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 that kind 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.
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:
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 hart
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.
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.
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 to see more in-depth articles on this topic.
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