Recipe for Blogging Success

This is an entry in our daily Internet Marketing Advent Calendar series. Each day your favorite marketing elves will focus on a new topic to get your internet marketing in order before the start of the new year.

I don’t know about you but I’ve been cooking up a storm since November! Cookies, pies, and casseroles, OH MY! This is the time of year when we join our friends and family and share tasty treats from each others’ kitchens. There’s something so important about the way food brings people together. Is there something special that you always bring to your holiday events or something you look forward to that someone else will bring?

spinach artichoke dip pictureIn the past year I learned of a recipe that I keep bringing to event after event because it’s such a big hit and so easy to make! I’ll leave you with the recipe at the bottom. But first, let’s talk about blogging. I’ve been blogging for Hall’s Vision Blog for almost 2 years. I don’t really consider myself a pro blogger or anything, but I have learned a lot about what readers like and important features to include in a blog. It’s really similar to when you bring a food to share at an event. It has to intrigue others to try it and of course you’ll want people to enjoy it!

Here are a few features that I think make a good recipe for blogging success:

  • Keyword-Rich Title – You want a title that intrigues people to read the contents of the blog. But you also want to balance that with a title that is descriptive to search engines about what the blog is actually about. Here’s a great referral about writing headlines that I like to use; it’s an 11-part series put together by Copyblogger to help write better headlines.
  • Blog Content – It’s hard to say what the most important feature of your blog is, but if I had to pick one – this is it. It’s the actual content you write about and share. This is make or break for the success of your blog. It has to be insightful, helpful, entertaining, etc. Here are a few blog posts to check out that show you how to find out what content people on your site enjoy and some tips on how to bring your personality to your web content.
  • Multimedia – Support the text on the page with an eye-grabbing image or corresponding video. I’ve found that images are so important not only to break up the text on the actual blog but to intrigue users to read the blog post. For example, if you share your blog on Facebook, the post on Facebook will attach the image from the blog. If you just have a linked title to promote the blog, people may pass it over, but the image grabs people’s attention and gives it more of a chance of getting someone to click.
  • Sharing Options – Make sure you offer ways for people to share your content. This gets new visitors to your website and also helps validate that popular content to search engines. You should also make sure you’re including the +1 button on your content too.
  • Subscription – Include an option for people to subscribe to your blog. If they like the content they’ll want more of it, plus its a great metric to monitor. Not only is it important to look at your site analytics to see how engaged people are with your content but you can also look at how many people subscribe to your blog. Watch how that number grows over time. You want there to be steady growth; it shows that more and more people are interested in what you have to say.

There are so many important features that will help boost your blog not mentioned here like organizing posts into categories and creating both inbound and outbound links. Like any recipe, there are ways to make it your own, whether it’s a secret ingredient or the way it is presented. Whatever works best for you – own it and sell that as its unique value.

If you want more information about blogging here are some great archived webinars:

Beginner 101: Get Your Business Blogging
Beginner 102: Get More Return by Blogging Better
Intermediate: Audience, Analytics, and Online PR: Strategies for Better Blogging

Ok, here it is; my top secret, super yummy, easy to make, favorite recipe to bring to parties…

Spinach Artichoke Dip

1 can quartered artichokes, drained and cut up a bit smaller
1 pkg. Frozen spinach, thawed and drained
1 jar alfredo sauce
½ – 1 pkg. Cream cheese softened
¾ cup mozzarella

Combine artichokes, spinach, alfredo sauce, cream cheese, and ½ cup mozzarella into bowl. Put in a casserole dish (sprayed with non stick cooking spray for an easy clean up). Sprinkle remaining ¼ cup of mozzarella on the top. Bake in oven at 350°F for 20-30 minutes or until top is golden brown. Serve with tortilla or pita chips. Enjoy!

Flickr Photo Credit: Youssef Abdelaal

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