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As it says on the box! Blogging Tips and Guide

October 7, 2017

Basic elements every blog should have

A blog is now a common part of every major website. Blogs used to be the domain of the lone writer or the personal diary. Now they are an integral part of any marketing strategy. The popularity of inbound marketing has seen every major brand launch or introduce a blog. Regardless of size, each and every blog should have a few important elements, here are a few of them:

Breadcrumbs

The Breadcrumbs display at the top of the page shows where the current page falls in the hierarchy of the site’s content. The first levels before the current page could be other pages or categories. Either way, it gives the user a sense of where they are. It is also one of the easiest elements to add. On some themes, it is a single option.

Categories

A list of categories on the sidebar is another important element. These categories are another form of navigation. A visitor can browse through the entire history of the site’s posts in a particular category until they find something of interest. Too many websites categorize posts, only to bury that category link somewhere on the page.

Search

Too many blogs have no search bar or one that does not work very well. When it does work, the results lack formatting, cannot be filtered by category or not descriptive enough. Some sites have simply pointed to Google Site Search instead. A good site-wide or blog-wide search is very important and is common point location for high bounce rates.

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January 1, 2016

How to get more backlinks for your blog

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The Google search ranking algorithm has changed many times over the years. Recent changes have seen machine learning used to distinguish better looking websites. Despite all these advances, most SEO experts still agree that the backlink is still the most important signal for ranking. The backlink and the corresponding anchor text are still as sought after as ever. Here are a few tips for getting more backlinks for your blog:

Blog comments

Commenting on other blogs that have do follow links allowed is still an effective method for getting backlinks. While these have been supposedly reduced in importance, it still counts as a backlink. One way to easily find sites that allow dofollow comments is to look for sites in your niche that have the commentluv plugin. These give both a link back to your site and a link to your latest post at the time of posting.

Directories

For a long time most webmasters abandoned directories as a source of backlinks due to the spammy nature of many. In a recent update the Google search team mentioned that links from directories were deemphasized further. Most read that to mean that directories still counted for some weight in the algorithm.

Press releases

Although an old tool, press releases can be a source of backlinks. Especially to the general domain. These domain directed links are still important as a ranking signal. However, you will need some form of announcement to be able to commision a press release.

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December 31, 2012

3 Tips to Find Your Own Unique ‘Writing Voice’

One of the most important elements of launching a successful blog of your own is finding your own unique voice. There’s just no other way.

Simply put, your unique ‘writing voice’ is the manner in which you write that will enable your reader to ‘hear’ you even though your blog consists only of words and sentences.

So, here are 3 tips that will help you find your own unique ‘writing voice’:

#1: Write as if you are talking

One simple way to know whether you did write like you talk is by reading what you write aloud. If it doesn’t sound like you, then it’s time to go back to the drawing board again.

When working on a blog, it’s a good idea to record yourself speaking about the topic before you write it out. When you’re done writing the blog, you’ll notice the difference!

#2: Forget about conventions initially

Writing, for all practical purposes, conveys a message in clear and simple English. However, in adhering to ‘standard English’ strictly, and that would please your high school teacher, this could result in the stifling of your creativity.

So, when you write your first draft, free yourself by writing in a free-flowing manner minus these rules especially if ignoring them conveys your message far more clearly.

#3: Write about what you know

One of the biggest mistakes that bloggers can make is to pick topics that are popular or sound smart. The problem with this is that the resulting effort does not bring out their unique voice or style but merely a reproduction of facts that they even get wrong sometimes. The reason for this is because these topics are not dear to their hearts.

So, it goes without saying that in order for one to write – they must write about they know and feel passionately about.

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April 12, 2012

Content Writing Tips & Process

If you think content writing is more or less a stream-of-consciousness rant, then think again. In fact, it’s just the opposite – no matter whatever type of writing you produce, there has always been a process that professional writers tend to use.

So, here are 5 steps of the Writing Process that you can use:

#1: Prewriting

While some writers are caught staring blankly at their computer screen, others begin to work on building the story idea such as what angle they could take or even the sub-topics they could include in the article before writing the article itself.

#2: Writing

With the structure and direction of the writing planned in the previous stage, this one includes writing (or fleshing) it out. It is advisable that the matters like word count, spelling, grammar and punctuation should not be worried about in this stage.

#3: Revising

This part is about making changes to the writing by removing, adding, replacing or rearranging information that might make a difference to the writing itself, and how it is perceived by the readers themselves. Every writer MUST work on this step, no matter how talented they are.

