Hey there sea changers. Recently I received an email from my website hosting provider letting my know that my URL is about to be renewed. That means that my site is almost two years old and if I include my others sites, I have been working at this caper for just over 2 and a half years. So, based on all of that work, today I am going to impart some wisdom on you all as we discuss my 7 blogging tips for 2021.
Ok, so wisdom may be a little strong however as I move myself into another year as a full time blogger, there are a number of things I am working on for my site based on my experience, analytics and education as I move forward. Now, of course, these tips are written from the point of view of having a website up and running – regardless of maturity however if you are totally new to this area of work, then I suggest you check out my post on How to Start a Website Blog in 2021 before returning here.
So, let's check out my 7 tips below…
1. Write content
Now I have read lots and lots of blogging help guides and the like in my time and in general, the one thing that sticks out the most from all of these is that “content is king”. Of course things like SEO, keywords and social media (much of which we will discuss below) are important, but if you are ever looking for something to do, then write content. At the end of the day, people go online and read blog posts for the content.
The more you have, the more chance you have of someone finding your site. I like to think of it as a kiddy pool filled with white marbles which represent all the blog posts written in your niche. Every time you write a post you throw a red marble in and then another and then another as you write more posts. In time, the number of red marbles in the pool increases making it easier for people to grab one of yours instead of a white marble.
Now obviously there is a little more to it than that but for the sake of this post, I hope you get my drift here. And secondly of course this can't be just any content – it should be helpful, informative and of good quality. We will discuss this a bit more in tip number 2 below, but for this point, I do the following at the beginning of each month:
- Work out how many posts I can realistically write (as you know, that life caper gets in the way a bit).
- Write a list of the subjects I wish to cover – I might be writing about a particular niche, or subject for example.
- Locate and list the keywords I am basing the posts on.
- Write to my schedule.
I then set my schedule around my best writing times which is usually mornings and early afternoon. That gives me other times to do all the ‘admin' type stuff for my site such as respond to emails/comments, social media and check my analytics etc. But in my opinion, the writing comes first.
2. Solve problems
I mentioned above about how content should be helpful and informative. Now, with that in mind, think about your own interests when it comes to searching online. On almost all occasions I would guess that you are searching as you have a problem. It might be as simple as wanting to know the weather for tomorrow, what time the football starts or who that actress was in that movie. But what if you wanted to buy a new fridge? Then your problems may be:
- What is the best type to buy?
- What is better, a one or two door?
- Should the freezer be on the top or the bottom
- Is it worth getting one with an ice maker in the door?
These are the types of problems that bloggers answer within their niches and where your content above needs to focus. So as you start to write your blog posts, if you are not already, consider the following post ideas (we will use our fridge example):
- Use lists – 3 reasons to buy a two door fridge or 3 best fridges under $700
- Reviews – Meile upright fridge review – is it worth the extra money?
- Instructions/how to’s – How to remove odours from your fridge
- Tell a story – I bought a fridge with clear doors – the best thing I even did
There are some other types you can write as well but in general, a good mixture of these posts types will ensure that you will cover those who are looking to buy, those who have bought, and those thinking of upgrading as well.
Remember my enthralling marble story from earlier? Well imagine if someone did pull your red marble out of the pool (by searching on a problem and finding your post) and it had a piece of string on it attached to another red marble. Or alternatively, that piece of string was attached to a white marble with all of the technical information incorporated that you didn't include in your post.
Search engines such as Google and Bing are constantly updating their algorithms in regards to what constitutes a high ranking post and what does not. At the end of the day, again if you are providing constant, problem solving content then you are not going to suffer too much. However, in terms of make things easier for your readers, adding links within your posts not only help them out a little more, but also provide great SEO advantages for your website via:
- Keeping your reader on your site for longer which is not only loved by search engines but also provides more opportunity for readers to be exposed to your sales links.
- Providing access to highly regarded authority sites – again search engines love this as you are providing greater information and assistance to your readers.
- Building up the rankings of lower performing pages via linking them to higher performing ones – again, via potential extra traffic to them.
So, as a rule of thumb, each post must have at least one link to another post on your site and one to a well-known and respected authority (high ranking) site as well making sure that it is:
- A trusted and popular site – If search engines already like it then they will look fondly on your link to it
- Relevant to your post – this is a massive one – if you are writing about fridges do not link to a site on dogs just because you keep their food there.
4. Build a YouTube channel
I know I have this down at number 4, but if you are looking to really build your online profile, rankings and money making exploits with your site, then creating a YouTube channel is an absolute ‘must do' in my opinion. Apart from the fact that, behind Google, it is the second largest search engine in the world, 74% of adults in the U.S. watch more than 1 billion hours of content YouTube every day.
And guess what, many of them use YouTube as you would normally a traditional search engine – to solve problems.
