Readers who have been dropping by now and again have probably already noticed some of the branding and related changes, which I’ve been steadily incorporating.
These changes are part of an ongoing effort to use inbound marketing to enhance my job search and to launch a small side business.
Moving to WordPress.org this past summer was a major factor, in making these changes possible. On the new platform, I’m able to benefit from a variety of helpful plugins and widgets, which weren’t previously available to me on WordPress.com.
Before making the changes, I researched my targeted keywords using the Google Wonder Wheel and AdWords Keywords Tool. I also thought a lot about my own blogging goals as well as the goals of the cross-disciplinary readers who visit here.
Here are the changes I’ve made so far to improve this blog:
1. Developed Consistent Branding. Back in July, I held a 99 Designs contest to develop a logo for this site. The winning logo by arkvisdesigns consists of a Convergent World symbol, as well as the major keywords that apply to my new small business (Content Strategy, Development, and Management). I incorporated the logo consistently at this blog as well as my other social media outposts, such as Twitter, Facebook, and Flickr.
2. Restructured site. The sidebar navigation now reflects the major keywords I’m targeting, as sub-sets of Content Strategy, Development, and Management. Previously, I had just used a drop-down list to display my blog’s main categories in the sidebar, but for better keyword optimization, I’ve started displaying the full category names.
3. Optimized blog elements. To help this site rank better in search results, I’ve also started more consistently including my targeted keywords in the blog’s page title, categories, meta-tags, headings, and body text.
4. Switched from WordPress.com to WordPress.org. To take full advantage of the Premium themes and the many plug-ins available, I moved from freely-hosted WordPress.com to the self-hosted WordPress.org platform.
5. Added Plug-ins. Through WordPress.org, I’ve added these helpful plug-ins: WordPress.com Stats, TweetMeme Retweet Button, Easy Facebook Like Button, ShareThis, WordPress Seo Plugin by Yoast, and Contact Form by ContactMe.com.
7. Added a Work with Me page. As part of my small business launch, I added a Work with Me page, linked to my Contact form, which describes my writing, editing, and holistic SEO services. (For tips on how to develop your Work with Me page, see Chris Brogan’s slides on How to Enhance Your Job Search with Social Media.)
8. Added a Portfolio Page. I’ve highlighted guest posts, samples, and endorsements on a new Portfolio Page. So far, this page is more visited than my About Peg Mulligan page, so I highly recommend including one, to anyone ramping up a small business, especially as a way to reinforce credentials.
There’s still lots more to do, including incorporating more video, especially in my About Peg Mulligan page, adding a Resume page, installing Google Analytics, and investigating other helpful plug-ins. Long-term, I still plan on moving to the Thesis or Genesis theme. I’d also like to start exploring affiliate marketing and see if I can generate some extra revenue from my blog that way.
How about you? Any additional recommendations, on ways I can make this blog a better experience for my readers? Or suggestions on how blogging can enhance my job search or expand my business? What’s your experience with affiliate marketing? Any tips on getting started there? All feedback is quite welcome and appreciated, in advance.