My first twelve months as a blogger – Lessons Learnt
I have now been a blogger for a little over a year, and its been something I have thoroughly enjoyed. I’ve learnt a lot along the way and I’m sure there are many more lessons still to be had.
My top learnings as a blogger
Write about things you have a passion for
Like so many things in life passion has a way of shining through. If you write about things that you love, it will come through on paper (or via the computer screen as it were). In contrast, writing about something because you feel like you should will most likely come across as well.
Don’t worry if it’s a topic that you feel has already been blogged about, your own unique perspective will provide a fresh take on it. The Equestrian Blog Hops I’ve participated in prove this point. Most recently in the November Blog Hop the topic was Equestrian Ambitions, and it was really fascinating to see how seven other bloggers had very different takes on this issue. You can read my entry here.
Join a Facebook blogger group for your niche
The support that you will receive within these groups is invaluable. You will learn from more experienced bloggers and other new bloggers are probably asking questions similar to yours.
Blogging groups will often have traffic boosting threads where you reciprocate shares, likes etc through various social media streams.
If you blog in the equestiran niche, look no further than Equestrian Bloggers.
Learn the SEO basics
When I first started as a blogger I put my head in the sand about SEO (Search ENgine Optimization) as it just seemed far too complicated and difficult. However since moving to a self hosted blog and having the benefit of an SEO plugin (I use Yoast) I’ve seen how easy and beneficial it is. For starters I am seeing far more organic traffic coming to my blog directly from search engines.
Here are my SEO tips:
– Pick a key word related to your topic and make sure you have used it a few time including in your main and sub-headings
– Add alt text to your images using the key word. Alt text is the part of an image that tells the search engine what the image is about
– Include links to your previous posts and external websites where these are relevant. Having links to your own posts will help to drive traffic to these links and keep people on your blog for longer. When linking back to your own posts aim to use the keywords for the original post you are linking back to.
Pinterest can be an awesome traffic source for blogs. There are a few key things to consider to maximise your Pinterest traffic. Firstly, pin regularly and use Pinterest optimised graphics. One of the best things about Pinterest is that because it works like a visual search engine rather than social media you don’t need to have a large following for it to be an effective traffic driver. Fellow blogger Lindsey Rains of Alta Mira Horsemanship wrote a great post for Team Tunnah Eventing which explains the ins and outs of the Pinterest algorithm, how to craft beautiful and effective pins and so on. You can check out that post here.
I always aim to include 1-2 vertical images per post with some text on them relating to the post. I ensure that they have appropriate alt text (see above) which relates to the keyword as appropriate.
Below is an example of a Pinterest optimised graphic that I include in all of my blogs.