Posts Tagged ‘Blogging’

How To Write a Blog Post | Blogpost Template

Monday, February 20th, 2012

How to write a blog post…One of the top questions I get asked by clients is if I have a template that I use for a blogposts, or a checklist of sorts that I go by when writing a post. So, since it seems to be such a common question I created a very basic blogging template to use when writing for SEO. Of course there may be differing opinions on how to best set up your post, but the tips below have worked well for us here at flyte.

Before you start: Conduct a mini keyword analysis. You can do this by visiting Google AdWords: Keyword Tool. It’s free and easy to use. For this particular post I typed in the following…

blog post keyword analysis- blogpost
- blog post
- blog post template
- Blog post checklist

Once you have you’ve chosen your keywords for the particular post there are a few places where it’s important to add them.

Blog Title (Most important place for Keywords):

Usually we like to word it in a way where you can repeat it naturally or reword your keywords.

Ex. Keyword phrase “10 Tips on Writing a blog post | How to write a blog post”

Body:

Incorporate keywords early on, first sentence if you can.

We usually start off with a brief sentence answering the question in the title using the keywords, or a brief 1 to 2 sentence description of what they’ll find below incorporating keywords.

Incorporate the keywords and version of the keyword phrase throughout the body content.

Create links on the post that go back to your website or another blog post that is appropriate for the content. Hyperlinking the keywords adds a little more SEO weight.

Image:

Adding a photo makes the post a little more interesting. Make sure that you fill in alt text describing the photo using keywords and  name the picture using a keyword, ex. “blogpost keyword search.jpg”

Steps to take before posting:

  • Tag your post with appropriate keywords
  • Select appropriate categories
  • Use AllinOneSEO Plugin

Steps after posting:

  • Tweet it out
  • Share on Facebook (or set up Networked Blogs)
  • +1 it
  • Ask your network to help you push out the post

Basic writing tips:

  • Write in short paragraphs
  • Add bullet points or numbering
  • Word the title in a way someone would type it into a search in Google
  • Make it easily scanable and digestible
  • Posts should be 300 – 500 words
  • Include intrasite links

Want more info on blogging?

 

Joan Woodbrey Crocker
I Love Blog!

Top 5 Blogging Tips for SEO

Thursday, May 19th, 2011

Top 5 Blogging TipsI just got back from a radio interview where they asked for my Top 5 Blogging Tips. Since I’m a strong supporter of business blogs, and our own web marketing blog generates so much search engine traffic, I figured I’d share those tips here on the Maine SEO Blog.

Own Your Own Domain Name

Make sure that you own your own domain name for your blog. That means you want to blog at mycompany.com/blog or mycompanyblog.com, but not mycompany.typepad.com or mycompany.wordpress.com. Two reasons for this:

  1. When you blog on a domain owned by someone else (i.e., wordpress.com or blogspot.com) you’re building up trust for that domain, not for your own. Why would you want to blog for the man when you can blog for yourself?
  2. If you ever need to change platforms (we did a couple of years back, moving from TypePad to WordPress) you will lose all of your inbound links if you didn’t first establish your own domain name. All those links to mycompany.typepad.com/whatever? They don’t get to come with you.

Blog so That the Search Engines Can Find You

That means starting with a keyword analysis to determine what keyword phrases your audience is using at the search engines. Then using those keywords in your blog post title, headers, in the first sentence or two, and sprinkled throughout your post. Also drop them in your meta-description, meta-keywords, tags, categories and alt-tags.

Create Keyword-Rich Links Back to Your Website

For many of us, a blog is the place where we establish our credibility and engage with our audience, while our website is where we do our sales. If this is the case for you, you should link your keywords in your blog post to appropriate pages on your website. For example, if you wanted to promote your web design skills you might blog about the top 10 web design mistakes and then link the words website design to the page on your website where you talk about your mad design skills.

Engage Your Audience On and Off Your Blog

If someone takes the time to comment on one of your posts (unless their “name” is SEO India, Whiter Teeth, or Natural Cialis) then you should respond to their comments. Likewise, you should be active in social networking on sites like Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn as applicable for your business, and engage your network; ask questions, answer queries, and promote their stuff as well. They will be more receptive and interested when you post a link to your most recent post.

