So, you just created your own blog. You already did the most obvious steps to create one, like selecting platform (Blogger, WordPress, Joomla! or any other blogging-CMS), chosen your subject where you'll be blogging about and putting everything online. You're all set to get started writing articles. Wait right there. Make sure you have all points below checked before you start. These steps can help you tremendously getting your blog from the ground right from the start.
If you already own a blog, make sure you also check these steps and make changes where necessary.
- Add an About (me) and Contact page
The About (me) page is for readers that are new. They can get an indication about the writer of the weblog and / or they'll get provided with information about the blog. If this is interesting, they'll be more attracted to come back to your blog. Also, the contact page is very important: If your precious readers want to contact you, it's just one click away.
- Replace the default template with one that suits your blog subject
Nobody likes default templates. Pick a new one that suits your blog best. When your blog is about (web)design, give the readers something nice to look at because that's what they expect.
- Create a custom 404-error page
When other bloggers link to an article or you create an internal URL, there is a chance that you'll delete the article later on. It's impossible to kindly ask all those other bloggers to remove your URL. Users following that URL will now get a 404-error because the article is deleted. Dont show them an ugly standard 404 error page, but create a nice custom 404 error page with a link to your main page.
- Make sure your blog has a Search function and is Search Engine Optimized
I, and many other users on the net, hate websites that don't have a search function. Even if maybe none of your users will ever use this function, put it on your blog just in case. Also, make sure your URL's are human read-able. It helps you when people are searching for information on searchbots. Also, remember to change your Meta-data of your article, like the description, title and keywords.
- Make sure you have a Commenting System on your blog
You're telling the world what you think about something in your blog. Let your readers comment your article with their opinion about the topic. You'll create two-way-traffic on your blog and your readers will come back to the article the just commented on.
- Install a Related Content plug-in for your platform
You want your readers to stay on your weblog, don't you? When you have a related content plug-in installed for your website, readers will go to other articles you've written because it has a subject they like. This way they'll read more articles when they're new to your blog and they'll probably stick around.
- Select your type of copyright or creative commons and place it on your blog
Once your blog is highly rated, others will probably want to use your content. Many websites have a copyright protection for this, but I recommend a Creative Commons protection. You can change your copyright license so that others can use your information (or not) under certain surcomstances.
- Sign up for and install Google Analytics
This service from Google provide you with information about your own blog. You'll be able to track your visitors, see where they come from, how many hits an article has etc. Study the gathered information good. You'll see what your readers want to read and if you write your next article about that subject, you'll get at least as much readers.
- Create a RSS Feed from Feedburner
Feedburner allows you to keep track of your RSS feed readers. You can also make use of the additional services from Feedburner, like the PingShot (Notify services when you post), FeedCount (Show off your feed circulation) and many others. This is an excellent service.
- Submit your blog to different search engines
Many internet-users use a search engine to find information that they want. Submit your site to Google, Yahoo!, Live Search or any other search engine and users will find your website when searching for information.
- Add a (XML) Sitemap to your weblog
Sitemaps can help your visitors navigate easily and quickly through your website. XML sitemaps are good for crawling your website by searchbots. Google Webmasters helps you creating XML sitemaps.
- Make an account on Technorati and claim your blog
Technorati is a great blogging community, so create an account and claim your blog. Other Technorati users can now view your new articles and when they like it, they'll probably link back.
- Make an account on StumbleUpon and stumble your main page
When you have your main page indexed at StumbleUpon, the users of this service can stumble to your blog. When they like it, you'll attract more StumbleUpon users. Always worth a try.
- Add your RSS feed to RSS directories
Doing so will help you spread the word when writing a new article. Check DotSauce and TopRank Blog for a list of available RSS directories and register your feed to as many as possible.
- Add your blog to a couple of blog directories
This works almost the same as adding your RSS feed to RSS directories. Submit your blog to MyBlogLog, BlogDup, Blog Toplist, Blogflux, BlogCatalog or any other blog directory. This will also help you spread the word of your weblog.
- Spread the word through Social Networking Websites
If you're a member of any social network site, such as MySpace, FaceBook, FlickR or Last.fm, post the URL to your weblog around the network. Additionally you can add your URL in the information box when uploading video's to YouTube.
- If you're a member of any forum, place the URL to your blog in your signature and reply to threads
Your new weblog doesn't spread his URL automaticly: You have to do so. Forums are most of the times a community with a lot of readers: The perfect place to find readers for your weblog. Put the URL to your blog in your signature and reply to a couple of topics (Don't spam). Readers from the forum will probably follow the URL in your signature and maybe they'll stay on your weblog.
- Browse around in the blogosphere and comment articles on blogs that have a similar subject like yours
Another way to spread the URL from your blog is by commenting articles on other weblogs. Leave your calling card by leaving the URL to your blog. If you show that you have knowledge about the subject the article is written in, readers from that blog will go to yours to check out which other information you're sharing with the world.
- (Optional) Install widgets on your blog
Third party widgets on your website can help you promote your blog. BlogRush provides you with an RSS widget for the blogosphere, just like the widget of MyBlogLog. Because you have links to other weblogs, those weblogs have links back to your blog.
- (Optional) Create an account on and install Google AdSense
If your blog will become very successful in the future, why not make money out of it? Putting Google AdSense doesn't to a lot of harm to your weblog because it provides you with content related links. You can also wait with installing AdSense on your weblog, but you can create an account anyway.
- (Optional) Install a linkback system
Many blog readers are bloggers themselves. If any other blogger finds an article that he likes, he meight post it on his own blog. Any form of linkback can be useful for this.
- Submit an article to different Social Bookmarking Sites
There are many social bookmarking sites out there these days. Readers can give you points for an article and how more points an article has, the more readers you'll probably get. Submit your article to Digg, Reddit, Del.icio.us, Slashdot, Technorati, StumbleUpon or any other Social Bookmarking Sites. Additionally you can put buttons beneath every post that allows users to give you point directly when reading your article. If you want to do, but don't know how, you can install Add This on your blog.
All steps checked? Go write an article and good luck with your blog.
Tags: blog SEO tips useful website
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