What Bloggers Should Be Doing
Here are a few things that bloggers should be doing to reach success. I left out the obvious such as: work on SEO, share on social media, treat Pinterest as a search engine. I did that because I felt like those are posts within themselves and could make this topic to a never ending discussion. I did lightly touch on Google Analytics and Search Console, but it’s up to you to do some more digging and educate yourself (see tip #10).
This post contains affiliate links.
1. Be Yourself
This sounds basic enough, but there are so many blogs out there that are trying to be someone else. Or even worse, trying to be the person that they believe their readers think they should be. I’m guilty of this! Up until the few years, when I wrote on The Bewitchin’ Kitchen I did whatever I could to make the situation I was writing out perfect. It was exhausting and it was boring! Guess what? I’m not an English major and although my grammar isn’t terrible, it’s not the best (however I do use the Grammarly app and it helps). I realized that I speak with my readers in a conversational tone because that’s how I talk to my friends. This makes it easier for myself as a blogger, and it shows the real me. If people don’t like it, there are so many blogs out there that they can align themselves with. The only thing I don’t do? Curse. The truth is, I have a potty mouth in real life but I don’t cross that over to my blog.
2. Get familiar with Google Analytics.
Up until recently, I only understood how to find my page views, traffic sources, and other basic things. I knew there was power being Google Analytics, but I never knew how to find the information I needed to make my blog better and understand what my readers wanted. I now have a few custom dashboards and I can dive in a little more to see what makes my blog tick.
Resources I used to understand Google Analytics:
3. Get familiar with Google Search Console
I still call it webmaster tools, but it’s the same thing. If you’re diving into Google Analytics, you better be diving into webmaster tools as well! In the search console, you can ensure that Google is crawling your site properly. It will show you crawl errors and where they stem from, what people are searching your site for, and you can even build a custom search engine (which is great for round-ups).
Resources I used to understand Google Search Console:
4. Set Goals
I’m a big goal setter. I have my goals written in notebooks, in various apps (Evernote, Wunderlist, and Notes app), and I think about them daily. I have them accessible for that constant reminder of what I’m working for. I like to have a goal for the year, a goal for 6 months from now, 1 month from now, and weekly goals. The little goals build up to being successful in achieving my big goal.
5. Be Part of a Community
I was a lone wolf for the first few years of blogging and guess what? I didn’t get far. It’s so nice to have a community of blogging friends who understand what makes each other tick, to celebrate our online victories, and to bounce ideas off of. Collaborations and inspiration from each other’s work are also great ways to expand your blog and reach.
6. Diversify Your Income
If you’ve decided to not monetize your blog, you can skip this one.
This just makes sense. If your blog is your business, or you have hopes for it to be in the future, why would you rely on one (or even two) sources of income? Diversify and work smarter, not harder.
An example of ways you can monetize your blog:
- Sponsored Posts
- Affiliate marketing
- Social media
Resources that may spark inspiration:
- How to Create a Full-Time Income from Blogging Using The Egg Carton Method – Food Blogger Pro Podcast
7. Make It Easy for Your Readers to Share Your Content!
It always baffles me when I go to a blog, devour their content, and when I go to share it there is no way for me to do so! Not only is it a huge annoyance as a reader, but as a content creator: you are missing a huge opportunity for expanding your reach and potentially going viral.
Social sharing plugins we recommend:
8. Just Keep Swimming
Ah Dory, she’s so wise. So many bloggers start a blog because they know of someone who makes 100k/year and they thought it would be an easy way to make some money.
…excuse me while I hold back laughter.
Blogging is hard work, and a lot of people who go into it with that mindset will become frustrated and fail. Blogging is a long term game and if you don’t have the content to back it up, you’ll be in for a lot of disappointment.
- Publish your posts on a consistent basis.
- Give your readers value. They’re giving you their time, you owe them valuable content.
- Your blog is not about you, it’s how you can help others. People are reading your blog not to see your selfies but they want to learn something! Whether it’s a recipe, tutorial, or advice on where hiking spots are in your local area. Give knowledge and value!
- Keep pushing.
If you blog with those four steps, you’ll be in it for the long haul. Blogging is a long term game! Not everyone goes viral and has a million page views a month and those that have gone viral have possibly been pushing out valuable content for a long time. Keep up the value, people will find it, people will share it and you’ll get the readers.
Go into your Google Analytics and Search Console, see what your readers are coming to your site to see and you’ll have even more of an upper hand (the same goes for Pinterest analytics).
9. Make Your Blog Visually Appealing
We are visual beings! If it’s not pretty, it’s not going to get much attention. Invest in a proper camera, learn some basic editing (whether it’s using Photoshop, Lightroom or basic Picmonkey), and make your images pinnable, shareable, and beautiful.
Here at Click Start Club, we have a free photography course that you could enroll in.
- Where to find the best stock images for your blog
- Photography gear
- Adobe Creative Cloud: Photoshop and Lightroom
- Tasty Food Photography eBook
10. Always Be Learning!
Education is HUGE! Things will always be changing and there are experts out there who can guide you to success. Even if you think you understand a topic, don’t dismiss the idea of furthering your knowledge. The moment I started investing in my business with blogging courses, things changed for me. They can for you too. Blogging education doesn’t have to be only courses either. I listen to Podcasts all the time! Don’t just listen to podcasts niched to blogging either, expand to all forms of business and self-development. You may just find the bit of inspiration or the sliver of a topic that makes it all click.
Some of my favorite blogging courses and membership sites:
- Free Photography 10 Day Course
- Food Blogger Pro (both Stacie and I are members here and have been for over two years)
- Learn To Blog Hangouts
- Pinning Perfect
- Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing
- Bloggers Tell All
- Email on Autopilot
These are simple things that bloggers should be doing and I wish that I started thinking about these blogging tasks from the beginning. So learn from my mistakes and start doing this from the beginning and you’ll be reaching success in no time.