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No. 50
December 9th, 2007

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Four Ways to Improve My Blog (and Yours!)

So here we are nearly 30 days after my last post. November has been a crazily busy, but tremendously rewarding month for me professionally–more on that later this month.

Coincidentally enough that last post was also inspired by the same person: Rhea Drysdale. One of Rhea’s most recent entries is part of a thread that is blogging’s version of a look in the mirror. So without further ado, here are four ways that I think I could improve my blog — perhaps some of these can apply to you, too.

1) Post on a regular schedule. This doesn’t have to be 10 times a week, or even five times a week. It just needs to be regular enough that people recognize your name, and know when a new post is coming. For me, there’s the consideration of “how often do I have time to write a truly quality post” vs. “how often is there something happening in the industry that I want to write about.”

This month in particular, I’ve recognized that I’ve taken on too many clients for most of 2007. I simply don’t have as much time to blog as I would like or need. So in 2008, I’m going to reduce the amount of new business I take on. As Stoney deGeyter pointed out last week, blogging isn’t critical to every business, but it is critical to advancing your reputation in the industry, particularly if as many people are online as there are in the world of search!

2) Use pictures and graphics to illustrate my points. VanGogh had a great post last month about the power of graphics & illustrations and it’s time I took some of those points to heart. I do use screenshots and charts to help with my examples every now and then, but it would add a great deal of class and authority to institute a consistent image format and placement to help brand my blog.

3) Start reading up-and-comers. Not to whine, but it seems to me that a lot of bloggers are just recycling content these days. There are definitely exceptions, like Aaron Wall, Michael Gray, and Rand Fishkin, but some of the other established guys (and gals) seem to mostly be blogging about industry news these days, rather than down-and-dirty ideas from the trenches.

The SEOs with an established rep in the industry have this rep for a reason. But they also have a far smaller incentive to publicize truly revolutionary techniques—they’ve already got a following. If something’s working really great for them, they’re more likely to keep it to themselves for as long as they can in order to keep the search engines and other SEOs in the dark.

Up-and-comers, on the other hand, are more likely to make interesting (if not controversial) statements, recommendations, and findings, in an effort to make a name for themselves. These are the kinds of things that merit a response in the form of a detailed blog post and not just a link that says “Search Engine Land came out with a great story today. Click here to read it.”

Not only are you going to learn more interesting techniques and tidbits by reading less well-known bloggers, but by commenting and throwing some links at them, they’re more likely to see that you gave them a link and return the favor or subscribe to your feed.

4) Read Sphinn religiously (or whatever social media site is most popular in your own industry). Getting a sense for the kinds of stories that are popular in your industry enables you to create posts that other industry members are going to like. If you can come up with something juicy in a hot topic that others haven’t thought of before, your chance to develop your reputation (and link base) increases astronomically.

Hopefully you’ve found some of these ideas informative; I think I’m going to let this branch of the thread end with me since I’m once again so late to the game!