1. Network offline. Helpful networking tools include www.linkedin.com, www.meetup.com and www.mybloglog.com. These sites provide real world contacts to simplify and streamline the process of networking. They're also useful in building beneficial online relationships - not to be overlooked. Also reach out using conferences that are available in your area and abroad.
The keys to building a successful, well-tended blog run the gamut from good content to good contacts, and from credibility to controversy. There are lots of ways to expand your blog community and develop quality rankings at the same time.
2. Be consistent into month two. Keep the tone, style and topicality of your blog consistent for the first two months until spiders get it. Then, you can branch out to peripheral topics to expand reader interest.
3. Bait your blog. Post unconventional and controversial articles to create lengthy threads that, in turn, create site stickiness.
4. Get linked alongside related blogs on other sites. You can contact the blog administrator to swap links, you can become a regular guest blogger if your writing is good enough or your knowledge extensive. Niche sites are great for building blog links networks.
5. Cross link your posts. Link amongst your related blog posts using the keywords you're optimizing your blog for as the anchor text.
6. Respond to comments in your blog. This accomplishes three important objectives:
(a) it shows that there's a human behind the blog;
(b) it gives you a chance to show your expertise; and
(c) you can lead the thread in a new direction or keep the discussion going. Oh, it's also the polite thing to do, as well.
7. Deep links or links to sub-pages are vital. There's a tendency to link from a remote site to your home page. Not necessarily the best strategy. Consider linking to pages deeper in the site – pages related directly to your blog post. This way, visitors are in your site and less likely to bounce.
8. Submit industry or topical news to general news sites. Not just industry related sites. If a small oil and gas company brings in a gusher, it's of broader interest than to just industry insiders. Also adds credibility and another link.
9. Update or create a Wikipedia page and link to your site. Another means of establishing yourself as an authority. Just make sure the Wiki piece is accurate, well written and typo-free.
10. Direct (future) page rank efforts to well-optimized content on your home site. Don't direct visitors and bots to the garbage bin of out-dated content stored in the site's archives. Point them to the new news.
11. Syndicate content outside of your blog. Every site owner needs content. Fortunately, there's plenty of it free for the taking. Sites like www.helium.com, www.ezine.com and www.goarticles.com are content supermarkets. Post your piece and pick up non-reciprocal, in-bound links for your effort. Content syndication increases link popularity.
12. Use QA sessions in your blog. You're the expert. Also, invite guest bloggers to handle questions beyond your skill set. Helpful, simple advice keeps visitors coming back and makes you a guru.
13. Add imagery and video content to your posts. A picture is worth a thousand web words. Charts and graphs simplify complex information and don't take up a lot of room. If you aren't an artist, create a relationship with a freelancer. Don't use clip art.
14. Answer questions on Google groups and Yahoo Answers. People write in with all sorts of questions, some sure to fall within your area of expertise. By signing on as an authority in a field (your arena) you build credibility. Plus, it's fun helping others from the comfort of your own work station.
15. Find free stuff to give away. Free still works on the web. There's lots of open source software (OSS), mortgäge calculators, real-time stock feeds and other digital goodies that visitors can download free. Free is nice.
16. Write about popular brands or celebrities where possible. It doesn't matter if you're blogging short sales in the market or clothing for the over-sized human, celebrity and name brands get picked up by spiders.
17. Create surveys. Surveys are more in depth than a poll. One survey you might want to try is one in which buyers rate the services and products you sell. Great marketing information. Consider placing a satisfaction survey somewhere on your site.
18. Poll your readers. Everybody's got an opinion. Provide a platform to let posters and readers vote on a topic related to your site. It doesn't do any good if you run a retail outlet and poll visitors on who they'd like to see in the White House. Stay on topic.
19. Focus on contextual relevancy before quantity of links. Connectivity within a market or topic segment has more value than SEO anchor text, at least in the short term.
20. Cite the sources of your content. This adds credibility to your posts. It also provides a trail for a reader interested in learning more about the topic at hand.
21. Write content for various experience levels. For many spaces DIYs are the largest sector. Some readers are just starting out. Others have been at it for years and probably know more than you do, so post blogs to appeal to a broad range of skill sets – from green rookie to wizened old vet.
22. Publish new content on weekdays. Even search engines need a break. Actually, more people are online Monday through Friday so your latest blog post is still the latest when posted on Monday rather than Sunday. A little thing, for sure, but little things mean a lot online.
23. Participate in your link community. Forum and blog links are ephemeral, lasting a day or two as web fodder, so there's always the need for more green. Interact by posting to not only drive traffic with the link, but to also pick up another link from a credible site. All good.
24. Only purchase ad links on relevant niche sites. This, by default, limits competitive links and delivers more qualified (knowledgeable and ready-to-purchase) visitors to your site.
25. Focus on ranking for three key words or phrases to start. The keywords you select should appear in your HTML title tags and within the site's content when appropriate. However, watch keyword density levels. Anything above 5% starts to sound like gibberish. 2% to 3% keyword density provides more creative latitude for the content developer, and still lets bots know what the site is about.
Once you've got all of this down your next steps are to begin monetizing your site.
About The Author
Frederick Townes in the owner of W3 EDGE Web Design. W3 EDGE is a Boston web design company that specializes in search engine friendly design, Internet marketing and conversion optimization.