Every once in a while I post an update about blogging. It seems that the most views occur when I post about this topic, as WordPress people like blogging of course! I post about blogging though – to ask for advice as to what I can improve on.
I can’t believe that I last wrote about blogging in March of 2020. It seems like yesterday. Time flies when we are sitting around waiting for the pandemic to end (Not Really!). It seems though that what I wrote back then is still very similar to what I know today – that’s a bit of a worry, as I was hoping to have moved forward more in learning about blogging. There is always something new to learn.
Anyway, here are a few things about what I know about blogging. I would appreciate any advice about what I should do differently!
When I first decided to blog, I researched what I should be doing endlessly, before I just got started. I got stuck on this! I had read everywhere that I should choose a specific niche and stick to it to maximize my search engine results and get the most followers.
I really wanted to write about just whatever came to mind. I was blogging because I wanted to learn something new, to keep myself mentally busy and exercise my noggin. I believe that blogging is a form of self expression that is good for me. Researching a topic that I am interested in, learning how WordPress and other tools work and learning about things like SEO are good for my retired brain. The social aspect of WordPress is also extremely good for me and the best part of blogging.
So at first, I thought since I must choose a niche, that it should be about aging. I found that really this blog is about living – things that we do – road tripping, cooking, family and our old house reno projects. So much for choosing a niche!
Therefore my advice for beginner bloggers, is just get started, and your niche will evolve.
I love numbers, and I am particularly fond of statistics. So, I love to look at my WordPress stats. We can see how many people actually read a page or pages, where they come from. I enjoy staying within the WordPress platform, and I use the Premium plan. I have chosen not to move up to the Business plan because I still get most of my views from the WordPress Reader, and I just don’t want to lose the “follow” button, which I understand would disappear if i upgraded. Is that still true? If I’m wrong, please let me know.
With WordPress Premium, I can’t take advantage of the Yoast SEO plugin, I can’t take the dates out of my URLs, and I can’t use other handy-dandy plugins. That’s OK for now, I have enough things to learn and keep me busy as it is.
I have learned that to improve my SEO, I need to improve my titles, add subheadings, use meta-descriptions, and to make sure that my photos are labeled and have “alt text”. I am supposed to use keywords in all of these. I have been going back over old posts and cleaning them up a bit, – and finally I am starting to see some more search engine hits!
Looking at my daily website “hits”, I can see that some older posts are accessed every day. This gives me a clue that people are accessing those pages from search engines, which is awesome.
I have looked at the Google Search Console, and Semrush to get clues about what people are looking for – and I find that I learn something new every time I look at these tools. I don’t think they are very “end-user’ friendly. There is entirely too much information for me when I just want to know – who looked at my site, and what were they looking for? Nevertheless, if I just use the free version of Semrush, and check it every few days for a few minutes – I get enough little fixer-upper projects to work on to improve SEO.
So for SEO, my advice for beginner bloggers is – you can get all stressed about SEO tools and technology but – take things one day at a time – improve your photo labels, alt text, improve titles, add headings, and meta-descriptions.
All those SEO sites tell us to do our keyword research to improve our traffic – find high volume keywords with lower level Keyword Difficulty and then write posts around the keywords. Well that seems contrary to what I want to do! As I said before, I want to write about what I want to write about!! When actual readers comment or like a topic, then I am encouraged to work some more in that area. BUT, I don’t want to spend time searching for keyword statistics and writing about things that don’t fit!
What I decided to do though, is go over the things that I have written, and use Google Search Console to try to figure out what people have been looking for in my posts – and then add tags and labels and subheadings to what I’ve already written – That seems reasonable.
I believe that Ubersuggest will give me three free keyword ideas a day, and Semrush will give about 10 a day – and that seems like plenty!
If you have any advice for me on this, I would love to hear it!
My advice for beginner bloggers on this is – you can invest in all kinds of tools to research things that you don’t want to write about – or you can focus on the things that you are interested in and learn which keywords work for you, and expand on that.
We have been cooking ALOT during this pandemic, and so have been posting recipes. At first we started posting pictures of our creations, but now we are posting printable recipe cards. I started reading about Food Blogging recently, and discovered that Google looks for certain standardized HTML and terms in recipes. I wish someone had told me that a few years ago!
There is a WordPress Plugin available for Recipes – but I am not using the Business Plan. I found a Recipe Card Generator that I can easily copy my recipes into – create a recipe card and then paste the card back into my posts. It is available from RecipesGenerator.com – and I am very happy with it. I’m still not a famous food blogger, but Google is now finding my recipes. I think I may post about Food Blogging again in the near future!
The Link for the RecipesGenerator.com Tool is here. I wish I’d found it sooner. The recipes that I have updated now have “schema” – whatever that is – AND recipe cards – which are easier to work with.
Other Blogging Things to Work On:
I know that I could also improve the layout of my site, and its’ appearance – and I can do this by working with my WordPress Themes. Please let me know what you think would look more appealing! I know that I need to improve my photography too – and I am working on it.
I have been working on feeling more comfortable with Social Media – as I know that it helps promote the blog. Twitter seems to be the easiest, and Instagram and Pinterest are future projects for me that should improve when I improve my photography. It’s just that I like the wordiness of blogs themselves, and WordPress users are kind and positive!
I hope that there might be one point of interest that helps another blogger in this post – and please post advice as to what I can do better or what you have found works for you! Thanks!
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