FIRSTLY, THE ADVICE I suggest is to be taken as you please. Also long-term bloggers might not find much to get out of this.
I have been blogging since 2013. That’s three years of WordPress experience – not major, not minor – and I’d like to suggest some tweaks that will make your blogging experience better and hopefully better for your readers. I’ll also cover some rookie ‘mistakes’ some make when they set up their site:
- Have an About page! Your blog is like a mirror of yourself (unless you are anonymous). Going to your blog should be like meeting you, as much as it is possible for that to happen online. Some personality that separates the blog from a multitude of others helps a great deal. A blog without an About Me section, feels like picking up a magazine with no cover, with little to go on except the words and pictures, although sometimes the blog name does hint at the nature of it.
- Picture time. I can understand if you don’t want to put your mug out there, but having a face helps make your presence more memorable, more human.
- Life is reciprocal in nature. WordPress is no different. So many times people will Follow a blog and never like, comment or go to the About section…and still expect a Follow back and blog visits! Doesn’t work like that. This isn’t Twitter. There’s no point having 1000 followers if only two of them even visit your blog. It’s not a social genitals measuring contest.
- Like, totally! Some people on WordPress Like posts and don’t read them: fact. Pointless, but true. Sometimes it is obvious who does and it’s irritating: e.g. three stories read and two other posts in the space of five seconds? Bullshit. Remember reciprocity? Yep. When people do it, I cease to visit their blog (if I ever did) because all they are after is a Follow and blog visits. I can’t be fucked with that. You can be the asshole who Likes and Follows fifty blogs every day without reading them, and sure for a time your numbers will go up across all categories. But it’s a cheap trick and has short-lived gains. Genuine interest in other blogs goes far. There are people I still visit from when I first started.
- No comment? Comments are the blogging equivalent of a handshake, whereas a Like is a hello from the other side of the street. Comments are the gold dust of blogging, appreciate every one. Obviously there are so many blogs with great material on them, so visiting every one is impossible, but it’s great to receive and give Comments regardless of depth as it is the genuine feedback mechanism.
- Tag you’re it. Tags are crucial to divert relevant traffic to your site. See what tags blogs use for similar posts if you are lacking ideas. Obscure tags can be beneficial in the long run as anyone who searches for it will definitely find your post. Generally, tags that have a wide catchment, like ‘writing’ are best along with more specific tags relating to your particular post.
- Be patient. To those starting out it’s a frustrating time. You’ve dropped the post of the century yet seemingly nobody cares. The truth is you simply need time and energy. Your blog is the tree planting. The more blogs you invest in the bigger the tree grows. In the beginning spending 80% of your time building up a followership and interacting is key to kickstart your blog.
- Content is king. Blog how you like, it’s a great freedom. But like anywhere else, quality content brings in new readers and repeat readers. Simply, it doesn’t matter what your thing is, but great posts attract readership.
- Lastly, have fun with it. Some bloggers post say, once a week and get lots of readers, others like myself post everyday usually. The first six months or so may be slow, but it all depends on how much time you have to invest. Keep at it and good things will happen.
Best of luck!