Be Patient and Persistant

Blogging is not like PPC ads on Google; you don’t get page one results from day one. Instead, it takes time to succeed. I’d recommend 2 – 3 posts a week for six months before you start to get the results you’re looking for. Although that may seem daunting, those posts continue to drive new qualified leads to your site for as long as you have your blog. I have posts from 2006 that still bring in hundreds of new visitors every month. Now that’s return on investment.

Rich Brooks
Top 5 Lists Are Easier Than Top 10 Lists

Photo credit: WoodleyWonderWorks

Business Blogs or Pay-Per-Click: Which is Right for You?

Sunday, May 15th, 2011

Cooking PansDear Maine SEO,

We’re trying to decide whether we should set up a business blog or do pay-per-click advertising. Which will provide a better return on investment?

–Marketing in Maine

Dear Marketing,

We’ve never recommended putting all your eggs in one basket, be they proverbial or free range. Both blogs–which help with your organic search rankings–and pay-per-click (PPC) ads–which appear on page onecan help deliver qualified traffic to your website.

One way to look at this is the difference between cooking in an aluminum pan vs. a cast-iron pan. The aluminum pan heats up quicker, but it also cools off quicker.

PPC advertising is a lot like that aluminum pan. If you need to get page one results on Google or Bing, you just need to pay them and your ads will start running immediately. Same day results. That’s fantastic for sites that may not otherwise do well in the organic results, such as new sites or sites that rely heavily on Flash.

However, the moment you stop paying them–whether because you hit your daily budget or you’ve decided that PPC is no longer for you–that traffic stops just as quickly. You’ll get no more benefit out of the money and time you’ve invested.

Compare this to blogging: you may not enjoy much search engine visibility for the first few months of your blogging and you’ll be putting in a lot of work…we’d recommend 2 – 3 keyword-rich posts a week of 300 words or more. However, once you’ve established your blog and built up trust and inbound links, your blog stays hot like a cast-iron pan.

In reviewing the top ten traffic generating posts this month at our web marketing blog, five of the posts are at least a year or two old, the oldest one was written in 2006! Five years later and it’s still pulling in hundreds of new visitors each month…that’s a much better payoff than most PPC campaigns in our opinion.

So, if your budget allows it, we might recommend setting up a small budget for PPC, but develop develop a business blog for your long term success.

Rich Brooks
Now You’re Cooking with Gas

Photo credit: Jeremy Noble

How to Make Time to Blog: 5 Ways to Ensure You Write Blogposts

Wednesday, December 22nd, 2010

This has been a banner year. Flyte’s been busier than ever, and it’s been great. But that comes at a price…I haven’t had as much time to blog as I’d like.

According to Rich, it’s BS when you say you don’t have time to blog. He takes a business owner’s standpoint on the subject: you’re investing in your business every time you write a new post. Sounds a little more worthwhile after hearing that, huh?

But from a logistical standpoint, though, sometimes you just don’t have the time. Never fear, there are ways around that.

1. Take advantage of a creative moment

I know and love these moments – those moments that tend to happen at the most inopportune times (you know…in the middle of the night, in the middle of a conference call, in the middle of breakfast…).

Here’s the thing: take advantage of those moments by at least getting your ideas down on paper, or recording on your phone. (If you have the time, write a quick draft.) You’ll be happy you did.

2. Take the easy way out

Sometimes, it’s OK to write an easy blogpost to get something out there. As long as you don’t lean on these type of posts as a crutch every time you write, you’re in the clear. Here are some ideas:

  • Find a Wall Street Journal article, copy and paste part of it, then write your .02.
  • Update an old blogpost you did.
  • Do a top 10 link list of interesting posts in your niche.
  • Write a Dear Abby letter to yourself and answer it.
  • Create a list of your favorite Tweeps in your niche or region.
  • Take a photo or video you found online, embed it, and write a few sentences about it. (Better yet, take your own photo or video.)

