Blogging is not as easy as it seems, it takes practice and a lot of patience. I have been blogging for two years now, I started out the blue when I wanted to rant about a foundation I wasted my money on and voila. Themakeupbybeth was born. I am nowhere near a high follower blogger or well known in the community but, I want to use the knowledge I have to help you kickstart a blog and keep growing. Be aware that some of the terminologies that I have used in this post might confuse you a bit, but I’ll make sure I explain it all for you.
Key terms you’ll need to know:
- SEO – Search Engine Optimisation. This means how your site ranks on search engine results. When we talk about working on SEO it’s to make sure posts will reach those top pages of search engine results.
- Backlinks – For example, if I made a post about a friends blog, by putting their link in my post would be classed as a backlink. Listing your blog link on your social media would also be classed as a backlink. Once again, they are essential for traffic and growth.
- Niche – When we say a niche audience we mean a target audience that is interested in something specific but a subgroup version, so let’s say I am creating a craft magazine, you would usually create content like painting or sewing. But to have a niche would be those specific people that love knitting and want knitting content. Targetting your niche can make your blog more unique and direct more traffic.
- Monetisation – Earning revenue from the traffic that comes to your site.
How to get started
When you start a blog it can all be done without any money, TOTALLY FREE! If you’re wanting to get more out of the blogging website you use, it may be beneficial to spend some money, for example, if you want a custom domain, you’ll usually have to pay.
Find a topic you like to talk about and get started!
I once used to blog about gaming and the sims 4, but then I fancied a change. I remember wanting to rant about a foundation that was a total waste of money and I have a passion for writing so blogging about makeup was the key thing for me to do. I have expanded on topics I like to write about as time has gone on but that all comes with
Find a website to blog from
I have tried multiple websites and I have found the best to be WordPress, yes, you do have to pay money if you want more benefits but to get started for free WordPress is a great site to start with. If you upgrade your plans on the site, you can also get monetisation for your blog.
Have a plan in place
The key to running a blog is making sure you have a content schedule that won’t burn you out. I used to blog twice a week when I first started and I ended up burning myself out and almost despised having to come to my computer to type a post out. Post every fortnight if it’s easier for you, just try and post once a week to make sure you keep getting traffic to your blog. Sometimes you might have to take a break for personal reasons so don’t worry too much if you have to leave your blog for a bit.
Finding your niche
It can sometimes be tough to find a niche and may take a long time of you blogging to actually be able to work out what’s what. Let’s say out of all your gaming posts, posts about using an Xbox console seems to be the most popular and has the most traffic. You’d then know your niche of people interested in gaming would generally be made up of Xbox users. For me, my niche is people who like drugstore makeup and they also like skincare, but to be even more specific, tips for oily skin.
Creating your blog name
Mine was quite easy, I wanted to incorporate the fact that I also did makeup as well as talk about it hence themakeupbybeth. It started as my Instagram handle and then just became the name for everything I do business-wise.
How to keep growing/tips
Guest posting is pretty clear, it’s when you write a piece for someone else’s blog. By doing this you will reach more people, grow your social following, improve your domain authority and increase backlinks. The way I find people who are willing to let me guest post for them is usually through social media.
We briefly went through what SEO was, even after two years of blogging I sometimes struggle grasping it still. To rank higher in the search engine, it’s key to look at trending keywords to put in your titles or to find a topic to talk about. If I go onto Google trends, I’ll type in beauty and it’ll show me related words that are very popular. The keywords I use will help my audience know what I am talking about and also will drive the people who enjoy that niche to my blog.
Don’t overkill hashtags, according to WordPress you should use 15 hashtags or less in your blog posts. If you’re sharing a blog post on Instagram, you can post 30 or fewer hashtags but they found that 11 hashtags generated the most engagement. If you’re using Twitter to share a post, the maximum amount of hashtags to use per tweet is around 3.
It is always helpful to share your posts on your social media so it reaches further. It is helpful to follow blog sharing accounts on Twitter especially. They are accounts with large followings that will share posts for you meaning more traffic and in most cases more social media followers. After posting one of my links yesterday my traffic increased by 55 people. Pinterest is also a HUGE essential to gain more traffic, here’s my new Pinterest below. As you can see you can easily pin your blog URLs directing people straight to your posts.
Comment on peers posts
When you comment on peers posts, not only does it create backlinks but it also directs traffic to your site. When I tweet out a link to my latest blog post in a sharing group, it’s almost like a read for read protocol. ‘If you read and comment on my post, I’ll be nice and return the favour’ is usually the way it goes with commenting. It’s also a great way to make connections in the blogosphere.
Sometimes it’s super easy to just crack out 300 words and call it a day, I think we are definitely all guilty of this. I just think maybe I am a little too lazy when it comes to a word count. You need to be aiming at 300-word minimum. The posts that contain 1000 words or more are proven to rank higher in the search engines.
To use images in your blog, to avoid any form of legal issues it’s always vital to ask the image owners permission before slapping their photos all over your blog post. For example, when I do makeup posts and I want to show a product that maybe I don’t physically have, I make sure I get in touch with websites to ask permission for photo use. Beauty Bay kindly lets me use their images as long as they are credited but always ask. If you just want images to add more depth to the post-use Pexels, which is a royalty-free photo site.
I wish you all the best of luck with your blogs, remember that progress and growth doesn’t happen overnight.
I really enjoyed doing something different for this post, I hope it was educational and informative for some of you! – Beth x