Blogging is a lot of hard work. Therefore, it’s important to spot blogging habits that can help you in the long run from the very first day.
I was a hobby blogger for a good while. I had some good posts but I never really planned to make anything out of it. Until I did.
So around one year into blogging, I had to come up with a new strategy and start to make sense out of what I’ve created. And, let me tell you, it is A LOT easier to do things right from the very beginning instead or reorganizing afterward.
In this post, I have shared several blogging habits that I wish I had since day one. Those are habits that would’ve made me a more successful blogger faster, as well as would’ve saved A LOT of my time.
Blogging habits I wish I had since my first post
BLOGGING HABIT #1 Storing info about my blog posts in a Spreadsheet
Yes, I’m a good old Spreadsheet kind of gal’ but you really could use anything that works for you.
Now I do have ALL my blog post titles in one Spreadsheet. It includes a date of the publication, title + some additional info, if relevant.
In the same Spreadsheet, I also have some of the upcoming post ideas and my blog post schedule. Sometimes, I manage to schedule and write posts for months ahead, other times it’s just a week or two when I know the exact date and topic.
I found this blogging habit to be crucial once I starter reorganizing my blog and bringing in new features. For example, when I did the redesign, I had to change all of my featured images + add Pinterest graphics for each post.
Don’t even get me started on HOW FREAKIN’ LONG TIME it all took. I feel like I’ve lost weeks to this task (because I have).
Anyhow, making a list of my blog posts seemed like the only way to keep track of how much I’ve done, which posts have the new images and which don’t.
Later on, I found this list useful for many other things. For example, when I wanted to add a specific opt-in for separate blog posts, I had a chance to track which posts I’ve used. So later on, if the opt-in had to be taken down, I had an easy-to-follow record.
Overall, this really is something you might find useful so start writing down all of your blog posts!
BLOGGING HABIT #2 Optimizing for SEO
This one is huge!
Blog post optimization for SEO is the most effective when done the right away. Also, once again, you can save tons of your time if you get to this since day one.
Here’s the thing. I’ve never had good SEO results although I’ve done a lot (!) to improve my SEO score, learn all about it, get advice from professionals. My blog has been SEO optimized for at least 2 years and yet, I rarely see any serious traffic from search engines.
What I’m trying to say is the following – you might not be focusing on SEO or don’t really care about it, maybe you have another trustful source of traffic (or better yet – a few of those). But it’s still crucial for your blog to be SEO optimized and here are a few reasons why so:
- The basic principles of SEO are helpful not only for the search engines but also for the overall health for your blog
- If you’re planning to grow, one day your SEO traffic CAN be a deal maker or breaker
- If you, after all, decide to look into SEO, it will be a lot harder to update everything instead of doing it right away
I have shared several basic Search Engine Optimization tips for bloggers where you can find more info on WHAT exactly to do but here’s also a quick recap:
- Once you have a post idea, spot keywords you can target. Usually, it’s a searchable phrase. For example, “post ideas”.
- The more specific and more targeted is your keyword, the bigger is the chance to reaching the right audience. For example, “blog post ideas for beauty bloggers”.
- Do keep in mind that you should include this exact phrase/words in your post!
- Using headlines and formatting your blog posts is just as important as using keywords.
- Name any images you’re going to use based on the post you’re using them in. So instead of “img_0001”, it’s titled “blog post ideas for beauty bloggers”.
- When uploading images, make sure to add the title and alt title text, based on your keywords.
STRUCTURE is what SEO is all about. A well created and easy to understand the structure of posts.
BLOGGING HABIT #3 Creating several Pinterest graphics
As I have mentioned more than once, Pinterest is my go-to source of traffic. That’s where most of my traffic is coming from and it’s also my main focus when it comes to digital marketing.
However, it hasn’t been this way forever.
When I first started, I had no idea that Pinterest is used by bloggers to drive traffic. For me, it was a platform of pretty images. But it soon proved to be a very effective way to drive traffic.
To do that successfully, I had to start creating Pinterest graphics.
First, it was a bit unusual to add VERTICAL graphics on my blog posts. It made no sense to me and the overall look was not as seamless as I wanted it to be.
But the time passed and I found out that it’s the new “normal”. You can see more and more bloggers adding a vertical graphic to their posts so they are Pinterest-aligned.
Besides that, there are also some ways to hide these graphics from posts but still have them when the post is shared on Pinterest!
Anyhow, the point is: optimize for Pinterest!
- Create vertical graphics;
- Add Pin It button (WordPress has a plugin for that);
- Add Pinterest as one of the media in your Share section (usually, you can choose WHERE you want to allow people to Share your content. Along with sites like Facebook and Twitter, choose Pinterest button as well).
Here’s the thing. Even though you might not be interested in Pinterest yourself, there are a lot of people that might want to share your content and help you to spread a word.
After all, Pinterest is all about saving useful tips and tricks. Give people what they need!
BLOGGING HABIT #4 Going that extra mile for interlinking
Creating interlinks in your blog post can not only help your SEO but also improve your user experience making them stay on the site longer and giving a chance of getting more value out of your content.
Now, I often update my old blog posts with new links https://therandomp.com/blog/use-old-blog-posts-to-boost-blog-statistics/ but it’s a lot easier and more effective to actually create interlinks in your blog posts right away when you’re writing them.
Where and how to link old posts into your new content?
- Link relevant keywords to relevant posts. You can see an example in the previous paragraph where “update my old blog posts” is linked to an article about this topic. This way of linking makes it easier for your readers to find other relevant content + learn additional information about the topic they are already interested in (because they’re on this page!)
- If your text is separated into steps or paragraphs related to various topics, you can add “Related read” under each paragraph. Make sure to name the title of the post and link only actual related reads!
- Add “Read More” at the end of the post. This might not be the most convenient way to link articles for your readers to see since they might not always scroll until the end of the post, but it’s SEO friendly method, therefore, you can combine it with other interlinking ideas.
Remember that there is no need to fill your text with links. Keep any links highly relevant and don’t overdo it with a link in each paragraph – it can get distracting really fast.
BLOGGING HABIT #5 Making a copy for everything
These days I save a copy of all my finalized blog posts in Google Docs. I also have saved all feature images, Pinterest graphics and any other materials I might add to my posts.
While this might seem like an obvious thing to do, it wasn’t for me when I just got started. The only place where I had my posts were in WordPress and it’s a huge risk to take!
Better safe than sorry.
Although we can always hope that our websites will stay forever strong, malware, hacking and mystical disappearing can happen even with the most secure sites.
Also, if you decide to use your blog posts in any other way – for example, gather all of it in a book or create any other kind of content out of it – it’s definitely easier if you have it all copied and saved elsewhere besides your actual blog.
It’s important to create good habits as soon as you start creating a business or blogging more seriously. It will save a lot of your time! Besides that, you’ll have a bigger chance of growing your blog faster.