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May 31, 2013

Advanced Blog Tips To Bring You Guaranteed Success

In this post I will share with you certain advanced 'easy to follow' blog tips that will bring you guaranteed results should you promise to follow them religiously over the next 6 months.
Advanced Blog Tips For Bloggers

1. Create Resourceful Content

For the next six months, concentrate not on writing articles but on creating resources. Choose a few topics with your given niche and discuss them extensively. Dedicate a post to each topic and frame your content in a manner that it provides complete information on the said topic and comes across as a resource for its readers.

Take the Wikipedia Model as an example. The reason why most Wikipedia articles find the top spot in Google search result pages (SERPs) is because these articles often contain more words and more information on any given topic than any other page on the web. In fact when you consider the pages that claim the top 10 spots in Google search result pages for a high competition search term, you would notice that most of them feature close to 2000 words - a clear indicator that to rank with Google you need to produce not simple articles but informative resources. 

Therefore the bottomline is that, to find yourself at the top of search engine result pages, you need to create long-form, information rich content that provides more value to the readers than any other page on the web. 

Write from personal experience, use examples, include results of original research and quote (and link to) work published by others to add more depth and variety to your content. However, words alone would not make much of a difference if the same thing is said over and over again. The value that these words impart is equally important.

2. Keyword Research is the Key

Employing keyword research is a very good practice to ensure that you are well aware of what people are searching for and what 'exact words' they are employing to search for the same. 

While there are many keyword research tools available in the market, the most widely used among them is the Adwords Keyword Research tool. Even the auto-suggestion feature in Google search boxes can give you a fair idea of what search terms are currently popular. 

Conducting keyword research, however, is only the first part. The second and the more important part lies in incorporating those 'search terms' or 'key phrases' into your content in order to boost your SEO score and thus be found more easily. Remember however, that using the same keywords/key-phrases over and over gain can lead to an over-optimization penalty (Penguin 2.0) and an increase in your blog's bounce rate. It is therefore important to include not just the most popular keyword/phrase but also other 'less popular' key-phrases so as to bring in greater keyword variety into your content and thus improve your chances of being found in an online search. 

The challenge is to include keywords while maintaining overall content quality and without disrupting the natural flow of language. This calls for improved writing skills which is achievable only with practice. 

3. Incorporating Internal Links

Most of us would already have been indulging in link-building practices in a bid to achieve better Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) for our blogs. However link building, as we often forget, is not limited to external link building. Internal link building, in fact, forms a very crucial part of our SEO efforts. 

Internal links are hyperlinks that point to another page on the same blog/website. Internal link building thus consists of linking to other internal pages on your blog. It is always a good practice to ensure each page on your blog contain at least one internal link. It is also important to diversify links throughout your blog.

Internal links are useful for the following reasons

  • They aid in site navigation helping your readers discover more content on your blog. This increases the number of page views per visitor.
  • They help spread Page Rank (Link Juice) throughout your blog. This in tern helps search engines better index and rank your pages.   
Choose the Anchor Text of your internal links wisely so that the same reflects what the linked pages are all about. This will help search engines better understand what search terms are 'relevant' for the page which is linked to. Therefore, often popular search terms (which you can find out using keyword research) are chosen as anchor text. The key here is to avoid using terms like 'click here' or 'this link' as anchor text choices.

Kindly note how I have used internal link building to good effect in this post.

4. Be careful where you Link to

Each outbound link from your blog is an acknowledgement or 'vote' in favour of the website/blog you are linking to (at least this is how the search engines see it). Therefore if Google finds you linking to (i.e acknowledging) a site that it considers to be a spam, it might subject your blog to a spam penalty (read Panda) and you might loose out on valuable search rankings (negative SEO). It is therefore important to scan your outbound links vigilantly to ensure that you do not link to websites that go against Google Quality Guidelines. Examples of such sites can be gambling/poker websites or sites with excessive unmoderated or adult content.

Just as a man is known by the company he keeps, similarly a blog/website is known by sites it links to. Keep this in mind. 

5. Social Media Automation is an Option

We know that promoting our blogs on social media websites like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn is important. However, given the fact that blogging is not the only this that we do (unless you are a professional blogger), for most of us finding enough time to devote to social media promotions is often a big challenge. This is where Social Media automation kicks in. Social Media automation consists of automating (and scheduling) your social media promotions using tools such as Buffer and HootSuite.

Recommended read: How To Gain More Twitter Followers

Social Media automation helps save time, which you can devote to creating more quality content for your blog. However, you need to be careful as 'mere' automation can make you seem like a 'bot'. Therefore it is also important that you interact with your audience on a more personal term and concentrate on building relationships.

Thanks for your time.

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