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5 Reasons You Need to Hire a Professional Website Designer for Your Blog

5 Reasons You Need to Hire a Professional Website Designer


5 Reasons You Need to Hire a Professional Website Designer for Your Blog

Having a basic Squarespace site for your blog is a good start, but it isn’t enough to help you fund your dreams.

Take Ariana Huffington’s word for it. The Huffington Post started out as a simple blog but is now worth around $1 billion.

If you’re ready to step up your blog game, you’ll need a bit of professional assistance. Here are five reasons why you should hire a website designer for your blog.

1. Hiring a Website Designer Gives You More Time to Blog

There aren’t enough hours in the day as it is. Between writing, editing, publishing, and mingling with your audience, there’s hardly a free moment.

Fortunately, pro web designers can alleviate some of the burdens.

By allowing them to work their magic, you’ll have more time to do what you do best — blog.

While they won’t be able to help you develop a website from scratch — website designers and website developers are two very different positions, which you can compare here — you’ll still save time.

Instead of spending hours learning CSS and hoping your newfound skills serve you well, use that time to come up with more content. In the long run, you may even save money this way.

2. A Professional-Looking Blog Brings in Revenue

According to Statista, there are over 4 million blogs on Tumblr alone!

Since that number doesn’t factor in blogs from professional and personal websites, you can rest assured that the actual number of blogs online at this moment is far higher.

Because of the competition, it’s vital for bloggers to gain their readers’ trust. Not only will this trust result in more readers, but it may help you make more money.
A quality blog with a proven readership is far more likely to attract advertisers.

3. Your Blog Will Load Faster

Few things are as frustrating as waiting for a website to load. Even a few seconds can seem like an eternity to most web users.

Web designers can help you optimize your images and tailor your URLs so that your readers can access your great content in a flash.

4. No Need to Worry About Sitewide SEO Compliance

Not only will the help of web designers speed your site up, but a redesign may result in better search rankings.

Website designers can help you improve your on-site SEO in a variety of ways, including adding markup structures that are web crawler friendly and creating sitemaps.

5. Website Designers Can Help Reinforce Your Brand

You may think of yourself as a blogger or content creator, but you’re also a brand. Everything you put on your blog reinforces or detracts from that brand.

Web designers can help your blog better represent the ideals and beliefs you’d like to portray through the use of color, fonts, and more.

Revamp Your Blog With Professional Assistance

Partnering with a website designer is a fantastic idea for bloggers of any scale.

Whether you’re a small blogger hoping to grow or an established blogger hoping to make it even bigger, a web designer can help you get where you want to be.

Now all that’s left is to create great content! Check out our article on writing SEO-friendly posts to learn more.

Technology

Instagram Influencer Training: How to Make Money with Your Fashion Blog on Instagram

Instagram Influencer Training: How to Make Money with Your Fashion


Instagram Influencer Training: How to Make Money with Your Fashion Blog on Instagram

Do you dream of a career that gives you the freedom that you desire and the income you need to support your lifestyle?

The earning power of someone with 100,000 followers can be upwards of $5,000 per post.

That considered, it can be difficult to build your way up to that many followers, especially in the competitive fashion blogger space.

However, it is still possible to create a successful fashion platform on Instagram for budding influencers with the right mindset and strategy.

It is important to note that becoming a popular Instagram influencer will take time and commitment, but over time you should be able to get generate enough income to consider doing it full-time.

Moreover, creating content and posts for Instagram doesn’t have to be draining or overly time-consuming with modern internet tools available.

Read on to learn how to begin building your Instagram platform and fashion blog, and make money while living your best life.

How to Become an Instagram Influencer in Fashion

It is a common misconception that influencers don’t have to work hard at their job.

But, in reality, they do work hard, only in a different way than most other careers.

A key difference in the type of work that influencers do is that the majority of people will not understand what goes into it. They also have more freedom in what, when, and how they work if it is their full-time gig.

Here are a few tips to consider as you start a fashion blog and Instagram page for your lifestyle.

Find the Right Niche

Even within the fashion niche, it is important to get as narrow as you can at first. This is because you need to different than what is already out there if you want to get followers.

Try to think about other passions and interests you may have, and how these could be used to narrow down your area of expertise.

The most dedicated audience tends to be one that relates to you in more way than just one.

So, if you love fashion and sustainability, try to focus on both on your platform. If you love talking about new trends and brands, post about recent changes in fashion, like men’s clothing directions beginning after February 2019.

Do the Research

Never skimp on research when it comes down to what you should be posting, how often, and the tools you can use.

The world of blogging, on Instagram and otherwise, is constantly changing and becoming more competitive, so it is important to keep up.

Treat it Like a Business

A platform on social media that is generating part or all of your income is a business. Show it the discipline, work, and dedication you would with any other business you could start.

Curate Instagram Content

It is vital that you hand select content based on your audience. No matter how much you love an item or product, try to think about the end user above all else, in addition to the general ascetic on your page.

Consider Using Influencer Marketing Platforms

If you struggle to find partnership at first, think about joining online platforms dedicated to helping influencers connect with brands, especially when you just starting out.

Use Instagram to Advertise Blog Content

A website with written content is the perfect pair for an Instagram page full of visually pleasing content.

The best way to utilize both is to post relevant content to both and to use social media to generate more traffic to your website, where you could monetize from affiliate marketing, ads, and products.

Become Insta-Famous in Fashion

Joining the ranks as an Instagram influencer doesn’t have to be a grueling experience.

If you are passionate about what you are posting and writing about, and you maintain an authentic approach, the people will come.

It is also a great idea to always do the research, work hard, and use tools to your benefit as you continue the blogging journey.

For more information about becoming a fashion blogger, check out our recent article on how to succeed as a blogger in this niche.

Technology

Event Blogging for Dummies: How to Start an Event Blog

Event Blogging for Dummies: How to Start an Event Blog


Event Blogging for Dummies: How to Start an Event Blog

Billions and billions of people use the internet each day. They use it to connect with others, shop for goods, and obtain knowledge and information. 

