Like most non-techie bloggers, I wasn’t so concerned about SEO when I was just starting out a couple of years ago. I didn’t think much about optimizing my blog for search, yet I wanted traffic to come in. Sure enough, I kept on wondering why I’m seeing paltry traffic to my sites. So I got into the program and learned SEO with WordPress. As I have learned, and as many bloggers did before me, optimizing a WordPress blog is simple and easy.
1. Use WordPress as Your Blogging Platform
WordPress is arguably the most powerful blogging platform. This isn’t to say that you should use WordPress exclusively, but there are great benefits that can be had with WordPress. With its thousands of extensions, WordPress is by far the most flexible and most extensible blogging platform. Search engine optimization, the process of making website content relevant for it to be considered and ranked well in the search engines, is also a breeze with WordPress. In fact, I personally think that WordPress is the easiest blogging platform to optimize for search. A well-optimized WordPress post or page should be able to appear in the top pages of the search engines and in turn get more traffic very easily. However, there are tips and guidelines that one must carefully follow to make a WordPress blog rank well in search. So, let’s get right down to the tips on optimizing a WordPress blog.
2. Optimize the Content for SEO
Content is still king, and it’s the very reason the blog exists. For these reasons, content quality deserves the highest level of attention. However, many newbie
bloggers fall into the common mistake of overly-optimizing their content with keywords that make their posts unnatural and difficult to read. It’s very important to properly optimize a post for search if you are to gain profitable visibility, but it’s also crucial that your posts adhere to Google’s quality guidelines. As Google and other search engines move forward to put more emphasis on quality, the focus now is more on creating high quality, useful and relevant posts that appeal to readers more than search engines. So, when writing posts, it’s important to keep the web crawlers (search engine spiders) in mind, but your focus should be more on the users’ benefit.
3. Optimize the Title
How should a post title be written? Should it be written in such a way as to attract the readers’ attention? Or should we only consider the SEO aspects? Write titles for the readers without compromising the SEO aspect of it. Gone are the days when titles are optimized with exact-match keywords so that they are difficult to read and unnatural. Take this example: “Roofing Sacramento Tips for Homeowners” This example title is keyword-optimized for the term “Roofing Sacramento.” It’s clear that the writer intended for the post to rank highly for that keyword, but this makes the title look totally unnatural. As Google moves towards Latent Semantic Indexing (LSI), you can now use related keywords instead of exact-match keywords and Google will still recognize what your post is all about. Remember, post-Penguin, Google penalizes sites that are over-optimized with exact-match keywords. In the post-Penguin world, the example title should be written as “Roofing Tips for Sacramento Homeowners.”
4. Optimize the Keywords
Keywords still play central role in our quest to win the first page race. Without keywords, the search engines won’t be able to figure out exactly what your post is all about. It’s keywords that should be talked about in the title, in the meta tags, in the body and link profiles. So, before composing your next blog post, figure out what keywords you want it to rank well for in the search engines. One of the best tools I can recommend which I have had great success with is Google AdWords Keyword Tool. When targeting certain keywords with your post, here are several best practices to observe:
- Use your keyword in the title (but not unnaturally)
- Keywords should be used within the first paragraph, in the middle, and in the last paragraph
- LSI Keywords should be identified and used throughout the article body
A note on using exact-match keywords: Remember that Google Penguin frowns upon over-optimization. It’s fine to use exact-match keywords, but don’t overdo it. Vary the keywords you are using to avoid getting penalized by Penguin. Some bloggers fall into the trap of over-optimizing their content by doing the following: • Keyword stuffing: Using the keywords in an unnatural way over and over again within the post. This is spam and is heavily penalized by the search engines. • Buying backlinks: Others are tempted to buy backlinks from link farms, hoping to get that much needed boost in ranking. However, even before Penguin, the search engines discouraged webmasters and SEOs from buying links.
5. Optimize the Tags
Meta tags such as description tags are no longer considered to be major search engine rankings, but that doesn’t mean you don’t have to optimize them. The search engines display your meta descriptions on search results as a preview for users for them to determine what your page is about. Properly placing your keywords within the first sentence of the meta descriptions helps users identify the relevance of your content.
