Archive for blogging tips

Why You Need to Update Old Blog Posts

Remember when you started blogging and your posts may not have been the best and even if they were well written you they didn’t get a lot of attention because you hadn’t exactly mastered the whole SEO and online marketing thing?

Don’t let those ideas die in the blog graveyard, bring them back to life.

Don’t let those ideas die in the blog graveyard, bring them back to life. Click To Tweet

When I start blogging I was churning out content on a daily basis and I’ll be honest with you, it wasn’t all that great.

The ideas behind the posts were admirable but I was trying too hard to be a nonstop content machine because I was sure that was the way to get more readers and grow my following.

Never mind actually creating good content with pin-worthy images or thinking about SEO.

Over the past 6 or 7 months, I’ve been working hard on my brand, business, and blog.

I won’t walk you through my entire marketing and content strategy but I will tell you some key things I did:

  • I decided what I wanted to focus on.
  • I defined my target audience.
  • I changed my menu titles and blog categories to make things more clear, concise and focused.
  • I installed Yoast SEO to make sure my posts were better equipped for Google.
  • I started utilizing tools like Canva for graphics and Hootsuite to keep myself present on social media.

But what about the posts themselves?

I am a very organized person to the point that it’s a little bit dorky. I keep all my blog posts on a spreadsheet organized by month with the blog post title, URL, category and a few other things.

When I changed the menu titles on my blog I had to go back and evaluate all of my old posts and decide where they belonged in my new game plan. When I did this I realized a few things including; some of those posts weren’t very good, some of them weren’t very long (We’re talking less than the 300 words Yoast recommends) and some of them didn’t have graphics.

I published dozens of posts last year so it wasn’t like I could sit down 2 hours after my 8:30-5:30 (9-5? Ha I wish) and update them all but I did need to start incorporating that into my schedule. Every so often I go back and reread older posts and take about half an hour to improve them and then add it into my social media rotation to see if I can get more engagement on it.

Ways you can improve your older posts

Update the graphic

Maybe I was just late to the game but I feel like it was only last summer bloggers really started raving about Canva and using it to create killer images for their blogs and businesses. So I’m sure there are a few blog posts that could use little sprues.

I love quotes so as space fillers I would pick quotes and talk about what they meant to me. Now quotes can make for great graphics and get lots of engagement on social media. Too bad my quote graphics looked like this:

08.11.15

 

 

 

(I haven’t gotten around to updating them all yet, so no trash talk lol I’m a work in progress.)

Thanks to Canva I’ve been able to make better graphics like this one:

Do whatever floats your boat

Make the SEO elves happy

If I knew then what I know now…. But good thing it’s not too late to add SEO.

When I started my blog I had this ill-informed notion that writing good content and putting it online was all it took. Now I know a lot of components go into making a blog successful and one of the biggest is SEO.

I didn’t have an SEO plugin so I wasn’t creating focus keywords or snippet preview. I wasn’t checking to see if my blog titles contained stop words or not. I was holding myself back.

If you don’t have an SEO tool get one!

Fix your writing mistakes.

I have been writing for as long as I remember. Writing blogs, journals, novels, stories, plays, songs and poems my whole life. I’ve been blogging and freelancing professionally for 3 years and running All The Things I Do for a year and a half and I am still always learning.

I follow bloggers who have been writing professionally for 10 years or more and they will admit they are still learning. Because things change, we grow, our opinions change and as our experience happen we have more things to say.

I cringe at some of the things I wrote a year ago. I also will go back and be hit with inspiration for new ideas. A lot of bloggers will go to other blogs to get inspiration but you can totally get inspiration from your own blog.

  • You can do an update on an old post with new information. Think follow-up piece.
  • You can add text and create an E-course from it that provides more information.
  • You can create a social media challenge based on it.
  • Make a podcast episode from it.

I think of it like this, my blog is a huge part of my brand and professional appearance to the world so anything that isn’t my best work is a reflection on me and I need to do whatever I can to improve it.

Do you ever go back and update your blog posts? What are some things you did when you started out that make you cringe looking back? What is one of the biggest lessons you’ve learned? Tell me in the comments.

