “how can it help my website rankings?”. Well, the answer, in short, is: a blog is a type of website meant for articles. It is completely editable (meaning you can add new articles, categories, etc yourself via an online administration area) and has the potential to reach millions of people around the world in a relatively short time frame.
As websites become more and more crucial to a business’ marketing plan, a blog can compliment your website nicely by allowing you to post discussions and thoughts on topics of your choice. Blogs have an RSS feed link built directly in, which allows people to subscribe to your blog to receive new articles whenever you write them. How does this help your website? I’ll explain…
Simply creating a blog and writing your everyday thoughts may be fun (if you have the time), but that does not help your website, or your website rankings on search engines, at all. You need to create a complimentary blog website for your main website. This means the articles should be about what you do, or the products you sell, for example. This helps in 2 ways: since blogs are designed to be search engine friendly, they usually get indexed (i.e. read) by the search engines rather easily and quickly. They also allow “tagging” of articles, which means you can specify keywords for the article to help get it ranked. This is where the basic principles of search engine optimization come into play: make sure you select targeted tags or keywords for your articles, and try and choose 1-2 tags or keywords per article. Spins-offs the tags are fine and don’t worry about pluralizing keywords.
Creating categories is crucial, and making sure the categories are clear and precise makes all the difference. In blogs, like WordPress for example, if you create a category you must create at least one article within that category, or the category will not display on the front end of the website. You can provide a short description for the category if you like, this also helps the search engines when they visit your blog.
Now that you have your new blog set up and ready to go, how do you start getting it ranked on the search engines? There are a couple of ways, but the main methods I use are:
- In the URL bar of your browser, you will see a little ‘RSS’ sign or text in the corner. If you click that, it will display your articles as an RSS feed. Alternately, you can also test out the RSS feed link by typing in “feed://YOUR DOMAINNAME/DIRECTORY THE BLOG IS INSTALLED IN/feed/. Our RSS feed is: feed://evolutionindesignz.com/feed/, for example.
- Now that you have your RSS feed address, submit to to as many RSS directories or repositories as possible! A good site with a comprehensive list is https://www.rss-specifications.com/rss-submission.htm. Another excellent site to submit to is https://www.digg.com. You can also use automated software to submit the feed; many of them are free. Don’t forget to submit it to Google as well!
- Submit the normal URL (e.g. https://evolutionindesignz.com/blog) to as many search engines as possible. Again, there are many online services that submit URLs to many search engines for free, or you could use purchased software as well.
Once all this is done, monitor your blog’s traffic. It usually takes a little while before you start showing up in search engines, directories, etc and it all depends on how popular your topics are. Remember to be patient and keep writing new articles, and eventually your blog should start doing well on the search engines.