When I first started blogging, I thought all I had to do was write blog posts. And yeah, that’s kind of true. To maintain a blog, all you really have to do is keep writing.
But to be a successful blogger? These days?
Well, that’s a different story. These days, writing is only half of a blogger’s job. What’s the other half? Read on to find out 😉
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1. Double-check spelling and grammar
I don’t know about you, but I make spelling and grammar mistakes all the time. Although I do my very best to make sure that none of them are published to my blog, one or two occasionally escape me. I’ll read a post on my blog and realize Gah! Another typo!
So, here’s my secret for avoiding spelling and grammar mistakes: Grammarly.
Grammarly is a free, online tool that will catch glaring spelling and grammar mistakes. After I’ve finished writing a blog post, I simply hit Ctrl+A on my keyboard to select the entire text, open the Grammarly app, and then copy and paste it in. Grammarly then finds all of my grammar mistakes and points them out to me. Neat, right?
Now, you might be thinking, Hey Christine, shouldn’t I do this before hitting the publish button?
Yes, yes you should. But … are you actually doing it? If not, then you should definitely do it after. 🙂 And, here’s my super secret technique for catching all grammar and spelling mistakes: use two different spelling and grammar checkers—one before hitting publish, and one after hitting publish.
I usually like to wait a day or two after publishing my blog posts to re-read them and make minor tweaks to my writing. There’s a strong possibility that I might make an error while making my tweaks, so that’s when I run my second spelling and grammar check. It’s helpful to use two different kinds of software because they don’t all catch the same mistakes.
2. Double-check that all of your links and opt-ins are working
Every good blog post has two things: at least one outbound link, and at least one email opt-in, right? (Have you started collecting email addresses yet? If not, you might want to read about it here.)
But it does your audience no good if your links and opt-in forms aren’t working! Not only that, but as a blog reader, it’s incredibly frustrating and reflects poorly on your brand. (No blogger or business wants to be seen as technologically challenged, right?) To ensure a snafu-free experience for your audience, after you publish your blog post, give your links and opt-ins a quick check to make sure they’re working properly.
3. Add new links to past, relevant blog posts
One way to add significant value to your blog posts (which keeps your readers coming back for more AND increases the amount of time spent on your site) is to make sure that you’re updating old blog posts by linking to your new blog posts.
You can do this a number of ways.
- Add “Related reading: (link)” somewhere in the body of your post.
- Add a link to relevant text.
- Add a call to action at the bottom of your blog post. “Want to learn more about _____? Check out these blog posts.”
4. Pin your post to your Pinterest boards
Are you on Pinterest yet?
If not, you definitely should be!
Pinterest is a great way to drive traffic to your blog, increase your brand awareness, and gain followers. And, it’s really not that hard to get started using Pinterest. All you have to do is create a Pinterest account, and then make sure that every post on your blog has a pinnable graphic (vertical, eye-catching, displays an enticing headline).
To get the most out of Pinterest, you’ll also want to start a few boards that are related to your niche, and complete your profile. Then, after hitting publish on your newest blog post, add pins that link to your post on the relevant boards.
5. Pin your post to group boards on Pinterest
After you’ve established your Pinterest account, the next helpful tip I have for you is to start pinning to group boards. Group boards, because they have so many followers, can expand your reach on Pinterest to huge numbers of people!
Not only will you gain more followers, but your content will get more repins, which means more people will see your pins and finally click through to your website.
To find group boards to pin to, I suggest looking for boards on Pingroupie. Many board owners will have their contact information in the description at the top of the board. You’ll have to ask permission to join.
Important: after joining, do NOT spam the board! Just pin the relevant pin from your blog.
6. Share your post on Facebook
What I like to do is share my latest posts to my business Facebook page (as opposed to my personal account). This way, my personal friends aren’t inundated with my branding, blogging, and business posts, and my business followers aren’t inundated with photos of my dog. 😛
To make sure that Facebook displays a nice, branded image along with your post, be sure to use a social sharing plugin such as Social Warfare.
7. Share your post on Twitter
Even after all these years, Twitter is still a great way to gain a following and bring visitors to your site. But, the thing to remember with Twitter is that a) posts with pictures do much better than posts without and b) it’s most beneficial to share often.
8. Schedule future automatic posts on Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest
When I first started using social media to promote my blog, I was floored by the amount of content other bloggers were posting on social media. I figured they must have simply been glued to their computers in order to post stuff every hour of every day.
But I soon discovered the secret to posting regularly while still being able to be productive with your day: content schedulers.
9. Did you mention anyone in your post? Let them know via a Tweet.
If you mentioned anyone in your post, make sure that you let them know so that they can share it with their followers, too! A tweet is a great way to send a quick message.
10. Send a broadcast to your email list
One of the most common questions I get about email lists is: What do I send to my email list after they sign up?
Well, letting your followers know about your latest blog post is a great way to keep the line of communication open. When you write your email, be sure to include a quick summary of the post as well as a link so that people can click through and read the entire post.
11. Respond to comments
Hopefully, your new, amazing blog post will generate some buzz (but if it doesn’t, that’s okay, just keep plugging away). People genuinely appreciate it when blog owners respond to their comments, so if someone takes the time to respond to your blog post, I recommend taking the time to respond back.
People also sometimes send messages via Twitter and Facebook, so be sure to check those accounts as well.
12. Analyze traffic
Lastly, after hitting publish, make sure that you analyze the traffic going to your blog. I use Google Analytics along with the Google Analytics Dashboard for WP WordPress plugin. Look for patterns:
- Which post is your audience attracted to?
- Which links did they click on?
- Where is most of your traffic coming from?
If you’re just getting started, it’s going to take a while for Google to gather information about your blog, but give it time. You can also analyze traffic in Pinterest if you’ve converted your account to a business account, in Facebook using Insights, and in Twitter using Analytics.
Although it’s really easy to simply ignore all of these services and go about your merry way posting blog posts, I encourage you to take a peek at at your analytics at least once a week just to see if there are any trends. At the very least, you should be able to find out what kind of information your audience enjoys reading, so that you can continue to create amazing, valuable content.