Monthly Archives: January 2009

Keying In To The Proper Keywords For Your Blog

Keywords are an important part of web content development. While social media is starting to compete in the area of blog traffic, it is still vital to ensure you are grabbing the attention of the all-mighty search engines. Being new to blogging myself, I have done a fair amount of research into what keywords are, why they are important and how they help get your blog more traffic; and here are a few of the things I found out.

What is a keyword?

A keyword is a word, or phrase, that you incorporate into your blog post. It must be a relevant word; meaning, you don’t want to just pepper a word like Google throughout a post that has nothing to do with them just because it gets a lot of hits from the search engines. To begin with, the search engines will pick up on this and give your blog a lower ranking, which puts you lower on the list that pops up when you type in a search question or term. Secondly, the readers that find you through irrelevant keywords will get annoyed that they wasted time clicking to your post, when the web content you have provided has nothing to do with what they are looking for. If you aren’t sure which words to use to get your blog more traffic, there are many free tools available that will help you with this. One such tool is word tracker. You just type in the word you are thinking of using, and it will give you the number of hits it has received that day. This brings me to another point; just because a certain word got a lot of traffic one day, doesn’t necessarily mean it will get the same amount everyday. That being said, it is a good indication of how popular the word is. You can also try asking the people you follow on twitter, or other social media sites. I have found them to be a great resource, and the diversity of ideas out there gives you a much broader knowledge-base to work with.

How do I work keywords into my web content?

This is where good writing comes in. You want to use the keywords a fair amount throughout your blog post, but you want it to flow and seem as if they naturally go there. Never, and I repeat never, sacrifice quality content simply to get more traffic. It may work in the short run, but eventually people will not see you as credible or knowledgeable, and that spells death to any blogger. There is a lot of competition in the area of search engines, and getting loyal readers is the most important way I can think of to market yourself or your business. The web content you produce should be helpful, entertaining and/or thought-provoking to the people that take the time to check it out. Some of the research I found suggested that your keywords should make up approximately 3%-6% of your blog post. That number should be easy enough to achieve without cramming these specific words down your reader’s throats. If you aren’t sure how to do this, check out some of the blog articles that people post on social media sites like StumbleUpon. There are many great writers out there, and I believe in following the example of those who are already successful.

I have also found that keywords, or at least the main one for the particular blog post you are writing, should be incorporated into your title as well. Again, don’t sacrifice quality to do this. I believe it is far better to leave them out, if you can’t come up with a good title with them. This is just a few of the things I have learned so far. Search engine optimization has a lot of aspects to it, and keywords are just one component. What have you found out about the importance of keywords? How often do you use them throughout a blog post? Do you think your web content suffers from trying to stuff them in, or are you able to make them flow. Please share your thoughts,questions and suggestions, by leaving a comment.

The Power of Social Media

The power of social media continues to amaze and delight me. I was on twitter today, and asked my followers what advice they had on email marketing campaigns-my client wants to launch one next month. Within a matter of five minutes, I had six replies with helpful advice and people offering to send me information. That, my friends, is the real power social media has on any blogger. Heck, you don’t even have to have a blog to interact on twitter. So this got me thinking, what else can social media have the power to help you with?

Social Media Helps You Market Your Business

OK, this one might be a no-brainer, as that’s probably the one most people think of. But there’s more to it than you may think. I don’t just mean sites like twitter providing a platform for you to throw your latest link out and get a response. I mean there are some very experienced people out there, and they can help give you guidance and advice on the best ways to market your blog or business, and you get this help for free! You also get opportunities to be a guest blogger on other people’s sites, which not only raises your credibility, but also, provides yet another place for people to find you. Social Media is also a great way of getting exposure for your name, or the name of your business.

Social Media Gets Your Business Exposure

You don’t have to shove your blog down people’s throats to get this exposure either. Every time you make a tweet, or stumble a post or get on Facebook, or whatever social media site you’re on, your name comes up on the screen for everybody to see. My client uses his company’s name as his ID. I use a version of my own name, not Jberry Marketing, but since I’m a consultant, I wanted my own name to be known. You may not think posting, or tweeting, about what you did today is a valuable marketing tool, but if somebody starts to care about you on a personal level, they are much more likely to visit your blog or business; at least to check it out, it nothing else. Social media can also be a powerfull tool in helping those less fortunate than you.

Social Media is an Excellent Organizing Tool

Right now on twitter, Danny Brown and Suze Muse (pardon me if I’ve left anybody off) are promoting a charity that they came up with and organized called  the 12k for 12k challenge, I have provided the link here so that you can check out this worthwhile cause for yourself. But my point is that they have never even met in person. They have done all this work via social media. I also heard stories over the holidays about people on social media sites that organized groups of people to go down to local food banks to donate food. Again, most of these people never met in person, they just saw a message on the social media site they were on and decided to respond.

There is no doubt that social media is very powerful in terms of marketing, especially when you are talking about blogs. But there is so much more to it than that. I am just beginning to learn all that it can help me with. What about you? How has social media made a powerful impact on your life?

I’ve added the 12for12 challenge link to my blogroll on the right,  for those of you that would like more information.

Link Your Way to More Blog Traffic

Providing an outside link, or two, or three, or four, can help you drive more traffic to your blog. There are several reasons for this, which include: improved internet visibility through spider crawls from search engines, more networking opportunities, heightened credibility and reciprocal links to your blog, just to name a few.

One of the things search engines do when crawling through the internet to find new information is to look for links. Now I’m no IT expert, so I don’t know exactly how this works (please feel free to educate me if you know), but I do know that having outside links in your blog posts helps get them recognized; and in the highly competitive world of blogging, you need every advantage you can get. By the way, providing a link to another blog may help you in getting links back to yours, and those links help get you more blog traffic as well.

