Blogging. It’s now a requirement more than option. It not only helps your brand by offering quality content for your customers and viewers, it boosts your SEO (search engine optimization) and chances of gaining NEW viewers online!
So, where do you start?
Blogging 101 – Getting Started
1. You have to purchase and own your own blog.
If you’re serious about it – you need to buy your blog. WordPress and Blogger are free to start, and they make it’s super easy to move to your own website/blog. Once logged in, click on ‘store’ and you’ll see your options. You can buy and host your own blog from them for as little as $17 a year and $6 a month.
- Templates. If you’re serious about blogging, it’s worth the investment of a one-time purchase. I useElegantthemes.com, which is about $80 to have access to all of their WordPress friendly designs. Another great site to use is Wix.com. PLUS I get a discount on host gator as well. (Remember, you have to HOST your new blog as well!)
2. Setting Up and Understanding SEO
I think the word SEO (search engine optimization) is scary and confusing to a lot of people, but it doesn’t have to be! Once you own your WordPress site, you can set up SEO by Yoast! (plugin), which will help get your blog in-front of eyes for free! There is nothing like sending traffic from Google and Bing just by optimizing one key word in each of your blog posts.
- Take advantage of Google. Google is a powerful force, and if you’re blogging, you want it to help you get noticed. Consider setting up your Google+ account and linking up Google Authorship to connect your name with your blog and show up in the search results! Click here to read a really-great how-to on setting up Google Authorship by Host Gator.
3. Start a social media plan.
Social media is overwhelming, even for us who live it everyday! So I figured I would throw together a quick set-up plan for you to get going on your blog!
1. pick one or two social media sites and hit them hard. It’s impossible to be everywhere at once, so pick the ones you’re most familiar with and stick to them.
- Make them personable. people want to follow you because they can relate to you – so give them little peeks into your life. Real photos engage MUCH better than fake ones. Plus, you can’t get in trouble with copyrights for using your own shots!
- Recommendations? Facebook is always a given. Twitter is great for networking and sharing the word if you can commit the time (using scheduling platforms like HootSuite can help!). Google+ is a must for SEO, and Pinterest is GREAT for driving traffic (BUT – you have to pin a really catchy image!)
- Overall best time to post? research shows it’s between 1-5 pm. Photos get the best engagement, so add one to with your link. And don’t forget #hastags! A post should look like this:
BEST PRACTICES ON SOCIAL MEDIA:
- schedule to post is advance. (how to)
- post at least 3 x a week.
- photos get the most engagement.
-search for and join local facebook groups or mom/blogger groups. (mom it forward)
-the more ‘likes’ and engagement from them = more exposure.
- tweet to other bloggers personally.
- build lists
- join community twitter parties (@SITSGIRLS are great!)
- tweet 10x a day at least. Retweet other tweets that you like, it will engage that person to tweet you as well.
- set up hootsuite for free to scheudle out tweets of other blog posts. weekly. no one sees all your orignal tweets.
-for the techies of the world, but think less ppl = more exposure!
-google ranks your posts in their real time search results with #hashtags!
-the more circles you are in, the more your info shows up in their google searches.
- join local and mom/blogger communities (help a mom out!)
- plan a hangout for moms!
-get really creative and set up google authorship. on advanced techniwues, contact me.
- recommend just using your personal account unless you’re already killing it with a brand.
- ‘pin’ your articles.
- create boards of kids stuff that can link back to your blog.
4. Set up an Editorial Calendar. It’s best to write only when you’re feeling creative, forcing posts just because won’t be worthwhile to read. but knowing that you will post once a week, gives you plenty of opportunities to find something to write about in your daily life.
- Then schedule to post on Facebook 3 x a week, and schedule out your tweets. (recommend tweeting about a new post 2x a day for at least two weeks, using new titles of course) Takes 2 hours to do a full weeks work of posting and marketing!
5. Affiliate programs.
When you write blogs about certain items (see top 10 baby registry items), link those photos and images to yourAmazon Associate Account. Then, if anyone clicks through to buy them, you get a percentage of the sale! Set up your affiliates account here.
- Amazon/Kindle also lets you link up your blog posts for Kindle! So anytime a user downloads it to read, you get a percentage of that as well!
- Sponosored tweets. They will contact you to tweet for advertisers, and depending on how many followers you have, you get paid more!
Blogging isn’t just about writing quality content, you have to post it all over the Internet and SIEZE YOUR DESTINY! Bookmarking sites are GREAT for this. Everytime you write a new post, be sure to include it on these sites:
Is your anxiety starting to flare up yet? haha – it’s okay – really once you get into a groove, it’s smooth sailing! Set-ups are always the hard work. If you need some help, or someone to hold your hand through it all, feel free to contact me @ stephanie[at]socialmindedmediagroup.com.