That’s an incredible audience that you could be tapping into. If you’ve yet to get into blogging, you’re missing out on one of the biggest money-making platforms of recent years. Blogs are an amazing way to generate traffic and build an audience. 

That’s why event-based blogging has become so popular. If you plan and host events, a blog can be the easiest way to market them and expand your event’s reach.

If you’re new to blogging, this all might sound a little out there. But don’t worry. Read on, and we’ll walk you through a blogging for dummies guide to event blogging. 

The Blogging Basics

So you’ve decided to start a blog. Who can blame you? It’s an easy and ingenious way to spread information and make money. But how do you get started? 

Making a blog doesn’t have to be difficult. You can be up and running within half an hour. You just need to follow a few simple steps.

The first and most essential being: choose a blogging platform.

There are a number of blogging platforms available to you online. You can use whichever catches your fancy. But there’s one that is clear king among them, and that is WordPress. 

WordPress hosts nearly half of all blogs on the internet. As such, it has an incredible amount of plug-ins and customization options. WordPress is the recommended go to for new bloggers because it’s free, easy to set up, and even easier to make your own. 

If you don’t go with WordPress, other sites like Tumblr and Blogger are also very popular. 

All of these blogging platforms offer free-of-charge blogs to anyone and everyone. But you’ll need to make a decision whether you want to be associated with them or branch out and pay for your own domain name.

If you’re hoping to have a blog that feels professional, you’ll probably want to host it yourself and take the “.wordpress.com” out of your URL. Inevitably, it lends an amateurish air to the proceedings. 

If this is your first time launching an event blog, it’s advisable you create your site about two months before the date of your event. This will give you time to build an audience.

Designing Your Event Blog

Once you’re up and running on the logistical side of things, it’ll be time to turn your blog into a place that people would want to visit. 

Most blogging platforms have a huge number of templates available for you to get started with. Time to get creative.

Take a look at the event you’re hosting. Is it a New Year’s bash? A valentine’s fundraiser? 

Whatever the case may be, you need to design your blog’s appearance so it falls in line with the vibe of your event.

If you’ve already started designing things for the event itself, feel free to incorporate these ideas directly into the site. Color schemes, graphics, event signage ideas…anything you have already made is fair game. 

Keep navigation simple as possible. No one likes getting lost on an overcrowded or overstuffed site. 

Keyword Research

Proper keyword use across your blog and posts will help lead web browsers to your site, and therefore, your event. So before you actually start writing posts, it’s time to do a little research. What keywords would direct the most traffic your way? 

This may sound difficult to figure out, but luckily Google has created a keyword tool that can help you get to the bottom of things. Simply, input different words and phrases related to your event and Google will kick back the most SEO-friendly keywords at you. 

You want to choose keywords with the highest search rate possible so that more people have a chance of stumbling upon your site.

The best keywords are usually specific as opposed to broad. Specific keywords help to avoid getting buried under the other sites on the web. They can connect you more directly with an interested audience. 

Implementing Keywords 

Once you’ve chosen the perfect set of keywords, it’s finally time to get blogging. You have a limited time to gain an audience before your event arrives, so you’ll need to be posting quite a bit. And you need to make sure these posts are properly optimized for search engines. 

If you write short blog posts, aim to do at least fifty, if not more. If you write longer blog posts, somewhere in the twenty to thirty range should do. 

When writing your blog posts, make sure to use your keywords in the blog titles and headers. Include them in your page meta descriptions and in captions for any photographs. 

Don’t get too precious about your blog content. You’re going to need to churn out a lot of posts in a little amount of time. So you need to be fast, efficient, and not get lost in the details. 

Spreading the Word 

Once your blog is up and running, it’s up to you to get the word out about it. There are many ways to do this. 

Start by making social media accounts to tie in with your blog. Share your posts and update these accounts frequently. Use the appropriate hashtags and tags that can help these posts reach new audiences. Follow other accounts that may have similar audiences. 

Then, work on creating backlinks to your own site. Backlinks are links that direct to your blog from other websites. They help to increase Google’s ranking of your site and serve to draw new traffic in. 

To help create backlinks, search your keywords and find other blogs of a similar nature to yours. Comment and interact with these blogs and link to yourself if you can. You can also submit your site to various blogging directories to help create more backlink sources. 

Event Blogging for Dummies 

With your blog up and running and backlink clicks rolling in, you are well on your way to event success. The above blogging for dummies guide can help even the most novice of bloggers get started online in no time. 

Need more help promoting your online content? Check out our blog for more. 

Technology

A Guide for Blog Owners

A Guide for Blog Owners


How to Make WordPress Mobile Friendly: A Guide for Blog Owners

In this day and age, it’s vital that you make your WordPress mobile friendly. In 2016, for the first time, surfing the web using mobile devices surpassed desktops. Mobile traffic now makes up a whopping 51.3 percent of all Internet traffic.

That’s huge.

If you haven’t done that already, take a look at your website and ensure it’s mobile-friendly; otherwise, you’ll lose out on thousands of potential customers.

In light of this, we’ve got some handy tips for you. Let’s dive in!

1. Download a Mobile-Friendly Theme

Nowadays, most WordPress themes are mobile-friendly. These kinds of designs are known as ‘responsive.’ Put simply, they adjust whatever size screen is being used.

If you fall into that unfortunate category of people who don’t have a mobile-friendly theme, there are a few things you can do:

Make sure your theme is up to date. There’s a good chance the latest version of your theme is responsive, so be sure to download the newest version.

Install a plugin that will help you craft a mobile version of your site, such as WP Mobile Edition or JetPack.

However, the latter option can be time-consuming and limit your ability to customize your site. In light of this, it’s probably better just to bite the bullet and choose a new design.

