Pick a Niche: Blogs that have the most success stick to a specific niche. Do not just write about anything that comes to mind, write about your area of expertise. Cater your content to a specific audience and industry.
Find the Right Blog Solution:
Self-hosting or 3rd
? You will want to do a bit of research to see which blog software suits your needs. I prefer to use WordPress for its ability to customize, user-friendly interface, and plug-in add-on capability.
Main Domain vs Separate Domain: You will have to decide if you want to add your blog to your existing website or if you will use a separate domain. If you are looking to build SEO for your existing website, I would suggest integrating it to your existing site. The majority of companies who have a blog make it part of their site. If you are looking to build a new entity, you may want to think about a separate domain. It also becomes a branding decision that your company will have to make.
Generate a List of Blog Topics: Make sure you have a substantial list of blog topics you can write about. At times when you hit a writer’s block, this list will provide a way to stimulate ideas. You may also want to already have 5-10 posts already written and posted on your blog when you launch. This way if someone comes across your blog, they will not be greeted with a blank page.
Customize Your Blog: Customizing your blog is not mandatory by any means; there are plenty of nice looking templates you could use. However if you are looking to separate yourself from the crowd, you may want to take the time to develop your own design. If you are adding the blog to your main domain you can have it flow into your existing design layout. If you are creating a new domain you will have to create a customized header, layout, color scheme, etc…
Create a Blog Schedule: Creating a blog schedule will help keep consistency with your posts, especially if you have more than one blogger. It will also help you set aside time during your day to write your posts. If you have multiple bloggers you may want to spread your posts out, so that certain bloggers post on certain days.
Create Killer Content: In this case, quality is much better than quantity.
Do not feel that you have to write a blog post every day. You are better off taking the extra time to create a well thought out post. Create content that will be useful to your target readers. Make sure it is unique, compelling, stimulates discussion, and is easy to read. Use keywords/phrases in your content, along with gripping headlines, images, photos, polls, quotes, and video to keep your reader engaged.
Optimize Your Blog:
Make sure your blog is optimized for search engines. Do some keyword research on the blog topic, see what people are searching for to find what you are writing about. Rand over at SEOmoz just wrote a post talking about running your post titles through a keyword research tool
before publishing it. Use plugins like All in One SEO Pack
to create unique title and meta description tags for each post. Make sure your URLs are search engine friendly and that they are short, descriptive and keyphrase rich.
There are plenty of plugins out there that make life a lot easier. I would suggest browsing the WordPress plugin directory
and finding useful plugins for your blog. You can also do a google search for top wordpress plugins and find tons of articles written about the best wordpress plugins on the web.
- Promote Your Blog: There are plenty of ways you can spread the word about your blog. Start off by making it easy for readers to social bookmark your content by adding social bookmark buttons to your posts. You can also buy some PPC traffic by bidding on keywords/phrases related to your blog. Read other industry blogs and comment on other blogs linking back to yours. Make sure you do not spam! Add value to the post and link back to a related blog entry. Bookmark your best content to social sites like Digg, Reddit, and StumbleUpon. Create an RSS button so people can subscribe to your blog. FeedBurner is a great resource when creating an RSS feed.