*janded

'cuz life is so random

blogging hacks no one tells you

8 Blogging Hacks no One Tells You About

Chances are you’ve probably come across some articles that promised you to reveal the holy grail of blogging. But things like “post constantly”, “be social” and so on are super obvious. While those kinds of generic articles come in hand to the newbies, those who have dealt with blogging for a while want more. No offence, but no one is going to sell their secret of growing their blog/business. At least not for free.

Anyway, I’m not going to promise you the earth and moon about blogging tips. I usually don’t write about blogging related topics because there are a lot of other bloggers out there who are doing it very well. But I noticed that no one talks (too much) about some other “tips” to help you manage/grow your blog. So here are my favourite blogging hacks I discovered throughout time.

Note: These are kind of random since there are from different topics.

blogging hacks no one tells you

1. Stop using Jetpack analytics. It sucks

Why do you wonder? Well, it’s simple. It is not accurate. If you use Google Analytics, you’ll notice that Jetpack and Analytics are not on the same page almost… always. That’s because Jetpack counts everything – including the pageviews generated by you. If you’re viewing your theme in preview mode, after each change a refresh happens. Jetpack counts that. Google Analytics doesn’t; or at least can be set not to do it.

2. Make sure the links in your comments are always nofollow

If this is the first time you’ve heard of dofollow or nofollow, Google explains it right here. Short story: do or no follow links tells the search engine if you ‘endorse’ the link or not.

This is one of the reasons I always moderate the comments on this blog: in case someone leaves a link in their comment, I make it nofollow.

Why nofollow links in comments?

Simply because it can hurt both your website (that hosts the comments) and the person who leaves the link in the comment. If you leave a lot of dofollow links in your comments, you will start looking like a spammer. Probably you don’t want that, right? If your website hosts lots of dofollow links to the same website it will also look spammy. You don’t want that either.

Default commenting systems (like the one provided by WordPress, or the self-incorporated ones in different themes) will make the links nofollow by default. Disqus doesn’t – you’ll have to check every comment and edit the links and add the rel=”nofollow” tag.

This is how you set a nofollow link:

set nofollow link rel nofollow

That small line will look like this when published:

Cristina | *janded

3. Google Search Console is your BFF

Search Console is… let’s say an extension of Google Analytics and a must-use tool for SEO. I said it’s an extension of Google Analytics because it offers you more in-depth information about your website. These things you won’t find in Analytics:

  • number of impressions (how many times your website was showed in people’s search results)
  • for what keywords your website was shown in Google search results
  • how many clicks it got
  • it shows the broken links that return 404 errors (not found) and much more.

Sounds good, isn’t it? And that’s not all! You can link Google Search Console to Google Analytics for more accurate information.

4. Consistency has nothing to do with SEO

I was quite shocked when I discovered this. Although I was suspicious how posting at the same time and day can help SEO because it would mean a lot of work for Google to have its bots crawl your website to check if you post at the same day and hour.

I guess it makes more sense to tell people to be consistent and post at fixed hours and days rather than explain why they should do it.

Game of Thrones airs every Sunday at 8 or 9 p.m., right? You go and turn the TV on at that specific day and hour because you know it will be there.

The same goes with your audience if they know that every Friday at 8 a.m. they will get a new piece of interesting content from you, they will come to your website naturally without you needing to drag them there. It is more about forming a habit of visiting your website. Also, this means constant traffic for your website. Here is the consistency. Now you see why consistency is not actually a 100% SEO factor?

5. Crtl + Shift + I – learn it by heard

This is a little “cheat” that I use every now and then. It’s Option + Command + I on a Mac, btw. Or simply just right click on a page and select Inspect.

What this little command will do is that it will show you the entire source code of the page. This does not mean you can hack someone’s website! You can see what keywords other are using, check if the links are dofollow or nofollow and so on.

I used the Console to personalize my theme with very little implication of a developer. It does require some basic coding skills, I won’t lie.

