The Friday 5: Blogging Secrets for Newbies
Welcome to the Friday 5! This week I am sharing five blogging secrets that I wish I would have known from the moment I started blogging. I am still a "newbie", as I have only actively been blogging for a little over a year now. However, if I would have had the following 5 tips in my back pocket from day 1, it would have significantly increased my traffic in the beginning, as it does now. It would have saved me valuable time and money. Also, I would have suffered a few less headaches trying to navigate some of the ins & outs of blogging.
1. Pinterest is King: Last Fall, I paid someone a whopping $150 for an hour of their time to give me insight on increasing traffic to my blog. One thing they told me was that I needed to start using Pinterest more... no other details. So I started pinning everything, and pinning a bunch of stuff from other people. I spent quite a bit of time doing this, without any real direction. Guess What? No new traffic. I was irritated, especially about throwing away my hard earned cash. So I gave up on it. However, I kept reading about how important Pinterest is to blogging. So, I signed up for a class about Pinterest this Spring. Yes, there is a 6 week course out there to teach you how to create the Perfect Pins that will drive traffic to your blog. I am only half way through the class, but the one thing I will share right now is that Pinterest is a huge traffic generator if used appropriately. I have seen my traffic increase significantly since I have started carefully crafting Pins for my blog posts. Some great sites to use for creating Pins is Canva and PicMonkey Make sure to only create vertical pins as they get viewed and repinned the most. One thing I like about Canva is after you create your picture to pin, there is an option to resize for the optimal image size for a variety of different Social Media sites. Two other quick tips, aim for the highest quality pictures and include a detailed description of your pin so it can be found easily in search results.
2. Follow Me, I Will Follow You: Remember the old Genesis song? Well, you probably know this is not the case here. I have a love-hate relationship with social media, but I know it is essential in the world of blogging. However, the "you follow me, I follow you, then you unfollow me nature" of certain social media sites just about made me crazy at one point! I don't have time to keep up with it all, while I raise a family, work, train for triathlons, blog, etc., etc. I had largely ignored Instagram & Twitter for that reason, but I was missing out on some sponsored posts because I did not have the minimum number of followers needed on some of these sites. Then, one day I came across an app...Yes! There's an App for That!! There are several apps available that will let you keep track of your followers and unfollowers (i.e.-Crowdfire). Some of these apps will also give you detailed information about who comments the most, who comments the least, who has blocked you, etc. Once I discovered this, I was able to totally change the way I handled Instagram and went from 400 followers to over 3,000 in a short period of time. Forewarning, these apps are not for the "faint of heart". I have definitely had to keep my emotions in check when I have seen some people unfollow me out of the blue. Another word of caution, be careful who you unfollow... It may just be your biggest fan!!
3. I Stumbled Upon this One- If you don't have a Stumble Button, add one for more traffic! StumbleUpon is a form of web search called a discovery search engine. It is a sophisticated form of web browsing that shows the viewer things that are tailored to their interests that they may not have ever seen doing a basic internet search. A fellow blogger "stumbled" a post of mine one day and I noticed a huge surge in traffic! Then I added the button to my blog posts and I consistently have traffic from Stumble Upon every day. In fact , a few weeks ago, this old Post of mine was stumbled by someone (thank you whoever did this :-)) and I ended up getting over 2,000 views in a 24 hour time span from something I posted a few months ago!
4. There's a Support Group for that- If you are not part of a Blogging "Support Group" on Facebook, I would highly suggest that you find one that fits your genre and join it Today! I belong to a few closed groups that are composed of fellow bloggers that write about healthy living, running, etc. These groups are a tremendous resource and a great way for a new blogger to get some guaranteed traffic right from the start. The other wonderful thing is that you will have a group of bloggers with different experiences at your fingertips as resources for different questions/problems that arise. Another great thing, is the feedback on posts that I get. Recently, I posted something and I noticed that no one had commented on it, although it was getting traffic. The comment button was not working and I did not realize it, but one of the other Bloggers in the group quickly got a hold of me to let me know. I think most readers just read the post, were not able to comment and moved on. However, having a fellow blogger read it, gave me that additional insight that I would not have received otherwise.
5. Party Time- If you are not participating in Link Parties or Blog Hops, start checking out a few and join in! Link parties are hosted by bloggers that include a link for other bloggers to share their posts. It is generally around a specific theme. For example, I co-host a link up party every Sunday ( with Ilka's Blog), called the "Sunday Fitness & Food Link-Up" where food and fitness bloggers join together and share posts. It is a great way to get to get to know other bloggers and generate some traffic to your site.
Are any of these "secrets" new to you? If you already knew about these tips, what has been most helpful? Do you have a great suggestion to share with other newbie bloggers? Have a Great Week :-)