In case you missed my post on the North West Blogger event, I was actually asked along as a guest speaker on ‘how to run a successful blog’ and as you can imagine, I was and still am, rather flattered. Sure my blog has landed me my new career in Social Media, to be the face of a company, model, present and some pretty fancy dresses and products, but I would have never thought I’d be ‘qualified’ enough to talk about something like this. So instead, take this post as tips and tricks I’ve used to make my blog get to where it is, relatively successful and still a blazing passion that I love more and more each and every day.
Frequency – Be sure to Tweet often and keep an active feed. You don’t want to be really talkative one day and silent the next. A good way to do this is by….
Scheduling Tweets – On either Hootsuite, Tweetdeck or whichever program you prefer, it really helps to schedule content whilst you’re at work or when you know you’ll be busy. Somedays I’ll schedule tweets for once an hour with a link, and just tweet normally in-between, that way I don’t have to worry about getting my content out there and I can just tweet for fun.
Blogger Chats – Blog chats are a great way to talk to new people and create new connections. Often in blogger chats people will ask for guest bloggers, for help, advice or just an opinion on their latest nail colour, it’s a great chance to network and get yourself out there.
Hashtags – If you want your content to be seen and find others who write about the same thing, find the relevant hashtags. For most of us it’s #bbloggers #lbloggers #fbloggers or #psbloggers. There are SO many out there just full of relevant content and people to follow and interact with. Hash tagging also means that your content and tweets will be seen by the same people who are also looking on that hashtag, they’re a great way to boost your views and readership.
Most of us find Facebook a pain, even people in Social Media do, but it does help to have one. A lot of friends and family on Facebook may end up becoming your number one fans and loyal readers and you need an outlet to reach them on. There are also tonnes of Facebook groups (the most popular probably being UK Bloggers) and they’re great to join to again network and get your content out there more. If you’re into Facebook and you love it, interact with people on your page and build up a great connection, if you’re not a fan, simply post your blog posts as and when you publish them and continue to do so. Posting your links on Facebook just helps SEO and for them to get out there more.
Instagram – Instagram is pretty simply to use. You need your URL in your bio, a good and basic description and clear photos. Well, if clear photos are your look anyway. Engaging, posting daily or a couple times a day and hash tagging will all help you do well on Instagram.
Pinterest – I’m not the one to speak to over Pinterest, I only use it at Halloween for my makeup looks and I gain a ridiculous amount of traffic. Basically, the more you use it, the more diverse you are, and the more you get your link out there, the better you will do. I keep seeing it’s recommended to spend an hour on it a day, but be warned, it’s addictive. Don’t just post your own stuff though, the most popular accounts only rarely post their own things, probably as and when they publish a new post.
Google+ – If you’re on blogger your posts will automatically publish to Google+ which is another link back and helps searches on Google. It’s a great idea to set up a Google+ page and try and keep it as active as possible. Interact, share, comment and like other people’s posts and remember to add them to your circles!
I won’t babble on too much as I have an entire post on it. It’s incredibly basic as there are many small changes you can make that make the world of difference.
Titles – Brand, Product Name. It’s really that simple. If someone types in ‘L’oreal Mascara’ and your post on the mascara is called ‘The one thing I bought when I went to Boots’, it’s not going to show up.
Images – Images can show up on Google too, ALT Tagging them with exactly what the photo is of really helps.
Original Content – Obviously this goes without saying, but actually, it really helps your SEO too. If you make a post titled something that is searched for a lot but no one has written about before, then yours has a very high chance of coming up. I try to name my titles things people will google, for example, ‘What to Expect at a Benefit Cosmetics Interview’, this is Googled a lot.
Tags – If you tag every single thing you can think of under the sun, Google will become confused and not know what your site is about. Sticking to 20/30 ensures that your site can be navigated easily, without upsetting Google. However, some big blogs still do this, and if that’s how you want to run things, go for it! It just gives Google a little headache.
I know sometimes people get busy, I feel like ‘busy’ is my middle name lately, but try to engage as much as possible. Comment back, comment on other people’s posts, share people’s posts, do Follow Fridays, get involved with blogger chats, follow relevant people and tweet them. The list is endless for engagement but it is SO important if you want your blog to grow. Being a part of the community and getting involved will get you a lot further than just going at things alone and not talking to anyone. Most importantly, compliment each other, spread some love and just be nice!
Someone at the Blogger Event asked what I thought on commenting on current topics and I definitely think this is an amazing idea, just try not to get into a Twitter war over what colour a dress is. Be opinionated and show people that you can provide views on current topics, sometimes in a sarcastic or funny way, other times serious and passionate. People will follow you because of this as it’s current and engaging.
I have an average amount of views where I know I’ve promoted the post to my best ability and then, I post again. Posting constantly when no one is seeing the posts won’t help, as it’ll mean a lot of your posts become ‘noise’. Aim for quality rather than quantity, until you can provide both. Often full time bloggers will post once a day as their audience want the new content and will read/comment on it.
I personally find if I don’t post everyday, my views as a whole go down even if I still promote previous posts as people just want more and more. (I’m not complaining, I’ve kicked myself up the bum and I’m providing!) Obviously if you’re in education or working, it’s not always possible to post as often as you like and you shouldn’t beat yourself up. It’s your blog and you control it, if it’s a hobby, don’t take the fun out of it and stress, enjoy life and come back to your blog when you’re ready.
Finding your Voice
This is such an incredibly important point if you want to continue to build and gain readers as they want to have a voice to connect with. Not necessarily your actual voice, but how you write and get things across. For me, I write as if I would speak, I ramble on and often add in sarcasm and people seem to like it. Blogging is meant to be personal and fun, so if you’re writing about a lipstick, don’t write as if you’re in your GCSE Exam. Obviously, spelling, punctuation, grammar and paragraphs are all important, but it’s important to get your personality across. Do you often talk in slang? Use it! Swear? Fuck it. Obviously don’t lace your work with swearing, especially if you’re wanting to work with brands, but to that some would simply say that that is their personality and brands should still want to work with them. I agree with both points, but just do whatever you feel comfortable with.
If you’re ever unsure about how to write a post or a certain topic, pretend you’re talking to a friend. In some cases, if you can, actually get your Mum, Dad, Friend or Other Half to sit and listen to you as you type, this way it’ll come across more natural as if you’re having a conversation. I often read aloud whilst I type, as sometimes the voice in my head isn’t loud enough, and I find my posts come out a lot better, with far less mistakes because of it.
These are the points that I think make a successful blog, but what do you think?