Well, as I sat down to write this blog, I decided to start by explaining the thought process behind this decision to become a blogger. It’s not as if I’m looking for something to do with all the free time I have. As a mother of 3, trying to build a freelance business and actively involved in my community, free time is one thing I don’t have an abundance of. I needed to find ways to get the word out. “I’m here in an office in my basement and I want to work!”
As with everything, I turned to Google. I wanted to market myself and (hopefully) find more work. I love to work. I need the creative stimulation. (Side note: As a stay-at-home mom, creative stimulation is not a big part of my day. Unless you count the creative ideas I’ve employed teaching my toddler how to pee in a toilet.) Thankfully, I stumbled on the site www.allgraphicdesign.com and found a list of self-promotion ideas for freelancers (http://www.allgraphicdesign.com/graphicsblog/2007/11/120-self-promotion-ideas-for-graphic-designers-freelancers-free-or-almost-free/). Mid-way through the list, I saw “Start & Write an Informative Blog“. According to the site, blogging is one of the most effective forms of self-promotion. Really? Effective and free?? I had to check it out.
I went to WordPress.com, decided on a template and started to create what would become this site. I learned from the article that there is more to creating my blog than customizing the header image. They suggest utilizing SEO tactics, such as (the list below is taken from the article):
- Domain Name with Keywords – Try to purchase a domain name that has your number one keyword in it…such as flyergraphicdesign.com … just don’t be spammy about it.
- Search Engines Like Text – Flash sites are beautiful but search engines like text more than images. Try to utilize a design that considers both SEO and beauty.
- Use Meta Tags – Meta Title, Meta Description, and Meta Keywords. Meta Title is the most important.
- Utilize Header Tags – Use header tags in your content to emphasize the important headers within your articles.
- Create Great Content – It is important to also make sure that some of your most important keywords are within your articles. However, you must place these keywords naturally within the article. You aren’t trying to be scammy about it, you just need to make sure that the search engines can recognize your article for what it is.
- Link to Other Similar Blog Articles – Link to other similar blog articles for trackbacks (blogs normally links back to any blog that links to them)
- Post Helpful Comments on Other Blogs – Make sure to visit similar blogs and post helpful comments to lead people back to your blog.
- Add Your Blog to Blog Directories – Add your blog to blog directories as well as search engines.
- Add Social Bookmarking Buttons – Add social bookmarking buttons such as digg and stumbleupon to your articles.
- Ping. Make sure to ping blog directories.
- Technorati. Claim your blog at technorati.com and place technorati tags on all of your articles.
Alright, so I haven’t done everything yet. As I said, finding free time for myself is hard to come by most days. But, I know where this is headed and I’ll be there soon.
But wait, there’s more. I also found an article online titled “10 Blogging Tips for 2009 to Make It Your Most Successful Blogging Year Ever” written by Yuwanda Black (http://www.bloggingtips.com/2008/12/31/10-blogging-tips-for-2009-to-make-it-your-most-successful-blogging-year-ever/). Ms. Black suggests going back to basics, such as posting regularly, using plugins, posting from experience, write well (uh, well…), market the blog, use a clean design, personalize it and, above all, “don’t give up.”
As I learned, so many things go into managing a successful blog. I’m sure there are many more tips out there. Anyone like to share what’s worked for them?