Whether you’re writing because you want to make some money or if it’s just because you want people to read your incredible insights and finally come to understand that you are infinitely superior to them in every way – you still have to direct them to your blog post. This is why most articles sharing a common title with this one focus almost entirely on SEO and, while this is a singularly vital point, it isn’t the only one of importance. To approach from a relatively new angle I have, therefore, decided to include a few alternative points to SEO which will also get people to open your article and perhaps even share it with their friends.
1: Titillating Title
You see how many blog posts on this topic share this exact title? Quite a few and the reason for that is because it’s a very snappy title indeed. You wanted to know about blogging but you didn’t want to read for 15 hours because you’re either lazy or hopeful that you’re smart enough to catch on quick. ‘Five tips’ is pretty easy to digest and you imagine that the author will make them the five very best tips, making your life easier. Since I’ve done the same thing here as 20 other people, I have to hope that my SEO is better than theirs or that people are impressed enough with my snappy, demeaning tone to pass it onto their friends – but my title effectively provided what you were looking for. I understood my target audience.
Yes, yes the big one. If you’re happy to write a thesis on the evolutionary stages of Martian space dust in the full knowledge that no one will ever notice (or care) that such a riveting tale exists, then you are welcome to forget all about SEO. If, however, you’re attempting to make intelligent financial use of your blogging time, then you need to ensure that you’re actually ranking for keywords that people who share your interests might be abusing Google with. Use AdWords to check what relevant words people are searching for and try to be more specific than ‘space’ (in terms of our afore mentioned mock title) if you ever want to achieve a ranking. I once saw a company which sold glass fencing try to rank for ‘glass’ – which was funny.
3: Meta tags and URL’s
If you’re going to create a blog dedicated to ghost sightings but use a URL which doesn’t mention ghosts or haunting anywhere within it, then neither Google nor the leprechaun that lives with you in your mom’s basement can help you. Google’s Spiders take your URL as well as your meta data into account and if they don’t confirm for the big G that you’re talking about what you say you are, then you may as well put on your headphones and listen to Mad World in the dark for 10 hours.
4: Social Networks
SEO may be important but never underestimate the power of millions of people who love to tell millions of other people what they had for breakfast that day, in the hopes that a breakfast bar makes them sound cooler. If they’ll Tweet, Like or Google + 1 info like that then a clever or amusing article is bound to get some attention and end up being passed around. This could draw you thousands of readers and get some good conversation going under your masterstroke.
5: Visual Stimulation
Don’t assume that your copy is so awe inspiring that it alone can, not only maintain but, inspire the persistent interest of your fan base. People have a short attention span (in fact if you’re still reading this you’re better than everyone else you know and I’m giving you a Stinson theoretical high five right now) which means that you should entertain them with pretty pictures. Ensure that they’re relevant to your content, and preferably not copy protected by a huge corporation which will sue you back into your mom’s leprechaun infested basement after all your hard work.