Use Google Webmaster Tools To Examine The Google Data For Your Blog

Why should I examine the Google data for my blog?

The effort and brain time you spend blogging is precious. Therefore, it makes sense for you to also spend a little time to ensure that Google is able to effectively crawl and index your blog. Right? [Read more…]

Use Google Analytics To Your Advantage

Sign up for a Google Analytics account if you don’t have already have one!

Step 1: Go to http://www.google.com/analytics/. If you already have a Google account you can log in with that. All Google products/services can be accessed through one Google account.

If you don’t have one then you must create a Google Account right away. Once your account is created, go ahead and follow the steps to add your blog profile.

Step 2: Install the Yoast Google Analytics For WordPress Plugin. How to: Go to your admin panel, plugins, add new, in the search box type in Google Analytics for WordPress, choose the one by Yoast. Once installed a message will pop up and say:

Google Analytics is not active. You must select which Analytics Profile to track before it can work.” Click the URL to select the Google Analytics profile to track. It will connect with your Google Analytics account where you can choose from the list of accounts that you have set up in Google Analytics already.

It’s very important to take this step – this will be your gateway to web analytics.

Install The Yoast WordPress SEO Plugin and Create Your Meta Tags

Having the ability to set unique meta tags (title tag, description tag, and even the keyword tags) is a key factor in your WordPress SEO  journey. [Read more…]

Change Your URLs To Show Pretty Permalinks

Wondering exactly what it means to set pretty permalinks on your blog? [Read more…]

Blogging Etiquette Step 1: Gravatar or Else!

OK, so my BIGGEST blogging pet peeve is when I see a headless person leaving comments on a blog. [Read more…]

How To Set The Permalinks On Your New Blog

Setting the permalinks on your new blog is an extremely important task. So please, take a few moments before you launch your blog to tweak your permalinks settings.

What Are My Permalinks?

Your permalinks are simply the url’s that are generated by your blog. Every time you publish a new page or post on your blog it will have it’s own unique permalink that is displayed in the address bar of the browser. Even the media you upload to your blog will have permalinks.

The default permalink structure in WordPress generates pretty ugly URLS: http://thebloglaunch.com/blog/?p=123

The custom options on the other hand you allow you to choose from a set of very specific options:

WordPress Permalink Settings

Why Set My Permaliks? 

Simply put, you should set your permalinks so that your URL’s are being presented in a nice, clean, readable format.

How Do I Set My Permalinks?

Simple! Inside your WordPress dashboard navigate to settings, permalinks and choose the option you like.

Need to learn more? Visit the WordPress Codex info section on Permalinks.

What Are The Benefits of Setting My Permalinks?

  1. Your blog URL’s will be easy for people to read.
  2. Google will be able to crawl your content and rank it accordingly as words are more useful to search engines.
  3. Your data in Google Analytics will be easy to interpret ie., http://thebloglaunch.com/blog/?p=123 vs’ http://thebloglaunch.com/blog/about.

For more in-depth information about your blog’s permalink settings I found this great post titled, “WordPress Permalinks for SEO and Speed“.

So what are your thoughts about permalinks? What permalink structure do you prefer for your blog and why?

Choose your Blog Categories and Descriptions Wisely

As mentioned in the post titled, “Fill In Everything You Can On Your New Blog” it’s very important to choose your categories and describe them carefully.

Although there is no “norm” for the number of categories you choose to create for your blog when doing so keep in mind that you can also create sub-categories.

To keep your blog focused and less cluttered looking it may be wise to limit the number of main categories. On this blog I have chosen 9 main categories and only 2 sub-categories thus far. However, as time goes on I have the opportunity to add more sub-categories if required.

Once you publish a post under a specific category it is possible to change it at a later time. However, one of the consequences may end up being a dead link. If another blogger chooses to link to that post and you are using a category based permalink structure and change the category then that link may no longer work.

A great way to determine what categories you should have on your blog is to align them with the key topics that you want to focus your content on. If this is a business blog, then aligning your categories with your key business indicators is also a smart choice.

Create a spreadsheet and list your key topics down one column and add a second column called description down the next column. While you are adding in your topics briefly describe what each topic will be about. Once this process is complete you can then choose which topics will be used as your blog categories. Plus, the category descriptions will already be created as well!

What process has worked for you to create your blog categories?

Writing and Syndicating a Blog Press Release

Have you ever thought about writing a press release to announce the launch of your new blog?

It’s a great way to “get your blog out there” and helps to officially launch your blog.

Take a look at a few of the latest news releases I found about launching a blog:

Notice there is sort of a common theme here? These press releases are all highlighting the benefits that these new blogs will bring to their readers:

  • Connect with patients
  • Share more tips
  • Helps Employers Maximize Top Asset– Their Employees
  • tracks ‘best practices in digital journalism’
  • a new resource for those looking to improve their odds while dating
  • Moms Who Wine (http://momswhowine.wordpress.com/), is not only quenching the thirst of stressed-out moms, but is also offering a respite from hectic family and work life with humorous stories and words of encouragement.

To help get started on your press release I rounded up a few press release templates for you:

  1. Social Media News Release Template
  2. Instant Press Release
  3. Press Release 101 for Mompreneurs: Free Template Included!
  4. Google Docs Press Release Template

I also complied a list of sites where you can syndicate your press release.

So what would be the headline of your blog’s press release? How will your blog benefit your readers?

Why Is Your Blog Important To Me?

This is the main question your potential readers will be wondering upon landing on your blog for the first time.

So, as a new blogger how can you illustrate to a brand new reader why your blog is important to them?

Well, the answer could lie in a whole number of things… But for me as a blog reader the following elements are what I first take a quick peek at even before the content:

  • Your blog’s title and tagline.
  • Your blog’s header graphic.
  • Your about me page.
  • Your picture and bio.

And if  any of these elements reach out to me and I can relate to any one of them then I will move on to the content…

If the content is organized, well polished, and resonates well with me I will be sure to subscribe to the feed and sign up for any other updates that the blog may offer. Plus, I am likely to post comments, share articles and spread the awesomeness of the blog with those in my circles who I know will find value in it.

On the other hand, if the content is disorganized, cluttered, has glaring grammatical mistakes and is not very informative or interesting then I will simply move on.

So, as a new blogger these are a few fundmental ways to illustrate why your blog is important to your new readers.

How have you been able to grab a new readers attention on your blog? Please share your tips and ideas!

Publishing your Inaugural Blog Posts

Once your new blog is ready to go you will want to publish your inaugural posts. Although there are no “rules of engagement” for new bloggers, it is a good idea to have a few posts ready to publish right off the bat.

For this blog, I published a series of 10 posts upon launch. The reason I choose to do it this way was so I would have a nice chuck of fresh content on the blog once my first readers landed here.

This would give them an inkling of what to expect going forward and hopefully give them a good reason to subscribe to my RSS feed so they will keep coming back!

I have also learned to ask a question at the end of each post. What better way to encourage readers to comment and share their thoughts, ideas, and experiences!

Also, don’t forget to choose your categories, add in your tags, fill in your extra SEO meta tags and choose the author (if there is more then one) before you hit publish.

How did you publish your inaugural blog posts?  Did you publish 1 post or a series of posts? What worked/didn’t work?