Let’s talk about some of the best blogging tips and tricks I wish I had known when I started my blog 12 years ago.
When I launched my first blog in 2012, I made so many mistakes. I wasted time doing things the hard way, not knowing the easier tricks and strategies.
There was so much time spent tweaking things. I spent years undoing all of my mistakes – all while struggling to gain any real traction. It was super frustrating!
I can honestly say that I wish someone had given me these simple blogging tips back then. It really would have saved me a lot of trial and error.
But the good news is I’m sharing them with you now, hoping you can skip the headaches and hit the ground running. You’ll be one step ahead of the game by following these tricks that successful bloggers use.
Here are my 10 best blogging lessons learned the hard way…
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#1: Start with a Self-Hosted Platform
When most new bloggers start out, they typically avoid spending money. I know that when I started blogging, I didn’t want to spend a dime… so I went with a free blog hosted on WordPress.com.
But here’s the thing: while free blogging platforms sound nice in the beginning, you’ll eventually need a self-hosted blog. And you’ll get better results if you just start off that way.
With a self-hosted blog, you’re essentially renting space on the internet to house your personal blog, giving you complete control over every aspect. You won’t be tied to specific rules or regulations – you set your own.
Want to deck it out with plugins or monetize to your heart’s content? Go for it! It’s like renting a house (where you have to abide by the landlord’s rules) vs. owning one (where you can paint the walls neon green if you so wish).
In the blogging world, owning that space allows you to create your own blogging destiny. So, if you’re all about personalization, flexibility, and control, self-hosted is the way to go!
I personally use WordPress on SiteGround for both of my blogs. It’s really easy for beginners, and they have an excellent support team.
#2: Understand Your Audience
Here’s a truth bomb you might not want to hear: most people don’t care about you, personally. While they do like to hear about your personal experiences and unique spin on things, they ultimately want to know how you can help them.
One of the most important blogging tips I can give you is to focus on a specific blog niche on which you can base great content.
And knowing your audience is like having a secret weapon. When you understand your readers – their interests, problems, and questions – you can craft useful information that speaks directly to them.
Imagine answering their questions before they even ask them – that’s the power of understanding your audience.
Conduct surveys, review your comments section, and engage with them on various social media platforms. The more you know about them, the better your blog content will be. So, start digging deep, my friends; your audience is a goldmine of valuable insights!
#3: Find Out What They’re Searching For
Are you ready for another little nugget of truth? You can write the best post in the world, but it won’t get seen if people aren’t searching for it.
The easiest way to do this is to find out what people are searching for before you write your blog posts. Your audience’s search queries are like windows into their minds, revealing what information they’re seeking.
The first step is to use tools like Google Trends, AnswerThePublic, keyword research tools, and even Google Analytics to see what keywords and topics your audience is searching for. Then, create new posts around these themes.
Remember, your aim is to add value to your readers’ lives – what better way to do this than by addressing their burning questions in your content? This is a great way to get blog traffic to your perfect blog post.
#4: Master the Basics of SEO
SEO (Search Engine Optimization) – three little letters that pack a big punch in the blogging world. It’s all about making your blog visible to search engines and, more importantly, the people using them.
It’s a good idea to start by doing keyword research and finding those golden phrases that people are typing into Google. Once you’ve got your keywords, weave them naturally into your content – in the title, the headings, and all throughout the text.
But remember, while the right keywords are important, they’re not everything. Search engines love quality content in their search results– well-written, relevant, and updated regularly. So, don’t just stuff keywords haphazardly; keep the user experience in mind. Make keywords part of a larger, high-quality content marketing strategy.
And don’t forget about the other SEO elements like meta descriptions, image alt tags, and internal links. These are the cherries on top of your SEO sundae. Master the basics, and you’ll set your blog up for search engine success.
#5: Optimize URL Structure
Just like a well-organized closet makes it easy to find your favorite sweater, a clean, concise URL structure makes it easier for people (and search engines) to navigate your blog.
It’s not just about aesthetics – a good URL structure can boost your blog’s SEO. So, how do you optimize your URL structure? Start by keeping your URLs short and sweet.