6. The article’s title and SEO title can be different

This basically means that the title you tell the search engine for your article can be different than the one that is displayed on the page. But be careful, both titles must contain the focus keyword.

If you’re new to SEO, here is a really nice guide to Yoast SEO plug-in for WordPress.

7. Stop counting self-traffic

Not sure if “self-traffic” is an actual term, but… What it should mean (in my mind) is the traffic you generate yourself; like when you’re visiting your website to check if the latest blog post looks all nice and pretty. That is not actual real traffic and you shouldn’t count it.

exclude internal traffic in analytics

How can you exclude self-traffic?

Obviously, Google Analytics has a solution for this too! It’s called filters. You basically tell Google Analytics to not count the traffic that comes from your IP address. Google provides a quick step-by-step guide on how you can set filters to exclude internal traffic.

8. Compress your photos using Lightroom

You probably already know you should upload small sized images on your blog to help it load fast. I tried different plug-ins that promised to compress images, but I saw no change. So I did some digging and discovered how to compress my files in Photoshop Lightroom.

There are 2 things you have to take care of when compressing images:

  • file size
  • image dimensions

While you might think they both go hand in hand; you can’t have a nice, quality picture if it’s not one million pixels x 1 trillion pixels, which will make it 100 GB big – it is not true. When you export photos from Photoshop Lightroom, you can resize one edge of the photo and also set a size limit to the file.

how to compress images in lightroom

You don’t have to follow the exact same settings I pointed out here, find what best suits you and stick to it. I recommend to keep all your images below 100k and make the resolution for the long edge of the images the save as the width of your page. A more in-depth tutorial on how to compress images in Photoshop Lightroom can be found here.


These are some of my favourite blogging hacks I discovered throughout time. I use them a lot and they make my life easier.

What are your favourite blogging related tricks? Let me know if you’d like so see more in-depth articles on this topic.

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  • I had no clue about that Analytics trick. Just did it. Thanks!

    • Anytime, glad you discovered something new. Google Analytics has a lot of tricks, haha.

  • Learned some new things – thank you!!

  • Wow, what a great list of blogging hacks. I’ve been blogging for almost 2 years and there are a few things listed I had no idea about. I’ve definitely learnt some new tricks! Thanks for sharing!

  • Magen Daniella Golden

    These are great tips. Blogging can be hard
    when you start out and know nothing.

  • Leah Sullivan

    Wow thanks so much this is SO HELPFUL! Regarding the photo dimsensions tip, I’ve been so lost around this one. I use lightroom and export the same way you suggested but if I try to keep the width under 100k the quality is either sooooooo terrible that it’s not with it, or lightroom itself says it can’t do it and to up the quality slider. I’m trying to keep them under 300k but even then they’re not as crisp as I’d like! Any tips???

    • Well, I think you should check if the photo itself is crisp enough; if there is some noise on it the compression might enhance it. At large scale noise, too much editing and bad lighting might not be so obvious. Try switching from the file size limit to the quality limit, set it at around 65/70 and see how your images look like that and if the size is ok as well.

      I keep all my photos under 100k and because I resize them on the long edge to be 1024 pixels, they always fit in my size limit.

      Hope it helps and I’m very happy that you found this useful.

  • Eki Ayemenre

    Great hacks for a blogger at any level of blogging! I use kraken.io for my image compression. I’m heading over to read your post on “how to compress images in photoshop light room,” because I use photoshop for creating my images.

    • Never heard of kraken until now. I’m super happy with Lightroom so I ditched every plug-in that was loaded up in my plug-ins directory.

  • These are really helpful! I didn’t know I’ve been doing some of these mistakes!

    Belle | One Awesome Momma

    • Haha, you added the nofollow!

  • Shannon

    Love this article! It’s always nice to discover some new tips that you haven’t heard from everyone else already. I did not know about adding nofollow to the comment links, but that makes a lot of sense – I’ll definitely be on top of that from now on! I’ve also been meaning to connect to Google Search Console, but now I have even more reason to get on it. Thank you so much for this really informative article!

