Here are 20 tips that I take for granted every time I write a post. But so many people don’t do them, that I figgered I’d put it out there.
- Always add “related posts” section to the end of your post. Because many of your visitors (about 80% in my case) will be first timers. And you want them to at least read one extra post if you can keep them.
- Use bit.ly or some other statistics registering URL shortener to create a permalink to your post. You can use keywords in the link. It’s bound to help a leetle bit.
- Always use your Twitter ID as your signature. How do you think I got to 6k followers? It wasn’t my good looks. I use my Twitter ID as my “follow me” link. And I ask for it on every one.
- Make your tags fun. Sure tags are for navigation and seo. But can’t they also be for fun. (aka: stupid tag tricks)
- If you start expanding your post to a second point, or a larger topic, stop, edit and post. I like writing long posts. I think the long form is underrated. (Perhaps Seth Godin is to blame.) But the worst thing you can do is confuse your reader by meandering or going on to a second point when an exclamation point at the end of your first point would do.
- Write with flare. As Seth says in Tribes, “No body forwards a boring post.” Rant, rave, fume, joke, cajole, but don’t be boring.
- Be aware of SEO-rich terms. Always be aware of SEO. If google can find you, others can too.
- Submit an XML sitemap each time you put up a new post. Again, you want Google to find you. Again and again.
- Make a note of your most popular posts. And rewrite them or update them. Or write a related post. But if you don’t know what your most popular posts are, you are missing a huge opportunity.
- Make a note of your traffic patterns. Are most of your visitors coming from your Twitter mention? Are they finding you via Google or an embeded link? Are they reading more than one post? What’s your bounce rate?
- Always tag your images. About 10% of my traffic finds my sight due to my tagged images. You never know when someone might be looking for a picture of the new Camero. If you’ve tagged your photo creatively and accurately. You might get found in the next 1,000 “2010 Camero” searches.
- Organize your posts. If all of your posts are temporary then no one will read beyond today’s news. I use a combination of Pages and Categories (that I use as a subject navigation tree) If you don’t make your own “best of” pages, no one else will.
- Don’t be afraid to retweet a good post. As a rule I try not to tweet a single post more than three times. (I fail sometimes out of enthusiasm.) Remember Twitter is very temporary. It is most likely someone will either be ON and see your tweet or they will miss it. That’s why the most action on a tweet is within two minutes of the link. And if your readers are in different time zones, don’t forget to tweet during their peak times.
- A picture is worth a ton of words. And a picture maybe your best SEO weapon to get people to your site. (See #11 above.) If you are good with charts and PowerPoint graphics use it.
- Find alternative places to link and promote your writing. (LinkedIN tends to be my most successful linking site after Facebook.) And if you have good PowerPoint decks share them on Slideshare.net. You just might get new followers.
- Make your RSS options easy to find and universal. Feedburner used to be flakey. Since Google has bought them their services seem to have gotten more stable and more reliable. Enabling all varieties of feed and email options is a matter of setting preferences.
- Comment on others writing. Of course you have to read their post. And you need to add something to the conversation. If you are simply putting “Nice post” everywhere you are not really upping your social capital.
- Share everything. Don’t hold back your expertise. If you are smart about something, if you learn something new… put it out there.
- Publish as soon as you get it written. If you publish fewer than 5 posts a week you might have reason to only release stuff during prime time. Or you may be justified in limiting your posts to one per day, even on a busy day. I ask, “Why?” If someone isn’t interested in my picture of the 2010 Camero, perhaps they will like my swipe at Sprint’s new ad campaign that seems to be clogging up my thin-narrow pipe.
- Be irreverent. Have fun with what you write. Your voice will come. But if it’s a boring voice you’ll be done before you begin. And if you bore yourself, do you think someone else is going to promote your writing?
I hope that helps. Please add anything I’ve missed in the comments.
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