10 New Blogger Tips That I Wish I Knew

10 New Blogger Tips That I Wish I Knew

In honor of my 100th blog post (WHAT!?!?!) I thought it was time I shared some things that I learned from my blogging journey. There is a ton of new blogger tips that I wish I knew before I pushed publish on my first blog post, it felt like it was time I share those tips with you. If you are new to blogging, learn from my missteps.

My first few months of blogging I was so concerned with pushing out content that I didn’t focus on what made a blog successful and ultimately profitable. In 2019, I have really put my focus and energy on my blog and Instagram and I have really reaped the benefits.

In this blog post, I will discuss all the new blogger tips that helped me get to the place my blog is today as well as simple advice that I learned in my blogging journey. Let me preface this blog by saying, I have been blogging for under a year so I am in no way, shape or form a blogging expert.

Let’s Get To This List Of New Blogger Tips

Post Quality Content.

Quality content is king. Your aim with every blog post should be to answer a question or solve a problem. If a reader lands on your blog and does not feel like they received beneficial information, they probably won’t be back. You will have the most success converting blog readers into email subscribers if they feel like they left with a solution to their problem. Even if their problem is what to wear on vacation.

Okay, but how long is a quality blog post? Long form content always performs best for me. Most of my blog posts are between 500 – 1000 words, I would never EVER post a blog under 300 words. More words = more opportunity for SEO.

Remember: You own your blog!

Instagram is a must for all bloggers but at the end of the day once you place that content on Instagram, you no longer own that content. But you know what you do own? your blog. I can’t stress this enough. Instagram could just dissapear one day and all of your hard work would go with it. So while quality content on Instagram is important, your top priority should be quality blog content.

Be You!

In order for your audience to connect with your blog they need to see and hear you! Let your inner self shine through your Blog.

Use tons of pictures of yourself, tell anecdotes, write in your voice and always stay true to yourself. If your audience feels like they are connecting with the person behind the keyboard they will keep on reading.

Don’t Play the comparison game

Honestly, this tip is as much for me as it is for you! Because let me tell you I STRUGGLE with comparison. It’s so easy to see someone else’s success and forget about their months and years of hard work to get there.

One of the things I constantly tell myself is “Do not compare your beginning to someone else’s middle”. I have to remind myself of this EVERY DAMN DAY.

REMEMBER : Everyone starts by taking the first step.

Know Your Audience

If you aren’t writing with your target audience in mind, than whatcha doing?! Before you publish your first blog post ask yourself, who is this for? You will have a much easier time defining your content when you understand your audiences wants and needs.

Believe In Yourself

Oh gosh is this important.

When I started this Blog, I told myself everyday, “I am going to make this work, no matter what”

I didn’t back down.

Yes, it’s not all rainbows and butterflies. Those first few months I was working crazy hours on my blog and didn’t see one penny come in. But I kept telling myself, this is going to work. A little mixture of positivity and a whole lot of hard work got me to where my blog is today.

Pay For A Good Hosting Site

Invest in a quality hosting site, it will pay off, I promise.

When I was designing my blog I wanted a hosting site that was simple to use for myself and my audience and I found the best results with WordPress. I have been very happy with my WordPress experience and absolutely recommend it.

Pay for your site, if I see a site that is something like “www.ilovecats.wordpress.com” there is no way in hell I am clicking on that. Invest in a decent host.

Be Consistent

Some weeks it feels next to impossible to publish a new blog post but its a must. If you want to seriously be a blogger, blog. Set a schedule and stick to it. Doing this will give your audience something to look forward to on a weekly basic. Also, consisently blogging really helps your SEO. By proving that you’re consistent and provide high value information, Search Engines’ Algorithms will automatically rank your posts higher.

Be Patient

Ugh. patience is the worst. Am I right?! sometimes I feel like Veruca Salt in Willy Wonka chocolate factory, you know the one screaming how she wants it now!?

I mean, all I want is 100k Instagram followers and 100k email subscribers, is that too much to ask?!

Its can be frustrating to be patient in a world of instant gratification, but its a necessity in this blogging world. Success takes time. No one is an overnight success.

In my very short blogging career, I have seen so many people blog for a month, not receive the traction they hoped for and immediately give up, don’t do it. With hard work, patience and perseverance, it will all work out.

Will there be naysayers and negative noise? absolutely! but keep trekking on, it will pay off.