3. Two (or three or four…) heads are better than one

Lean on your coworkers, staff, family, and friends for post ideas. Ask staff and coworkers what kinds of questions they’ve been getting from customers lately. Ask friends and family how your business relates to them and what they’d like to learn about it.

4. Relate it…somehow, anyhow

For many, business isn’t personal. Though to others, it is. I’m the latter. So take an interesting story that happened to you over the weekend and use it for an analogy – or even just a fun post.

5. Allow guest blogging

What better way to save time blogging than to have someone else write for you? Accept guest blogposts from the community, or even better: from your coworkers and staff.

When it comes right down to it, it’s about doing what works for you. What ways do you manage your time to write blogposts?

Nicki Hicks
Time Manager

The 7 Most Common Reasons Guest Blogposts Get Rejected at Copyblogger (with Sonia Simone and Jon Morrow)

Wednesday, August 18th, 2010

The following is a recap of a Remarkable Marketing Blueprint with Sonia Simone and Jon Morrow – both editors at Copyblogger.

1. They Don’t Know Who You Are

Go ahead and submit a guest post via traditional means, but that still means the blogger won’t know who you are. If you’re an unknown, then the big blogs get so many posts from people they know, then why would they post yours?

So how can you fight against it?

  • Start commenting on the blog. If the blogger sees that you are participating in the comments, that will work toward the chances of your guest blogposts being published.
  • Get on Gravatar.com and get your face connected to your comments. It helps connect your name with your face.
  • Don’t use “doppy names”. You’ll stand out…but in the wrong way.
  • It’s all about building a relationship with the blogger:

2. You didn’t meet the standards of the blog

Consider the audience.

Submit your best work to the biggest audience.

Put time into your guest post. (Jonathan put together some point that relate to that here.) There’s a direct correlation between time spent on the post and the amount the post is shared.

Feel free to repurpose your content that you submit to guest post, but don’t do it as a blogpost. Try a PDF or a video – repurpose it as something else entirely.

Don’t submit a post you’ve already run on your own blog.

3. You didn’t match the editorial style of blog

For example, Copyblogger’s first paragraph – even the first few paragraphs – is usually only one sentence long. They use a lot of sub-headers and juicy sub-headers throughout the post. Take time to match the writing style of the blog.

Look through the popular posts and mimic the structure of one of those posts. Don’t reinvent the wheel here. Stealing framework is ethical as far as Copyblogger is concerned.

Adapt your own personal style for the blog you’re writing for.

4. Your topic isn’t a fit

If you want to write a post that is PG-13, you wouldn’t want to post it on the PG-rated Copyblogger. If you’re hell-bent on keeping curses in your post, then try to find another blog that would post a PG-13 post.

5. You weren’t memorable

Help readers make a connection with you with a personal story. Mention your kids, or your dog, or how much you hate broccoli – whatever it is! Those personal details will stick with people and bond you with them.

6. You keep making the same mistakes

Take the original post and compare it to the published version. You’ll learn more from those edits than you ever could from a writing book.

Editors feel good when you correct posts you write again for the blog. If you don’t fix mistakes you keep making, editors might see it as being lazy, that you don’t get it, and that it’s going to take a ton of time to edit/keep up with (and the writer becomes a chore).

That said, you’re not expected to be perfect the first time around. They might even make you rewrite the post. That’s not a big deal. You’re never going to be perfect, either.

Guest posts are a collaboration – don’t feel insulted if and when your posts are edited. For one guest post Jon did, he was told up front he’d be creating 3 drafts. Copyblogger posts go through three rounds of edits with multiple editors, including Brian Clark. (Due to this, Copyblogger is willing to take a post with strong ideals and poor writing and do the work to improve it for publishing.) These are all things you need to be aware of for whichever blog you’re looking to do guest posts for.

You can create a relationship with other guest bloggers by reaching out and asking “How was your experience doing the post for Copyblogger?”

