With so many blogs being created every day, it’s a mystery to many bloggers how to make their blog stand out. There are many types of blogs or purposes for blogs and a certain number of tactics are applicable to just about all of them.
Some companies choose to hire a blog consultant, but others like to try things internally. For those “DIY” companies and individuals interested in practical tips for marketing and optimizing a business blog, try out the following list of blog marketing and optimization tips:
- Decide on a stand alone domain name http://www.myblog.com or directory of existing site http://www.mysite.com/blog. Sub domain is also an option blog.mysite.com. Avoid hosted services that do not allow you to use your own domain name!
- Obtain and install customizable blog software – WordPress and Moveable Type are my favorites.
- Customize blog look and feel templates – aka design.
- Research keywords and develop a glossary – Keyword Discovery, WordTracker, SitePoint, SEOBook Keyword Research.
- Optimize the blog: a) Template optimization – RSS subscription options, social bookmark links, HTML code, Unique title tags, URLs, Sitemap. b)Add helper plugins specific to WordPress or MT. c) Create keyword rich categories (reference your keyword glossary)
- Enable automatic trackback and ping functionality.
- Create Feedburner Pro account and enable feed tracking.
- Setup a Google account for Sitemap, validate and prep for future submission.
- Identify authoritative blogs, web sites and hubs for outbound resource links and blogroll.
- Format archived posts, related posts.
- Enable statistics for tracking – Google Analytics, ClickTracks.
- Submit RSS feed and Blog URL to prominent RSS and Blog directories / search engines.
- Engage in an ongoing link building campaign.
- If podcast or video content are available, submit to Podcast and Vlog directories.
- Submit blog url to paid directories with categories for blogs – Yahoo, BOTW, bCentral, WOW, JoeAnt.
- Optimize and distribute a press release announcing blog.
- Request feedback or reviews of your blog in relevant forums, discussion threads. If you have a resourceful post that will help others, point to it.
- Research and comment on relevant industry related blogs and blogs with significant centers of influence.
- Post regularly. If it’s a news oriented blog, 3-5 times per day. If it’s an authoritative blog, 3-5 times per week, but each post must be unique and high value.
- Monitor inbound links, traffic, comments and mentions of your blog – Google Alerts, Technorati, Blogpulse, Yahoo News, Ask Blogs and Feeds.
- Always respond to comments on your blog and when you detect a mention of your blog on another blog, thank that blogger in the comments of the post.
- Make contact with related bloggers on AND offline if possible.
- When making blog posts always cite the source with a link and don’t be afraid to mention popular bloggers by name. Use keywords in the blog post title, in the body of the post and use anchor text when you link to previous posts you’ve made.
- Use social networking services, forums and discussion threads to connect with other bloggers. If they like your stuff, they will link to you.
- Remember when web sites were a new concept and the sage advice to print your web address everywhere you print your phone number? The same advice applies for your blog.
If your blog’s goal is to promote you as an authority, interview other prominent bloggers in your industry. Your own credibility will improve by association.
Build out your online networks through services such as MyBlogLog, Twitter and Facebook and leverage them to promote particularly useful content on your blog.
Once your blog has 1000 or more subscribers, show your Feedburner badge
Host images with Flickr making sure to include an anchor text link in the image description back to the post where the image is used.
Use your blog to gain press/media credentials at relevant industry conferences and use the event to create content, connections and increase your knowledge.
This post was originally published on June 15, 2006 and has continued to receive many inbound links. As time changes, so do some tactics, so we’ve added a few tactics (after original 25) that have emerged in their usefulness. What would you add to this list?