Pinterest Is Your New Best Friend

Last month, my blog set a record amount of views and to no surprise 43 % of those views came from Pinterest. I wrote a blog post all about how I use Pinterest you can read that here.

Tips For New Bloggers
New Blogger Tips

If you just started a blog get on Pinterest, ASAP. When I began blogging I thought that Pinterest was a dead social media site and boy was I wrong. It’s very much alive and helping blogs everywhere get tons of traffic.

Instagram is great for sponsored posts and pretty pictures but it’s not the best referrer for blog traffic. I thought once I hit 10K on Instagram my blog traffic from Instagram would skyrocket, I was wrong. Last month, only 5% of my blog views came from Instagram.

Research And Understand SEO

I have spent my career in marketing so before I began blogging I had a pretty good understanding of SEO. Having a good understanding of SEO will help you get those organic blog views that every good blog needs. I have shared my very basic, introductory SEO tips here.

SEO tips for bloggers
SEO For New Bloggers

Beyond reading my introductory to SEO tips, constantly research SEO and ways you can improve your blog traffic. Implement 1 new tip every week. Measure your results. Check your Analytics. You will be so surprised how easy SEO tricks will increase your blog views.

Now take my 10 tips and go blog you heart out.

What is your biggest fear as a new blogger? Let me know in the comments below!

Hat On The Map | Lifestyle and Fashion Blog
Hat On The Map | Lifestyle and Fashion Blog
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Blogging Basics: SEO For New Bloggers

Blogging Basics: SEO For New Bloggers

I recently asked on Instagram stories what blogging specific post my audience wanted to see, to my delight the response to my poll was SEO for New Bloggers. So here I am today sharing all of my SEO tips and tricks for beginners. Don’t get me wrong I am absolutely new to the blogging world so this post is just me sharing what I have learned along the way/ what hours of reading & research have taught me.

As a new blogger, I am sure you hear about SEO all the time but what is SEO? SEO stands for search engine optimization and refers to the practice of increasing the amount of traffic to your site by improving organic search results.

The goal of implementing an SEO strategy on your site is to improve your ranking on search engines. The search engines I get most of my blog views from are google and bing, this past month, over 50% of my blog views came directly from Google.

If you google, Estee Lauder Double Wear Foundation Dupe, my blog post is the second result that comes up. While this might seem like a very specific thing to search, I get 1000 blog views to this post from Google a month! I’ve only been blogging a few months so 1000 views to a blog post a month from Google is a complete success to me!

SEO Success

SEO for New Bloggers: Increase your Blog Views

When first implementing an SEO strategy one of the most important aspects is Keywords. Keywords are at the core of SEO. A keyword is a word or phrase in your web content that makes it possible for people to find your site via search engines. The goal of SEO is to rank in the top search engine results pages for your chosen keywords.

Keywords For SEO

Finding Successful Keywords

Your SEO strategy should start with identifying successful keywords. These should be words and phrases related to your blog post topic that people are regularly searching for.

Lets’ go through my strategy when it comes to keywords. I start by writing down the most generic topic for the blog post I am working on. Say it is March and I am working on a blog post about dresses, the keywords I would start with would be “Spring Fashion”. That would be the overarching keywords then I would break it down to more specific phrases that further describe my blog post such as Spring Dresses, Spring Fashion For Women, Spring Fashion For Work, Spring Outfits, etc.

Now that I have my list of generic keywords all written down, I am going to take this list and start plugging it in to search engines as well as Pinterest. I am going to write down the top results from that search on my keyword sheet. This tactic should leave you with roughly 25 – 30 keywords and phrases. Later in this post, I am going to refer to this as my list of researched keywords and phrases.

Using keywords

Now that you have the keywords, there are some general guidelines on where to place the keywords. The most important places to place keywords are in the subject, the first paragraph, the several headings throughout your blog post, the ALT – Text ( I’ll talk more about this in a bit) and the closing paragraph.

One last thing about keywords, do not overstuff your content. Search engines are VERY smart and overusing keywords throughout your post does not work. Use your keywords naturally because a blog post overstuffed with keywords can get penalized.

Now that keywords are out of the way, lets talk about all the other basic guidelines that will increase your search engine ranking.

Write An Actual Blog Post!