Now, speaking for myself here, it took me a little while to get my channel up and running simply because I thought I needed all the gear and software. You don't. If you have a web cam and an inbuilt microphone on your laptop then you can create videos.
Don't believe me? Check out the video at the top of this post. If I can do that, then you can to. Oh, and the little front video thing cost me $10 on placeit.net and I use Canva for everything else. The only software I have paid for is Camtasia to record and attach the videos together – but there are free versions of that too.
You will grow your ideas with your channel as you move forward but all you need to do is really explain your post – that's it. I have a fishing website as well and i just show my readers the items I am talking about and run through their options and have seen a 30% increase in sales via doing this alone.
Ok, so this next tip is probably the biggest time saving piece of advice I can give you in this post. Let me just talk from experience here. When I started this site, I crated accounts for it on the following platforms:
I spent hours and hours trying to keep them running to build a following and attract extra traffic to my site. You know what? For the time I was spending on this versus the time I could have been spending adding content or shooting YouTube videos, it just wasn't worth it!
My recommendation here – pick two or three social media platforms that best suit your niche and dump the rest. I mean, the Make That Sea Change site is really not as well suited to Instagram as say someone working in the fashion or arts and crafts niches. Alternatively, those in the politics arena will probably want to make sure they have Twitter and maybe LinkedIn firing too.
The other thing to check here is how much traffic you are actually drawing to your page from these platforms. For example, I used to use Pinterest a lot for this site. After it brought me maybe one or two hits per week, I gave up as creating the pins is again time I could better spend elsewhere. That said, it works quite well for my other site as fishing is a bit more visual.
In the end I use YouTube (obviously) and FaceBook as I can interact with groups – although not as heavily as I should – and that is it. For the fishing site, Pinterest and YouTube work very well and I am trying to ramp up Instagram too. And check out TikTok – I am starting to read reports from bloggers that it is a good area to look into as well.
6. Comment on the work of others
Commenting on the work of others is a fantastic way to both increase your social media following and your website rankings. Let's start with social media:
I mentioned above how I use FaceBook to not only post content about my site, but also to maintain involvement in like-minded groups. You see one of the best ways to gain followers for your own sites is to comment on others in your niche – yep – even your competition. Often, if your comment is good and relevant to the post, the owner of the site will check you out and possibly follow you back. Then those that follow them will see that too and they can look on your site and follow – and so on and so on.
So, in whatever social media platform you use, my tip here is to find other accounts or groups within your niche and start commenting on their work. Do a few a day and you will be surprised how quickly your follower base grows.
The second aspect to this is in regards to websites comments. If you have a look at the bottom of this post you will see a spot to comment which will ask for:
- The comment
- Your name
- Your email address
- Your website URL
It is the Website URL that is the key here. These comments create what is called a back link – which is a referral to your website on another – and are considered gold standard SEO juice for search engines. Search engines see these back links and think “well, this site must be popular as someone else has referred to it” – well in a lot of 1s and 0s anyway.
So again, find websites that match your niche and write comments on their posts. For example, if we go back to our Fridge niche, then look for any post types we looked at above in regards to fridges and write a comment at the bottom. Keep in mind here that most website owners will not allow comments to be visible until they have checked them first – so make it thoughtful, helpful or have it provide extra valid information to the post otherwise they will probably reject it.
7. Get some tools
And finally, as your website starts to mature and gain traffic, then my final tip here is to get yourself some tools. These are mostly of the analytic kind but there are some others that will help you as well. Analytics are crucial to your success as they can show you what is working and not working on your site in regards to traffic, popularity of subjects and, as we have discussed with social media, what is worth spending time on and what is not.
Now, I will have to save the instructional side of these for another post however in terms of analytics, the following are an absolute must (and free):
- Google Analytics
- Google Search Console
- Bing Webmaster Tools
- Google PageSpeed Insights
You could also look into
- ahrefs – free version – analytics
- Wealthy Affiliate – free training on starter membership
- Jaaxy – Keyword search tool – free version
- Ubersuggest – Analytics.keyword search tool – free version
- Aweber – email autoresponder – free version
- Canva – graphic design platform – free version
- Filmora video editor – free version
- VidIQ – YouTube channel analysis – free version
All options on the second list have paid versions as well however most will get you by for free until your site starts to make enough to upgrade (or if you have the need/means). I personally have paid for upgrades to Wealthy Affiliate, Aweber, Canva and VidIQ and remain on the free versions of the others.
So… There are my 7 blogging tips for 2021. I hope it has been helpful for you as you commence or continue your own online business and as usual, please do not hesitate to comment below if you have any questions, need some advice or have any experiences to share. Oh, and especially comment if you have any other tips to be included as well.
Until next time
Note: If you make a purchase from this page, there is a very good chance that I make a commission from it – these commissions do not increase your sale price. This may include sales made via Wealthy Affiliate and Aweber.
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