Your Plugins Also Need to Be Responsive

You’d be shocked at how many people neglect this aspect.

For mobile users to have a good experience on your site, you need plugins that boast a responsive design.

Whenever you download a new plugin, whether it’s a contact form or a testimonials widget, you’ll need to make sure it looks great on both desktop and mobile devices.

2. Make Your Site Run Faster on Mobile

People expect your site to load quickly, especially on mobile. So, give your consumers what they want! This improves the overall user experience and boosts your SEO efforts too; it’s a win-win.

About 53 percent of mobile users leave a site if it doesn’t load within three seconds. This number speaks for itself. If conversions matter to you, make sure your website loads quickly.

Firstly, head over to Google PageSpeed Insights and plug in your URL. This gives you a full rundown of how Google rates your page speed (for both desktop and mobile).

Once you’ve figured out why your pages are slow, you can start improving things. For more information on your load time, you can also use tools like Pingdom and GTmetrix. These resources will certainly steer you in the right direction.

In addition to all the above, we thoroughly recommend checking out Google’s Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP). This is a unique HTML markup you can add to your coding to ensure your pages load faster on Google.

To make the most out of AMP on your WordPress site, install the plugin and follow the instructions. It really is as simple as that!

3. Things to Avoid

If you’re keen to boost your site’s mobile-friendliness, there are a few things you need to avoid:

Edit any multimedia elements that don’t work on mobiles.

Whether you’re using videos, GIFs, or audio files, make sure they play correctly for both mobile and desktop users. Otherwise, people can’t fully utilize your site on their mobile devices.

Refrain from using small fonts. Scour through your web pages to ensure your font is at least a 16-point or higher. Google isn’t a fan of tiny fonts for smartphones and tablets.

For more information on things to steer clear of, search for professional mobile marketing services. An experienced company will tell you everything you need to know.

5. Take the Mobile-Friendly Test

You’ll never be sure whether your WordPress site is truly mobile-friendly unless you use Google’s mobile friendliness tool.

Just plug in your URL, and it will tell you what you need to improve. Once you know the issues, you can rectify them.

You can also utilize Google Search Console; there’s a section labeled ‘Mobile Usability’ (located beneath Search Traffic). This gives you further advice on how to optimize your site for mobile-friendliness.

6. Avoid Popups That Cover the Entire Screen

Popups that dominate the whole screen are never a good idea. Even desktop users find them annoying. However, they’re a nightmare for people trying to access your site on mobile devices.

Usually, touch control makes it super hard to get rid of them. This inconvenience can often cause people to leave your site before they’ve had a chance to digest any of your valuable content.

Not cool.

7. Ramp Things Up a Notch

If you want to take mobile-friendliness to the next level, transform your WordPress site into a mobile app.

You can opt for either a progressive or native app. A progressive app is still a site. However, it will function more like an app designed with mobile users in mind.

A native app, on the other hand, requires users to download your app on their smartphones.

If you fancy the idea of a progressive app, download the WordPress Mobile Pack plugin, and you’ll have things live within minutes!

Did You Find This Advice on How to Make WordPress Mobile Friendly Useful?

If you enjoyed these tips on how to make WordPress mobile friendly, we’re confident you’ll love the other posts on our digital marketing blog.

Over there we talk about everything from PPC strategies to branding hacks. Enjoy!

For more information on inbound marketing, claim your free Article City account. This is a terrific resource for anyone who wants to improve their current strategies!

Technology

Want to Start a Sunglasses Blog? Model It After the 10 Best Here

Want to Start a Sunglasses Blog? Model It After the


Want to Start a Sunglasses Blog? Model It After the 10 Best Here

What does it take to start a successful sunglasses blog?

That’s what many beginning bloggers ask themselves. Starting a blog is easy. That’s why there are millions of them. Yet, only a small percentage are successful in getting traffic and monetizing the blog.

If you have dreams of starting a blog about sunglasses that is profitable, you should look to other successful blogs for inspiration.

That’s why we compiled this list of the top 10 sunglasses sites to give you the inspiration you need to start your own blog.

Read on to find out what they are and how you can get your own successful blog started.

The Top Sunglasses Blogs for Inspiration

The top blogs for eyewear and sunglasses all have a few things in common. They know their audience, and they provide useful content.

Check out these top blogs for eyewear that will give you plenty of ideas for your own blog.

1. Girls with Glasses

This is the blog that makes wearing glasses fun. It’s full of fashion and real portraits of girls with glasses.

This blog is also a great example of how a blog can be used for influencer marketing. It ties in very well with social media accounts to build up the audience that drives traffic to the blog.

2. In Vision Mag

If you plan to use your blog as a point of industry news, you’ll have to check out this blog for inspiration. The design of the blog is simple, and the content addresses various aspects of the optometry industry. You’ll find information about eyewear trends, hiring, and the latest scientific studies about eye health.

3. Got Shades

If you want to show people how sunglasses can be used as the most stylish accessory, this is your blog. Got Shades has articles on how to pair sunglasses with fall outfits or office attire. This is another good example of providing useful content for a particular audience.

4. PopSugar Fashion

PopSugar’s Fashion blog has a subtopic just for sunglasses. If you care about what sunglasses celebrities are wearing, this is the blog to read. You can learn all about the best celebrity sunglasses and how to find them.

5. Optical Vision

The Optical Vision site is the site to visit for anything industry related targeted towards retailers, optometrists, and any staff members.

This is a treasure trove of information to learn how to market your eyecare business, train and manage staff, and how to attend educational seminars.

The design on this site is nothing special, as it looks like most other eyewear blogs. The content is what’s valuable and sets it apart.

6. Shades Daddy

Admit it, you want to know what sunglasses Snooki was wearing at the Jersey Shore reunion photo shoot. If you’ve seen a pair of cool sunglasses on TV and want to know what they were, Shades Daddy is your resource.

It’s a creative niche because odds are, most people have seen sunglasses and wondered what type they were.

