Software Development, Web Design, Training


WordCamp Notes: Blogging Basics, Improve Your Blog and Maximize Results - Jennifer Bourn

blog is a file cabinet

place to store content that other people need to be able to find easily and quickly
place to store info

categories are like drawers
tags are like folders

URLS are locations (destinations)
think of the internet like a map

links are roads (routes)

publishing new posts
publishing once a week = 52 new URLs
twice a week = 104 URLs
each URL is an opportunity to be found
to be listed in a search engine results page

nobody can give you money if they can't find you

blogging is a fast way to make that happen

every business owner is excited about the idea of blogging

almost all web site owners struggle to create new content and publish new blog posts
love the idea but struggle with it
"just need to create great content and publish regularly"
--not that easy all the time
blogging can be really difficult
struggle with what to say, what to write
finding time to create the content
what is too long, to short
should i do video, audio?

Content Creation -
keep an idea file
keep a link file
Brainstorm w/ a timer
     how many thoughts can you get out on a topic in 3 minutes?
     go back and review it later
find whatever works for you - make a place to store your ideas for all new blog post ideas
browser stock image sites - unsplash, shutterstock, istock
speak and transcribe

idea file:
     collection of all things i'm inspired by
     topic, potential headline, thoughts, what inspired me, etc.
     grab the embed code from a post somewhere else that inspires me

types of content -
written post
audio and transcript
slide deck
video and transcript

"with a transcript" - just sharing an audio/video, doesn't do a lot of good. google can't watch videos or listen to audio - her video posts all have the transcription below them

transcript helps w/ google, and with a11y, and with people who can't use headphones at that moment to hear/watch

slide deck - export the slides as images and add them inline in a post with the transcription so people can see it and so can search engines

clear, easy to read, info - helpful for people and google both

Review / Recap
Commentary or opinion

The buyer's journey
whether you sell something or not, there is a path people follow when they come to your website
1. unaware
2. problem aware
3. solution aware
4. consider and compare
5. decision

what kind of content can you create for people that have a problem and need to know the solution?

content options:
questions and answers - great idea: title your blog posts with a question. "How do i do..." people often type into google

buyer's journey
consider and compare
content options -
downloadable product guides / instructions are helpful

decision -
case studies
buyer support
"which one is better? X or Y" - blog post title idea

look at mapping out customer journey on your website
how do people interact with YOUR blog/brand/business?
when they FIRST come to you what's going on with them at that point in the story?
are they struggling with something?
as they become more educated, what kind of content can you serve them along the way?
you want content that's going to FIT all those different stages
you want to hear “I just spent 4 hours on your blog, and i'm pretty sure you're the person i want to hire."

blog post topic ideas -

if you can deliver the content people NEED at the TIME they NEED it, chances are they will take action

* content 400 - 450 words
search engines think less than that is not very valuable
* write great headline (search engines and humans)
* style and format content

lots of pages as part of a portfolio
     if no content on those pages, doing more harm than good
     convert them to case studies
     can be penalized for too many portfolio pages - content isn’t helpful on those
         "noindex" those pages or turn them into case studies w/ better content

they want to be convinced it's WORTH it to look at your post
keyword stuffing is weird for both people and search engines
"would i read this?"
"if this headline popped up in my facebook feed would i stop and click on it?"

add featured image and in-content images
assign categories and tags
add html title and meta description
don’t right or left align small images
visual content is remembered OFTEN
if you add a great photo to your post, more likely people will click on it

categories and tags are NOT replacements for keywords
not a place to keyword stuff a whole bunch of things
drawer / file folder idea

categories and tags create ARCHIVES
if you create a TON of categories/tags, you end up with archives that only have 2 or 3 things in them - not helpful

if you do 2 things for SEO
1. unique title
2. unique meta description

title can be same thing as the headline

"will this convince somebody to come to my website?"

edit permalinks
add internal links
add external links

shorter urls often perform better than super long link names
shorter is also easier for people to share
(redirect long ones to short ones so you don’t have broken links, if you change them)

monetizing your blog --
affiliate links
ad networks and direct ads
sponsored posts
paid writing
product and online course
service up-sells

build your lists
opt-in offers
content upgrades
pop ups

pulling from google ads / adsense

amazon affiliate links

sponsored posts
either you get paid or get free stuff
have to mark posts as "sponsored"

"Clarity" - place to do pay by the minute consulting

Post Promoter Pro
Revive Old Post
^^^^ both go on every site she owns

FitVids For Wordpress

Safe Redirect Manager
(easiest of the 301 redirect plugins to use)

Broken Link Checker
Image Optimizer
Content Aware Sidebars