Day two of Wordcamp Kansas City it starting off with a session from Syed Balkhi on planning and excuting your blog. Yesterday I was typing furiously during his session on monetizing your blog so I drank extra coke this morning in order to be on my game for this session. So here you go, Sayed’s guide to starting your blog (on WordPress of course!)
Start off with your goals, know what you want to do with your blog. Have a plan for what your content will be. Then imagine your audience… who is going to read that content you are writing. Think about the individuals who will come to your site and what they want to read. How long will you be doing this? What is your exit strategy? Know where your blog will go and how it will end. Visualize the far reaching plan for your blog.
Now that you have that figured out, it’s time to start. Get a great looking theme and then remember the commandment of blogging: content is king. You can have a catchy title, just use a SEO plug in to have a secondary title for the search engines. Remember that imaginary audience? Write for them. Make it pretty and interactive. Add pictures and videos. Keep the length manageable.
Social media, use it , live it, breathe it. Word of mouth marketing is the most effective form of marketing!
Must Have PlugIns
- Askimet: don’t forget to activate it!
- Livefyre: The WP Beginner take on Livefyre
- WordPress SEO by Yoast: Sayed’s favorite SEO plugin. Can be difficult for a beginner
- Contact Form 7 or Gravity Forms: A must have! Your readers need s way to contact you!
- w3 Total Cache: Caches the queries on your site so it allows your site to load faster
- WP-DB Backup: free
- Vaultpress or Backup Buddy: monthly fee based but recommended
- Google Analytics: look at when people come to your site so you can update content then,
- Yet Another Related Post
- Write for the people
- User friendly links: change your permalinks, custom straucture /%category%/%postname%/
- Don’t be lazy: work at your SEO
- link baiting: list post, contest/giveaways, free tools, trending topics, controversy/attacks, be the first (write breaking news)
- beautiful design: design gets you backlinks and traffic
- XML Sitemap
- Semantic Web Markups <hl><h2>: most themes have it but double check that yours does
- Image Tags (alt=”")
- limit external links
- Increase Internal Linking (related posts)
- custom background: shows your audience who you are
- good profile photo: if it’s a brand account, use your logo. If it is you use an actual engaging photo
- multiple profile: have a personal account that will always stay with you, then create separate account for your brand
- interesting tweets
- use hashatgs
- retweet button
- Twitter everywhere
- Don’t whore yourself
- Schedule your tweets
- create a fanpage
- get 25 fans to get your custom URL before advertising your fan page : facebook.com/username
- create a landing page
- put a like button on your site
- engage the heck out of it
Other Ways to Engage:
- Digg/reddit: don’t abuse, don’t submit your own content
- Blog comments
- Guest blogs
- network, network, network
Now what? Revisit your goals? Did you meet them? What are you new goals or is it time to quit (revist your exit strategy.)
Personal & Professional:
- build two brands
- leverage them to help each other grow
- great exit strategy and excellent for new startups
Here are the slides from this excellent presentation!