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Wednesday, 7 May 2014

A blog about blogging...

When I started blog writing many moons ago, blogging wasn’t as main stream as it is now, and I wrote for fun more than for purpose. As I started developing my own businesses and then products, I wrote more for publicity and marketing purposes and that gave me more reason to actually think about how I structured posts and optimised them. My main goal here was that my posts actually reached people and got read, and then that people would follow a link back to my website or the extra traffic would help my website rank higher in search engine posts. As well as writing my own blogs I also managed blogs and optimised websites for other companies, which allowed me time to experiment and analyse what worked and what didn’t.

When my wages relied on people knowing about what I did, I made a point of ensuring that all my posts where well structured and I followed a course of action on both the content and later promoting the post, but recently I’ve got lazy and just written posts with the hope that people would find them and take a read. Of course, I know this isn’t the case, so on my last blog post I decided to follow my old rules and spent a bit more time on the post to see if it would boost its views.

There’s no hard and fast rules on how to write a good blog post or how to boost its views, but here’s what I do:

Firstly, I’ll break this up into two sections or areas to consider: the content of the blog and its external optimising. This may overlap at times.


A blog post’s popularity will be based around good content. If people are bored after the first paragraph, they probably won’t read on. You need to hook your audience. Write about subjects you know and understand; and try to add a personal touch, that someone else hasn’t already done. If people enjoy your post they will more than likely subscribe to your post and become a regular reader and hopefully share amongst their own social media platforms.

Make it visual
Why write about something if a video or image can do a better job? Integrate multi media into your text to produce a well rounded piece.

Use key words
Don’t force them in, people and search bots will spot this instantly. Make sure your writing flows and use variants of key words to ensure all possibilities are covered by search engines. For example if I was writing about kite surfing, I’d try to vary between ‘kitesurf’, ‘kite surf’, ‘kite surfing’ and so on.

Break up big articles
If your blog requires over 750 words, I’d consider breaking it up into a series of posts. There are a few reasons for this. People tend to want a quick fix from blog posts, write 3000 words and chances are people won’t read the whole post, miss the point and probably not return. Secondly if you ‘leave them hanging’ there’s a good chance you will acquire a return visitor, not just for this post but for others a swell.Finally, more visits = more hits and this in the long run will help your website ranking.


Tags and labels
Choose your tags carefully. Don’t just throw in obvious tags; try to consider the key words in Questions that people might ask- that your blog might help answer

Meta titles
If your blog title doesn’t relate to your article, make sure your meta title, (the description below your title), does. Once again this allows both readers and search engines to have a clear idea what you are writing about. This should also be evident in the URl, so if your blog platform doesn’t automatically add your title to the URl, for example ‘ 123456’, change it yourself to something more like this

Add links
Remember to add links within your posts. External links are great to direct people back to a website or another interesting article. Internal links back to your own posts will help increase the volume of traffic and followers. Remember to make sure that the hyperlink is a key word for the proposed link and not just a ‘see here…’ Search engines will pick up on these words and use them to help score your page.

Get it seen
Use social media to your advantage; Twitter, Facebook, G+ and all the others are great ways to promote your posts. Make sure you don’t ‘Spam’ your link in unwanted places or it could have an adverse affect if people report you for being a nuisance.
Use hash tags # to label on social media platforms and make it easy for interested users to find you.

So did following my own guidelines result in a greater number of people reading my experiment post? Yes it did, here are the results…

As can be seen, the number of readers greatly improves for the last blog post, ‘the problem with cycle paths’. What isn’t shown is that the majority of these hits where gained within 36 hours of posting.

With a fear of not practising what I preach and writing posts that are too long, I shall leave you to go and write your own posts …

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