I have been blogging for over a year now and in this time, I think I have learnt a few things that have improved my blog.
What I mean by improve is such things as your site’s overall look and basic tips to potentially increase traffic that you might be missing out on. Traffic is important to a lot of people. Firstly, because it shows us that what we are writing is being read, but also with traffic, comes new people and there are so many lovely people on this site worth meeting.
Site Theme: So first, look at your website from a viewer’s perspective. Is it clean looking? Is it easy to read? Is the layout simple? And lastly is it easy to navigate? If you answered yes to all of these, then your site is probably looking pretty good and you do not need to do anything to improve in this area. Although, I think it is worth having a play around to find a new look if you feel your blog is not getting the attention it deserves.
WordPress is an easy site to use and finding a new theme can be a fun experience. A good thing is that they have a lot of free and customisable themes, so it is possible for you to find your own style without having to pay. An easy and free theme I think looks great, is customisable and easy to navigate is Baskerville 2. This is the theme I started off with and is one I would go back to if I fancied a change. This theme has areas you can change and make your own, such as the colour theme, the banner, you can add your own logo and even change the font style. If the thought of venturing into the themes section of this site baffles you or you are not as confident in using the features, let me know and I can write a more in depth post on the basics of themes.
Tags: My next tip would be to make sure that you are using the correct tags for your posts. As far as I am aware, WordPress allows up to 15 tags (this includes tags and categories) that can be used so your posts are seen in the Reader. The Reader is where other WordPress users will see your posts according to which tags they are searching for. So using the relevant tags will help your blog get seen.
I would also encourage you to do a little research and see which tags are actually frequented. For example, if you are writing about cake (Silly example), and you use the tag “frosting”, it is worth going to the Reader section of this site and adding the tag “frosting” and seeing how many people post using it. If it is slim to none, then this is a wasted tag as next to nobody will see your post from there. Popular tags used, which will be relevant to most reading this are Blogging, WordPress, Writing, Creative Writing, Writer and also Life. Remember to only use tags relevant to your post and a little research goes a long way! To add tags to your post, go to the post settings and you will see a section called Categories & Tags. Here you add in keywords relevant to your post. Make sure you section each one off by following each keyword with a comma (,) and this will make the word its own tag.
Pictures: Are you using pictures on your posts? I have found that adding a featured image to your post will make it more eye catching in the Reader. It will also look great on your site if someone is viewing your blog from outside of WordPress. Adding a picture is really easy to do. Just go into your post settings and there is a section called Featured Image. Upload a picture in this section and it will be added to your post. Be careful in choosing your picture, just like tags, it helps a lot if the image is relevant to the post. If you use an image you found via a search site, make sure you supply a link to where you found the picture to give the artist credit. You can do this neatly by using the insert link option (in the toolbar above where you write), adding the site link and naming it something such as “Featured Image” or “Image Source”. This is what I do and I link the image at the bottom of each of my posts.
Interaction: Now we have an eye catching site, we are using relevant tags and our posts are accompanied by pretty pictures, what else is there?
Well, if you are interested in getting more people to take a look at your site, then putting yourself out there makes a huge difference. Interacting with others is a great way to find fantastic blogs, amazing people and it will also encourage others to check out your blog. There is definitely ways to go about this though. I would say the number 1 rule would be: DO NOT visit someone else’s site just to ask them to visit yours. It is likely to be ignored and it may show others that you are only interested in getting people over to your own site and that is not cool. Just linking your blog, or simply asking for people to check out your blog in the comments of other people’s posts can be seen as rude. Unless they have stated that the purpose of their post is for others to share their blogs, please do not do this. Try really talking to people. There are so many genuine, smart, caring and helpful people out there and you never know, you might make a few new friends. I know I have!
I hope that these tips are useful to you and if you need any help, feel free to get in touch with me and I will do what I can to assist you. If you find this kind of content helpful, let me know and I will be happy to write more like this. I would love to make some instructional videos with voice overs, it may do my confidence some good.
Until next time, you are beautiful!