In the beginning, with your new blog, the first best thing to do is to write as many posts as you can. This is because you need to encourage search engine spiders to visit your blog, and once they are there, give them something valuable to crawl over.
Believe it or not, a spider will be sent to a new blog within hours, maybe even minutes, to check it out, just because it is a blog. Blogs are designed to be regularly updated, therefore search engines are programmed to notice new blogs and keep an eye on them just in case they are the ‘next best thing’. Blogs are much more likely to be indexed at the top of the search pages than websites, basically because they are regularly updated, and websites are not.
Therefore, with a new blog, and while you still have the enthusiasm, try and post as much as you can. You need to build up an archive of good quality posts, not only for the spiders, but for the human readers who will be guided there by the search engines, or by those you have invited personally.
Don’t be ashamed of asking your friends and family to visit your new blog – they are ideal candidates, as you may well get truthful, honest and very practical comments. In fact, invite this kind of feedback – how else are you going to know how to improve? They will tell you whether your posts are interesting, the style is good or appropriate, even what niche you should concentrate on.
At this stage, your posts may be more important than what your blog looks like – that can be concentrated on later. Many new bloggers make the mistake (myself included) of concentrating on the appearance of their new blog, whereas actually it’s the content that is the most vital – spiders can’t read pictures and graphics, only words. They won’t give a tinker’s toot about how pretty your new blog is, all they care about are the new posts (sorry all you designers out there!).
Concentrate on getting traffic by making yourself noticeable within the blogosphere (great word!), and then take the time to tart up your blog’s appearance. By then you’ll know what to put into your sidebars, how many you need, and there will be enough content to populate the automated ones.