Blogging Tips

I was honored a few weeks ago when WritersBra asked me to write a guest post as part of the 31-day blogging challenge.  Therefore, I’d like to share some blogging tips with you today. (16 Blogging Tips to Help Your Blog Blossom and Grow)

I won’t say that I am a typical blogger.  I’m not so concerned with numbers or shares or followers.  I write for my own enjoyment and my readership growth has been slow, but steady over time.  I thought I’d offer some blogging tips and examples on how I personally apply them at Surviving Mexico–Adventures and Disasters.

La Yacata Revolution

Write for yourself first (or your mom).  Blogs are personal and initially you won’t have many followers.  So if there is something you need to write about, do it.  Worry about stats and follows later.  When I first began blogging, I wrote about my community’s efforts to get water and electricity.  It wasn’t a popular series then.  It still isn’t popular.  But now I’ve set the basis for the rest of my blog.  I can reference those beginning blog posts instead of writing about it all over again. (See In the Beginning…the birth of the revolution)

Love your existing readers and make commenting easy. If someone takes the time to comment, like or share your post, take the time to thank them personally.  Everyone loves being acknowledged and that good feeling will transfer when your reader waxes poetically to someone else about your blog.  You might just get another reader or two that way. Remember to check your commenting security requirements.  If your reader has to check the box to prove he or she is not a robot, submit to a retina scan and promise you his or her firstborn before commenting, odds are there will be no comment.  If you are worried about spam comments, install a plugin like Akismet.

Be a consistent poster.  I know it’s hard.  I know you have other things to do.  But if you want blogging to work, you need to write regularly.  That could be once a week, once a month, three times a month, daily or whatever you decide is enough.  Don’t be a dump blogger.  Nothing for 6 weeks then 5 posts in one day.  If you write 5 posts, space them out using the schedule button.

Give away your knowledge.  Don’t make your readers sign up for your awesome course to read your posts.  Most won’t.  There are too many other free sites out there. Share what you have to share freely.  If you have compiled a stellar bundle, offer that.  If you have a fabulous product, offer that.  But your information, that should be free.

Be true to your voice.  Your readers will follow you because you are unique.  They enjoy your stories, they learn from your wisdom, they find value in what you spew out onto the computer screen.  Don’t try to be someone else.  

Give it time. You really want a slow, steady growth.  Think of your blog as an organic being.  Those that go from zero to 60 in 30 seconds last about as long.  While you are waiting to be discovered, use that time to perfect your image, find your niche, improve your posts.

Make it worth referencing and make it easy to share. Quality posts begged to be shared.  BUT if you don’t have buttons for sharing or following easily found on your page and every post, it just won’t happen.  Recently I participated in a blogging challenge and was astonished at the number of blogs that had no way for me to share their good stuff.  Don’t be one of those!

Inspirational Women Writers in Mexico (1)

Pick a theme.  If you want to find your niche, your blog needs to be focused enough for a reader to identify the theme you write about and decide if that is what he or she is interested in reading.  Of course, your theme may evolve over time, so make sure you don’t begin too narrow.  For instance, my blog has the general theme of living in Mexico.  Initially, I wrote only about my own personal experiences.  Recently, I have expanded my reach by including the experiences of other people who live in Mexico. (See Share your Story)  The posts are more varied, including interviews and books, but they remain under the umbrella topic of living in Mexico.

Mexican

Write timeless content and promote blog posts over time.  A few years ago, I wrote a series about Mexican holidays.  Every year since, those posts generate quite a number of views.  I can also share them when I come across a question in a Facebook discussion or another blog.  For instance, if the topic is Mother’s Day, I can share a link to my post about how Mother’s Day is celebrated in Mexico. (See May Holidays in Mexico–Mother’s Day).

Spell check, proofread and fact check!  Poor grammar, terrible spelling and incorrect information takes away from your credibility. You want to be known as an expert in your field, not an amateur.  I use the free version of Grammarly for general spelling and grammar issues.  Wordpress also lets you know if you have something that seems awkwardly written.  

Avoid clutter on your page.  I know that monetizing your blog means including product banners and links.  However, if every single space is filled to overflowing or you have floating promotions across your page, nobody can read your post, which is the whole purpose of visiting your page in the first place.  Be discreet in your ad placements.  Your readers will appreciate it.

