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Blogging Tips From 9 Years Of Blogging

blogging tips from 9 years of blogging

Blogging Tips From 9 Years Of Blogging

May 6th was my 9-year bloggaversay, not here but over on my personal blog. I actually started the blog so my friends and family back home could see what we were up to, everyday things, cute picture of Ebi-kun and then the house building process. But the blog took on a life of its own, I used to have a widget that tracked the countries that I had visitors from, I would get so excited when a new country was added to the list, hitting 200 was amazing!
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I know many moms like to write a blog as a way to document what their family gets up to, so I thought blogging tips would be a useful post, I have learned a thing or two over the years!

This post contains affiliate links, which means I will get a small cut of the sale if you choose to purchase something but at no cost to you.

It’s Not A One Way Street

Before I started my blog I was reading other peoples blogs, leaving comments, chatting with them online in one way or another. Then when I started my blog, visitors would do the same. I have met some amazing people over the years, made some great friends, some of which I doubt I will ever meet in real life but that doesn’t matter.
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If you want your blog to thrive, you have to interact, you have to take the time to answer questions and follow up on promises you make. I didn’t start my blog with money in mind, in fact, I had no idea that you could monetise a blog other than AdWords. Money or making money wasn’t my focus and should never be. Sharing and giving value should be the first and foremost objective.
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Readers will see right through you otherwise, they won’t hang around!

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You Have To Be Consistent

 

This blogging tips lesson was more from other blogs that I read. I noticed that if a blogger wasn’t consistent, even if I loved their posts, I was less inclined to check them out on a regular basis.
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I can think of two specific bloggers who wrote great content but were sporadic, to say the least, I would click through every week to catch up and some weeks there were 3 or 4 posts and then it would go for weeks with nothing.
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Now I know life sometimes gets in the way so you don’t get chance to sit down and write as often as you like, so this is…

Jo'sTopTip!

Have a number of ‘back up’ posts, already written and ready to go!

I try to keep 5 – 10 posts that are not seasonal, that I can whip out at any time. They just sit there, just in case… Sometimes when I’m super busy at work or like when I had to fly back to the UK unexpectedly last autumn, I could pull a few out of my stash and still have content going out.

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I don’t really have any hard and fast rules, over here I do publish a blog post once a week, without fail. The posts over here take more work and I tend to research and put more into the posts here. Over on my blog, it is far more chilled and relaxed and I tend to post as we do stuff, it is far more of a diary than a business style resource.

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You also need to be consistent with your branding. Choose five or six colours and stick with them. Pick one main font for your headlines and the second font for subheadings and then one for your text. Keep it simple, keep it clean.

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Be Clear On Your Reasons For Blogging

Why you are blogging plays a big part on how you set up your blog and the way that you blog. So my personal blog is just me sharing what we get up to, whether that be Montessori activities, crafting, cooking, life in Japan and well, anything else that takes my fancy. I’m not doing it to make money or to drive traffic (although I do monetize it and I do use it to get people signed up to my list) for me, that blog is a separate entity.
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Blogging on jojoebi.com is a different kettle of fish, although I am sharing and helping, I’m also running a business so the blog posts are a bit more strategic, I think about what my readers need, how I can help them and what I can provide that will be useful.
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I keep an on-going list of ideas that are based on questions and feedback I get, my reason for blogging over here is to share helpful information, to hopefully turn casual readers into loyal fans and eventually clients. Because the reason behind the blog is different the way I approach it is different too, I need to come up with great clickable headlines, SEO words and content that my readers can appreciate, rather than waffling away about the latest crazy fashion trend in Japan or what we got up to at the weekend.
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Almost all the business coaches I have worked with have told me to move my personal blog over to this site, but I am against this idea completely. First, it would be one hell of a job, almost 3000 posts! Secondly, I don’t see that blog as work, it’s something I do for fun and if I moved it, I think I would lose the fun element. Although writing here is fun too, it’s a different type of fun!

