Posts Tagged “wordpress”

Which is the Right Blogging Platform for You?

Just a few years ago, lots of people were getting ready to write blogging off, claiming it would be killed off by the increasing use of social media sites like Facebook and Twitter. And yet, that never has happened and truth be told, blogging, especially for businesses has never been more popular (or, in some lucky cases, more profitable.)

Whether you are a hobbyist looking for a creative outlet to share your personal knowledge, a businessperson looking to expand your marketing reach or an entrepreneur hoping to make a few bucks off blogging alone, the first thing you have to decide when starting a blog is just what platform you are going to blog from. And as blogging has become more and more popular, your options have increased as well. Let’s have a look at some of the best choices out there:

WordPress

WordPress is the granddaddy of all blogging platforms, having celebrated its 10th birthday in July 2013. In fact, it’s so popular that 19% of the sites on the Internet – the whole of the Internet-  are now powered by it.

For those unfamiliar with WP, it comes in two forms; the freemium hosted variety over at wordpress.com or the free to use, self-hosted version at wordpress.org. Self-hosting is by far the better option for a truly flexible site but if you only want to dabble a little, the .com version is fine, and you can also switch over to .org later.

Pros: Free to use, 1000’s of themes and plugins, great community support, very flexible.

Cons: The learning curve can be a bit steep once you get into more advanced functions.

Blogger  

Blogger is Google’s WordPress competitor. It is free to use – all you need is a Google account – rather easy to use and is hardwired into the Google AdSense program, which means if you are looking to make a few bucks simply off blog content alone, it’s a great way to start.

Pros: Free, easy to monetize, comes with all of that Google support.

Cons: Very limited in terms of themes and plug-ins when compared to WP, has been threatened with extinction in the past by Google themselves and its future is still uncertain. Probably not the best choice for a business blog especially as there is no way to add a non-Google branded URL.

Tumblr

Tumblr is the cool kid on the blogging block; part blog, part social network and ridiculously trendy right now, especially with the 13-30 set. It’s an excellent choice for those who would rather curate content more than they would actually like to create too much of it themselves, the biggest reason why it is so popular with teens. It’s a freemium set up akin to wordpress.com and now that the API is available to developers, the number of bells and whistles you can add to a Tumblr blog is increasing.

Pros: Easy to use, owned by Yahoo!, great for hobby bloggers and businesses with a lot of visuals to share (mainly retailers)

Cons: Cannot be monetized at this time, owned by Yahoo! whose track record with products has been spotty over the last several years.

Typepad

Typepad has been around almost as long as WordPress but it has kind of fallen out of fashion these days and most people have forgotten that it even exists. It still has its users – including Seth Godin – but it is very inflexible compared to the other options we have talked about.

Pros: It’s reliable.

Cons: Not free, not very flexible.

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Best Blogging Platform: WordPress vs. Blogger

Podcast: Best Blogging Platform: Worpress vs. BloggerThere are 2 leading blogging platforms – WordPress and Blogger. In this audio we’ll discuss, compare and contrast the two. The good news is, you can’t go wrong really with either one; but each one does have its strengths and weaknesses so do join us for a quick listen.

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5 Killer Techniques of Blog Optimization

5 Killer Techniques of Blog Optimization

Sadly lots and lots of business owners are not realizing the full potential of their blogs.  Blog Optimization is a term unknown to many.  Many business owners have not heard of blogs and are wary of using them to promote their business. 5 Killer Techniques of Blog Optimization - blog photo

Wikipedia defines a blog as follows: “A blog (a blend of the term web log)is a type of website or part of a website. Blogs are usually maintained by an individual with regular entries of commentary, descriptions of events, or other material such as graphics or video.” Read More

Today a blog is used by individuals, corporations, political figures and more. The popularity of blogs rests on the fact that optimizing a blog for search engines can be a breeze.  There are many blog hosting platforms available today.  These include my favourite WordPress, and then there is Blogger, Tumblr, Posterous and many more.  Irrespective of which blogging platform you choose to use, here are some tips to help you get rolling.

