My top 15 insanely useful tips for bloggers
I've been thinking of ways to condense all of the useful posts I've written on blogging, and so created this insanely useful list for bloggers of all niches and topics. Whether you've been blogging for years or whether you've just started your journey & are feeling a little overwhelmed, these tips are bound to help you on your way.
1. Read, re-read & update your About page.
When I look at the traffic stats on this site, my About page is one of the most popular pages. And I know that when I visit other blogs, I always click on their about/welcome pages to find out more about who they are as a person. Don't let the thought that is has to be perfect put you off editing yours (or even making one if you don't already have one). I am constently updating and editing mine, adding in or taking out information that is no longer relevant to my blogging journey. Your About page should grow with your blog, as should your profile picture (mentioned above).
Here are some tips for your About Page.
Make sure it:
- reflects who you are
- makes it clear what services you offer (if any) or products you sell
- gives your readers a glimpse into you and your personality
**Pro Tip: I recently added in a Start Here page to my blog. I have my regular About Page which I use to tell my readers all about ME as a person as well as my background. I then use my Start Here page to talk about my blog, highlighting what it is I write about, as well as what products & services I offer. Some of the information will overlap, but for the most part, having two separate pages helps guide your audience around your blog. This is especially useful if you are like me, and blog about a lot of different topics. You want people to have a 'road map' of your blog, and not for them to get so lost that they click away and leave your blog. I wrote a great blog post on why you need a Start Here page...click the image below to read more.
2. Update your social media & blog profile images.
Include a *recent* photograph of yourself somewhere on your blog so people can identify with you and start associating you with your brand. This is especially useful if you participate in a lot of Facebook business groups. Having a profile image that you use consistently across your social media platforms (and your personal Facebook page) will help people make the connection between you and your brand.
There is a lot of discussion around what sort of images/branding you should use for your Facebook Business/Blog page. Some people suggest using your logo as the profile photo & a photograph with your service offerings or what your blog/business is about for the cover photo. I agree with those who suggest using a photo of YOU (the person behind your blog or business) for your Facebook Business page. This helps people remember they are dealing with an actual person and helps people to connect with you.
3. Give away GREAT free content to your readers.
Be that blogger who is always providing awesome content, for free, without constantly trying to sell-sell-sell. This is done by two of my favourite business blogs, By Regina & The Nectar Collective. These two ladies give away so much free content, that I know their paid for products are worth their weight in gold.
When you freely give information & share your knowledge with others, you immediately set yourself apart from the sea of bloggers. Everybody loves free stuff. Think about how you feel when your favourite blogger gives away useful, free content. What are you giving away for free to your readers to promote your blog or business?
4. Start working on your email list, as soon as your blog is up and running.
Use a FREE platform like Mailchimp to get started. I signed up for Mailchimp 3 years ago, but have only started using it to as a tool to grow my blog in the last few weeks. I'll be writing about how I went from 0 - 200 subscribers in two weeks soon. I'll be sharing with you what I did to grow my list, and how you to can get the same results. Look out for that soon.
Once you start collecting emails, make sure you offer your subscribers valuable content. Don't just spam their inboxes with badly thought out & boring newsletters. Here are some ideas of what to send out to your subscribers to make them want to stick around on your mailing list.
- Awesome welcome email - This will be one of the first times your new subscribers will be hearing from you. Send them a freebie/funny video/inspiring graphic/ask them thoughtful questions to get them thinking
- Freebies - Send them Freebies relating to your skills/offered services/products
- Start a Challenge - how about an Instagram challenge just for your email subscribers. Create a hashtag to keep track of entries & send a small prize to the winner
- Content upgrades - These are additional information (workbooks, worksheets or free downloads) that are associated with a particular blog post. So regular blog readers are able to see read and access the bog post, but only your subscribers will get your content upgrade.
You want your subscribers to look forward to your emails in their inbox, and for them to never consider hitting that unsubscribe button.
5. Automate as much as you can using great FREE scheduling tools like Buffer.
Your social media marketing doesn't have to take up hours and hours of your time. There are lots of really powerful (and free) platforms to manage your social media accounts.
I personally use Buffer and it has helped me not only grow my blog readership, but it has saved me so much time. I now have more time to focus on other areas of my blog, as I can schedule a weeks worth of social media posts in one morning.
6. Set up Rich Pins for Pinterest.
If you blog with Squarespace you don't even need to do anything to set up Rich Pins, how cool is that.
Since May 2015, all products and posts on Squarespace have Rich Pins enabled by default. Rich Pins offer a more complete experience within Pinterest by showcasing all then relevant details from your posts (like your blog post headlines, product prices, and key words) directly next to the content pinned from your site. Plus, Rich Pins show up higher in Pinterest feeds, making them more discoverable and helping drive even more traffic back to your original blog post.
7. Work on your social media account branding
Your social media branding is everything from your cover photos to your profile photos, and also, most importantly, your bios. Keep a consistent style/theme throughout all of your media platforms is super important to help you create a cohesive brand for your blog.
