5 Free and Easy SEO tips for bloggers

 

SEO is one of the best tools at a blogger’s fingertips. SEO stands for Search Engine Optimisation, and if you get it right, you can really boost your traffic, without spending any cash. Combining good SEO practice with a good understanding of what your Google Analytics is telling you is a great way to grow your blog. So let’s get into five easy SEO tips for bloggers.

Easy SEO tips for bloggers

keywords

Keyword research is a little old hat now, and doesn’t hold the weight it used to, but it still has a place in boosting your search traffic. Pick a keyword for your post. Depending on the content, this could be ‘SEO’, or ‘Autumn trends’ or ‘healthy brunch recipe’. Whatever the main point of your post is. Take this keyword and use it everywhere, as naturally as you can. Try and work the word into your main blog post, use it in your image names and use it in your title. Title’s are important. Make them relevant, and using your keyword. Don’t use something obscure.

Link building

Good quality links is a big influence on how Google decides where to rank your site. Link naturally, but link well. Where it’s relevant, link back to your own content and link out to other, good quality sources. Keep an eye on broken links though, and either amend or remove them.

Alt Tags

Don’t leave your image called the random string of numbers your camera spits out. As you’re adding images in, give them relevant titles and alt tags. Alt tags tell google what the image is of. This is good practice, as it makes your site more accessible for those using screen readers, but it also helps Google’s bots figure out the your post is a good source for that keyword you chose earlier.

Tools

There lots of great tools out there to help you boost your SEO. If you’re a WordPress user, try the Yoast SEO Plugin. Yoast will help you optimise every post you write, by measuring it’s readability to suggesting whether you need more images. Moz can help you measure whether it’s working, by showing you how your Domain Authority is shaping up.

Social media

SEO can also be helped along by some good social traffic. Make sure your posts are easy for your reader to share, whether it’s with some sort of ‘share it’ buttons on the post itself, or by actively encouraging people to share. Share your posts yourself, using relevant hashtags, and tagging brands you’ve spoken about. This can help traffic and shares.

Five easy SEO tips anyone can do! What do you find works for your SEO?

5 Free Resources for bloggers

Free resources for bloggers

When you start a blog nobody tells you that you’re going to end up having to do a lot of different jobs. For a lot of us, we want to run our blogs in a professional manner, even if we aren’t doing it full time. This means you’re the CEO of the company, the copy writer, editor, photographer, the finance manager, and the marketing team, all rolled into one. It can be exhausting having all this going on, but there are some great tools out there in the internet to help you get the most from your blog, and all for free.

Here’s my top five free resources for bloggers.

Google analytics academy

Tracking your analytics is the easiest and best way to keep an eye on your blog traffic. With Google Analytics, you can find out all kinds of information about your site, from what people typed into Google to find you, to the average age of your reader. Google Analytics is a vast tool though, and I’m sure I’m not the only one barely scratching the surface of what it can offer. Google’s own Analytics Academy is an amazing resource. It is completely free, but teaches you, through a mixture of live demos and video tutorials, how to use their Analytics tools and understand the data. It’s a great tool to help you boost traffic, and the lessons are relatively short so you can squeeze them in your coffee break. There is no time limit either, so you can return to keep learning at any time. Once you’re done, if you pass the assessment, you get a certificate to say you’re Google Certified, which is nice.

Buffer

I swear by Buffer and use it daily! Buffer is essentially a Social Media Assistant. You can add your social media accounts and use Buffer to schedule posts. You can do this by going to Buffers site and typing in posts, you can use Google Chrome’s plug-in, and just click to add a page to your schedule. I use Buffer to share my own blog posts periodically, and to share content I like form other bloggers or media outlets. Buffer will run tests to find when you get the most engagement, and advise a schedule on that. You can set posts to go out as many times a day, at whatever time, you like. So much easier than trying to remember if you’ve already shared that great post you found.

ifttt

IFTTT stands for If This, Then That. This site lets you build a chain of events that trigger a command. For example, you can tell it to email you every time someone posts using a keyword you’re interested in. You can tell it to auto post your Instagram posts to Twitter (with a picture instead of the link!). I find it really useful for cross-posting content across multiple social channels. I highly recommend it!

