Categories
Personal Social Media

Social Media and Blogging Update #4 – SEO

Today’s post is going to be a bit of a downer mostly because I felt like I needed to vent and this is the perfect place for it since it relates to SEO and blogging.

Do you know how frustrating SEO can be? I can’t even tell you the half of it lol 😭 because it’s so annoyingly painstaking and slow. But to give you some context, I am slowly upgrading my blogs on WordPress and my partner and I decided to start with our movie blog since this is a huge thing for us. We really want this blog to flourish so to do that we needed to make some huge changes (all of which are currently works in progress).

If you upgrade to the business plan on WordPress, it opens up your blog to so much more including expanding your blog into a website using plugins and having the freedom to use themes from anywhere. It can really give your “blog” a huge boost in terms of its usage, hits and clicks using SEO. One of the best SEO tools out there is Yoast (which I’ve known about for some time and I’ve used on other blogs) and while it might be one of the better plugins for SEO, it doesn’t come without its difficulties.

Be prepared for a lot of work and frustration

When you begin down the SEO road, you will come to realise just how challenging it can be getting all of your content up to SEO standard. There is a lot of work involved especially if you’ve never optimised your site for SEO before. And I am just grateful that our movie blog isn’t that old because if it was as old as this blog, I’d be optimising pages dating back to 2018 😫.

Despite this, I am purely focused on fixing anything that’s broken, updating ALT image text and optimising each post I write for SEO going forward using Yoast. It is a lot of work but once you start, you seriously will not be able to stop thinking about optimization in everything you do. And that’s a good thing!

However, last weekend I found that WordPress will automatically push your blog into maintenance mode called “staging” so you can work behind the scenes on updates. I didn’t know this so when I found my blog wouldn’t move out of the staging status, I panicked thinking I had broken it completely. I ended up getting help from the WordPress staff and the fix seemed pretty straightforward. I just wish I had known about that before I started because it would have saved me a lot of stress.

What do you have to do to improve SEO?

Quite a lot, actually. I’ve just run my site through an SEO analyzer which shows you all of the areas of your blog that are broken and need to be fixed. It shows you the pages that are currently ranking for SEO focus keywords which is really important if you want your content to be “seen” by Google and Bing’s search engines. And let’s face it, if you don’t have that right, how is anyone going to be able to find you amongst the billions of webpages that inhabit the internet? The short answer is that if you are not optimizing your content for SEO, you’re most likely not going to see as much traffic coming to your blogs as you could if you optimized it.

Check out Ryte because I am using the free version and it’s pretty life-changing 😅😊

So it’s important for your pages to rank so people can search for your content. And this is why I am working on this now while I have the time (two long weekends in a row) and can concentrate purely on this project. I’ll have further updates coming and if you’re interested in reading them, please stay tuned for more!

Please let me know in the comments if you have any questions as I am here to help where I can 🙂

Until next time friends and bloggers!

If you like my blogging and social media posts, you can check out more of them right here.

And while you’re there, why not consider following me on Twitter, Instagram and right here, on WordPress.

Thanks for your support!

Categories
Personal Social Media

Social Media and Blogging Update #1

Hello Star Wars friends and creative types! I have realised that I’ve sorely neglected to blog about the social media landscape and blogging in general. And yes, this is a star wars blog primarily, but I like to deviate from that to keep things interesting every now and then.

How many times have you read a blog post belonging to some SUPER huge social media presence that begins with “I used to barely exist, and now I am a superstar, and this is how I did it?” Yeah, it’s a little less believable when it’s coming from someone who probably has an army of people working with them to gain the online presence that they have. I am just your average person who knew nothing about social media when I started blogging. I now have a much broader knowledge, and understanding of various social media tools than I did when I started and I’d like to share what I know.

Anywho, I know some readers enjoyed my previous social media posts, so I’ve decided that along with more SWTOR posts, I will blog more regularly about social media and how it relates to blogging specifically.

Today I will focus on this question that I see lots of people asking on message boards all over the internet:

“How do you attract more followers/readers?”

The answer to that question is probably not what people want to read, but it will be the truth, and that is by putting in the effort and time. Unless you want to end up paying for your followers, that is. If you want to do it the organic (and honest) way, you have to work at it every day.

