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Blogging can be a great way for a company, organization or individual to demonstrate knowledge, build trust and gather a following. Here then are some best practices around blogging that will help advance your cause in Social Media.
Your own blog:
Content: Pick a niche that you can “own” and always be helpful by offering analysis, tips and useful commentary.
Length: Plan to always post between 250 and 750 words for the best Search Engine Optimization (SEO) results.
Headlines: The more intriguing, the better. Consider using numbers as part of your title and consider numbers that resonate with readers. (i.e. 5, 7 and 10) So, for example: The 10 Signs Your Social Media Efforts Are Paying Off).
Keywords: Using your top keywords is critical so your blog post helps your website’s overall Search Engine ranking. Therefore always try to include keywords in the Headline, Hyperlinked text and all the key tag fields.
Links: Link Always internally (to your own Website content and to previous, related blog content.) Also link to other blogs and news that is highly relevant. This cross-linking strategy helps your blog rise up in Search Engine results.
Schedule: Treat blog posting as a routine – no less than one post per week is good; two per week would be better. Create an editorial calendar built around topics that will be of high interest to readers, be timely AND be able to carry your keywords.
Photos or Graphics: Including at least one with a post is recommended when possible. Use your keywords in the image "alt" attribute when possible.
Review: Always have at least one set of extra eyes – a trusted colleague or friend – review the post before it goes live. It’s your reputation at stake here.
Sharing: Use Social Media platforms, email or other methods to let people know when you have a new post up. Allow visitors to the blog to register or click on an RSS feed so they automatically get notified of new posts. Listen to the response: If people opt out or seem annoyed by the notifications – Stop!
Comments: Be sure to acknowledge comments in your blog.
Commenting on others’ blogs
Be thoughtful: Referencing what helped you and try to add value to the original post.
Regularity: By commenting regularly on a few blogs you will establish a relationship with that blogger and their audience.
Linking: Do this rarely and with great care so you don’t appear to be merely a self-promoter. If you are linking to content of your own, be sure it very relevantly addresses the topic at hand. Consider including links to other blogs often.
Mike Johansson is president of Fixitology. Fixitology guides its clients through the ideation, planning and implementation stages of Social Media strategies and can also help with Social Media monitoring and search engine optimization strategies.
Mike combines his passion for creativity with his naturally social nature to help businesses understand and get into Social Media. With his experience working on three continents and a wealth of knowledge in mass communications, social media, marketing, new product development and customer service Mike loves to use his knowledge to help others. His only requirement is that everyone have fun along the way – because life is just too short to do otherwise.