When people decide to start a blog, most don’t realise what hard work it is. It requires a lot of attention, and there are a whole host of elements behind the scenes that you need to focus on to make it a success. Besides writing posts, you need to factor in time to research your posts, upload and optimise them for SEO, and create a newsletter and post on social media. These can all take a lot of time out of your schedule and leave you feeling overwhelmed. If you are looking to take your blog to the next level and want to run your WordPress blog more effectively, below, we have put together some top tips to help you do this.
Do an SEO audit
To run your site more effectively, you need to be on top of your search engine optimisation game. At the end of the day, your site must be fully optimised for SEO in order to rank. Don’t underestimate just how important this is for getting viewers to your website and bringing in future business. There are many sites out there that you can use to measure how your site is ranking, from Neil Patel’s Analysis tool, to Moz’s domain checker and ahrefs.
You can also use Yoast (there is both a premium and a paid version) to see how your articles rank SEO wise. They should all have the correct information such as metadata and keyword targeting, with unique information on each page. It is worth investing in the paid version if you are after a more in-depth look at your blog’s on-page SEO. Once you have got in the habit of doing this with every article, your blog will run a lot more effectively.
Schedule posts ahead of time
If you find that you are constantly writing a post and then updating it on the day, it is not very productive for your working day. It can be very draining and cause you to have to take time out of every day to do so. This is fine on some days, but others you might have back to back meetings or other more demanding tasks and not have time to do this. Or you might have a week’s vacation and have to spend time every day writing articles. Instead of this, save yourself time and run your blog much better by scheduling your posts ahead of time.
It is much easier this way and means you can write your posts in bulk ahead of time. If you have a day that is quite slow, why not write a fair amount of posts, then you know you are covered for the month? Once you write them, lay them out on your WordPress site with their SEO and images etc. completed and think about the time you want them to be published. When the day comes around, they will publish automatically.
Look into getting an accounts software
If you do your accounts yourself, then it is important to have a good system. If you do it all manually and track it in a notebook or an excel spreadsheet you could find that you are missing out on payments and waste a lot of time trying to get everything together, find out who has paid and who hasn’t, and chase payments. Instead, look into an accounts software such as Quickbooks or Xero which can greatly help you out.
A good accounts software can aid you with being able to produce accurate accounts once the end of the tax year rolls around, as well as help you day to day. It can notify you when certain payments are due to come out of your accounts, when clients have paid, and when invoices are late. It can also give you invoice templates and work out pay for your employees. It is a great way to streamline your process and make it much easier to see where you stand each month.
Get a social media plan
The same way as you could plan your blog ahead of time, it is a good idea to plan your social media ahead of time too. Social media is integral for any company in this day and age. Not only does it add credibility and a face to your brand, but it is also a great way to find new customers and readers and spread the word about what you offer.
There are many tools out there that allow you to schedule social media posts, such as Hootsuite. It is a good idea to schedule out posts for each blog post, but be sure to write different posts for different social media channels. For Twitter, you want it to be short and snappy and shareable, for Facebook a bit more informative, and for Instagram, you want it to be very visual. You want to make beautiful, eye-catching graphics that people will want to see and like.
Plan topics to write about that will rank
When writing your blog posts, you don’t want them to just be about anything you fancy. Instead, you want to take the time to plan and research and find topics that are likely to rank on search engines and that people want to read and learn about. There is no point writing information that nobody is interested in. Use websites such as Moz rank to find out what people are searching for and interested in, or other keyword tracker tools that can give you valuable insight into what will do well.
Think ahead of seasonality – plan gift guide posts for November, Valentine’s content for January, Easter content for March (and so on.) It is a good idea to create a calendar where you mark down all the events of the year, particularly the ones that are relevant for your industry. If you are a fashion blog, for example, you are going to want to mark days such as fashion week and black Friday. By being organised ahead of time, you can put out high-quality content that has a better chance of succeeding.
Create high-quality content
Nobody wants to read a blog that is written poorly, has no structure and is either too long or too short. Google is likely to rank your site better if you have content that people are going to click on and actually read and enjoy, rather than click on to and exit right away. Plan your posts well, with an introduction, headers and a well thought out conclusion and be sure to add in links to other credible sources too. There are tools you can use, such as Grammarly which is a useful extension for your browser. Grammarly will check through your work for any spelling and grammar issues and tell you where it can be improved, or if there are any errors.
Get a spam checker for your comments
If you have a blog, you are likely going to get comments on it. Unfortunately, this can also attract bots who leave spam comments on your site. To avoid these being published and potentially harming your site’s look and reputation, get a plugin such as Akismet which will filter through spam comments and make it, so you have to approve anything before it shows up on your blog. Too many spam comments can also make your site run slowly, affecting your Google ranking and putting people off from waiting for your site to load.
Monetise it sensibly
When your blog is getting a fair amount of views, you will want to look into how to monetise it. Monetising your blog is relatively easy, thanks to the number of WordPress plugins out there to help you do this. There are a few ways to monetise your blog, and the most popular ones include affiliate links and through pop-up ads. For ads, it is recommended you use a service such as Google ads which can make adverts show up in recommended spaces automatically. For affiliate links, you can use a service such as Skimlinks or affiliate window both of which can generate links so that when people click on them, you get a percentage of money from the company for any sales made.
These are just a few ways to run your WordPress blog more effectively. Having a WordPress blog is a fantastic thing to do and a great way to have a business or run alongside your business. It is important that if you have one that you follow the above to get the most success out of it. Be sure to check out some of the plugins for WordPress which can help you with aspects such as monetisation, SEO and filtering spam. What are some of the top tips you will use for running your WordPress blog more effectively? Let us know if you have any feedback, comments and questions in the box below!