7. Optical Vision Resources

Do you want to know more about the design and style of sunglasses? Optical Vision Resources is the site for you. This site examines different brand partnerships and how design is influenced.

You’ll find a lot of information on vision care, and eyewear for every occasion.

8. Ray Ban’s Tumblr

Some brands do well to capture the essence of their product and brand in their blog. Ray-Ban is an interesting brand, as it’s known for it’s timeless style (think Wayfarers).

Yet, the company is trying to stay relevant by reaching a younger audience on Tumblr. That’s great, but do people use Tumblr anymore?

The lesson for you: if you’re going to try to be a trendy blog, you have to stay ahead and be willing to be flexible.

9. My Glasses and Me

My Glasses and Me (MGAM) is based in the UK and started as a blog by one person who wanted to share their thoughts on wearing glasses. She added her sense of fashion, and now, the popular blog has become a huge influencer in Europe.

Brands reach out to her now for product reviews, sponsored posts, and guest posts on other blogs/brand websites.

10. Revo

Revo is another brand blog that shows sunglasses in action. It’s mostly a blog that shows different partnerships and athletes in action.

Lessons to Take as You Start Your Own Blog

Once you’ve had a chance to take a look at the top blogs, there are a number of valuable lessons you can take from them.

Blog Goals

Before you start writing your sunglasses blog, you have to know what you want to do with it. Do you want to monetize it? Do you want to be an influencer? Do you just want an outlet to share your thoughts about sunglasses?

You want to have absolute clarity as to why you’re writing your blog. You can also set goals for traffic, how long people stay on your site, and what percentage of visitors sign up to your email list.

Know Your Audience

In order to have a successful blog, you have to know what your audience is looking for. Are they looking for things like fashion trends, what celebrities are wearing, or industry news?

The more you know what your audience cares about, the easier it is to write quality content that they will love.

Design Matters

If you take the time to look at all of the sites on this list, you’ll notice something. They all kind of look the same. It could be that they use the same WordPress theme.

Ideally, you want your design to be clean, easy to navigate, and different from your competitors.

You also want your site to be fast since that’s what users want and it helps your site’s SEO.

Take a look at LensPure. It’s a great example of a well-designed website that’s fast and easy to use.

Starting Your Sunglasses Blog

You can learn a lot from other blogs in your industry. Looking at other sunglasses blogs can give you ideas about popular content as well as ways to differentiate yourself from other blogs.

Are you ready to start your sunglasses blog? Take a look at these articles about digital marketing to help you drive traffic to your site.

Business

How to Measure the Success of Your Blog Strategy

How to Measure the Success of Your Blog Strategy


How to Measure the Success of Your Blog Strategy

These days it seems the only marketing advice anyone gets is ‘start a blog!’

And yes, we agree content marketing is effective. But deciding to have a blog for your business is only the first step.

To be truly successful with your content, you need to measure results. Measuring tells you when your strategy is spot-on. It lets you know when it’s time to find a new one.

If you want effective content, learn how to measure blog strategy in our guide below!

Is Content Marketing Still a Thing?

All your marketing friends have been hailing content as king for a while now.

And yes, content is still a big deal. Almost 70% of people would rather hear about your business from an article than an ad.

If you’re selling a service, a product, or even an information campaign, content is still the best way to connect with your consumer. Connecting with your consumer is still the best way to sell to them. So, if you want sales; you’ll need a blog strategy.

Perhaps you’re a marketing manager wanting to modernize. You might be part of a one or two-person operation, who needs to be on top of everything from accounts and logistics to marketing.

Whatever the case, we’ve got your content marketing strategy covered. Read on to learn just what you’ll need to do to ensure success.

Plan for Success

A prize-winning cake only comes from a tried-and-tested recipe, and a successful shopping trip relies on a grocery list.

Similarly, if you want success in your marketing efforts, you’ll need to plan ahead.

There are three basic elements here:

  1. Marketing Strategy – to plan your overall sales goals, with your target customer(s) in mind
  2. Content Strategy – mapping what information your target customer(s) want, need and actively seek out
  3. Content Plan – almost like a to-do list, listing topic ideas, style notes, and specifying which employee or team is responsible for what, with dates for submission, editing, publication, promotion and results analysis

Of the three elements, you should focus most of your attention on the Content Plan.

A successful blog strategy relies on getting content out there and adjusting the program according to results. That’s why our advice is to get your first iteration of topics to the market quickly, so you can measure results and improve future content more quickly.

But before you jump to writing, make sure you pass through the marketing and content strategies.

Blog Strategy 101

Blogs have come a long way since the 1990s. Then, they were often online journals or travelogues.

Today’s blogs are closer to newspaper opinion pieces or magazine content.

Word-of-mouth has always been one of the most reliable lead generators for businesses. That’s because people like to buy from those they trust.

Content marketing relies on the same psychology. By giving you helpful information on subjects of interest, the company becomes a ‘trusted advisor’, and the customer feels more comfortable loosening those purse strings.

The other important factor to creating valuable content is that it increases your ranking on search engines. The more effective content on the subject you have, the more likely customers are to see your website when they type a question about that product on Google.

Platform Makes Perfect

There are many types of blogs, each with their own individual flavor. They all serve a different purpose. Your strategy will need to consider what is the most effective for your brand and desired outcome.

Fashion pages or interior design business find great success with visual platforms like Instagram and Pinterest. An effective cross-marketing strategy links winning visuals with interesting, value-add content.

If you are promoting a management consultancy or legal advice, then engaging and informative content that answers questions, or solves problems, for your audience is a smart way to go.

Increasingly, businesses include video-logs embedded in their written content as a way to boost SEO. It adds a personal connection for consumers. A video can help people connect with you and your brand.

Some time-poor businesses take the route of buying Content Marketing Packages to make the job easier. There’s really no one right way to go.

What’s the Point?

