73+ Pivotal Blogging Shortcuts, Tools and Tips for 2014

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Blogging tips

When you first start a blog it’s easy to get overwhelmed by the whole thing.

There’s just so much to think about – domain names, hosting, content strategies, logos, WordPress themes, SEO, networking, software, equipment, advertising… the list is endless!

And while I do my best to clear up those kind of topics here on Blog Tyrant, I also feel like we come up short a lot of the time.

This post is all about giving you a concrete list of shortcuts, resources and tips that you can refer to as you progress along your blogging career.

It’s not a roadmap (not even close) but more like a list of references that you can use to take your learning further while knowing that you’re looking in the right place. Hopefully someone can learn from my mistakes!

I’m also going to add to this list every now and then so feel free to bookmark it, share it and leave any suggestions that you might have in the comments section. Oh, and read to the end to find out how you can get some cool stuff!

Commence eye straining!

NOTE: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links which means I earn a small commission if you sign up at no extra cost to you. Thank you for your support.

How did I compile this list?

Whenever I do these kind of recommendation posts I always have a good think about what makes something good enough to be mentioned. This time I thought I’d tell you about that thought process.

If I promote a paid product using an affiliate link it means that I’ve used the product myself and genuinely think it will help my readers. The company must also have quality support staff and a genuine refund policy.

If I promote a website, tool or service that is free then I’m less strict with how much I’ve used it. I can’t have extensive experience with every single helpful program on the web. In those cases I take recommendations from a small circle of trusted bloggers and internet marketers, and I’ll always test it out first.

So this list of blogging tips has been compiled with the idea that I want to save my readers as much time and as many mistakes as possible. Hopefully you guys can learn something from the steps on the journey that my friends and I have already taken.

The shortcuts, tools and tips for blogging in 2014

As always, leave a comment if you disagree or if I’ve missed something that absolutely needs to be included.

I’d love to add to this list over time and if you mention something worthwhile I’ll make sure I mention you!

I’m going to divide this all up into rough sections so it’s easier to find stuff that is relevant to your needs. Let’s do it!

1. Getting set up for blogging (the right way)

Your setup is vital to your long term progress. The place and method of your start up phase can either make or break you. Here’s some tips on getting it right from the beginning.

  • Get your own host and domain name
    I always start with this because all other tips pale in comparison. If you’re not hosting your own blog with your own branded domain name then you aren’t taking it seriously enough. I recommend BlueHost to all new bloggers – it’s where I got started.
  • Run your blog on WordPress
    Once you’ve got your own domain and hosting you’ll want to use WordPress as your blogging platform. It’s the most versatile and popular free software there is. The possibilities are endless, and you’ll find yourself shocked at what you can achieve.
  • Purchase WhoIs privacy
    You can buy this for around $5 a year when you purchase your domain name. It prevents people from seeing your full name and home address when they look up your domain details.
  • Start networking from day one
    This is something I emphasize as often as possible on my blog. It has made a huge difference to my blog’s success and my own personal happiness. Greg has something to say about it too.

Expert tip on networking
The biggest blogging shortcut anyone can take is dirty, filthy networking. The antithesis of ‘business card guy’, authentic networking is getting in touch with people doing interesting things with absolutely no agenda.

In fact, if you can make your first email or gesture a helpful one, you’ll already be ahead of 99% of people. Bloggers link to other bloggers when they support them, that’s how the game works. People feel safer mentioning, featuring, and supporting people they know over random strangers. Network before you need it with a friendly email that is A.) Short, concise, to the point, and B.) Doesn’t ask for anything! (Seriously, could you imagine pulling the same thing in person? It’s crazy).

I have a “schmoozing hour” during my day where I try to email at least 1 new person I’ve encountered online, or try to send out a few helpful emails to people I’ve connected with in the past. In blogging as with everything else, it’s a little bit of what you know and a little bit of who you know.

– Gregory Ciotti, Sparring Mind.

