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Blogging Guide

How to Manage Blog Contributors?

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In a previous post, we learned about whether you should add blog contributors or not. Assuming you have considered to add blog contributors, you have to learn about managing the team of bloggers. It is not easy, not at all.

Best Ways to Manage Blog Contributors

Here are some time-tested ways:

(1) Create, Format, Secure, Share & Update Excel Sheet

I strongly urge you to use Google Drive’s Excel sheet for managing and storing data for blog contributors. You have other paid project management tools but start with Google Drive. For every blog contributor, make an excel sheet and share with the contributor.

Since you can create sub-sheets in one excel sheet, add sub-sheets for the following:

  • Instruction manual
  • Blog Posts Written (with name, published link, word count, main and secondary keywords)
  • Payments (received and pending)

For additional security, you could password protect the sheets.

If not Google Drive, use Dropbox. Both are equally effective.

(2) Make Blog Contributors aware of your Goal

Once the blog contributors are finalized, do a Google+ Hangout or a Skype conference with them to discuss the blog goals. Here, you need to share the purpose of the blog, targeted audience, the kind of content to write and topic creation methodology. Motivate the contributors to share their thoughts and if feasible, incorporate them on your blog.

The idea is to make the blog contributors a part of the team and not just an isolated content creator.

Ways to Manage Blog Contributors

Image: Hongkiat.com

(3) Instruction Manual

The instruction manual you will share in the first step should contain two important things –

  • Style Guide
  • Author Guidelines

– Style Guide: While every writer has their own writing style, it will be good to share a specific style guide for the blog contributors to follow, if you want. The style guide should be about expected writing style, linking requirements, formatting, SEO instructions, image copyrights, duplicate content guidelines, permalinks and language (grammar).

– Author Guidelines: Here, you could specify the number of contributions expected every week or month, writing approach to follow, understanding the targeted audience, self-linking policies, avoiding plagiarism, author bio writing criteria, social sharing tasks (if any) and others.

Do not ignore this instruction manual. It helps avoid problems later on.

(4) Maintain Quality Control

This might seem like an additional task but it is not. It is important to read every blog post contributed before it goes live. If you are good at this, it won’t take more than 15-20 minutes per post.

At a later stage when the blog is growing and time is less, you can hire a quality control manager or an editor to do it for you.

(5) Set an Editorial Calendar

Either create a calendar manually and share or if you are using WordPress, use calendar plugins to assign date / time to blog contributors. This will help to avoid repetitive topics, assure blog publish and keep the blog contributors adhere to time.

These are the basic ways to manage blog contributors. What is your opinion on them?

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Chitraparna Sinha is the founder of Esmee Network, a company that offers digital marketing solutions to business owners through creatively engaging content development and marketing services across multiple verticals to improve branding and business revenue. She has been writing weekly columns on BloggingTips since early 2012.

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Blogging Guide

A Quick Guide to Keyword Optimization for Bloggers

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keyword optimization

The blogosphere is becoming more saturated.

According to statistics, the number of bloggers in the U.S. rose from 27 million in 2014 to 31 million in 2019. That’s a four million increase in just four years!

That means more choices for readers. Too much, in fact, that we’ve already reached a breaking point that Mark Schaefer refers to as content shock.

Still, there’s no other way for bloggers to success as they need to improve and outcompete each other. The blogging industry is already very competitive that you need to do something to not be left behind.

One good way is through keyword optimization.

What is keyword optimization?

It is the act of searching, analyzing, and choosing the best keywords to increase your site’s traffic. Keyword optimization is necessary for starting your search engine marketing.

Start it right and your site will be full of potential. However, start on the wrong foot and your subsequent efforts are doomed.

However, optimizing keywords doesn’t only happen at the beginning of your campaign. You need to have ongoing keyword optimization to expand your market and discover new opportunities.

Regularly performing keyword analysis and keyword database expansion increases your traffic, leads, and eventually, sales.

Benefits of keyword optimization

Drives traffic to your site

Optimizing your site’s keywords makes your site rank higher. This makes it more searchable and gets higher traffic.

Measures traffic potential

Analyzing keywords to be used helps gauge your potential market. This help you plan campaigns and pitch topics that attract to a specific market(s).

Write better

Using optimized keywords on your blog post makes it more relatable to readers. It also addresses their needs because readers see something they’re searching for. It’s also a great way to avoid keyword stuffing.

Understand market behavior

Analyzing top-ranking keywords lets you know what your readers want to read about. This helps you pitch topics that’ll interest them.

Get profit

Keyword optimization makes your site more searchable and gets higher traffic. This also means more money!

Things to consider in keyword optimization

Keyword popularity

Popular keywords mean that many people search for it. So, the more popular a keyword is, the more searches it gets. Use popular long tail keywords to drive more traffic to your sites.

However, this doesn’t apply all the time because some popular keywords are very competitive. The higher the competition, the more difficult it is to rank. Thus, you also need to target less competitive keywords.

