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Earn From Your Blog

Posted by Cat How, January 5, 2018

Having a blog is a great way of boosting your SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) and pulling people into your website. It might seem self-explanatory, but aside from writing good content that is relevant to people and interesting to read; it’s also worth keeping a few other things in mind.

Content

  • Even with image-based posts you need to have a relatively good volume of text – 300 words as a minimum is a good rule of thumb to get the most from each post. Pictures may be attention-grabbing, but text is what gets you traffic.
  • If you sell products on your website – consider a collage post based around a central theme (colour, seasonal, trends).
  • Another area to look at if you sell products, are product reviews. Doing a review should bring additional traffic for keywords you don’t target on the main site, and you can always go and then link through to the product itself.
  • “How to” posts are really interesting for readers. These could include detailed visual instructions on how to complete a decorative project, or how to achieve a certain filter effect in Photoshop. Anything that your readers might be searching for how to do, can be very useful.
  • Use your blog to target specific phrases, for example, “gifts for Christmas” by writing posts that cover the topic. The issue with this is that it may dilute the quality of the content on the blog as it is a bit more “salesy”. Try to turn the article into useful content by thinking around your keywords “How to choose the perfect gifts for Christmas” for example.
  • Invite guest bloggers from sites you read to contribute to yours. Apart from the great content, they should also then push the content to their followers and they are also more likely to invite you to contribute to their blogs too.
  • Along this line, think about ‘interview-style’ posts with successful digital publishers whose blogs you admire and read. They may also want to feature you on their blog or link back to you.
  • Look at themes to cross-promote your posts into a different market. For example, if you run an online shop that sells kitchenware – look at posts around the perfectly designed modern afternoon tea, which could feature items from the shop. You could then try and link with some food bloggers, so they provide a menu and you provide design inspiration and you both get to publish the post. Thinking outside the box is key.

Timing

  • Different styles of posts may be more successful than others. Think about publishing depending on how long people will have to read. For example:
    a. List-based posts like a “Top 10…” for when people are likely to be busier in the week and may be looking for something of around 5-10 minutes to read while at work or at lunch.
    b. Consider longer text-based posts for weekends when people will have more time to read.
  •  Think about the best time to publicise a post on social media. Having a regular schedule can help people be ready for the post and you may find you get more traction at different times of the day and different days of the week. Evenings from 7.30pm after people have had dinner or put their kids to bed and are online is always good. Alternatively 8am or 6pm when people are on the bus or train on the daily commute are good times too. Sunday nights are king!
  • You may want to consider promoted posts on Facebook, promoted Tweets on Twitter or remarketing with AdWords to give you a boost in readership, at least to start. Be careful though as you will need to properly target the promoted posts on Facebook to get to a relevant audience.
  • You can submit your rss feed to websites like http://alltop.com/ who can refer decent levels of traffic. As a note of warning, your feed can also be used to republish your content elsewhere, so be careful.

Technicalities

  • Consider adding a link to your blog either at the top or bottom navigations so it is linked from more areas on your website.
  • Rather than the URL of “Blog” perhaps think about trying to give it a more descriptive URL, for example, ‘homeware blog’ or ‘interior design blog’ or ‘food blog’.
  • It would be good to add in the markup for rel=author and rel=publisher in order to get some author pictures into the search results. The instructions for these can be found here and here. You may also be able to do it using a plugin. You would need Google+ accounts for any authors as well as your business. The benefit is the additional clicks you get as a result of the embellished results and Google+ to has an impact on search results too.
  • If you haven’t already, we would recommend that you noindex the tag pages as they can create a significant number of low value pages. You can do this in the Yoast Plugin.
  • If you have a WordPress site, we tend to recommend the robots.txt example you can find here in order to make it more secure.
  • Consider using a plugin called YARP (Yet Another Related Post) which adds related blog posts to the bottom of each post. This can help to get people to read more than one of your posts which is always.

(picture credit Tom Abiss Smith)

Cat How is a Creative Director and Co-Founder of Pollen Place — a unique workspace and event space based in central Bristol designed to nurture creativity and spark productivity. She is also Creative Director of branding and graphic design agency, Polleni. Cat studied at the University of Bristol and Central Saint Martins College of Art & Design. She has worked as a journalist and graphic designer for newspapers such as MetroThe Guardian and The Observer. Most recently, she was creative director of the e-commerce design business, Howkapow, she founded and ran with her husband Rog How. Howkapow was sold in February 2017. In that time Cat and Rog were running it, Howkapow was given accolades such as the “Best Online Shop for Stylish Homewares” (The Guardian); one of the “Top Ten Online Design Shops” (The Sunday Times) and their pop-up “The Best Shop To Visit In Bristol” (The Guardian).

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