This is a list of 85 blogging tips that I wish I had known when I first started out on this blogging journey. Blogging is my passion and while I still have so much to learn there is nothing that fires me up more than sharing what I have learned so far.
My question to you is: What would you add to this list? What would you take away from this list?
- Have a passion for what you are blogging about.
Be patient with yourself.
- Blogging is insanely difficult and far more frustrating than one could ever imagine. If you are not passionate about your blogging topic, the odds of you making it as a blogger [happily] are insanely low. You may go for more posts than I would like to admit here without a comment. You must be insanely in touch with your why. If that is you and you have a burning passion for your blog topic then do it. It is also insanely rewarding!
Comment on other blogs a lot.
- Blogging takes patience. The platforms are challenging to master and the content takes a long time to create. Even the greatest of writers struggle with whether or not they are doing it right. Be patient with you and take your time. Blogging is a journey so be kind to you and take your time.
Find your community.
- It seems that bloggers never have enough time. We are always in a rush to create the next post or the next image. However, when you are on a blog learning something new or just reading a post for fun take the time to leave a comment. Blog post comments mean the world to bloggers and you are one so you know!
If you can, find a blogging buddy that will encourage you.
- Finding your tribe is important in the 'real world' and in the 'digital world.' If you are fortunate enough like I have been the two worlds can sometimes merge. Facebook groups are a great way to find your tribe. I found mine at Screw The Nine To Five and they help me, shape me and cheer me on.
- Masterminds are extremely powerful. As soon as you find your tribe and/or a Facebook community ask people about forming a mastermind. My mastermind group encourages me and holds me accountable. We meet every other week and it is serious encouragement to achieve my goals.
I love WordPress and think that you should use but if you don't like it use something else. Platforms are getting better and better. Go with what make you comfortable.
A Mastermind: A group of 3-5 people who come together weekly by phone or in person to discuss common goals and hold one another accountable and encourage one another.
Give away the farm. It is ok if you tell people how to do everything. People can't do it all and if they know that you know what you are talking about, they will trust you.
- WordPress continues to improve and so do the tools surrounding it. It is without question still the go-to platform for bloggers today. It controls over 25% of the world wide web.
- I believe in WordPress so much that I create an entire business around it. If you need WordPress Support or WordPress Maintenance do let me know.
It can be hacked so have backups of your content.
- To be honest, when I first encountered this tip I didn't believe it but this blog is living proof of how true it is. If you want to provide a service for people tell them step-by-step how to do it for themselves. This proves that you are an expert and know how to do it. Sometimes people will take you up on it and sometimes they will hire you. Regardless, you are the hero in the end.
Facebook is my blogs best friend but Pinterest might be your blogs. Use the social platform that reaches your audience, not just the one that you love.
- Unless you have been in a cave creating content for the past year, you are fully aware of the dangers of hacking. My number one tip for you is to hide your WordPress login page. [Learn how to do that here.]
Jetpack really rocks after all. For the longest time, I didn't like it but now I really do. Their daily real time stats are quite helpful.
- When I originally wrote this post Twitter was my primary source of traffic but since then it is without doubt Facebook. This is exactly why you must always be testing and trying new social methods and social platforms.
- Note: Twitter is still my favorite social media platform. It just doesn't drive the same traffic today.
Google's link shortner really helps me see what people care about. I am often surprised at what people are clicking on.
- Jetpack just keeps improving and adding value. I rarely even look at my Google stats and still mostly use Jetpack to date.
Share other peoples stuff more than your own. Don't be all about ME on social media. Be all about them.
- Previously I used Bit.ly 100% of the time but they upgraded their platform and I 100% hate it.
Thrive has changed everything about WordPress and blogging. Now, it is easy to make things pretty. This taught me that sometimes paying for tools is worth.
- This is more true today than it ever has been. People fully expect engagement today. Spend the majority of your time online engaging with other people. Ya know, just be human. If you wouldn't behave that way face to face then don't do it online. You are awesome but so are they!