 

  • Know your brand
    What is your brand? Who are you trying to reach? What is your end goal. Make sure you think about these things before you get started building something. You don’t want to be figuring this out as you go.
  • Start building a mailing list
    You need to grow a mailing list and consider it to be your first, second and third priority. This thing is your saving grace. I recommend AWeber.
  • Get a proper logo and branding identity
    Don’t skimp on this. Spend the money and take the time to develop a logo and branding identity that will represent you for the long term. Here’s an article on why logo design doesn’t cost $5.
  • Use a pop up opt-in form
    I know a lot of people think that pop ups are the root of all evil but, in fact, they don’t really cause many problems and they bring you a lot of new subscribers. It’s worth giving one a try.
  • Develop your voice
    One of the hardest things to do is develop your voice as a writer. Work on it constantly. Remember, you want to keep your posts as informal and friendly as possible. It will encourage engagement.
  • Keep backups and learn about security
    Blogs aren’t always secure. It’s good to know a bit about it without freaking yourself out too much. Make sure you always keep backups just in case something goes wrong. Services like Sucuri can also help put your mind at ease.
  • Develop a free giveaway
    Bloggers have been doing it for years and it still works. Write a hugely useful eBook or email course and give it away for free in exchange for email subscribers. It will give you a big boost.
  • Focus on long-form content
    Long articles (2500+ words) are the things that can really help you break through. Yes, they take a long time to research and write. But in today’s blogging world you need to stand out and provide extraordinary value. Try to do at least one massive article on your new blog before you start guest blogging and advertising.
  • Know your audience
    Do you know who you are targeting? It’s a very important step that a lot of bloggers overlook. Here is a good article by Danny Brown about how you can get to know them.
  • Work hard to get your About Us page solid
    The About Us page is probably the second most visited page on your blog. Make sure it’s personal, detailed and has a clear call to action.

2. Content and strategy for successful blogging

This is where we go into more details about content strategy. It needs to be a really defined process that has deliberate goals and outcomes.

  • Fast track your knowledge with Neil Patel’s guides to everything
    For a while now Neil has been collaborating with other authors to produce these massively useful free guides on things like content marketing and SEO. A good place to get genuine information.
  • Outsource as early as possible
    Outsourcing allows you to be more prolific and avoid tasks that you don’t like doing. Sites like Freelancer help you do it so easily and with protections in place.
  • Research your keywords
    Is your target keyword going to bring the most traffic? What is the competition like? Use a tool like Market Samurai or Majestic to learn more about your targets.
  • Plan your content strategy
    Don’t just publish random posts. Make sure you have short, middle and long term goals for each of them. Make sure they fit into a strategy that results in earnings or growth.

Expert tip on writing
Stephen King became one of the most successful writers by writing what he likes, what he has in his head. Imagine if he had tried to write what he thought we would like!

Yet that’s what many new bloggers end up doing – writing what and how they think their readers want to see on their blogs.

I did that too and, as a result, had to scramble my first blog and start over. Once I started writing the way that felt much more natural, Traffic Generation Café was born.

– Ana Hoffman, Traffic Generation Cafe.

 

  • Write for other people more than yourself
    In the beginning you want to write for your own blog in order to get more traffic. It’s actually a lot wiser to put one or two pieces of amazing content on your blog and then try to get guest posts elsewhere to attract more readers.
  • Learn how to write headlines
    Headlines are so important as they are what get people onto your blog in the first place. Learn to write them and practice regularly. Jerod has some good tips.
  • Focus on evergreen content
    You want to aim the majority of your articles at beginners and focus on topics that remain relevant for the long term. This will attract more people over a longer stretch of time.
  • Set up Follow Up messages for your email subscribers
    Follow Up messages are automatic messages that you send to subscribers after they give you their email address. For example, you might want to give them a free eBook.
  • Experiment with paid advertising
    Yes, you can build a successful blog without spending money on advertising. But if you want to grow it faster and treat it like a real business then paid marketing is a good idea. Experiment with Facebook ads and see how you go.
  • Don’t just write
    Written word is the heart of blogging. But it’s not the end of it. You need to incorporate photos, videos, podcasting and other formats to compete on a wide scale.
  • Know your competition
    Go around to the best sites in your niche and see what their most popular content is. Try and think about ways you can make content that is different, new and better than what is already out there.

