I’m passing along my 2019 blogging tips for beginners and veterans after 8 years of blogging. That’s a long time. Bloggers are content creators for social media platforms. A lot has changed in the last year like Pinterest, while some practices like the importance of writing quality posts has stayed the same. Competition, new social media algorithms, and hooking readers into sticking around has made blogging harder. It all comes down to whether you enjoy what you’re doing. Writing and blogging are my passion and I’m still here. Yay!
Here Are My Latest Blogging Tips and Tricks:
Sharing Blog Posts with Social Media
The biggest change since my last round up of blog tips is how to share posts. While some bloggers whip them out in less than an hour, mine take a while. I want my words to inspire others so I’m always searching for new ways to promote my work. I share on Twitter, Pinterest, Mix, Flipboard, Instagram, and my Facebook profile and page. Some work far better than others.
This platform has become a place to read news snippets and to connect with friends. But clicks from Twitter have dropped dramatically through the years. The only posts that may bring in a load of views are the ones where I allude to something terrible. Human nature and curiosity remain the same. Luckily, the drama in my life is on the decline. Lol.
Pinterest rocks for bloggers
This has become one of my best social media sharing platforms. Bloggers are content creators. Learning how to pin strategically to get traction can take some time, but it’s worth it. I write blog posts for name recognition so one day when my books are in stores, people will recognize it. Several of my pins have brought thousands of views to my blog. Sometimes those new readers click around to read other articles. It’s all good.
Pinners have found success in many different ways. What works for one may not work for another. My advice is to follow a few successful pinners similar to your blog and watch what they choose to pin and how often. Yes. Lurking is good.
Tailwind’s scheduler works with Pinterest and aligns with their practices. They update pinners with Pinterest’s latest news and makes suggestions based on what they choose to share. I found out through an online conversation with Tailwind support, they are kept in the dark with specifics so no one can game the system. Pinterest frequently updates their site so it’s a moving target. Although I’ve stuck with my logic in pinning, I’m always experimenting.
How to Pin wisely
No matter how you use Pinterest, keep in mind they want you to pin like a real user even though bloggers are content creators. Group boards were originally created by small groups of family and friends to share ideas for a common purpose like a vacation or wedding. I started using Pinterest to pin images to specific boards to inspire me. When I repin others, I always pin to a specific board, like Travel Europe Destinations or Blogging Tips. Pinning someone else’s specific pin to a group board doesn’t help the pinner at all in fact, it may hurt their pin.
The only place to add your active link is in your profile on Instagram. That said, you can direct followers, who see your photo, to your profile for related content. You can also type the related blog post link in your comment in the rare case they will copy and paste it in a new window. You never know.
Again, if you’re looking for name recognition, all exposure is good.
I haven’t tried paid posts, but gotta believe a lot of people click if the ad looks professional.
Facebook only allows a small percentage of followers to see your posts, let alone your posts with blog urls since they want readers to stay on their site. I often run into old friends who wonder if I’m still blogging. I still post on FB since readers may share my articles and I like to stay connected.
Sharing your links to Facebook groups for reciprocation can be a great way to build your community if you make a personal connection. When your link is shared to other user’s social media platforms from Facebook, there is a chance your posts will be seen by new readers. Keep in mind there are many bloggers who won’t read your blog posts let alone follow you unless there’s reciprocation. It can be a one shot deal.
A warning for Pinners!
Facebook tracks urls that leave their site. It’s not a problem for Flipboard, Mix, Instagram, or Twitter, but Pinterest accounts have been suspended for pinning from Facebook groups. Deleting the tracking code before pinning won’t fool them either. They want authentic users.
Scheduling pins using Tailwind gives pinners a new code, which avoids tracking. Or you can open a new window and search for the user’s pin on their boards. I would take these precautions since it can take a while to get out of Pinterest’s Spam Prison.
There’s another risk in sharing pins through Facebook groups.
Repins could end up on Pinterest group boards or worse… on a board that has nothing to do with the pin. Why is that bad? It tells Pinterest that the pin is broad and non-specific. Any traction you have on that pin could slip. It has definitely screwed up some of my pins.
