Whether you’re a blogger or a small business maintaining a blog is a lot of work. I get asked regularly how I do it, how I keep my reach, how I get to review all the cool stuff with three babogs and a bump, and I always reply that it’s because I love blogging. It’s more than a just a hobby. I started this blog with nothing and built it with the help of google, other bloggers, conferences and Facebook groups. Blogs are not built overnight, My Little Babog just celebrated it’s second birthday and only in the past year has it really kicked off and it continues to grow daily. So in saying all that I decided to put together this blogging tips post, I hope you like it, it only took me ten cups of coffee, three packs of Silvermints and a pack of those new Jacobs wafer biscuit thingies.
Blogging Tips – The Ultimate Beginners & Bloggers Guide
Know your worth. Join Social Blue Book to find out your brand’s value across your social media platforms. It’s a great resource and starting point for negotiations with brands and PRs.
Update your old blog posts. Stuck in a blogging rut, feel like you’ve lost your voice or just not bothered? Go back to an old blog post and spruce it up a little. I always get really embarrassed with my spelling and grammar. Sometimes I wonder how people read some of my old blog posts, cringing. It’s a great way of updating broken links too.
Always be transparent. Unless you want the ASAI chasing or naming and shaming you, declare ALL sponsored posts, collaborations, and reviews. If you’ve been paid to promote a product, let your readers know. Aside from blogging ‘law’, it’s common courtesy.
Don’t follow for a follow on social media. Big follower numbers may look great on your page but they are nothing without engagement.
Domain Authority. When you start working with PR’s (mainly in the UK) they may request your DA. You can check yours here, the higher your number the more influence you are likely to have as you will rank higher in search engines. Also, note wordpress.com and blogspot.ie domains don’t count, you must own your domain.
Facebook Pages Manager App. I know this may sound obvious to many a blogger but you would be surprised the amount of blogging friends who still use the original Facebook app. Get with the time’s people, save your time with pages manager. I’d be lost without it.
Decrease your bounce rate. This more so applies if you want to take blogging more serious. To decrease your blogs bounce try adding related posts to the end of your posts to keep your readers on your site for longer. And stop with the StumpleUpon, you want organic readers, one-second clicks from StumpleUpon don’t count.
#AskCherrySue. Susan Jordan has been in the spotlight of the Irish blogging community in recent months sharing her top blogging tips, everything from your email signature, how to find and approach PRs and how to get invited to events. Find her, follow her and #AskCherrySue your blogging questions.
Join Facebook groups. Facebook groups are the backbone to my blog. It wouldn’t be where it is today without them and all the amazing, supportive, and encouraging bloggers and content creators in them. There’s the lovely IPB’s (Irish Parenting Bloggers), Irish Bloggers, Irish Blogger Support Network and of course the Irish Beauty and Lifestyle Inspire group.
Blog graphics. Use sites like Canva and PicMonkey to edit your photo’s and create eye-catching graphics.
Schedule. Schedule. Schedule. Save time by managing your social media platforms in one place. HootSuite, Tweetdeck, and Buffer seem to be firm favourites with the blogging community. I usually spend one evening a week scheduling tweets, and Facebook and Instagram posts. For me, Hootesuite is the easiest scheduling platform and when you sign up you get a free months trial.
Go self-hosted. If you’re serious about blogging, self-hosted is the way forward. You will have so much control over your blog from advertising to themes. I got some help going self-hosted and got Sheila Pollard to do mine for me, I’d highly recommend her.
No Follow Links. It took me some time to understand the importance of no follow links. A follow link boosts brands and businesses SEO while a no-follow link stops google crawling your site to boost your review links that you have embedded. If do-follow links are used incorrectly google can penalize you and you will disappear from their search engine. Scary. Never use a do-follow link when writing a sponsored post or a review. Angela from daysinbed.com has a very clear explanation on no follow links, how to add the HTML code to your links and a very handy plugin too.
SEO is the key. This is one of my top blogging tips. Name all your images. Link your own relevant content within your posts when you can. Use keywords in your titles, URL, first paragraph and throughout your post. Although try do this naturally. Write longer posts, I try to aim for over 1300 words. Amanda Webb from spiderworking.com has a great post on SEO for Bloggers.
Twitter Dm’s. Just no, no, no, no, no. If I follow you on Twitter and I get an instant ‘follow me on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn and here’s my blog sure read my last ten posts while you’re at it‘ message from you, I will disconnect as quick as I connected. It’s so impersonal. It’s rude. It’s just darn lazy. Don’t do it. Just tweet me.
