I’ve been working through Rob Benwell’s Blogging to the Bank 2.0 and came across his 5 Blogging Commandments. I thought I would paraphrase them here for you (somewhat heavily), as I think they’re a useful reminder for us all.
1. Imitate Nature. People don’t naturally write with 20% keyword densities! Write naturally, on topic, and don’t stress the SEO too too much. The search engines are looking for real content that people find valuable, and as long as you’re producing that, one way or another, sooner or later you’ll be in them.
2. Add Some Visitor Value. Each post should provide a reader with some value. It doesn’t have to be mind-bendingly brilliant each time, but it shouldn’t be drivel either. Make it something people are interested in reading, even if it is short. RSS vomit is not that something. Make it interesting, and make it you.
3. Make it Sticky. Give people a reason to come back over and over. Make your RSS signup easily accessible, give them something to read, and over time you’ll build up your readership.
4. Don’t let it Die. Update your blog, even with short posts, from time to time. Dont’ let it stagnate because traffic will as well. Posting every day or week isn’t necessarily necessary, but posting never is a guaranteed recipe for failure.
5. Market = Profit. If you’re out to monetize your blog, make sure you pick your market. Preferably pick one you’re interested in, (that will make writing a much much easier chore) and also pick one with good sales potential.
Some quickie ideas for market research (more in a future post):
Research keyword search traffic on SEOBook.com. Research available affiliate opportunities (ie on Clickbank). Find out whether people are talking about your niche online (search google for your topic + “forum”). Check Amazon to see if the market is selling products like hotcakes, and if so, what complimentary products are those customers buying?