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21 Terrific Blogging Tips and Tricks That Will Make Your Blog Successful

Last modified on 28th October, 2018

Blogging tips and tricks that will make your blog more successful. #bloggingtips #bloggingtricks #bloggingforbeginners #bloggingtipsandtricksWhat are the blogging tips and tricks every beginner blogger should know about?

It’s a valid question but not an easy one to answer in a few sentences.

As you start a blog, things can get complicated rather quickly.

As if writing good blog content is not hard enough, you have to know about blogger web design, search engine optimization, starting your email list, marketing via social media and sometimes some basic coding.

It’s overwhelming, to say the least. I know because I’ve been there.

The good news?

If you are reading this post, you are already a step in the right direction.

Below, I break down some of my favourite blogging tips and tricks to help you save time, blog better, grow traffic and increase your social media followers faster.

Instead of listing each tip on its own, I’ve put them into three main categories:

  • Blog writing tips
  • Blog promotion tips
  • Blog design tips

Ready?

Related: 9 Successful Blogging Strategies to Get More Visitors in 2018

 

#1: Blogging tips and tricks – Writing tips

Write catchy headlines

Writing great headlines will help you

  • Attract more readers
  • Grow traffic faster
  • Improve your search engine rankings
  • Get more shares on the social network
  • Get more paying customers

If you get the headline wrong, all your effort will be a total waste.

As a matter of fact, according to David Ogilvy, on average, 5x as many people read the headline as read the body copy. When you’ve written your headline, you’ve spent eighty cents out of your dollar.

Think about it.

Writing great headlines is the best ways to get more shares, get more readers, improve your search rankings and grow your traffic.Click To Tweet

Okay but how?

There are two things you can do:

  1. Run an A/B headline test using tools like Thrive Headline Optimizer
  2. Follow the proven formula to arrive at the best headlines.

Method 2 is quicker so we are going to do that first.

Head over to CoSchedule’s Headline Analyzer and plug in your headline to see if it’s a keeper.

Below were my attempts trying to come up with the best headlines for this blog post (it may change slightly as you read this).

create catchy headline

Of course, you can always run an A/B test for your headlines later.

 

Blogging checklist

Get Instant Access  Blogging Tips & Tricks Checklist

Download the accompanying step-by-step check list that will help you create a better blog quicker.

 

Write long blog posts

I’ve been repeating this point like a broken record in several of my posts.

Research shows that the average length of articles that rank on page one of Google search results or get the most social shares has a minimum of 1500 words.

I’m a  non-native English speaker and my grammar isn’t the best in the world but I think everyone can do it.

How to create a long-form content then?

Check out this post from Neil Patel to help you out.

Use conversational tone

You can avoid making your posts read like a textbook by using “you” and “I”.

This makes them more conversational.

This helps you connect more with your readers and create a more engaged audience.

Make your blog content actionable

A good blog post should be educational, practical and actionable.

Instead of just listing stuff in your post, show them exactly how to do it. Include relevant screenshots in each step.

Next time they want to learn something, they’ll come back to your blog to find the step-by-step instructions you have laid out earlier.

How do I know?

Because I track my traffic using Google Analytics. And once in a while, I see returning visitors who spent up to 45 minutes reading a post.

Use images/video to create appealing posts

Have you ever came across blog posts which feel like a chore to read?

I have.

It’s a shame because the blogger was definitely knowledgeable and worked hard to create good content.

Unfortunately, as he described all the technical stuff in the post, I was left to my own devices trying to picture what he meant.

A picture is worth a thousand words.

use picture images

Use the free stock photo websites to find unique images for your blog. Here are a few:

Use screenshots and graphics to explain the message you’re trying to convey. People are more likely to read and stick around if you do.

Use Canva or PicMonkey to design your graphic and for image editing.

You can also use the Windows snipping tool to capture screenshots.

windows snipping tool

But don’t stop there.

Add videos and infographics to keep people engaged. If you don’t have your own videos, you can always find relevant ones on YouTube and embed them into your content.

When you find a relevant YouTube video, click on the SHARE link.

how to share youtube video

Then click on the “Embed” tab. You need to copy and paste the HTML code in your blog post.

how to embed youtube video

Here’s an example of embedded YouTube video. Go ahead, press the play button. It’s relevant to this blog writing tips.

Adding images/videos into your blog posts will do a few things:

  • Your bounce rate will drop
  • Your search engine rankings will rise
  • You’ll get more shares on the social media

Neil Patel analyzed close to 6 billion pages recently and they found that people tend to share articles more on the social media if they contain more images.