Here’s my rant of the day – one of my biggest pet peeves is when I see someone has a new blog post and then I click to read their post and the post is a few words and a few pictures! If you have a committed Instagram following that clicks on everything you post then maybe a short post is okay but if you are looking to diversify your audience and increase your SEO, then that is absolutely NOT OKAY! Your blog post must be at least 300 words! At least! To increase your SEO you need more text, in the way of SEO, more text better SEO.

In addition to the length of the post, regularly posting new content is very important. If you want to take your blog seriously than you should be consistently writing new blog posts. Search engines love websites that add fresh content. To increase traffic to your blog, you should be writing at least one blog post a week.

Research Trending Topics

If the subject matter of your blog post is not regularly being searched for, then the chances of the blog post being seen on search engines is slim. I rely heavily on social sites (Pinterest & Instagram) to keep a pulse on which topics are trending and what topics will attract my intended audience.

Add SEO Plugins

There are tons of SEO resources out there, use them! I use WordPress as my hosting site and have installed Yoast to help with all things SEO. Yoast is a great resource that provides tons of recommendations that help increase my search engine ranking.

Provide ALT – Text For All Of Your Images

ALT text is a readable description of the images on your blog. When it comes to ALT-text, what I like to do is take a keyword from my researched list and use that as the ALT- text. Like I’ve stated before, I use WordPress for my blog and they make it very easy to change the ALT -text on my images.

Beyond ALT- Text, make sure that all file names are also SEO friendly. Change your generic file names (such as IMG22545.jpg) to a keyword from your researched list or a short text describing what it is. If your keyword is a phrase, use hyphens to separate the words (hyphens are read as spaces on search engines).

This is the very simple, basic elementary introduction to SEO. Take these tips and implement them into your next blog post and let me know the results, I would love to see/ hear your results!

I am working on a bit more advanced level SEO post and can’t wait to share that because I have a lot to say about long tail keywords and audience behavior.

Blogging and techniques that increase my blog views is something I am very passionate about so if you are ever looking for someone to chat all things blogging, I would love to be your girl.

Hat On The Map | Lifestyle and Fashion Blog

The Complete Guide To Pinterest For New Bloggers

The Complete Guide To Pinterest For New Bloggers

How I Grew My Pinterest to 500k Monthly Viewers In Under Six Months

Last week something amazing happened, I hit 500,000 monthly Pinterest viewers! I have been blogging for under 6 months so this was a really exciting milestone for me. Pinterest for new bloggers is a must and I have really reaped the benefits of this awesome social medial site.

When I hit that 500k number I went on Instagram to talk about the milestone and got SO MANY RESPONSES! I get a lot of ideas for blog content off Instagram responses and direct messages so I knew that I needed to dedicate a blog post to this topic. Usually, my Instagram audience is excited about my lipstick color or the food I am cooking so this subject matter was an exciting new blog topic.

Pinterest for Bloggers

Lets Rewind.

When I first started blogging I thought well I know Instagram, that’s easy, but Pinterest is going to be tricky and really its been the complete opposite experience. The big difference between Pinterest and Instagram is Pinterest rewards you for your efforts and well Instagram, not so much. The Instagram algorithm and tricks of the app change at a much more rapid speed than Pinterest does, making Instagram tricky to keep up with. To be completely honest, when I first started blogging I thought Instagram would be the only social platform I would use to market my blog.

I have based my career in the B2B marketing world so I have a pretty good understanding of SEO and using social media to generate leads, what I have never used in a professional setting, Pinterest. Prior to blogging, I used Pinterest maybe once every 3 months. I got married just over a year ago, I had a very unique wedding so even for wedding plannng, Pinterest was not a tool that I used. 

At this point in my blogging career, about 75% of my monthly blog views come from Pinterest. It is a necessary blogging tool and I am here to help you use it better. I’m going to be so transparent here, Instagram does not equal blog views for me. I have done some awesome networking and have amazing interactions on Instagram but that still doesn’t equal blog views for me. I currently have 4500 Instagram followers and if I get .05% to read a new blog post, its a good day. Maybe once I have access to the swipe up feature that number will change, but who knows.

Pinterest For New Bloggers

Let’s Talk About What I Did To Get These Results On Pinterest.

Quick Note: At this point I have never paid for pin promotion, it’s not something I am against just something I have yet to do. If you have paid for pin promotion, I would love to hear how that worked out for you.

