There’s a few reasons I don’t often blog about blogging– mostly because I don’t want to bore those of you who don’t blog, I also don’t want to come off as an expert since I’m relatively small potatoes. But when I walked away from my very first blog conference last night (Bloggy Boot Camp Philadelphia) with my head spinning with great information, bag full of business cards, and heart full of happy, I realized I couldn’t keep this stuff to myself.
There’s simply no way for me to include everything I learned, so here’s my Top 10 List Things To Make Your Blog Better Right Now– as culled from the experts assembled at #BBCPhilly!
1. Create juicy, SEO (search engine optimized) post titles. Use the Google Adwords Keyword Finder to generate the best words for SEO… but also include irresistible ones to entice people to click on your post in a sea of search results.
2. Have a kick-butt bio. Try this– write your bio in 6 words. Who are you? What do you stand for? Can you say it in 6 words? There were some GREAT ones on Saturday. I’m working on mine, but my fun one is “turning lemons into lemonade into limoncello.” That’s me, right? Making the best of a bad situation, DIY drink in hand. 😉 Be sure your blog reflects who you are, and stay true to yourself.
3. Google +, Google +, Google +. It’s where it’s going to be at, baby! See, you back Laurie Turk (Tip Junkie) in a corner for 5 minutes and you find gems such as this: when you add a post to Google + do it as an image, NOT a link. Put your link and searchable keywords in the description. BAM, better SEO results! G+ may be a little slow to take off, but it’s going to rule the world baby!
4. Find your “WHY.” Okay, that may be the most overused phrase of the day but it’s a good one. What’s your niche? Think about what people are looking for when they come to your blog. Who is your audience? What problem are you solving (if any)? Let that drive the rest of what you do, whether it’s answering emails, writing posts, looking for sponsors, or goal writing. Does what you are doing match your ‘why’? If the answer is no, then it goes!
5. On that note, write out your goals for the next three months, and choose ONE to focus on. Again, let that drive your priorities in everything you do. Where do you want to be in three months? What’s the one thing that will get you there?
6. Give your readers a “call to action” in every post. Put a link to sign up for your RSS feed or email delivery in your post footer. Add share buttons for social media channels. These are people who enjoy what you have to say. Make it easy to share it!
7. Clean house. Or, rather, clean blog. Cluttered sidebar? Is your homepage too busy? Extra plug-ins slowing things down? Empty tabs and unused pages? Get rid of outdated and/or unused items.
8. Then, organize. Categorize everything and make your blog content easily searchable. Perhaps include buttons in the sidebar ‘advertising’ your top posts or categories. What are your top 10 posts? Make those subjects easy to find, so when those visitors come by they’ll want to stay.
9. Rework old posts to have better SEO. Start with your Top 10 posts (they drive 80% of your traffic!) and make them even more SEO optimized AND be sure to include a link to sign up for your RSS feed somewhere to snag all those great new fans.
10. Sharing is caring. Get your name and blog out there by guest posting, linking up to parties (like my Refresh Your Nest Friday of course), being an expert in your field, and hanging with your tribe. What’s a tribe? A group of like-minded bloggers who work to support one another. I have a few tribes, including Philadelphia Social Media Moms and a small group of bloggers I pulled together that includes my blog friend Ginger— finally got to meet her on Saturday, too. Trust me, coming out of my shell and reaching out changed my blog (and my life) for the better. Insert “awwwww” here!
My most important takeaway from this event, the one thing that will stick with me and truly shape how I blog, is that as bloggers we all need to support each other. Those in the blogging realm know about blog envy, we’ve all felt a smidge (or more) at some point. We’ve all felt sized up or heard crickets when we have a fun announcement about a great opportunity. But times are thankfully changing. Someone got a great campaign that pays for a trip to Disney with a big fat paycheck on the side? A book deal? A sit-com (ahem, yes, one of the women at #BBCPhilly might get just that!) Celebrate it! Because when one blogger gets an amazing opportunity, it opens the door for ALL bloggers to get something equally as fabulous.