As you probably know by now, I recently joined Globe Runner as a Senior SEO Strategist. This makes me a new contributor to the Globe Runner’s blog, and I am quite happy to be able to contribute blog posts as often as I can. As a new contributor to our company blog, though, there were several things that I needed to do that will help the blog in the future. So, I’ve put together a checklist of what you, as a new blog contributor, need to do.
Get Your Login – First and foremost, if the blog is hosted on WordPress or another CMS, you will need your own login. Get with someone who is your blog’s administrator or someone who has admin rights to the blog and get them to create your new account. Without an account, you won’t be able to post.
Understand The Process – Make sure you understand the process of posting on the blog. If it’s a company blog, make sure that you understand the process of posting, as the Editor of the blog may want to review all blog posts before they’re posted. Some blogs may not need prior reviews and may give you free reign to post whatever you want to post (within reason, of course). But whatever the case, you need to understand that what is being posted on the blog is a reflection of the company or the blog owner, and it’s not your personal blog. You’re a contributor.
Set Up Your Profile – In WordPress, each author and, essentially, each user, has a profile. Make sure you fill it out completely, as best as you can. I really like to include a unique bio, don’t just copy and paste a bio from somewhere else on the web. If you do, it will be duplicate content (which is bad for SEO, especially Google). If you need to use a generic bio, then consider making it longer or much shorter than the usual bios that you have out there on the web. If you can, make sure you link out to your Google Plus profile. This will help with verifying Google Authorship, which I’ll mention later.
Verify Google Authorship – There are a few ways to do this, but generally speaking you need to link your blog bio and/or your blog posts to your Google Plus profile page. Then, log into Google Plus and go to your profile page and edit the “about” section. You’ll need to add a link from your Google Plus profile back to the website. I prefer to add the link to the site’s home page in case my content will also appear as an article on the site, as well. You should mark the link as a “contributor” to the blog in this case. After all, you are a contributor, not the site owner.
Write a very quick, one-sentence bio – At the end of each blog post, I prefer to include a one-sentence quick “bio”. And I then link it over to my Google Plus profile page. When someone is done reading your blog post, it gives then a place to go, which is really an “action item” for them to do. It’s a classic “call to action” which is to follow you on Google Plus. You can also provide a link to your Twitter account, as well. But adding a link to your Google Plus profile will help with Google Authorship, as well. This way there’s a good chance that your photo will appear in the search results, right next to your blog post.
Start Posting – Find out about the blog’s editorial calendar if there is one. At one company I used to work for, the company’s blog editor set up dates of when each employee was supposed to make a blog post. There was a large group of blog contributors, so it worked well. But in smaller groups, it may not work as well. I prefer to add a blog post whenever it’s appropriate. And the more often you post the better.
Make a List of Topics – If you’re not a prolific blogger that comes up with blog post ideas all the time like I do, then make a list of possible blog post topics. If you need to, then make a list of topics, come up with article titles, and then outsource the writing. I’ve actually done that before because I didn’t have time to write all the content I needed to write. I outsourced the writing, I edited the blog post and then posted it myself. By the way, I’m not the prolific blog post contributor that many people think that I am: I just look at blogging differently than most.
Get in the Mood – When I say “get in the mood”, I really mean it. You have to want to contribute to a blog, and you have to get in the mood of writing blog posts. Naturally, continue to do your daily tasks. Whatever it is, go ahead and go about your daily business. Do what you do. Let take, for example, someone who does PPC (Pay Per Click). Well, you and I know that there are always changes happening in Google AdWords, for example. Whenever Google makes a change that will affect a lot of people or they change the interface, for example, make a screen capture of it: and then write a quick blog post about it. It doesn’t have to be some long blog post like this one I’m posting right now, but in fact there’s no reason why a new change that affects others doing PPC shouldn’t be a blog post.
After 10+ years of blogging, I have come to realize that even the smallest things can (and should) be blogged. In fact, whenever I notice a change to the Google search results I post something about it. I prefer to do a quick screen capture and then write a little bit about it. It’s those small insignificant things that don’t seem like a big deal: those are the things that end up being “big deal” type blog posts that everyone talks about and links to and they then end up going viral and taking web servers down.
Don’t forget to link – Don’t forget to link to your blog, your blog profile (your bio) page, and even your blog posts. If you have other on-topic blogs or other on-topic websites, then why not post on your other blog about the fact that you’re now contributing to this other blog? You might have blog readers that might also start following you on the new blog, as well. You never know.
These obviously are just a few things that you need to be aware of when you start contributing to a new blog. Probably the biggest issue that I have noticed, though, is that posting on a regular basis is probably the single-most “best” thing you can do when it comes to being a new contributor. The more often you post the quicker you’ll get the blog posts indexed and the more traffic that you’ll see to the blog. And don’t forget to share your new blog posts on the social sites, on Google Plus, and on Twitter.
So what are you waiting for? Why haven’t you posted anything yet?
Bill Hartzer is Globe Runner’s Senior SEO Strategist. Follow him on Google Plus.