Blogging PreCourse and Blogging101

Creating a Search-Engine Friendly Blog (Repost)

For the next few months, we’ll be featuring some of our best posts from the Blog Writing Course archives.  If you are new to our blog, then you will enjoy the opportunity to catch up with the terrific tips and tricks we’ve shared with new bloggers over the years.

When folks are just starting out in the big, unfamiliar world of blogging, the first thing on their list of concerns isn’t usually search engine optimization.  First time bloggers just want to be able to get a few blog posts under their belt, not worry about keywords and permalinks.

But a forward-thinking blogger will do well to learn some of the basic elements of SEO before creating their new blog.  Why?  Because every new blogger wants people to visit them, right?  And unless you’ve got friends and family coming out of the woodwork and knocking your door down to get a chance to read your blog, then you are going to depend heavily on search engine traffic to build your blog audience.

So what do you really need to know as you build your first blog?

  1. What keywords are the most popular for your blog theme?  If you are writing a blog about your favorite television show, for instance, you want to find out what terms people use most when searching information about that show.  Programs such as Good Keywords or Google Adwords are immensely helpful with this.  Once you have determined the relevant keywords, be sure to use them often in your blog posts, and in your post titles.
  2. Use images and tags that are appropriate to your theme.  Search engines favor images and captions that tie in well with your blog theme and keywords.  And photo sharing sites that allow for tagging, such as Flickr, are one of the best sources for your photos.  If you create links back to your blog on the photo sites, you are creating yet another inroad for your blog.
  3. Knowing when to use bold and italic fonts when learning to blog.  Search engines give weight to words that are in bold and italic print.  So when you want to emphasize certain keywords or search terms, highlight them with these features. (But be careful not to go overboard with this technique – – readers can get overwhelmed by too much “emphasis.”)
  4. Give thought to your blog design.  When you pick out a blog host or blog theme, one of the most important features as far as search engines are concerned is the presence of your navigation tools on every page.  Make sure that your sidebar content is accessible from all areas of your blog, especially your archives, and previous posts.

This is just a basic introduction to making your new blog search-engine friendly, but there is much more than SEO to creating a successful blog.  If you want a more thorough introduction to the world of blogging, why not sign up for our free “Get Ready to Blog” course?  This automated online course is packed full of information that will help you get started in your new blogging venture.  Sign up today!

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