What I’ve learnt about blogging this year

What I’ve learnt about blogging this year

This year was the year I took my blog to another level compared to last year where I just pootled along, posting only every now and again. However having quit my job to do this “blogging thing” and social media management, it was time to really ramp up the blogging game and do better. This year I’ve learnt a lot and done a lot, the blog has been a constant working activity (job) for me, whilst also making a little bit of money at the same time to see me through. So here’s what I’ve learnt about blogging this year and some top tips for you.

Post regularly

When I started to ramp up the blog I began posting everyday at the same time. Getting out relevant content is key to show people / brands that you’re committed to blogging, and that you have the ability to post regularly. It’s also a good idea to publish your posts at the same time so that your followers know when something new is coming out, a bit like waiting for their favourite TV show to begin. However remember at the same time it is perfectly ok to take a blogging break over holidays or Christmas, or when you just want a break. Your blog is always there, it’s not going to go anywhere.

Promote yourself

I used to hate doing this, there is something really cringy about self-promotion. However the more you do it, the more it becomes natural and the more you feel like you have to do it. For every blog post you write make sure you promote it on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Instagram Stories, and Pinterest. Whatever it takes to get your content in front of people, just do it. Once I become a little braver with self-promotion, I started to publish my content on local Facebook groups, and felt the fear that my posts would be removed by admin. However it worked, people read my content, interacted, and it bumped up my traffic a lot.

Social media icons

Hunt out opportunities

There are opportunities for bloggers everywhere, sign up to these. I’ve signed up to Bloggers Required, The Blogger Programme, Buzzoole, and many more, with a few projects coming my way from this sources. Search the hashtags #BloggersRequired #BloggersWanted #PRRequest #JournoRequest on Twitter, to see if any brands or PRs are looking for bloggers. Join the Facebook groups Parent Bloggers UK and UK Blogger Opportunities as there are always opportunities for you to sign up for. Lastly going back to self-promotion set a rolling tweet advertising yourself that you are available to work. Alongside this have a good About Us page and Media Kit ready that you can share.

Build relationships

This is so important. Once you have a PR or brand contact, it goes without saying, be nice to them. Thank them for giving you the opportunity to work with them, and contact them in a couple months time to see if they have any work. I find now that a lot of my work is from repeat contacts. It’s also a good idea to build relationships with other bloggers, who make have a contact they are working with and who could pass on your details. So it always pays off to schmooze a little, even though you may hate doing it and it makes you cringe. Although this is not for everyone, but for anyone who is using their blog as a business, this is fundamental.

Share other content (not just your own)

A top tip I learnt from my Digital Mums course is to share other peoples content, and not just your own. They will love you for this, and it shows that you are all round blogger who doesn’t just self promote. It may also mean that they return the favour and share your content too, which is another great way of getting your content in front of their followers. Try to where possible share or retweet at least two other peoples content on your Twitter feed, and share at least one post on Facebook. All it takes is a couple of minutes each day to retweet or to write a little intro to it. It’s better to quote tweet if possible as this will count towards your engagement rate rather than just a straight retweet.

Hands making a heart shape

Accept opportunities

There are many opportunities out there, and I’ve found that the more you accept the more you will get. If you’re starting out or trying to monetise your blog, I found that it’s good to pretty much accept everything. Plus it’s good for the bank balance too! Yes, the product might not entirely fit your blog, however there is always a way that you can work the post to relate it to back to your blogs core. You might find that you build a good relationship with the PR or brand, who are then able to offer you more opportunities that have a better fit. If you feel really strongly that the opportunity is not right for you or your blog, then just say no.

Review your stats

It’s a boring one, but it’s something that will only take 5 minutes on the 1st day of the month. You need to be looking at Page Views, Unique Page Views, Bounce Rate, and number of followers across your social channels. I use Google Analytics to get most of my stats, and each social channel to get the number of followers. It’s also a good exercise to see what your most popular post was each month, which you can get from Google Analytics. This will give you a good idea of what your readers are reading, and what content you should continue to write about.

Don’t get too bogged down by Yoast colours

And this is totally true. It’s always nice when Yoast is showing a double green, however don’t get too bogged down if your Readability is showing a red or orange flag. What you should pay attention too is that the SEO tab is green, as this is really important for people to find your blog and content via Search Engines. I always make sure my Focus Keyword is relevant to the post and used in the post, and make sure that my Meta Description contains the Focus Keyword. The tips that Yoast provides at the bottom of blog editing page are really useful to follow, and should help you to turn that colour to green.

Lady working over a laptop

Your blog is your blog

Lastly remember that your blog is your blog, it’s no one elses. If you want to monetise or not, then that’s fine. If you want to write loads of sponsored posts and reviews then that’s fine. It’s entirely up to you about what content you put in your blog, and if people are reading it then that’s great. I’ve had a few weeks where all I did was write sponsored posts, which concerned me a little, however at the end of the day my blog was making money and I could relate the posts back to the core of my blog. Happy days.

So those are the things that I’ve learnt this year from blogging. Do you agree with these points, or have you learnt any other core tips?

Claire x

 

 

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29 Comments

  1. Rachel Bustin December 9, 2017 / 11:52 am

    Great tips!! I have also upped my blogging this year. I’m very proud of what I’ve acheived and hope it continues into 2018. Well done on turning blogging into your job! Here’s to a fantastic 2018! Xx

  2. Lorna December 9, 2017 / 5:03 pm

    Well done, I need to take time and refocus in the new year. X

  3. Sarah Lawton December 10, 2017 / 11:27 am

    I really need to refocus on my blog, especially posting more! I’m not sure I could ever manage every day!