Use short paragraphs

Your paragraph should not be more than 5 or 6 lines.

If you notice, I tend to use short paragraphs at Sabahan.com too, usually no longer than 3 lines.

Longer paragraphs can be overwhelming and people usually skip them.

Also, more and more people are browsing the web from their mobile phones, so do these people a favour by using short paragraphs.

 

Blogging checklist

Get Instant Access  Blogging Tips & Tricks Checklist

Download the accompanying step-by-step check list that will help you create a better blog quicker.

 

Use subheadings

Subheadings break down your blog posts into sections. This makes it easier for the readers to scan.

use subheadings to break up your text

Without subheadings, people won’t be able to get to the gist of your content without reading the whole article. As a result, you’ll get fewer readers.

Notice the difference below?

no subheaders

Subheadings allow people to scan your post and get to the section that interests them and keep them scrolling through for the next section.

Use descriptive but concise subheadings. Make them interesting to pique the reader’s interest.

To add a subheading, just select the heading you want from the drop-down menu when composing your blog post.

optimizing headers tag

Include a conclusion

To keep it simple, label your conclusion, “conclusion“.

People often scroll down to the bottom of the post to see what the post is all about (or to estimate its length).

So make your conclusion interesting to entice them to read the rest of your post.

The conclusion section is also a good place to include your call-to-action.  A call-to-action is an action you are requesting your readers to perform.

Don’t assume that they automatically know what is expected of them.

You can ask them to leave a comment, share the post, sign up for your email newsletter and so on.

Use Grammarly to check for grammar and spelling mistakes.

Before you hit the publish button, make sure to double check your grammar and spellings for any mistakes.

I recommend using Grammarly to proofread your content.

While it won’t fix everything (as you may noticed from my own post!), using Grammarly is definitely better than proofreading by yourself.

You can find other blog writing tools here.

Link to other sites

Don’t be afraid to link to other relevant sites.

In fact, it has been shown that linking to other authoritative and relevant pages will improve your SEO rankings.

It also makes your content more valuable since you are pointing your users to relevant information which are not available on your site.

When you link out to other people, you will get on their radar. You build incentives for other people to engage with your site.

Reply to comments

I often see bloggers ignoring readers who left comments on their blog. Questions went unanswered and the reader’s appreciation wasn’t acknowledged.

Don’t be like those bloggers!

Replying to comments will help you to:

  • Create a more engaged audience
  • Increases the post word count which is good for SEO
  • Add more value by including points that aren’t mentioned in the post

Now don’t just reply with short answers and be done with it.

When answering, try to include your target keywords if possible and address your readers by their name.

For more blog writing tips, check out this expert bloggers roundup post at WordsByJustin. (I was also being featured in the list).

Write for SEO

What does it mean to write for SEO in 2018?

Here’s a hint: By providing a solution to the searcher’s queries.

Watch the video from MOZ below to find out more.

 

Blogging checklist

Get Instant Access  Blogging Tips & Tricks Checklist

Download the accompanying step-by-step check list that will help you create a better blog quicker.

 

#2: Blog promotion tips

Include social media sharing buttons

The social media sharing buttons have always provided a way for blogs to bring their content to a wider audience.

The share count provides a social proof which indirectly attests to the quality of your content. People are more likely to share your content if they see other people are actively sharing it.

Don’t include too many otherwise it can look cluttered.

I decided to go with Social Warfare because it offers a few features that aren’t available in other competing plugins.

social media sharing

Social Warfare comes with a free and paid version.

I’m currently using the paid pro version (it costs $29 per year) because it offers useful features for any serious bloggers in one package such as:

  • Show the Pin button on image hover for Pinterest
  • Customize your Pinterest image, description, title
  • Recover your lost share counts when you change your permalink structure
  • Automatic link shortening
  • Create Click to Tweet box easily within your content as shown below (alternatively you can use this)

 

The share count provides a social proof which indirectly attests to the quality of your content. People are more likely to share your content if they see a higher share count.Click To Tweet

 

Build your email list

Why do you need to build your email list?

Because you do not want to only rely on Google, Facebook or other third parties to send you traffic. They could shut down your traffic source anytime leaving you high and dry.

Also, if you want to make serious money from your blog, having an engaged and eager email list is the best way to go about it.

If you want to make money online blogging and via affiliate marketing, email marketing should one of your main priorities.

Even if you are not selling anything at the moment, having an email list is for you to provide value and connect with your readers more.

