Saturday, November 12, 2011

Youth Sports: How to Start A Youth Sports Blog (Part 3)

In Part 1 of the series, I encouraged you to determined if you really had the motivation and passion to start a Youth Sports Blog.

In Part 2, you learned how to set up a blog and perhaps you started to write.

In Part 3, you will learn how to build credibility and organic traffic (Traffic via search and referrals).

1. Create blog roll on your site.

You'll want to join the conversation about youth sports to increase awareness of your site and build your authority. So you need to find conversations to join.

The first step is to find likeminded blogs. You can find blogs by 1) searching blog aggregator sites, like All Top or Blogs.com, 2) doing a Google Blog Search or 3) reviewing the blog rolls of sites you admire. A blog roll is a list of blog links on a blog. These are blogs the blogger likes to follow.

The second step is create your own blog roll.  It's easy to add a blog roll to your Blogger blog. Go to your layout options and select add a gadget. Then select Blog List. Follow the instructions to add the URLs of all of the blogs that you identified in step 1. For Wordpress blog roll instructions follow this link.

Every time you add a blog to your list, you are essentially giving a vote of respect to the blogger you admire with a link. Bloggers like links because each link to a site is tells search engines that this blog has interesting content that people like. The number of links to a site is an important ranking element for search algorithms. When you give a blogger a link, they will often show you some link love by adding you to their blog list.

2. Join the conversation

Go to the sites on your blog roll and comment on their posts. Let these bloggers know that you are a new voice. They will  notice your post and check out your link. If they like your content and see that you gave them some link love on your blog roll, they might add you to their blog roll. Again, you'll want the inbound links for SEO (Search) and exposure to the blogger's audience.

3. Keep the conversation going

Look at the comments on your site often. Acknowledge the comments and continue the conversation by adding a comment of your own in response. People love to be heard and acknowledged.  If the comment was not posted anonymously, check out the person who made the comment by following the link on the comment. Chances are that that person has a blog too. Go to their site, read it, comment on it and add it to your blog roll if you like it.

4. Use keywords

You will want to start showing up in SERP (Search Engine Results Pages) for your chosen topic. For example, if your topic is Youth Hockey - you will want to put those words in most of your posts.

Look at your analytics and check out which key words people are searching to find you. I once wrote a
post on a prayer before the game. I started noticing lots of traffic from search engines using "Prayer before Games". I wrote a few more posts on the subject. Give the readers what they want and use their language.

Note: Keywords in Headlines have more value. You will notice that all of my post titles start with Youth Sports, or Youth Soccer, etc.

5. Use keywords on attached image files names and captions.

Before you upload an image, rename the image with keywords. The image below has a file name of Youth_Baseball_Hitting.jpeg. When people do an image search "Baseball+Hitting" the image may show up. If they click on the image they will be sent to the story where the image is uploaded. If you upload the image with a name like DSC_0248.jpeg, the image may not show up in a key word search and you may lose out on the opportunity for people to find your site via images.

Google Image Search Results

Images are links to your site

Images can drive traffic to your site. Check out the proof in my analytics. If you see, http://www.google.com/images - that is an image link.
From Blogger Analytics sources of traffic - in the last 24 hours 
18 pageviews were attributed to images.




6. Get listed on blog aggregators.

Get your blog listed on blog directory sites like All Top, Technorati.comBlogs.com, and Blogcatalog.com. This too opens up your content to a broader audience and gives your blog those all important links.

The Main Point

You may be writing for the pure love of writing, but eventually you will want to be heard. The tactics above will expose your blog to a bigger audience.


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9 comments:

  1. Hi, I've just started my own youth sports type blog. I've been really interested in your advice and perspective; having been in the 'game' for a while. You have written about exactly the things I'd like to know, and learn more about. Thankyou!

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  2. I just checked out your blog - you are off to a great start. Good luck.

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  3. This is so helpful! In addition to a being a youth sports parent (I won't say which type!), I am a teacher and new blogger - blogging about teaching and technology. Your tips and advice from all 3 parts have helped me as I work on my blog. Thanks!

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  4. You are welcome. I will be continuing the series with part 4 shortly.

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  5. Great tips! I start on reading part 1 of this blog. I thank you for sharing it here. :D

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  6. Great ideas!, I have been searching a number of sites looking for ideas on getting a blog going and SEO tips your blog was very helpful!

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