When looking for different blogs to link to, I suggest finding the most credible bloggers you can. Not only will this help give your readers the best information out there, it will raise your credibility as well. Your readers will be much more likely to return to your blog because they know you are a resource for them, even if it means directing them to another site. Providing a link to another blog also opens up networking opportunities that you will be hard-pressed to find elsewhere.

When I link to another blog, I am starting a relationship with somebody else in my field. Normally these bloggers will click over to my blog to check me out, and leave me a comment that provides me with much more insight into the subject I wrote about. Because the internet is so vast, it’s often difficult to build these important relationships otherwise. Keep in mind that you want to provide quality links to your readers; ones that relate to what you’re writing about and ones that truly give them something that can help them.

Getting more blog traffic is one of the main goals of any blogger on the internet. And, this is one of the best ways I have found to acheive that goal. What are your thoughts on this? Do you agree, disagree? Have you found better ways of getting more traffic to your blog? Leave me a comment, and let me know.

Marketing Your Blog Through Comments

Marketing your blog is vital, if you want to get as many people as possible to hear what you have to say. There are a lot of different ways to go about doing that, but one of the easiest and most effective ways to market your blog is through comments. I’m not talking about the blog comments left on your post, I’m talking about the comments you leave on other people’s blogs. You can also do this on many websites as well. The more the better, but there are some things you should think about when using this marketing approach.

Find Websites or Blogs in Your Niche

When you start utilizing the website to find blog posts or articles to leave comments on, try typing keywords into google that match your niche, or interests. It isn’t much fun reading through a bunch of posts that bore you to tears, and besides, there are so many blogs out there that you are bound to find plenty that truly interest you. And if marketing is your goal, you’ll find much more success on blogs or websites that are talking about the same topic you do. One of the goals here is to grab attention and interest with your comments so that other readers will want to check you out. If your comment provides new ideas, insights or even controversy, people are more likley to click on your name and pop over to your blog to see what you are all about.

Leave Blog Comments That are Sincere and Honest

I do not advocate commenting just for the sake of marketing, I am emphasizing how it can help you market your blog. One of the worst things you can do when leaving a comment is spam (by this I mean leaving your URl or advertising your services) a blog or website. Besides many bloggers moderate their comments and wouldn’t approve anything like that anyway, so it’s just a waste of time. Only leave a comment on a blog, if you feel you have something to add to the conversation, even if you just want to tell them how their post has educated or helped you. Sincerity and honesty are hard to fake, and if the blogger or other readers really think you’re providing something of value, they will consider you much more credible, and in my opinion, credibility is the cornerstone to any good marketing campaign.

Keep Up With Responses to Your Blog Comments

The key to marketing through blog comments is starting a conversation and networking with other people in your field. Leaving one comment and forgetting all about it after that, negates the work you put into the original comment. Most blogs allow you to sign up to get emails if there is a response to your comment, I suggest you take advantage of this. It’s a great way to build those business relationships and learn a lot about your industry as well. Another plus to this is that, in many cases, leaving comments on other people’s blogs will enhance your chances of getting comments on yours. You’re putting your name out there and marketing who you are, what you do, and the service or product you provide, so people will start to recognize your name. That being said, it can take quit a while to get a lot of comments on your own blog. In fact Chris Brogan wrote a great post about blog comments that talks about how do deal with that.

Marketing your blog is part of what all bloggers should do. There is a lot of different ways to go about it, but I have found this one of the best, easiest, most educational ways to to this; besides it’s fun getting to know people this way. What do you think about marketing your blog through comments? Has it worked well for you? Do you support other methods of marketing you feel work better? Why not leave me a comment, and tell me what you think?

Blog Content That Moves Your Readers

Providing quality blog content isn’t always as easy as it may seem. There are a lot of things you have to consider, if you want readers to click on your post, especially with social media sites becoming more popular and competitive. The bottom line is that you are trying to utilize your blog to market yourself, product or services, so you want to make sure you’re writing content that will raise your credibility.

The first thing to consider is what your blog post for the day will be. You can get great ideas from comments left on your blog, comments on other blogs with similiar content as yours and social media sites like twitter and StumbleUpon. Once you have a good idea, you have to come up with a relevant and eye-catching title that will help market your post. There’s a great, detailed post about blog titles at ProBlogger that can help you with this particular aspect. Once you have an idea and you have come up with a marketable title, you reach the hardest step; actually writing the post.

As with everything else, the best blog content is written by people that are passionate about the topic they are writing on. There are millions of blogs out there, so finding a completely original idea is almost impossible. If your readers feel your passion through your words, you’ll have a much easier time marketing it. You also want to put your own spin and personality into it. Danny Brown at dannybrown.me wrote a great post on how to be a leader in social media, and the same information can hold true when creating blog content.

The best advice I can give you here is to let your voice shine through. If you’re quirky, let your readers see that in your blog content. If your serious and more academic, try and give your readers a comphrehensive guide through your topic. Just be yourself and write content you’re passionate about, and readers will be moved by your honesty and the information you are providing them. You should also do the same on any social media site you are on. It will help you stand out above the crowd.

@BostonSarah on twitter just reminded me that being open to discussion with your readers is another important factor in creating blog content, and I couldn’t agree more. You do this by inviting comments, suggestions and even disagreement with what you’ve written. Let your readers feel like they are part of the conversation, and they will want to keep coming back for more.

What have I left off? What do you do to create blog content that moves your readers? Please leave a comment, and let us know.