Don't blog about just what you want to blog about. Blog about what people are searching for. What I mean here is be hyper specific. For example, instead of just blogging about blogging, I need to blog about "How to use Thrive Content Builder to add a responsive table in WordPress."I use Long Tail Pro to find hyper specific blog posts now. Yes, it is another paid tool and no I didn't want to pay for another tool but it is so worth it.Here is a list of plugins that I love right now and that I am running on my blog:Do not pay a ton of money for a blog design. Even one year ago, I would have said that $900 to $2500 was a reasonable price but that is no longer the case. But, doing it yourself if you are not a developer is still a challenge. There is a lot to consider and so outsourcing is still a good idea.
- This is more true today than ever. As the need for landing pages and opt-in forms grows so does our need for great tools. The beautiful part of these great tools is that they keep them up to date with the coolest stuff and security updates.
Put your main keyword or keyword phrase in your title, in your blog post 2-3 times and in your meta description and that is it.Name your image after your primary keyword.
- I will admit that setting up a WordPress theme is getting a bit more complicated these days. I highly encourage you to try and set it up yourself but people do often hire me to finish it out for them. The good news is that it rarely takes more than 3-4 hours to get it done.
Pay attention to Google Webmaster tools. Make sure that your sitemap is in there.Sign up for Bing Webmaster Tools and make sure that your sitemap is in there.How your blog looks matters and so spend some time on formatting.
- For example: blogging-tips.jpg
A bloggers life can be lonely and unhealthy. Make sure that you actually physically talk to other humans.Get up from your chair and move around at least every hour, even if it is just to stand up. I lost 10 pounds just getting up and walking for 5 minutes several times a day. Crazy huh
- This is even more true today. For example, I keep coming back to this post over time and trying to make it better. Am I succeeding, let me know in the comments please??
Always reply to comments on your blog. I have a few that I have to go reply to after I done with this podcast.Be grateful for your audience. If you are blogging for 20 readers then you are changing lives. No matter your number, those people matter. Never say, I only have 5 readers. Dude, you have 5 readers and that is awesome.Use a blogging planner of some sort. If it is not a calendar then just make a list. Create a plan for your blog in whatever way works best for your brain. Whatever, you do have a plan. There is nothing worse than dreading your next post because you don't have any ideas.If you think that your blog design is just not working for you, then change it. Don't be afraid to experiment. I have changed my design 3 times in the past year. Since, I did this latest design my engagement has sky rocketed. Yes, I think that this cleaner simpler design matters.If you are unsure use Peek User Testing, a free tool and see what other folks think of your design. http://peek.usertesting.com/ This is why I changed my design. The results of my test made me sad but now I have something better because of it.I am writing this blog post in Scrivener. I love Evernote and use it as my second brain but I recently starting doing all of my writing in Scrivener because it is easy to see all of my content at once. Writing directly in WordPress is intimidating for me and I have had internet hiccups in the past that caused me to loose my work. That sucks hard core.You deserve a comfortable chair. I am obsessed with chairs and I finally found one that works for me. Just like I said earlier, take care of yourself because you have a lot of work to do.Blogging is so much work. It is crazy amounts of work that they average reader will never appreciate. Between formatting your image, researching the content, formatting the content, building your blog and just the time that it takes, is a small sampling of what a blogger does on a regular basis. Pat yourself on the back when you release a post, you did good.Don't stop blogging. If you are feeling discouraged and think that nothing you are saying matters, just go count your readers. If you think that those are not enough readers for your effort, then still don't stop. I just read about a blogger the other day that was a Nine Year over night success. Yep, for like 6 years he only had about 5-10 readers a day. Now, he has hundreds of thousands. He didn't stop and you are not going to stop either. If you are feeling really down about it, email me and let's talk. Maybe your blog just needs to expand a bit.Use the CoSchedule headline analyzer to