After I got home from our Publishing at Sea cruise, I checked out the good blogs of our amazing group of authors, including those of our experts, like Judith Briles! Of course, as writers, they all had important things to say on their blogs. But some weren’t really optimized for best results.
Here’s what I look for in an optimized, good blog (one that gets Google search and reader results):
- A good blog title with a tag line that says what people will find on this blog (benefits to reader)
- An email subscription sign up button such as an RSS icon
- A good blog post title that makes me want to read the full post
- A compelling image with each post
- Hyperlinks – at least one per 120 words so that posts are identifiable to search engines.
- Recent posts or no date on them: If posts aren’t at least once a week (twice is better) then I don’t want to see a date on the posts -which alerts me to the fact you haven’t posted in a month … or six!
- Author’s name (who is this guy named Admin, anyway?)
- A list of recent posts and if there are comments, a list of recent comments.
- A list of categories so I can find the ones in my area of interest
- A search box so I can find blog posts that interest me
- Social Media connect icons so I can find the author and connect with them
- Social Media Share buttons so I can immediately click and share a post I like
The biggest mistake authors and beginning bloggers make is not to hyperlink words in a post. This means you are losing Google juice and making it harder to for search engines to identify keywords.
Link anytime you refer to another blog, site, author, book, or a concept they can read more about on your previous blog posts. If you don’t have anything of your own, you can always link to a page on Wikipedia.
Why? If you want your quality writing to be indexed by search engines, you have to let them know which words – and keyword phrases – are important by hyperlinking them.
When people tell me they’ve got a blog for their book or their business, it’s often followed by something like this:
- “Oh, I know I should be blogging more often, but I don’t have time.”
- “I post all the time but I never get any comments.”
- “Well, I’ve got one, but … I never know what to write.”
To me, a good blog is the best darned marketing tool on the planet! Compared to Facebook and Twitter, it’s a real publishing platform where what you write will help you get found, get known and get clients.
If social media sites are where you connect and chat, then your blog is where you can converse about the things that really matter. It’s the difference between small talk and big talk.
If you love your blog, make it more findable to readers. They’ll love you for it.