Related: How to Start an Email List for Free Right Now

Promote your posts on Facebook groups

Getting organic traffic takes time.

So before your organic traffic takes off, you can join blogger-focused Facebook groups and promote your posts to drive traffic and engagement.

I personally get the most engagement, shares and comments from Facebook traffic.

You can learn my tips and tricks on using Facebook groups to drive traffic to your blog here.

Tweet, tweet and tweet again

If there’s a social media channel that let you promote the same link repeatedly without being spammy, it would be Twitter.

In fact, that’s how you should use Twitter for content promotion.

You can automate this repetitive task by using the IFTTT  tool and other automation tools

IFTTT

IFTTT stands for If This Then That.

It’s a free web-based service that helps you connect all your different apps and devices.

There are over 600 apps that you can instruct to do specific things they couldn’t do otherwise.

Now, here how you use it to automatically tweet your latest post.

After you register with IFTTT, enable the following applet to automatically tweet your new blog post

Automatically tweet your new blog posts.

Just follow the instruction to get it going.

ifttt wordpress

RecurPost

Use Recurpost to schedule your tweets.

Dedicate some time (a few minutes to an hour on the weekend) to write short updates for all your important posts.

Then use Recurpost to slowly publish them on Twitter several times a day in a span of several weeks.

The free plan allows 3 social media accounts and 100 scheduled content. So you can see how much time you can save if you pre-schedule 100 tweets in one month.

You can also try Buffer or Hootsuite.

Learn SEO to drive traffic from Google

If you don’t know this already, SEO stands for search engine optimisation.

It’s the thing you do to improve your blog position in the search engines result pages.

I’ve dedicated an entire blog post to help you learn some SEO tips and tricks. Check it out.

 

Blogging checklist

Get Instant Access  Blogging Tips & Tricks Checklist

Download the accompanying step-by-step check list that will help you create a better blog quicker.

 

#3: Blog design and improvement tips

While some of the tips in this section assume you are running the self-hosted WordPress, they are applicable to other blogging platforms too.

Declutter your sidebar

When I started blogging in 2006, everyone was trying to fill their sidebars with widgets and links so that the users can interact with their blogs in multiple ways.

More choice means better user experience right?

Nope.

In fact, there was a study conducted involving jam in a supermarket. One day they display 24 varieties of jam that people were allowed to sample. Then on another day, only six varieties of jam were on displayed.

While the larger display attracted more attention, when it came to purchasing, people who saw the larger display were one-tenth less likely to buy than people who saw the small display.

Fortunately today, it isn’t as bad as it used to be.

When it comes to your blog design, you want people to focus on your main content.

It’s where you’ll make more money from (and from your email list if you have one).

People will return for your content and not the sidebar.

Take a look at your blog’s design and work out what you can live without.

Remove extra widgets, links or tools on the sidebar that don’t move you closer towards your blogging goal.

Remember, when it comes to your sidebar, less is more.

Add widgets that will help you get more email subscribers, show important blog posts, or get more social media followers etc.

Create a static homepage

The default homepage for blogs typically displays a list of their latest posts.

For the longest time, that was my default homepage too. Only in June 2018, I changed my homepage to a static one.

creating static homepage

The information on static homepages stays the same. It’s up to you if you want to display snippets of your latest blog posts or other dynamic content.

The main reason why you would want to create a static homepage is to present your most important information front and center.

It makes it obvious for your first-time visitors to know who you are and what immediate benefits they’ll gain from you.

You control how your visitors start their journey. If you want them to sign-up for your newsletter, this is the place to nudge them closer to that goal.

So how do you create a static homepage?

First, you need to create a new page for your homepage. It’s the same process you took when creating your About, Privacy, Disclaimer pages.

Once that’s done, go to Settings > Reading.

For the “your homepage display” option, choose “A static page” and select the page for your Homepage.

Create static homepage

At Sabahan.com, I’m currently using ThriveThemes.

You can watch the following video to learn how to design a professional looking static homepage.

Or check out this article.

Speed up your blog

Having a speedy blog will not only improve the user experience, but Google considers your page load time an important ranking factor.

I know I’ve been repeating this point in several of my articles already because it is THAT important to get it right.

The faster your pages loading time, the higher you’ll rank (provided that you’ve implemented the good SEO practices).

So how do you shorten your page load time? You can start by installing the following WordPress plugins.