6. Optimize Images
The only way for the search engine spiders to determine what your image is about is by including an Alt tag. Alt tag is a string of codes where you place texts to allow the search engine spiders to properly index your post’s images.
7. Use the Right WordPress SEO plugins
As mentioned previously, WordPress is one of the most flexible blogging platforms available. With its many SEO plugins, you can simplify your SEO efforts. Some of the most common SEO plugins include: • All-In-One SEO Pack • WP SEO By Yoast • SEO Friendly Images • SEO Smart Links
7 Reasons Nobody is Reading Your Blog
Blogging is tough work. It’s not backbreaking labor like ditch digging, but it can be mentally and emotionally exhausting.
It may consume hours, days, weeks, and months of dedication before you see results. Even with a solid commitment of time and creative energy, results aren’t guaranteed. It’s not just about coming out with new content, it’s more about coming out with content that is of real value, will rank in Google, and that people are actually going to read and share.
Millions of blogs are humming along on the Internet, but only a fraction could be termed successful. If you have a blog and it has no significant readership to speak of, there are a few possible explanations.
1 – You Write About Things People Don’t Care About
“It’s easy when you first start blogging to act like your blog is an online journal. While your blog should be personalized, it should be focused on your reader,” copywriter Michael Leonard explains.
“People, for the most part, only care about themselves. As a content creator, it’s your responsibility to give the reader what they want.”
If you’re only writing about yourself, people will eventually tune out. The best thing you can do is to switch your focus to topics your audience is passionate about. Not sure what that might be? Go ahead and ask your existing readers for their input on topic selection.
2 – You Lack a Consistent Voice
Consistency is a huge facet of blogging success. People need to feel they’re encountering the same voice, style, and personality one post to the next. If there’s too much variety in style and content, you’ll fail to resonate with readers and eventually they’re apt to wander elsewhere.
3 – You Have No Social Media Presence
Blogging and social media go hand in hand these days. If you don’t have a social media presence, you’re missing out on the opportunity to expand your blog readership (and vice versa).
Instead of trying to be on every social media platform that exists, spend your time focusing on one or two platforms (such as Instagram or Facebook). By pouring all your energy into building up audiences on these channels, you’ll be much more likely to see a positive impact on your blog.
4 – You’ve Never Done SEO
SEO might be a bit technical for your taste, but it’s still essential. Without an SEO strategy, you won’t be able to capitalize on organic search traffic.
This will leave you 100 percent reliant on paid and/or social traffic … and that will damage your results and lower your chance of building a flourishing audience.
5 – You’ve Never Invested in Link Building
In order to satisfy Google’s algorithm and prove you have an authoritative website that’s worth turning up in the search rankings, you have to demonstrate that you’re a trusted source for content. One of the ways to do this is by developing a link-building strategy.
Link building is the process of acquiring backlinks from other authoritative websites to your own. Though you can do this manually, it’s far more efficient and cost-effective to hire a white-label link-building service like SEO.co.
This approach frees you to focus on the content side, without neglecting the optimization facet of the equation.
6 – You’re All Words and No Visuals
All words and no visuals is a recipe for supreme boredom. If you aren’t careful, it’ll destroy your audience and leave you with an echo chamber of a blog.
As tough as it may be to swallow, accept the fact that people will likely read only an average of 20 percent of the content on your page. In other words, the average person will ignore 80 percent of your blog content.
Much of this depends on the limited nature of the human attention span. The quickest way to get past this is to incorporate some visuals to provide some relief and boost engagement.
“Visual elements jump off the page,” Quick Sprout explains. “If someone is scanning through your blog post, they’ll likely stop at the images. They’ll skim the first few lines before and after the picture to digest your points of emphasis.”
You don’t have to change your entire blogging strategy, but it’s wise to give some attention to visuals. An occasional infographic or video will go a long way with your audience.
