Every blogging advice post out there goes on and on again about good content and great SEO. I won’t sit here and say that isn’t important, because it is. But after working my butt off for over a year on my first travel blog, filling my site with super informational posts on cruising, travel, and adventure I had no idea why I wasn’t getting hardly any views despite my careful keyword research.
Everyone made it sound so easy. If no one else has told you this yet, I’m so sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but it won’t be. If blogging was easy, everyone would be typing and making money from their computers. It’s not easy, and it’s not quick.
I know you already know about clickable content, and good keywords, and how to create your SEO. I know you’ve been working on consistent content. Everyone has told you that already. Hopefully, I can let you in on a few secrets I wish I had found out about earlier. Let’s get some eyes on your great content already, shall we?
1. Branding is everything but you can always change it
Yes, you want good branding. Yes, you want pretty logos and consistent work. All that will attract readers/followers and subconsciously remind them of who they’re reading. I will never say branding is not important. But it can always be changed. Stop wasting so much time tweaking every detail. Spend a day deciding your brand’s aesthetics, colors, logos, etc. Get some sleep and look at it again with a fresh set of eyes. Still, look okay? Post it. Put it up and let it be.
Everything can always be improved but if you spend too much time stressing about every blog/image/logo/product being perfect, you will never end up posting anything.
Your writing, style, and design, in general, will change and improve as you grow. It’s much better to keep creating then post content so sparingly that you’re never producing anything new for your followers.
In the blogging rat race, quality is important until you’re not consistent. If you’re posting 4 pretty good pieces of content a month, you’ll be much better off than if you post one perfect piece here and there. Consistency is key.
2. Loading speed is SO important
Yes, of course, you want a blog that is aesthetically pleasing with lots of pretty pictures. (At the end of the day people are going to skim through your posts anyways so you might as well have some eye candy.) However, if your page takes more than a few seconds to load up and a potential first-time viewer has to wait longer than they want, it might make them immediately closeout and potentially never come back.
Think of it like this: You’re scrolling through the Internet and find a blog you think is mildly interesting about life onboard a cruise ship. You click on the link, wait for a moment and nothing is visibly loading. Your brief interest has lost its appeal and you click away to the next blog/website/pin/video…all before you have the chance to see what the person has to offer.
You’re competing with so many other bloggers, you can’t afford to lose potential eyes just because you didn’t compress a few photos.
Do everything you can to compress those images as much as you can. Then do yourself a favor and go to Google’s Speed Test Insights to check out how fast your page is loading on not only desktop but mobile views. Not only is it free, but it will break down what items on your page are taking the longest to load and will grab screenshots of what the user will see as it’s opening up.
Here's mine! It shows me how long it takes for a viewer to be able to interact, what is taking the longest to load, what my viewers see...etc. Lots of text will slow down your page. Big photo/interactive images will slow down your page. Slideshows, fancy text, pop-ups, you name it….everything will affect your page speed.
Pro Tip: Consider putting something for the user to look at or read for just one moment in the first part of your page that way they won’t even notice that the content underneath has yet to load until their ready to scroll.
3. You need to create backlinks
Backlinks are any source outside of your blog, which links back to it. The greater the links connecting to your blog, the quicker Google is going to think, “Oh, people are talking about this! It’s a real site, not a bot! Let’s send people to read it!”
The more backlinks that are properly connected, the higher your domain authority will be. The higher your domain authority, the higher you’ll rank on Google. The higher you rank on Google, the more people will see and click your content…I think you get the idea.
(P.S. You can always check your current D.A. by signing up for a free Moz Account! Not only will it tell you your current score, but it will also give you great SEO tips on how your site is performing and let you know how many active backlinks are connected.)
Backlinks can include but aren’t limited to
Social Media Channels (Facebook, Twitter, Linked In. Etc. –NOT INSTAGRAM (Google can’t read hashtags nor photos so even if you have a strong gram game, it won’t necessarily help your blog when it comes to backlinking)
Being mentioned on other blogs/sites (Make sure it’s hooked up correctly on their side)
Online Business Yellow/White Pages
I know none of this is fun, but it will help prove to Google that you’re a real, and authentic source and will raise your credibility, which is EVERYTHING in the blogging world!