Here are some killer tips to help you optimize your blog in a jiffy.  Though these tips look simple you will be amazed at what a lot of difference these can make.  What kind of difference?  Better SERPs, user retention, and getting visitors.

Keywords ~ Optimizing your blog posts the right way

What’s in keyword right?  The keyword dear reader is the most important ingredient for the success of your blog.  As a blog owner you must perform in depth research of the best keywords for your blog.  The keyword reflects the essence of your blog; it is ideally what your blog is all about.  Once you have identified a potential keyword, you must find a couple of secondary keywords as well.

For example if my blog what about “coffee beans”, we would head on over to a free keyword tool which we love, the Google Adwords keyword tool.

Enter the keyword you are interested in and hit search.

Google Adwords Keyword tool image

If you scroll down you will notice that Google has pulled out some of the most searched related terms or keywords. Each of these words is a potential for your website.

5 Killer Techniques of Blog Optimization: sample keywords

So should you select all these keywords?

No, you must analyze them and decide if they are a tight fit for your website.  Also, you will have to eliminate keywords which are very competitive.  All this requires a lot of research and expertise and it would be best if you could have some experts handle this.

A good keyword list can make or break your business.  This is the bare truth.

Use and Optimize your Headings

Most people cannot read text which is monotonous and with no breaks.  Research has shown that people tend to skim over an article or a blog post and focus on headings.  If a particular heading catches their interest, then they skim through that section.  So, here is how we can encash on this behaviour and make it a win-win situation for both the visitor and for us.  Let’s break up our content into decent manageable chunks of reading.  Label each section or paragraph with a heading.  Wait we are not done yet.  So what can we place in the heading?  Well, always include the keyword in the primary heading also known as a H1 tag.  Use variations of this keyword in subsequent headers like H2, H3 etc.

Optimize your blog images

Okay, here is an absolutely crazy and easy way to optimize your page and get some good brownie points from visitors.  We have researched and studied various client websites, gone through tons of Google analytics data and have realized that people love images and search engines love images as well.  Well, this makes it super duper easy then to get some high rankings.  Try and insert at least one image which is relevant to your post.  Make sure you name the image with a keyword (if it makes sense).  Include alt attributes in your image tag and optimize these tags.  Here is a simple syntax for an alt tag

<img alt=”value” />

So suppose your website is about hair dryers and the blog post is about Conair Hair Dryer.  You could buy an image of a woman using a Conair hair dryer or have someone prepare them for you.  You can also get royalty free images from websites online.  Make sure you check out the usage policy, royalty free might not mean free to use.

Here is a sample image tag for the above example.

<img alt=”Picture of woman using Conair Hair Dryer” />

If you notice we are not stuffing the keyword.  An alt tag is useful for people with disabilities and we must address their need with love.

Title ~ Now we are talking

This is so important for optimizing your blog post that it hurts, literally.  A title should be catchy, clickable and have the keyword.  The title here refers to the Page Title and we would advise you to limit it to 70 characters.  It is best if you can have the keyword towards the beginning of the title.

Content  ~ Blog Optimization on Steroids

Content is king.  Your visitor wants information or content.  That is why he is on your website right?  As a Blog owner, business owner and publisher, it is your duty to provide the best content the visitor wants.  The content of your blog should address the visitor’s concerns and make him perform an action.

What action is that?

Well for starters say your website is selling a product, then you want the visitor to buy the product.  This is the goal or expected conversion.  Not all blogs or websites sell products.  Some blog owners are interested in having visitors sign up to their newsletter or visit a partner website.  This can be easily achieved by writing good copy.  Your content or copy should be relevant, informative and should covert.

A search engine though does not understand the content like a visitor.  So in order to score some points with a search engine you must ensure that you content has the keywords in it.  Try to have someone analyze your articles and ensure that the keyword density is between 3% to 4%.

So there you go, here are some Blog Optimization tips for you and we are looking forward for some comments or questions.

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