Be consistent. Decide how and when you will upload content and try stick at it. My readers know I’m not very active on the weekends and that I usually post blogs in the evenings. However, I write a parenting blog so if I’m MIA for a few days they understand and know one of my babogs is most likely sick.
Stop wasting your time blogging for Huffington Post. They will never pay you. Although, Resa from eyeheartcreative.com put together a fabulous list of places that will.
Credit. If you are sharing an image on your social media channels and it is not yours, credit whoever owns it. Same goes for your website, Kylaroma.com has a brilliant post on how to credit images in your blog posts.
Download Grammarly. It basically proofreads your post for you. I’m not great on the auld grammar or spelling front at all and I’d be lost without it.
Like and Share to win. Facebook competitions are great for engagement, new followers, and social media reach if used the right way. But did you know Facebook can shut your page down for asking your followers to share your posts? It’s against their terms and conditions. Stop asking for shares before it’s too late.
Facebook debugger. My dear little friend. Have you ever uploaded a blog post to Facebook and an old image keeps creeping up? I have no clue why it happens but Facebook debugger refreshes the link every single time. Winning.
Google Analytics. An invaluable blogging tip, a tool ever blogger should be using. Find out why people are coming to your site, why they are leaving, your most popular blog posts and even your bounce rate. Google Analytics can be very complicated to get your head around so Al over at The Dad Network created a fabulous infographic over on his blog to help explain Google Analytics in a little more detail.
Find your tribe. I have a handful of blogging pals that I can reach out to, and I do so every other day, sometimes it’s non-blogging related, sometimes it is. For example, my dear friend Lisa from badmammy.com has proofread more of my posts than my mother has read. She’s a little gem, along with all my mammy blogger pals.
Free stock images. Check out sites like Photo Pin, Pexels, Stock Up, PicJumbo, Life of Pix and ISO Republic.
Social Media Icons. A little bug bear of mine and many others I assume. Have your social media icons visible and at the top of your web page. Make it easy for readers to follow you, same goes for your subscription box.
Pop-ups are not cool.
Media Kit. If you plan on taking your blog to the next level by working with brands and PR’s you will need a media kit. Media kits can be tedious and time-consuming so I had an awesome illustrator, Naomi from Dr. How’s Science Wows create mine, and it’s superb. You should hook up with her if graphics ain’t your thing. Mine includes a short bio, my pricing, my social media platforms and followers, page views, Domain Authority, and brands that I’ve worked with in the past. Aby over at You Baby Me Mummy has this brilliant post on how to build your own media kit if you fancy making your own media kit.
Timing is the key. Use your Facebook insights to find out when your readers are most active and schedule your posts for those times. A high percentage of my readers are female (mammies) and they are most active from 8.30pm so that’s when I usually share my blog posts over on Facebook.
Save Facebook posts for later. Easily one of my favourite Facebook tools. Save or bookmark posts in your feeds for later by clicking the downwards arrow or the three little dots and press save. It’s so simple.
Another one of my blogging tips is to Comment on other blogs. In my experience bloggers are most likely to comment on your blog posts while readers will comment on your social media posts. If you comment on other blogs chances are that blogger might pop back to have a nosey on your site and leave you a comment too.
Want more engagement? My top blogging tips are to connect with your readers, ask them questions, find out why they are coming to your site and write more of it. Make it easy for them to comment on your blog too.
NO to Captcha. A bug bear of mine and many within the blogging community. If I read your post and like it, I will most likely comment but NOT if you have a captcha. My time is limited, I don’t like riddles or silly games. Look into other spam filters like Akismet.
Wondering how to make money from your blog? There are lots of ways to make money from blogging from sponsored posts, google Adsense and advertisements. Kerry from Oh So Amelia has a fantastic post on her blog – 10 ways to make money from blogging. While Lisa at Oh, she blogs! has a brilliant post on the best affiliates for bloggers too.
Google URL Shortener. A handy tool for shortening your link for social media especially for beauty and fashion bloggers doing outfit posts.
Twitter is one of my least favourite social media platforms at the minute. Personally, I think it’s great for connecting with bloggers and brands – that’s about it. However following the Cuddle Fairys post on Twitter Guide for Websites I’ve noticed my referrals increase.
And finally, stay true to yourself. When PR’s start flashing the cash for content about tech on a parenting blog remember why you started blogging.
I hope you find something useful in this blogging tips post, let me know below if you’ve anything to add.