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Don’t Steal Your Images!

blogging tips from 9 years of blogging

Images are a great way to spice up your blog posts and the safest way to create images for your post is by taking photos yourself.
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I am mentioning this because many bloggers are under the impression that you can take someone’s image (or find one via google) and post it as your own or just give them credit. Well, you can’t. You need to get permission from the owner of the image before you post it anywhere on your own site.
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Now, if you take photos like my mother (it’s a small miracle if she manages to get the persons head in the shot) then you might be better using stock photos. To buy them can get expensive but there are several places you can get stock photos for free ALWAYS READ THE T&C FIRST, sometimes you need to leave credit or mention the site in your post.

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Jo'sTopTip!

Use Some Of My Favourite Free Stock Photo Sites:

On this post I have 100+ Stock Photos Sites and advice on how to stay out of legal trouble! Go and bookmark it!

With your own photos, it’s also a good idea to brand them or add a watermark, this can easily be done by adding text using sites such as Canva, picmonkey or my personal favourite Stencil
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Whilst you are editing your photos you should also reduce the size or more accurately the weight, large images are heavy and can take a long time to load if you have a blog post with large several images, the loading speed will be slow putting your potential reader off hanging around. I recommend saving images no larger than 150dpi, 72dpi is adequate in most cases.

 

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Batching Will Save Your Sanity!

I have talked about this before, as you know I am big on productivity and getting shit done. Which is why I am such a fan of batching. Batching is doing the same thing in one chunk of time, for example, I take a few days to take photos for the blog unless I’m doing a specific shoot but as most of my posts are about ‘life’ they are taken as life happens.
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I then batch upload the photos at once.
Delete any that are rubbish.
Edit all the photos in one go, as I edit each one I save to my desktop.
Then I upload the photos to empty blog posts all in one go and give the blog post a name (which I usually change later)
Research SEO keywords
Finally, I go in and write the posts and then schedule them to go out.
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I used to write a blog post each morning but it was very inefficient and as my work got busier the blogging started to slide, doing it in batches works so much better.

 

 

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It’s OK To Be Picky!

I get approached by a lot of PR companies wanting me to promote their goods – for a fee! Sometimes they will send me a product to try out and review other times they will pay me for a sponsored post. Some of the products I get asked to promote are absolutely no interest to me or my readers so although I could easily say yes, do the post and take the money. I’d rather not, I only accept promo post about products that I think my readers will be interested in.
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When you are writing a post that you have been compensated for, you need to declare at the start of the post if you have been paid either for the review or compensated in some way, the same with affiliate links.
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I have had some amazing products in the past from books to clothes to lunch boxes to free tickets! I have also reviewed products just because I loved them and then had the company contact me and send me a bundle of goodies!
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So, if you go down the route of sponsored posts and advertisers, make sure the products are in line with the rest of your blog. Don’t be afraid to say no, even if you could really do with the money, your readers will thank you and something better will soon come along.

 

Jo'sTopTip!

 

Be Aware Of Black Hat Tactics

As your blog takes off you will start to get approached by companies that would like you to write a post or they will write it for you and pay you a set amount, for your trouble.

DO NOT SAY YES until you have agreed to the following:

1. You will only use no-follow links (this means that you are telling Google bots not to follow the link). One of these black hat tricks is to get you to link to their site which, will boost their site ranking but is likely to damage yours, especially if their site is something spammy. The main reason that these guys approach small and new blogger is that it is easy to get these links.

2. You will state at the start of the post that it is sponsored post and that you have been compensated for it. This is an FDA requirement and by not doing it you are putting yourself at risk of getting into legal trouble. Anyone who is above board will agree to these terms. Anyone who is not will disappear is a flash.

I recommend either setting up a canned response or a page with your terms laid out, those that truly do want to work with you will have no problem following your terms.