    • Really glad you found it useful, Shannon. You’ll love Search Console!

  • Wow I LOVE this post! I was always so confused about the ‘nofollow’ linking but thank you for clearing it up!

  • Another thank you from me about the nofollow explanation!

  • Patricia A. Go

    Good post! I like the Ctrl +Shift +I trick. I am new to the blogging tricks, but how do you “read” the source?

    • Well, the “read” part implies you understanding some code lines. For example, if you right-click on a link and inspect it, the code like will be highlighted in the code console and it will look something like anchor text here .

  • Meg Miller

    Thank you for all of this! I have been obsessed with my SEO but now I will just focus on being consistent. I switched to Google Analytics just last month and I love it and I actually enjoy their layout a little bit better. I also want to add the importance of Facebook groups to get your views/shares to really sky rocket.

    • Yep, facebook groups are really effective. Also, others love pinterest and stumbleupon.

  • hal

    these are all so interesting but one pretty basic thing i did not know were the seo hacks – i’m so bad at that so thanks for the great advice!

  • These are amazing tips!!!! I feel like I read the same blog tips over and over but these are new to me! Yay!

  • Elizabeth Johnson

    So much great information in this post! You always provide great insight to the blogging world. Saved this for later!

    • Thank you, Elizabeth! Always happy to see people find my articles useful.

  • great tips! I definitely need to compress my images better!

  • Gillian Kent

    These are all very valuable. I didn’t realize my visits were counted.

  • This was incredibly helpful and interesting to learn more about some of the backend information for SEO, and other things you mentioned here. Thanks for sharing!

  • Yolanda

    It’s so nice to see some REAL tips that everyone else isn’t posting about. Extremely helpful article.

  • I didn’t even think that do follow links would be in my blog comments, but now that you’ve mentioned it, it makes sense (I’ve made my link below no follow). These are great tips, Cristina! I’ve actually learnt a lot from this post – pinning it for future reference for sure! :)

    Christie’s Take on Life. xx

    • I’m happy that you’ve learnt something new, Christie! Hope these tips will come in hand for you and your blog.

  • Great tips! I didn’t realize that’s why Jetpack is SO off. I must visit my site all the darn time then! :-D

  • THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR SHARING. I have to re-read this again. It was really helpful.

  • TE Nusser

    This was an excellent article! I will be implementing some of these tips starting today!

  • TE Nusser

    This was an excellent article! I will be implementing a couple of these tips. Thanks!

  • Tanya Bricking Leach

    Thank you for explaining things in a way that I can understand!

    • Really happy you liked it and found it useful, Tanya!

  • Great advice! I agree with consistency! There are a few blogs I look up regularly when I know there is going to be a new post up.

  • Taylor Smith

    This was such an awesome and informative post! No-follow is SO important.

  • You’re so right! It took a while of blogging before I heard any of these tips! Good advice!

  • Allison Ellzey

    I’ve done a little bit of research on Search Console, but I really need to start implementing it and using it for my blog! Love these hacks!

  • Momma

    I’m going to have to re-read your post, you made so many good points I need to follow up on.

    • Feel free to re-read it every single time you need. I’m glad you find it useful.

  • Kristen Jones

    Love these hacks! Honestly, I had no idea about no-follow links until about 6 months ago and I had to go back and fix a ton on my blog–I’m sure others have had to do the same!

    • Yep, “others” including myself too. :)

  • WHattttttttt ok im shocked by some of these! Need to make some changes now!!!!! But how can you change the links in your comments?

    • On Disqus, you can edit your comments and add the rel=”nofollow” tag. Usually, the commenting systems that come with the blog’s theme make the links nofollow by default. You can’t add a nofollow tag on a basic commenting system (the ones with name/e-mail/website/comment fields – those should be nofollow by default as I said earlier).

  • I’ve been thinking about investing in Lightroom, and your point about compressing images using it makes it even more appealing!

    • Photoshop Lightroom is quite expensive. I wouldn’t recommend buying it just for image compressing – there are other cheaper softwares that can do that. But if you take and edit photos regularly, totally buy it.

