Blogging has been around for many years, and while in the past several years there has been a focus on social media and video content, bloggers are making a living outside of the spotlight. If you’d like to turn your blog into a business, follow these blogging tips to set yourself up for success.
Set the Foundation
Before developing a content strategy for your blog, it’s important to make sure your website itself is set up properly so your efforts are built upon a solid foundation. Perform a website audit looking at site speed, web host quality, web design, and blog branding.
Viral traffic is fleeting and social media requires constant attention. Organic traffic requires some heavy lifting upfront, but it has a clear formula and the reward is consistent, passive income from blogging. If a blogger has limited time or only can focus on one piece of the puzzle at a time, make it SEO.
Target the Right Keywords
Thorough keyword research can take 1-2 hours per post. The key is choosing a topic that fits in your blog’s niche and targeting keywords that have a high search volume, low competition, and content gaps in the SERPs. Make sure you are targeting keywords you have a chance of ranking for—if you are a new blogger with a lower DA (domain authority), it will be a waste of time to try and outrank sites that have millions of readers. Focus on lower search volume, and lower competition to build your site up and increase your chances of ranking by targeting multiple keywords per post and using long tail keywords. Use tools like Keysearch, SEMRush, Ahrefs, and Keywords Everywhere to find ideal keywords and competition levels.
Structure Posts Clearly
Each post on your site should have a consistent format and follow a structure that Google understands using headers and subheaders. Think of the structure as a table of contents with short, informative titles (do not use this space for keywords unless it makes sense). The H1 heading is your blog title, H2s subheadings break up your content into pieces, and H3s further break down content for lengthy H2 sections. You can add H4-H6 headings as well, but the average blog post will rarely use these. Some blog themes and plugins will even allow you to create a “jump to” table of contents at the top of each post!
Give Each Post Purpose
If you want your blog to be a business, you should have a clear, well-researched reason for writing each post.
Remember Your Niche
Google favors sites that have a clearly defined niche and publish content within that topic, and this is demonstrated in the SERPs. For example, a travel blog that publishes a post about top summer travel destinations would likely rank higher than a lifestyle blog that published a summer travel post of the same or even higher quality.
Internal Linking & Cornerstone Content
Internal linking between posts on your site is important to assert the importance of each post and build authority. You can take it a step further by utilizing topic clusters, or posts on your site that revolve around a central topic. You’ll link your topic clusters to your cornerstone content, the most important pages on your site, such as lengthy guides or your “go-to” articles. For example, cornerstone content for a food blog could be a pizza recipe or a guide about pizza making with internal links to and from posts with recipes for marinara, pizza dough, and other pizza variations.
Follow Modern Best Practices
The blogging world moves fast, so it’s necessary to keep your website up to date in terms of content and user experience.
WordPress is the industry leader for blog hosting and website hosting in general—almost 43% of the entire web is hosted on WordPress as of 2022! WordPress offers bloggers a wealth of tools and customizations through plugins. Following the food blog example, using a WordPress plugin like the Feast Plugin from Feast Design Co to build your site will automatically keep you up to date on many of the current best practices.
Utilize Multiple Types of Content
Multiple types of content show up in the SERPs, not just written posts. Make sure your image and video files have optimized file names and succinct, informative alt tags for accessibility. The click-through rate on videos in particular is higher than text only or text and image posts. Make sure your video files are embedded within a plugin or hosted by a third party like YouTube. Large video files can bog down your site's speed and performance.
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