Consistency

Like anything in life, you must be consistent. I love to go on Pinterest at night time when I am watching TV with my husband and just pin away. On average, I am pinning about 300 new pins a week. 300 new pins might sound outrageous but once you start that pin number adds up fast! I try to mainly pin things similar to my blog posts from that week. If I have blog posts that week about home decor and fall fashion, I’m going target those two topics.

Use Hashtags

I really thought hashtags were just for Instagram but that’s not the case. The first big influx in monthly viewers I saw was when I began using hashtags. I read once that you must use between 4 – 8 hashtags for every pin, so that has been my rule of thumb.

Why are hashtags so important? 

When users search for something, the newest pins that include that hashtag in the description will show up in the results in chronological order. However, pins without hashtags will appear in order of most popular pins as opposed to chronologically. So hastag it up!

 Claim Your Website

A few months back I was cleaning my house and listening to Jenna Kutcher’s Goal Digger podcast with Yuka Ohishi (Episode 166). Yuka is an International Programs Manager at Pinterest and her insight was SO impactful to my Pinterest strategy. I learned on this episode of the podcast that, ” Pinterest rewards content creators who bring valuable pins from their own sites”. So claim your site, start pinning from it and Pinterest will reward you. After I claimed my website I saw a dramatic increase in viewers from Pinterest. If you are unsure how to claim your blog, Pinterest explains that here.

Join Relevant Group Boards

Until I was invited to contribute to my first group board I had no idea Group Boards were a thing. Being a contributor on a group board is a great way to expose your content to a brand new audience.

Learn from my mistakes – most people would be embarrassed to share this but who cares. I want to teach from my successes but also my failures. This past month I was removed from as a group board contributor and I immediately knew why. I was constantly adding pins to the group but I was no longer repinning other contributors, a big no-no. Obviously, this wasn’t a malicious move I honestly just forgot to do it. A good rule to follow as a group board contributor is for every pin that you add, repin one pin from the group.

Repin Your Content

Get in the habit of constantly repinning your own content. Self-promotion is mandatory in the blogging world, be your blogs number one fan! Here are a few guidelines that I follow when it comes to repinning.

  1. Multiple times a week I go to the Analytics Overview Page and I repin my most popular pins from that month. 
  2.  Every Month I go to my blog and repin my blog post from the previous month. Sometimes that content is topical and doesn’t make sense for the new month, but if it does make sense I make sure to repin it.
  3. If I see a pin is doing really well, I repin it to a new board to diversify the audience. For instance: If I see a pin with a sweater outfit is performing well on my fall fashion board, I will repin it to my fashion board.

Use A Scheduling App

I use Tailwind and have found great success with their tools.  My tailwind is set up so even if I don’t manually pin that day Tailwind will automatically pin anywhere from 12 – 17 pins per day. Additionally, I took advantage of the free month on Viral Tag but did not find their services as useful or rewarding as I did Tailwind.

While on the topic of tailwind, use their tribes! Tailwind gives you a free month to use their tribes, take advantage of it! Tailwind tribes are very similar to group boards, its a great way to get your content in front of new audiences.

Analytics!!!

Numbers tell a very important story, so pay close attention to your analytics. If my analytics say I had a high-performance Pinterest day, I write down whatever I did to experience success that day and recreate those actions at a later date. Additionally, if one of my pins do exceptionally well I will then create future blog content similar to that pin. Example: I normally blog about affordable fashion BUT my top 5 best-performing pins were all makeup or skincare related. If I did not pay close attention to my analytics I would not have seen the popularity of these topics.

My best performing pin to date is the drugstore makeup dupe pin below. If you want to see more makeup dupes you can find those here, here and here.

Pinterest Tips For Bloggers

But Heather, I don’t have time…

Okay now that you see my long list of rules and tools you are probably thinking to yourself oh my gosh, what a time commitment!!! The action items may look intense but great Pinterest results can be achieved in 5 – 10 hours a week. Some weeks I have more free time to dedicate to the success of my Pinterest but most weeks, I spend a quality 5 hours a week increasing my Pinterest traffic.

I am such a new blogger and am really learning every day but I think its great to hear the perspective from all types of people on their blogging journey. I hope this list gives your Pinterest and your blog or business the traffic that it deserves. If you ever have any questions regarding Pinterest please feel free to email me, hatonthemap@gmail.com

Lets be friends! Follow me on Pinterest and Instagram