With so many blogs competing for readers, the pressure is on to create a blog that is attractive and engaging. TypePad supplies everything you need to create a great-looking blog, from professionally designed themes to drag-and-drop tools that make organizing your content a snap. The rest is up to you! Here are a few design tips to get you on your way:
The term “search engine optimization” or SEO for short, describes the process of increasing both the quality and quantity of traffic to your website or blog. It is the technique of making your content easier to find for search engines like Google. Well optimized web pages will appear on the first pages of the search engine listings. The ultimate goal is to bring people to your blog who are interested in the content you offer. Here are a few tips on making the most of SEO on your blog.
1. Create descriptive post titles.
Many potential readers will discover your blog through a web search or a feed aggregator, where only the title of your post appears; therefore, creating a descriptive post title is very important. While “Blue Turtle Sonata” might be a fun title for a song, it might not encourage potential readers to click through to your post.
2. Post regularly.
Whether you post once a week or once a day, posting on a regular basis will keep your blog readers coming back. If you let weeks pass between postings, you risk losing readers. TypePad allows you to schedule posts in advance, so you can queue up posts when you have extra time.
3. Respond to readers within the comment section.
Responding to reader comments does three things: 1) it shows that you’re listening; 2) it gives readers a reason to come back to check your response; and 3) it creates a dialogue that encourages other readers to join the conversation.
4. Link to other blog posts.
In the body of your posts, link to other posts with similar content or people with alternate points of view. It creates a rich, rewarding experience for your readers when your blog allows them to access different types of unique content. It also encourages other bloggers to link to you.
5. Engage your readers with questions, contests and assignments.
The most successful bloggers interact with their readers. They hold “Name this Photo” contests, or hold drawings to give away books or other items. They pose questions to their readers to create conversations in the comment fields, or post a story in multiple segments. Engaging your readers takes creativity, but it pays off handsomely; readers return to check in, and forward posts to friends to “play along.”
6. Participate in blog events.
Whatever segment of the blog community you identify with, there is a blog event you can participate in. Whether you take part in a “cocktail party” or a photo roundup, blog events are a way for your blog to gain visibility among people who wouldn’t otherwise find you.
7. Interact with the blogging community.
One of the best ways to grow your blog traffic is to be active in the blogsphere. Visit other blogs and leave comments with your blog URL, participate in blog events, and reach out to people who are blogging on similar topics.
8. Create a list of blogs on similar topics that you enjoy reading.
In the sidebar of your blog, display a list of blogs that you enjoy reading; you can also create lists of books you’re reading or people that you’re tracking. The ultimate goal is to deliver value for your readers so that they will return again and again.
9. Add traffic-building widgets, such as del.icio.us, StumbleUpon and Digg.
There are many different blog “clipping” sites that allow users to share the posts that they’re currently reading and enjoying. When you add these widgets to your blog, you allow readers to share your posts with their extended networks with a single click. TypePad bloggers will find these in the widget gallery.
10. Put your blog URL on your email signature line.
Include your blog URL in places where you would place your website address; on a business card, on your email signature line, on your website, and anywhere else where people who might not otherwise know about your blog will see it.