One Year Blogging: What I Have Learned (Part Two)

You can see Part One of this post by clicking on this link.

Posting Regularly and the Lull

To start with, I used to write and publish a blog post once per week.  My ideas were flowing though so I increased this to three times per week.  Sometimes I wrote more times per week than this.  Sometimes less.  I think that it is best to write when you are feeling inspired to do so.  If you labour at it, then your readers will be able to sense your lack of enthusiasm in your writing.  You will also, possibly, lose your motivation to blog at times if you do this.  In the past, no matter how much I have loved writing my blog posts, I have taken a step back from it.  Happenings in life sometimes mean that blogging is put aside for a bit.  I do not think that this is a bad thing.  Spending hours on social media, reading and commenting on blog posts, taking part in Twitter Parties, Linkies, writing and publicising posts all can, quite frankly, take over your life if you are not careful (*can you tell I have experienced this?).

If I do have a lull in my motivation to post, I think about why I started my blog in the first place.  I remember my passion for the topics I write about.  My blog is my piece of the internet, I do not have to force myself to write if I don’t want to.  I have a break and come back to it with some fresh ideas from my everyday life.

Being Self-Employed and Freebies(?!)

When I first started to get products to review and include Sponsored Posts (posts I am paid money/vouchers for), I registered as Self-Employed.  This is important for everyone who is gaining money/products from their blog.  It is not classed just as a hobby as you are actually gaining, financially, from it so it needs declaring to the Tax Man.

Many bloggers receive products to review.  Some people see these as ‘freebies’.  They are certainly not free!  A lot of hard work goes into testing the product, writing the review post, publishing and publicising it on different social media.  Much time and effort goes into these posts so insulting a blogger by telling them that they are gaining ‘freebies’ from their blog is frowned upon greatly.

SEO, Page Rank and Domain Authority

What, what and what?  As I progressed into the world of blogging, I realised that these were all important in raising awareness of my blog, my blog brand and the opportunities that come my way.

SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) is important as when someone searches Google, for example, it will help my website to be nearer the top of the search results page.  There are many ways to optimise your blog so that search engines can find it more easily.  I find that the WordPress SEO by Yoast plugin is very straight forward to use and guides me through each step to optimise each post I write.  Including keywords (repeated words or phrases in each post and in your title as well as your URL about your post topic), including a Meta Description (about 156 characters worth of summary that will appear in search engine results), including at least 300 words in each blog post, adding photographs (that include descriptions on them, some including the key word/phrase) , using follow links (links to other websites so that when search engines search your site, they are directed to that site as a link that has not been paid for) or no-follow links (links that you have been paid to place in a post.  It is against Google’s rules to put a follow link in your post if it is paid for.  Your site can lose it’s search engine ranking if they discover one of these on your website) are some of the things to consider.

Page Ranking used to be checked regularly by Google to determine how popular your website/blog was.  It has not been updated for quite a long time so any new blogs have a Page Rank of 0 or N/A.  Some emails you receive from a company may ask you for your Page Rank for certain opportunities but I have found that they are more likely to as your Domain Authority (DA) now, if anything.  This is just another statistic to show how important your website is.  DAs of about 30 are good for a blogger.  DA measures the number and quality of links from other, more established websites/blogs, such as when these bloggers write comments on your blog posts.

In all honesty, I get asked for my TOTS100 ranking more than anything at the moment.  All you need to do for this is to add your details to the TOTS100 site and they will give you a little badge to place on your website.  You can check your rank (it is updated each month) on your login page.

Favourite Linkies and Blog Hops

Another way to get people to know about your blog and read your posts is by joining linkies and blog hops.  Here, you can add one blog post to a list by adding the URL (e.g. this post’s URL is http://dillydrops.co.uk/one-year-blogging-learned-part-two) of the post, then you click on the links other bloggers have put onto the page to comment on their posts.  Usually, you only need to comment on a couple of posts but I often comment on more as I love finding and reading new blogs.

Here are a list of my favourite linkies:

Monday

Read with Me Linky – for posts book related.

#Mummy Monday Linky – for any Mummy related posts.

#MagicMoments Linky – lovely linky to celebrate special moments, first tooth, new job, etc.

Tuesday

#TriedTested Linky – for linking up posts where you have reviewed a product or service.

Wednesday

Share with Me Linky – for linking up your general posts.

Competitions Linky – for linking up your competition posts.

#WordlessWednesday Linky – for sharing a photo each week, with no words.

#WHWH Linky – What’s Happened? What’s Happening? For posts about places you have visited/going to visit.

Thursday

#Playtime Linky – Link up your posts about playing here.

#TBTL – Throwback Thursday Linky for posts older than a month.

#singleparentlinky – A fortnightly linky for single parents.  A great support network for those parenting alone.

Friday

#SoFoLo Linky – Social, Follow Love Link up to this to get more followers on different Social Media each week

#PoCoLo Linky – Post, Comment, Love for getting more comments on your blog posts and commenting on other people’s blog posts.  Victoria also runs the #NewbieShowcase here, (an introduction to your blog, written by you and shared) you can see my Newbie Showcase here.

52 Weeks of Gratitude Linky – where you write a blog post about what you are grateful for this week.  This is one I have not joined in with yet but always want to find time for it when I read posts that others have written.

#wordoftheweek Linky – where you choose one word that sums up your week to write about it.

Saturday

#recipeoftheweek Linky – link up with your recipe of the week.

Sunday

Silent Sunday Linky – for linking up one photo from your week, with no words so that others can comment on it.

#MySundayPhoto – similar to Cosmic Girlie’s Linky (above)

(Please note that these should be correct as of November 2014, if I need to make any amendments, please comment below).

This is by no means and exhaustive list-there are loads of linkies out there! If you search for the hashtags on Twitter, you will find posts that have linked up to these linkies as they are usually shared on here.  (*I will add to this list as I find new linkies).

A Final Note

I think that the most important thing to do to be a successful blogger is to keep enjoying what you are writing about.  When blogging becomes a chore, have a break from it for a little while and re-assess why you started blogging in the first place.

I hope these tips have been useful.  Do you have any more advice that you could share with somebody thinking of starting blogging?  Do you have any more linkies that you could add to the list?

  • Princess Cloo

    fab tips, i could have done with these when i started out a couple of years ago!
    #singleparentlinky

  • mummyoftwo

    Great tips again! I agree that you should only blog when you have something to say. As much as I love being a blogger this time of year and getting lots of (so called) ‘freebies’ to promote for Christmas, I do feel my blog tends to become just an advertising space and, come New Year, I hope to get back to doing more personal posts and remembering the real reason I started again! Thanks for sharing my linky – it will be taking a break but back in the New Year!

  • Globalmouse

    These are great tips. And I so agree, I hate hearing about things being ‘free’ in return for a post, that definitely isn’t free!!

  • Great tips – I’d add not to compare yourself to anyone else’s blog. It’s so hard not to be looking over your shoulder, but keep focused on your own growth, not someone else’s in comparison!

  • Twinmumanddad

    You’ve learnt so much! It’s amazing the skills I’ve learnt since I started blogging. I love your blog (and the snow falling!) x

  • some great tips! Can’t believe I’ve been blogging for almost 5 years!

  • Kara

    Some great tips – I am 3 years in and still learning

  • Emma Smith

    Good tips, there’s a lot to learn isn’t there. And you’re absolutely right, a review takes a lot of time and effort!

  • Beautyqueenuk

    So many good tips here, there is so much to learn and I find blogging is a constant learning curve x

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