Content And Usability Before Blog Promotion

I occasionally come across new bloggers who are eager to generate traffic to their blog.  They become focused on blog promotion and SEO before their blog is ready. I applaud their efforts, but I think it’s a mistake to promote your blog to prematurely.

Photo by Kelly Asmodee via Flickr

A good web site should serves a purpose.  For instance, a commercial site’s purpose might be selling some sort of products.  Without a well designed site, catalog of products, easy-to-use navigation, and secure eCommerce system, there’s no point in promoting the site because all the effort will be for naught.  Likewise, your blog serves a purpose — may be you want it to tell your story, share your interest or your expertise.  The commonality is that all blogs need some kind of content; as such, you should have at least a few good posts on your blog before you even attempt to promote it. And don’t even worry about SEO until you have sizable number of posts.

In addition to content, you should also design the blog for usability.  In general, blogs are well designed out of the box, but there are a few things you could do to improve it further:

  • Choose a professional looking theme
  • Navigation is clear and consistent
  • Feed subscription button is clearly visible, preferably above the fold
  • Search box is available and easy to find
  • Archive is easily accessible (I prefer a simple link in the navigation bar that links to a full archive page)
  • There is no unfinished posts
  • All links are working

By focusing on your content and usability first, you are giving your visitors good reasons to become readers, and hopefully, they’ll come back in the future.

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8 Responses to “Content And Usability Before Blog Promotion”

  1. James says:

    Great advice. These are all things that I’m going to focus on.

    I’m pretty new and have been a little disappointed by my traffic, although not discouraged. Everything I’ve read suggests that persistence is key, so I won’t be giving up any time soon.

  2. Great tips for a newbie like me.

  3. Hey, yeah this all sounds like me! This week I made an effort to optimize my blog by getting the design, content, plugins, etc. in order. I’ve noticed a big difference already. Marketing isn’t so hard when you have something some people might want to come back to and read. Great post!

  4. Pinyo says:

    @James — I takes a while to get your traffic up, just hang in there.

    @LifeRamblings — You’re welcome.

    @BigBadBully — Exactly, only start marketing when you have something that readers want to come back to!

  5. Mrs. Micah says:

    I sometimes get contacted by newer bloggers who are concerned about SEO. I try to help them set up some of the basic things which will make their blog more available to search engines as they build content (an SEO plugin, Sitemaps plugin), but I don’t think it’s ethical to contract for anything further, since there’s really no content to find yet.

  6. Four Pillars says:

    Good post – I suppose it is worth learning about some seo when starting a blog but you won’t see the results for quite a while.

  7. Pinyo says:

    @Mrs. Micah — I agree. There’s no point in doing any more than the basics until there’s more content on the blog.

    @Four Pillars — Thank you. Yeah, it takes a while to gain traction with search engines.

  8. Peter Lee says:

    You’re right. Content before everything else. I think you have to be ready before you can think about focusing on blog monetization. So it’s a good idea to publish more posts first which also will help in you link building and SEO efforts too. That also helps in building your name in your blogging community.