3. SEO and Google

This is an area that seems to enthral and confuse bloggers. Some of these tips have crossovers with other sections but I felt it was important enough to talk about it separately.

  • Have a basic understanding only
    If you are just getting started out with blogging I beg you not to get too bogged down in SEO stuff. It’s not necessary. Just learn the basic blogging SEO and then worry about growth.
  • Focus on attracting links by being awesome
    The main point of SEO these days is to develop content that gets attention naturally. Don’t risk buying links for your main site.
  • Check your link goodness with Neil Patel’s SEO tool
    This is a really valuable tool to check your site speed and SEO factors. It’s free and will give you some actionable lessons to follow.
  • Use an SEO plugin to re-write titles and descriptions
    Sometimes when you publish a blog post you want the title and description that appears on Google to be a bit different. Use a plugin like All in One SEO or Yoast to re-write those bad boys and get suggestions.

Expert tip on blogging SEO
One thing I don’t see too many bloggers using is the ability to separate their blog post title (headline) from the actual html title of their web page. Sometimes a blog post headline won’t work very well or look natural if you’re using “SEO-style” keyphrases. For instance, I wrote a large blog post on the topic of building your own social media strategy but didn’t really like using those words in the headline. I instead published the blog post as: “Social Media Supremacy: 10 Experts Reveal Their Strategies” while my HTML based title tag (which Google also picks up on) was “Social Media Strategy 10 Experts Reveal Their Secrets”

Since the Title tag and your H1 tag – which should be used for a blog post headline – are pretty much the most critical factors of on-page SEO that you can focus on this gives you more possible phrases to be ranking your blog posts for. And it means that to the average audience your blog post headlines don’t look like they’ve just been optimized for Google.

Both WordPress SEO by Yoast and All in One SEO plugins for WordPress will allow you to edit this manually on a post-by-post basis.

– Glen Allsopp, ViperChill.

 

  • Don’t believe everything Google says
    Glen from ViperChill has been doing some very interesting experiments with Google lately. I highly recommend you read this to further your SEO knowledge.
  • Get on Google+
    Google+ is now, in my opinion, the most important social network for bloggers. I think it’s going to have huge SEO implications in the near future. Here are my favorite Google+ tips.
  • Set up Google Authorship
    Want to get your photo underneath your result in Google search? It’s called Authorship and it takes 5 minutes to set up.
  • Watch the Whiteboard Friday video by Rand
    This is really the only SEO thing I devote any time to now, other than the odd article here and there. The weekly video by Rand will keep you in the know of what’s important.
  • Keep your titles to the right length
    Google results are like an advert. You don’t want it to be partially cut off. This tool will help you to discover whether or not you’re hitting the mark for that search result.

4. Design and technology blogging tips

A few tweaks to the style of your theme or the functions of your plugins can make a huge difference to how quickly you succeed. Here are some blogging tips that focus on the stuff that drives your blog.

  • Limit your plugins
    When you first get started on WordPress it’s tempting to trick your blog out with every plugin that you can find. Don’t. Keep it to a minimum. They slow down your site and can often cause security issues.
  • Check your load time with Pingdom Tools
    Wondering if you site is loading quickly around the world? This is the best tool to show you what your load times are and which elements are slowing you down.
  • Get a WordPress theme that works
    Your WordPress theme can affect your conversions, SEO rankings and site speed. Make sure you are using one that works. StudioPress and Elegant Themes work well.
  • Quickly see if your site is down with Down for Everyone or Just Me?
    A cool little site that will show you whether your site is down for everyone or just you. Can be a good place to start your troubleshooting if things go down.

Expert tip on important plugins
We obviously believe that our SEO plugin is the way to go forward for any blogger. Specifically, people should get acquainted with how to use the focus keyword and page analysis functionality.

Combine that with some basic keyword research and get cranking those quality blog posts. SEO plugins are important, because they take away hurdles for search engines, but a good long term ranking is only achieved with well written, well optimized content.

– Joost de Valk, Yoast.