As for the payment, that comes down to the amount of traffic you are generating plus your social media following.

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Do Become An Affiliate

Along with being a woman who likes to get shit done, I also like to have constant passive income. Now, passive income isn’t really passive, you do need to do some work! But once it is set up, there is very little for you to do. (Sign up at the bottom of the page for my free passive income generator).

I don’t rely on my affiliate payments, I view them more as an added bonus, always nice to get a payment notification through!

For passive affiliate income, my Resources page is a perfect example, I set the page up because I was often getting asked about which software etc I use for my business so I decided a page with all the info would be helpful. I am also an affiliate for a number of those products – because I love them, I wouldn’t promote them if I didn’t!

So it makes sense to use an affiliate link on that page. When a reader invests in something from that page, I will get a cut of the sale, at no cost to them, we all win!
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There are plenty of other ways to make money from your blog, I can help you bash out your ideas and figure out what would be best for you in a Pick My Brain session.

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Which Platform To Use?

Whatever you are comfortable with and what your end game is!

My personal blog is on Google Blogger but I have the  jojoebi.designs.com domain for it rather than the blogger domain. The plus side of blogger is that it’s easy to use, it’s free and it’s a google product so it will rank better than other platforms. You never need to worry about updating things as it is all automatic!

The downside is its limitations, it is built for blogging, not as a commercial site. There are different templates and if you are techie you can work with it but I find it far more restrictive than WordPress.
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This site is built on WordPress (the paid version), not for the tech challenged, it is definitely more work BUT I have more control over the look and feel of the site. WordPress is a for building whole sites, not just a blog, it is a powerful bit of kit but if you are planning to blog just for fun then you are probably better sticking to blogger.

It gets a bit confusing because there is wordpress.com and wordpress.org. The .com is the free version, limited capabilities and you don’t need to worry about the hosting.

The other version is .org, this is a self-hosted site, usually, people buy their hosting from somewhere like Siteground or Flywheel.

A word of warning here. If you do your research you will find a lot of the big names and blogger recommend Bluehost. Do you know why?

Because Bluehost has great affiliate kickback, yet they have terrible service and I am quite likely to go off on a rant here, I have 5 months of sheer hell with them! But I am not the only one, ask around in a FB group and you will hear many tales of the terrible Bluehost! Bluehost, once upon a time, were great but then they were taken over by EIG and it all went downhill from there.

Before deciding on your hosting, google EIG owned companies and avoid anything on the list.

My recommendation is Siteground, I have zero downtime and I have been with them for a couple of years now, the customer service is amazing and they will migrate your site for free. This is an affiliate link but I do use the company.
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The other platform I would recommend especially if you are not techie minded is Squarespace, I have seen some beautiful sites made on it, not as technically mind-boggling as WordPress and is better for SEO than the likes of Wix, Weebly or other cheap/free sites.

 

Domain Names

I use Namecheap for mine. I used to use Godaddy but when I found out that the CEO is an exotic trophy game hunter I switched everything as soon as possible.

It is recommended that you keep your hosting and domain separate. I would also say that it is worth springing for the WHOIS privacy protection, otherwise, all your personal details are available to anyone out there on the internet.

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You Don’t Have To Write!

Blogging these days can be done in many ways, obviously there are written posts but also vlogging/videos, podcasts and micro blogging using platforms such as Instagram are all ways to get yourself out there, share your knowledge and help people. So if writing really isn’t your thing, choose a different medium, one that you feel comfortable with and enjoy doing, because if you don’t, you won’t stick to it!

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post2 Blogging Tips From 9 Years Of Blogging

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I think that wraps it up. I could waffle on all day about this stuff, so if you have questions, hit me up! Now, over to you. Do you blog? Share the link and what you blog about in the comments section…

 

And if you are looking to add some passive income to your bottom line but you’re not sure how or what, try out The Passive Income Generator (fondly known as PIG) it’s FREE!

 

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