Keyword Relevance

Choose keywords that are relevant to your blog. Irrelevant keywords make it harder to get visitors because people won’t know what your site is about. You want to let people know that your blog talks about a certain topic or niche. Using relevant keywords helps you get “visitors that convert” and not just “visitors that visit.”

Keyword intent

Know the intentions of your target audience. Are they shopping or just browsing? Or maybe they’re just looking for information? Answer these questions to come up with the right keywords.

Blogpatcher – Your top keyword optimization tool

Similar to blogging in general, the SEO tool space is saturated with tools that drain thousands of dollars annually from consumers.

There are reasons why premium SEO tools cost a lot and deservedly so – no doubt about it.

However, people who simply want to increase their site’s search rankings by finding the best keywords for their content but can’t afford the burgeoning costs of these tools are left with nothing.

This main reason is why Blogpatcher was created.

The main purpose of the tool is to help bloggers and site owners analyze their site pages’ SEO performance and identify areas of improvement at an affordable price.

On top of keyword frequency and use of LSI keywords, the page analysis report includes the following:

  • Rich media
  • Structured content
  • Readability
  • Social media

After creating an account, enter the URL of the page you want to analyze. You can also assign the target keyword of the page for the tool to produce a more precise SEO score.

blogpatcher analyse a page

Click on the factor that you want to look deeper into to show you issues that you must resolve soon.

blogpatcher page analysis

On each section are subfactors that you need to work on to improve your SEO score. Each subfactor shows you how to fix each. This way, you don’t have to blindly resolve the problems of the pages.

In relation to keyword optimization, Blogpatcher shows the keyword frequency and the LSI keywords.

The former shows you the different page elements where you should enter your keyword and whether you’re “stuffing” the page with too many keywords.

The latter provides LSI keyword suggestions that you need to include in the page to increase its search ranking for your target keyword.

bogpatcher lsi keywords

The results draw from the top 10 pages from organic search for your keyword. BlogPatcher then analyzes the most common keywords used in all 10 pages and suggests that you use them as well.

After applying the changes to all factors, you need to run another page analysis to see if your SEO score improves.

The higher the score, the better your chances of ranking high on Google search for your keyword!

Ultimately, Blogpatcher removes the guesswork from on-page SEO by simply clicking on the “How to fix” link on each subfactor.

blogpatcher related search phrases

The tool gives smart solutions on how to solve SEO errors and practical advice to new topics, keywords, and content.

Most importantly, Blogpatcher is not heavy on the budget. You can sign up for a free account and limited features and credits to test the tool out for size.

You can move onto the paid option of $39.95/month or $33.95/month for 12-month payment. This option provides more features and credits to help you ramp up your keyword optimization campaign for all your pages.

Conclusion

Keyword optimization is necessary for bloggers because it makes your site rank higher, gets more visitors, and better conversions. You’ll also outcompete your competitors more easily because you’re using keywords that attract readers who need and want your content.

You can bring your blog to greater heights by knowing what keyword optimization is, and following SEO’s best practices.

At best, you can simply sign up for a Blogpatcher account and simply take heed of the advice for each SEO factor.

Either way, you need to work on this now to gain an advantage over your competitors and rake in the most traffic from search engines!

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Blogging Guide

5 Blogging Laws You Need to Know to Avoid Legal Troubles

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blogging laws

Creating a blog is one thing. Managing it is another. It’s easier to develop a blog from scratch than maintaining one. You need to consider many things to ensure your blog’s survival. One of which is its legal side.

Unfortunately, many neglect its importance because it’s hard to understand. Trust us — reading long texts of laws and regulations is no fun.

This guide, however, solves just that. We’ll help you comply with the law so you’ll stay out of legal trouble.

Privacy Policy

The law requires all websites, including blogs, to have a privacy policy. Everyone has a right to privacy. However, most blogs tend to go overboard. They usually get information from other people.

This even happens without you knowing it. A privacy policy tells visitors what information you’re collecting from them. It also shows the reason for collection. It also informs others how the information will be used. This is important, especially that your site automatically uses cookies.

Copyright Law

copyright law - blogging laws

Getting copyright protection is necessary to keep your content from being plagiarized. The copyright law does just that. It protects an author’s original creation, such as articles, photos, videos, and music.

This is very important especially that these works are usually seen in blogs. You can also profit from the law as you gain control on how you want it to be reused by other people. You can even sue anyone who misuses your copyrighted material. You can then ask for compensation for the losses.

Never copy or re-use anyone’s work without giving proper credit or seeking permission from the author.

Terms and Conditions

Nobody wants to get lawsuits. But if you do get one for your blog, then your best protection would come from your terms and conditions. They are your website rules which discuss which are allowed and aren’t allowed on your blog.

You need to have one to protect yourself and your online business. Terms and conditions explain refund processes and policies of your content.

