This month marks my 3rd year of blogging. I have learned so much in the past 3 years about blogging and I wanted to share some of that knowledge with you. I hope you can apply some of my lessons to your own blogging experience. You can read what I learned in my first year of blogging here.
1. It takes fans to make fans. You know the saying, it takes money to make money. I believe the same is true with social media fans. It took me what seemed like FOREVER to get 500 or even 1,000 Facebook fans. But once I got what I considered a lot of fans it seems that those fans were telling their friends and they were becoming fans. Next thing I knew my numbers were growing. So don’t get discouraged if you are sitting at 100 Facebook fans and other sites seem to be getting 1,000 new fans a day. You will get there. I’m currently in that boat with my Google Plus numbers but I don’t stress because I know it will happen.
2. Build relationships. Whether if it is with another blogger or a business it’s important to build a relationship. Don’t be so concerned about what is in it for you. If you want to work with a brand more than once you need to build relationships. Working with bloggers is a great way to get your site exposed to new readers as well. Be professional and kind.
3. Stay organized. I created my own blog planner my first year of blogging. Each year I have added to that planner and tweaked it to make it work smoother. I recently updated it and you can now purchase you own 2013-2014 blog planner with more than just a calendar. It will help you chart your social media growth, income, affiliates, giveaways, daily to dos and more. You can purchase your copy here – The Ultimate Blog Planner. By staying organized and planning your editorial calendar in advance you prevent yourself from starring at a blank screen wondering what you are going to say.
4. Blog conferences are awesome. I went to The SITS Girls Bloggy Boot Camp Brand Edition last year and it was AMAZING! Seriously! I left with pages and pages of great information, actionable things I could do to apply to my site. Not fluffy feel good information, solid concrete stuff. I loved it. In fact, I cried when I was thanking Tiffany and Francesca the organizers. Yup, I cried.
5. Just ask. It is amazing the opportunities that have happened for me and that are unfolding for me this coming year. Some of them reached out to me but some of them I asked. You have to believe in yourself and ask. I wanted to speak at a blog conference so I pitched The SITS Girls an idea. Now I am now speaking at the Bloggy Boot Camp Brand Edition in Dallas this year. Mark your calendars :) I have had the privilege of working with different companies because I asked if they were interested. Don’t be afraid to ask.
6. Schedule my time. I have had to set aside a certain time of day to answer emails. It can be so tempting to check your email and answer it all day long. I now have a certain time of day when I sit down and tackle my inbox. Also, I don’t answer emails on weekends as that is family time. When scheduling your time make sure you include time that you will no work. I recently scheduled a certain time of day to write content as well. My goal is to stay off social media and emails and knock out content.
7. Newsletters are key. If you don’t have a newsletter, stop reading and sign up for one now. People may not come to your site everyday but they may sign up for your newsletter. You then have the opportunity to reach out to them and remind them you are still around.
8. Yoast is my favorite plug-in. This plug-in helps with SEO and it is super user friendly. It helps break down what can be really confusing to make sure that your post is the best it can be for Google to find it.
9. Not every post needs to be SEOed. I know I just said how much I love Yoast, and I do. But, I don’t use it for every post. In fact, I strive to have one or two posts a week that will do well with SEO. If you focus on making sure every post is great for a Google search you miss out on some great content.
10. Google Plus is your friend. Head over and circle me on Google Plus. Thanks! Here’s the cool thing about Google Plus. It helps with your SEO and Google ranking. Google loves Google so obviously they are going to favor the people and content on Google Plus. If you don’t have an account set one up. After you set it up make sure you authenticate your website so your photo will show up on Google searches.
11. Add my own links. At the end of posts, I’m trying to post three additional posts at the end of each post that relate to that subject. I do have a widget at the bottom of the post but I can’t determine which post it will share. By selecting which posts I think the reader would enjoy to read, I encourage them to stay on my site and read more about photography. Plus, it helps your SEO to repeat your keyword and to link to related sites.
12. Using Headers help SEO. I love to use bold but sometimes I uses headers. Google weighs the words in headers a little more than the other words in your post. Consider adding headers to your post.