  4. Maya December 10, 2017 / 10:19 pm

    I found this really interesting. Especially the point about sharing other bloggers work because I definitely don’t do that enough.

    Maya x
    http://allthingspinkuk.com

  5. Riz December 10, 2017 / 10:31 pm

    That’s really helpful for an amateur like me. Thank you. 🙂 x

  6. Samantha Donnelly December 11, 2017 / 11:25 am

    All great tips I find the social media promoting side the hardest as it is very hard but what you put in you will get back out and worth it. I also agree with the green lights x

  7. Rachel December 11, 2017 / 3:00 pm

    Really useful tips, thank you for sharing. I agree with the regular posting thing – though I only manage to publish once per week x

  8. Yeah Lifestyle December 11, 2017 / 6:31 pm

    Great tips here for new and existing bloggers to just read through and check their progress.

  9. Noleen Miller December 13, 2017 / 10:59 am

    Lovely tips. I’ve learnt so much from blogging these couple of months. I’ve surely learnt that promoting yourself and your blog is key and finding any opportunity that comes your way to be recognized. Thanks for sharing.#fortheloveofblog

  10. Emma-EttieandMe December 13, 2017 / 1:17 pm

    Some amazing tips here thankyou!! AND Happy Bloggingversary 🙂 xx

  11. Amy - The Rolling Baby December 13, 2017 / 3:26 pm

    There’s some really great tips here and im going to work to implement them on my blog – thank you 🙂 #fortheloveofBlog

  12. Nicole - Tales from Mamaville December 13, 2017 / 3:28 pm

    These are some very useful tips Claire, thanks for sharing them. All the best for 2018!!!
    #fortheloveof BLOG

  13. Phil & Alli December 13, 2017 / 6:04 pm

    Love this post, Claire. All great reminders. All the very best for your blog in 2018! 🙂
    #fortheloveofBLOG

  14. The Rhyming Mum December 13, 2017 / 7:45 pm

    There’s some great tips in here. I don’t have as much time as I’d like to commit to my blog at the moment. But I’m hoping in the New Year I’ll find more time to get my blog to where I know it could be. #fortheloveofblog
    The Rhyming Mum recently posted…The 12 things I REALLY want for ChristmasMy Profile

  15. Berni December 13, 2017 / 8:00 pm

    Thank you for this. It’s really helpful. I love blogging but am not sure I want to monetise it. On the other hand I could do with some cashflow to justify the amount of time I spend reading and writing. I’m going to reboot this so I can find it and review it when it’s quiet er

  16. Briony December 13, 2017 / 9:35 pm

    Amazing tips. It is important to remember our blog is your own and take a little break, otherwise you’ll burn out but saying yes to things certainly helps too. #fortheloveofBLOG

  17. Naomi December 14, 2017 / 1:44 am

    Some fabulous tips, here’s to a great 2018! #fortheloveofBLOG

  18. Ali Duke December 14, 2017 / 3:10 pm

    These are great tips. I have just been plodding along for nearly 2 years now. I really want to build my blog into something. I will be taking note f your tips.
    #fortheloveofblog

  19. Mrs Mummy Harris December 14, 2017 / 3:59 pm

    You make some really valid points here, I’ll try the sharing content more next year and being a bit more out there with pitches and I’ve been picky with the opp’s i’ve taken on! #fortheloveofBLOG
    Mrs Mummy Harris recently posted…The ultimate bloggers gift guide.My Profile

  20. Kate Holmes December 14, 2017 / 8:00 pm

    I have had a similar journey but started in the late half of this year but have already seen such positive results. Changing your mind set helps I find with a little more self belief and a little more “Why not?” attitude. I found one tip in particular in here than I did not know and will use from now on. Thanks you! #Fortheloveofblog
    Kate Holmes recently posted…Surviving Christmas with the Menopause by Dr Rosy FazziMy Profile

  21. Susie / So Happy In Town December 14, 2017 / 10:56 pm

    Very useful tips and it sounds like all your hard work is really paying off – awesome achievement to have turned your blog into your job. #fortheloveofBLOG

  22. Susie / So Happy In Town December 14, 2017 / 10:57 pm

    Very useful tips and it sounds like all your hard work is really paying off – awesome achievement to have turned your blog into your job #fortheloveofBLOG

  23. Heather Keet December 15, 2017 / 3:53 am

    I like how you recommend checking stats once a month, it’s easy to get discouraged if you check too often! #fortheloveofBLOG

  24. The Mummy Bubble December 16, 2017 / 9:42 pm

    Brilliant tips lovely! Your blog is what inspired me to get off my bum and launch my own blog, so thank you very much! Xx #fortheloveofBLOG

  25. Dave - Dad’s Turn December 18, 2017 / 8:46 am

    Good advice! I’m not so good at regular posting but will try better next year! #fortheloveofblog

  26. Tim December 19, 2017 / 11:32 pm

    All sound advice. Sharing the love (and other people’s posts) can make a big difference for a small investment of time – there’s a reason they’re called *social* networks.

    Not getting obsessed about double-green lights on Yoast is also something more bloggers should do. I’ve been blogging for over 10 years and have got on without Yoast just fine for most of them.

    Having said that, while it’s not something to get obsessed about, there’s a lot to be said for understanding why you’re not getting a green readability light if that’s the case. You don’t have to turn it green for the sake of it but in terms of making your posts more readable it’s worth understanding the principles of what makes web text easier to read. I’ve always found it quite easy to get a green light by following three basic rules. Use short words. Use short sentences. Use short paragraphs. And then the all-important fourth rule: edit ruthlessly. #fortheloveofBLOG

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