If you’re wanting to gain a better understanding of how to optimize blogs for search engines (or what some, like myself, like to call “getting some Google Juice”), look no further than SEOBook’s free Blogger’s Guide to SEO.
Being a bit of an SEO geek, I can attest that this is one of the best resources (balanced with length) on blogs and search engines. This may fall under the “obvious” category, but it bears emphasizing: If you’re working on a news site, you absolutely must understand the fundamentals of how search engine optimization works.
A few quick, blog-specific SEO pointers and tidbits that come to mind:
–Don’t be bashful about submitting your blog to aggregators and directories. Blogs usually have built-in pinging mechanisms that spread your blog posts all over the world (really neat interactive graphic here). Because of this, blogs have an advantage over many of the static news site pages out there.
–Avoid starting your blog on a free out-of-the-box hosted service such as Blogger, WordPress.com (not the same as a WordPress install on your own server) . It may cost you a few bucks a month and some initial work to host it yourself, but when the day comes that you want to move your blog to a better domain, you won’t find yourself painfully stuck. You’ll also have way more flexibility to tweak your site.
–Do your best to build relationships with other bloggers and drop comments on their blogs. Respond to your comments. The more that active bloggers check out your blog, the more inbound links you’re likely to receive.
–Follow the Google News Blog. This will keep you informed of important changes to how Google News picks up your content (this is mostly just for mainstream media blogs).
–It usually comes down to a beautifully keyworded headline. Don’t you forget it!