Here are my rantings on internet marketing. I've given some good advice in some articles, and others, well. Take a look for yourself.
Blog » A guide to being awesome at blogging
In a world of free media where everyone can be their own media outlet, thanks to many avenues becoming easier and easier to use, there are some obstacles still holding people back. It’s one thing to write, but being noticed is another.
This article will outline some very simple techniques to overcome these obstacles and be on your way to the next Arianna Huffington.
More often than not people turn to WordPress. It’s easy to use and common, so updates are frequent. The problem is that if you really want to use the power of WordPress, you need to know some code or you will run into problems. There are some other platforms other than WordPress that give a much better user experience.
Rainmaker: Many explain this platform as the MAC version of WordPress. It’s completely straight forward and when you login, it’s extremely similar to WordPress. I’d watch out for this platform to be honest, it’s about to go off in 2015. Link: http://newrainmaker.com/
Ghost: This CMS is a writers heaven and won awards during 2014. I would go for the paid solution if you’re not a coder, and if you are, then grab that source code, but install it on a fast SSD server as it will struggle on shared servers. Link: https://ghost.org/
Tumblr: This is a forgotten platform that people seem to relate to Taylor Swift and Hipsters with Gifs. The reality is that it’s a simple platform that comes with themes and options to attach a domain name. If you just want simplicity and a small cost, this should be an option. Link: https://www.tumblr.com/
This section confuses a lot of people and they really struggle to understand it. I’ll be honest, I've been working as a full-time SEO and online marketing manager for years, and I still don’t completely understand it. As a writer, you don’t need to know the technical parts of SEO, just content basics.
I will make this as simple as possible. As a journalist you probably learn that the first sentence should summarize the subject of the article. This is true, but to add one extra element, you should add your targeted keyword in the start of that sentence. A target keyword is the search phrase used to find something. You can read more about that here.
All the sections you should place your keyword are; title of your post, description of your post and the first sentence of your post. Note that if you mention your keyword too often, that’s called “keyword stuffing” and you won’t rank for shit. Use this keyword analyzer to assess your density and a god target density for your keyword is 1%.
Often people will ask “Nick, how to you get so many hits to your websites?” I respond “skills mate, skills.” The actual answer is press release distribution and content marketing. This is beyond the general public, unless you have a tone of capital and time, with expertise in the field. If you’re looking to get quick results, then you need to find a great SEO consultant with Public Relations experience *cough* click here *cough* and ask for a quote on content marketing. I’ll tell you now, each vertical is different and costing varies based on what you need.
If you want take on the task yourself, then I suggest looking into PR Newswire for Press Releases and Slideshare for content. The best form of content marketing is doing some outreach to people via twitter. That should get you started.
If you’re a journalist in today’s day and age, and you don’t know about social media, you might want to take a refresher course. If you're in Sydney, I suggest you head over to Petersham TAFE and see what's happening. If you're located somewhere else, then go down to your local College or University and ask about refresher courses or short courses.
If you are familiar with it, then you’re going to want to be active on Google Plus, Twitter and Facebook. That is the minimum.
I’ll give you one secret though. Go sign up to IFTTT and learn how to use that, you’ll save yourself a lot of posting time. Automation is the key here so you can spend your time on engagement and responding to comments.
Now let’s talk Google Plus. If you place your blogs link inside the Contributor section for your Google Plus profile, then you can add a rel=author link inside your blog. See the video to know more. If you don’t see the video or use a MAC, then click here.
Here is a handy tool to generate your code for Google Authorship Markup. http://www.coderseo.com/authorship-markup
The final touch is to add your website to Google Webmaster Tools. Unfortunately Google have removed the Authorship stats, however, you can monitor any errors and force your site to be indexed. Once you've added your website and verified it, you’re going to want to submit your sitemap. Next is to navigate down to Crawl and then Fetch as Google. When you click fetch and everything checks out, then click index and select all pages.
If you're feeling adventurous, add Google Analytics to your website also as it will give you referral traffic data and you can set goals.
Sweet! Now you know the absolute basics for creating a blog, formatting articles using SEO and resources for gaining exposure. The next step is to put all that magic onto the web and gain some readers. Don't forget me when you're famous!
I’m serious about the press release and content marketing by the way, I've had years of experience and are always willing to help out fellow journalists. Throw me a message and we can work something out.
I'm a digital marketing and SEO consultant based in Sydney, Australia. I drink a lot of coffee and spend most of my time working on clients websites and improving their search visibility.