Next, use SEO-friendly keywords that reflect the content of your blog post. Avoid unnecessary punctuation and special characters, and stick to lowercase letters to avoid any confusion. And most importantly, make sure your URL clearly indicates what the content is about.
Here is an example:
Which URL is the best? It’s a no-brainer, right?
Start with good structure from the beginning and you won’t have to spend hours cleaning up redirects like I did.
#6: Create Evergreen Content
Evergreen content is the best way to keep a blog thriving, just like a perennial plant that stays green all year round. This type of content remains relevant and valuable to readers long after publication.
How-to guides, tips and tricks, and ‘beginner’s guides’ are all examples of evergreen content. Unlike news articles or trend-based posts, evergreen content has no expiration date. It continues to attract traffic, engage readers, and boost SEO rankings over time.
It’s the gift that keeps on giving.
#7: Write Like You’re Talking to a Friend
When writing your own blog posts, it’s important to remember that you’re not writing a college essay. You want your readers to connect with you and see things from your point of view… not fall asleep while reading your post.
An easy way to do this is to pretend you’re writing an email to your friend (someone from your target audience). Use everyday language, tell personal anecdotes, and write conversationally.
Don’t be afraid to use slang or humor as long as it fits your overall tone and brand voice. The goal is to create a friendly, approachable tone that makes your readers feel like they’re chatting with a friend over coffee.
Remember, blogging is all about building relationships – let’s make sure our writing reflects that.
#8: Craft Compelling Headlines
Your headline is the first impression you’ll make on a potential reader. Think of it like the enticing book cover or the catchy movie trailer – it’s all about grabbing attention and sparking curiosity.
A compelling headline can make the difference between a blog post that gets clicked on and read, and one that gets overlooked. A higher click-through rate means more website traffic, which you need on a regular basis.
But what makes a great headline? Start by keeping it concise yet descriptive – aim to convey the message of your post in a few impactful words. Use action verbs and strong adjectives for a punch of energy.
Something like “10 Easy Blog Tips You Should Try” is better than “Blog Tips”.
Try to incorporate your target keywords while still sounding natural and engaging. Don’t be afraid to ask a question, make a bold statement, or hint at a secret that will be revealed.
Remember, the goal is to entice the reader to click and read more.
#9: Start Building Your Email List
Your email list is a powerful tool in your blogging arsenal. It’s a direct line of communication between you and your tribe, your faithful readers eager to hear more from you. You own this list, and nobody can take it from you.
Starting to build your email list from day one is like planting and nurturing a seed over time. It may seem small at first, but with consistent care and attention, it can grow into a mighty tree.
Begin by adding a simple email newsletter sign-up form on your blog. Get clear with your email marketing strategy. Offer value in return for their email address – perhaps an exclusive e-book, a free course, or a handy checklist.
Remember, your email list is not just about numbers – it’s about building relationships, fostering trust, and creating a community around your blog. And in the world of blogging, community is everything.
#10: Be Ready to Work Hard
If I had a dime for everyone who asks me about blogging because they want a “get rich quick” scheme… I’d have a lot of dimes. But that’s not the case with blogging. It took me years of hard work before I started seeing the rewards.
Blogging isn’t a walk in the park. It’s more like a marathon – long, challenging, and requiring consistent effort. But just like a marathon, the sense of achievement and fulfillment you get at the end makes it all worthwhile.
Expect late nights tweaking your website layout, hours spent researching and writing content, and plenty of time responding to comments and emails.
But remember, every successful blogger started exactly where you are now – at the beginning. Each post you write, each email you respond to, and each comment you engage with is a step forward on your blogging journey.
And it’ll all be worth it when you get where you want to be.
It may seem overwhelming at first, but remember, every blogging giant once started with a single post. So, don’t be daunted by the journey ahead. Start by putting these blogging tips into practice, one at a time.
Create that evergreen content, craft compelling headlines, and build genuine relationships with your readers. And above all, embrace the hard work. Because blogging is not just about writing posts – it’s about sharing your passion, your voice, and your unique perspective with the world.
And that, my friend, is a journey worth embarking on.
Until next time,
🌟 Your Turn: What do you think about these blogging tips and tricks? Are there any others I should add to this list? Drop your thoughts in the comments section below!👇🏼👇🏼👇🏼
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