Are you ready to start blogging? You might have a few ideas you could write about, but do you know the best practices? This handy blog checklist will help you create the best content your readers will love.
- Decide on a Hosted vs. Self-Hosted Solution
Will your site be on one of the free platforms (like WordPress.com or Tumblr.com), or will it be on your own server (victorsbakery.com/blog for example)? If you choose to host on your own server, there are many providers to choose from. Some of the big names include GoDaddy, Bluehost, HostGator, and HostMonster. If your budget is tight, you can start at WordPress.com or Tumblr.com; you’ll have many more features if you get your own server, however.
- Develop a Series Concept
What can you write about in the long term? A blog should entice people to come back to your site, time after time. Plan content that you would be happy to write about on a regular basis. One of the pillars of modern Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is Search Engine Marketing (SEM); that is, increasing the visibility of your site. Through a steady stream of content (via blogging), you will help your cause. For our fictional company example, Victor’s Bakery, we will blog about the Cake of the Month, which includes a history of a cake and our unique take on it.
Within your niche of expertise, plan on writing on a variety of related topics. Instead of always writing about one subject, plan on writing on two to three related ones. For example, in addition to the Cake of the Month posts, we will have an Employee of the Quarter series, as well as the weekly Quick Kitchen Quips. So both depth, and breadth are important for effective blogging.
- Going Solo. Or Not.
Are you going to write everything yourself? Are you going to have other people in your organization write, as well? Are you going to have ghostwriters? Guest writers? Paid writers? You’re going to burn yourself out if you are the only writer of your blog. Enlist the help of other people in your company to also write in the blog (but be careful: Don’t add another task to an already-overworked employee! Enlist people who want to write). You can also reach out to people to write in your stead (paid or not); You can contact writers from other blogs and have them write for your blog (and pay them, or not); There are many hungry writers out there that would love to write for you, for a fee (be sure you get samples and vet their work as a freelancer).
Blogging is one of the most important things you can do to help improve your SEO rankings. This guide, as well as Part II and Part III, will help you be the best blogger you can be, and enjoy doing it.