What are the best blogging platforms available?

Blogging is a great way to enhance your search engine performance and establish your authority in your industry. Businesses that blog get 434% more pages indexed in search engines. They also get 55% more visitors than those that don’t. So kudos to you for getting started!

Here are some of the main steps in starting a new blog:

Select a Platform

We always recommend WordPress as a blogging platform. There are many, many reasons why this is the ideal platform. It allows you to use your own domain name, unlike some platforms that have your blog on a subdomain of their own site. Furthermore, it’s easy to use but yet provides a professional look.

Once you have installed WordPress, there are a number of settings you’ll want to implement to ensure it’s operates properly and is SEO friendly:

  1. Set the www. Decide if you’re going to use the www or not and make it consistent across your site.
  2. Set your site so that search engines can index it.
  3. Set your URL structure.
  4. Configure your meta information – The Yoast SEO plugin makes this easy!
  5. Clean up your head code.
  6. Optimize your pages – Also done through Yoast SEO
  7. Decide whether to allow comments and configure blog accordingly. Remember to allow visitors to subscribe to comments. Remember to utilize a captcha to prevent SPAM comments.
  8. Implement open graph data using Yoast SEO
  9. Set up social sharing

Plan

Before you write a single post, you need to plan for success. Determine who you are, who your audience is, and the purpose of your blog.

Once you do that, you’ll want to create an editorial calendar. An editorial calendar helps ensure you post consistently with a variety of topics.

Having trouble coming up with blog topics? Compile a list of questions customers ask and write posts addressing those questions.

Get Tools

You need tools to help you create and maintain a successful blog:

  1. Listening tools. These help you determine what topics to explore on your blog. These include things like Google Alerts, RSS feeds, Hootsuite or Tweetdeck, etc.
  2. Idea storage bank. As soon as you have a good idea, you want to document it so you don’t forget. Tools like Evernote, a WordPress editorial calendar, or even a simple spreadsheet can provide a place to store these ideas.
  3. Distribution tools. You can’t expect people to just find your blog, even with great SEO. You’ll want tools like Buffer to promote posts on social media. You’ll also need an email service to send new posts to subscribers and an RSS feed for people who prefer to subscribe via RSS.

Write

Finally, it’s time to start writing. Using the editorial calendar you created, start creating posts.

When writing, remember to be epic with:

  1. Attention grabbing headlines
  2. Valuable content – create the best source on the internet for the topic
  3. User-friendly formatting
  4. Images and multi-media

Make Content Findable

Again, this is not a “build it and they will come” situation. You need to take extra steps to make sure your content gets eyeballs on it:

  1. Optimize for search engines. Do keyword research and make sure keywords are used in title tags and naturally in the content. Also write a compelling meta description that entice the click.
  2. Socialize content. Share your blog posts across the social networks on which you’re active.

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