You know your target customer(s) and you know what sort of questions they want you to answer. Great! Your content will practically write itself.

But wait – you need to decide what the point of it is first!

Do you want readers to buy, or sign up for a newsletter, sign a petition, or repost a sales promotion on their social media?

Knowing what the desired end-point of your content marketing strategy is, is the key to success.

You need to know the destination if you’re gonna get there, right?!

Most blog strategies have more than one goal, in fact. Your primary goal could be to sell, by becoming a trusted advisor. The secondary goal might be to improve SEO, get more traffic to your website, or boost the number of email addresses on your contact list.

Be Data Driven

There is any number of tools online that can help you measure the success (or not) of your content campaign. Use them. We’ll look at some ideas below.

The internet gives us the sort of sales data marketers could only dream of thirty years ago! It can tell you the demographic breakdown of who visits your site, who buys things, how long people spend on each page before they buy, and so on.

Using that data wisely means calibrating your marketing efforts into a lean, agile machine. No energy wasted. Imagine that!

Metrics Matter

You want to be data-driven to be agile. That means checking metrics and analyzing Return on Investment (ROI). But what metrics should you track?

There is so much data available that it can be overwhelming. Tracking all of it is an excellent way to fall into a rabbit hole.

Here’s a quick break-down of the-what-and-the-why of some key marketing metrics you might want to analyze for ads you embed in your content.

We strongly encourage you to have your marketing and content strategy in mind when you select the metrics you will track, be they:

  1. Ad Click Through – the rate at which those that saw your ad clicked on it
  2. Ad Conversion – the rate those that saw the ad bought r signed-up
  3. Engagement Rate – the rate those that saw your post/ad reacted or shared it on their own social media
  4. Measure Success

Once you have measured content-specific metrics, such as page views or page shares, it’s time to analyze ROI.

How much has it cost you to maintain the website, and get your content written, edited, published and promoted? How much of this has resulted in sales for the business?

From these figures, you can crunch some ROI figures for your business. Some good ones to use are cost-per-visit, cost-per-click, and cost-per-lead.

Work out which ones are the best for your particular blog strategy, and track all your content with the same metrics. That way, you can compare apples with apples, as they say.

Consider the conversion rates, gross profit per month, average qualified leads per month, and the average number of new customers per month.

Record them and analyze them against results from your content to see what sorts of content get you the best sales results.

Tools You Can Use

There is any number of free tools available online which will track the results of your content. One of the most popular is Google Analytics.

Google Analytics can show month-by-month data on conversion rates, demographics, and almost any other metric you’d want to consider.

Other free online tools can help you to publish your posts across platforms. You can even schedule these in advance. That way, on Marketing Monday you plan out the full week’s marketing drip-feed. This frees you to focus on other aspects of the business the rest of the week.

Analyze and Re-strategize

A pitfall for many businesses is that they collect so much data, they get overwhelmed and do nothing with it.

This is known as paralysis by analysis.

You can avoid it by sticking only to the data that is relevant to your strategy. Then, strategize your analysis. What do we mean by that?

You should build marketing analysis points into your content plan. Each month you write and publish content. Then, on a set date each month you measure the results and use them to re-calibrate your strategy.

Maybe your content is attracting lots of people to your website, but they’re not staying long, and they’re not buying anything. This might suggest you’re attracting the wrong people, and need to change the tone or subject of your content.

Perhaps you’re putting in back-links to competitors, inadvertently sending your customers to buy elsewhere.

As you can see, this whole blogging concept takes a bit of experimenting. It’s often best to work as part of a team so you can throw fresh ideas around in those early, at times frustrating, days while you’re figuring it all out.

Hang in There!

We promise that it will be frustrating at first. But like any other business success, it comes with trial-and-error. Stick with it.

Get some diverse, quality content out there, measure results, and see what it’s telling you.

What do your top performing blogs have in common? Is it the same author, subject, or tone? Are the calls to action at the end of these pieces similar, or somehow more effective?

Prioritize Your Efforts

You’ve written content, got it published, measured and analyzed the results.

Now you know what content performs the best for your brand, your market, your area.

So, rinse and repeat!

Keep writing winning content. Keep measuring results. If the metrics tell you it is getting less effective over time, then – and only then – do you change.

That’s what we mean by being data-driven to save wasting energy.

Content Is King; Be King of Content!

If you follow our guide to strategize and plan your marketing and content, you can have success.

But to truly be a king or queen of content, you need to measure blog success. That’s the only way to achieve a water-tight, idiot-proof, Teflon-coated content marketing campaign.

It’s time to get the team together and get that blog strategy in place.

Want more expert business advice? Visit our marketing blog!

Technology

How to Grow Your Blog in 5 Simple Steps

How to Grow Your Blog in 5 Simple Steps


How to Grow Your Blog in 5 Simple Steps

You’ve come up with the perfect subject for your blog, you’ve taken a few beautiful photographs, and you’ve even brainstormed your overall site design.

But after you write and publish your first post, you realize that no one is reading it. Your blog traffic is consistent — but it’s consistently at zero.

You need to learn how to grow your blog — before you give up on it altogether.

Keep on reading this post to find out how to make it happen in as few as five simple steps.

1. Conduct Keyword Research

The first step in learning how to increase traffic to your blog?

Make sure that you’re taking the time to conduct thorough and relevant keyword research.

You can use tools like this one to help you to figure out exactly what people are typing into search engines in order to connect with the products and services you offer. You’ll also better understand the most popular keywords relating to your industry as a whole.

For example, if you’re a bridesmaids dress shop, keywords might be things like “bridesmaids dress trends,” “best bridesmaid dresses,” or even “affordable bridesmaid gowns.”

When it comes to the placement of those keywords?

You won’t get the traffic generation that you want by just peppering them randomly in your content. You’ll also need to put them in image file names, titles, video descriptions, and even image captions.

