Blogs will be a critical component to this course. Be prepared to put yourself out in there in the universe! Blogging is not for the faint at heart.
In preparation for the blogging assignments in this course I encourage you to read the articles I have bookmarked on my Delicious page under the tag, “Blogs”.
There are also articles in Google Docs in a Blogging folder that should be read and digested.
You will need to create a blog for this course. I recommend you use WordPress.com to set up your blog. A blog is a website that typically focuses on one specific topic, something niche, for which the owner can create fresh content on a regular basis. They are free and they allow for postings & comments from the audience. Blogs are also provide a means for making money (monetizing blogs).
What to blog about?
Blog postings should be fresh & relevant. You should blog about something you are interested in, you are an expert in, you have a passion for, or is one of your hobbies. It should come from a place of authenticity…it should be a topic about which you can write from the brain and the heart. Postings may be daily or weekly; try to keep your audience engaged and live up to their expectations.
Where to start
You need to come up with that niche topic. Need help? Go to Google News and see what the top stories are and if any of those strike a cord. Once you have nailed down your blog topic, continue to go to Google News and type in your keyword to see what other news items are being published about your topic. This is a GREAT way to feed off of existing traffic and build content on your blog. You may want to link to these articles and/or simply just read them and comment as a way to build content on your blog.
What you want to strive for is a uniqueness: be it a fresh perspective, insight, or a way to heighten/augment a topic that is already out there. Offer your own personal viewpoint or experience. Make it your own.
Be warned: plagiarism is not acceptable. Do not copy and paste others work into your blog. Read, digest, and thoughtfully comment on articles, or provide some analysis or critical thinking about what you have read. But do not plagiarize. Ever.
And now for some action. The following steps have been adopted from LadyBlogs.com.
You will need to:
- Download Firefox for your computer.
- Download SEO for Firefox.
- Click the “Download Now” button to download and install SEO Tools for Firefox
- At bottom of page create username & enter email address. Then click, “Sign up free” button
- Your username & password will be emailed to you.
- Log-in and then follow this link to down your Free SEO Tools
- You will find four different programs to download: Scroll down and install #4 Install SEO for Firefox. Click “Download now”
Getting started – Step 1
- brainstorm ideas for blog
- create a keyword list for your topic
Getting started – Step 2
- Go to Google Keyword Tool
- type keyword into search bar
- click “columns” and select Estimated Average CPC and Global Monthly Search Volume
- Rank the outcome (ideally you want CPC of $2.00 or more and Volume of >2000)
Getting started – Step #3
Using your newly installed Firefox browser, go to Google.com and type your keyword (for your blog) into the search bar. Make sure the SEO icon in the lower right hand corner is on (it will be in colour, versus black & white). Check out the organic listings (eg. SEO listings): here you will see TONS of information including Page Rank (PR), Delicious Bookmarks, Twitter mentions, etc. Like I said, TONS of analytics for you to bathe in.
Ideally, you want to now narrow down your keyword search to about 10 really strong and popular terms that will help you optimize your blog.
Other Helpful Tools
You may want to also consider using the following free tools to help you run analytics and optimize your blog:
- FireFox Rank Checker