Some of their tips:
1) Figure out your niche, and create a mission statement. “For me, my blog is about budget fashion, so for my topic, I picked something specific but also broad. That way, I always know the content I’m writing about, but at the same time, I’m not running out of ideas. So a great reason to do this is, that way people want to come to your site for a specific reason,” said Holeva, who runs the blog Trend Hungry. She also advised to keep your voice consistent on the blog and other social media platforms.
2) Define your audience. What age are they? Are they men or women? Are they college-educated? Do they have children? When do they look at your blog? “My blog in particular, the demographic is all women, college-educated, no children, and they review my blog from work, which hopefully they do on their lunch break, and don’t get into trouble. But also that my age demographic is 34 to 44, so that’s good for me, and it’s true to my voice and my age group, and my season in life as well,” said Nelson, who has been blogging for eight years and runs the blog A Girl’s Gotta Spa! She always focuses on content for women.
3) Focus on the anatomy of a post. Use title tags, and start them off with a skinny letter; font size should be 12 to 14 points; and use a photo half of the content width at the beginning of posts, so it shortens the amount of words you read across for the first few lines. Make sure that the first few sentences of the blog grab readers and tell them what they want to know immediately. Word count should be 500 to 1,000 words, and space for content should be between 480 and 600 pixels, and 100 characters maximum across the screen. When saving image files, use keywords. “I have a beauty client, and one of the big ones is, ‘How do I remove blackheads?’ So, for most of her images, especially if that’s what she’s targeting in the content of her post, the image file will be saved as, ‘How To Remove Blackheads.’ You have to think the way people are searching,” said Nelson, who added that she herself gets a lot of traffic from Google Images by using keywords in file names.
4) Create an editorial calendar to map out your content. Diversify your content, so it’s not always focusing on the same topic. This will also help you get organized if you have blog contributors. Bloggers should also use different types of content such as series posts and video content. You can also use a hashtag for each topic and see if it trends. “A lot of times, people think having contributors is less work – it is, but it isn’t. You still have to edit all their work, and you have to stay on top of them, and make sure it’s the right kind of content for your site,” said Holeva.
5) Develop content that tends to go viral, depending on the site, include: inspirational posts, infographics, industry trends, how-to posts, product features, product pricing. You should assign each blog post a category and tags, which are more narrowly focused.
6) Get sponsors. When it comes to sponsored posts, set guidelines for companies that approach you, or for when you pitch, such as how many keywords are allowed. Set a price for if the company writes the copy or if you do. Do not get all of your content sponsored because it will give the impression you are selling out. Determine what types of sponsors you want for your blog – you want to make sure they fit in with your mission statement and the theme of your blog. Create a media kit with your blog’s stats, and have sponsors sign an agreement in writing.
NEPABlogCon is a blogging/social media conference in Nanticoke, Pa., that took place Saturday, Sept. 29. It was organized by four northeast Pennsylvania women dubbed The Fearsome Foursome. Conference session topics included content management platforms, search engine optimization, All Things Google, social media for business, monetizing your blog, and more.
Tim Sohn is a freelance writer and editor. Follow him on Twitter @editortim.