Originally published on the WebMarketCentral blog between September 2008 and September 2009.
15 Rules for Business Bloggers by Conversation Marketing
The brilliant and often very funny Ian Lurie offers up his list of “rules” for writing a successful business blog, such as “Take the B.S. test. Can you come up with three things to write that won’t include one shred of marketing B.S. about your organization? If you can’t, give it up” and “Learn grammar. You’re representing your business. You’d better be able to write a complete sentence.” (Yeah, seems obvious, but you’d be amazed…)
Rockstar blogger Darren Rowse provides an excellent set of tips on getting links from other bloggers, among them: being relevant, presenting an angle, and supplying helpful resources. A couple of other noteworthy posts from Darren’s blog: in AppLoop – Make Your Blog into an iPhone App, he explains how to turn any RSS feed into an iPhone app (which you can even charge for if you like); and in Characteristics of Traffic Generating Posts, he details factors that can make blog posts go viral, such as being controversial, writing about people, having a social media angle, and inviting reader participation through questions or “little challenges.”
Blog Project: 30 Traffic Generation Tips by Daily Blog Tips
Daniel Scocco invited 30 bloggers to provide a key traffic-building tip and posts the list here, including recommendations from Sridhar Katakam: ” Keep track of blogs and leave comments on them. A good way to keep the conversation going is to install a MyBlogLog widget and visit the blog of people visiting your site,” Andrew Timberlake: “A great tip for generating traffic is off-line by including your url in all your off-line liturature from business cards, letterheads, pamphlets, adverts through in-store signage if applicable. I even have our website on my vehicle,” and Mark Alves: ” Participate in Yahoo Answers and LinkedIn Answers where you can demonstrate your expertise, get associated with relevant keywords and put your URL out there.”
Content Marketing: How do you write to entertain readers? by Writing On The Web
The remarkable Patsi Krakoff presents eight tips for writing blog posts that stand out by both informing and entertaining readers, such as: telling a story; revealing a mistake you made and the lessons learned; or hardest but most valuable of all, rising above cliches and providing a higher level of current thinking.
5 Simple, Effective Tactics to Promote a New Website by SEOptimise
Glen Allsopp reveals four websites critical to helping launch a new blog, plus the critical practice of commenting on other blogs to help spread the fame of your new site. As Glen notes, commenting generally drives only a small amount of direct traffic, but helps establish a relationship with the blogger that can lead to links and other benefits down the road.
How To Launch A Successful Blog In The First 90 Days by Influential Marketing Blog
Rohit Bhargava provides a list of tasks for new bloggers to focus on in the first three months of the blog, broken down into discrete time periods—for example, days 1-15 (find a good name, match your blog name and URL), days 15-30 (establish your blog “brand,” get it listed in the major blog directories), and days 30-60 (reach out to other bloggers).
Rich Page recommends practices like tracking your internal search results (to help determine what topics are most important to your readers), surveying your readers, and building an online community into your site in order to increase repeat visits. All good ideas, though you’ll need fairly substantial traffic to begin with for these techniques to be practical. A more broadly helpful post from this blog is 7 Steps to Better Business Blogging guest contributor Ann Handley of MarketingProfs. Among Ann’s quick tips: be “scan friendly” by using bullet points, link to other blog posts on the same topic, and engage your readers in conversation by responding to comments.
The Lazy Blogger’s Guide to Finding Great Post Images by Copyblogger
This guest post from the brilliant Sonia Simone provides both thoughtful guidance on how to choose relevant images for your blog posts and links to a couple of her favorite sources for free or cheap yet high-quality images.
5 Sources for Free and Legal Images by The Blog Herald
Copyright expert Jonathan Bailey offers detailed reviews of five services, such as Photo Dropper and Zemanta, that “will not cost you a dime to use and, if used correctly, can let you fill up your blog posts with as many images as your heart desires.” Each has its strengths and weaknesses, but the primary benefit of all of them is that they simplify the licensing requirements for using free, high-quality images.
TopRank Best List of RSS Blog Directories to Submit Your Blog and Feed by TopRank Online Marketing Blog
Networking 101 – Building Relationships with Bloggers by Blogsessive
Alina Popescu provides an invaluable roadmap for establishing relationships, starting with commenting on their blog and actively participating in the conversation, through connecting on social media sites, linking, contacting directly, and writing guest posts. As she notes, “It (building relationships with other bloggers) doesn’t work like magic! Networking takes time and effort. Ongoing effort!” But the payoff can be well worth it, in terms of new relationships, higher blog traffic and increased exposure for you and your blog.
A short but helpful post from Skellie with some quick and easy ways to make your blog stickier. (“End with related posts” is one example, and a practice that’s always been used with this “Best Of” series.) The prolific guest-blogger also contributed 10 Innovative Blog Business Models—a post detailing 10 methods beyond the obvious (AdWords) to monetize a blog, such as selling educational courses, eBooks, premium content, consulting services (hmm, that sounds familiar) and digital products.
Do You Show Appreciation to Your Favorite Bloggers? by Blogsessive
Alex Cristache provides an outstanding list of ways to show appreciation to your favorite bloggers (many of which can benefit you as well) like commenting, linking back, and blogrolling.
7 Strategies to Invite More People Into Your Audience by Problogger
Social media rockstar Chris Brogan details several strategies to not just grow your blog audience, but also attract the right kind of readers (these do not include getting on the first page of Digg). Among the recommendations: express, and be willing to defend, strong opinions; anticipate the needs of specific audience segments you’d like to attract, then address those needs; and spread links to your blog and RSS feed far and wide.