Playing Tourist

Find ways to regularly get inspired.  That means leaving your desk for awhile and having some adventures.  You’ll come back refreshed, revitalized and full of new post ideas.  (See Playing Tourist)

Provide a Series of Articles  breaking up blog content to increase readability.  Instead of a LONG blog post, see if it can be divided into a series of smaller posts.  People have busy lives and may not take the time to read a long post, even if it is fascinating.  (See Buying property–as easy as buying a piece of heaven)

Set defined goals for your blogging.  As with any activity, if you don’t know where you are going, you’ll never get there.  Write out your goals and work towards them regularly. Some of my goals for this year include revitalizing my posts, adding more postable images, and participating in various blogging challenges this year. I also recently started using a separate calendar to organize my blogging goals and obligations.  It has been extremely helpful in staying on top of things!

Create a unique image for your social media posts.  This is something I’m working on improving.  Pinterest, Facebook and Twitter are the top social media networks.  Having an image that is recognized by the algorithms of these sites will add to the visibility of your posts.  I have discovered that Canva is an amazing site for this and it’s free!

Know why you are blogging.  If you can identify why you blog, you have a better chance of making a go of it.  You’ll be able to design your blog along with your purpose.  If your purpose is to tell your story,  your blog will be set up differently than someone who wants to sell a product.  If your aim is to save the world one post at a time, your niche is different from someone who shares kitten pictures. And, of course, the tips that you will find useful from this list will depend on that purpose as well.

What other bits of wisdom would you like to share?  What have you learned on your blogging journey that would help others?  I’d love to hear your ideas!

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6 Comments

Filed under Blogging

6 responses to “Blogging Tips

  1. Here’s a question. A month or so ago I received a request, I believe from you, to “link” my blog to yours. Didn’t know exactly what meant, but I agreed. Now, I’m not accusing you or readers of any mischief, but during the past several weeks I’ve been getting phony comments that are in fact spam and I’ve labeled them as such. Comments that are not related to the subject or containing glaring grammatical and spelling errors. Do you have any idea what that might be about and whether it could be coming from your end? Thanks…

    al lanier

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hmm, I’m not sure why you would see an increase in spam all of sudden, much less those that contain glaring grammatical and spelling errors. I use Askimet for spam issues here on WordPress. My best guess would be that because your blog was featured last month, you received more visitors and came to the attention of spammers. You should continue to mark those as spam and look into adding a spam filter. If you are suggesting I sent you a virus via a linkup, I assure you that isn’t possible. My blog links to yours on two pages, my blogroll and your featured post. As far as I am aware, your blog does not link to mine, although I have commented on your posts a time or two. Thank you for bringing this to my attention as at no time was my intent to cause unnecessary annoyance to any of the bloggers I feature. I will ask WordPress about it.

    I found these two articles to be helpful– Why do I get so many spam comments on my blog? and My blog comment spam is too high, here’s why.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Here’s a question. A month or so ago I received a request, I believe from you, to “link” my blog to yours. Didn’t know exactly what meant, but I agreed. Now, I’m not accusing you or readers of any mischief, but during the past several weeks I’ve been getting phony comments that are in fact spam and I’ve labeled them as such. Comments that are not related to the subject or containing glaring grammatical and spelling errors. Do you have any idea what that might be about and whether it could be coming from your end? Thanks…

      al lanier

      Thanks for your reply. I just can’t figure out why people would leave spammy comments, unless it’s just to see if they can do it. They are easy to spot because the comments are usually unrelated to the post or just general b.s.
      Thanks too for the tips about successful blogging. I can say that I just enjoy writing little vignettes about life in our ranch. Sometimes I get twenty hits, sometimes as many as fifteen-hundred and I’m not sure what causes the difference. Political posts seem to attract more hits, but alas, I’m so sick of hearing, reading and arguing about politics these days, they are the ones I find least interesting.
      Thanks.

      al

      Liked by 1 person

      • Spam is annoying. I’ve enjoyed reading your little vignettes about life on your ranch. I’ve enjoyed the political posts as well, but as you said, there’s a lot of that going around.

        Like

      • I asked WordPress about the increase in spam comments on your blog. Here’s the response “Simply adding a link to a blog you featured on your own website should not, by itself, create unwanted spam comments. Now, it may have made the blog more visible, so easier for spam bots to find it, however featuring a blog does not cause spam comments. :)” The happiness engineer (the WordPress technical person) also included a link about managing comments. https://en.support.wordpress.com/settings/discussion-settings/#comment-moderation

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  3. Hi,
    Link exchanges among like-minded bloggers are done all the time. I am sure it is just coincidence.
    I blog over at http://mostlyblogging.com. Maybe you can check out my site. I blog about blogging tips. I help bloggers. I also host six blog parties a month where you could meet new readers.
    Janice

    Liked by 1 person

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