This one is a bit different from what I usually do. I’ve been around the blogging scene since 09. Had at least 3 blogs (this being my 4th). So, I’m pretty much a veteran in the blogging sphere. Things change as the years go by in the world of blogging. And with it, I’ve adapted to it. However, most new bloggers don’t quite know what to use. That could be useful to them.
Hopefully, this post can help out any new comers to the world of blogging.
You can jump to the sections by clicking on the relevant link(s)
Use Imgur for those sweet image space
The first port of call I say to any new bloggers is use imgur or any free image hosting site. The reason for that is, using the free wordpress option has limited storage size, only 3GB which is just peanuts, imo. You can get bigger storage space, you’ll have to go for the more expensive option. By using imgur, you can store many images. What’s really important here is YOU have control as to what images are being used. In the past I’ve used url based images, only for the image to be taken down or end up with a broken link. Thus really messing up my post. And that sucks, especially if you’ve worked on that post for a good while.
Imgur doesn’t just host images, they also do gifs and videos.
Spruce up your posts with use of gifs and video clips
Blogging isn’t the same as it was before. In the past, it was just text based. Now it’s become more multimedia friendly. So why not use that to your advantage and make your post look spazzy with some cool gifs or even that dramatic screenshot you took that captures the essence of your post. Or if you really want to make it media friendly, use videos clips to make it that little bit snazzy without having to take multiple screenshots. Just to break it down a little bit;
Gifs are fun and good to use, they really compliment screenshots. The downside is they don’t always show the full context if you’re writing a post. Good to break up texts and looking at static screenshots.
Screen shots, self-explanatory.
Video clips are more in the minority unfortunately, and many think you need some video editor or down load the clip from somewhere else. Well, I can tell you. You can actually do that yourself. With no video editor software needed. Or downloading required.
If you hit WIN key + G, you will bring up the Xbox video game bar. This little tool allows you to take screen shots, and record video clips amongst other things. The default key to record is WIN key + Alt + R . Yes, it’s that simple to record using the xbox game bar.
No need to down load others apps if you want to record small clips. Now, the next site is also pretty useful for images and even small clips.
Get really creative with Canva
Let your creativity flow with Canva!!. Using Canva can really make your feature images stand out, or even your images be extra eye catching on your posts. You don’t need to be a graphics designer to use Canva, it’s really simple to use. They even have templates for those that aren’t creative. Canva primarily do images and text, now they do gifs and videos too. They have very basic editing, so you can make those small quick clips like a bit fancy with Canva’s editing like this
Now there is a small downside to Canva, some of the features you’ll have to pay. That’s not really a problem, the majority are free to be used. And with creativity, you can make some really eye-catching feature images for your posts.
So, you’ve made your post as snazzy as they come, before you hit the publish button, you do a quick check to see if everything is okeydokey. Then…oh crud, grammar and spelling errors, not only that, your post has repetitive words 😱😱. All that hard work and you have to edit to fix these or don’t check and hit the publish and then realise it.
Thesaurus, Grammarly / Out Write to the rescue!!!!!
I came across a blogger a few years ago, who stated that they use wordpress to write out a post, copy it to a word document to fix up the grammar and spelling errors and then put it through Grammarly to add that little bit of extra polish, still left mistakes intentionally though.
My advice before I go on; edit your posts before adding any images etc in, this makes it easier so you don’t have to spend time messing around with media placement(s) in your posts. Once you’re happy with the corrections, then start adding your image etc to your posts.
Now, if you’re using a word document, this does apply still, Grammarly / Out Write will be that extra little polish for you. If you use WordPress to write out your post, then Grammarly/out write will be a big help to you, since WordPress checks are a bit rubbish. Grammarly/Out Write are mostly paid, however the basics are free to use. I prefer to use out write, that’s just a personal preference, you’re free to use Grammarly. One thing I would say is don’t use Grammarly browser extension, it’s a right hog of resource. However, I will say is use a thesaurus browser extension, it’s really helpful in conjunction with the two sites mentioned. I use the power thesaurus extension. It isn’t a memory hog like Grammarly browser extension is. A thesaurus can really help find alt words that can bring some zest in to your posts, instead of using the same old words (case in point..me!). Plus you expand your lexicon. You don’t have to use a browser extension, just use a good site.
Now that you’ve spruced up your posts and deciding on whether or not to publish immediately or schedule it, you will be on cloud-nine thinking it will get tons of views and comments. So, you keep checking your insights regularly. Only to see very few traffic coming to your blog or posts. Firstly, don’t fret, importantly: stats don’t matter. You can improve these, to see the growth of your blog. They shouldn’t be the main reason as to why you blog. You’ll quit a lot faster. There are a number of ways to increase traffic to your blog. One is another website that actually helps to being in traffic from those images you saved on your HDD.
Pin up them images by using Pinterest!
If haven’t used pinterest before, pinterest is a image board. Which is perfect for images you’ve taken. Now, I’m not the best or even a consistent user of pinterest. There are other bloggers that do use it regularly and stated it’s a good source of traffic for their blogs. Which is why I mentioned it. The most basic way to get and see stats on pinterest, is to create a business account – don’t worry it’s free. Once that is set up, you can post images and see which images are performing well.
As stated above, you have to be consistent with it (use tags too) in order to gain the traffic you want. Create plenty of image boards and pins, feel free to collaborate with other bloggers that have pinterest.
So you have your posts up, followed the above steps. Now you’re getting people reading your blog and even commenting. Just as they followed you, you’re following their blogs. However, you find yourself following a lot more blogs, thus unable to keep up with them. A quandary, none the less there is a way of keeping tabs with your fellow bloggers
Using Feedly or WordPress own read list to keep up with fellow bloggers!
You’re probably asking yourself “what is feedly”. Feedly is a site aggregator. It centralises sites in to one place. So instead of going to multiple sites in order to keep up with them, you can be kept up to date with all of them in one place. Feedly is another paid site, however you can use the free version (which I use) – this is limited. Feedly free version allows you to make 3 categories and have up to 100 links. Which is still a lot if you think about it. I use it for sites that aren’t part of the WordPress eco system sites like Anime News Network for example, sites like that. WordPress didn’t have a reading list until recently.
With the WordPress reader list, you can put in any wordpress blog link. Doesn’t matter if you’re not following that blog. It’s good in particularly for bloggers that have gone inactive or on hiatus and you want to keep an eye on them..just in case they return. There are no limits to the WordPress reader list, which is a huge bonus. Especially if you’re following a lot of blogs, but can’t keep up with all of them. With the reader list, you can make as many categories and place those blogs to help with sorting out your reading list.
One last little tip, which some aren’t too much of a fan and it’s understandable. As you post more often, some posts you’d be more proud of, in time they will get buried. However, you don’t want it fade in to the view or be forgotten about. So what do you do?
The use of social media (or in this case twitter), to promote your blog posts
I won’t bleat too much on this as it’s pretty straight forward. The use of social media can help your blog posts in the long run. I use twitter, as you can schedule tweets, so I’m spreading out my tweets over weeks, so people will catch my posts if they missed it or to generate some traffic. The same could be done with other social medias. You don’t have to use it to interact with other bloggers, you can just keep it as a promotion tool. Entirely up to you.
And there you have it, a few things that new bloggers can use to help them out on their new blogging journey. Let me know in the comment section, if you’re a new blogger and found this post helpful. Or if you’re a long standing blogger who found a thing or two that you didn’t know helpful.
Thanks for reading this post if you have, I’ll catch you on the next one!