  • Install W3 Total Cache
    This is a caching plugin. It improves the SEO and user experience of your site. You can skip this if you have installed other caching plugin.
  • Smush Image Compression and Optimization
    A WordPress plugin which resizes and compresses all of you images. Using smaller images ensure your pages load faster.

Here’s a before and after experiment you can do.

Go to pingdom.com and enter your URL. Alternatively, you can also use Google PageSpeed Insights. Note your page load time.

Then, install the caching plugin above and then run the test again. I’m pretty sure you’ll notice an immediate improvement in your blog load time.

Install Google Analytics

Installing an analytic tool is a must for any blog. Otherwise, how would you track your progress?

Even if you are not ready to use it, you should just install and start collecting data now.

To get started with Google Analytics go here and sign up.

Next, you’d want to insert the tracking code into your blog.

Most themes should have an option where you can just paste your code in.

Or you can install Google Analytics Dashboard for WP (GADWP) to add Google Analytics to your blog quickly.

So now what?

You need to track how well your content is performing. This information provides important indicators of the results of your efforts in creating and promoting your blog.

For starter, some of the most important metrics to track are:

  • Users
  • Sessions
  • Average session duration
  • Bounce rate

Metric #1: Users

Users are the unique visitors.

They are distinct individuals visiting your blog during a given period, regardless of how often they visit.

For example, people who visit my blog every day would only be counted once for the month, because they are distinct individuals.

This is one of my favourite metrics because it shows how I’m making the world a better place, one person at a time lol.

Pay attention to how your users count increases over time. Don’t worry too much about the daily or monthly fluctuations.

To view your users metric, go to AUDIENCE > Overview and select Users from the drop-down menu.

users metric

Metric #2: Sessions

A session is the number of times a user has visited your blog within a given time frame.

The defaults time frame is 30 minutes.

To view your users metric, go to AUDIENCE > Overview and select Sessions from the drop-down menu.

sessions metric

The session count is incremented each time the user visits. For example, if a visitor read my blog once a week, that would add up to 4 sessions per month.

Why is it important?

If you know what your visitors are doing on your website, you can influence their behaviour so that they perform the actions that get you closer to your end goal.

The higher the sessions count, the more likely they’ll sign up for your newsletter, make purchases or engage with your content and so on.

Some advertisers like Mediavine are using the session count as a benchmark before accepting bloggers into their program.

Metric #3: Average Session Duration

The Average Session Duration is the average length of a session within a given time frame.

It’s an indication of the quality and relevance of your content because it measures how long people actually stay on your blog.

Longer session duration is generally better. But it also depends on your end goal too.

For example, a longer session duration on your check out page could mean people are having a hard time making a decision or the page confuses them.

For Sabahan.com, I found that visitors from the social media are spending more time on my blog recently followed by the organic search.

To view which traffic sources are sending more engaged visitors, go to ACQUISITION > Overview

Average session duration

While this information can fluctuations a lot, in the long term, a pattern could emerge.

You can use this information to ramp up your promotional effort to attract more of such visitors.

Metric #4: Bounce Rate

The bounce rate is the percentage of sessions where people only see only one page before leaving your site.

To view your bounce rate, go to AUDIENCE > Overview

how to check your bounce rate

A high bounce rate can be good or it can be bad.

Why?

Well when a visitor arrives from Google for example, and they spend a few minutes reading your article, then they leave. That visit counts as a bounce.

But that doesn’t mean that your page doesn’t deliver. Perhaps, the visitor has found what he was looking for.

In general though, you would want to have lower bounce rates as it could mean people are viewing more of your pages and are engaging more with your content.

To learn how to improve your bounce rate, watch Neil Patel’s video below:

Top 10 most popular pages

These are your most visited pages or posts. To find your post popular pages go to BEHAVIOUR > Site Content > All Pages

They are important because you can optimize these pages further to attract more organic traffic, improve your bounce rates or time spent on page.

They can also be the perfect places to promote your lead magnet/freebies to get people to sign up for your email newsletter.

 

Have a targeted About page

The About page is often one of the most popular pages on any websites.

Why?

Because your visitors want to connect with you, not your blog.

Your blog can be about anything but only the person behind it makes it more relatable to them.

You should utilize your About page as a digital marketing tool to engage with your target audience to bring you closer to your end goal.

That’s what I mean by having a targeted About page.

I’ve dedicated an entire post talking about how you can create the killer About page for your blog. Check it out!

 

Conclusion

Back in 2006 when I started blogging, what everyone considered blogging tips and tricks for beginners were a little different (like writing a 300 words article was enough already!).