create a better headline for your blog: http://coschedule.com/headline-analyzerThere is a Chrome Plugin Called Honey that will sometimes find you great discounts on digital purchases. Install it on your Chrome today and maybe you will save. It helped me save on some domain names the other day. Love it.Use the Free Buffer App to schedule social media posts for the future. I use this to schedule promos for other bloggers. It is quite helpful when I am busy reading blogs but don't want to tweet them all at once.If you are having trouble getting your blog indexed on Google try adding a YouTube video. It will sometimes help.I use Workflowy for making list and I really like it a lot. It has a hashtag feature that helps me organize my thoughts. It is free and I have been planning out content on it.Start building your mailing list now. Use MailChimp, it is free for the first 2,000 subscribers.Each time some signs up for your mailing list reach out to them and ask them how you can help them. Don't ask them for anything, just ask how you can help them.Use GtMetrix to test how your blog is doing speed and health wise. It is a free tool and you will see how long it takes for your blog to load.Don't stop putting your blog on Google Plus. It is not dead and it still has value.Sign up for Instagram. It is hot right now and it can be annoying but give it a try. Heck, you may even like it.Make sure that your blog post indexed on Google: Fortunately, there is a fast and easy way to know the answer to this question. Go to Google.com. In the search type in site: http://yourdomain.comSignup for http://uptimerobot.com/ and they will alert you if your blog ever goes down.Use Ubersuggest to see what people are searching for around a keyword. It will give you so many suggestions that it will blow your mind. Keep in mind though, it does not give you search volume.This is why I take these and then put them in Long Tail Pro to get search volume and to see how competitive they are.Use Hootsuite to schedule out a weeks worth of self promotion so that you can spend the rest of your time focused on promoting others.Use LastPass to keep up with all of those passwords. I have been using it for a month, the free version, and it has brought down my stress level.Resize your images dimensions before you upload it to your blog. Huge images slow down your blog.Stop reading your email all of the time. Try reading just once a day or go crazy and only read it every other day.Don't do anything until you finish something. This has been a big tip for me lately. Just the other day, I built an entire website in one day because I didn't allow myself to do anything else (besides walk some) before it was done.Listen to podcasts related to your blog theme topic. The odds are extremely high that there is podcast about your blog topic. I listen while I walk and while I clean house. I can't listen while I work.If there is not a podcast about your topic start one. If there is consider starting a podcast anyways. It will help your brand.Write at least 10 blog post titles before you settle on one. Get those creative juices flowing.I use AText which is a text expander tool for Macs. Essentially what it does is create a short code for something long. For example, if type "Ituneslink" it will give me the link to the I Teach Blogging iTunes http://apple.co/1XUV39C. Now I don't have to go find it every single time. This is a huge life save and I only paid $5.I hate email so much but it is quite important. My struggle is in setting up a custom email address. I believe that it is important to have a email associated to your domain such as renee @iteachblogging.com but if you can use it with Gmail. Then, you can check it from anywhere.Make sure that your WordPress general settings are customized. Use your primary keyword in your tagline.Delete all of the unused pages on your website.Don't be a perfectionist. This fear. This insecurity stops people. It stops me and it has likely stopped you. Be vigilant but be a blogger.If you got behind on blogging, shake it off and just dive back in. Sometimes it happens. I forgive you and you should forgive you too. Your readers will also forgive you. Just start blogging again and all will be fine.Do internal linking to your blog. This means that when you reference something that you have blogged about in the past, link to that post. This helps people find your old content.If you haven't started blogging yet, don't run out and hire a developer today. If you want to start blogging, start by creating some content. Figure out your blog theme topic and then write 10-20 blog posts. When you have that done, then go get a blog designed. Content is what really matters.Here are 10 reasons why you should own your domain:
- I am still doing this but didn't lose another 10 pounds yet. DARN!
