The following is a guest post by Olga Ionel. Her bio is at the end of the article.
Blogging can be its own reward. It helps the blogger understand his subject—be it himself, his business, his hobby, or something else entirely—better than he did before. It improves the blogger’s writing ability. It encourages discipline, hard work, and consistency. And it’s fun.
But for most bloggers, that’s not all the rewards they have in mind. Most bloggers would like another thing, as well: A big, devoted following of readers. Having people read the content on your blog makes all the effort needed to create your content seem worthwhile. It provides a validation, gives your content a wider audience, and (if your blog is tied to a business) can make a serious difference in your bottom line.
So if you want more followers for your blog, here are several ways you can tweak your blogging habits or your WordPress themes to get a bigger audience for your blog.
This is an option on all WordPress blogs, and all it takes is a few clicks of the mouse. Trackbacks are links in your comments section to any other web page or blog that links to your content. Trackbacks are good for other bloggers because when your blog links to them, it increases their page rank and bumps them up the Google results.
Trackbacks are good for you because if bloggers know that linking to your site will result in a link backward to their site, they’ll be more likely to share your content with readers on their site. In a sense, trackbacks are a “you scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours” arrangement, and they’re good for everyone involved. If you’d rather, you can set TrackBacks so they appear at the bottom of your comments section, and don’t interrupt readers who want to see the comments first.
There are lots of questionable little tips and tricks to get your blog search engine optimized and bump it up the search rankings. This isn’t one of them. Putting your keywords in the title helps the search engine index your page in the right places, but even more importantly, it will draw in readers who are looking for that specific term.
Even if you aren’t ranked first in Google for a search term, you may be the first page that uses the keyword in its title. In those cases, your page may seem more relevant to search users, and they’ll be more likely to click through to your page and discover your content. This is a simple, tried-and-true method to get more search traffic, fast.
No, not the slimy things that slide along the ground. In blogging parlance, slugs are the hyphenated descriptions of your blog posts’ content that are used to create unique URLs for the articles you publish. A slug for an article about getting more WordPress followers might read something like this: Ten Tricks To Get More Reader On WordPress. The only difference is that a slug should have a hyphen between each word, not a space, so that it conforms to the standard format of URLs.
This is important for attracting the attention of search engine crawl bots, which look through your page and determine where it should be placed in the Google search results. If your slug is appropriate to your post’s content, and offers a good description of what is in the post, then search spiders will be more likely to classify your post (and your blog) as high quality work that should rank high in the search results. And that will mean more readers in very short order.
Olga Ionel is a writer at ThemeFuse.com, a leader in the premium WordPress themes industry. She is fond of sharing online marketing and blogging ideas.