You have a thought, an idea, a concept, an epiphany, a revelation and you want to immortalize it. Creating a website for it could take a while and you fear you might lose your grasp or interest of that thought during the time it takes to design your website just right. So what’s the quickest way? You blog it.
Now that you have your blog, you want others to know about it. This means broadcasting it somehow, which of course means optimizing it to increase your blog’s online visibility. The first thing that probably pops into your mind when you hear the word “optimize” is SEO (search engine optimization). Yes, like it or not, you will have to learn this, or at least the basics of it, if you want any kind of visibility.
Let’s make a couple of things clear first. When I say SEO, I mean not only trying to make your blog visible to search engine bot, spiders or web crawlers but also make it appealing to organic searches. The former could be accomplished by setting everything up, leaving it on autorun and tweaking it every now and then to stay in the first page of a search engine’s results page (SERPs). The latter is a lot more challenging since you’ll be dealing with Internet users instead of web crawlers running on a bunch of algorithms.
As an avid Google + user, I read a lot of information posted by other users most of whom are experts and professionals in various fields including SEO. During one of my perusals, I came across a post that reads “7 Questions People Ask When They Arrive on your Blog for the First Time” and it was so simple and actually covers all of the concerns you would need to for achieving desired results in organic search results. This was posted by Darren Rowse (ProBlogger) who lives in Melbourne, Australia. He is the founder of Digital Photography School and has extensively written insightful articles covering a wide range of subject matter.
What Is It About? – Topic
This is every searcher’s question especially when coming across a very catchy and thought provoking article title.
What’s In It For Me? – Benefits
One strong way to make readers stay AND read what you’ve written is to try and give out fresh information. Presentation also makes an impact here. A poorly constructed DIY instructional for instance would only end up frustrating a reader. Organizing the different steps and presenting them in a way that everyone can understand with no questions asked would result in much more favorable results.
Who Are You? – Credibility
Anyone can say virtually anything online. It is therefore important that whatever facts you mention has to be verifiable. Providing relevant links toreliable sites could be one way. Posting your professional information and various achievements is another way to inform your readers that you know what you’re talking about (i.e. a certified mechanic on a car repair instructional).
Why Should I Care? – Relevance
How useful is the information you blog be to your readers? This is directly related to Benefits. If for instance your blog is intended to sell something, even if it’s just an idea, you would need to give out the latest or updated information regarding the subject. Only then would it have any relevance to the reader. Once that is accomplished, you would be well on your way in converting your traffic into sales or, in this case, believers.
Is Anyone Else Here? – Social Proof
No matter how individualistic or independent we think we are, we still turn to others for something only they can provide. In this case, site visitors will be on the lookout for any public activity revolving around your blog. They are going to read the opinions of others and probably make up their own minds in the process.
Apart from your blog, your online presence will be scrutinized as well especially if your blog is exceptionally informative or an eyeopener. Your social media interaction and history can be influential to the other points already mentioned such as Relevance, Credibility and Topic.
Why Should I Come Back? – Anticipation
Ask yourself this question to understand it. It’s not enough to tease your readers of things to come. What really makes it worthwhile for any reader or site visitor to bookmark your blog and keep coming back is you. To be more specific, providing fresh data and insightful writeups in a well organized presentation will virtually guarantee repeat visits. In this line of thought, you might want to consider the frequency of your blog posts. We all know that there are daily newspapers and have come to rely on their frequency. In the same manner, if you keep up the quality of your blog (e.g. fresh data and insights) three to five times a week, many will also rely on you to consistently bring them what they need or want.
How Do I Connect? – Retention
It’s a given that in the online world linking to other websites or blogs hardly produces negative results. To retain your readers, you would want to keep them involved in your blog. Even a simple acknowledgment can do wonders. You may also consider having them voice out their ideas on how your blog should go about or how to improve your site. Create a Members Only area in your blog too. This gives them a sense of belonging to something. This leads us to the last entry …
What Should I Do Next? – Retention And/Or Conversion
Still in the same tone as the previous entry, retention also entails that you interact with your visitors. Building up a rapport with them can be very critical especially if your blog is about selling something. Once your readers have swallowed all they can chew on your blog, it’s time to convert them into purchasers or something similar. You can provide them the most convenient method of payment, donations and so on. After establishing your rapport with your readers, guide them to your desired course of action.