#4: Editing

This step involves checking the sentences you’ve constructed or the words that have been used in the writing, and whether or not, it contributes to the piece or takes the attention away from it. Clarity of thought, flawless spelling, punctuation and grammar as well as the lack of repetition of words are some ways by which you can edit your writing work for better understand overall.

#5: Publishing

This could mean different things to different people. While bloggers need to add a post, students need to produce a final copy of that essay on paper to their teachers. Journalists have to submit their finished piece to editors.

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April 3, 2012

5 Timeless Content Writing Tips from Masters of the Written Word

How would you like to write better?

No, this is not just for writers but for those who communicate using the written word as well, using the mediums of text messages, instant messaging and email. In that sense, we’re all writers.

So, here are 5 timeless content writing tips from masters of the written word:

#1: Write all the time

The only way that anyone can get better with writing (or communicating) is by writing continuously rather than sporadically, and from time to time. Great writers claim that writers who can’t wait to write when they have a free minute are actual writers.

#2: Keep it simple

It’s easier to write with complexity rather than to write with simplicity. Writing is anything but long and drawn out. Yet when you are able to communicate your thoughts in the simplest way possible, the effectiveness of your writing becomes evident – through your readers.

#3: Thrive on Criticism

Your readers are the ones who will either tell you whether you are writing well or aren’t. And it is a good thing that some of the best writer didn’t trust the praise but actually made the most of heckling that comes with this profession.

#4: Cut the boring parts out

Your goals when writing anything should be to get the reader’s attention. Usually with the short attention span over the internet, it becomes important that what you are publishing is of use or interesting or both. So remove anything from the write up that feels boring, and which people would skip.

#5: Eliminate unnecessary words

Words like extremely, really, actually and very are not the wisest words that you can add in a write up. It doesn’t do anything but get in the way of expressing your thought clearly.

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February 21, 2012

How to Write Creatively for Boring B2B Topics

Creative content writing is easiest especially when the topics in question are about sports, entertainment, technology or even fashion. How about toilet seats? Garbage cans?

Yes, writing (and selling) these topics can seem extremely difficult and really boring. More often than not, it’s downright boring but the truth is that you can turn things around by changing your approach a bit.

Here are three tips by which you can still continue to write creatively especially when you have boring B2B topics:

#1: Problem-Solving approach

Almost every product or service fills a need or solves a problem. One of best ways by which you can stay relevant and create interesting content is focus on the problems and solutions that your potential customers might need.

Writing about your product all the time will skew your views on what is important and what isn’t. What this approach will do is make you a resource that customers will come to – paving the way for more business.

#2: Stay Relevant

Again, staying focused on your product or service results in not remaining relevant to the changing times. You have to know how to connect what your business offers to what the world cares about at the moment. This will take some creativity to make these connections.

#3: Develop content as media would

One interesting way by which you can create content is by taking a media-like approach. Conducting interviews with government authorities, respected experts and even CEOs will interest potential customers, no matter how boring the business is. Not only will you have interested customers but you can pitch your business to the company itself indirectly with a thank you note.

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January 29, 2012

3 Common Writing Mistakes to Avoid

Error-free content writing should be the aim of any good writer. Why is this so? Making even the simplest of errors can cause you to look dumb. Do you think people would like to read what you’ve written if you make irritating errors that can get on people’s nerves.

It doesn’t sound like fun but check your copy for errors is absolutely vital, and so here are 3 common mistakes that you should avoid:

content writting

#1: Apostrophe Usage

There are two instances when you use the apostrophe and that is in the case of contractions (don’t, can’t) as well as to indicate possession (Danny’s car). It is better to leave the apostrophe out especially when you’re in doubt instead of adding one where it doesn’t belong. That way you can always get away with a ‘typo’ instead of looking like you don’t know what you are doing.

#2: Parallelism

This concept comes into play when you are making a list. So the rule is to start each action item under every bullet point with the same part of speech. For example, if the part of speech that you’ve started the first bullet point is a verb such as ‘deliver’, ensure that every other bullet point starts with a verb as well.

#3: Me and I Usage

People often are confused between the usage of ‘Me’ and ‘I’ and this will result in using ‘I’ instead of ‘Me’ and vice-versa. How you can determine which of these two should be used is to remove the other ‘person’ from the sentence, and you’ll know which one you should use.

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