It seems to me that almost every kind of business has it’s own language. Especially when it comes to anything to do with computers or the internet. And in order to understand any of it, you have to learn the language first. This is so you can translate geek-speak into good old plain English.
I’m sure all the new words they make up for things is just so they can sound all clever and the rest of us, who have no idea what they are talking about, sound like the dumb ones! We’re on to you…you…
Anyway, when I first became interested in blogging I read everything I could find about it. But I still knew nothing. Because I had no idea what most of it meant.
It looked like English.
It sounded like English.
But it made no sense what-so-ever.
It took me weeks to ask hubby what SEO, (Search Engine Optimization), was. Because I didn’t want to sound dumb. Once he explained it, a lot of what I’d been reading suddenly made a bit more sense. But only partially.
There was also this thing called ‘Keywords’ I was supposed to know about. WTF are Keywords? Nothing I read explained it in a way I could understand, but lots of places offered to sell me some good ones. No thanks! I didn’t even know what they were – I sure as heck wasn’t going to pay good money for them.
It’s taken me around a year to finally work out what these mysterious ‘Keywords’ are. So here is my way of explaining them. And once you ‘get’ them, you’ll wonder why anyone would pay someone else for them, which is probably why they keep them a big fat secret!
1. Keywords are just words and/or phrases that relate to what you have written, or to what your blog is about, that other people might use in a search engine like Google or Ask etc. Think of them as the terms people use to search for stuff online.
It’s like this – unless you spend a fortune on advertising, most people are going to find their way to your blog by accident. And by accident I mean that your site, along with others on similar subjects, will be the ones that come up when someone types a word or phrase into a search engine that relates to your blog, providing you have added the appropriate ‘keywords’ for the search engines to find.
For example – say you’ve just written a blog post about Apple Pie, and included a recipe for a great Apple Pie. Think about what a stranger might type into a search engine if they were looking for the kind of information you have just written about.
They might type in phrases such as; apple recipes, or apple pie recipes, or pie recipes, or fruit pie recipes or even something like – how do you make apple pie, or what should I do with left over apples. These then become the ‘keywords’ for this post on Apple Pies.
To optimize this post for the search engines you then need to make sure you use some of those phrases in your writing, (not too many times though, or it becomes ‘keyword stuffing’ and Google frowns on that and will penalize you), and also add them to your categories and tags.
Once you have done this, your blog should come up in the search results for anyone looking for anything to do with fruit and pies. Or at least, apple pies!
2. The next thing to understand how to do, is something you probably already do in your daily life, but in a different way, and that’s Networking.
It’s done differently online, and I’ve never seen it called Networking here. But if all the articles I’ve read on it had called it that, which is what it is, I would have understood it and how important it is a long time ago.
So here’s how you do it online – First of all you need to figure out who your target audience is. Easier said than done, I know, but you do need to know this.
Knowing who your target audience is will help you know who to network with. For example – if your blog is about fishing, then your target audience is not going to be people interested in a blog about apple pies. But it just might be people interested in a blog on how to cook fish.
Once you have figured out who your target audience is, think about what kind of blogs those people would be interested in reading, besides yours, that is. Then look for blogs on those subjects that have fairly good subscriber numbers, and subscribe yourself. Follow them also on their Facebook page, Twitter, and anywhere else you can.
Read their blog posts and make intelligent and relevant replies in the comments section after each post. Try to add value to the conversation. Do it regularly and this will attract the attention of both the blog owner and the other subscribers, which in turn will get them interested enough to come over and check out your blog. This is one of the best ways to bring targeted traffic of interested people to your blog. It’s good old fashioned Networking.
By consistently adding value where you can, other bloggers may start to mention you, possibly even recommend you to their readers.
The other side of this is to remember that it’s not all about you. Do your bit to help promote other blogs in your niche too. Put the time in to answer or reply to any comments left on your blog posts. Don’t ever take your audience for granted, or they’ll take their attention elsewhere. Be honest, be helpful, be grateful and be involved.
Do any of you have anything to add to these two tips? What have you learned about these ideas by running your own blog?