You’ve landed on this page because you’re determined to broaden your knowledge of social media marketing, namely blogging with WordPress, and I commend your proactivity.
Social media marketing is all about connecting with people based on shared interests, which is commonly done via blogs. Almost like a digital soapbox, blogs provide a transparent, fluid medium for the transfer of thoughts/information. Additionally, a blog is often viewed as the mother ship of social media — it houses content that is dispersed to social channels (Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc.). When you really think about it, how can a social media campaign survive without a blog?
This article will highlight 10 tips for creating one kick butt WordPress blog that not only functions properly, but attracts a large following.
1) Self-Hosting — I don’t mean to shoot down any past marketing efforts or cause dollar signs to fly across your path, though you must self-host a WordPress blog to achieve the results you’re longing for. You want full control of the blog, including: plugins, design, software updates, etc.
2) Plugins — Start your blog off right by utilizing the many plugins available. I suggest the following:
- Google Analyticator
- StatPress Reloaded
- Facebook Share (button)
- Topsy Retweet Button
- Google XML Sitemaps
- HeadSpace 2
3) Time/Date — To ensure a WordPress blog uses the proper timezone, go to the settings tab then click on general. Adjust the timezone and the way you want the date to appear.
4) Pinging — WordPress automatically notifies site update services that new content has been posted to a blog, but they unfortunately include a small number of default pinging services. Additional pinging services can be found via Google. Visit the writing settings to make adjustments.
5) Commenting — Under the discussion tab of the settings menu, be sure to check the box for “a comment is held for moderation.” You don’t want comments to be automatically approved and displayed on the site. Taking things one step further, there are commenting plugins (e.g. Disqus) that help eliminate comment spam.
6) Permalinks — Modify the permalink structure so keywords are displayed in the URLs, not meaningless numbers. I always choose “month and name” for a few reasons, which I’ll cover in another article. Permalink settings are found under the ingeniously named permalink section.
7) Categories — Hold your horses, don’t go category crazy. A big mistake new bloggers make is adding tons of categories, which clutters the blog and enrages the SEO gods. Bad move!
8) Tags — When adding content to a blog, steer clear of tags. Most beginner bloggers add tags like they’re going out of fashion, but in the end it hurts more than helps. I covered the tag dilemma in an article titled: “WordPress SEO Rant: ‘Tags’ Can Actually Hurt Ranking.”
9) Meta Information — Use HeadSpace2 (or another SEO plugin) to modiy the meta information for every static page and every post. Search engines crawl websites for information, so it’s imperative to remove default info. I see the dreaded, yet easily rectified, “Just another WordPress blog” title all the time.
10) Have Fun! — If you’re not enjoying yourself, why begin a journey that has the potential to consume your life? Blogging takes a lot of work and you must have a passion for what you’re doing.
The Brainchild Group
Aaron Schoenberger is Founder of The Brainchild Group — a world-renowned Internet marketing agency that specializes in Social Media Marketing and Search Engine Optimization (SEO). He’s known for his work with celebrities, top restaurants, automotive manufacturers, professional athletes, educational institutions, luxury brands and Fortune 500 companies.