 

Are you looking to find your audience, grow your blog and reach the right people? Sign up for the FREE 4-Day Define Your Brand, Define Your Niche e-course here.design fb

4 Ways To Build Deeper Connections With Your Social Media Followers

While it’s important to grow your social media following to expand your brand reach, it’s even more important to build deep connections with your followers. Doing so will help you build trust and likability, which could turn those followers into future clients or customers of your business. They will recommend you to their friends and family and will support you in your future business endeavors.

Below are four ways to build deeper connections with your social media followers.

4 Ways To Build Deeper Connections With Your Social Media Followers

Use their names

A simple task, but it goes a long way. When replying back to comments on any social platform, use their first name (if it’s obvious) in your response.

LeadPages does a great job of responding back using a follower’s name:

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If you scroll through their @replies on Twitter, you’ll see mine is not the only one where they respond with my name. They are almost always referring to a follower’s name when they send out a response tweet.

Taking the little extra time to use their name in your response will make your followers feel appreciated and recognized. Names are important to us personally and almost everyone loves hearing (or reading) their name. People feel cared for if they are called by their name,  so take the extra step and use names whenever possible.

Follow your followers

Before we get carried away, I don’t mean follow all of your followers. Choose the top 5-10 follows you have on each of your social media pages. These are the people that are always liking, sharing, and commenting on your posts.

Follow them and then like, share, and comment on their posts. They will feel so appreciated that you took the time to comment and share their status updates, that they will become your super fans, always sharing your content with everyone they know.

A little appreciation goes a long way, and if you are an active member of your community, people will remember that.

Involve your fans

There are many ways you can involve your fans in your business. Perhaps if you sell a product, showcase people wearing or using your product on your social platforms.

The Day Designer brand does an awesome job of involving their fans, often sharing pictures to their Instagram account that their fans shared using the Day Designer planner.

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You can also ask them for their advice. Get their take on your next product or service you are thinking of launching. Ask for feedback about a problem you’ve been having. Your fans want you to do your best, and will support you if you just ask.

Give your followers insight into your personal life

Whether you’re a solopreneur or you have a business with employees, everyone loves seeing behind-the-scenes looks at a person’s life or business. Share an image of your family, or a struggle that you’re going through, or even a glimpse into your weekend.

Lara Casey recently posted this photo to her Instagram, which shows that not every moment as a small business owner is glamorous:

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People will connect more with your brand and business if they know a little about the person behind the brand. It will make you stand out and be memorable to them, and will also remind them that there is a human behind the business.

Bio: This guest post is from Brittney Lynn who is a social media strategist who helps entrepreneurs and small business owners grow their audience, build engagement and get raving fans on social media. You can check out her blog, sign up for her free email course, or follow her on Twitter, Instagram or Pinterest. engage 4

Couldn’t read it all now? Pin for later:

4 Ways To Build Deeper Connections With Your Social Media Followers

 

And be sure to check out my guest post on her blog:

How To Pick The Right Social Media Platforms For Your Brand

4 Tips For Leaving Comments & Creating Connections

As bloggers, we want to get blog comments. To us seeing that little icon showing “X” amount  of new comments is one of the most exciting parts of blogging.

We Google “How to get more comments” and “How to get your readers to engage more,” but we tend to miss out or misuse one of the best ways to get more engagement on our own blog…

Almost every article written about to get more comments on your blog will tell you that one of the best sources for growing your audience and getting better engagement is to comment on other bloggers’ blogs.

It’s true, bloggers read blogs and they understand how exciting it is to get new comments on a post and in my opinion, are far more likely to share or comment on a good post than a reader who doesn’t blog.

So what do we do?

We take this advice and start commenting like crazy!

“I’m going to stop by at least 20 blogs a day and leave a comment… if I do this I’ll probably get at least 10 people respond.”

Wait slow down… Here are 4 Tips For Comments Like a Boss!

Comment where you ideal reader is hanging out

Comment on blogs in your niche. I’m not saying that if you are a fashion blogger you can only comment on other fashion blogs or it’s a waste of time because that’s not true.  Those comments will just be good writer karma.

