When it comes to writing, of any sort, knowing your audience and your goal are key. Of course, it also helps to keep SEO in mind as well! Having better search engine optimization or SEO can help your readers find you easier. Read on for advice on what to keep in mind when trying to optimize your blog.
The main thing is to know your audience. It’s a blog, which means you’re writing or posting photos. It’s no good if you don’t write or post with your audience in mind. That is tip number 1! For me, I’m writing to family members, friends, fellow writers, future fans (hopefully), and as a means of keeping on task with my writing goals.
So, how do you know who your audience is? Unfortunately, only you can answer that question. Once you know that, you’re one step closer to understanding how to reach that audience. For that step, Brian Clark, founder and CEO Copyblogger says it pretty well:
“Understand your audience better than they understand themselves. It takes a lot of upfront research, and often means being a member of the very tribe you’re trying to lead – but it pays off.”
And that pay off is just what we’re all after! I mean, if you’re going to blog or write, you may as well aim high, right?
Figure out how to target your audience with your title, subtitle, and even your photo caption. By this, I don’t just mean a click-bait title. I’m talking about thinking about your quarry. What would they want to read? What are they searching for?
And it’s not just about getting new readers. Don’t get me wrong, fresh blood is always great. (That came out a bit dark. I think I’ve been writing too much about vampires lately.) Moving on! It’s like what Darren Rowse, founder of ProBlogger said:
“Love the readers you already have. A lot of bloggers get quite obsessed with finding new readers – to the point that they ignore the ones they already have. Yes – do try to find new readers but spend time each day showing your current readers that you value them too and you’ll find that they will help you grow your blog.”
Don’t get so hung up on the new that you neglect your old followers. In fact, that is precisely why this blog is here! I’m looking at you, Mary. You asked about SEO, and here we are, my friend!
To clarify, I am not an expert on SEO. I do, however, know that many companies spend ridiculous amounts of money to try and be the best at it. Honestly? I’ll pass on trying to be the best. Regardless, the main point of this is to…well, Dave Larson, founder of @tweetsmart said it best:
“Create blog posts that answer the most interesting questions from people you engage with on social media.”
If you can do that, you’re relevant, and that’s an important aspect that Google’s algorithms look for. Granted, relevancy has varying degrees, but still! Any nugget you can focus on and share with your audience is important, no matter what the algorithms might say.
Honestly, there are a lot of technical things we could all be doing to improve our search engine optimization. To make this a bit simpler, my husband wrote a blog about SEO as well. He’s the owner of NJ Productions, so he’s much more up to date on this sort of thing than I am.
Here’s a quick rundown of his top 8 tips.
So aside from that long list by Nicholas, above, there is one last bit of advice I can think to give. My final bit of advice is to take it easy and take it one blog at a time. It takes time to build credibility, but it also takes time to grow, unless of course you have enough money to pay tons of writers to create daily or hourly content for you. No? Don’t have that sort of budget? Me neither, and that’s OK!
I think Adii Pienaar, founder of PublicBeta said it well:
“Write for yourself first & foremost. Ignore the fact that anyone else will read what you write; just focus on your thoughts, ideas, opinions and figure out how to put those into words. Write it and they will come.”
From there, everything else will fall into place. Still aren’t convinced? Well, don’t take my word for it then! Rand Fishkin, CEO of Moz said this about why it’s important to give blogging some time:
“Plan to invest in blogging for a long time before you see a return. The web is a big, noisy place and unless you’re willing to invest more over a greater period of time than others, you’ll find success nearly impossible. If you’re seeking short-term ROI, or a quick path to recognition, blogging is the wrong path. But if you can stick it out for years without results and constantly learn, iterate, and improve, you can achieve something remarkable.”
And that’s a wrap! There’s more to it, of course, but this is a great place to start. And I highly recommend heading over to Nick’s blog for a more detailed SEO experience.
May your adventures be many and your inspiration be endless!