I can’t quite believe that’s it’s been nearly nine years since I started this blog. It’s been quite the journey which I can now say is my full-time job. When I was 15, still at school writing about Mary-Kate & Ashley, I never thought this was the direction my blog would be going. Since then, the whole blogging world is a completely different place. I’ve learnt so much throughout the years from how to use Photoshop and Lightroom to SEO tips & tricks. I’ve teamed up with Click Consult to share some of my top tips on how to take your blog to the next level.
Whilst I was at University (2015), I decided to take my blog a little bit more seriously and to the next level and since then, I’m constantly looking for ways to improve my site and content. I don’t think going into blogging to make money is the right way to go about it. For me, it was a hobby which turned into something I could make a living from and I didn’t ever set out for it to be like that. Back in the day, blogging as a job wasn’t even a thing!
SEO (Search Engine Optimization)
Something I was certainly clueless about was SEO (Search Engine Optimization). Improving your SEO will help boost traffic to your blog and improve your ranking on search engines like Google. My blog is with WordPress, I made the move from Blogger around three years ago and the change has made getting clued up on SEO so much easier. I installed the Yoast plug-in which gives me the green light when I’ve made my post SEO friendly.
I wouldn’t say I’m an expert but here are some guidelines which I follow with the guidance of Yoast when writing a blog post.
- Make sure each blog post is over the recommended minimum of 300 words.
- Include one focus word which is in the title, slug, meta description and at the beginning of the text.
- Optimize your blog post by creating a Meta Description relevant to your blog post.
- Create headings within your posts.
- Try and include internal links to other posts on your blog.
- Always include an Alt Tag on your photos.
Meta Descriptions & Alt Tags
Before I made the switch over to WordPress I didn’t have a clue about Meta Descriptions and Alt Tags but it’s so simple and easy to do it with the Yoast Plug-In. I’m still not really super clued up but a Meta Descriptions is what you’ll see below your title and URL when your post appears on Google. The description ideally needs to include your posts keyword and give a short but informative description about what you are talking about. You’ll find an Alt Tag on your posts photos. You need to be describing what your photo is of and this will increase your SEO.
Another thing to mention is broken links which could be affecting the SEO of your blog. I’m not too sure on the in’s and out’s of this but I know how to fix broken links. There will actually most likely be a lot of broken links on your blog and it can be an extremely tedious job to tidy up. I find most broken links on old wishlists to clothes which no longer are available and the links are dead. I use Broken Link Check to trawl through my blog and hunt them down. Sadly each link will need to be deleted or fixed individually making it a very long process, especially if you have 1,000+ links! In the long run, fixing these really helps the SEO of your blog.
Create a Strong & Tidy Layout
One of the most important things for me when it comes to my blog is having a good and easy to navigate layout. There’s nothing worse than browsing someone’s blog and not having a clue as to where anything is. Have all the important information like social media handles and an e-mail address for people to get in touch very clear for readers to spot. I also think having a search bar easily visible is important as that’s the one thing I always seem to spend ages trying to search for.
Creating a beautiful layout is quite the challenge and I’ve always just bought mine from Pipdig who offer incredible designs which you can tweak and customise and make your own. I’ve also found some lovely ones on Etsy or if you are willing to splash the cash, you can hire a designer to fully create your own layout. I personally adore designs which show off quite a lot of different articles on the homepage as well as having large and clear photos.
Linking Back To Your Blog
Link building back to your blog can increase the SEO and DA of your blog but only if you do it correctly. I’ve been offered “SEO services” in e-mails which means they will buy links to your blog which is highly frowned upon by Google and can end up penalising your blog. There are lots of ways to get links to your blog naturally from guest blogging on other peoples websites, featuring on brand website’s and getting your quality content shared by others.
Invest in your Blog
Obviously, you can do this without spending a lot of money and don’t need to be investing in new cameras and equipment but I’ve found since investing in a few things my blog has improved so much from it. Since purchasing the Olympus Pen and 45mm lens, I’ve been just so much more happier with my photography and it’s been the perfect camera for vlogging and blogging! As previously mentioned a clean, beautiful layout is worth investing in and also purchasing your own domain and going self-hosted.
Hopefully, these tips have helped you a little bit with taking your blog to the next level. I think one of the main things to take into consideration that you are doing this for the right reasons. Don’t force it just to make money, do it because you love it. I’m so thankful to be able to do this as a job and It’s amazing how much I’ve learnt over the years from just having this little corner of the internet.
Do you have any other tips for taking your blog to the next level?