Blog content for Flipboard
Love this magazine. You can add the extension and collect articles from around the world. I Flip my work as well. When users with big followings flip your article, it can spike your views.
I’m a curator for Mix, but don’t see a tenth of the views of its former self, Stumbleupon. They are still tweaking this new platform so the jury’s out. Not sure if the views aren’t registering on WordPress or if I’m not getting many.
Many of these sites don’t bring in a fraction of the views Pinterest accomplishes, but they still add up. I took some time off to entertain my mom this month and also went on a ski trip. I didn’t spend as much time on Twitter and posted a fraction of my blog posts on my personal Facebook profile. This was an experiment to see if my time spent was worth the extra views. I just compared my March stats to February when I consistently shared to all social media platforms. I definitely see a dip in stats (a couple hundred) from not making the effort. I’ll go back at it in April.
Edit and optimize photos on your blog
It takes time to edit photos but punching them up a bit, straightening the horizon line and cropping them on Picmonkey and Canva is easy. I turn on the TV at night and get ’em done!
I add key words to my alt text for Google search. It’s what pops up as a pin description too.
Write for the reader
When I started blogging in the spring of 2011, I read tons of blog posts. Wait. That’s not true. I skimmed tons of blog posts. Man, did I get in trouble for that. One time I left a comment on a flash fiction then read some of the others. Somehow I missed the erotica part of the story and my comment pretty much said, “Hey. I didn’t read this, but I left a comment anyway.” Ha! I scrolled back up to read the hot three-way that I’d missed. With flushed cheeks, I added a more meaningful comment. Not learning my lesson, a blogger called me out for skimming another post. Oh, well.
Good news. Skimming is a thing!
These days, not only is it more common that people will skim your articles, you should expect it and write with that in mind. One recommendation is to put your important points in bold so readers don’t miss them. Break up your paragraphs with headers, so readers can skip the stuff they’re not interested in. Using relevant photos can hold interest and hook readers into scrolling to the bottom of your posts to your “call to action.” Follow me! Leave a comment! Follow me on social media! Sign up for my newsletter!
Note to self: Start a Wild Newsletter this year.
Quality not quantity
Because I write thrillers and like to get outdoors, I don’t have time to whip out seven blog posts a week. The times I have tossed a quicky into the Interwebs, I haven’t really seen a huge benefit, unless the content is super shareable. When the mood strikes, I write them anyway. There was a time when writing more blog posts brought more views. Now that Pinterest has blown up my stats, I find that I don’t need a ton of blog posts to attract more readers.
I can update an old post, make a pin or two, and then share it across all social media platforms. (Pins make great posters.) Most of my pins that are doing well are evergreen content from a while back.
Readers click to learn, be entertained, or inspired. Provide that and they will come.
I have found success through knowing my reader. A lot of mine are bloggers hence this post. Others are readers looking for breast cancer or life inspiration, travel tips, and/or entertaining life stories. Because of the wide range of subject matter, my readers don’t read every post. That’s okay!
Borrowing content or ideas from other bloggers
If you get a unique idea from another blogger and write a post, REMEMBER TO LINK THEM UP! This can help both of you. The blogger may share your link. If the general subject is popping up everywhere and you’ve read several similar blog posts, don’t worry about it.
But if you are straight up regurgitating other people’s blog posts, do better. C’mon. That is sick and wrong even if you put it in your own words. Take some time with it. You might surprise yourself.
Be unique. Be you. That’s enough.
You spend time thinking and writing blog posts so make them special.
If you’re only writing two or three short paragraphs, dig deeper. Relate to your message. Tell a personal story that takes your article to a new level. Do some research then site the source.
The true sense of blogging, to share your life with others, is great if it’s not boring. Ask yourself, “Would I click on this post? Is there any value in it? Am I sharing a unique point of view?” We are all competing with amazing content. Please don’t waste our time.
Like a bad meal at a restaurant, readers may not come back.
I feel like this happened to me when I battled breast cancer. Although my views spiked in the beginning to see if I lived or died, according to my oncologist, I alienated some of my readers who didn’t want to hear anything about the Big C word. I suspect this happens to survivors in real life to. A subject for another day. I am a Wild Rider and included my ridiculous sense of humor in blog posts which helped. Now I’m back living my Wild Life so all is good.