If you are commenting with hopes of connecting with other people you should go places where the people you want to connect with are.

If you blog about food then you will be able to genuinely engage with a post on a food blog. You will probably have interesting feedback that adds to the conversation and makes the blogger want to respond and learn more about you.

Don’t be a jerk

Sometimes you will get negative comments, it’s unavoidable the more traffic you get, the more likely one of those visitors will be a troll. But what about when it’s another blogger that leave you sitting there scratching your head like, “Did they really just say that to me?”

Say you land on a website and after reading the article realize that you don’t agree with the post?  You don’t have to leave without commenting, you just need to comment in a way will make the writer not want to delete your comment.

You can have an opposing opinion without being rude.

I wrote a piece a while back titled, If you give a human a uterus, about my decision not to have children and I got a lot of interesting feedback. A majority of the comments I got really related with my thoughts on how it was my choice but then there was the one (there is always one, they say), the one where this mother who couldn’t have agreed with me less about not wanting to have children and wanting people to stop treating me like I was a horrible person for not wanting to. She went on a 4 paragraph rant about why I was wrong and then put the link to her blog at the end of it.

If I didn’t think it was so hilariously bold of her to actually berate me on my own blog for having an opinion and then have the nerve to type her blog link in the comment, it would have really set me off!  Needless to say, that is the only (non-spam) comment I’ve ever not approved.

You can disagree with me but don’t think you can insult me and I’m going to just leave your insults and blog link on my website.

If you are commenting to connect then leave it respectful. You don’t have to be fake or lie that you agree with someone if you don’t but at least be respectful about it.  I know certain topics like faith and politics are hot button and can cause strong emotions so I would avoid commenting on blogs about these topics as a part of your engagement plan. However, if you are going to disagree, make it about having a conversation or trying to get better understanding about their point of view. There are enough trolls on the internet…don’t be a self-serving troll!

Actually Read the Content

A lot of bloggers generate traffic and comments via Facebook groups, these are amazing places to find new blogs and make connections.

One thing I’ve discovered that drives me insane about Facebook groups is the when you join a comment for comment thread and someone comments on your blog just to be able to say they did it.

When you leave comments like “Great Post,”  “Cool,” or “Thanks for sharing.”

I think…Did they even read it?

Even worse when I get questions asking me something that I already addressed in the post vividly… so I know it was skimmed just so they could comment. I know reading 20 blog posts a day can be a lot but if you’re going to do it do it right.

When you do this your comments seem super generic and it’s obvious you are just commenting to help yourself.

While you may think it really is a “Great post”  that doesn’t tell me a lot. Why is it a great post? What about it did you like so much? Tell me what really stood out to you or connected with you. Tell me an additional item you’d add.

Figure out how it relates to you

Another problem with commenting via Facebook Threads is sometimes you will have absolutely nothing to say about the post. Not because it isn’t a good post or because you didn’t read it but because it doesn’t apply to your lifestyle, I’m more than certain things on my blog are very niche specific.

I experience this often with bloggers who write about having kids, I also deal with this often with food bloggers because I am a VERY picky eater so often their recipes aren’t interesting to me because I’m like “I can’t handle spicy!”

This doesn’t give me a face pass to just comment, “Cool post. Thanks for sharing.” This just means I have to work a little harder to find how it relates to me.

If I need to comment on a post about the birthday party a blogger had for their 5-year-old, I find a connection. I may say something like:

This looks like a super fun party. Happy birthday to Bethany! I love the Frozen theme. I didn’t have any real birthday parties until I was 16 but I would’ve loved a Tweety Bird party at that age.”

I didn’t have to pretend to have kids or just disregard the whole post because I’m not a mom, I found how I related. No, I don’t have kids but I do have a birthday and at one point was 5.

I know not all your comments will be earth shattering, super informative life changing comments but you can do these simple things to build real connections.

Here are a few of my favorite comments I’ve gotten on my blog:

Great Blog Comments

What are some of the best comments you’ve gotten if you’re a blogger?

What are some issues you struggle with when it comes to commenting on other blogs or getting people to comment on your blog?