Also, ensure that you’re properly optimizing your keywords for local searchers. This means you should include a few longtail phrases that contain your main keyword followed by the city, state, or general service area that your business operates within.

2. Share on Social Media

As you’ve likely already expected, you can’t write a post on how to get blog followers without discussing just how much of an influence social media has on your overall traffic.

After you finish a blog post, share it on your social media accounts, like your Facebook Business page or link it in the bio of your Instagram account. Be sure that you select a captivating and relevant thumbnail image to accompany the posts.

This will encourage more people to click on it.

Keep in mind that social media is an especially effective way to learn how to grow your blog because it allows your followers and friends to share the content you create.

This leads to a cost-effective advertising strategy that allows you to broaden your target market and get serious mileage out of every post you write.

3. Don’t Forget the Comments Section

So far in this post, we’ve discussed blogging techniques that will help you to learn how to build an audience.

However, if you want to continue to generate traffic and ensure that you have loyal readers, you’ll also need to focus on engagement.

That’s where the comments section comes into play. Here, we mean both the comments section in your own blog, and how you utilize comments sections of popular industry blogs to your advantage.

First of all, always respond to comments that people leave on your blog. This will help your readers to feel like you don’t just post and walk away, and will let them feel like they’re getting to know you as a person.

This promotes a sense of transparency, which is especially essential within the millennial market.

Additionally, when you read industry blogs, you should always include a link back to your own blog in your comments signature.

After all, if people are already reading a blog that’s in some way related to your industry, chances are, they’ll want to read yours, too.

This will help you to grow your traffic organically.

4. Increase your Linkbuilding Strategy

If you want to compound your traffic growth, make sure that you’re linking internally and externally on your blog.

This means that you should link back to your previous content in your posts. You should also link out to other authoritative sites. This means that, soon, those sites you love to read will also link back to your own blog.

If you feel like you can’t manage authority link placements on your own, this company can help to do it for you.

Outreach Base works to build high-quality links on and to your blog, while also ensuring that you can land guest posts on competitive sites.

Guest blogging can expand your audience and help you grow your traffic.  It can be a time consuming process, which is why sometimes it’s best to go with a guest post service to take care of the hard work.

5. Keep a Consistent Posting Schedule

Above all, mastering how to grow your blog means ensuring that, once you decide to create one, you can keep your overall posting schedule consistent.

You should aim to put up a minimum of one post every week, though three to four a week will allow you to grow traffic more quickly.

If you sense that you’ll struggle with this, we recommend writing a content calendar. Generate your ideas for the month in one sitting, and dedicate a weekend to writing as many posts as you can.

Then, use an automatic posting schedule to put up your posts on a regular basis, while you go on to write the next month’s topics.

How to Grow Your Blog: Wrapping Up

As you can see from this post, understanding how to grow your blog isn’t as complicated as you might have initially thought.

It just takes consistency, proper keyword research and linking, and engagement with your readers on social media and in the comments section.

On the hunt for more ways to generate traffic for both your blog and your brand’s overall website?

We can help.

Check back with us for more of the digital marketing strategies you can’t afford to miss.

Technology

How to Create a Blog People Will Read

How to Create a Blog People Will Read


How to Create a Blog People Will Read

Does it seem like you spend hours and hours each week reading blogs that fascinate you? And after you’re done, do you stare into space above your computer or phone screen, wondering what two cents you might have to offer the world?

Guess what: the world wants to hear your voice! The problem is that among so many millions of other voices, yours can be hard to hear. Creating a blog that people can actually find and that they’ll want to read can be challenging.

There are a few tips and tricks, though, that will make your blog stand out from the crowd. Keep reading to learn how to create a blog from idea to conception, and how to write blog posts to fill it with.

Choose Your Platform

When starting a blog, several platforms are available to pick from. You should pay attention to their features, support, and usability.

The big contenders are:

  • WordPress.org
  • Blogger
  • Tumblr

If you think your platform doesn’t matter, think again. Each has its own distinct features that you should definitely read up on before choosing your blog’s new home.

WordPress.org

WordPress.org is one of the most popular blogging platforms out there, thanks to its versatility. Here’s the deal with WordPress. There are two different websites: wordpress.org and wordpress.com.

WordPress.org is a blog-building platform on which you can construct your blog from scratch, pulling from over 55,000 plugins. It’s free to use, but you will have to pay for a domain name and hosting.

You can do this through WordPress or through a second party. Learn more about hosting options on Bluehost, a hosting service that offers everything from email accounts to 24/7 online support. WordPress.com, on the other hand, is the hosting service created by the same founder of wordpress.org.

Blogger

Blogger is an awesome option for those who aren’t super techy. If you don’t want the hassle of building your own blog from scratch, Blogger is probably for you. They have plenty of nice templates to choose from, and anyone with a Google account can comment on your blog posts.

The downside to Blogger is that it’s not updated as regularly as WordPress. That means fewer theme rollouts and bug fixes.

Tumblr

If you want to add a social element to your blogging experience, Tumblr is the way to go. When you sign into the site, you’ll be faced with your own personal feed of posts from blogs you follow. Tumblr amasses them for you in one convenient newsfeed, so you don’t have to hunt all your favorite Tumblr blogs down to stay updated on their content.

Tumblr also makes it super easy to interact with your blogging community. You can like or reblog other people’s posts, either adding them to your own favorites folder or posting them on your own blog.

They also feature really clean, simple themes that can come off as artistic or as professional as you’d like.

Domain and Hosting

If you’ve chosen to go with wordpress.org, you’re going to need to get external hosting. Blogger and Tumblr will both host your blog right on their platform.

Once you’ve got your hosting all squared away, you’ll want to get your own domain name. Although most blogging platforms will give you a webpage address, it’ll usually be a spin-off of their website name, such as thisisanexample.blogger.com. If you want a normal domain, like yourname.com, you’ll need to pay a hosting service.

