Blogging

6 Foolproof Ways to Increase Your Blog Traffic

You’ve written an awesome post but it’s not getting many views. Now what? As blogging has grown in popularity over the past few years, its easy to believe that the saturated market means fewer blog views. Not so! Knowing how to effectively promote your blog posts without appearing spammy will help to drive traffic to your blog and increase subscribers. So, how can you increase your blog traffic? I have 6 foolproof ways that will gradually begin to increase your views.

Use Pinterest

Many people seriously underestimate the power of Pinterest. Don’t believe me? Melyssa grew her subscribers by almost 40,000 in 12 months, while Allison grew her traffic by 800% in 4 months. Here are a few strategies I recommend to grow your blog traffic via Pinterest.

  • Think of Pinterest as a search engine rather than a social media platform.
  • Sign up for a business account – you can do so here (you can easily switch to a business account if you already have a standard Pinterest account).
  • Enable rich pins – these pins include extra information about the pin, kinda like a snippet of information. There are 6 types of rich pins, including film, app, recipe, article, product and place. The majority of bloggers would generally choose article when signing up for rich pins. Once you’ve signed up for rich pins, your pins will automatically display extra information when pinned. Rich pins stand out more than a regular pin, making them more visible and more likely to be re-pinned. Thus, reaching more people.
  • Pin like a boss – My Pinterest account connected to this blog has almost 30,000 subscribers but its taken a bit of effort to get there. I find my subscriber count grows by regular pinning. I normally pin for around 10 minutes each day. Usually, 80% are other people’s pins and 20% are my own.
  • Schedule – if you don’t have time to pin each day, I recommend using Boardbooster which is a great tool to help you schedule pins, test your pins for broken links and help you devise a strategy by finding the best time to pin. You can use a free trial if you want to test out the tool.
  • Join group boards – Group boards are an extra way of getting your pins viewed. Try to search for groups in your genre, so if you have a food blog, a foodies blogging group will be highly beneficial for increasing your views.

Sign up to Bloglovin

Bloglovin is an easy way to follow and read your favourite blogs. A lot of my traffic comes from this platform and I’d definitely recommend that every new blogger signs up as Google Friend Connect is now pretty much defunct and many people don’t want to use their email to follow their favourite blogs. Bloglovin allows readers to see your all your blog posts and you can use your bloglovin dashboard to see how many subscribers you have and how many views you’re receiving. Make sure you put a Bloglovin badge on your blog so people can easily click to follow your posts.

Participate in Facebook groups

Facebook groups are a brilliant way to promote your blog and posts. I personally use UKBloggers and Online Business BFFs but there are plenty of other groups that are great for sharing your posts. Try searching for groups in your country or region as well as looking for blogging specific groups.

Blog commenting

Leaving blog comments on other blogs is an effective method of promotion. However, you want to do this in a way that doesn’t appear spammy. Writing ‘please follow me’ is highly likely to put people off, so I suggest leaving comments on blogs that you actually read and enjoy. Writing a comment about the blog post with a small link to your blog underneath is perfectly good blogging etiquette and it’s more effective.

Guest post

Guest posting is one of the best methods for increasing your traffic and getting the word out about your amazing blog. By creating a high-quality blog post for another website in your niche, you can help to establish yourself as an authority figure, become exposed to a new audience and grow your views and subscribers by providing a link back to your site. If you want to know how to write a pitch to guest post on another blog, check out my free pitch download on my other blog Diary of a Freelancer.

SEO

SEO or search engine optimisation is an important part of blogging but it doesn’t need to be overwhelming. By using correct SEO procedures, you’ll help to increase your page rank in google and boost your page views. If you use WordPress, try the Yoast plugin as it literally takes care of everything for you – you just have to fill in your key word/s for the blog post you’re writing and it will let you know if your SEO is good or not. If you don’t use WordPress or don’t want to install the plugin, consider these following tips;

  • Write good quality blog posts that are rich in information and length. Generally, the longer the posts, the better but don’t write 1000 word posts just for the sake of it. Consider your topic and how much relevant information you can include for it to be enticing for the reader.
  • Use appropriate titles – titles should be relevant to your content and should grab the readers attention without being clickbait. For example, ‘What I purchased at Weekend’ would be better titled ‘Anastacia Contour Cream Kit’ if that’s what the post is about. However, to make it more eye-catching for readers, you could use alternative titles like ‘5 Reasons to Buy the Anastacia Contour Cream Kit’ or ‘How to Use the Anastacia Contour Cream Kit on Fair Skin’.
  • Put an introduction in your blog post – make sure you use the key word/s in this introduction, so if you’re using ‘Anastacia Contour Cream Kit’ as your keywords, make sure you mention them in the first paragraph, preferably at the beginning of your blog post.
  • Give your photos a title. If you’re using WordPress, remember to add alt text in the image box. So, for this post, my image title is ‘Ways to Increase your Blog Traffic’ and my alt text is ‘6 foolproof ways to increase your blog traffic’.

