As a new blogger on the internet it is not fun trying to get noticed. I have spent a long time researching on how to get noticed. Of course the most important thing I know is to have QUALITY CONTENT. But in today’s glut of millions of blogs out there it is getting harder and harder to get noticed on the web. I’ve been blogging for just under a year, and just started to get serious about it this past December. I decided to start doing some research. Although I’m definitely NOT an expert I do know a few things that should help
me you get noticed:
Provide Quality Content:
This sounds like a no-brainer. But if you have a ton of ad-sense links and no actual “meat” content then your blog will get passed up. I do have ads – but I shoved them to the side so readers can easily read them but not get in the way of the content. My first concern (as well as yours) is to worry about content first – revenue second. Well.. my hope is if the Content is Written – The Readers Will Follow and I might be able to get a little revenue to cover costs of having a blog site.
Oh, and it will help if your Blog is organized and focused on a specific topic or niche. There is no way that I can keep up with larger sites who write 20-50 updates a day say like Endgadget or Kotaku. My hope is to have my own unique perspective and add a few posts a week.
And I’ve just read another article that I should have a minimum of 3 posts a day! This doesn’t sound like much – but after a year if I stick with it I would end up having over 1,000 posts! (source: blogussion.com)
Update: That article is complete bullshit! It is more important that you provide a steady update to your blog. But you can go as low as 2-3 posts a week, which is what I average on here. Just make sure the articles you post are well written, informative, and not the usual “fluff” you see on other sites and you’ll be OK!
And as of this update? I’ll have around 190 posts. Unfortunately this is a harsh reality for a part-time blogger such as myself!
I have been reading a TON about this. From Google’s Panda search engine algorithm changes (source: Search Engine Watch), to how to properly tag not only your website but your individual posts as well. The name of the game here is to provide quality keywords and meta description that match what you have written. (Simple example: If you write about the color “blue” do not put the tag “pink” even if it is a top searched item on the web.
YOAST WordPress SEO Plugin
The biggest help I have gotten is not only by reading but by installing a plugin called WordPress SEO by YOAST. This will assist in optimizing your site’s content. But you do have to do the work. This plugin provides you with valuable information on how your articles are written. If they follow the keyword(s) you are trying to use are showing in your title, article, and how it is listed in Search Engines! It has helped me even write my posts to be concious of the content I’m trying to target and keep me focused.
Using a WordPress Framework vs. Premium Theme?
I know we are bloggers on a budget (i.e. usually none) but if you want to have your own truly unique space on the web and are tired of the canned Word Press themes out there? You’ll need to shell out some dough. Whether it is to hire a web designer to create your own site for you which start at $200.00 on up or to get a Premium WordPress theme, or you can try the third alternative.
I was doing a TON of research on the web. I was tired of the canned page I currently had. It was doing the job but it looked um.. hacked together? Unprofessional? A hot mess? All three. So I bit the bullet and decided to find a solution that really worked for what I wanted my site to do. I wanted it to be my unique expression, to display my content in an easy to read and organized manner. As of today’s writing (1/15/2012) it is still a work in progress but it is getting there.
And mind you – I have VERY little web design experience! (Yes, it shows with the site – I’m sure web designers across the intarwebs are choking on their latte’s at the moment… sorry)
So with all of that being said I finally came across diythemes.com and Thesis theme for WordPress. Thesis is a combination theme and framework that lets YOU take control of your website. You can easily design and have a working website up and running within a few hours instead of weeks. No more having to try and hack to pieces an existing theme or learn PHP, CSS, and HTML. Oh, you will need to understand what they are and somewhat how they work. But – you wont be starting at a blank screen going “HOW THE HELL DO I DO THIS?”
Although it does cost money I consider it a great investment. Plus I have the control I always wanted.
Creating Proper Content – The Title is Your Ticket to Being Found?
