As someone with a small business I know hindsight is often 20-20. And today is no different. Today as I learned some new blogger tips I realize once again how much I don’t know. Who knows maybe up until the last 6 months I never thought of myself as a blogger. More of a motivational speaker who needed a way to stay in touch with people who came to my events. As a result of that mindset I did what many new bloggers do, I got a free WordPress site and began to write. I wrote whenever I was inspired and eventually began short daily direction moments. I didn’t have a clue what I was doing, had no idea about keywords and didn’t care too much about google analytics. Heck I thought I had arrived when I got my first comment. Only now do I wish I could start over and do things right from the beginning. So today I’ll share some blogging advice I wish I had received a few years ago.
But before I share the tips, let me share how I got from happy dancing over a comment to so completely frustrated with the number of pageviews that I’ve committed to learning all the things I wished I had known from the start. Almost 2 years ago, armed with a few regular followers and an entrepreneurial side that wouldn’t quit I learned just enough about self-hosting to be dangerous. I took the plunge and added a google analytics plugin and learned a little about SEO. and Filled up my meta places with anything I could think of that would tell people I was on the scene. Fast forward to many missed opportunities for sponsorship and lots of confusion about how to blog as a business I decided to do some research for some tips that would help me increase my pageviews and lower my bounce rates.
And over the last month I have been all over the place. I’m in that place where I know enough to know that I set up my entire blog and the back-end of my site all wrong. I know that I’ve not used keywords correctly and I realize that the efforts that I’ve put in have actually worked against me when it comes to organic traffic generation. If I could do it all over I would have definitely hired a coach to walk me through what to do. But since I can’t do that I might as well help you out by sharing the first set of
Small Business Blogging Tips I Wish I knew:
- You can’t be everything to everyone and blogging is no exception. When I started I had a little to say about a lot of things. The result is that I didn’t differentiate myself to the google gods. If you look at my analytics I’m a go to for “yoda quotes” and “military life” why? Because I nailed the SEO for a couple of posts in which I quoted Yoda and have used the term military life so much that it was a default. I wish I would have started with 2-4 topics that met the needs of the people in my niche market. Hindsight tells me to build those topics with rich and meaningful content and then broaden out based on feedback and demand.
- Google Analytics is your friend. Until recently Google Analytics was a necessary evil in my eyes. You need it to get partnerships with brands but when you have no idea what settings to use or where to put it on your site so that it actually works (The Header is where you want the code FYI). I didn’t know how much I didn’t know until I took a FREE class “Skyrocket your pageviews with Google Analytics” thru Massive Sway. Not only did I get a ton from the course, but I loved their content so much that I want to recommend that you get the Ebook once you are done watching the 3 videos => (full disclosure I do get a referral perk if you get it thru me). Take the time to educate yourself, find a mentor even hire someone to help you out but no matter how you do it, if you are going to blog professionally, you have to make friends with google analytics.
- Find Your Peeps. The greatest part about owning a small business and being a military lifestyle blogger (aka milblogger) is the people who are walking the walk with me. I love that we work together to troubleshoot and promote each other and when I learn something new I am excited to pass along the info. I am a firm believer in cooperation over competition and have found some incredible facebook groups and collaborative pinterest boards that help me reach my goals.
- Traction. For a long time I thought that traction and having a post go viral was akin to waving a magic wand. Viral posts happen like pouring gasoline onto embers. They can explode your pageviews, increase your followers and raise your street cred and it’s not magic at all. In fact you can help the entire process by pushing out posts more frequently as they begin to reach new audiences. The moment you see a post getting shared, likes and comments popping or you see that some other blogging buddy shared your content start putting it out there even stronger. The search engines will wake up and help your efforts in an organic way as a reward.
As I continue to learn and grow I’m happy to share so your journey isn’t filled with an analytics page that looks like the latest roller coaster ride.
~Judy Davis, the Direction Diva is a motivational speaker, author and lifestyle blogger as well as a military life and teen suicide prevention expert. Co-founder of DASIUM, Judy’s books Right Side Up and Warning Signs: Is Your Teen at Risk are go to resources for families and her websites are filled with tips, inspiration and resources for those looking for direction. Connect with Judy at TheDirectionDiva.com