By: Carol Bryant
Are you blogging as a business, want to attract more readers, and better yet, keep them coming back for more? Imagine if your peers, who are successful and are growing a blog as a business, could impart actionable advice so you can replicate their success.
In July, the BlogPaws Community Influencer Group members were invited to share their favorite tip, trick, or hands-on piece of blogging advice. Members were able to work through the tips and tricks this month and do so with the very same people sharing those tips and tricks.
If you are not a BlogPaws Influencer, click to join. If you missed the hands-on advice and/or want a copy of the tips in their entirety, buckle up. Here is Part One of the results. More results to follow in future blog posts, so follow us on BlogLovin, an RSS reader, or any other form of following.
Be Mobile Responsive
It is really important to make sure your blog is “responsive,” which means mobile-friendly. That is, when somebody looks at your blog on their smartphone or tablet, the format looks good and the text is large enough to be readable. If your blog is on an older theme or template, it may not be mobile-friendly. Don’t worry if you don’t have a smartphone or tablet – you can test your blog here: https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/mobile-friendly/.
If you need a mobile-friendly blog theme, just look for ones that say they are “responsive.” How do I know mobile traffic is important? I have a “Responsive” blog theme on sparklecat.com, but for several months now, I was having issues with a rogue Google advertiser (I run Google ads on my blog sidebar) that was redirecting my blog traffic away on the mobile version! A few days ago, I finally discovered where the redirect was coming from and blocked the advertiser, announced that the problem was fixed… and my traffic is already up! More and more people are looking at blogs on smartphones and traffic, so it’s crucial that your blog is readable on these formats.
~Summer Samba, SparkleCat.com~
Sometimes More Detail is Best
For organic traffic (search engines), detailed content does extremely well. It doesn’t happen overnight, but if you write a guide on one specific topic and give a lot of detailed examples you could very well end up ranking for a lot of different long tail keywords. After analyzing how people were getting to my blog, I realized my long, detailed posts were bringing in more traffic than everything else combined.
~Jen Gabbard, PuppyLeaks.com, and BlogPaws Nose-to-Nose Pet Blogging and Social Media award winner, 2015
Write blog posts that people can get value from! Is the post something that is relevant now, and will also be relevant in the future (evergreen)? And make sure you SEO optimize them. SEO seems tricky, but if you focus on using at least one or two good keywords, it could really pay off. In my case, I experienced a HUGE traffic spike this past month because someone found a blog post I wrote last year about protecting your dog’s paw pads in the summer time. Searching for this topic on Google brings my blog post to the top of the list. They shared this blog post on social media, causing a chain reaction and the post went somewhat viral. My blog traffic more than doubled in a month’s time.
~Ann Staub, MyPawsitivelyPets.com
Schema and Audience
We have improved our SEO and layouts following BlogPaws (thank you)- we now use key topics that we hope will interest our audience, not keywords; we do more research so not “thin” or too short where possible; we make sure to use appropriate headlines in order of importance-H1, H2 and H3.
We break up text into short sentences with headings so easy to read; we check grammar and spelling with Grammarly.
We make sure our images are optimized (including one for pinning) and have alt tags, we take care to make our headings and meta tags more appealing (like little ads).
We don’t stuff or repeat keywords and phrases try to use similar phrases(SLI), we have been trying Schema, and we have been going back and making sure old articles are updated.
~Susan Nation, TalentHounds.ca~
Facebook Page Likes
Use Share for Share (S4S) strategy to increase Facebook page likes. Find pages that share the same type of content as you and approach them to know if they are interested in sharing your page link on their page and that in return you will do the same. I’ve used this strategy and in 4 months my blog went from 0 to 1,500 Facebook followers.
~Rose Silva, CatLadyConfidential.com~
At the end of last year, just a year after I started blogging, I was averaging 10,000 blog views per month. For 2015, I made a goal to have an average of 20,000 views a month. In June of this year, I was already hitting the 30,000 views mark. How did I do it? Consistency. Posting on Facebook and Twitter everyday, blogging about 5 times a week and constantly keeping my readers engaged. I have a very personal relationship with my Facebook followers and blog readers, and it’s definitely helping me grow. The people that have been following me for almost two years now are helping spread the word about my blog and I’m growing daily! I work to constantly improve my blog and grow my numbers, and I find that consistency is key.
~Amanda Yantos, DogMomDays.com~
Put the Social in Social Media
It’s Not Always About You! Develop and nurture authentic relationships with other bloggers (and brands)! Actually read their posts and share a thoughtful, relevant comment. We can all spot an obligatory comment a mile away! Share other blogger’s posts, ask them questions and help them spread the word about a new campaign or blog post they’re excited about. I know I appreciate it when other bloggers interact and support me, so I’m happy to help others whenever I can. Because even if that post isn’t about you, the relationship you are building is about you. It’s also about creating a community of voices that speak to our one common passion: our love of animals!
~Bernard Lima-Chavez, DogandHisBoy.com~
Learning from blogging experts outside our community, like Sue Anne Dunlevie and Andrew Warner that I need to be spending 80-90% of my time promoting my posts and didn’t need to write as often as I thought. I would promote my posts once or twice over the course of a couple of days. Now, I promote them for weeks and don’t write more than I can properly promote. If no one is reading, what’s the point? Or, and this is just as important, if the same group of people already in your circles are the only ones reading, how will you grow? That led me to the #2 tip: I started guest blogging on sites I like/people I like, that also made sense for me. I learned that guest posting, broadening my community, and promoting, even beyond my own writing, was key to growing my community. Lucky for me, we are part of an awesome community of pet lovers, so it’s a pleasure, not a chore. And, I’m broadening out beyond that pet community, too. Another tip was to make growing my email list the #1 priority. #1. That is my tribe; my captive audience. I also started to include the Bark & Swagger family in some decision making during my site re-brand. Research showed certain bloggers got great engagement from that.
~Jody Miller-Young, BarkandSwagger.com~
Stay tuned for Part Two of blogging tips for success. What tip would you recommend as your best advice for growing a blog?