 

  • Install analytics early on
    If you ever want to sell your blog you’ll need to be able to provide all the metrics and stats from a very early stage. Don’t waste time setting this up. I haven’t used it myself but a lot of my friends recommend Clicky for a Google alternative.
  • Split test everything on your blog
    Make sure you run tests on your opt-in forms and sales pages to see if you are converting as well as possible. Don’t just rely on guess work. Visual Website Optimizer is great for specific goals.
  • Simplify your sidebar
    Don’t fill your sidebar up with distractions. Keep it simple and focused on the main outcome you want from your readers. Less is more.
  • Keep the emphasis on your content
    If your blog has a design that focuses on the theme itself then you run into problems. Keep the focus on the words and the headline.
  • Don’t try to be a designer
    Design is a skill that takes years to master. Don’t try to be one yourself. Focus on blogging and pay someone else to keep your blog looking nice. It’ll save you time and money as well.
  • Use Google Alerts for ideas and monitoring
    Google Alerts is a really good way to get new ideas for articles, especially if you are in a time-sensitive niche.
  • Get a good image editor
    When you blog you’ll end up doing a lot of image editing. You can outsource that but you’ll probably want a free program like Gimp or a paid beauty like Photoshop to make things more streamlined.
  • Use Survey Monkey to get information
    Survey Monkey is a great and cheap tool that you can use to get some super valuable information from your mailing list. Good idea to do this at least once a year.
  • Change your blog’s functions without CSS
    The plugin Shortcodes Ultimate was suggested to me a few weeks ago. It allows you to add a whole host of new features without touching any coding.
  • Photos matter
    You can’t take photos from anywhere. Get good shots from Dreamstime.com or take your own photos with a proper camera. Always credit photos, even when they are royalty free.
  • Try Scroll Triggered Box
    This little plugin has been working so well on Tumblr. Thanks to @jamielucid for the recommendation.
  • Redirect your comments
    If you leave a comment on my blog you get redirected to a “thank you page” that then encourages people to subscribe. It converts at around 7%. There’s a plugin and tutorial here.
  • Use a free sound editor for podcasts
    If you want to get into podcasting you don’t need a fancy sound editor. Audacity is a nice one that gets the job done.
  • Try Opt-in Skin
    Opt-in Skin is a plugin made by Glen from ViperChill. It lets you create various opt-in forms and add them to your posts or sidebars with ease. Lots of pretty stats as well.

5. Blogging lifestyle tips

When you become a blogger a lot of things happen to your family life, your social life and your inner life. It’s important that you anticipate these changes because they can be quite serious.

  • Exercise during the day
    Studies have shown that exercising at the end of the day isn’t enough to keep you healthy and undo the damage that is done by sitting still for so long. Keep moving.
  • Use an exercise ball chair
    Exercise ball chairs are amazing for keeping your back and core healthy. Even after a couple of years as a full-time blogger I started to notice how bad my back was getting. This helped.
  • Get out of the house
    A change of scenery can make you a better writer. It can also help to keep the blues away. Find a cafe to write at every couple of days and make sure you leave the office.
  • Be prepared for the long haul
    Blogging as a career takes time where some other internet marketing practices (like PPC) can get results really quickly. Be prepared to work. Jerod knows what’s up.

Expert tip on hard work
I suppose there are “shortcuts” in the sense of reading sites like Copyblogger and Blog Tyrant to learn some things to do and not to do, but the most pivotal blogging shortcut would be to understand that there aren’t really any shortcuts. The sooner you understand this, the better.

Building an audience is a process, a grind, a day-to-day battle against your own fears and foibles. It’s a war of attrition. Sure, you can make a big splash and maybe even a quick buck thinking and acting in the short term … but to build something that lasts and that people really care about, you have to show up every day and do the work, even on the days when you don’t want to. That’s usually the part people really want a shortcut around. There just isn’t one.

– Jerod Morris, Copyblogger.

