Today’s post is a Blogging Tips collaboration which came at a perfect time as I had been working towards (i.e. scribbling messy bullet points on a scrap piece of paper) creating a Basic Blogging Tips Series. So when Mia from Beautiful, Inspiring, Creative Life reached out asking if I would be interested in doing a tips/advice collab it was ideal timing.
Mia’s one year blogging anniversary is coming up soon so her Blogging Tips post is the ’10 things you need to do before your blog turns 1′. Whilst mine is ‘Basic Blogging Tips’ that will benefit any blogger. Hopefully you’ll find something helpful within these tips, and if on the off chance you don’t, stay tuned for my next blogging tips post. Although to be honest, if you haven’t found anything helpful within this or Mia’s post (which I doubt, Mia nails all of her blog posts) then you far outrank me on blogging knowledge. In which case, feel free to send some of your insight my way. 😜
Basic Blogging Tips, Number One: Importance Of Your Gravatar
Your Gravatar is the image that appears next to your name whenever you leave a comment or a like on a blog post. The importance of your Gravatar are many, but here are the main reasons why I think you should pay attention to this Plugin function.
We build relationships with the regulars that like and comment on our blogs. Whilst we do this via recognising their blog name it is easier and quicker to recognise a familiar face from an image. Having a striking Gravatar is a way of improving your blogger relationships by being memorable.
A very simple way of increasing traffic to your blog is to have an interesting, eye catching Gravatar picture. How often have you clicked onto someones blog after seeing their image next to a comment or a like? I do this frequently. I am far more inclined to click onto someones blog if their Gravatar picture catches my eye.
Do remember the size of the image is very small though, so choose a picture that is noticeable despite the small scale. Pick something distinctive and eye catching. If you don’t want you use a picture of yourself you can easily create a blog logo, on Canva for instance, and use that instead.
Just make sure you have a Gravatar and not just the generic logo option that they supply, like below.
Make sure your Gravatar is linked to your blog. If not when someone clicks your image (because it’s obviously so eye catching) it won’t take them where you need, which is, to your blog.
On the mobile app it simply isn’t clickable. Whilst on a desktop it will open to the Gravatar page but a perspective follower will have no where to go from there.
Below is an example of what your Gravatar will look like if you have not linked it to your blog. On the left is how it will appear in the mobile app whilst on the right is what will open up on desktop.
To link your Gravatar to your blog go onto your Gravatar profile, enter into ‘My Profile’ and then go onto ‘Websites’. Here a screen will appear giving you the option to link to multiple websites. If it will let you link to your Instagram etc. It kept on failing when I would try this so I’ve just left it linked to my blog instead.
If you do want to link to your other social media pages and it won’t work for you, you can instead go to the ‘Name and Details’ section and include it in the About Me box.
Basic Blogging Tips, Number Two: Importance Of Unique Post Titles
This is such a simple tip that I think gets overlooked. You will have noticed that each month your inbox is filled with blog posts of the same topic; Monthly Favourites, Monthly Empties, Monthly Goals. And then during specific months you’ll have Valentines Day Looks, Christmas Wishlist etc.
The issue here is when multiple posts have the same name. When this happens your inbox, Gmail at least, will clump those emails together. Most people won’t realise that there are two blog posts to read in this one email. They will open the first blog link and delete the email. Now if most of your readers come from the WordPress Reader this won’t matter too much, but why take the risk when ever so slightly altering the post name could mean your post won’t just be deleted, it can even be as simple as adding (:) or (->).
Basic Blogging Tips, Number Three: Importance Of Your Most Recent Posts
When I check out new blogs I usually only scroll as far as the past five posts uploaded. Is that necessarily a fair reflection on all the time and effort someone has put into their previous blogs? No. But we all live busy lives so unless those most recent posts interest me, I won’t look any further. This is why it is important to always have these three things going for your blog posts.
Make it clear what the post is about. If it is cryptic I personally won’t click into it. This again comes back to the limited time we have available, so if I don’t know a post is going to interest me from the title, I won’t click into it. This doesn’t count with your regular followers, as they will grow to know you and what you have to offer. But to get regular followers you need to attract newbies. Nor does it count if you have a specific type of blog, such as purely fashion. If you are only ever posting fashion, say outfit of the day posts, feel free to name them as whimsically as you like.
An example of this would be a ‘Monthly Favourites’ post that instead is called ‘Green Boxes Are My Jam’… (I’m imagining a scenario where within the post there would be a funny anecdote about green boxes.. just work with me here). In the latter title I have no idea what the post is going to be regarding, and whilst I said earlier to use unique titles, a reader should still know what they are going to gain from opening your blog post.
If you really want titles that don’t specify want the post is about then make sure your excerpt does. This is usually the first couple of lines from your post. Or you can create a excerpt to summarize your blog post that is only visible prior to clicking into the post.
A blog post should be valued by it’s written content, but we are visual creatures. Especially when reading things online. Our brains expect visual stimulus and without it we are likely to look at a large body of unbroken text and think, ‘uh, not worth it’.
This applies to your featured image too, which is the image shown above your posts. People are more likely to click into a post if the featured image is interesting and appealing. So whilst you should be sprinkling your blog post with images, don’t overlook the importance of the first image a reader will see.
That’s it for my basic blogging tips in this post, but please remember to check out Mia’s, no doubt, amazing post here… It’s where I’m heading right now. And keep your eyes open for the next post in this new series.
I hope you guys found this post helpful? Did you gain any knowledge that might help? Which of these tips was your favourite?