There was less noise and the social media as we know it today didn’t even exist.

But today, it’s different.

There are more competitions, the Internet is noisier and there are endless things you can add to your to-do list (isn’t that has always been the case? lol).

My advice?

Don’t try to do everything at once. You’ll end up spreading yourself too thin and suffer burnout.

Find out the most important thing you need to do now. Then concentrate all your effort on it. When you are done, you can move on to the next task.  Having focus is especially important for every new blogger.

Lastly, don’t give up if you don’t see the immediate results. Blogging is a marathon, not a sprint.

Successful blogging tips involved putting the time to acquire skills and put your knowledge into practice.

Now it’s your turn.

Have you tried any of these blogging tips and tricks? What are your best words of wisdom that helped you get closer to your goal?

Feel free to share in the comments below.

Victor
 

An engineer by training, Victor has been working full-time online as an Internet marketer, a programmer and an app developer since 2001. He has been blogging at Sabahan.com since 2006 sharing his experience and teaching people how to make money online. Click here to join his private Facebook Group for bloggers.

  • Hi Victor
    What a wonderful blog! love your post, design and very helpful, actionable useful up to the point content. Thank you for reminding me about decluttering my sidebar and creating a static homepage. These are the tasks I scheduled for myself for some time now but never got around to do it. I will bookmark your site for a future visit and recommend to other people. I see a lot of content online, some excellent, some good, some ok and some totally rubbish and mostly is not original or unique. Just copy and paste of other’s people’s work and then pretend that they wrote it. Keep up the good work.
    Best wishes

  • Found this post from FB group blogging network post. Thanks. I am not an expert, learning and doing. Most of the plugins mentioned here are pro, I am using free only now because can’t afford to buy now. Using Grammarly chrome extension, also using Prowritingaid online editor. Canva, pixabay, youtube embed all using. visual.ly infographics also. Sumome free using for share and e-mail but not getting any subscribers. Maybe articles are not up to the standard. I am doing it for passion and to get engaged. Will be grateful if you can have a look on my blog and give suggestions to improve.

    • Victor says:

      I checked your blog and here are a few suggestions you can consider:

      1. Place some prominent headings or title text on your homepage. I don’t usually read the text in images when I scan the content.
      2. The link to this post http://5-foods-to-increase-weight-in-toddlers/ is broken
      3. When user clicks on your post image, make sure it leads them to the post itself. Currently it just showing the larger image.
      4. To improve your email sign up rates, try offering a freebie or implement some suggestions from this post https://www.sabahan.com/increase-your-email-subscribers/

      Overall I think your blog is clean and easy to navigate. I’m just not finding a strong value proposition on the homepage for me to engage with. Hope that helps.

      Thanks for stopping by Mathukutty.

  • Excellent Post and i am Impressed with your views.

    • Victor says:

      Thanks! Though these are more than just my view. They are actionable strategies anyone can implement to improve their blog 🙂

  • Rick Rouse says:

    What an awesome post, Gaman!

    I’ve seen several of these tips mentioned elsewhere but you have placed them all in one post. Definitely worth a bookmark!

    But if I had to choose one of these tips as being the best of the lot it would be the one about speeding up your blog.

    In today’s Internet environment there’s simply no substitute for a fast-loading blog! In fact, in 2018 a blog’s success and long-term survival require it.

    Again, very well done!

    • Gaman says:

      I agree that speeding up your blog is one simple thing any blogger should do not only to please Google but to provide a better user experience. Thanks for your comment Rick!

  • Arianna says:

    This is a very useful post! I will treasure all of it. Thank you so much for sharing all these tips 🙂

    • Gaman says:

      Hey Arianna, glad you find the post useful! I tried to make sure everything is actionable so hope you have a chance to implement some of the tips. Thanks for reading!

  • AZnii says:

    Wow! Really love this informative article . Am gonna repeart again

  • TheImposter says:

    Huge amount of information on one page – I will take time to go over it in detail when I have more time

  • dani says:

    I need to catch my breath. Information overload in a very good way. I have favourited it and will print it for better digestion. =)

    • Gaman says:

      Hi dani. I hope the amount information didn’t turn you off! I know it’s a lot so do one thing at a time and then come back later for the next 🙂

  • Jen says:

    Wow! This post has a wealth of information that I’m going to keep referring back to. I was always a little baffled by how to use Google Analytics. Thanks so much for explaining where to focus!

  • Stephanie says:

    Wow! Lots of great tips here. I’m adding this to my list of posts to mention in my newsletter.

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