These can cost anywhere from $10-$1,000,000 monthly (really). The higher demand there is for your domain, the more it’ll cost you to keep month to month.

Sticking to your name is usually a good idea. It allows for more personal branding, and will usually be on the extra low end of this cost spectrum.

Consider Design

Once you’ve signed up for all the services and platforms you’ll need, you can start to design your actual blog! Each blogging platform will offer a selection of free themes to base your blog on, but you’ll also be able to find some third party themes out there if none of them suit your fancy.

Using a minimal design is usually a good go-to since that design style makes a blog easy to navigate. If minimalism isn’t your thing, just be sure to create clear-cut navigation through your blog to ensure your readers won’t get lost.

Pick Plugins

WordPress has a whole host of user-created plugins that you can choose from to add to your blog. You can find contact forms, password protection, and even SEO optimization to your blog simply and easily through plugins.

Blogger features plugins like this as well, but Blogger hosts them. They offer a more limited selection, but installing them is super user-friendly. You can literally drag and drop your Blogger plugins into the spots you want them on your site, making it easy as pie to add diverse elements to your blog.

Tumblr offers the least in the way of plugins. Their plugins are built into different themes, so you won’t be able to customize your readers’ experience much. They do offer plugins for your newsfeed experience, though!

Write Your Copy

Your platform is chosen, accounts are made, and your blog is finally designed to your liking. Before you add content, consider writing some compelling copy to introduce your readers to your little corner of the internet and let them know how to get in touch with you.

On your about page, tell your readers a little bit about yourself, where you come from, and what your interests are. Readers love when they feel like they know the person on the other side of the screen, so don’t be afraid to get personal!

Add a picture so they can put a face to the name, and tell a little about your blogging niche, so they know what to expect from your content.

On your contact page, include your email address, but never your personal phone number or address. After all, your site will be public!

Invite readers to get in touch to discuss your content or anything else that may strike their fancy. Building an online community is one of the best perks of blogging. You’ll definitely get some emails from new friends wanting to talk about the ideas you’re sharing that week.

What to Write About

Now it’s time to get to the nitty gritty: actually writing your blog posts. If you’re scratching your head wondering what to write about, pull out a piece of paper and a pen.

Write down ten things you know anything more than the average person about. You don’t have to be an expert on a topic to write a blog post. In fact, it’s this sort of thinking that keeps so many bloggers in the dark, feeling unqualified to share their ideas.

You are qualified to share every idea you have, every day. You’re not claiming expertise, but you are claiming your own experiences. Own them.

After you’ve got your list of ten things you know something about, break it down even further. Think of three potential blog posts you could write on each topic.

For instance, if you wrote “photography” as one of your ten areas of knowledge, you could break that down into:

  • Choosing your first DSLR camera
  • How to shoot in manual on your DSLR camera
  • A guide to composing beautiful images

See? It’s that easy. After this exercise, you’ll have thirty–count ’em–thirty blog posts waiting to be written.

Starting a blog can be intimidating, but just remember that it’s your space to share your ideas.

Add Visuals

If you put “photography” on your list of ten areas of knowledge, like in the example above, you’re lucky. Not everyone has that skill, and finding engaging visuals for your blog can certainly be a challenge if you’re no good behind a lens.

Plenty of free stock photography websites are out there that will allow you to use images royalty-free. This is a great option for the beginning blogger who basically just needs content to get up and running.

Once you (and your readers!) fall more and more in love with your blog, though, these won’t feel good enough anymore. This is because they’re not necessarily specific to you, your brand, your voice, or your content.

Luckily, smartphones nowadays grow better and better at taking professional-level photos at a fraction of the cost of professional cameras. If you don’t have the interest in getting into photography, stick to providing your own visuals using your phone.

It’ll feel more personal for your readers, and will even probably spur new content ideas for you!

Create a Blog Today

Hopefully, you’ve learned enough blogging for beginners tips and tricks here to open a new tab and create a blog right away. Before too long, your blog will be read by so many people that you’ll be able to host paid advertisements!

Want to learn more about how to run a successful blog? Check out our other content strategy articles. We love to share knowledge that helps bloggers like you reach their writing goals!

Business

How to Increase Blog Traffic for Your Business

How to Increase Blog Traffic for Your Business


How to Increase Blog Traffic for Your Business

23Would you like to know how to increase blog traffic?

Blog traffic can mean big business. About 47% of buyers tend to read 3-5 articles before making a buying decision. To get them to buy, you have to get them to visit your site first.

Keep reading to learn how you can get more traffic to your blog.

Use Analytics & Webmaster Tools

If you want to know how to increase blog traffic, you have to know your baseline or starting point.

The only way to do that is with data.

If you don’t already have Google Analytics or Google’s Search Console set up, that is the first thing you should too.

You should also get connected to Bing’s Webmaster Tools.

These tools will give you insights as to how much traffic you’re getting and where it’s coming from. You’ll also see how long people spend reading your blog posts.

Know Your Audience

Another way to get more traffic to your blog is to research topics your audience is interested in. You can do that by researching questions posted on Reddit and Quora to get ideas.

For example, if your blogging about personal development, you might find that a common theme is that people are looking for ways to be more productive.

You can then write out content ideas based on productivity. You can also take that a step further and get content and keyword ideas from this keyword research tool.

You can also look at Buzzsumo to see the headlines of the most viral articles to see what people are sharing.

This will help you get content ideas that your readers are interested in and make them SEO friendly and shareable.

Write Guest Posts

Did you come across sites in your research that welcome guest posts?

Maybe you saw a site that shared the same target audience as yours, or there was a thought leader’s site in your industry that welcomed posts.

This is an excellent opportunity to expose your work to more people and get valuable backlinks to your site.  If you get an opportunity to write for the right website, you can even get paid to blog.

Just be sure that the sites are more popular than yours. Otherwise, you won’t get the traffic or backlink benefits.

Expand Your Audience

One way to increase blog traffic is to expand your audience. You can do that by making your blog friendly to international audiences.

