Downloadable PDF: Blogging 101
I know most of you who visit my blog are pretty knowledgeable about blogging, so this post is for those of you looking for tips to gain more readers and for ways to spice up your blog.
1. Before you consider starting a blog, you have to know what you want to blog about. What’s your hobby? What do you enjoy talking about? What's your job? Answering these questions can help you to target topics you’ll be able to mold a blog around.
2. Have enough material. Jot down a list of possible article ideas, and have a supply of posts ready to go. For blog post ideas go HERE.
3. Decide if you want to post once a week, three times a week, or every day. There is no right answer to this. It’s up to you and what you feel comfortable doing.
TIP #1: Post your blogs around 5:00 - 7:00am for the early risers as well as those who stop by later in the morning and throughout the day.
TIP #2: When you add a link to a post, make sure you check the box that says, "Open this link in a new window," so your readers won't have to go back to your post.
4. Choose your start date so you can prepare your blog before it goes live. This allows you time to pick the background, the colors, the font size, and the banner.
5. Create a name for your blog that fits your overall theme. I chose Write with Fey because I knew I’d blog about writing.
6. Go to www.feedburner.com. You only need a Google account to work FeedBurner. Click on the title of your blog, click on the page at the top titled “Publicize”, and then click on “Email Subscriptions” which is to the left. Now click on “Delivery Options.” This is where you can set up your time zone and schedule emails to go out to your subscribers.
Also at www.feedburner.com, click on “edit your feed” which is under the title of your blog at the top, and change the original feed by adding ?max-results=10 at the end so it’ll look like this: http://yourblogurl/feeds/posts/default?max-results=10
Why should you do this? Because if you go over 512K for the file size, your feed won’t update with your new posts (subscribers won’t get emails and your posts won’t go on your followers’ blog feeds). This happened to me.
TIP #3: Use bullet points, numbers, and/or subheads to break up chunks of text.
7. Every 1-3 months, backup your blog, so in case it's deleted or hacked, you won't lose everything. On Blogger, go to Setting, Other, and click Export Blog. A small screen will pop up. Click Download. This saved your posts. Now to save the template, go to Template and click Backup/Restore in the top right corner.
8. At the end of every post ask a question, ask readers to subscribe to your blog, ask them to go to your FB page, ask them to do something! Some readers don’t know what to add to a post, but if you give them a question to answer they will most likely leave a comment.
|Image from Pixabay|
9. Don’t forget to add labels to your posts. On Blogger, there is a box titled “Labels” to the right when you’re creating your posts. Click on it, type in all the labels that qualify for your post, and separate them with commas. If your post is about writing you can you these labels: writing, writing tips, how to write a novel, etc.
10. When you have quite a few posts on your blog, you can add Categories to your blog. Here is how you can do it:
· Go to “Layout” on your Blogger Dashboard, click “Add a Gadget” on your blog’s layout format.
· A small page will pop up, scroll down until you see “Labels”, and click on it.
· A new small page will appear. Create a title, which can simply be “Categories.”
· If you want to use certain labels, click “Selected Labels” and then click “Edit.” Check off which labels you want to appear, click “Done” and then “Save.”
· Now move your gadget anywhere you want it on your blog layout. Click “Save arrangement” at the top of the page and view your blog.
11. Add pictures to your blog. Pictures help break up the content and can make a post more interesting. You can take your own pictures or you can try this:
· Start by doing your search in Google Images.
· Once the images appear you’ll see a toolbox sign in the top right hand corner, click on it.
· A drop down box will appear with Advanced Search as an option. Click on it.
· At the bottom of the page you’ll see Usage Rights. Click on the down arrow for the drop down box and pick the last option – Free to use, share, or modify, even commercially. Save this.
· Then go back to the images. You are now looking at the images that you can use and alter without having to worry about copyright.
TIP #4: Check the Usage Rights whenever you use Google Images.
12. Add a contact form as a page. To see how, click this LINK.
|If you struggle to find content for your blog try Nikki Pilkington’s 30 Day Blogging Challenge.|
13. Add other gadgets to your blog to attract more readers and gain more followers such as: Popular Posts, Blog Archive, Search Box, and Follow by Email. You can find all of these under “Gadgets” on the “Layout” page.
For more gadgets such as a grab button, Linkwithin Widget, and a Facebook Activity Feed Box go here: Gadgets for Blogger
14. Add Pages to your blog. If you scroll up to the top of my blog, you’ll see my pages: How to Write a Novel, Writing About, and more. To create your own Pages, watch this video: http://youtu.be/UA1CS4QyF_k
TIP #5: Every 4-6 months, try to change up your blog by rearranging your gadgets or adding new pictures.
TIP #6: Add links that open in a new tab. You can link to old posts or to other blogs. This can alert other bloggers to you, and bring traffic to old posts.
15. When you create a post you think others would like to read, share it on Facebook, Google +, and any other social media site including forums and Yahoo Loops. You can also add it to StumbleUpon. You’ll need to create a free account and “add a page.”
16. To get more readers, you can:
· Participate in the Blogging from A to Z Challenge in April. This impacted my blog greatly! For more info go HERE.
· If you’re a writer, join the Insecure Writer’s Support Group. I’ve met many talented writers through this group. For more info go HERE.
· Submit to Blog Carnivals. My two favorites to use that are still active are A Marketing Expert and The Writing Reader. Submit a post to them!
· Publish half of your article to On Top List and direct them to the rest of the post by leaving the link at the bottom and enticing them to keep reading. Example: For 5 more tips, follow this link.
TIP #7: The more blogs you comment on and follow, the more comments and followers you’ll get.
TIP #8: When you get comments, reply back to them on your blog. Doing this shows other visitors that you’re active and that you appreciate comments. (Some bloggers would disagree though, saying it’s a waste of time as readers don’t usually follow comments. It’s really up to you.)
TIP #9: You should also return the favor to anyone who comments on your blog by going to their blog and commenting back. This will help you to build relationships.
TIP #10: After you get to know other bloggers, ask them if you can offer them a guest post. Many bloggers accept guest posts and if you create good content for them, their readers may visit your blog.
TIP #11: If you host guests on your blog, schedule their posts beforehand, which you can do when you’re composing the post. Take it from me...it sucks to be a guest and not have your post go up when it should.
There really is no right way to blog, but if you follow these tips, you will have a blog you can be proud of. Just remember that getting followers and comments takes time.
Here is a timeline of my blog’s major accomplishments to give you an idea of how long it took me to get to where I am today:
Created Write with Fey - January 3rd 2012
First comment - March 31st 2012
First follower - May 26th 2012
12 followers - April 27th 2013
32 new followers after A to Z Challenge April 30th 2014
150 Followers - July 27th 2014
Passed 100,000 Pageviews - August 2014
Share your blogging tips.
Question: Bloggers: What do you love the most about blogging? What do you hate about blogging?