Blogging is an incredibly rewarding activity that today more and more of us are embarking upon. Because of the ease in which one can now set up their own website, search engine results are swamped with blogs on everything from fashion to football to fluffy canines.
So how to make sure that your blog stands out from the crowd and receive more visitors? Below we have listed five of the best products and tools that budding bloggers can use to optimize their site and bump it up the results page.
Like it or not, every webmaster needs to consider SEO. SEO is essentially designing your site so that it appears attractive and convincing to search engines. It is basically telling Google and other search engines what your site offers and why you deserve to be on the results page for certain queries. SEO is broad, and incorporates things such as ensuring your URLs are clear and easy to read, tagging each page clearly, and creating content that is peppered with relevant keywords – ‘outfits for summer’, for example. If you are new to SEO, it can be hard to know where to start. This website checker from 1&1 will be able to quickly identify any glaring SEO holes in your website, including visibility, security, and speed.
People love pictures. They are easy to look at and require very little effort. There are very few blogs out there that would not benefit from having a good selection of photos on each page. People like to be able to scroll through photos and get a sense of what your site is about that way, as opposed to just reading text. Ensure that these are top-quality photos with a quality camera, and make sure that the loading time does not lag when uploading… that that is a big turn-off for both humans and Google!
A good scanner will allow you to upload non-digital content to your site. Illustration cannot replace the power of photographs, but it adds something different; for example a few dainty scribbles will make your site stand out as well as imbue it with a more personable, thoughtful touch. With the digitalization of our lives, an occasional return back to basics is appreciated.
Building a good-looking site is one thing, marketing it is a whole other. You want to make it quick and easy for visitors to sign up to your blog so you are able to entice them back time and time again. Even if your blog is not an ecommerce site, it is important that you manage your email lists carefully and with due diligence. We recommend MailChimp, an email software used by over 10 million people to help them manage their email marketing and optimize their subscription lists.
Perhaps more important than email marketing is social media marketing. Some of us find it hard enough to keep up with our own personal notifications across the social media platforms, let alone trying to market a blog on them. The tricky thing is, what works for Twitter will not necessarily work for Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and so on. Each platform has its own intricacies and you may also find that your followers on each platform are of varying demographics, and therefore will respond differently to posts. For this reason, one can sign up with Hootsuite, a useful tool that helps you thrive on each platform and track your analytics.
For those of an artistic disposition out there, check our post on the seven apps that every artist will love.