It also explains the process of resolving legal disputes, as well as prevents anyone from using your blog without permission. Having thorough terms and conditions prevents copyright infringement.

The last thing you want is for your enemies to find loopholes on your blog. Avoid this from happening by having terms and conditions. It’s a great way to prepare for worst-case scenarios.

You can also translate these legal documents on your blog to the language of your readers. This way, they’ll understand how your blog works.

Disclaimers

Disclaimers protect you from legal liability as it clears things out. They make it clear to readers that your content is personal opinions, not facts. You need disclaimers for protection against defamation lawsuits.

This is important for blogs as you usually express your own ideas based on your reaction to facts. Blogs don’t necessarily convey factual data as it functions as an outlet for writers’ opinions.

However, it doesn’t mean that you won’t get sued if you have one. Instead, there’s a good chance you can defend your blog because you have a disclaimer. You also don’t want to be responsible for content websites publish based on your blog.

This is especially important if you’re sharing affiliate links. In an interconnected world, it’s vital to have protection for your individual rights.

Taxes for self-employment

taxes for self employment

Blogs aren’t just a hobby. For many, it’s also a source of income. If this is the case, then it’s a legitimate business and you need to comply with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). You might be your own boss, but even that comes with added responsibility.

Pay healthcare and social security taxes from the profits you earn from your blog. These are called self-employment or SE taxes. Blogs earning $400 or more annually are required to pay these taxes.

Thus, it’s important to have general knowledge in keeping track of your finances. Learn basic accounting and financial management to not have any legal problem. It might be boring and tedious at first, but it’s very useful in the long run.

Also, pay taxes on time so you won’t get penalized, or worse, have your blog shut down!

Conclusion

Dealing with legal troubles is a big hassle. Not only does this waste your time and energy, but this can also lower your blog conversions. However, you can avoid this from happening by knowing the laws regarding blogging.

Ignorance of the law excuses no one, including bloggers. Thus, it’s best to spend time understanding all these rules even if they seem boring. Doing so will safeguard your blog’s interest, and could make your blog more credible.

Also, in your research, you may stumble upon tools that allow you to generate Privacy Policy and Terms and Conditions pages for your blog.

While using them is ideal because they generate the documents in seconds, there’s no replacement to actual legal advice and counsel in creating these pages on your blog.

Therefore, if you want to be safe and keep your blog from getting into legal troubles, you need to consult professional advice and counsel regarding these blogging laws.

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Blogging Guide

5 Things Squarespace Analytics Doesn’t Tell You and Why It Matters

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What Squarespace Analytics fails to tell you.

If you would like to improve the audience impact of your blog, you need to know analytics. Numbers in analytics are useful tools that will guide you in creating more powerful content to maintain the happiness of your visitors. Using and understanding analytics can connect you with your audience so that they will keep coming back to your website.

Squarespace Analytics is easy to use and effortlessly gives you daily reports. You can see panels such as the Activity Log, Popular Content, Search Engine Queries, Site Search Queries, Traffic Overview, and even Traffic Sources. You don’t have to feel overwhelmed by these tools since these modules are there to make your life easier. You can get full-time analytics for the traffic to your website.

Google Analytics is another tool that you can use and include with your Squarespace Analytics, since not every report and feature is found in the latter. There are a lot of similarities and differences between the two analytics, but here are five things that Squarespace Analytics does not tell you.

1. Audience Demographics

Squarespace Analytics lacks the ability to report your audience’s demographics. It cannot show you the age and gender of those who visit your website, which you’ll need in order to target a particular group or niche when marketing a product or offering services.

2. Audience Interests

Squarespace Analytics cannot tell you what particular interests your audience has. This information is important so that you know what kind of content to focus on to attract clients with SEO and other marketing tactics. Understanding the interests of your audience helps you know what to offer based on their interests, wants, and likes.

3. Visitor Location

Squarespace Analytics does not tell you the location of your visitors. You will know how many visitors you have, but you will now know where in the world are they located. But this information proves useful, especially since visitors from other parts of the world may become your clients. It is great to know that you have an impact around the world, but unfortunately, you cannot get this report with Squarespace Analytics alone.

4. Behavior Flow

Squarespace Analytics does not generate behavior flow and user flow reports, which show you the particular movements of people who visit your website. These diagrams are meant to tell you what makes your visitors access a particular page on your website over the another page, or what makes them leave a particular page on your website.

5. Real-Time Analytics

Squarespace Analytics does not show real-time analytics. On the other hand, Google Analytics can tell you exactly the number of visitors you have at the exact moment that you view your website analytics. You won’t know the exact web page your visitors are currently viewing based only on Squarespace Analytics.

These are just some of the things that cannot be shown to you by Squarespace Analytics. It is better to combine the two, Google Analytics and Squarespace Analytics, in order to get comprehensive and thorough reporting. The latter gives an abstract report while the former gives a more expanded report of analytics for your website.

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