JC Tech: 40 Blogging Lessons I’ve Learnt to Improve my Blog
We are coming up on two years of this little blog of mine. Still a couple months to go, but I was scrolling through instagram all the way back to the beginning and saw a little screenshot of what my blog started out as. And I realised there was just so much I had learnt in that time which has really helped me improve my blog. So grab a cuppa, or really just save the post so you can pop back for a few tips every now and again as this is going to be a long one!
1 Despite not judging books on their cover, people will judge you on your design. It only costs a tenner to get someone to make you up a professional looking header and it will make all the difference!
2 Try not to clutter the sidebar, put your most important widgets on there and make your social media buttons easy to find. Go through and try all of your links – I can pretty much guarantee you’ll find one which doesn’t work!
3 Include a picture and a vague place of where you live – people want to relate to you!
4 Find a commenting platform that works for you. I love disqus as it promotes 2 way conversation as you actually get notifications when someone replies. But it can be a pain for some people especially if you don’t have any social media accounts so a more generic one might be handy.
5 Don’t put too many annoying pop ups on your blog. Yes, I know you want me to sign up to your newsletter but let me read your actual blog first!!
6 If you do decide to go with a magazine layout, which aren’t really my faves, but still, make sure you put an area where we can see your latest posts first! Makes it way easier.
7 Add a favicon on – an easy way to make your blog look more professional.
8 Make sure you have a disclaimer, and a copyright somewhere on your blog. If you’re also open to PR but have certain conditions, add this in somewhere. I have all of this on my contact page.
9 Find yo niche. Figure out what you like writing about and write about that. If you write about things you aren’t interested in then your readers will most definitely notice. Your niche may be like mine and be a whole lot of topics, that’s okay too.
10 It’s all about quality. If you’re just pushing out posts because you want to be on schedule, then it’s not worth it. Better no post than an average one your not proud of. Put that time into writing something new.
11 Write longer posts. It helps for SEO and just in general, I now aim for every post to be over 1000 words and I’ve noticed a big change in engagement and views. Check out Sec114, for more SEO tips.
12 Always pop links in your posts. Even to related posts, or other people who have written on the topic. It helps with your SEO but also encourages others you link in to share your post! If you are not too sure with the marketing side of blogging and need more help understanding this, you could always look into something like using an SEO company to help guide you through the steps of optimising the use of SEO for your blog and to also boost the traffic that goes to your site.
13 Theres a reason that lists are so popular, people like paragraphs and easy to read blog posts. Break up your content, use lists!
14 Like the lists, sign post your blog posts. Use titles and bold bits every now and again, it makes it easier for your readers to digest the information.
15 No need to invest in a big camera, I got away with an iphone for most of my photos. However, if you are using an iphone then figure out some basic photo edits, just with Picmonkey. Makes all the difference.
16 Make your pictures big in the blog, you may think they look too big when you’re in draft but they look better when someone is reading the post.
17 Always make a good image for twitter and pinterest, makes all the difference. Canva is always the ideal.
18 Find good stock images. They are so handy to have. There are a few websites which have them (I yap about them here), but I also got Caitlin to make me some custom stock photos which I totally love, like the one up there!
19 Learn what SEO is and use it. It will help with your blog traffic.
20 Use alt tags on your photos, it helps your SEO but totally drives traffic from google image search. It also works for when someone wants to pin your blog, it comes up automatically with a handy pinterest description.
21 Make sure your site is mobile friendly. Use the handy google mobile compatibility app and make sure. It helps your SEO and everyone who ever opened anything on a mobile.
22 Learn the difference between a follow and a no follow link.
23 Go through and literally try all of your social icons yourself. The amount of times I’ve clicked on an icon or an area on someones blog and it goes to an error is infuriating – don’t make it harder for yourself!
24 GET YOUR OWN DOMAIN NAME!!!
25 The more time you spend on one platform, the more you will get out of it. Not spread yourself too thin. Pick a couple and focus on making them good.
26 Instagram is good for building your brand but useless as bringing traffic to your blog. Pinterest is a bit useless as a social network but amazing at driving traffic to your blog, pick which fits more with your personality.
27 Put your blog link in your twitter bio so when people hover, they can still jump directly to your blog.
28 If you’re scheduling tweets on your phone then your blog link will appear as a mobile site even when on the computer. Make sure your check your URLs and schedule the web link so it will adapt for the device the reader is using.
29 Use buffer, rebuffering tweets makes it 7 million more times easier to actually schedule them. And yes, I did measure that out.
30 Facebook can be useless if you don’t put time into it. It can be good. If you’re gonna do it then dedicate the time. If you want to do it the lazy way, then join some facebook blogger groups and share you links occasionally in those.
31 Don’t be afraid to unfollow people. Follow the people who you want to hear about, people grow apart in real life as they do in internet life. There’s always the mute button if you feel a little bad about it.
32 Learn about little known social sharing sites. Reddit and stumble upon can be a pain to figure out but when you are there, they are handy for lots of traffic.
33 Do not. I repeat do not send an automatic DM on twitter. No one, ever, likes that.
34 The blogging community is awesome, it can also be cliquey and you may feel like you don’t fit in. Don’t worry, I think we all do at some point. Just blog ’cause you love it and stay our of the drama.
35 Stats really aren’t everything. Don’t check them too often, use them and learn from them, but don’t get hung up.
36 Read the kind of blogs you want to be like. The information you consume will affect your decisions, make sure you consume good information so you can focus it on making your blog what you want it to be.
37 Use the same profile pic everywhere, do update it but not too often – you want people to be able to recognise you!
38 Don’t spend too much money when you start blogging, you don’t need to. Buy your domain but that’s about it – spend more time working on your content and promoting than buying fancy gadgets!
39 Follow handy blogging tips on pinterest, they are useful to put you back into your blogging mojo.
40 Just bloody love it. Don’t blog for anything else, if none of these tips are helpful but you are happy then keep just doing what you are doing!!
Phew, now tell me, whats a blogging tip you want to share?