Blog Optimizatio: Planning a New Blog
With about 109 million blogs between Tumblr and WordPress1, a writer could think that almost every single topic has been covered. However, he couldn’t be more wrong, as these numbers do not distinguish between the low-quality, one-post blogs and the high-quality ones. Nevertheless, starting a successful blog is harder than ever and needs careful planning beforehand in order to channel your creativity in the right direction and achieve the right results.
The first step to planning your blog involves determining the end purpose. Is the blog going to be a leisure time hobby or a more serious engagement? If you want to make money by blogging, will you rely primarily on advertisements through programs like Google Adwords, or will you promote certain brand products for a sales commission? This will depend heavily on the niche you want to write about, so thorough research beforehand is mandatory. Carefully note your preferences, the competition in these industries, the marketing interest and the available topics to write on. Usually competition and marketing interest go hand in hand, but keep in mind that a blog requires regular updates and some industries are just not cut out for this.
Although your plan should have predetermined stages, you should not expect for these to happen in concrete intervals such as months or weeks. After determining your selected niche, you should spend a considerable amount of time researching the audience, including their preferred keywords, traffic characteristic, and favorite Web devices. For example, moviegoers are likely to access a movie-related website on their mobile devices when choosing which movie to go see. You should note whether there are slight misspellings or layman’s terms, and incorporate them into the blog’s SEO strategy. Finally, consider the type of preferred content you should focus on, such as pictures, text or videos.
When you’ve decided on a niche, and keywords and preferences, you are ready to build your content management plan. As mentioned in a previous post, you must determine what you will write at some time in the future and announce it. This will give your blog some credibility. You are as big as your ambitions, they say, and this will decrease the amount of time wasted on looking for an interesting and compelling topic. You should put the keywords and the interesting content creation at the heart of the plan, perhaps going a bit over the top for most things. For example, a detailed breakdown of teeth cleaning techniques is of little use but will surely impress readers. Note that link baits are important for early blog development and should be featured prominently in the content plan.
The content strategy should be accompanied by a link building one as well. Think of not only receiving inbound ones but creating fruitful relationships with fellow bloggers and linking to them as well. Naturally, SEO must always be the center of your actions, whether it’s uploading a picture, doing a video or submitting the blog for indexing. For example, submit to Google News if your articles are about recent news topics.
A good blog gathers and engages a community, so incorporate a social media profile agenda into your blogging plan. Consider scheduling regular polls, asking open answer questions, starting discussions and encouraging the users to comment on the articles. A contribution rewards system will give the blog interesting and engaging content and reward the best commentators.
There should be evaluation stages set out quarterly or even monthly at the beginning to see what you have accomplished and what needs changing. Google Analytics should play an important role in your evaluations. Monitor for valuable business opportunities, as when the blog starts to grow, more and more companies will want to be advertised on it.