Your first line in your blog post is GOLD
Another way to alienate readers is with your first line hook. I will not ever click on a link that starts out with some blather about how long it’s been since you’ve blogged. No one notices unless it’s been over six months. Or mundane dribble about your life or day. No one cares unless your mom reads your blog and she probably knows anyway. This isn’t a coffee clutch, at least not anymore. If something crazy happened to you, then go for it! Make that first line a teaser.
SEO and plugins
I upgraded to a business site a little over a year ago and quickly learned that using plugins changed the architecture of my site. Not good since I had posts in the queue. Now I’m researching key words and trying to get a little traction through search without plugins. Google is another slippery place where algorithms are always changing. I’m not an expert at all. Lots to learn in 2019.
It takes time to write quality posts, edit photos, and share your work on social media. It’s not for everyone. A majority of bloggers I knew from the beginning have quit. Experiment. Try new topics. New social media opportunities will crop up. Find out what works and what doesn’t. If you have a passion for writing and blogging, you’ll enjoy the challenge, the creativity, and most of all, the community. Let me know how it goes. I’ll be here at the Wild Ride for years to come!
The Wild Side Podcast
Since the written word requires eyes on text, I launched a new podcast, The Wild Side with Susie Lindau. With so many active people who listen while working out, driving, biking, hiking, you name it, this is another way to communicate ideas. Keeping with my wild brand, I interview people about their wild side. It has been a blast. Click to listen and win a giveaway!
What’s your favorite social media? How long have you been blogging? Do you use Pinterest?
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For more blog tips, including building community and the highs and lows of blogging, click to 18 Best Blog Tips: New Ways to Promote Your Blog, Increase Traffic, and More!
What an informative post, Suzie. I’ve been slowly building blog followers by promoting on FB, Twitter, and IG, but have never used Pinterest. I’d say it’s time to do some “lurking” and also “riding.” Thanks for the great ideas and explanations.
I’m so glad it helped you. Yes, Pinterest is the way to go. I don’t spend as much time promoting on other social media but every little bit helps. It all adds up!
Have you looked into setting up on Medium? I hear all the cool kids are doing it.
I have a site over there, but never really saw the point in duplicating posts. Are you one of the cool kids? 😎
I’m working on it!
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Great stuff; I shared it on Twitter. I hope you get visitors; then again, I always hope I do but as you mentioned, I get fewer people from Twitter than I used to.
You didn’t mention LinkedIn. Are you not there or have you decided not to waste your time?
Congrats on your 8th year. I’m a little ahead of you there so I know what it’s like still being around while so many others have disappeared. We write because it’s what we do; that’s the best reason for blogging. 🙂
Thanks so much, Mitchell and for the share! One time, someone from Twitter with tons of followers shared my post. I got a huge spike of views. You never know!
I am on LinkedIn and my posts are automatically shared there, but I get very few views. Do you get many?
I get a lot of views here and there but I get few comments. I don’t see a lot of real traffic coming from there but it helps keep my face in front of whoever my audience is… I think lol
I don’t get comments on LinkedIn either. If you’re a writer, name recognition is everything so any exposure is good!
I enjoyed reading your post and for your info I read every word. No skimming here!
Hahaha! Thanks so much, Steven! I’m glad to help. I wrote another more in depth piece that includes 18 tips and honesty about the ups and downs you might like- https://susielindau.com/2017/08/16/18-blog-tips-new-ways-promote-blog-increase-traffic/
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Wonderful advice Susie!!
Thanks, Pat! Hope all is well with you! Are you going to France this summer?
I will be back in September co-hosting the Women’s tour again. It’s sold out again this year and always great fun! xx
How amazing! You’ve covered everything. RT
Thank you, Jacqui and for sharing! (((hugs)))
Awesome post, Susie!
Leaving aside the technical issues, you’re absolutely right when you say it is all about passion! Without passion, you can’t bring people they actually need. Creating great content requires a lot of work and dedication so one just can’t go all the way to the top of the pyramid without passion. Thank you for sharing pieces of your knowledge!
Thanks so much for reading. What technical issues are you referring to?