Blogging is an essential marketing technique for any business that wants to increase their visibility and establish expert status. A blog is interactive as opposed to a static webpage. It encourages potential customer interaction and is effective in relationship building.
In order for a blog to optimize your business growth, it must be functional and have a strategy. Below are elements that make your blog successful
1. Easy to navigate
Blogs that go on endlessly without a simple and easily understood method of navigation make it difficult for the viewer to understand the value of what you have to offer. Simple navigation widgets can easily be implemented to make your blog more user friendly. Make sure to include a search bar. Other widgets include category clouds, archive hierarchies, recent posts, most popular posts, and, a sitemap.
There are two types of sitemaps. An XML-Sitemap assures that Google is able to crawl the site. On a Word Press blog, there is a plugin called XML-Sitemap for that purpose. You will also want to create a public sitemap for your viewers to access. This is accomplished by creating a page and using the archive template.
2. Professional and attractive
First and foremost, you will want to make sure that you own your blog by self hosting it. WordPress.org has vast flexibility compared to public free sites such as Blogger.com, Typepad or WordPress.com Thousands of free themes are available and are extremely functional, however, I recommend a premium theme. Premium themes offer ongoing support and consistent updates. The StudioPress Genesis Theme Framework will give your website the appearance of looking like a magazine. Customized sidebars can be added for each page, and SEO is built into the framework itself. Outstanding video tutorials and forums are available for each theme.
3. Fast loading
Your hosting company will often determine the loading time of your blog. Most small business owners will opt for shared hosting because it is more affordable. In order to keep your blog loading efficiently, reduce the number of plugins to only those that are necessary. Plugins such as W3 Total Cache, WP Optimize, and Smush It will help your blog load faster. If your blog is heavy on PDF files, audios, videos or large images, you may wish to store them on Amazon3 to reduce the load on your bandwidth.
4. Opt in box
Readers who are interested in your content will either subscribe to your RSS feed or your newsletter. Make sure to have an opt in box, preferably on the top right sidebar of your blog. Aweber email marketing provides an outstanding service and includes blog broadcasts in which your readers can have new posts sent directly to their inboxes. The advantage of a blog broadcast, as opposed to RSS is that the broadcast will appear in newsletter format and you can include contact information, important links, and promotions.
The secret to a successful blog is consistently adding valuable content that your readers will be interested in. Make sure to add a post at least once per week, and even every day, especially if you have just started your blog. A post should be approximately 300 words or more. Use keywords strategically in your posts, but do not write content simply for the keywords itself. Write in a conversational and friendly style to engage readers and encourage them to comment.
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