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You know, when I first started my blog back in 2014 I had no clue what the heck I was doing. Just write, Iva, you’re a good writer. Write good things and people will flock to your website in droves. Traffic will be insane and you will be the star of the world wide web. So, needless to say, that didn’t happen. I was so naive. There was so much to learn and do.
What’s wrong with my blog?
This question went through my head all the time. Where’s the traffic and the cheers of all the raving fans? There was nothing right about my site. It was all wrong.
Apparently, starting a blog doesn’t mean you just make a pretty website, start writing and hope the internet will explode with your awesomeness. I kept plugging away for a few more years before I finally decided it was time to get serious and figure out how this blogging thing works!!
Cue the learning process
I’d rather stick needles in my eyes than read blogs on how to blog and drive traffic to your site. But it dawned on me that if I want to get this up and running the way it’s supposed to, then I need to learn stuff!
And minus the needles, I started reading and learning. I did whatever it took to figure out this blogging business. I’m gonna break it down for you simply here so you don’t have to go through the same anxiety and frustration that I went through.
This is for any and all of you who are blogging or thinking about it and want to have a good foundation.
“If you want to continually grow your blog, you need to learn to blog on a consistent basis.” – Neil Patel
The things I’m gonna cover here are:
- proper blog format
- SEO stuff
- other social media stuff
Tip #1- The Blog Format
First and foremost, if your blog and site look like crap no one is going to want to share it. This was my first mistake. Oh, I knew how to write but you’d never know it by looking at my blog.
- Aim for 1000–2000 words, depending on your topic. Make small paragraphs, 2–3 lines each. Keep in mind, many people are reading articles on their mobile devices now (think 5″ screen) and to read one big long paragraph is painful. Break it up.
- Insert images for reading pleasure. 2–3 should suffice.
- Your title should be engaging as well as the main/featured image. We have short attention spans. If your picture and title don’t capture our attention in the first 5 seconds, we’re gone.
Let me give you an example:
- Example 1: How to Make Your Blog Better.
- Example 2: 4 Insanely Easy Ways to Drive Traffic to Your Blog and Make More Moo-lah!
Which one would you click on first and want to read?
- Add internal links to other posts you have that relate to your current post. I add 2–4 depending on the length.
- Make sure to include an external link. An external link could be a reference to another site that has great information about your article.
Give your readers valuable top-notch information. Don’t just write for the sake of writing like I used. Give them value, a reason to want to read more of your stuff AND a reason for them to want to share your stuff.
Tip #2- The SEO stuff
Learn it! For real! Right now! Do it! I had no clue what SEO was for the longest time. What the hell is SEO anyway? Search Engine Optimization. Search. Get it? People go on the web to “search” for things. They plug in words (or phrases) in the search bar and hit enter. I had no clue.
You don’t have to pay for a keyword tool. I have in the past but realized I do just fine finding things in the Google search bar and checking out my competition.
Google search bar is the best. A great way to search for keywords is right on the Google search page. This is where people are going to search for things! Type in a few words and see what people are also typing.
Let me show you…
See if you wanted to write about making peanut butter cookies (yum), it shows you all the other peanut butter cookie ideas people are searching for. Those are your keywords! Easy right? My advice on SEO would be to take a course, buy a book, watch tutorials, do something but learn it!
“Google only loves you when everyone else loves you first.” – Wendy Piersall
Tip #3- Social Media Platforms
Do you already have social media accounts but your peeps aren’t engaging? You will have to test and find out where your audience is hanging out. It took me a while to realize my peeps aren’t on Twitter and though some of them are on Instagram, they’re not interested in anything other than inspirational quotes.
I tested and found my people were on Facebook and Pinterest. I joined Pinterest in January 2018 with 15 followers and no clue what I was doing. Today I have almost 140K followers with over 10 million monthly views (I’m not even kidding) It is my main driver of traffic to my website. Get on Pinterest (yes it’s for bloggers too) and work it. I bought a book on it and then wrote my own.
Engage engage engage. Need I say more? No one is going to find you if you don’t put yourself out there in the share world. You NEED groups. You need collaboration. You need to connect with other bloggers. You need to share your stuff out so people can read it and find you and love you.
No miracles here
This isn’t gonna happen overnight. I had to go through all my blogs and edit each and every one of them for SEO, change images, change titles, you name it, I did it. Yes, it’s a lot of work but, it’s so worth it. How bad do you want to grow your blog, drive traffic and make money?
How to stand out in a sea full of bloggers
You need to go above and beyond. Remember this isn’t a sprint. It’s a long slow marathon and the only thing you need to do is show up and perform better than the guy ahead of you. This is all really bare-bones stuff just to get you started. There is so much to learn, constantly. You can do this!