I’ve only been seriously blogging for a few months now, although I published my first post in 2004. I’ve learned a few things and taken some missteps, and I thought I’d share them with you. I’m not at the top of the learning curve , so please take that into consideration as you read.
The following tips assume that you are writing blog posts with the intent of drawing maximum readership. They cover factors that are on-page. Off-page factors will be covered in part two.
1. Forget about Google for the first 6 months. They are very snobby and won’t care about your blog at first. I used to think there was such a thing as optimizing for particular search engines. Now I have a pretty standard set of rules, based on quality content and putting the right keywords in the right places. If you do try to figure out algorithms and tweak your blog posts accordingly, concentrate on MSN and Yahoo for the first 6 months to a year.
2. Your main page is where it is happening. When you are first starting out, with a piddly page rank of 2 or 3, your main page is going to have the best shot at showing up in the SERPs. After the posts fall off the main page, they are much less likely to get hits. I’m still experimenting myself, but suffice it to say, don’t set your posts to drop off from the main page too quickly.
3. Start multiple blogs. If you think you may want to blog on many or a few different subjects, don’t put everything on one blog. The last thing you want is a big mish-mash of different subject matter, which will dilute your targeted content. As stated above, it takes a while for the big-boy search engine, Google, to see you as an established presence, so think things out and start as many blogs as you think are necessary to they can each get their own page rank, and when you are finally ready to roll and start gaining some blogging momentum, you’ll have several venues with decent visability, instead of just one.
4. Just start writing. When I first started blogging, I had no idea what I wanted to say. Writing a post was like pulling teeth. Gradually, however, as I gained practice at putting my thoughts to words, and seeing which type of subjects made good posts, writing because more effortless. You have to start though. Just do it. Pay your dues. Just delete your early practice posts when you start getting traffic, or you could be in for a bit of embarrassment.