I’m always surprised when I’m asked to analyze a blog for someone and find that their blog is missing something fundamental. But I really shouldn’t be surprised. Why not?
Well, for one, some of my blogs fall into the same category (Look at the plank in your own eye before criticizing the speck in your neighbors’). But also, not everyone runs a blog as a full time job. Many bloggers are primarily part-time writers, not full-time blog technicians.
But what if I told you that in order to drastically increase your chances to succeed, you need to make sure that at least 5 fundamental things are in place at your blog?
Well, don’t fret. That’s what we at Performancing are here for, after all…to help bloggers succeed. Just make one improvement at a time, and soon you’ll be on your way to success.
In my opinion here are 5 things that all blogs should have:
1. Static, Title-Reinforcing URLS
Instead of the dynamic URLs with meaningless numbers, you should use static URLS with semantically relevant keywords
Bad URL: http://www.yourblog.com?p=123
Good URL: http://www.yourblog.com/ten-things-blogs-should-have/
2. Strong, Descriptive Titles
Instead of generic, pronoun loaded, bland headlines, why not kill two birds with one stone: 1) grab your reader’s attention 2) make sure the search engines know what your article is about.
Bad Title: He Got Sick
Good Title: Jeopardy Host Alex Trebeck Has Minor Heart Attack
Bad Title: What Was She Thinking?
Good Title Jessica Alba Not-So-Hot in Pink Tutu Dress
3. Backlinks from relevant sites
Until you get links from other, relevant sites, your blog sits in isolation from not only the great World Wide Web, but also smaller “niche” networks. Your goal from day one should be to network with and engage other topically relevant sites.
How do you network? Well, for starters, you should spend sometime on other blogs leaving high-quality, insightful comments. You might do the same on some forums.
The worst sin of blogging is to speak a monologue. Get out and network. It’ll make your job a whole lot easier in the end.
4. An attractive, distinctive design
At some point, to really succeed, your blog is going to have to do better than a cookie-cutter theme template. Now I’m not diminishing the role of free, template themes. Afterall, Performancing releases a free WordPress theme each month.
However, you aren’t going to make it into the “big time” without a sleak, customized theme that screams “we care enough to make ourselves look good” (note to Performancing team – > get that redesign done sooner rather than later!)
5. Top-Of-The-Class Content
Most bloggers are under the illusion that they need to write 10 posts a day to be successful. Not so. Especially at the beginning, you are much better off writing a few EXCELLENT articles, rather than a bunch of medicore, rehashed articles.
The goal here is to set yourself apart as an expert. Spend the time you need up front to create a killer resource base. When you’ve developed five or so EXCELLENT resources, then feature them in your sidebar.
Many of you have probably heard these tips before. If you have…then great. But over 90% of the blogs that I analyze are missing one or more of these features. More often than not, a blog is just a collection of short 200-500 word posts that do absolutely nothing to distinguish the blog from all the others in its niche. More often than not, a blog does not feature its best content for everyone to see. More often than not, new bloggers use terrible URL structure and make-me-cringe headlines. More often than not, a blog has a terrible link portfolio.
So how’s your blog? Do you have these five fundamental things in place? If not, then stop your daily routine for a few weeks and make sure you get the foundation of your blog in proper order.
If you’d like Performancing to not only get your blog’s foundation in place, but to have it built into a mansion, then consider using one of our Blog Management Services.