1. Content (Useful, informative, free, and easy to understand)
If you offer well written, original, easy to understand information, spiced up with good imagery, the chances of getting quality links, social media exposure and high spots in SERPs are bigger. The whole point of the Internet is finding useful, relevant, free information. Everything is about information. If you’re able to convey it in a manner that stands out from the crowd you’re automatically step ahead from the others in the pool.
2. Basic SEO
I vouch for the fact that you don’t have to be a SEO expert to rank your site high on Google search. Just several things to remember here:
- include meta title tags,
- optimal and natural usage of keywords,
- provide good link bait article titles,
- simple navigation through out the site,
- proper usage of H1, H2 and H3 tags,
- include sitemap,
- use Google Webmaster Tools and Google Analytics to gain insight on what works and what’s not,
- use robots.txt file,
- proper permalink structure,
- avoid duplicate content (CMS issue),
- use canonical tags.
- read the Google SEO Starter Guide (PDF).
You want more eyeballs on your website, and you want them to stick with it more often. Except offering quality content you’ll need some good graphics for your site. Number one tip: If you’re serious about your site don’t use free, generic template. I would go even further. Don’t use paid template that is available online for others to buy. Pay someone to design a unique website for you. It doesn’t need to be jaw dropping and very expensive. A simple, pretty enough, and unique look would be good for starters.
Whatever you do, you have to be more innovative, original, have a better design, better content than your competitors. Simply try to beat the competition. Use them to learn what works for them, and what doesn’t. Don’t be antagonistic towards them. Instead try to befriend them and let them become your mentors. They rule your niche at this moment. Learn what they did in order to achieve what they are now. That doesn’t mean just to read their blogs daily, but to investigate what they are doing. Where is their presence, who is linking to them, what CMS are they using, their SEO etc.
Promote your site whenever you have a chance to do it, but do not exaggerate (don’t be a spammer). Also several things to remember here:
- use Facebook, Twitter, Google+, or any other social platform popular at the moment,
- comment on other blogs related to your niche,
- be active on forums,
- guest post frequently on well established blogs,
- pay for ads if you really have to (Adwords).
This will certainly lead to significant exposure of your site. If you have the previous 4 points in place it’s just a matter of time when the ball starts rolling.
Make your site load fast as much as possible. This is important from two aspects: user experience and a SEO factor. Several things to remember:
- Use good server
- Optimize your code,
- Optimize the images,
- Use sprites,
- Use tools such as Google Speed, YSlow, Web Page Test, Pingdom,
- Gzip and minify your pages and static components where possible,
- Make your pages cacheable (both server and browser side),
- Use CDN for static content,
- If you’re using scripts, prefer asynchronous loading or place them at the bottom,
- Avoid redirects,
- Read in details what Google and Yahoo have to say about it.
7. E-mail addresses and RSS subscribers
Usually young webmasters and bloggers are overwhelmed with information and it might happen to forget to implement thing or two or they may think that some of the tips are irrelevant and not worth. So remember, capture e-mail addresses and get people to subscribe to your feed early. Two-three years from now (if you’re good) you might have 50k email list and 50k RSS Subcribers. And that is a big valuable asset. Trust me.
This is the cherry on top of the cake. It’s time to gather the fruits of your labor. I’ll suggest don’t do it early. Wait some time until your blog gets traction. The possibilities are virtually endless and experimentation is the key. There are basically three main methods to get money out of your blog/site:
- Placing ads (CPC, CPM, CPA, CPV). Basically you need click, page view, action or video view in order to get paid.
- Promoting affiliate products.
- Selling you own products (ebooks, membership websites, services — design, coding, coaching, etc).
Of course these 8 tips are not everything you should have in mind but I would say they’re essential. Anyhow, the most important tip would be that you do your experiments with everything I said above and come to your own conclusions about what works for you, your blog and your niche.