7 – You Don’t Post Enough
You don’t have to post a blog piece every day to be successful. But if you’re uploading only one every few weeks, you’re forfeiting your opportunity to engage an audience.
As a general rule, you should post at least three times a week. This means you’ll have to generate something once every two days (with an occasional lapse of an extra day or two). At that rate, you’re most apt to stay at the front of your readers’ minds without overwhelming them.
Develop Your Blogging Strategy
Publishing a random blog post here and another casual commentary there isn’t going to get you the results you desire … no matter how good the content might be. You need a defined strategy that delivers high value to a specific group of readers in a manner that’s consistent with your brand personality and objectives.
One would hope this article has opened your eyes to what that can look like moving forward.
Beware Trying to Profit Solely through these 2 Travel Blogging Income Streams
Sponsored post revenue.
Until you build a huge, loyal readership, who gobbles up your posts left and right, sponsors have little interest in advertising on your blog. Sponsors want maximum bang for their blogging buck. Advertisers want to get their business in front of as many interested, hungry eyes as possible. Imagine an advertiser paying for a television spot. Why? Businesses wish to receive massive exposure in front of hundreds of thousands to millions of interested people who will buy their product or service.
If this makes sense on television, why would you believe a sponsor would pay you money for the 10 people a day who read your new blog? Why would you believe advertisers would pay money for the 40 daily, un-targeted, non-engaged visitors to your blog? Advertisers have no interest spending money in a campaign that cannot work. Business owners do not pay bloggers to advertise their venture for 10 non targeted visitors daily. Why then do travel bloggers try to profit solely through both sponsored post and advertising channels if most get 10, 50 or maybe 100 visitors daily, to their blogs? Especially if said blogs lack engagement and targeting, you will not make a cent of ad revenue and sponsored revenue until you build a large, loyal following.
Building large, loyal followings takes time, energy and a certain generosity. Few bloggers put in the time and energy. Few bloggers generate significant sponsored post and ad revenue. But most travel bloggers see top travel bloggers raking in sponsored revenue, imitate the top pros, rely on these 2 income streams and struggle horribly to make income because sponsored post and ad revenue are only reliable, consistent income streams for bloggers with huge, targeted followings.
Try this Instead
Write and self-publish eBooks.
I wrote a travel blogger eBook to help you become a full time travel blogger. Although I do generate more and more sponsored post and advertising revenue, self-publishing eBooks allows consistent income to flow to me while I see more sponsored opportunities appear in my email inbox.
Convert the eBooks to audio books. Sell audio books to generate consistent income. Convert the eBooks to paperbacks. Sell the paperbacks to generate income. Create and sell online courses. Engage in affiliate marketing.
Most importantly, be generous and genuine. Help people freely in as many spots as possible. Be of service. Be helpful. Write and publish posts to your blog. Write and publish guest posts. Broadcast live videos on Facebook and YouTube. Publish a podcast. Being generous in many spots online boosts income because you gain the skills and exposure to become a known commodity in your blogging niche. Why do you think I guest post in so many spots daily? I love helping people and also know each post builds my skills and increases my exposure. The more folks know me, and the more folks who see I can write, income flows to me through all channels. But I never relied solely on sponsored post and ad revenue as a blogging tips and travel blogger because income does not flow through those channels until you build a large, loyal following. That takes time.
Diversify and Prosper
Diversify income streams. Be generous in helping people and in giving people options. Some of my readers prefer listening to audio books over reading eBooks. Some readers prefer reading eBooks over listening to audio books. I cater to their preferences and earn more income as my sponsored post and ad revenue grows.
Top 5 Social Media Marketing Tools To Grow Your Business
Social media has become an imperative part of our daily lives.
And marketers know that the best way to connect with their audiences is to go where they go. This indicates meeting and interacting with them on social channels.
Today 3.8 billion people or 45% of the global population use social media.
Below are some important statistics on the use of social media as of March, 2019.
As the use of social continues to skyrocket, so does the number of brands that use social media to get their voices heard in front of customers.
