Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur the contributors are theirs.
According to GrowthBadger, over 3 billion blog posts are published each year. In the United States alone, some 31 million bloggers post at least once a month. For many businesses and influencers, this tool has become a lifeblood, helping drive web traffic and brand awareness and dramatically influencing sales.
Of course, there’s more to successful messaging than just typing thoughts into a Word document. The process is surprisingly tech-heavy, and making sure these technical aspects work properly is key to providing an enjoyable reading experience.
1. Use Google search to find SEO keywords
Search engine optimization is heavily focused on using relevant keywords to improve search rankings. Topics chosen for blog entries should be relevant to the site as a whole, so of course you can include the keyword in the blog title and content. And while you won’t get much success with short keywords like “shoes”, long keywords can be a powerful way to boost SEO rankings.
Luckily, you don’t have to do any tech-heavy research to find them. As best-selling author and podcaster Jeff Goins recommends in a recent blog entry, “Use Google Suggest, also known as AutoComplete. When you start typing a word into Google and it fills in the rest of the search for you, it’s Google Suggest at Before you finish, you’ll see the most relevant phrases (and the occasional ridiculous results.) Start here before diving into more advanced forms of keyword research.
Related: How to choose your first SEO keywords
2. Use Plugins to Incorporate Additional Features
If you’ve spent a lot of time browsing blogs, you’ve no doubt seen a wide variety of features added in addition to text: video embeds, social sharing features, interactive polls, and contact forms are just a few used to make the content more engaging. Although this process may seem complex, it can be done through user-friendly plugins that allow you to take a more “drag and drop” approach to formatting.
No matter what platform you use to host or build your blog, a variety of plugins or widgets can streamline the user experience and help a site look more professional and user-friendly. The task then is to figure out which features would benefit your audience the most, as well as which ones will enhance a particular message.
3. Engage new visitors by pinning high-performing content
As Jesse Schoberg writes for DropInBlog, “A visitor to your site will likely enter through one of your many blog posts. They then click through to your site and see what else you have and are bombarded with information. A pinned post can serve as a great entry point into your site. You can pin the post with the highest conversion rate to the top or just a general post introducing the site to your user. The pinned post works the same way than a sign on a storefront. It should be something inviting or exciting to draw your reader further into your site.”
You can review your website metrics to identify posts with higher performance metrics, such as views, shares, or comments, and/or select based on what you think will be of most interest to your readers (like a contest or giveaway), or evergreen content that serves as a solid introduction to your business.
Related: Why blogging should be on your weekly to-do list this year
4. Let the coding happen in the background
There are a variety of platforms to host a purely blog-oriented website, some of which can add blog content to a pre-existing website, and you don’t need to hire an IT team to achieve this. Many platforms use drag-and-drop design features or allow you to copy and paste specific code to perform the appropriate update. By using these tools, the coding aspect of a blog mostly happens in the background. This not only ensures that text, images, and other content displays correctly when published, but also that transferring a blog post to the live version of your site doesn’t spoil anything elsewhere. The key is to select a platform with publishing and editing features that you are comfortable with based on your level of technological expertise.
5. Make it easy to share
Sharing blog content is essential for reaching and growing a target audience. As mentioned earlier, a widget can allow readers to share the content they like through their own accounts, and using other automation tools streamlines the process of sharing content through your own social media accounts.
By ensuring that blog content is automatically shared to your accounts after it is posted, you don’t have to worry about the technicalities of copying the link correctly and planning an engaging social media post. . By automating this process, you can spend more time focusing on creating material that will get subscribers to click.
Related: Social media engagement is where the magic happens for your business
When all the technical aspects of a blog are properly in place, you don’t have to worry about glitches and errors disrupting the reading experience. You can be sure that the content will be delivered to readers in a compelling way, while providing them with the ability to easily share it with those around them.