If you want to get free blogging tips to your inbox, make sure you subscribe to my exclusive email. 



A New Look & Reflections on 2016

This year has been a complete whirlwind. I swear that time goes quicker as you get older and now I’m in my thirties, it’s whizzing by. In time for the new year, I’ve given the blog a new look and I’m really happy with it. There’s still a few small tweaks to make, including a new header but, for now, I’m pleased with how it’s come together.

At the end of a year, it’s pretty standard to reflect on the past few months and start to focus on your goals for the future. I thought I’d share a few thoughts and a catch-up on my year so far, including my blogging journey.

Blogging

I’ve been a rubbish blogger over the past 12 months. Blogging is still very much a hobby for me and due to my workload and other commitments, I’ve had little time to write in this space. I really miss regular blogging so I’m determined to get a couple of posts written each week. I don’t own a camera at the moment, so if you have any suggestions let me know. I’m thinking of maybe going back to Canon.

Freelance writing

I feel very lucky that I get to work as a freelance writer, work from home and make an income. I know so many people that hate their jobs, so I’m fortunate to do something I love. I write posts on freelance writing over on my other blog Diary of a Freelancer and I have lots of posts planned for the new year as well as a Facebook group for job opportunities and how to get started in the industry.

Going out of my comfort zone

As someone who struggles a lot with panic attacks and anxiety, going out of my comfort zone is incredibly challenging. This year, I started driving lessons, which is something I’ve been putting off for years due to my fears. I won’t lie, I was pooping myself during the first few lessons, but I as it turns out, I love driving and I’ve got my test in February. I’m looking forward to buying my own car and having the freedom to go to wherever I want without relying on public transport.

Self-care

This year, I decided I needed some help with my mental health. I currently take anti-depressants and beta blockers , but I’ve felt for a long time that I’ve needed help with getting to the route of what’s causing anxiety and how I can deal with it effectively. Earlier this year, I had some counselling sessions which were really helpful. I’m currently undertaking CBT but its something I feel I continually have to work on. I really feel that with mental health issues, you’re given medication, put on a waiting list and left to drift along. However, I’ve found the charity MIND very helpful and I’d recommend them to anyone struggling with their mental health.

Heath & fitness

In summer, I had a health scare and it made me realise how little I look after myself in terms of health. I’ve also put on half a stone this year, which doesn’t sound like a lot but as I’m only short, it feels like more. A combination of being content in a relationship, eating crap and little exercise has left me nursing a muffin top and extra love handles. Next year, I’m thinking of hiring a personal trainer and going to the gym to shift my extra pounds and get toned up. Mostly, I think it will really help my overall mood though and help me to be more positive.

Travel and other projects

The furthest I travelled this year was Blackpool. I’d love to spend a few weekends away next year, depending on my money status. I’m hoping to move into a nice house with my boyfriend next year so we’re going to be doing a lot of saving, however, there are some lovely places in the UK to visit so even a few small trips would be great.

I have quite a few projects lined up for next year as well as starting a masters degree in mental health science. I don’t know if I’m crazy to be taking on so much but I enjoy being busy. I also have a little somethin’ planned in relation to this blog which I’ll mention more of in the new year.

It’s almost my five year blogging anniversary and after a few name and platform changes, I’m starting to feel on my feet. I have a few free resources in the pipeline which will be handy to both new and old bloggers. I’ll write a blog post as soon as the resources are launched!

I hope you have a wonderful new year and that 2017 brings you lots of happiness.

What are your goals for next year?

7 of The Best WordPress Templates for Bloggers

the-best-wordpress-templates-for-bloggers

Design elements can help to make or break a blog. We all want our blogs to look good, but not everyone has the budget to hire a designer. I’m a big fan of premade templates – I’ve used several over the years from talented designers, saving me both the time and hassle of attempting to try and create something half as good.