At the end of the day, you want people to recognize you and your brand on all of the social media platforms you use. You don't want people to get confused by who you are and what you offer when they see you on Instagram showing photos of your dog, and then on Facebook talking about strategy and the coaching services you offer. I have a whole lesson dedicated to this in my free e-course, BeautifyYourBlog...click here to sign up and learn all my secrets to creating a more beautiful blog that is authentically you, in the most beautiful way possible.
8. Learn how to style your own blog photographs.
I've written this post on how to take better photos for your blog using your phone. I'll walk you through the process to up your blog image game and take your photos to the next level. Click here to read more.
If you don't have the time to create your own styled photographs for your blog, look into stock photography to help take your blog to the next level. If you are looking for beautiful stock images to use for your blog & business branding, then click here to join my email community, The #CGScreative.
9. Create templates for your blog post graphics
Use a site free editing site like Canva or Picmonkey to create easy to edit templates for your blog posts. This will save you so much time when it comes to blogging and helps ensure your branding looks consistent.
10. Create a Blog Editorial CALENDAR to help you keep track of ideas and avoid running out of content for your blog.
I use a simple notebook (and the Notes app on my iPhone) to jot down ideas for blog posts. Often ideas pop into my mind when I am busy doing other things and I want to make sure I don't forget them. Another tool I often hear bloggers raving about is Evernote, but I haven't quite gotten into it.
If you like to schedule out blog posts and social media posts for certain days, then creating a blog editorial calendar is a great way to stay on top of things. I don't do this though, preferring to write when the mood strikes me (this has worked fro me for the past 5 years), but I must say that it's becoming harder to do these days and I'm going to be looking into creating my own editorial calendar soon. Keeping an editorial calendar is also a great wy to make sure you don't forget to do things (like scheduling your recently published post) and ensures you are getting your blog pots out there and in front of readers often.
11. Ask a friend or family member for honest critique.
It's often really hard for bloggers to take a step back and be objective of their blogs. I can totally understand this. Our blogs are our babies, and we like to think we have created something that is as beautiful to look at as it is to navigate around. That's why, if you're struggling to understand why people aren't engaging with your work, it's important to ask for honest critique from soneone you trust to give you constructive feedback.
I would suggest asking a mix of family and friends, as well as other bloggers for their honest feedback on your site. You could create a small survey (using a free site like SurveyMonkey or Typeform) to guide their critique and help them to really give you the feedback you need.
Ask them questions like:
- How easy is it to understand what you blog about?
- Is it obvious who your target audience is?
- How easy is it for them to know where to find things?
- How do they feel about the layout of your site?
12. Re-purpose old content
Chances are you've got some older blog posts that are filled with useful content. Why not create new graphics/update the photographs in them and then post them onto your social media accounts to get people to engage with them. This helps prolong the 'shelf-life' of your posts and ensures your hard work isn't hidden in your blog.
13. Add content upgrades (free worksheets/check lists/workbooks) to your blog posts.
Adding freebies to your blog posts not only add value to your post, but also work as a way of growing your email list (refer back to #4. Content upgrades (or lead magnets) make you and your blog stand out, helping to give you 'expert status'. Expert status is just a fancy way of saying that you look more like an expert on the topic your blogging about, and less like someone who has just thrown together a random post. By adding content upgrades to blog posts you're giving your readers more value for their time, and helping them save time by giving them bite size information in easy to digest chunks.
You are literally 'upgrading' your blog post and offering something awesome and useful in exchange for an email address. For example, at the end of this blog post I have created a content upgrade that sums up this blog post and puts the 15 useful tips mentioned in this post into printable checklist for easy reference later.
Always make sure that the content upgrade you create is related to your niche so that the email addresses you collect are from people who would be interested in the product or service you plan to offer in the future.
If you are a beauty blogger but write a blog post on your favourite chocolate cake recipe, offering the printable recipe as a content upgrade will mean you'll collect email addresses of people who are interested in recipes, not beauty products. If you email those people a newsletter than is a roundup of your favourite skincare products, chances are those people will be the first to unsubscribe because they signed up to your list to get your recipe knowledge, not your beauty knowledge.
Examples of content upgrades:
- Resource Lists (a list of your favourite tools/resources)
- Check lists
- Fillable Worksheets
- Printables (recipes/calendasr/shopping list)
These will not only grow your email list, but make your blog stand out.
14. Learn to market your blog and get it seen by more people
I created this simple guide to marketing your blog a little while ago, and it has become one of my most popular blog posts.
In this post I've outlined 15 easy ways to get your blog out there and get it seen by more people, thereby helping you grow your blog reach and audience. Click here to read it.
15. Connect with other creatives, especially those who offer services that complement your business.
If you're a photographer, reach out and connect with graphic designers, copy writers, & website designers. Share YOUR expertise with others who may be in need of your services at some point in their business journey. They may not realise they need you yet, but be seen, put yourself out there so you are the first person they think of and refer others to.
Want a handy, printable checklist of all the tips mentioned in this post? Click below to get your hands on one right now by joining the #CGScreative & clicking the image below. By joining you'll gain access to my FREE resource library which is jam-packed with all sorts of resources that will help you in your blogging journey. I just know you're going to love being a part of the #CGScreative community and that the resource library is going to be helpful for you.