  • SO many good hacks and tips! I’m terrible with the back end of blogging (code/seo/html) so it’s always helpful to find easy tricks.

    • I agree it can get tricky, but once you hang of it you’ll love it. You juts need to be persistent to learn more it. Trust me, I broke my blog’s theme while I was playing around with HTML and after I’ve read and asked others about it, now I can edit my theme almost by myself.

  • Really awesome tips Cristina!! I recently filtered out my IP to help avoid having my checks and peeks on my site count into my numbers. There are definitely things that sometimes you only learn as you go but this list will definitely help with that!

  • These are excellent tips, and you’re right – I haven’t seen these particular tips shared very often! Your term ‘self-traffic’ makes sense and I’m going to check my own blogs to make sure my own visits aren’t falsely inflating my views! Thanks for sharing these.

  • Kelsie Kleinmeyer

    I’ve never thought about the no-follow links from a “spammy” point of view. It makes so much sense!!

  • Amanda K

    This post was so informational! I just found out about the nofollow links and got that fixed. I also didn’t know if could exclude self traffic, so I will be fixing that tomorrow.

    xx,
    Amanda || http://www.fortheloveofglitter.com

  • Abbey Phipps

    This is amazing info! I need to start using Search Console ASAP!

  • Tatyanna Picou-Baptiste

    Thanks for this! I’m going to have to bookmark this for later. I’ve been blogging for over a year and my traffic is still dragging. I’m going to make sure to implement a few of these.

    xx Tatyanna

  • Tara

    these are so super helpful – definitely things i either didn’t know or had to learn on my own!

  • Owen J. Shedrack

    Nice tips. You really need to be smart when blogging. I like the command thing. Being a programmer makes me obsess with lines and commands. Lol

    Cheers

  • Nita Ho

    great tip on the nofollow! I never knew you can change this ourselves! Going to go through all my comments!

  • Kari Carter

    I do most of these but what surprised me the most is how many times my cats walk across the computer and open the inspect element. Great tips!

    • Haha, maybe your cats are little web developers and you didn’t know, Kari!

  • SO smart on all of the above – seriously impressed! Links in comments are usually just so spammy – it’s CRUCIAL to know the no-follow rule!!

  • Lindsey Ann

    These are such great tips… saving to finish reading later!!

  • Kaitlyn Fickle Killebrew

    Wow I’m so glad I came across this! I learned so much from this and need to make some changes!

  • Hemant Pandey

    I always have less views on jetpack than in Google. I guess Google counts self views and not vice versa.

    • Google counts if there aren’t filters applied. You don’t have that option with Jetpack. Overall Jetpack is very limited compared to GA.

  • Haneef

    Thanks a bunch for the tips! I’ll be implementing some of these immediately!

  • Hello Cristina,

    I’m going to have to make my links no follow in my comments. I use Disqus too. Thanks for sharing this with us!

  • Taylor Reese

    AMAZING tricks!! I’ve been trying to up my SEO and can’t wait to try some of your tricks.
    xo
    Taylor
    Reese’s Hardwear

  • Christia Colquitt

    Love these tips. Google analytics is a difficult one for me so I am glad to learn this trick!

  • Britt+Whit

    love all these tips! I am gonna check the Search Console to get more info!

    Britt+Whit

  • Jessica Lancia

    Loved this! Thank you so much for sharing, didn’t know about self-traffic :D

    Jessica | http://www.traveltobealive.com

  • I have seen most but not all of these, I will check out Lightroom.

  • Sheila Price

    These are great tips! You are right…I’ve never heard these before!

  • Marian

    These are actually really helpful tips. I’m getting console now!

  • These are awesome! Thanks for sharing! I had the same issue with photo compression for my blog. Good to know!

    Jessica | thevanillamuse.com

  • I’m glad that I don’t use Jetpack analytics ;) This was very educational for me. I didn’t have a clue of some stuff that you have mentioned.