My New Blogging Strategy

Three Posts for the Price of One: SEO be Damned!

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I find myself in a bit of a self-induced conundrum. My business comes from referrals, but I want people that visit my business page to see that I am a real person who regularly updates and maintains the website. I also have a genuine interest in sharing my techno-messes and (hopefully) consequent techno-victories. I especially love it when someone reads something I wrote and actually responds with a question. The problem is that my business website is not really a place for people to interact with me because it is essentially a glorified business card. On the other hand, using a service like Medium or Tumblr does little to promote my business page.

“Sure,” you say. “Post the same content at multiple sites.”

“But what about those dreaded SEO penalties for posting the same content at multiple places?” I ask. Not to mention the pain of actually posting to multiple sites. Do I even have the time?

Here is my strategy. It is not going to work for everyone entirely (it might not even work for me, in the end), but it is at least a framework from which one might be able adapt to their own needs. The big picture is this: I have a business website built in RapidWeaver, a Tumblr blog, and a Medium publication. I want to be able to write the blog post with the same images and formatting in all three locations. I then want to share the posts through my businesses social media accounts.

Is this even smart? Am I killing my SEO potential by reposting a blog multiple times? All indications as of 2016 is that duplicate content does not have a negative SEO impact, provided the content is original. In fact, if the content is targeted to different groups, as is the case with my three blogging outlets, more people will have the opportunity to review it. This common understanding amongst internet marketers is supported by my own personal experience. But again, I am also not too worried about SEO given that my business is referral based.

So I developed a workflow to get my content at three places (nearly) at once. It all starts with the draft, which I write in Markdown (I use IA Writer, but any default text editor or word processor would do). Markdown is a very efficient means to generate HTML, and it is fully supported by Tumblr. Once I have the text, I look for a new images to add to the project. I consistently name these images with the date and a number and then upload them to a folder on my web host. This way I can easily link back to the images in my document.

(Not to geek out too much, but because I name and store the files consistently, I can use a text expander program to spit out the relevant URL and generate the image name with a shortcut. I use Typinator, but there are plenty of other alternatives out there.)

With my files uploaded to my web server, I can then copy and past my text to Tumblr. Once I post it, I can view the finished product, select and copy it all (including the images) and paste to a new Medium post. I do a little rearranging (move the header image, reclassify the header tags, etc.), but there is very little additional work there.

Two out of three done. For my website, which is designed using RapidWeaver, I use a stack from Joe Workman that automatically imports Tumblr blogs into my website while maintaining my website’s formatting. It took a little work to get the appearance right, but I’m happy with the result.

Now, as far as getting the posts out through social media, I take advantage of Tumblr’s default RSS feed, which I can load to share my posts through my Buffer account. All in, after I’ve drafted my text and found or made any images, it takes me about 5 minutes to post to all three places and schedule the social media posts.

So there you have it - one post done three ways and shared through social media. I know I blew through these steps, but I would be happy to answer any questions or criticisms and expand on any points of interest in a future post.

Blogging with RapidWeaver: And the Winner Is…WordPress!

This post is about my journey to WordPress as my blogging tool of choice. For the uber-sophicates out there who can easily and seamlessly integrate a WordPress Blog into any website, this article is not for you. This article is for those of you who want to add a blog to your website on your own without the help of a professional web designer. At the end of the day, it does not take an IT professional to create a website and use WordPress to manage a blog. That being said, if you have any questions, please feel free to email me or post a comment below.

When I started Delcour Solutions back in March of 2011, my first task was creating a website. An important part of establishing my presence on the web, per Search Engine Optimization (SEO) principals, was maintaining and updating a blog. At that point, I was an avid iWeb user, so I quickly designed my website and used the included blogging feature. Unfortunately, every time I wanted to add a post, I had to export my entire website and upload the new post to the server. This meant that I could only really post blogs from the one computer that was loaded with iWeb. I was also concerned that my blog was not receiving the kind of visibility it would be getting if I was using an established blogging service. Utilizing a blogging service like WordPress, Blogger, or Tumblr allows you to edit your blogs anywhere and makes your entries easer to find by search engines.

Fortunately, Apple’s planned demise of iWeb sent me over to RapidWeaver, where I quickly redesigned my webpage. Now, RapidWeaver includes its own blogging page, but I wanted something cleaner that did not require me use the web design program to write my blogs. Luckily, a number of plugins had been designed for RapidWeaver that would allow me to write my blogs on a service such that my website would automatically update whenever I made new posts. In other words, I could update the blog section of my website from anywhere without manually adding pages to my blog. I found three viable options, each of which used different blogging services: Joe Workman’s Tumblr Stack, Loghound’s RapidBlog, and Nilrog’s wp-blog. Each of these options takes the blog posts from particular blogging sites and (more or less) seamlessly integrates them into your website; they also are all under $20, which seems pretty reasonable.

While I love Tumblr’s web interface for composing blogs, I found the Tumblr Stack to be unreliable. I would often check my webpage, only to see that “no entries were available.” That was no good for me. I also like Blogger’s web interface, but the RapidBlog plugin created an unattractive result on my webpage. This left WordPress and I absolutely love the result. Unfortunately, getting the blog fully integrated is a bit of a complex process. First and foremost, the RapidWeaver plugin will only work if you are hosting your own WordPress blog. Now, for SEO purposes, this is already a good idea, but implementing it can be a bit daunting. Luckily, I use GoDaddy as my web host, and setting up a WordPress blog through GoDaddy is not too difficult. Once you have WordPress hosted on your website, you can then add your blog page using Nilrog’s wp-blog plugin (instructions come with the download). I would say it took me a couple of hours for everything to work properly, but the results are awesome. I have a blog that is powered by WordPress but fits perfectly in my website. I also love that I can post from the free WordPress app on my iPad. I also love the integration with Twitter, such that my blog posts automatically generate a tweet notifying the world of my newest creation.

The bottom line is that if you have the technical savvy to setup your website using RapidWeaver, you can probably implement a WordPress blog in your website that will increase your page rank and help your business. If you would like to improve your internet marketing but need some assistance, please drop me line and I will be happy to help.

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Technological Simplicity

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