Picjumbo

Obviously we’d all rather take our own photographs, but sometimes time and daylight aren’t on our side. If you have a post that doesn’t need your own pictures and would be fine with some stock style photography, you don’t have to pay the big bucks to get access to a good image library. Picjumbo has a huge, searchable, free library of images. I use this myself sometimes, and find the images are nice quality, and it’s easy to find something that suits your theme.

picmonkey

If like me, you don’t want to spend on Photoshop, and find Gimp really confusing, Picmonkey is a free, and crazy simple, web-based photo editing tool. The free version has great options to edit your images, and there’s a handy little collage tool too. The premium version has more options, but they’re mostly of the ‘makeover’ or filter variety, so I’ve never felt the need to pay up for that.

Share your top picks! What do you find makes your blog life easier, without parting with any cash?

20 Reasons I’m a Terrible Blogger

I posted the other day about blogger clichés that I’m majorly guilty of. Writing that post got me thinking about those blogger staples that I just don’t do at all. This post is of course totally tongue in cheek; I definitely don’t think you need to do these things to be a ‘proper blogger’. That said, here’s why  I should hand in my blogger card.

Mirror Selfie

  1. I don’t like pumpkin spice lattes. Or pumpkin spice anything, actually. Yuck.
  2. Instead of peonies, copper homeware and gently flickering candles, my flat is instead largely decorated with Lego figures, Sonic Screwdrivers and Storm Trooper toys. I’m a geek first, and a blogger second, apparently.
  3. I hardly ever have my nails painted, and when I do, I totally can’t take nice photos of them. Seriously, how are you all doing that? Mine always look a blurred mess.
  4. I don’t have a photographer/web designer for a boyfriend. Please blame the standard WordPress template and less than expert photography on this fact. Applications in the comments please.
  5. I never think about my Instagram grid. No theme, no careful arranging…I just post. My Instagram is a jumble of standard blogger pictures of coffee and brunch, and mad cosplay pictures. Sorry about that.
  6. I don’t own a signal product by Benefit, Liz Earle or Urban Decay. Not even the free Benefit stuff that comes free with Glamour magazine sometimes.
  7. Instead of going out for brunch/cocktails/brand preview days, I can usually be found at home in my pyjamas, watching Netflix and trying to get my unread posts on Bloglovin’ under control.
  8. I don’t have a blog schedule. I do pre-write and schedule some posts, but never more than a few days in advance. I don’t think I’ll ever be that organised blogger with a whole editorial calendar mapped out.
  9. I don’t own a tablet, or even a nice laptop. My laptop is about a hundred years old and may as well be steam-powered.
  10. I don’t own acrylic Muji drawers to store my make-up in, or candles by Jo Malone or Diptyque, or a Michael Kors watch.
  11. I’ve never been in a Sephora (or understood what the fuss is about).
  12. I don’t own things specifically to use as photograph ‘props’. Or any marble backing.
  13. I’m not on first name terms with my postman because of all the parcels I get. I don’t think I’ve even seen my postman…
  14. I don’t have adorably photogenic pets or children to decorate my posts or Instagram with. Or any pets or children at all.
  15. I’ve never bought almond butter, coconut oil or chia seeds, even though everyone else on Instagram seems to.
  16. I usually forget to take my camera out with me.
  17. I don’t actually think it’s a disaster if I go out somewhere and don’t photograph it. Some stuff is just for real life.
  18. I have every intention of taking part in blogger Twitter chats, but then always forget about them and don’t do it.
  19. I do own a DSLR but I don’t have a 50mm lens for it. I’m still using the lens it came with.
  20. I hardly ever comment on other blogs. I actually do feel bad about this one, and I’m trying to do better!

Alright, make me feel better, guys. Anyone else a blogger failure?