It’s not very often that I chuck out a blogging related post any more. I feel a little bit like a fraud when I’m telling people how to blog because let’s face it I’ve kicked back a bit recently and cut down on blogging and very rarely promote my blog efficiently now. Still I don’t think it hurts to stick my two pennies in from time to time. So here I go…
How to Improve and Promote your Blog
This morning my Morecambe Bay Sling Library friends chucked out a plea for help on how to improve and promote their blog. The lovely Josefine of My Danglish Family kindly offered me up for this job. With a small Robot to wrangle all day though I said I’d PM them some tips later in the day which during said day I decided that I might as well just write a blog post about it.
What do you want to get from blogging?
Before I even begin to give you a how I think it’s important to work out what you want from the blog. Some people start a blog because they see others getting “freebies” from blogging (spoiler: nothing is free about blogging!). Others just want to tell people about their interests. In the parenting blogging world that I’ve fallen into it is certainly vast and varied. There is no right and wrong way to blog.
My own story has had its ups and downs but I’ve sort of come to terms with using my blog as way to keep my family in touch with what we as a family get up to. Also with the plan of slow growth and longevity so that I can take it somewhere in the future. The bonus is along the way I have picked up some fab blogging friends and some regular readers coming to visit my blog.
The first thing to consider when improving your blog is the content! If your writing is poor, uninteresting and non engaging, no one except maybe your Mum is going to want read it. #SorryNotSorry. Since I started blogging I’ve read some real cringe worthy blog posts that unsurprisingly I’ve never seen again. It’s just not for some people.
A niche isn’t totally important but it can help. For Morecambe Bay Slings this has an obvious niche. Baby wearing. Others like the lovely Tammy Mum have a more general lifestyle blog. If you are just starting out it can be hard to know what your niche is so I recommend just writing, write what you feel and your interest will follow… One thing is for sure though is that you need to write about what you enjoy as it’s bloody hard to write if you don’t.
The more your write the better your writing will get!
Time and Consistency
If you want your blog to be successful this is an important one that I am totally struggling with on my own blog at the moment. You need to dedicate time to it if you want to be noticed. You can go to the extreme and get totally absorbed in it or you can go sensible and do just what you can. It’s a definite that you get back what you put in.
Consistency is important too, if your readers get used to you posting once a week on a Monday they’ll know to visit once a week for a read. If it’s ad hoc and all over the place then you need to rely on other methods to push your blog posts.
*Shudders* Love it or hate it this is an important tool to promote your blog. It pays to have a presence on all social platforms and if you are a new set up then go and secure your name on everything even if you don’t want to use it them just yet. The ones I feel have been most important to my blog growth are as follows and I’m listing them in my favoured order:
I love twitter, I have used it since before I blogged, so it was easy to become accustomed to as a tool to promote my blog. If you’ve never used it then it’s mind-boggling especially when you start to follow loads of people. It’s fast paced and impossible to read everything. You can dip in and out and interact with people randomly, you need to get over the fact that you don’t actually know the people you are interacting with.
You need a healthy balance of sharing your own blog posts, retweeting other people’s posts and general chit-chat to have a nice account that people will follow. The use of the hashtag is important if you want to get to a wider audience.
This is another that I have used since before blog and also love. It’s become my top referer on my blog too. Pinterest isn’t a social media platform. Shocker. It’s a visual search engine. You need to Pin to your account regularly and have good pins from your own blog too. There is loads more to say about Pinterest so if you are interested then a whole new blog post will have to be written on the subject. However Jen at Love Chic Living is my guru on the subject so I guess you should visit her blog!
Facebook & Instagram
Okay so I’m lumping both of these together, they of course are very different but come from the same company. I am not a fan of either but are very important for if you want your blog to succeed. Both can be time absorbing and I am really not an expert on either, I don’t use them to their potential so can’t really offer advice!! Although…
Create a Facebook page for your blog and post regularly, photos, videos and calls to answer, post other people’s stuff and tag them in. Make your Instagram a business profile (easy to do) and link it with your Facebook page, use hash tags, anything you post will post to your Facebook page too aiding the posting regular thing.
Search Engine Optimisation. Almost feel like adding in a *shudder* again but honestly it’s not that hard to get your head round. It’s important as it makes your blog “searchable” on google and improve the chance that search engines will find you and push you up the list.
If you use WordPress you can download the plug-in Yoast and this will talk you through a lot of the key SEO stuff such as key words and meta tags. It has a frustrating traffic light system that will tell you what you need to add to your post to get a green light, aka SEO worthy.
Another biggie and one I’ve written about is the Alt Tag – so so important. It is the text that goes behind the images on your blog. If you are not doing this I urge you to go back through your blog and add it in, it will help I promise!!
If you’ve never blogged this is something that you’ll probably be oblivious to. Certain (mental) bloggers run a linky party. It’s a place for other bloggers to link up blog posts to get other bloggers reading and hopefully sharing your blog on their social media.
There are always rules to follow but in the case of #FamilyFun you basically read and comment on the host posts and read and comment on two others or more if you want. It’s always good to actually read and give meaningful comments on blogs because it shows you care and normally get a nice comment on your blog in return! The term “Great post” gets on my nerves!!
Honestly sometimes this process feels a little fake because you are often forced to read and comment on blogs you’re not normally interested in but I’ve discovered some amazing bloggers over the last year. Some people I consider friends now and look forward to reading their new blogs. The community spirit behind a popular well run linky is definitely worth it.
If you like to read blogs, definitely join in some linkys!
This is not the end…
Well actually it is! I feel like I’ve only just touched the surface on what you can do to improve and promote your blog. I also feel that this is an epic long blog post that I worry my regular readers will be surprised to see after my poor show shorties over the last few months. (If you made it this far well done!)
I hope you have found this helpful and I hope that it’s a good start for the more novice blogger? There is one thing for sure, just because I written this, doesn’t mean it’s right. Well I hope it is, but I am sure others could add to it…