You can do this by

  • Posting regularly or at least to a schedule, so your readers know when to expect a post or an update from you
  • Consistency is key – try to stick to whatever rule you make about posting (see the point above)
  • Ensuring that your posts are a) helpful in some way to your readers b) grammatically correct and with no or few spelling errors for readability.
  • Depending on what you are posting about, try and make sure that you have references and sources for all your images if you’re using images that are not your own
  • Try and provide sources for any fact-based posts you write. People like to believe in what they read, and there is no better way to do that than by using reputable sources.
  • Always link back to any sources you use
  • If you’re writing a post based only on rumours, let your readers know that upfront.
  • Do NOT use click-bait titles no matter how desperate you are to grow your audience.

Of course, there are exceptions to some of these rules, and you’ll see them all over the internet. An example of this is Mike Zeroh. If you’re a star wars fan, you should know who he is. This guy uses rumours and click-bait every single time he posts something on YouTube. He now has a reputation for not being honest about what he posts and for misleading people.

Mike Zeroh is not as big as some of the better star wars YouTubers and for a good reason. However, he has thousands of viewers on his videos even when people know he is unreliable and not trusted.

Go figure. That’s the internet for you.

Why should I heed your advice?

I am no authority on blogging or social media use. But I do have thousands of followers on a few of my social media accounts and about 4.89 million monthly viewers on my Pinterest account. And I didn’t use any magic method to get them. I did it through consistency, time, perseverance and blogging about things people wanted to read and see.

Each month I will post about something relevant to blogging or social media hoping that if you’re new to blogging or even to using social media, you can avoid making the mistakes I did and get there quicker with honest and reliable (non-click-bait) advice.

Until next time friends and bloggers!

If you like my blogging and social media posts, you can check out more of them right here.

And while you’re there, why not consider following me on Twitter, Instagram and right here, on WordPress.

Thanks for your support!

Categories
Social Media

Where Is Your Follow Button?

One of the most essential things on a WordPress blog is the follow button. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve wanted to follow a certain blog, only to get lost on the main page or unable to locate the follower button. This could be costing you in followers and readers.

The follow button should be one of the most visible images or links on your blog. And this is only important if you’re blogging for your readers and not just for yourself. If you don’t plan to ever have a large number of readers, you can stop reading. But if you’re the type of blogger that a) wants their words to be read and b) wants to grow their blog, having an easily accessible “follow” button is the best thing you can do to encourage this.

It’s not the same as someone locating you through the “reader” app in WordPress. There are a couple of ways WordPress readers can follow you there. The “follow” button, in my opinion, is primarily there for anyone who may not be logged into WordPress. So this is useful for someone who locates your blog through a different referer like google search or Pinterest or any other social media platform. They will hit your homepage and could become a potential reader. And the first thing they’ll do is look for a way to follow your blog.

On my blog, I wanted a way that anyone could easily find the follow button so I added something that I knew would gain attention – a GIF:

Now I am not saying everyone should go out and find a GIF to use or make one and use it the same way. But it’s one way that I know will help that person looking at my blog to follow me if they want.

Make it easy for the person reading your blog because they are interested enough to be on your blog in the first place! Obviously, this requires that person to already be a WordPress user. But being “out there” for anyone to see is better than either not having a follow button at all, or having one obscured by too many other assets on your page.

I try to think of the homepage as a representation of who I am on the internet. And you want to be welcoming to the people who are there to read your content, right?

Also, consider the type of theme you’re using – the issue may be right there in the theme restricting your ability to advertise your blog to potential readers. These restrictions can be bypassed by using widgets on your sidebars. So definitely look into doing that or into changing that aspect of your theme so you can advertise your follow button clearly.

Here’s a quick summary of what you can do to improve things on your homepage:

  1. Make your “follow” button easy for potential readers to locate and click on
  2. Make sure your blog theme is “follow” button-friendly or look into using widgets on your sidebars for better visibility
  3. Make sure your follow button isn’t “bogged down” by too many other images on your home page
  4. Enjoy more readers on your blog!

I don’t often do this type of post, and I had this sitting in my draft folder for days so figured it was time to dust it off.

Let me know if any of this information is helpful for you in the comments!

Until tomorrow, stay safe out there, keep creating and I’ll catch you later.

If you like my posts, you can check out more of them right here.

And while you’re there, why not consider following me on Twitter, Instagram and right here, on WordPress.

Thanks for your support!