With so many levels to blogging, may I present my own A- Z of blogging. It’s not a definitive list but it should give you the heads up to some of the most common blogging items, services and terms. Enjoy!
A. Analytics- Are so powerful if you want to make your blog a success. By looking at your analytics in detail you can segment your audience and look at the strengths and weaknesses and do some tweaking to reduce the deficit. For more information on how to get the best out of your Google Analytics their YouTube site provides some great tips.
B. Backlinks- are important for your blog as they link one webpage to another. The Google search engine algorithm-rank those websites that have a high number of backlinks. This is because a large number of backlinks should mean your website is popular and relevant. There is a negative which because you can get fake websites backlinking you and that can harm your SEO because Google thinks your site isn’t good enough to have decent backlinks. To get rid of bad backlinks you can first ask the owner of the site to take down your link, failing that use Google disavow. For more information on Disavow.
C. Creative Commons Images- By searching Creative Commons images you can find a whole host of good quality images you are able to use for free. Make sure you check the licence as Creative Commons provides a range of licences. For more details on the licences available.
D. Disqus– One of many comment plug- ins for your site. Disqusis good because you can seemlesslysee the number of comments you have written in total across many sites that use the platform and what others have written. You can also sign in using your Facebook, Twitter or Google ID as well as email.
E. Events- Setting up an event? Using a tool such as eventbrite means you can set up, promote and sell tickets all from the comfort of your own home.
F. Fonts- Dafont and Google fonts are two very popular sites where you can find and obtain fonts for free.
G. Guest Blogging- Being a guest blogger on an industry specialist site is the perfect way of enhancing your own credentials as well as reaching to a new audience. This in turn drives traffic to your blog. This also works the other way round by having someone guest blog on your site, you will get the guest blogger’s viewers onto your site. Guest blogs also help build authoritative backlinks which help your SEO ranking.
H. Hosting- essentially is storage space that your website is on. Having your own hosting is beneficial because hosts like Blogger only offer a limited amount of space (which if you want to grow your blog to being a large business is not ideal) and could take your site offline at any time. There are three main types of hosting. Shared hosting where your website is hosted on the same server as thousands of other websites, VPS (Virtual Private Server) hosting where you essentially share the hosting with less people. Finally the most expensive is a dedicated server where you would have your own server which you can customise. Fasthosts is an example of an hosting service.
I. Instagram- Perfect portfolio to advertise those blogs that are image heavy, by only including those images related to your blog or with a particular theme ( E.G food, nature). This will increase engagement as you will appeal to those that like your niche therefore they will keep coming back.
J. Joomla – A Content Management System that is free to use. There are two options to use Joomla either create a self- hosted website or use Joomla as a self- hosted account. If you are a developer you can create addons for Joomla.
K. Keyword tools- are helpful as you can see which key words are popular and then tailor your content or promotion to use the keywords to get an increase in results. Ritetag is good to look at popular hashtags and keywordtool.io has a free keyword planner.
L. Logo- Your identity is so important both virtual and reality! A good blog design includes a strong logo. A logo helps readers see your blog with credibility. It is worth splashing the cash and getting one designed for you rather than doing it yourself or even worse using a template.
M. Monetise- Want to create money using your blog? A number of quick ways is to add Google Adsense and sell advertising on your blog space. Not sure what to charge for adverts on your site. Yaro Stark from The Entrepreneur’s Journey states on his blog that you should charge based on:
X dollars per month, per ad, with X equals to your daily visitors count divided by ten.
This is a good beginning however you would have to adapt the formula based on where about on your site the advert is based, size of advert, and which part of the site you want the advert on.
N. Newsletters- Are fantastic in helping your SEO. Newsletters provide viewers of your blog with up to date information on your latest posts, which they can go view in their spare time. In addition it helps converts new readers to loyal fans to your site, as a newsletter in a topic they are interested in means they are more likely to read your content. Both of which will help in monetisation of your blog. Mashable has a list of thirty plus emailing services you can look at here.
O. Online Safety- Not often thought about with blogging but is important. With social media posts, be conscious about turning your location off so people don’t know where you live, the same with photography. Be conscious of any landmarks in images that can give away where you live or are.
P. Pinterest– Is the perfect visual tool for showcasing your blog particularly if your blog is around home, food and arts and crafts which are Pinterest’s most popular topics. Pinterest can help you with idea creation, by using the secret board function you can pin ideas for future posts, look at what your competitors are doing or even pin people you would like to guest blog with in the future.
Q. Quiz and Survey Tools- Using a free survey tool such as Survey Monkey can help you gain valuable feedback for your site easily. The answers can in turn help you improve your site as it caters to customer’s needs and wants more.
R. RSS Feed- A RSS feed publishes updates from blogs or web sites. RSS feeds can help your blog because viewers can get updates straight from your site onto their desktop. Perfect when people subscribe to a lot of email newsletters. You can also have feeds built up on keywords which helps reach your target audience. Bloglovin is a popular RSS feed.
S. Site content- quality content is important, if the content isn’t good then no matter how good the promotion is- people will not be interested. Hubspot has produced an eight step guide in producing quality content.
T. Twitter Conversations – Twitter conversations are usually hours set up where like minded people share links and share ideas. Again this helps your page views as you are reaching people who share your interests. Look here for a comprehensive list of Twitter conversations that happen weekly in the UK.
U. URL Shorteners- Are a lifesaver when it comes to advertising web links on Twitter as the number of characters is so important. Hootsuite has an ow.ly custom built in and bit.ly is another popular link shortener.
V. Video – Is extremely powerful in getting your message across. On YouTube over one hour of video is uploaded every second. Videos are more likely to go viral than written content this goes hand in hand with people being more visual (hence why YouTube and Instagram are so popular). Vlogging provides an alternative when you want to do something different or feel very confident in front of the camera.
W. WordPress- WordPress is the most popular blogging platform alongside Blogger. There are two types of WordPress – wordpress.com and wordpress.org. The difference between the two is that with .org you have more power as you find a host yourself, build your own themes and install the plug in’s you want. See the complete comparison list here.
Guest Post by:
Rebecca Merchant, a lifestyle blogger at www.becbec.uk and a Marketing and Communications Assistant in the West Midlands.
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