4. Consistency beats quality when quality isn't consistent
Nobody cares about your long intro or wordy transitions. (Sorry if that came off rude-I’m most definitely talking to myself on this one.) If you’ve read any of my other posts it's very clear I easily get wordy and long-winded. Like I mentioned before, people don’t read the whole thing anyway and want to scroll no matter how perfectly you’ve constructed your sentences.
Keep paragraphs brief, leave lots of blank space to breathe, stick to your point, get your call or action or sales pitch in, and get out.
This also applies to your e-mail list. Think of all the people that want in your inbox. If someone has allowed you to be in theirs, keep it sweet, short, and to the point. Nobody has time to read your long e-mails other than maybe family and close friends and that’s okay! You shouldn’t take it offensively, just learn how to use your words and phrases in a more valuable way.
Speaking of e-mail, if you found any of this helpful or want to know more about travel, blogging or cruising feel free to subscribe :) Thank you- Self-promo is now over!
Homework: Can you cut anything out of your blog/e-mail and still keep the “meat”-what can you slim down without taking away from your overall purpose?
5. Get your butt on Pinterest
If you’re not on Pinterest yet, what are you doing?! It took me waaaaaaaayyy to long to properly take advantage of the power of this glorious social media and today a majority of my views come from it. (Please let me know below if that’s how you found this piece too! It will make my heart so happy!)
Every piece of content you create, should be so good, you’re going to want to be sharing it everywhere you can. The life of a pin lasts longer than the life of a Facebook Post, Instagram Post, Tweet…you name it.
Pinterest is basically the google of creative minds. If I want to know great restaurants in Mexico, I’ll use Pinterest. If I want to plan a dream wedding, I use Pinterest and if I want to find the best blogging advice, I’ll type that sucker into the Pinterest search engine too. Not only that, but pins rank up pretty high on Google too thanks to their pretty and clickable photos attached!
I am in no way a Pinterest expert, if you want one of those, it’s easy to find if you don’t believe me about how valuable Pinterest is for a blogger PLEASE JUST SEARCH IT- you’ll be shocked by how many bloggers recommend it-and for good reason.
You back yet? Okay now here’s what you want to do.
The key to Pinterest is consistency, and you want to be consistently pinning A LOT. I pin around 200 times a week during the most active times possible. Some people will encourage you to pin more, and some people will tell you to consider less, it’s all about what works for you and your blog.
This is the greatest advice I can give to anyone starting a new blog and easily the most valuable resources I’ve ever found. For me, the best-kept secret of the blogging community is Tailwind.
Tailwind is a social media scheduling tool that is super user friendly. It will not only help you create your schedule and draft all your best pins but will publish your pins throughout the week for you at prime times so you don’t waste YOUR valuable time always on your phone.
When I’m traveling, I don’t even have access to wifi half the time, and knowing my social media will still do its thing is the most amazing and freeing feeling.
Tailwind is easily the cheapest and most valuable thing I’ve invested in for my blog.
6. Be proud of even your worst content
Not everything you put out is going to be the greatest most earth-shattering thing the Internet has seen. Nor will it be the best thing you’ve produced.
You know that saying that goes “Even the slowest runners in the world are doing laps around the people on the couch?” Apply that here.
Even the worst piece you’ve ever blogged is still better than the people that haven’t gotten the courage to post anything. Putting yourself out on the Internet to be criticized by strangers takes guts so take a second, look back on how far you’ve come and remind yourself, of how amazing you are.
Have you not been able to monetize? Ugh I get it, it’s tough, but look at all the great content you’ve already made? The money will come with consistency and time.
Have you struggled to consistently post? Also so hard. Keep your head up, look at what you have already?? What can you write to keep up that high standard you’ve already set for yourself? How can you make writing a habit?
Have you not been able to publish that first post? What’s holding you back? You’ll never be able to perfect it if it’s not out there! I promise it’s better than you think! Get started!
Everything you post/write/create/publish is so freaking special because at the end of the day, despite the competition no other human being can create the content in the same way you can. If you’re not proud of what you have to offer, you may not be in the right game anyways.
There are so many freaking things to learn along the way when it comes to creating your brand and blogging so be patient with yourself through the entire process! These are a few of the things that I wish I would have known sooner though!
If you’re interested in learning more about how to make your new blog even stronger, subscribe here so I can send you all the personalized tips to your inbox!
Remember, your blog and business growth won’t ever look like anyone else’s so keep your head up and keep working! I can’t wait to see you all grow and create the most beautiful things