If you’re reading this, welcome to the wildly wonderful world of blogging! I remember at the start of my blogging journey I would sometimes feel like I was constantly trying to get my head above water, battling the millions of other blogs and writers out there.
Over the years I’ve filled up my virtual toolbox with little strategies that I saw seasoned bloggers use every day to continually grow their blog and their audience. And so, without any further rambling, here are my top tips on stepping up your blogging game even if you’re just starting out.
Utilize Social Media To Promote Your Blog
So you’ve started your blog and everything’s running along smoothly, but wait, only four people read your last post!? You could write the most amazing blog post on the internet but no one is going to know it exists unless you promote it.
Promoting your blog is the first step to really expanding your reach, and social media is one of the most powerful promotional tools available, right at your fingertips.
When it comes to promoting your blog on social media it’s important to be strategic about where you establish a presence. With so many social media networks out there it would be almost impossible to master them all, especially when you’re first starting out.
Consider where your ideal target audience spends most of their time and would be most likely to engage with you.
Here are some tips for getting the most out of your promotional efforts on social media:
- Find out where your audience is most active and create accounts on those platforms
- Switch your accounts over to a business profile so that you can access things like analytics and promotional tools
- Create conversations among your audience and start to build a community by replying to messages and comments
- Be consistent with your posting and be sure to include links back to your blog or website wherever possible
Step Up Your Photography Game
Let’s be honest. There are times when you’ll visit a blog and, without reading 90% of the words, you’ll skim through and just look at the photos. High-quality and relevant photography can really step up your blog and set it above those using cliche stock photos or even no photos at all.
I know what you’re thinking, how am I supposed to become an amazing wordsmith AND a master of imagery!? If you’re not a photographer, picking up a DSLR and navigating the world through a lens can seem like a complex and daunting task.
While you don’t have to be a professional, learning the basics of photography will be one of the best investments in yourself that you can make. A good place to start is the GEP travel photography course.
If you’re a total newbie, get inspiration from your favorite travel blogs or photographers and start to get out there and practice shooting. You don’t need to jump in and use “manual” mode right away, start in “automatic” or “shutter priority” and just get a feel for the photos you like to take for your blog.
Next comes editing. I would argue that editing is almost as important as the actual picture in itself. I’ve taken some images that I originally thought were a bit “meh,” but after a little magic from my favorite editing software, Lightroom, they’ve looked amazing.
Start practicing editing with different apps and find your aesthetic, creating a certain mood or feeling in your shots. And if you want help from the professionals, there are so many bloggers and photographers who have their own Lightroom presets that you can use to step up your own photos.
Become An SEO Master
I think we can all agree that it’s pretty important for people to be able to find your blog on Google. What if someone types in the name of your blog and it’s not the first thing to appear on the results page? What if someone Googles a topic you’ve covered on your blog but there are 100 other articles that come up before yours? That’s all down to a little thing (hint, not so little) called Search Engine Optimisation (SEO).
If you want to start bringing in organic traffic to your blog when you’re just starting out and maybe even make that prestigious #1 spot on Google’s search results, you’ll have to roll up your sleeves and start to learn about SEO.
SEO helps to make sure that your website is discoverable organically on search engines like Google and while it’s super important, it may not be the easiest thing for some people to wrap their heads around. There are so many great learning resources on Youtube and Skillshare and lots of blogs have even covered the topic, including us! Here’s our guide on SEO for travel bloggers.
It’s important to start following SEO practices from the very beginning of starting your blog so that you don’t have to go back and fix up everything later. So get in the habit of using keywords throughout your articles and all of the other fun SEO practices you’ll learn.
Network, Network, Network
In most industries networking is seen as an important part of the job, and while it’s not your typical traditional career, blogging should be no different. When you’re starting out in the blogging industry building connections with your peers can be so important. After all, you never know how those connections will be able to help you out later on.
When you’re first starting your blog it’s all about finding and building your audience, and if you have friends in the industry they’ll be able to give you a little boost by guest posting or sharing your content.
Find other bloggers within your niche and connect with them on social media or if they’re local you could even meet up for a coffee. These relationships are a great way for bloggers to be able to share ideas, support, and help each other grow.
Set Up A Professional Email
I’m a big advocate for email marketing. Why? It’s one of the oldest forms of marketing and is still one of the most effective. When you have your own email list, you have unlimited access to a database of highly engaged people who truly care about what you have to say, plus you can reach them in a manner that eliminates the noise and distractions of other channels.
Start hanging out with bloggers enough and you’ll start to hear time and time again that their number one regret was not starting their email list sooner – so all you newbies out there take note! To create an email list to use in your future promotional activities, you’ll first need to create an email for your blog.
Having a professional email address makes you appear like the professional world-class blogger you are. If you’re submitting your work to online publications and it’s coming from your 2001 email address firstname.lastname@example.org, it won’t exactly make the greatest first impression.
Once you’ve created a professional email address you can go ahead and add email opt-in forms to your website so that your readers can subscribe. Make sure your opt-in form is fun and engaging, tells your readers why they’d want to sign up, and what they can expect to receive from you.