7. You think you’re entitled

Sonia talks about an example with a woman who was persistent about a post she submitted which simply wasn’t suitable for the blog’s audience. Sonia nicely told her this, but the woman pushed. Instead of saying “OK, I’ll edit it and make it so it does suit your audience,” the woman presumed her post she be published. So instead of following up and standing out, she’s actually called attention to herself as a trouble maker.

It’s important to remember humility when you post on another person’s blog – you’re a guest blogger, after all. Act like one.

Sonia Simone – Remarkable Marketing Blueprint

Jon Morrow – Associate Editor of Copyblogger

6 Ways to Get Inspired to Write Blogposts: Are your posts getting stale?

Wednesday, July 28th, 2010

A while back, I wrote about what to do when you can’t think of anything to blog about. This post goes a step further. Do you feel like you’ve been keeping up with your blog pretty well, but your posts are always a similar flavor? Let’s spice it up a little…

1. What’s your competition up to?

Use Google’s blog search to search for blogposts in your industry. You’ll have to sort the junk, but I bet you’ll quickly feel inspired with some new and different posts.

2. Write more about what people are already finding

Check out your Google Analytics Traffic Sources section, then in your keywords. Scroll to the bottom of the list – deep down in the long tail. Only a few people found you with these keywords, but perhaps there’s opportunity to expand on some posts you’ve already written by incorporating some of that long tail language.

3. What’s hot in your industry right now?

Have a favorite blog(s)? Follow what’s happening in your industry right now and blog about it. Sure, you won’t be the news source where people find out what happened first; but you’ll certainly be able to put your own, unique spin on it. Or, if you don’t have many other favorite blogs, you could always use one of these cool tools.

4. IRL (In Real Life)

Does something ever happen in your day-to-day life that makes you think “Man, I could relate this to something in my blog!” Grab a piece of scrap paper, a voice recorder, or your phone and jot your idea down! You’d be surprised how you can relate something completely unrelated to your industry.

5. Use what you already know

Tips and tricks you use every day may be common place to you, but not your audience. Write a quick tutorial blogpost or, better yet, create a video how-to!

6. Incorporate FAQs

Are your customers constantly asking you the same questions? Chances are, it’s probably more than just your customer base asking those questions. Make sure you write those questions down when you’re on the phone with a client.

What are your tricks for spicing up your blogposts?

Photo credit: recycle this

Nicki Hicks
Don’t get stale

5 Time Management Tips for Blogging and Social Media

Tuesday, May 25th, 2010

Who doesn’t want more hours in the day? We all do.

Unfortunately, I don’t have the secret that will add minutes to your day; but I do have some that will help you use your time more wisely.

Blogging

  1. Have go-to blogpost ideas ready for a rainy day. Try some of these easy tips to get started.
  2. Repurpose your content by guest blogging or article marketing. Take an existing blogpost you already have and put a different spin on it, or elaborate on a certain point.

Social Media

  1. Use services to send out mass status messages to all of your social media profiles. My favorite is ping.fm.
  2. Spend your time where your audience is at. If they’re on Twitter, be on Twitter. If they’re on LinkedIn, make sure you’re answering questions on LinkedIn. If your audience isn’t in a particular social space – and you’re pressed for time – I would argue it’s not worth being there.
  3. Use Networked Blogs for Facebook, and skip having to worry about posting every blogpost to your fan page. Use a service like Twitterfeed to have blogposts auto-tweeted.

What about you? What are your tips for saving time blogging/social media success?

Nicki Hicks
Let’s work smarter, not harder

Photo credit: tonivc

Blogging Industry “Secrets”: When Putting it all out there is a Good Thing

Thursday, April 22nd, 2010

Clients often ask: I understand and appreciate the value of blogging, but shouldn’t I keep some things a secret?

The answer is two-sided. Obviously, you should keep classified information to yourself – even product or service pricing, if you prefer. Otherwise, as long as you feel comfortable (from both a moral and business sense) to share, share!

Think about it: your competitors, industry leaders, and others who are sharing information, ranking well, and getting leads. That should be you.

Here at flyte, we write about everything from what a good bounce rate is in Google Analytics and advice on keyword rich URLs to how to print Keynote presentations and what #ff is exactly.

