In three years +, blogging has given me so much I’m grateful for. Things that I never expected when I wrote my first post. I’ve written about how blogging is like therapy for me, I’ve been asked to review some wonderful products, have captured big and small moments in Ava’s life, been invited to great events in different countries, but also most of all I’ve met some fabulous new friends. So, with all this in mind, I thought I’d share some bitesized blogging tips that I have learned along the way.
Here are 50 blogging tips you NEED in your life
1. Install the editorial calendar plug in. For me it’s vital to visually see my posts in a calendar format. This plugin allows you to drag and drop posts. Your drafts are at the side and can be easily dropped in.
2. Schedule tweets. There’s no point in writing a great post and then not promoting it or just tweeting it out once. If you can imagine a timeline with 3000 people’s tweets on it, that one tweet isn’t going to be seen. In the past I have used Buffer and Twuffer, but I now use Social Oomph. I pay a small amount (couple of dollars a week) and there are no limits. I can set a schedule i.e tweet every four hours forever, or tweet every 3 hours x 10 times, whatever I choose. This saves me so much time inputting. When you’re scheduling remember the times when you are asleep but the US is awake!
3. Create twitter lists. I follow about 4k people and if i didn’t have lists then I would miss most of the tweets I want to see. So I created a few different lists and I add to these lists when I have interaction with people.
4. Evergreen old post scheduler. This is a WP plug in that posts links to your old blog posts on Twitter. It’s fully customisable, you can pick the frequency, categories, tags and age of post. I set it to tweet on the hour, any post older than 30 days.
5. Draft posts – if you have an idea for a post or get booked to write a post create a draft. You can then develop it and thrash ideas out, but the post is there and you won’t forget about it.
6. Social sharing- make it easy for people to share your posts. I have sharing options at the end of each post, courtesy of a plug in. MAKE SURE YOUR TWITTER HANDLE IS IN THE TWEET THAT POPS UP IF SOMEONE SHARES YOUR POST TO TWITTER!
7. Pictures. Pictures grab the readers attention and help tell your story. I rarely (if ever), publish a post without a picture. They also help break up the text, a huge chunk of text can be off putting to the reader.
8. Pinnable images. This won’t always be possible, but where appropriate, try to create pinnable images. Portrait images (optimum size 735 x 1002) with an enticing title over-layed. Think of what would make you pin something.
9. Use your networks. Promote post via all your available networks. Be creative use Instagram stories, Youtube or even Facebook Live!
10. When installing a plug in, check when it was last updated and try to install ones that have been updated within the last few months, ideally weeks.
11. Join in with linkies. This will help you build relationships with other bloggers and give your post more exposure. I have a comprehensive list of linkys – the Linky List, which will help you get started.
12. If you want to work with a particular brand/company, just email them, what’s the worst that can happen. You never know you might get lucky! I once secured my BritMums Live sponsorship from a speculative DM on Twitter.
13. Sharing is caring. If you like a post, why not share it as well as leaving a comment? The blogger will really appreciate it.
14. If you don’t use a plug in delete it (don’t just deactivate it) and make sure all the active ones are kept up to date.
15. Use Hashtags when tweeting, or posting to Instagram, to help you reach a wider audience. Remember hashtags don’t work on Pinterest, so don’t waste your time including them. Use two on Twitter (per post) and the max 30 on Instagram.
16. Blog Clubs – If you want to get more involved in the community and receive more comments, then consider joining in with a blog club or commenting group/pod on Facebook/Instagram. It’s an investment of time, as you have to comment on all the other posts, but it’s a good way to build your community.
17. Pic Monkey – I used to edit most of my pictures with Pic Monkey. It’s really user friendly, has a free version and can do quite a lot.
18. Lightroom – I now use Lightroom to edit my images. Lightroom is awesome and costs $9 per month.
19. Stay true to yourself and your voice. Other bloggers will do things differently, some better, some worse. Just stay focused on what you want to write and how you want your blog to look.
20. Run giveaways – giveaways can help bring additional traffic to your blog. I use Gleam on all the giveaways I run, which allows you to customise the entry requirements. Bear in mind although giveaways bring traffic, they might not lead to an increase in readers who will come back to support your blog.
21. Canva is a free picture editing and graphic website, that is great if you fancy a change to Pic Monkey and don’t feel ready for Lightroom.
22. Plan general posts depending on the time of year. Think what do people want that month – i.e in January they want bargains, resolutions and to lose weight/eat healthier. October time could be good for starting Christmas planning posts. Also look for Nationals days, as you may be able to tie a post in with one of those.
23. Re-purpose an old post. Update the SEO, make it prettier, re format it if necessary or maybe offer it as a guest post.
24. Use Related Posts or Shareaholic plug in. Which place thumbnails of similar post on the bottom of each post.
25. Make sure your blog is mobile friendly. Have a look at it on your phone to double check things are where they should be.
26. Write about what’s trending if it interests you (Twitter, Google, Yahoo homepage will show trends).
27. Check your post twice before publishing. We’re all human, but spelling mistakes look awful.
28. Include a call to action or question at the end of a post. It might improve shares or help start a conversation.
29. Readability – Is your font easy to read, does the background make this difficult? Try to keep things simple and clean. Handwritten style fonts are often harder to read.
30.’ Top ten’s’, ‘How to’s’ and recipe posts always go down well and are very pinnable.
31. Back up your blog! I use the WP All in One Security plug in.
32. Facebook Page – Try to engage your Facebook fans, not just post blog links. Create a community.
33. SEO – Optimise your posts so that people can find them. I use the Yoast Plug in, which is super easy to use.
34. Try to meet other bloggers face to face. It will help you to build relationships and you will learn lots.
35. Try to make your titles attention grabbing. Odd numbers are good and create intrigue if possible.
36. Make it easy for people to comment on your post. Try it yourself and see how it works. Captcha can put people off, so can systems that require people to log in and authorise apps.
37. Post regularly and if you go away schedule posts, tweets and other updates, so things keep moving in your absence.
38. Write a personal ‘About’ page with a picture. People are inquisitive and like to put a face to the name!
39. Write a series of posts. That way you will encourage people to visit you again for the next instalment.
40. Make your pictures as large as your template allows. Large pictures are more aesthetically pleasing.
41. If you’re serious about your blog, move to self-hosted. You have more control over the appearance and can earn money when you are self-hosted (if you wish!).
42. Install Akismet – it will monitor your spam.
43. Link to another of your posts in any new post.
44. Have a spare post. That way if you are due to publish a post, but haven’t written one, you can pop in your spare.
45. Start building your email list, so important as it’s the only list of followers you actually own.
46. Install Jetpack (Self hosted WP Plug in). This gives you all the features that WP blogs have automatically, so your editing area will look like it did before you went self hosted.
47. Consistent profile picture. Use a personal picture (not a logo) and make sure it is the same picture across all platforms.
48. Your contact details. Make sure people can quickly and easily find your email and your twitter handle. If they have to spend too long looking, they may not bother.
49. Examine your stats to find out what type of posts are most popular, so you can tailor your posts accordingly.
50. Have fun!
I hope you found some of these tips useful. What would be your top tip?