Three quarters of websites on the Internet are inactive. And the average person who goes online, only visits 96 domains each month. Broken down, that’s about 3 websites a day.
When someone uses a search engine to find out something, they rarely venture beyond the first results page.
My point of all this negativity?
Go big or go home.
The Internet is no place for sissies. Competition is fierce and you need to be seriously committed to making a killer blog if you want yours even to be seen by anyone searching for what you offer.
This post is for those who are serious about creating a site that rocks, and if you follow the tips here, it’s likely you will desecrate your competition who are too lazy to do what it takes to get down ‘n dirty.
Here’s the quick recipe for creating a killer WordPress blog, and I’ll go into the details further along:
Write for the right group of people, using the right keywords and optimizing for search engines, publishing regular fresh, unique content.
Now, you can make a cake in less than an hour. And Neil Patel, digital marketing guru, claims you can setup a killer blog in 1 hour.
Let’s follow the ingredients of a killer blog recipe:
Ingredient 1: What is your goal?
I once created a WordPress blog to document a diet I decided to start. I started off strong: I uploaded images of the food I consumed each day, and before and after photos of myself, recording my feelings and struggles…
And then I got bored.
So I tapered down the amount of posts I published until I stopped publishing completely. And soon, my blog was obliterated from the Internet, to join the many others who had gone before…
Which brings me to one of my all-time favorite sayings: “Where there is no vision, the people perish”. (Thank goodness that in this case, it was only my blog which perished).
I did not have a clear goal about why I was starting a diet blog, so going to all the trouble of uploading fresh content became something that was not a priority, and because it was not a priority and held no real value for me, it died.
Never just start a blog, because there are already way too many people who start and abandon it all too fast. Actually, the average lifespan of the majority of websites is a mere 100 days.
Be crystal clear about why you want to create a blog. It must be something you’re passionate about, so that it can drive you. Because, as I mentioned earlier, creating a blog that actually gets seen, involves a lot of hard work, and nobody will have success if they don’t have a good enough reason to put so much work into it.
Ingredient 2: Write for the right people
A mistake many bloggers make, is to cater to everybody. This results in catering for nobody.
When you have clarity on what your blogging goal is, you can start thinking about who your audience should be.
For instance, if you want to start a blog to support your ecommerce store, you should write for your typical buyer persona, in order to attract the kind of person who will eventually buy from your store.
If you wrote a diet book and want a blog to attract dieters so that they will buy your book, you need to write for a group of people who would find value from the kind of book you wrote. It would be no good to attract thin and healthy people who wouldn’t be interested.
If you don’t write for the right group of people, you are not likely to attract the kind of people to fulfill your blogging goals. And when you’re blogging to make a profit, this is vital. The key is to provide content that addresses the needs and desires of your target buyer persona.
Try a tool like UpCloseAndPersona to get started on finding out who you should be writing for.
Ingredient 3: Create a solid traffic generating layer
Without readers, you won’t fulfill your blogging goals. At the very foundation of getting traffic to your blog, is the technical search engine optimization aspect.
Technical SEO is about how search engines crawl and index your website, so that it can be listed as close to the first results page as possible. Quicksprout puts it nicely when they say that technical SEO is about “laying a strong foundation to give your content the best chance it can have to rank for relevant keywords and phrases.”
Now, you don’t need to be a technical guru or hire the services of one. All you need to make sure of is that your WordPress settings are set up correctly, and that you choose an SEO friendly WordPress theme – a theme is what makes your website look a certain way on the Internet.
Simply search for an SEO friendly theme in your WordPress dashboard using the “features” function in your plugin section, or by doing a search online for “seo friendly wordpress theme”.
Once that’s licked, the next step is to install an SEO plugin like Yoast to help you with some of the search engine optimization like:
- Search engine snippet preview
- Focus keyword
- SEO title
- Meta description
You should know that 40% of people abandon a website that takes longer than 3 seconds to load.
Speed matters to readers and because it matters to readers, it matters to search engines, so if your blog takes longer than three seconds to load, you need to address that.
Ingredient 4: Add search engine optimized content
The most important element of a killer blog is it’s content.
Elements of search engine optimized content
Image Credit: Viral SEO Services
Since we’re talking about blogs, it’s probably rather obvious, but for reasons you may not yet know.
Because unlike many website owners, it’s not just about plonking content on your blog for the sake of content.
We’ve already covered how important it is to write content for the right people, and in this section, we’ll cover how to add SEO optimized content to your blog, because you can add epic content, but if search engines can’t make sense of it, your blog will never see the light of day.
Which means no traffic. Which means that your goals will not be fulfilled.
Before we proceed, be aware that you can also harm your blog’s search engine ranking by using the following methods carelessly.
Use the right keywords
Keywords are the cornerstone of search engine optimized content, because keywords:
- Tell search engines what your blog is about. This is important because if they can’t make sense of your blog, they won’t direct traffic to it via search page results.
- When used correctly, help search engines to send the right target audience to your blog. What makes this important, as previously stressed, is because this directly impacts your bottom line.
Use this guide to find out how to do keyword research for blogging.
Header tags separate normal text, exactly like this very text you’re reading. The most important header tag is the H1 tag. Check the following tag examples:
H1 header tag
H2 header tag
H3 header tag
From an SEO point of view, text in header tags are read like this:
- How relevant is this content? Search engines compare the words in the header tag with the body content. Your main keywords for the blog post should be added to at least one H1 tag.
- How consistent are the keywords? Search engines check for consistency between the keywords in the header tags and other sections of the page.
- Is the content laid out to make it easier for users to read? It’s important to search engines that content is easy to read, and header tags break up content into smaller, easier-to-read text.
Not only should you use images to attract attention to your blog, but they are also powerful search engine magnets when they are optimized.
To customize an image so it’s not just another stock photo, use a tool like Canva.
Make sure the filename of the image represents the actual image, and is not just a number like “DSC8947”.
When uploading images, compress them so that they don’t slow down your website’s speed. Use a plugin like Smush for this.
Then, when you upload the image to Media in WordPress, add alt attributes and a description. It’s only necessary to add a keyword in the description. The alt tag should contain text that directly relates to the image.
Add captions, because they attract attention, oftentimes more so than the body of your post.
Ingredient 5: Include one call to action on every post
A call to action is a final instruction to the reader. Every single page of your website, including blog posts, should contain a call to action – a button or link to get the reader to do something.
For instance, here is a call to action after a blog post about SEO:
Ideas for call to actions:
- Free download
- Contact us for …
- Call for a consultation
- Subscribe to our newsletter
- Get free tips about …
Ingredient 6: Get social
Be sure to add social share buttons to your blog, to encourage readers to share your content. Install a plugin like Responsive Social Share, which is SEO friendly because it is mobile responsive too.
There you have it. The recipe to create a killer blog, the ingredients of which are:
- Without a clear goal, your blog will fail
- Make sure the content you publish is written for the right audience
- Ensure the technical aspect of SEO is taken care of
- Add content that is optimized for search engines
- Include a final instruction for readers at the end of each post
- Add a social share plugin to your WordPress blog