Before we move ahead and see what are some of the tools which can help you to grow your blog, let us look at a few stats.
However, we’re not all packed into a single social network. This is why businesses are segregating their attention. Remember that your audience is spread across multiple platforms.
This is the reason why businesses are splitting their focus across an ocean of social networks to keep in touch with prospects and fans.
Companies have been developing 3rd party tools and apps to assist marketers attune themselves to the challenge of engagement.
While the best social media scheduling and management tools are always changing depending on the social landscape, there are some evergreen tools that will dominate your social strategy.
Here goes the list………..
Buffer is one of the hottest scheduling tools that allows you to schedule posts across a range of social platforms. There are two options: either publish the same post on all platforms or tailor each post based on the type of platform.
Furthermore, you can use the Buffer Chrome extension to add your favorite piece of content to the Buffer queue. This results in a bit of creativity and fun to the entire process of aggregating content and sharing it. You don’t have to build a strategy on what you want to build in advance. Even then, your posts will be shared on the best times. The tool also gives you the freedom of tracking links to find out the most popular content among your readers.
Pricing: $15 a month
Sometimes when you sit down to create stellar content, you’re on fire. And at other times, it’s like pulling teeth and you’re simply thankful to have met a deadline. You cannot always guarantee success but a tool like Buzzsumo increases the odds.
Using Buzzsumo, you can find the most shared content on social media. Also, enter your own or your competitor’s domain and find what’s been socially shared. You can also use it to find the best performing keywords and trending topics which your audience might be interested in.
And if you have some funds to splash, get Buzzsumo Pro as it is a fantastic resource for competitor research.
Pricing: $99 per month
Building relationships involve identifying people who are creating relevant content and sharing it. When the same group of people notices you sharing their content, there are high chances that they’ll share yours too. The tool aggregates all the websites and blogs you follow into one place. It’s a terrific option to subscribing a whole lot of emails or checking every blog for new updates.
Within Feedly, you can use collections to organize all of the websites and blogs you follow. For instance, in your social media collection, you can follow some of the leading blogs and influencers who you know come up with terrific content.
You can log in to the software on a daily basis to check the latest articles from all your sources. Based on how the site or blog is set up, you can either read the entire post on the tool or just a part of it.
This helps you curate the best articles and share with your audience.
Pricing: $5 a month
Agorapulse is one of the best social media marketing tools on the internet.
The dashboard is pretty straightforward and simple. Switching through all your accounts is a cakewalk as they are clearly listed on the left-hand side. The entire features like inbox, publishing, monitoring and social media are located at the top of the dashboard and can be easily accessed.
One of the best features is the social media inbox since it makes it easy to check all your social media updates that require attention. It works similar to an email account.
In addition, Agorapulse also has a monitoring feature by the help of which you can see how many shares and mentions you have got across all your social media platforms. You can search for certain keywords on Twitter and monitor hashtags on Instagram.
Apart from this, Agorapulse has analytics feature too. With the help of this feature, you can see your audience engagement and important metrics. Also, with its CRM feature, you can find out who your most loyal fans and followers are. If you have a large number of followers, you can categorize them in custom tags as prospects, influencers and followers.
Price – $89 a month
The year 2018 saw a humungous growth and change in the ever-changing digital landscape. There was a massive shift from traditional content to video, which is only going to get bigger in the coming years.
Thankfully, the era of scheduling a social media campaign across each platform now things of the past. Sprout Social, an all-in-on social media management tool provides publishing, analytics, engagement, and team collaboration tools.
Instead of working and updating with each profile individually on your website, you can use the software as a one-stop location where you can manage everything linked with your social media marketing, which includes content curation, publishing, scheduling and much more.
The ultimate goal of the tool is to make it easy to manage your social profiles and find out which marketing actions you take are effective.
Pricing- $99 a month
There are a lot of outstanding tools out there, with new ones popping up time and again.
The key lies in discovering tools that ease your marketing efforts, and investing the time in getting to know them.
What are some of the social media marketing tools you’ve been using and how has been your experience with them?
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