How to Build a Blog After You’ve Started It
It’s not hard to build a blog after you’ve got it up and going. But there are certain ideas and thoughts to consider. Even if you’re not interested in writing a blog at all, I would still LOVE your opinion on a couple of topics below.
Quote of the day: “In seeking wisdom, the first step is silence, the second listening, the third remembering, the fourth practicing, the fifth–teaching others.” Ibn Gabirol
I may not be the most experienced blogger or the most successful. Yet I always love sharing what I know with others. Which is why this quote spoke to me.
Last year, I shared about how to actually start a blog. And no matter what subject you are blogging about, after you have it going, there are still many questions. So I thought the next step about how to build a blog could be helpful.
In blog talk, a plug in is like an app on your phone. It’s there to help you do something or the other. This is where how to build a blog can be overwhelming. How do you decide what you want or need? It’s always good to see what your favorite blogs have on their site, but here’s a run down of a couple items.
1– You absolutely need to let people know your social sites and link to them easily. There are many plugins for this. The one I use is Simple Follow Me Social Buttons
2– Another thing to consider is comments. If you want people to comment, AND to see your replies, you need to do some research. I happen to use Disqus because it does send my reply to the commenter. Not all comment plug ins do this, so it’s good to test it out if that’s important to you.
3– If you don’t know much about SEO, trust me, you will learn as time goes on. In computer talk, it’s how any search engine finds you. Even if you know a lot about SEO, you should include Yoast SEO plug in. It’s the gold standard in the blogging world. But it doesn’t help if you don’t use it correctly. Make sure to learn about the meta description and check the problems it finds with your post.
Insider tip: If this isn’t something you love to figure out on your own, it’s VERY helpful to take a class about it. Personally, I took this Stupid Simple SEO class and thought it was well worth the money.
4– Now you don’t want to think negatively yet it’s important to have a backup of everything in case something happens. It’s better to have a back up and not need it than to need it and not have it. I use BackUpWordPress plug in for this.
Marketing for How to Build a Blog
What good is writing a blog post if no one reads it? Well, it could be fine for you, if the activity of writing is all you are hoping to achieve. However, we are social animals and normally want some kind of interaction. So the next question is how to get people over to read your blog.
1– The best way is to tell people. I know many people who don’t want their friends or family to know they have a blog. And that’s okay. If you want them to know, then share your posts on Facebook, and/or other social sites. PS…there is a plug in for this too. I use NextScripts: Social Networks Auto-Poster.
2– If you have a favorite blogger or two, you might have heard them talk about linkup parties. It’s where bloggers share their posts with others. It’s nice to meet other people with your same interests this way.
3– It’s always helpful to be featured on other sites that have your same niche. When I was starting out, I used to write articles for Sixty and Me.
4– Your SEO is important to get people to your site. Granted Google doesn’t consider you “real” until at least a year or so after your blog is going. That’s why those above ideas are important too.
If you read about the steps to start a blog, I talked a little about security then. Of course, it’s the last thing you’re thinking about when you first set up your site. However, I’ve had more than one blog friend have issues and her entire site down for weeks due to hacking. Heck, even I’ve had a minor issue in the last 6 months. If you think anything is hack proof, you’re wrong.
While it would seem silly to pay the extra money if you can have problems anyways, at least they will help iron things out. I have Sucuri which is $200 a year. And that’s because my husband, who has a masters in IT, thinks it’s well worth the money.
Although this post is more about a blog than social media, your security for your social sites is important too. I just reiterated the steps for two-factor authentication on a post last week. If you missed it, PLEASE go to it and put them in place. Even if you aren’t big on social media. You can thank me later when your friends accounts are being hacked.
The last thing I’ll talk about for how to build a blog is getting feedback. While everyone will tell you to do what you want because it’s your blog, it’s still nice to know what others want. It’s always hard to see the forest through the trees. And if you are writing a blog, you’re usually somewhat of an expert about what you’re writing. Therefore it’s nice to get a whole different perspective from other people who aren’t experts.
1– Use a survey once a year to ask questions. Survey Monkey is a free service which is what I’ve used in the past. Personally, I think it’s nice to offer some kind of reward to ask people to take the time to do this. I usually have a gift card raffled off at the end of mine.
2– Not everyone likes to comment on your blog for one reason or another. Some feel more comfortable commenting on Facebook or other social sites. Yet I still like to ask questions in many of my posts. I have learned so much from others.
3– I have also started asking questions about issues that have come up with our recent move to AZ in my emails. It’s been absolutely wonderful to get people’s experiences this way. Don’t be afraid to share.
My Questions to You
I really do value other people’s input, and have a couple of things that have been brought up with friends recently. So if you have a minute, I would love your thoughts on the following (and if you don’t like to comment on the blog, feel free to email me at Jodie@JTouchofStyle.com):
1– Since my blog focuses on fashion most of the time, do you think it’s bad when one of us wears the same thing in the span of a month or two?
2– How do you feel about responses to comments? Do you think it’s important to be emailed a reply from me, even if it’s just a thank you? Or do you just want to state your opinion and be done with it? I heard someone say that being told thanks is a waste of her time.
3– There are times we struggle with our photos (Rob with taking them and me with editing them). As much as you could say we should be professionals by now, we don’t only take photos at the best time of the day, and some things are just out of our control. Is the quality of the photos more important than the subject?
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