Do you blog so that you may one day rule over all you survey?
Blogging is a great way to build up your self-esteem, and all you need is a healthy dose of self-delusion. In this post, I’m going to give some tips both on how to better delude yourself and how to blog more successfully.
1. Check Your Blog Stats Regularly
I am an achievement junkie. When playing video games, I love anything that gives me a sense (however illusive) that I am accomplishing something or making progress toward some greater goal.
WordPress’s blog stats page gives me that same addictive feel of achievement.
WordPress’s stats not only track your daily and all-time view counts. It also shows which individual posts have gotten the most traffic, what search results have led to your blog, who has commented the most on your blog, and what countries your various visitors hail from.
2. Use Popular Tags
Tags can be useful ways to increase blog traffic, but it helps to be selective. In general, don’t use more than nine or ten tags and categories, or WordPress’s engines start to assume you’re just being spammy.
And choose your tags wisely. Take a look at WordPress’s popular and trending tags for ideas.
The bigger the word is, the more people post about it, and the more people read about it. This doesn’t mean you should add popular tags to your blog that don’t apply to what you’re writing about. But for instance, if you’re writing a post with a recipe, instead of choosing the tag “cooking” (which is not on the list), use “food” or “recipes” instead.
3. Don’t Lose Momentum
The longer you avoid blogging, the harder it is to get back into it. Try to post at least once a day, even if it’s a short post. Then let the excitement of creating something and sharing it with the world motivate you to write another post the next day!
Also, posting regularly is a good way to keep your pageviews up, especially if you have subscribers. Not posting for a long time will make your visit numbers plunge, which can discourage you from wanting to put another post out there.
4. Give Your Pictures Descriptive Names Before Uploading
Over the last month, I’ve had nearly 300 hits due to a picture I posted on the blog. I was surprised at this, until I realized that this picture had a descriptive title before I uploaded it. Usually, when I take pictures from my camera, they are just numbered 001, 002, etc. When I include one of these pictures in the blog, the picture’s web address uses that number, even if I choose to rename the picture later.
But the pictures which have brought people to the site are ones I named before uploading. In these cases, the name is what shows up in the url, and it helps bring more visitors to the blog.
5. Write While The Idea Is Fresh
Even if you just published a post a few minutes ago, if you’ve got another idea for a post, start jotting it down. You don’t need to finish it in one sitting, but write enough so that you have a post that’s already half done the next time you log in.
Although the subject matter of the post may not be timely, a fresh idea loses its appeal the longer it sits on the countertop of your mind. If you don’t want to publish your posts one right after the other, you can always save it and post it on a day when you don’t have time to write an original post.
6. Self-Promote…In Moderation
If you use Facebook, Twitter, or other social media, use it to post links to new blog posts. Of course, don’t go overboard, lest you become the dreaded Spam Beast. In general, I recommend self-promoting only once per blog post, so that people don’t start tuning you out.
7. Post Before Work
It’s good to use your blog stats to analyze your blog’s trends and be motivated to write more, but it doesn’t help to lurk on your computer, obsessively refreshing the page to count every new visitor.
Instead, finish your blog posts and publish them just before you leave for work. Then you can ride through your workday on a cloud of self-aggrandizement. Instead of focusing for hours about the drudgery of your current job, you can think about how famous you are going to be online before the day is out.
Having a day of work before you with these thoughts can also give you even more ideas for blog posts. That’s how I came up for the idea for this post.
8. Build A Web of Internal Links
I’m not a genius when it comes to search engine optimization (SEO), but one thing I’ve learned is that your site’s web prominence can be improved by internal links (links between different pages on one site).
As with self-promoting, internal links can be overdone. Don’t bury your posts with references to dozens of other posts, but feel free to include links to one or two other posts that readers of the current post might enjoy. For instance, if you enjoyed this instructional post, you might also like 7 Ways To Be Sexy Without Taking Your Clothes Off.
9. Like And Subscribe To Other Blogs
When I see that people have liked a post, left a comment, or subscribed to my blog, I like to check out their own blogs, to see what they have to write about. Sometimes, I will find a kindred blogging spirit, someone whose style of writing immediately resonates with me. Sometimes I find people who do things I would never have thought of doing with their blogs.
Reading other blogs (especially more successful blogs) can give you new ideas on what to post about next, or even direct tips about blogging more effectively. Even better, sometimes those bloggers will see your comment/like/subscription and want to see what you’ve got to offer. Again, don’t spam, but if you genuinely like a post, it doesn’t take any effort to click the like button.
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That’s about all I have to say for now. See you when I’m more famous.