Recently I was nominated by fellow blogger and all-around-amazing lady, Meredith Ethington of Perfection Pending to join a wonderful organization that I didn’t even know existed: the International Bloggers Association. The IBA is an organization by bloggers, for bloggers, with the goal of helping bloggers to keep writing and gain new traffic. The website also includes lots of helpful resources and is all-in-all a pretty amazing way for bloggers to stick together and help one another out.
Part of the certification process for becoming part of the IBA is to write a guest post for the site on the topic of blogging tips/blog marketing. So with that goal in mind, I’d like to share with you some blogging tips that I have picked up since the conception of No Page Left Blank.
Tip #1: Just Keep Writing
If there is one thing that will kill a blog almost instantly, it’s a poor update schedule. A “schedule” as such isn’t necessarily what is important, but it is definitely important to update on a regular basis. At least three posts a week seems to be common advice, although I personally would aim for 4-5. The more posts you write, the more content is available on your blog for potential readers to stumble across, and if you post multiple times a week it’s more likely that at least one of your posts will catch a potential reader’s eye. Not every post will be gold, but think of it like tossing a basketball at a net; the more shots you take, the more shots you’re likely to sink.
Tip #2: Make Use of Categories and Tags
I’ve been told in the past that I occasionally abuse tags (too many can actually make your post harder to find), but both tags and categories are very important in making your posts findable. Categories work as more of an organizational tool to group similar posts together, while tags allow readers to search specific topics and find your blog in that fashion. For instance, if you’re a parent blogging about your children, you might use tags such as “parenting”, “kids”, and “babies”. Readers using those words as a search are then more likely to come across your post. Use them to your advantage!
Tip #3: Have a Focus, but also Have Fun
At the heart, my blog is my author platform, on which I talk about my writing goals, my process, and a variety of similar topics. But if that was all I wrote about I’d be pretty boring and have myself locked into a very niche readership. Therefore I also talk about things I enjoy, such as my nerdy pleasures, which opens up possibilities for many other possible readers to come along. It’s important to have a focus with your blog – a reason for it, if you will – but it’s also important to diversify a little, and to enjoy yourself.
Tip #4: It’s All About Community
We live in an instant gratification world in which it’s easy to believe that if you start up a blog readers will somehow track you down immediately and you’ll become a sensation overnight with little to no effort. But the real world doesn’t work that way. Just like the work world, the blogging world involves a lot of networking. If you want people to find you and read your work, you have to let them know you’re there. Share your posts on social media (Facebook, Twitter, etc), and be sure to interact with other bloggers whom you enjoy reading. Readers will find you through other blogs, and besides, connecting with other bloggers can help you in other ways as well (*cough*NominationtotheIBA*cough*).
Tip #5: Just Keep At It
I’ve been posting on this blog for over two years now. In the first year I amassed less than 100 followers. It was almost a full two years before I hit 200 followers. In that time I wrote plenty of posts that I personally thought were great, but that never received any recognition. There were times when I felt that I was simply spinning my wheels, talking to no one, and wasting my time. In that instant gratification world that I spoke of it’s difficult to accept that sometimes things take time. I pushed through, and though my blog isn’t nearly as popular as I had once hoped it would become, I have slowly gained followers over multiple platforms, I see more comments on my blog daily, and bit by bit I’m gaining the recognition I crave. As with anything in life, successful blogging requires time and commitment. Don’t be discouraged. Push on.
Before I sign off from this special weekend guest post to the IBA, there is a second part to the certification process that I must address: that is, I must nominate another person whose blog meets the IBA’s standards. I follow many wonderful blogs these days, but the first person who came to mind is a fellow writer whom I’ve grown quite fond of. So, Jay Dee Archer, I’ll be sending you a link to the IBA’s certification page. I hope you decide to join as well!
Thanks for reading, everyone, and keep blogging!