How to Use Yahoo Answers for your Social Media Campaign by Primary Affect
50 Blog Post Ideas for Business Blogging by SEOptimise
If you can’t find inspiration on Yahoo (see link above), try one of the many helpful blog post topic ideas on this outstanding list, such as “Make a list of the top myths in your industry and debunk them;” “Analyze the current climate in your industry and explain the ramifications;” “Create a list of indispensable software or web tools for your job;” or “Collect the best blog postings in your niche and compile a best of-list” (hmm, that sounds familiar too).
The Ten Commandments of Blogging by Blogsessive
A thoughtful set of “commandments” for blog success, including “Be helpful,” “Never steal,” and “Be good and be proud: If you’re good at what you’re doing, there’s no point in not letting people know it…a good sense of modesty is helpful, but don’t confuse being modest with being shy.” Also a great complementary post to the Seven Deadly Sins of Blogging previously published here.
Hello, My Name Is… by Smarter Than Your Average Blog
Choosing a name that’s relevant yet clever is a big part of creating a successful blog (advice I clearly could have used back in 2005). Writer Steph Auteri outlines several strategies, tools and examples to help in selecting a “totally rad” blog name.
5 Ways to Re-Purpose Content for Blog SEO by TopRank Online Marketing Blog
Search guru Lee Odden offers several ideas for re-using content to get the maximum return on your effort and investment, such as turning PowerPoint presentations into blog posts and rewriting press releases in language that’s actually interesting.
Blogger Darren Rowse makes the case that while writing useful and unique content is essential to blogging success, it isn’t enough. So what is? Read this post to find Darren’s list of “right” answers (such as interacting with readers and using basic SEO tactics) as well as the “real” answers (which include building trust with your readers, luck, and “mojo” among others).
Business Blogging Tips from a Business Blogger by HubSpot’s Inbound Internet Marketing Blog
SEO Plugins for WordPress Part II by Graywolf’s SEO Blog
SEO guru Michael Gray provides an extensive list of WordPress plugins for functions like generating a sitemap, adding custom messages to an RSS feed, creating 301 redirects, backing up your blog, adding Twitter functionality, adding a “subscribe to comments” feature and more.
12 Common Blogging Mistakes To Avoid by Search Engine People
SEO blogger Jeff Quipp supplies an excellent list of common mistakes to avoid, mostly pertaining to readability, such as failing to use subheads, bullets or relevant images, and making blog posts too long (more than 800 words—this post happens to be roughly 650 words BTW).
301 Redirect Plugin for WordPress … for Non-Technical Bloggers by Search Engine People
Another piece from Jeff Quipp, this time a concise, helpful post on how to install and use a 301 redirect plugin for WordPress that lets you maximize the benefit of topical posts.
Who Do Rockstar Bloggers Host With? by Who Is Hosting This.com
One factor to consider when selecting a blogging platform is, where are the most popular blogs hosted? The answers may surprise you. Excluding Gawker’s sweatshop blogs, web host Media Temple comes out on top. And, despite HubSpot’s preference for WordPress over Blogger, it turns out that 8 of the top 100 blogs are hosted on BlogSpot, while none are hosted at WordPress.com.
Speaking of the top blogs, Danny Dover provides some fascinating research here on various attributes of the world’s most popular blogs. For example, while two-thirds of the top 100 blogs are self-owned (i.e., not corporate), only 20% are written by a single author. In terms of subject are, more than half of the 100 leading blogs are focused on technology; green blogs account for 1%, but marketing and PR as a topic doesn’t even make the list.
Top Blog Directories to Submit Your Blog by ProfitBlogger
Freelance blogger Praval Singh has compiled a well-researched and nicely laid out list of ten high-traffic blog directories. Beyond the obvious sites like Technorati and Weblogs, there are some interesting choices here.
A nip and a tuck: Five fast makeover tips for your blog by Smarter Than Your Average Blog
InfoWorld editor Uyen Phan offers five simple tips for making blog posts more appealing, such as using lists, bullets and multimedia.
Top 10 RSS Promotion Tips by SiteProNews
How to get your Blog Traffic to Convert in 5 Easy Steps by Search Engine People
Blogger Jennifer Osborne gives simple yet effective tips for converting blog traffic into leads or sales, such as including an “About Us” section and using the loop strategy when writing blog posts.
Finding A Home For Your Work: The Best Blogging Platform For You by Smarter Than Your Average Blog
Blogger’s to do checklist before hitting the publish button by Search Engine Marketing Consultant
“How many times have we hit publish on a blog and then realized we forgot to do something crucial, whether it is changing post slugs or a crucial spell check?” Online advertising guru-ess Jennifer Slegg asks then answers this question with a list of crucial pre-publishing items to check, such as correct spelling, links and tags.
For independent bloggers, the editors of Inside CRM offer up an extensive categorized list of blog monetization links, ideas and programs, from merchandising, various types of advertising, and affiliate programs (all of which are respectable, if incorporated in a professional manner) to sponsored posts (a more questionable approach).
Blogging Tactics for 2008 by Ask Enquiro
Writing that “The Online Marketing Blog recently ran a poll asking readers which SEO tactic they plan on using most in 2008 and the winner with 25% of the vote was Blogging. This doesn’t surprise me because blogging is an excellent way to manage PR, offer technical support as well as interact with users,” Manoj Jasra provides six helpful tactics for improving SEO results for blog including interlinking of top posts and establishing relationships with other bloggers.
And finally, three excellent blogging for business posts just for WordPress users:
4 Tips For Your WordPress Strategy by Search Engine Guide
Another useful post from Manoj Jasra, this brief piece shows some of his favorite tips, tricks and plug-ins for use in setting up WordPress blogs.
Optimizing WordPress Page Titles, Post Titles and Page Slugs by Graywolf’s SEO Blog
SEO guru Michael Gray provides step-by-step instructions for search-optimizing posts in WordPress.
10 Unusual & Original WordPress Themes by Mashable