 

  • Get on Skype with people
    It’s amazing how much a bit of face to face contact (even over the web) can impact a relationship. You’ll find new partnerships and friendships emerging all over the place.
  • Find one good forum in your niche
    There are a lot of forums out there. I recommend finding one good forum in your niche and become active there. Some paid forums are excellent sources of information and shortcuts as well as a good place to find a mentor.
  • Use the Pomodoro technique
    This is a system developed to make you more efficient by breaking your day up into more manageable chunks. First heard about it on ViperChill and it works nicely for a lot of people.
  • Attend conferences and meetups
    I always rejected this as a younger man. I thought that the internet was there so we could avoid physical contact. But as soon as I started meeting people in person I found new projects and alliances popping up where they would never have otherwise. Try it at least once.
  • Consider a co-working space
    This isn’t for me but a lot of people love to get into a group working place and sit down with other creatives around them. It’s not usually free but it’s cheaper than office space.
  • Don’t read other blogs too much
    It’s weird advice coming from a blogger but I honestly think we don’t need to read so many other blogs. Make sure you only read if it’s for knowledge that you need and not just a distraction.

Conclusion (and some giveaways!)

As I said, I just wanted to make a list of blogging tips and shortcuts that could serve as a starting point if you ever need help on that particular topic. Undoubtedly, I would have missed some awesome gear! If you know of anything please leave a comment and I’ll add the good ones to the article itself with a link to your site as thanks.

These types of posts take a long time to put together. If you Tweet it out or share it on Google+ you’ll go into the draw to win either a brand new premium responsive WordPress theme from Elegant Themes or a copy of OptinSkin. I’ll pick two people at random by Friday and buy you either the theme or the plugin as a little thank you for the support.

So you’ve got a chance at three giveaways: a back link for leaving a great comment, a free theme or a premium plugin for sharing the article on Twitter or Facebook. Thanks Troops!

SO, WHAT'S NEXT?

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70 Comments... Leave yours.

  • chris

    Pay someone to take a high quality profile photo. Then be consistent in branding. Use the same profile photo for Gravatar, Twitter, FB, your web site, etc.

    I still see photos that look like they are from the 1980’s Glamour Shots. Or the photos are grainy or blurry.


    1. Ramsay

      Ah yes! How did I forget…?

      I’m having a new “couch photo” taken next week! Pretty excited.

      I’ll add this one for sure.

      Love seeing you around here still Chris.


    2. Jerod Morris

      Or photos taken on New Year’s Eve and cropped. 🙂

      But at least I use it consistently!

      This is on my list to do. Great tip Chris.


      1. Ramsay

        Ha ha ha. I would never have noticed.


  • jamie flexman

    Great list. There are a number of points here that I still haven’t managed to get on board with. Split testing, surveys and skype – but I often think about them.

    One trick that helped me is to go through the most popular blogs in my niche, but instead of checking their best content – use their archives to check out their content in the early days. How did it differ from yours? Notice when their comments/shares increased dramatically and which article seemed to initiate this.

    Basically if you discover the articles which seems to really kickstart the most popular blogs, you will start noticing patterns regarding time, writing standard, niche relevance and social interaction that you can use as a barometer to measure yourself against.


    1. Ramsay

      Jamie that tip about the archives is really interesting… especially because those blogs wouldn’t have had the big audiences.

      Never thought about that. Might add that to the content section.


  • Christen@diyswank

    This article is the best article I have found so far for new bloggers. I started blogging in September of 2013. I spent lots of time and research early on. This article would have saved me a ton of time! I learned some new things today that I am going to implement right away. Thanks for taking your time to put this article together. I know it will help the newbies!


    1. Ramsay

      This kind of comment makes it all worthwhile. Thank you.


  • Elizabeth @ Rosalilium

    Make use of an editorial calendar and work in batches. As a lifestyle blogger I find it useful to plan projects for the month ahead and work in batches to prepare the blog posts. For instance, I write recipes, so I like to plan between two and five recipes at a time, shop the ingredients, spend an afternoon cooking, photographing them all at once. Then I will edit the photographs in one session followed by another session writing the copy. And so on…
    My favourite tools include the WordPress Editorial Calendar, which is great for visual folks like myself. Plus I use a GoogleDocs spreadsheet for planning content and titles.

    Great resources list by the way!


    1. Ramsay

      Elizabeth I have never used an editorial calendar but maybe it’s time I gave it a shot.

      Nice photos, by the way. What’s your setup?