Why?

Well just take a look at the Analytics for the Maine SEO blog. Here are the top five keywords that bring this blog traffic…

…or the top 6 keywords over at the flyte blog

So you see, putting information out there is a good thing. You might just be able to give someone the tip they’ve been scouring the Interwebs for.

Does it mean do-it-yourselfers get my service for free?

Yes. But, then again, a lot of people don’t have time to do what you do. Which is why they have to hire you.

Nicki Hicks
Sharing is Caring

4 Ways to Create Link Worthy Content

Tuesday, March 30th, 2010

It’s no secret that getting more links results from creating more content.

Sure, a year-old article might still hold some importance. But what about that brand spanking new breaking story over at Mashable? Now that I have to link to.

Blog

Blogging is, without a doubt, one of the best ways to create link worthy content. It makes sense, right? Small, bite-size morsels of information that answer a specific question. Plus, blogs tend to be way less salesy than web sites, so folks are bound to link.

How can you get more link building bang for your blogging buck? Here are a few tips:

Press Releases

By their nature, Press Releases are spread all over the web. You, of course, pay for this service. However, it’s an easy and effective way to get news (and links back to your website) spread. Plus, local newspapers often pick these releases up.

Article Marketing

Likewise, article distribution is a paid service. However, the articles themselves are often glorified blogposts, are they not? Webmasters and bloggers link to the article, and with a link to your website in your signature, you’ll get the benefits of that link juice!

Social Media

The “shareability” of social media makes it a linking smorgasbord. No, these links don’t pass link juice, but you can only imagine the constant linking to pictures, images, video, websites, and blogs is bound to expose a website (or blog) to legitimate, powerful links.

Nicki Hicks
Content is king

8 Places to Find More Incoming Links

Monday, January 25th, 2010

PageRank may be dead (dying?), but the authority powerful links give to a website is certainly not. But…where do you find these powerful links? Certainly not link building farms, but they may be easier to find than you think.

Submission

Directories. There’s a question as to whether directories have much value. They have little to none. That doesn’t mean they hurt though.

You can get a free listing (after more than likely waiting a very long time to be approved) at DMOZ, so it seems like a no-brainer. The most worthwhile paid listings are from the Yahoo Directory and Business.com (both $299 per year).

Forums. Every time you submit a forum post, you can attach a signature (not unlike an email signature) with links back to your website. Depending on the rules of the forum, you might also be able to include links within your post (although they are probably nofollowed).

Article Marketing. Submitting articles to article distribution sites (like Article Marketer and Hubpages), you can leave a signature just like you can with forums. Plus, these services (while usually paid), will distribute your article to the masses – and you don’t have to lift a finger!

Research

Competition. This is one of my favorite link building strategies. Head over to Yahoo Site Explorer and type in your competitor’s domain. After you sort by inlinks, except from the domain, and to the entire site, you’ll see all of your competition’s incoming links! Luckily for you, Yahoo will (generally) list the incoming links in order of authority, so (for the links that make sense), start going down the list!

Blogs and Articles. Google yourself. You might find old articles or blogposts that mention your company but don’t link to your website. Contact the webmaster and see if you can’t get them to fix that for you.

Then try Googling your best keywords and phrases using Google’s Blog search. Sometimes, you have to filter through the filth, but you’ll find the gems in no time!

Be proactive

Events, Sponsorships. Speaker at a conference? Sponsoring an event? Make sure the conference/event website is linking to yours. More often than not, those links are mighty powerful.

Social media. Links from your Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube accounts may be nofollowed (LinkedIn’s are not nofollowed, but redirected), but you only have to take one look at your Analytics to see the traffic coming from them. What’s more – social media websites are fantastic for viral aspects – and they might lead to other links!

Comment, comment, comment. Likewise, comments are also nofollowed, but still count as a link! Again, someone else commenting sees your insightful thoughts; theoretically resulting in a link!

What are your favorite ways to discover new possibilities for incoming links?

Nicki Hicks
Link Building for Dummies



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