Earlier this year, I moved over to WordPress – I find the platform easier and more convenient to use than Blogger or Squarespace. However, using a custom design can cost thousands which is simply out of my budget right now. Luckily, I found several gorgeous WordPress templates on Etsy and I’m super happy with how my blog has transformed.

If you want to give your blog a refresh, take a look at the beautiful WordPress templates I’ve found below.

P.s. If you want to start a WordPress blog, check out my tutorial – 5 proactive ways to start a WordPress blog.

Linda

Linda-wordpress-theme

Linda is a responsive WordPress theme with a magazine style design and easy customisation. This template is perfect for all kinds of blogs or for creative entrepreneurs. You’re able to switch between a full width page or blog and sidebar, change colours and there are two optional sliders to feature your posts. All in all a great option for beginners or those who’ve been blogging for a while.

Freyja

Freyja=-wordpress-template

Freyja is a stunning template that I’ve had my eye on for a while. It gives you the option for 5 differing blog layouts so you can choose the one that best meets your needs. It’s also compatible with Woocommerce, so its perfect if you have an online store. However, if you just want to blog, its ideal for that too.

Evangeline

evangeline-wordpress-template

Evangeline is a pretty WordPress template for feminine blogs. As well as the template, you also receive the Genesis framework that the theme requires to work on. With 6 different page layouts, a featured slider and 4 colour schemes, this template is for those who are searching for something a little different than your standard monochrome theme.

Anissa

Anissa-wordpress-template

Anissa  is a WordPress theme for blogs and e-commerce – ideal if you’re planning on opening an online shop. This feminine style has a custom image header, about me widget and featured post slider.

Meraki

Meraki-Wordpress-Template

Meraki  is a beautiful minimal template. If you like simple but classic designs, you’ll love this theme. With this template, you have the choice of using a landing page, photoshop template for header and sidebar image, 15 social media icons and installation guide.

Willow

Willow-Wordpress-Template

Willow is a responsive WordPress theme with the choice of 6 layout options, including full width pages and 1 or 2 sidebars. There’s also a fixed menu bar, custom widgets and 10 social icons. You receive both the theme and Genesis framework when you purchase this template.

Charlotte

charlotte-wordpress-template

Charlotte  is a theme that both bloggers and creatives will enjoy. This responsive template has four layout options, optional slideshow and newsletter areas, changing colours, custom logo and is SEO optimised.

 

25 of the Best Places to Find Free Pretty Stock Photos

where-to-find-free-pretty-stock-photos

Stock photos have come a long way since the days of bland and uninspiring images. I love pretty images, especially when they’re free to use, and they’re super handy to have for round-up posts, tips and tricks or if you’re struggling with photography.

You’re probably aware that you cant go using any image off the internet due to copyright laws, not unless you’ve purchased the image or contacted the photographer to ask for permission to use it.

Taking your own high quality images can be time-consuming, especially in winter when there’s little natural light. So, with that in mind, I’m sharing my favourite sites for free stock photos. These sites offer images that are free for you to use on your blog or website.

How to use stock photos 

You can simply insert an image on your site, but chances are, many others will be using the same free image so I really recommend using an editing program, such as Photoshop or a free platform like Canva to add text, your logo and URL to personalise an image and help boost your blogs individuality.

Free stock photos are normally licensed under creative commons meaning you can alter the image and copy it without permission, however, you are not allowed to sell them.

Free sites

 

If You’re Considering A Freelance Writing Career

 

During my little hiatus on this platform, I was busy beavering away on my other blog, Diary of a Freelancer. Unlike this site, Diary of a Freelancer is based around how to get started as a writer, building an online business and making a consistent income from your work.

After blogging for over 4 years (Yup, I missed my blogs birthday!) I’m now a full time copywriter, and one of the main questions I get asked is how I started freelance writing without beginning my career in a traditional way. The answer – Blogging!

I know a lot of bloggers want to become paid writers and start their own business. That’s why I’ve written an awesome 5 day email course called From Blogger to Freelancer. The best part, it’s completely FREE!

In this email course, you’ll receive 5 modules covering;

  • Using your blog content
  • Effective guest posting
  • Promoting your services
  • How to get paid work
  • Creating a portfolio

If you want to sign up for this FREE course, just grab it here!