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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?