I apologise for today’s post because if you are not a blogger then you will probably not be interested in this in the slightest! However, if you are a new blogger then stick around as I sharing the top 26 things that every new bloggers needs to be doing. I am hoping that this will be a really useful post. Starting blogging can be overwhelming and intimidating. There is so much that you need to do! I am embarrassed to admit it but some of the things below I should have been doing from the beginning and I have only just realised this. Awkward. I thought that I would share what every new blogger needs to be thinking about. I am no expert, as I am sure you all realise, so this really is a dummy guide, except I am the dummy:
26 things that every new blogger needs to be doing!
- When you set up your blog try to ensure that you have a Twitter account, Facebook page and Instagram with the same account name as your blog. This means that you are instantly recognisable. We are told that as a blogger we should think of ourselves as a brand. This is still something I struggle to get my head round, as I am a person not a brand, but having all of your social media accounts under the same name means that your brand image is cohesive.
- The same picture and logo for your blog and social accounts. Here I am talking about the picture that you use on Twitter and in your bio on your blog. By using the same picture people will instantly recognise you. We are also told that we should have a picture on the front page of our blog. People like to see the person behind the blog, they are more likely to stay and want to read your blog. I am told that the picture should also be you facing the camera with a smile. This says welcoming. However, I can’t talk about this as in my photo I am hiding behind a big mug and looking away. What can I say, I’m shy.
- If you want to monetise your blog then you need to go self-hosted. I would say that you should do this sooner rather than later. Ask your host to do the transfer for you and then it is stress free!
- On your old website make sure that you redirect readers to your new self-hosted website.
- Security: You need to make sure that your blog is secure, someone will try to hack into it. Make sure you have the best security on your blog. Talk to your host if you are unsure. Change your password regularly and think carefully about your username. You don’t want something really obvious
- Promote your blog on Twitter. Set up an Evergreen tweeter so it does it for you. I have just discovered Social Oomph. It is amazing! You can put all of your Evergreen (posts that never date) into here and leave it to go forever! You can also set up separate queues for posts that are seasonal
- Consistency: Try and post on the same days every week that way people will trust and like that you are consistent. I say this just as I am about to become less consistent with my blogging. Whoops
- Photos: We all like photos on our blog but we need to reduce the sizing otherwise they will slow down our blog or make it crash. I installed a plugin that reduces your photos when you upload them
- Internal links in your posts: If you are writing a post and it is suitable to link to an older post of yours then do it. This helps make your blog stronger as you are building links
- Follow links and no follow links: This gets a lot of bloggers worried and I am still not clear on it. My basic understanding is that we shouldn’t be afraid of using follow links. However, if we are being paid for a post then that link should really be a no follow link. You can download a plugin that allows you to easily tick the no-follow box and it does it for you so that you don’t have to worry about coding
- Photos: we should all be filling the alt text box with a description of the photo. This is meant to help readers of your blog with poor vision or screen reader devices. Therefore, you should be clearly describing what is in the photo
- Linkys: Linkys are a great way of promoting your blog. There are many linkys out there, something for everyone, for example I co-host a linky on a Friday – ‘Friday Frolics’. This is a linky for funny posts. Make sure that your post is suitable for the linky, follow the rules! Also make sure you put the badge on your website. It takes a lot of time to manage and run a linky and therefore we really should put the badges on our site. To put the badge on your site you will need to copy the code under it, then click onto the text tab of your post and paste it in at the bottom of your post and you should then see the badge. When I first started blogging I thought that you just copied and pasted the badge, awkward
- Back-up: Make sure that you are backing up your blog. This protects you in case of a hacking of if your blog is taken down for whatever reason. You can download a plugin so that it does this automatically for you every day
- If you are being paid for a post or gifted the products for a post then you need to disclose this in your post. I put a disclaimer at the bottom of my post
- Pinterest: I am only just discovering the genius that is Pinterest. For ages I was using it all wrong. We need to think of Pinterest as a search engine. People normally go to Pinterest when they are searching for inspiration, or for a solution to a problem. Therefore, we should be including Pinterest images at the bottom of suitable posts with prompts for your readers to pin. We should be pinning our own posts to boards. Look into tailwind because this is a fantastic app that can do it for us. Remember to pin other items, not just bits from your website. We also need to write a really good description for our pin with the key words. Aim for at least three sentences. Think about how people search for information and use that to structure your description
- Join blogger groups on Facebook. I have only just discovered this but they are a must. Everyone is really supportive and encouraging and if you have a problem with your blog then normally someone will be able to help you fix it
- Make sure you have sorted out your site map. Check in your jetpack and Yoast that it is enabled. This helps Google find you. There are lots of good blog articles for helping you do this, just google it
- Install Google analytics. Don’t keep putting it off like I did!
- Make sure that on Google console you register your sites with the www and without
- Use Yoast to check your post for keywords. Again, I can’t talk as I have not being doing this lately!
- Make sure you fill out your meta tags for your posts and pages. This is something that I have not done and I now need to start doing it. Again, this helps with ranking your blog on google
- Check for broken links on your blog regularly. You can use a free broken link checker and then you just need to remove them from your site. It is important that you do this as it can affect Google ranking. The ones that you need to be paying attention to are the 404 ones
- Guest posts for other bloggers can be a great way of getting your DA up. Bloggers were using the Huffington Post for this. However, the Huffington Post is now making its links no follow
- If you are blogging just to make money then you might want to reconsider. Blogging is a lot of hard work, it doesn’t come overnight and only a few ever make millions from it! It is possible to make a living from blogging but it will take time. Don’t get annoyed when you are just getting companies offering you a pittance for a follow link. You know your worth, don’t be afraid to say no. You want to be proud of your blog and therefore you should say no to anything that you don’t think is a good fit for the blog or that you don’t believe in. Also, don’t be afraid to negotiate with brands
- If you want to work with a certain brand and think that they would be a good match for your blog then send them a pitch. What is the worst that could happen! Google their PR, try to get a name as a contact and then wow them with your blog
- If you have mentioned a brand in your blog then let that brand know. Tweet them or email them a copy of the post. I have actually secured work by doing this. If they like what you have done then they will want to work with you
Finally, blogging is not for the fainthearted. When I first started I thought that I would just write a post and that would be it. There is so much more to it! I still feel completely out of my depth and I am still learning/getting frustrated with it on a daily basis. However, I blog because I love writing and, therefore, I will continue to get frustrated with blogging on a daily basis.
Can you think of anything to add to my list?
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