I know I’ve mentioned it a few times already. But creating quality content isn’t the only thing you have to do. If you have that perfect article filled (properly) with the keywords of what you want users to find you with – how do you get it found in Search Engines? Make sure your title is created properly. SEO Experts (have to find the article) say this faux paus is the biggest issue even large sites have when releasing content out into the wild. I am guilty of this (and have changed the title of this article a few times already… *sigh*). I tried being witty instead of being smart. Not only does your content need to be SEO Optimized but so does your title! You have to learn to think on how people are going to be searching for what you are writing about.
It is fairly simple – but not easy to do. For instance this article. I want people to read it. I want them to be able to find it easily not only on my site but on search engines as well. How do I do this? You have to think of what people are going to be searching for. The first word in the title should be the key focus of what people are searching for. My current title is “Getting Found on the Web and Blogging”. I will do some searching for keywords for this trying different things out and I can bet you a dollar I will end up re-writing it. Then hopefully it will be seen by more people who will then read this article and I will get more hits to my site.
Tags – No Keyword Stuffing!
These little innocuous words that you see in most every article written on the web today. These little tidbits of information are what search engines used to be looking for. The problem is what to put in them. How many?
My personal tip is try not to “tag stuff” with useless words just because they are found up high on the search engines. I’ll try and do my best to keep the fluff down to a minimum and put in the keywords that fit the post I just published. And try to keep it around a six (or less). I’ll let you know how this all works out.
Update: I actually still use tags to help keep things on my site organized. I focus more on the META Description as it seems to still hold more weight when search engines are indexing it!
Keyword Search Tools
I’ve learned to use Google’s keyword search tool to try and optimize what terms are being searched for so I can provide tags that will most likely get a hit and hopefully I can get found in the sea of information found on the web today.
This is the tricky part. You have to network nowdays and find legitimate websites to back link to you. No longer are the days where you can just join any old link network and you have 5 billion bogus links back to your site to get you bumped onto the web searches. The ways of getting listed near the top have changed. I’ve decided to take the bull by the horns and work slowly and trying to get a following and slowly get some links from legitimate sites. I’m in no rush – so it’s OK
I use a WordPress plugin called Sharexy down on the bottom of every post. I spend a lot of time trying to get my articles noticed by posting on Twitter, Facebook, Digg, Reddit, and Google +. And although it might not be worth it when it comes to actual traffic brought. It will do a world of good when it comes to networking with other Bloggers. You can end up Guest Blogging on their site!
The design is important. You should have a clean easy to find and read interface. Be careful about ad placement or having too many ads on your site. If you have a ton of ads strewn all of the page or even worse pop-ups people visiting your site will blacklist it immediately.
Unless your a web designer with years of experience your going to have to break down and do one of two things:
- Learn how to become the world’s best web designer.
- Spend some money.
As I mentioned up above I opted to still do it myself but with the help of Thesis. And I can tell you I couldn’t be happier!
Your Design is Not as Important As Your Content!
But be forewarned if you do not have all of the rest setup correctly – the best looking website out there isn’t going to be noticed. If people cannot read what you’ve written in a quick and easy manner (considering the average reader takes about 3 seconds to 2 minutes scan your content and then *poof* they have moved on) you’ve already lost.
Oh, and the whole reason for this post? Well, to get you some information to get you started on your own blog. I originally wrote this to get avgjoegeek noticed on Technorati but have since turned it into this current post.
I am definitely NOT AN EXPERT at this. I don’t claim to be. But I have found what makes sense to me. And what works. I will find the articles/sites I’ve read about SEO optimization and add them to the links below.
So to re-cap:
- Keep Your Focus on your Topic or Niche
- Create Quality Content!
- SEO Optimize It!
- Create a Site that is Clean and Easy to Navigate!
- Don’t try and Cheat!
Good luck folks! And keep writing!
Sources and Helpful Links:
Search Engine Watch – Google Panda Update – Say Goodbye to Low Quality Link Building
Technorati – The place to get your blog seen on the web. But you better be awesome to get posted in the top 100!
Endgadget – Your source for quick tech updates from around the web.
Kotaku – THE place to go for gaming news.
Blogussion – Awesome site I’ve found about blogging and SEO.
– And there article on the Ugly Side of SEO.
Get Found Consulting – WordPress how-to, consulting, etc.