The Blog Reality: "If ...


blogging field of dreams

I’ve periodically addressed how to give your storytelling in a blog a fighting chance to find an audience through search engines.

A colleague recently asked me to take a look at her blog and offer immediate thoughts on how she might improve traffic.

Here’s the note with some minor “clean-up” which might have relevance for others.

Dear Lost in Traffic,

Competition for online attention is downright brutal.

At the risk of stepping onto a soapbox —

Many people associate the quality of a blog to fame; i.e., the more famous you are, the better the blog.

That’s partly why the self-publishing of books has skyrocketed. These folks often don’t have much of substance to say. Instead, the book delivers “street cred” which in turn brings more people to the site.

Short of writing a book, here are a few suggestions.

When I go into your source code on your blog home page, I can see the title tag is the name of your blog.

This wastes valuable real estate.

If people already know the name of your blog, they’re going to find you.

The meta data doesn’t actually show up to the visitor and should capture keywords/phrases that would bring relevant traffic to your blog.

And these same keywords/phrases should also be applied to the meta keywords on your home page. Right now, I can see this function isn’t even used.

When you plug the name of your blog into Google, look at the description that does publicly show up to potential visitors. Are these the right words to encourage the person to click?

At the 10K-foot level, you need think of yourself as both the editor and publisher. As an editor, you’re doing terrific. I would say the publishing side needs more of a promotional mentality … which doesn’t have to come at the expense of your narrative.

I wrote on this topic “There’s Enough Room In This Town For Both Storytelling And Keywords” and put together a post that includes a SlideShare deck called “If You Build It, They Generally Won’t Come,” which might be useful.

Of course, you want to make sure you’re getting the right (relevant) people. In our case, I’m looking to expand the Agency’s reputation for storytelling in the corporate world, so I focus on “storytelling techniques” and derivatives of “business storytelling.”

Traffic aside, I still view the blog as a creative outlet that’s enjoyable. Being an introverted smart ass, the blog also serves as an outlet.

I suppose what I’m saying is it’s OK to be a little selfish and factor this into what you want out of your blog.

Good luck.

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