Blogging Tips & Tricks
I may not be a blogging expert, but after working on the Andrew Backhouse Design Blog for more than three years (and having my own personal Adventure Blog, Ijo Pona, for seven years) I have a few tricks up my sleeves! I have a loyal audience and I’ve made a lot of friends. I will keep this page updated with my best Blogging Tips & Secrets as I learn and continue to grow as a blogger. Specifically, I am writing about fun-time blogging rather than work-blogging.
HOW I STARTED BLOGGING
With a background in academia and some pretty good influences, I decided to jump right in. I took a couple of months to define my focus, brainstorm, and do all the research I could. Then in November 2011, I opened the first draft of my blog, www.awbackhouse.com.
In this blog post, I will try and convey my love of writing home, my personal blog.
MY BLOGGING SECRETS
The best part about blogging is that it’s not competitive – there’s plenty of room for everyone! You don’t have to fit into a mould to be a blogger. In fact – when you find your niche, it’s likely not going to be exactly the same as anyone else because blogging is pure expression.
BEST BLOGGING TIPS
Photos – Before you upload your photos to your blog, re-name them using keywords. By re-naming your uploaded images (naming it ‘Blogging Tips 1’ instead of ‘image_1’) will make it easier for search engines to find your images and your blog posts (It’s improving your SEO).
Guest Posting/Contributing – One of the fast ways I learned about blogging was by contributing to work blogs around the web. It’s a great way to build authentic links back to your blog and grow your audience by sharing your writing with a different community. While I don’t get a lot of direct traffic from contributing, learning from experienced bloggers is priceless.
BEST SOCIAL MEDIA TIPS
The best tip I have ever heard about social media is to focus on one or two platforms you love. No one can be good at everything and you’ll stretch yourself too thin if you try to be fully present on every stream of social media. That being said, here are the three social media platforms I focus on and some tips for each platform.
Predominantly a female-led site, with the age range of 25-44. Good for Design. When you are creating Pinterest-friendly images, make sure they are vertical (portrait) orientation. Pinterest users tend to skip right over a landscape image and even square images. It’s also a great idea to include at least one extra long image in each post. These get more visual real estate on Pinterest, giving them more time to catch someone’s eye. (Ideally, you should have both a ‘Tall’ image of about 900 x 1355 pixels and a ‘Pinterest-specific’ image of about 600×1600)
Once you set up your account up as a Business, you’ll be able to access analytics about your Pinterest account: which pins are performing well, who is re-pinning your images, etc. You can use this information to find out what your audience likes.
Use Titles and Alt Tags wisely. What you name your photos in WordPress is what will show up in Pinterest when someone Pins directly from your post.
When you post an image to Pinterest, use the caption to create a great description (about 300 characters) full of keywords. You don’t have to worry about caption length, so feel free to use as many descriptive words as you’d like (but don’t use hashtags – they won’t do you any good on Pinterest!)
You can’t include links in Instagram captions and you only get one active link on your entire profile, so you must make it count! Design a Welcome Page on your blog that features some of your best posts and provides an opportunity to sign up for your mailing list on your personal blog – shops & businesses would have a call to action link. If you have an ‘opt-in’ incentive, this is a great place to put it.
Hashtags are an essential part of getting your photos out to the world, but not all hashtags are created equal!
With FB, you are kind of preaching to the converted – everyone on there wants to read your personal blog – but, don’t get over-zealous and post every single blog article there – it could kill the vibe.
If you have a business and you are blogging solely for business then by all means post to your business page. If you want to become a pro-blogger then set up an FB page for your Blog. This will be like preaching to the choir.
I love this blogging journey and sharing about what’s worked (and what hasn’t worked) for me. My favourite part about blogging is that it’s constantly evolving and changing. It’s never the same thing twice. If you have any questions feel free to comment below and I will do my best to answer them. If you’ve found something you love that I’ve missed, share that as well and we can continue to grow together as a community. If you want me to build you a blog, I run a subscription service that covers unlimited, 24/7 help to get you blogging (but don’t phone at 4am!).