Thursday, June 27, 2013

10 Must Haves for all Bloggers


When starting out with your own blog there are a few things that you must have that will help you increase your presence online.  Why is this necessary?  Because there is so much competition on the Internet today.  Statistics show that there is a new blog born every second.  More than half of the blogs created will be abandoned or even cease to exist altogether.  Many times it is due to the fact that their blog is not generating the kind of traffic that the blogger intended to have so they may decide to give up blogging altogether.



That is exactly why I created this post, to share with you some of the things that I incorporate and use on my own blogs that have gotten results.  Have I made mistakes and errors along the way?  Absolutely, and I will probably continue to do so but you can learn from them and use it to your advantage.  One of the things that I refrained from doing for a long time was to get on Facebook.  I thought that it could not really benefit my blog because I looked at it as more of a social platform that would allow you to connect with your friends and family.  But it is so much more than that.  Facebook is an easy way for you make your blog official (so to speak).  Your blog or your business, which your blog is your business is now on Facebook.  You can interact with your readers, get feedback from them, and build up a following online.  Had I got on Facebook sooner, I would have been able to reach more people.  Do not underestimate the power of Facebook.

Facebook is just one thing that all bloggers must have.  I have a few more must have for those who are already blogging or thinking about getting their own blog that really works.  Here are some suggestions that you can try as well.

  1. Social Media - As I already mentioned social media is a must have for all bloggers because if your followers like what you share, they will in turn share it will others also, which will bring more traffic to your site.  Some of the more popular social media sites are:  Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube, and Tumblr just to name a few.
  2. Statistics for your Blog - Google Analytics or Stat Counter will do just fine.  They are both free services that will help you to see and analyze how many visitors you get to your site daily, what keywords they are using to find you, how long they stay on your site, what country they are from and so on.  This is important to know because you can use this data to leverage yourself when companies seek out your blog for advertising slots.  It will also be helpful to know how you audience found you and what they type in on the search engines to find you.  When you sign up to be a publisher for various affiliate companies, many times they will want to know your blog stats and Stat Counter will make it very easy you to do this.
  3. Domain - Having a subdomain for your blog is good but a domain is even better.  Instead of your blog saying Katie's Reviews.blogspot.com or wordpress.com it will not say Katie's Reviews.com.  This is not to say that your blog will not be successful with a subdomain but a domain gives you more control, can be easier to find, and is a lot cheaper than you think.  I purchased mine domain for only $10 for the whole year from Go Daddy.  Right now they have a special for .coms for just $4!
  4. Follow Me Buttons - Once you have signed up with your social media accounts, make sure that you have them visible on your blog.  It is better to have them closer to the top of your page so your visitors won't miss them.  They can follow you with the touch of a mouse.  How easy is that!  This way, they will never miss out on any posts, updates, or information you want to share with them.
  5. RSS Feed - Some websites may not necessarily come with rss feeds but many blogs do.  RSS or really simple syndication is a series of blog entries that your readers can look over without having to search through your blog for the latest information.  Having this tool makes it very convenient for your readers to get to your content quickly.
  6. Link Within - This is a must have for all bloggers, especially if you want to keep your readers on your blog longer.  Each time you create a new post, there will be 3 related posts in the form of a thumbnail directly underneath it to engage your readers.  They will easily have access to archived posts that they may normally miss out on with this free tool.
  7. Discussion Board - Otherwise known as a forum, community, message board, etc.  You can use this to have your readers connect with others that visit your site to share information, form connections, and help them to frequent your blog.  A forum can do wonders for your blog.  VBulletin is one of the more popular message boards to use but you can find many other ones that you can embed or include on your blog.
  8. Newsletters - An easy way to keep track of your visitors or to build up an email list is by having a newsletter that your readers can subscribe to.  You can get one for free through Mailchimp, which is one of my favorites to use and even include html codes in your newsletter.  
  9. PayPal Account - This is especially important if you plan on selling spots on your blog for others to advertise.  PayPal makes it convenient for you to handle transactions securely.  Having a PayPal is also important if you want to add a donate button on your blog for your readers to contribute to.
  10. About Me Page - A lot of times, your readers or visitors to your blog will be curious about exactly who is sharing this information with them.  Having an about me page will give them the opportunity to get to know you, what your likes and dislikes are, and build up a bond with you that may not necessarily be accomplished without having this feature on your blog.  You can do a list of 10 Random things about you or be creative with your About me page.  After all, it is about you and will reflect your personality.  Have fun with this page!  

2 comments:

  1. Hey Alicia, it's Cash, this is really helpful to me because I had 2 blogs that were not doing so well so I kind of let them fall by the waist side. I'm going to try again but this time with my own domain. I've used sub domains before and to be honest with you I lost interest in it, I guess because I was not getting the feedback that I was looking for. I'm going to be purchasing my own domain shortly because you really can't beat $4!

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  2. Hi Cash, I know what you mean. I tried this before myself only to realize that it is much better to use my own domain for so many reasons. I am glad this has regenerated interest in your blogs again because I have been down this road before and I can tell you that it can make a big difference. Thank you for reading and keep me posted on your progress!

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