Branding

Defining your blog’s uniqueness is difficult but critical. It’s what makes your blog memorable.

My personal take on branding is that it is what people think about you, your product or service. It’s about giving the right impression. I don’t know about you but I think a good impression is worth working on.

How to Become a Better Blogger – Essentials

Branding, intentional or by default starts during the design and strategy stage because that’s when the blogger chooses the niche and lays the foundation for what kind of a site they intend to create. Thereafter branding begins to shift as a reader community develops and evolves it grows. Ultimately, the blogger and the reader community become co-creators of an ever evolving brand.

Branding is reflected in the keywords and blog description for the site and published on the introductory About page or Profile page and located by search engines. Your brand includes the style in which the information is presented and clarifies what readers can expect to be presented with when they come to your site.

When crafting blog posts the better blogger considers:

  • what is the main message or theme?
  • who are the readers?
  • what information is essential?
  • how can it be organized and most clearly expressed?

The organization of your blog post is an essential part of conveying your message clearly. Clear organized thinking produces clear, logical writing. Some communications problems may be solved by changing words or sentence structure, others involve the way words or thoughts are arranged.

What does your reader most want to know? What is your main message or theme? Decide what information must be included and what can be left out. Then, divide your information into main and secondary points.

Develop a structure for your blog post that will make it easy and enjoyable to use. For example, chronological order might be the most logical approach for describing procedures.

If people already know something about the subject and you are sharing new information, start with the old, then introduce the new.

If you are describing something completely new, start with general information about the objectives or reasons for the new, then deal with the specifics.

Here are a few ways to organize your information:

  • from general to specific
  • from specific to general
  • from positive to negative
  • step by step
  • from most important to least important

Flagship Content (Pillar Posts)

In blogging content is king. Every blog needs at least between 4 and 6 pillar posts that identify the your expertise. Pillar posts are longer posts that require research and the contents are of timeless value to your readers. As your blog grows your collection of pillar posts will likewise grow.

A good tip from the readability value and SEO standpoints is to make sure that pillar posts include plenty of links to authoritative and popular external resources. Certain subjects normally contain certain sub sets of subjects. By covering the material comprehensively you give yourself a good article that will rank better in search engines.

Essential SEO Elements Of A Blog Post

Unlike normal web pages, blog posts are easier to create and do not require extensive knowledge of HTML to create a search engine friendly page. All that is requires is a blog application such as WordPress. However, each post still needs to include several SEO elements to help it rank. Assuming you have done your homework and developed a list of keywords and keyword phrases, all that is left is to optimize those keywords for the search engines.

Basic SEO elements for bloggers

Blogging: Learning SEO is worth the effort

  • Headlines (Titles and Sub-titles): Your title should succinctly state what the contents of the post are. Clever and catchy titles may bring an flush of traffic but they do not continue to deliver readers who are specifically searching for the content that your post has. Use a keyword or keyword phrase as close to the start of the title as possible. Also use them in sub-titles found throughout the blog post.
  • Content: Whether you blog under your own name or under a pseudonym establishing your credibility around a specific topic with your readers by engaging in ethical practice and linking is important. From a SEO perspective keywords or keyword phrases can be used throughout the post. However, take note that Google will penalize those who resort to keyword stuffing that diverges from natural flow of the text. From the readers perspective, keep it natural and use key words or keyword phrases only if it’s a natural “fit”.
  • URL: Try to incorporate a keyword or keyword phrase into the URL.
  • Categories and Tags: Categories and tags do not necessarily help you with SEO but social media sites such as Technorati often rely on tags.