Blogging Tips for Beginners and Veterans after 8 Years of Blogging

Blogging tips for beginners and Veterans after 8 years of blogging! Click for the latest on sharing to social media. What's changed and what hasn't! Blogging for beginners, Blogging ideas, how to hook readers #Bloggingtips #bloggingforbeginners #blogtips

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.

Twitter

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.

Instagram

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

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.

Facebook Groups

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.

Mix

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.

Altogether now.

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.

Blogging tips after 8 years of blogging! Blogging for beginners, blog ideas #bloggers #blogideas #bloggingideas

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.

Why blog?

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?

Click for more blogging tips.

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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!

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96 thoughts on “Blogging Tips for Beginners and Veterans after 8 Years of Blogging

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  1. Great ideas and advice for all bloggers. I’ve had th same problem now that other Facebook users have reported, that my links are no longer allowed to be attached to a story…all the more reason to be part of groups, interact regularly, and encourage people to common over to see more…again, great advice as always!

    Like

      1. Oh yes Susie, it’s the only other platform I use along with WordPress. WordPress isn’t what it used to be. Those running the show are idiots in my opinion. Too many things they neeeed to fix.

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          1. What I don’t understand Susie is that they created yet another Editor, the Block editor which I will never use. The Legacy editor seems to be two different editors smashed together. Further, there isn’t a clear, concise way to block accounts. I have a serious problem with businesses constantly trying to follow. I remove them daily because they throw off your true Follower count which is almost none in my case. I’m slowly inching toward dumping WP all together. I get far more comments and interaction with people on Instagram than WP. Has WP become a dinosaur?

            Liked by 1 person

            1. You’re talking to the wrong person, John. I love my WP site. I have never blocked an account and rarely look. I don’t understand why it matters who follows. There are a lot of people who follow for followers and they unfollow
              if you don’t followback anyway. It’s worse on other social media platforms. The more eyes on my work the better! I do have some business accounts that are real readers and leave comments once in a while so for that reason, I wouldn’t delete anyone.

              I haven’t switched to the new editor but one of my blogging friends said that it takes a few hours to get the hang of, but allows for a lot more functions like highlighting text. I haven’t tried it yet. One of these days, it will just appear like last time!

              Liked by 2 people

  2. Wow, great tips and insights Susie – many thanks for sharing your valuable experience of almost a decade!

    Although I’ve had a Pinterest account for several years, I really don’t interact on this platform that much, so perhaps this is why it’s not fruitful for me! 😉

    I find with travel writing, it’s a fine line sometimes of what my readers want to read.

    As an example, I shared on an expat’s FB group my last post on what I like about living in southern Italy but also explaining my father’s journey to Australia. One reader absolutely hammered me for giving a “one-sided positive” view (in his view). Wouldn’t let up with the harsh comments and finally personal character attacks – think this was a result of me keeping it professional and non-heated – in the end, I stopped responding as it wasn’t worth it. I always welcome constructive criticism and this is the best way to improve my blog and when you put yourself out there, you have to expect all sorts of feedback, although this was different and venomous. Onwards and upwards I say. 🙂

    Like

    1. I try not to interact when it gets negative which isn’t often, thank God!
      I use FB groups but not as much as I used to. Everyone’s got an opinion but not everyone is hostile. I just delete the comment. LOL! If it was a troll in the group, report it to the people who run the page.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much, John! Pinterest is amazing. I’ll write a post and will get into the particulars sometime soon, but whatever is working will probably change as soon as I post. LOL!
      I do see some success with books if they are in group pins, like best thrillers for fall. They all click to blog posts. Pretty cool and a great way to get our work out there.
      Set up an account and start some boards. Have fun with it!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. These are great tips and definitely good for thought, especially regarding Pinterest. Pinterest terrifies me for some reason and I have an account under my real name but I haven’t yet worked out how to use it for blogging purposes. Perhaps I’ll finally take the plunge and learn 😉 Thanks for all the advice!

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    1. Thanks so much, C! There’s tons of information about Pinterest online. I would Google it and start reading articles. I still read them almost every day since things are always changing!

      Like

  4. Wow, you have a lot more energy than I do! I absolutely agree about quality over quantity. My Pinterest account has never done too much for me but then I probably don’t know what I’m doing…. (should actually be my tagline)

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    1. Hey, Jan!
      Pinterest is a goldmine. It goes up and down, but my average is way above other referrers. I’ll write a post sometime soon. In the meantime, Google it! Pinterest articles are the most popular on Pinterest. LOL!

      Like

  5. I started blogging about nine years ago. Seven years ago I started writing stories for FridayFictioneers and discovered this Crazy Woman writing in Colorado. Little did I know she would become such a force in the blogging world.

