Who enjoyed their bank holiday lie in? I find it quite hard to stay in bed all morning, so not getting to read until 9am is quite an achievement for me. Over the summer, I’ve tried to improve my blogging. From the way I use social media, to my blog design, I realised I barely touched the surface of blogging. Whilst I still have a long way to go and am by no means an expert, I discover new tips everyday that I want to share. Here’s my advice on how to improve your blogging.
How to Improve your Blogging
Design – Whenever someone visits your blog, the first thing they see is the design. There are plenty of beautiful free themes out there, you don’t need to fork out for a fancy paid one. Once you have your theme, do spend time working on the design. Something that puts me off reading blogs is when there’s a text widget in the sidebar or no social media links. Make sure your design is the best it can be.
Writing – It’s all well and good having pretty pictures and fonts, but for me, the main point of a blog is the writing. Engaging content is key. Stats really help with this as they show which of your posts are most popular and what content your readers like.
SEO – It wasn’t until going self-hosted that I realised how important SEO is when it comes to how to improve your blogging. SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is basically how well your site performs on search engines. Plugins like Yoast SEO provide details on how well your blog posts perform through a traffic light system. It also measures readability, and this has helped my writing so much, as I realise how much I use the passive voice!
Social media is just as important as the blog nowadays. The likes of Twitter and Instagram allow you to promote your content as well as connect with all the amazing bloggers out there.
Twitter is one of my favourites. You can add multiple links and hashtags to get your content out there. Twitter chats and RT accounts are great when it comes to supporting other bloggers, with many holding comment threads and follow trains. At the same time, you don’t want to be constantly on your phone.
Scheduling platforms like Buffer allow you to plan in advance and even when you don’t have time to tweet, you can still have content being published. I’m changing my tweet schedule up and opting for 5 promotional tweets day, 3 for my blog, and 2 for social media. This is in addition to engaging with others, so your feed is not full of self-promotion.
To keep a track of your followers, so you always have fresh content on your timeline, Crowdfire is a great tool to manage your following.
I have a love-hate relationship with Instagram. I’m sure a lot of you do. The algorithm is bad, you can only add one link in your bio and the timeline is not at all chronological. There are several instances of the follow-unfollow game, which I hate. However, there are a few things I do like about Instagram. It’s a source of creative inspiration and it’s possible to get engagement to some extent with hashtags.
Whilst themes are popular, I find it hard to stick to one. Instagram should be what the name suggests. Instant. If I take a photo that I like, I’ll post it.
Yeah, I’m not a fan of Instagram, but I’m trying to increase my engagement and see what happens. For me, the most interesting part is the captions, and I wish people would spend more time reading the captions than judging solely on photos. We can’t all afford a posh camera or professional photographer, but that doesn’t mean we don’t work any less hard on making our feed look the best it can possibly be.
If you want to know how to improve your blogging, Pinterest is the place to start. Before the summer, my account remained stagnant with 80 or so followers. Now, I’m nearing 200 followers and my analytics are currently showing that I have over 12k monthly viewers.
How do you use Pinterest effectively though? First off, have a look at your boards. Are there any you don’t want anymore? Are the titles clear?
Once you’ve organised your boards, I recommend joining group boards and creating your own board for your blog posts. Just make sure you don’t spam group boards and always help others out by pinning their posts. This in itself increases engagement.
When it comes to designing Pinterest graphics, Canva is a wonderful tool that is free and easy to use. Within minutes, you can have yourself a professional blog post graphic.
Tailwind is popular app used to schedule pins. I do have an account, but whilst you can do a free trial, you have to pay to access all the features, and I find that I can manage Pinterest without it. Whenever I do a blog post, I pin straight after it’s published, and job done!
Of course, don’t forget to actually pin! It’s so easy, yet many people forget about it. I aim for around 20-30 pins spread out across the day, using both my following tab to support those who I already follow and my home feed to discover new accounts. What’s more, don’t ignore notifications when people you follow follow someone else. This is a chance to discover accounts like yours and build engagement.
Facebook pages are notoriously hard to grow. Mine is mostly used by my friends and family to access my blog and no matter how many times I tweet my link or take part in a follow train, nothing happens.
What Facebook is good for are groups. Blogging groups are a must, whether you need a blogging query answered or looking for further promotion. After being a member of a few different groups, ones with rules and set threads for each day work far better than link dropping groups. Bloggers Tribe and Blogging Buddies are some of my favourites. I’m also a member of local groups such as East Midlands Bloggers Network, which is great for hearing about opportunities and asking blog-related questions.
That’s it from me today. Hopefully, you will know more about how to improve your blogging. This week is the last week of Monday, Wednesday, and Saturday posts. As of next week, the schedule will be Mondays and Thursdays.