1. Avoid hosted services that do not allow you to use your own domain name!
2. Obtain and install customizable blog software – WordPress and Moveable Type are my favorites.
3. Customize blog look and feel templates – aka design.
4. Research keywords and develop a glossary – Keyword Discovery, WordTracker, SitePoint, SEOBook Keyword Research.
5. Optimize the blog:

  • Template optimization – RSS subscription options, social bookmark links, HTML code, Unique title tags, URLs, Sitemap
  • Add helper plugins specific to WordPress or MT
  • Create keyword rich categories (reference your keyword glossary)

6. Enable automatic trackback and ping functionality.
7. Create Feedburner Pro account and enable feed tracking.
8. Setup Google acount for Sitemap, validate and prep for future submission.
9. Identify authoritative blogs, web sites and hubs for outbound resource links and blogroll.
10. Format archived posts, related posts.
11. Enable statistics for tracking – Performancing, Google Analytics, ClickTracks.
12. Submit RSS feed and Blog URL to prominent RSS and Blog directories / search engines.
13. Engage in an ongoing link building campaign.
14. If podcast or video content are available, submit to Podcast and Vlog directories.
15. Submit blog url to paid directories with categories for blogs – Yahoo, BOTW, bCentral, WOW, JoeAnt.
16. Optimize and distribute a press release announcing blog.
17. Request feedback or reviews of your blog in relevant forums, discussion threads. If you have a resourceful post that will help others, point to it.
18. Research and comment on relevant industry related blogs and blogs with significant centers of influence.
19. Post regularly. If it’s a news oriented blog, 3-5 times per day. If it’s an authoritative blog, 3-5 times per week, but each post must be unique and high value.
20. Monitor inbound links, traffic, comments and mentions of your blog – Google Alerts, Technorati, Blogpulse, Yahoo News, Ask Blogs and Feeds.
21. Always respond to comments on your blog and when you detect a mention of your blog on another blog, thank that blogger in the comments of the post.
22. Make contact with related bloggers on AND offline if possible.
23. When making blog posts always cite the source with a link and don’t be afraid to mention popular bloggers by name.
24. Use social networking services, forums and discussion threads to connect with other bloggers. If they like your stuff, they will link to you.
25. Remember when web sites were a new concept and the sage advice to print your web address everywhere you print your phone number? The same advice applies for your blog.

Any suggestions, ideas? Feel free to comment on this article!

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