Let’s say you have a blog post on how to increase blog traffic in English. You’ve been learning enough Italian to be able to translate that to “scrivere un blog di successo.”

You’ve just opened the door to a brand new audience and an opportunity to get more blog traffic.

Don’t worry if you feel overwhelmed by the thought of having t translate your entire site.

The great thing about WordPress is that there’s a plugin for everything, translation included.

Create a Great User Experience

As a blogger, you have to create an excellent user experience. That means having a site that’s easy to load, easy to use and readable across many devices.

This point is often overlooked by bloggers, but what they don’t realize is their site could be costing them traffic.

People want and expect fast websites. Up to 40% of people will leave your site if it takes longer than 3 seconds to load. To make matters worse, if you’re blogging for an e-commerce site, 79% of shoppers will never return if they think your website is slow.

The first thing you should do is check your site’s speed. There are a couple of tools to use to do that, from Google’s Page Speed Insights and Pingdom.

Both tools will tell you if your site is slow and what you can do to fix it. Sometimes, it can be as simple as compressing images. Other times, you might have to adjust the code.

Use Images in Your Posts

Would you like to know how to increase blog traffic with visuals?

The use of images is part of the user experience, too. When you use images, you increase the chances of the article being shared.

The images used have to be relevant to the content and add to the article, not take away from it. Infographics are a great tool to use if your content has a lot of data.

People like to read statistics, but they tend to process them visually. That’s why infographics are so powerful. Readers can quickly look at the graphic, process it, decide it’s interesting, and share it.

That, in turn, will generate more traffic to your blog.

Use Content Aggregators & Syndication

One simple way to increase traffic to your blog is to list it with content aggregators.

These are tools that other people looking for great content to share use to curate articles to post. Sites like Alltop, Feedly, and RightRelevance are popular content aggregators.

Social Media & Email Marketing

Social Media Examiner found that 81% of marketers who used social media for just 6 hours a week found that website traffic increased.

That’s just about an hour a day to increase traffic to your blog.

The one thing to note here is that you don’t have to be on every social network. You just need to be on the networks that your target audience uses.

If you have an email list, you also want to stay connected with them throughout the buyer’s journey. Most of the people who visit your website won’t be ready to buy.

You can stay top of mind by blogging and emailing your list. This gives them a reason to visit your website again and again.

With email marketing, you’re increasing traffic, and you’re nurturing prospects, which increases the likelihood they will buy.

How to Increase Blog Traffic

Getting more readers to a blog is a consistent challenge for many bloggers.

However, it doesn’t have to be harder and just as time-consuming as writing the content itself. As long as you focus on the reader you’ll get more traffic in no time at all.

Make sure your website is fast and easy to use, and write top-notch content that’s your readers will be interested in and keen to share.

That’s how you increase traffic to your blog.

Want to know other top content tips? Read these articles about content strategy.

Business

How to Set Up a Blog in the Entertainment Industry

How to Set Up a Blog in the Entertainment Industry

 

Your Guide to Starting a Successful Entertainment Blog

One thing’s for certain: people will never get tired of reading entertainment news and commentary.

BuzzFeed alone pulls in almost 150 million unique readers every month.

But anyone can voice their opinions on entertainment today. In fact, 30 million Americans update a blog at least once a month. The only problem is that many of these blog posts go unread.

Wondering how to set up a blog that actually attracts regular visitors? Keep reading to find out what steps you can take to start your own thriving blog in the entertainment niche!

Pick the Right Blogging Platform and Domain Name

So you have a brilliant idea of starting an entertainment blog, but where do you begin?

First, you’re going to need to decide on a blogging platform. And while there are many options out there, here are a few you should consider:

  • WordPress
  • Wix
  • Squarespace
  • Weebly

Each of these platforms has its advantages.

For instance, WordPress is completely customizable. It also has an endless library of plugins.

Squarespace, on the other hand, is an excellent option if you find the process of setting up a website overwhelming. You can choose from a long list of elegant templates, some of them specifically made for bloggers.

Wix and Squarespace both offer 14-day trials. Meanwhile, WordPress and Weebly have 30-day money back guarantees. Therefore, you can try each platform prior to making your final decision.

After you settle on a platform and choose a host, it’s time to register a domain name. As you’re coming up with a name for your blog, consider your target readership and tone. Use a thesaurus to search for inspiration.

Design a Mobile-Friendly Website

Internet users are five times more likely to ditch your entertainment blog if it isn’t optimized for mobile. So when you’re thinking about how to set up a blog, you have to consider utilizing responsive web design.

But there are other ways you can improve the mobile-friendliness of your blog.

For example, wider CTA buttons are easier to tap when using smaller devices. Larger text and white space improve your content’s readability.

You should also consider using a hamburger menu, which keeps your header uncluttered. Elfann, a popular entertainment blog in the Middle East, takes advantage of this design trend on their mobile site.

Fill Your Blog with SEO Optimized Content

When searching for a keyword on Google, internet users click on a first-page link over 70% of the time. This means that if your blog doesn’t show up near the top of the search results, you’re missing out on a lot of readers.

If you want to rank higher, base your content on long-tail keywords that perform well in your niche.

The best way to find high-quality keywords is to use a keyword research tool like Wordtracker. Include any keywords you find in your content, subheading, titles, and meta tags.

However, a lack of keyword research isn’t the only thing that can hurt your traffic. There are many other ranking factors, such as the length of your content and the quality of your backlinks.

Final Thoughts on How to Set up a Blog

Once you have your entertainment blog up and running, you’ll need to promote it on social media. However, remember that the day and time you post to social media platforms affect engagement.

You can eventually start thinking about monetization as well. Anything from affiliate marketing to selling merchandise can help you make money from your blog.

Looking for more information on how to set up a blog and run it effectively? If so, make sure to head over to our content marketing blog and check out some of our other helpful resources!