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  6. Thanks Susie. I have been blogging for close to three years now. I write in the Self Discovery, Health and Parenting Niches. All my traffic used to be from FB and WP followers. I am slowly getting a hang of Pinterest now. I remember your board is one of the first ones that I followed on Pinterest.
    I would really like to start making some pocket money out of my site. There are a zillion articles everywhere and I read them everyday. It is sometimes so confusing. Would really love if you give us some tips on monetizing the blog Susie..

    Like

    1. Hello Deepa! Thanks for following!
      I haven’t monetized yet. I’m assuming you mean by reviewing products. I’ve been asked to be an affiliate to promote them but I haven’t found a way to write those kinds of posts without alienating my followers. I did read an article last week about a gal and her husband who quit their jobs to become professional bloggers. She admitted that the trickle of money isn’t what she expected. I appreciated her honesty! Unless you get millions of views, it’s hard to make money with ads. There are always those anomalies whose blogs blow up and make tons of money but most don’t. Putting together pdfs and teaching classes can be gold considering how much they charge. If I were to blow up in blog views, say a million a month, I’d consider hosting other bloggers in ads on my sidebar. Does that help?

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Thank you for that honest reply Susie. It took me some time to process what you said. I was so carried away by all the videos on “how to make money blogging”. Your response actually put things into perspective.
        I was so lost in the “money making” aspect that I moved away from the very reason of my starting a blog.
        Thank you once again for that timely advice Susie.

        Like

  7. Great post Susie, so much useful info. Trying to get into Pinterest this past month and working hard to pin a lot but not getting many clicks through to the blog, just have to keep going I guess. Everyone says Pinterest is the best way to go.

    Like

  8. More good advice from “The Guru” of blogging. Not that I need it. After all, you only have only have 24,000 more followers than I do. Hardly worth noting.

    BTW, my murder mystery novel is coming right along, but still has a long way to go. Since you inspired me, at some point in time I’d like to send you an excerpt for your comments. Would that be OK?

    Like

  9. You have some great advice here. Other than WP, I’m not really on social media, but I can see how it would be great for promoting blogs. My favorite of your tips is “quality not quantity.” I’ll spend hours working on a 500 word post. I’d rather post something I feel good about than something I’ll want to delete a year from now!

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    1. Thanks so much, Arv! There are a few tricks to it but they have made some big changes recently like making group boards irrelevant unless they are specific like a travel group board. I’ll be able to pin this post to general blogger group boards since it’s for bloggers but will watch if they hurt the pin too. I’m always trying to game the system but they’re crafty. LOL! I’ll do a follow up post if I feel like I’ve figured out all of the changes.

      Liked by 1 person

        1. No, I mean if I have a travel pin, and someone pins it to a general group board, it loses traction. I used general group boards for general pins or pins that aren’t doing well. Sometimes they will perk up with a repin. Does that help, Arv?

          Liked by 1 person

            1. If you click on Pinterest in your referrers, links will appear. I click on them to see which pins are bringing readers to my blog. Also, “Activity” in Pinterest shows a few of the pins that others are pinning.

              Liked by 1 person

  10. The word veteran caught my eye. I am a veteran of the U. S. Army. So, your use of the word caught me off guard. What makes a person a veteran blogger?

    Like

      1. You’re welcome. I was trained as an Interrogator of Prisoners of War.

        I appreciate knowing where you find definitions to words. I constantly look up words in both English and German and (Latin when looking for the scientific names for birds or plants. )

        Liked by 1 person

          1. That sounds a lot more intense than it was in my case. I trained in the U.S. Army, but spoke German so I trained for interrogation in a time that had past. I had some interesting training and so forth, but never used the training in war time. But I still like to tell people about it.

            Like

  11. Hi Susie, love the tips and all spot on! I think interacting with our readers is important. I laughed at your
    comment on skim reading a post (sorry) but thanks for sharing that to show how easy it can be to be caught out. So much has changed over the years, (I’ve just celebrated 7 years of blogging) and not all good, but we just continue on. I’m nowhere near being in your league of bloggers but as long as I continue enjoying what I’m doing, I’ll continue on. And just sometimes that might just be mundane dribble to others but to me it’s my voice getting out there!! I agree community is very important. Thanks for sharing your experience.

    Like

  12. Loved this and read the whole thing!

    I’ve been blogging since 2010. Since I started using Pinterest, it accounts for over 60% of my traffic.

    I still like FB, but only if a ton of interaction happens early so more people actually see the post.

    Looking forward to seeing your name on book spines!

    Like

    1. Awww! Thanks so much, Lorna! I can’t wait either. I just came up with an idea for a screenplay this morning. Ha!
      You are so good at consistently posting a wide variety of subjects on your FB page and you engage your readers! I can only juggle so many balls in the air and now I’ve added the podcast. LOL!

      Like

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