Facebook pages are losing steam but Facebook groups are growing. Facebook really wants you to pay to boost a post from your page but they love to show people the latest post from a group. Consider a Facebook group instead of a page or in addition to a page.Fill in the blanks on these blog post prompts:
- #1 It makes you look like the professional that you are.
- #2 You will own your content
- #3 You will have a professional email account.
- #4 You can use a premium theme.
- #5 If you want to be a professional blogger people most likely will not want to pay you for ads.
- #6 You do not want to spend time building great SEO on a website that you do not own.
- #7 They can turn it off at anytime for any reason that they choose.
- #8 sometimes you need https:// for secure shopping purposes.
- #9 you don’t want to be limited with wordpress plugins.
- #10 if a better platform comes along you can change with the times.
A popular question that I get often is can I use WordPress for my website. The answer is yes. You just set a home page instead of it being your latest blog post.Keep good track of when your domain and hosting will expire. I have had too many previous clients reach out because their site went down. It went down because they didn't pay their hosting bill. If this happens, odds are good that everything is lost.Right now my blog is built using a theme from Thrive Themes. However, I have other sites built on Thesis Theme and even some built on Genesis Theme. Use the one that is right for your blog, not what others think is cool.The search images can't read the text on an image. This is why if you have something important to say, you need to actually type it out. A website made of just images will not help you and will actually hurt you.Don't just say the same thing over and over again. It is critical that your content is unique. It is tempting to just mix it up a bit and repost it but that actually has a negative effect.Spend time on Reddit. Be careful and you should probably read my recent blog post about it for a few tips. However, it is a great place to find community and get links back to your blog. I hate it and love it at the same time.I keep reading about focus and how important it is. Based upon all that I have read so far, we can really only accomplish 3 big tasks in one day. Be kind to yourself and pick your three, do them and feel accomplished.To be a successful blogger you gotta be in this for the long haul. This means that you need to be yourself for the readers. It will be difficult to sustain your blog if you are trying to be who you think that you should be. People relate with real people so just be yourself.Create your WordPress Gravatar so that your picture shows up next to your bio. It is free to setup and it really helps people relate to a blogger when they have a face to associate to the name.Do you know who your idea audience is for your blog? Spend some time figuring out who you are blogging for and then write for them.Go where your audience is and spend time in their community. Just the other day some said that they realized they didn't really enjoy being where their audience is. I say that they picked the wrong audience then. You need to love them and love on them. They are why you are doing this in the first place.This tip is directly from Google: Think about the words users would type to find your pages and include those words on your site.
- 1. The ______ way to _______.
- 2. 15 Reasons that you should _____ today.
- 3. Are you doing this _______ because it may be ruining your ______.
Your blog sidebar is not a dumping ground for all of the things that you don't know where else to put. If you jam it with too many things then people won't know what to do. Readers are becoming blind to ads, so just put a few. If people are not clicking on them, then try just having one.You can schedule your blog posts for the future. Right now I am working on writing and scheduling all of my November content. This way, the blog will post no matter where I am or what I am doing.There is no secret to blogging but if there one, it would be to just keep improving. Work on being a better blogger all of the time and always keep your audience in mind.Don't forget to give your images an alt title.Put a link to your blog in your email signature. You need to remind people, even your friends that you blog and this is a great subtle way to do it.Don't just Tweet a blog post once and then move on. Tweet out old content on a regular basis.People actually read the about me page, so spend some time on it. Surprise people here and put interesting tips and facts about yourself.Check out this awesome article "You're Doing It Wrong." In it they say that you blogging is evolving. I agree.
- What they are saying here is to focus on the actual words that people type in the search engine. If people are actually searching for "red boys bicycle" then put that in your post.
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Ok guys now I want to hear from you. I am sure that you know me well enough by now to know that I could go on and on but I want 15 tips from you. Leave a tip on the comments section associated to this blog post with a link to your blog and I will add it to the post. I will credit you with a link to your blog.