      1. Elizabeth @ Rosalilium

        Sometimes I blog up to five times a week plus I write for other sites so an editorial calendar is a life saver.

        Which photos? The ones on my blog? And thank you!


        1. Diana

          I second Elizabeth’s suggestion – editorial calendar keeps me sane and on track. Havin a blog editorial calendar helps me plan the posts and work in batches, although i am not working on recipes, regular text posts mostly 🙂

          I use Evernoe for that purpose though – it’s good for all kind of notes and the great thing is you can sync it with all your devices (laptop, PC, tablet, smartphone) – Ramsey, you may wanna check it out and add it to your list 😉

          For photo editing, i learnt from a fellow blogger about pixlr editor (to crop photos in exact dimensions) and then, later on found pixlr express – for adding text to your photos (as gimp or photosop are way too complex tools for my taste and skills :D)

          What else? blog topics generator tools – i just blogged about it today! Not sure if it is ok to give direct link to my blog post OR the 3 tools i refer to in it?

          Great post, Ramsey – buffered it 😀


          1. Ramsay

            Thanks Diana!


  • grahame

    Wow! While this blog post is so informative, it can be a tad overwhelming. So many things to implement and to remember especially if you are a newbie and have little understanding of all the technical data. What I’ve noticed is that so much emphasis is placed on WordPress as a blogging platform these days but there is also an alternative called SiteBuildIt. The great thing about SiteBuildIt is that this platform gives you all the tools necessary to build a successful online business. And best of all you don’t need to be a techie to create a business. You don’t even have to find a hosting company to get started. Everything is done fore you automatically.


    1. Ramsay

      Never heard of that one Grahame. I’ll have to give it a look. Although I can’t see myself ever switching. Are you using it?


  • grahame

    Hi Ramsay

    Yes I have being using SiteBuildIt for nearly six years now to create my website/blog. They are a Canadian company and costs $300 per year. Everything included. Each day I can check my sites activity, how many daily targeted visitors I get, what pages they read, what keywords were used, forums activity etc etc. I live in Cape Town South Africa but have a travel site about Thailand. Now the thing is this… I was thinking about starting a new blog on WordPress but I am finding this platform so difficult to understand and then you still have to go out there and find a hosting company yourself and get all the add ons which when you look at all the costs, is no different to what I’m paying at SiteBuildIt
    I’m have no technical computer knowledge by have managed to build a website that gets 1,000 targeted visitors a day and 80,000 page views a month. How does a non-techie guy like me get learn how to professionally build a blog using WordPress. Can you point me in the right direction as I would love to give this one a go. Thanking you.


    1. Ramsay

      I have a tutorial on how to get set up (link on the top floating bar) but to be honest if you are happy where you are there isn’t much point moving. As long as you have full ownership and functionality it sounds alright to me.


      1. BHavesh Patel

        Well, Where can I find that link Ramsay? I didn’t see the links upper the categories.


    2. Bonny

      “Techiness” is nothing more than a state of mind and attitude towards how you approach technology. It is not an innate talent that people are born with or without.

      Grahame, I would strongly encourage you to just get started with building your new site on WordPress and give it a decent effort. Believe me, if you are capable of following the Action Guide and setting up a website on SBI, then you are more than capable of following a couple of tutorials to install WordPress on cpanel (a normal host’s version of Site Central) and set up a WordPress theme :-).

      The great thing about WordPress is that after the initial install you can be as techy, or as non-techy, as you want to be with it! If you want it to, you can set it up to do just about everything – and more – automatically that SiteBuildIt does.

      Having switched from SBI to WordPress in combination with free plugins and normal hosting (Hostgator), I now have all the tools and functionality that SiteBuildIt offered and of a far superior quality, plus a thousand times MORE, for half the total annual cost.


    3. Stephanie Gutmann

      You are right. I fell for WP theme 2014. It looks like a simple couple of clicks and one has pictures putting the audience in the right direction. Only that I needed a lot of tweaking and reprogramming to get to have table into which I inserted the pictures and … It was awfully painful. So I go with Ramsay: if you have a better solution stick to it!


      1. Ramsay

        Great chat here guys.


  • Stephanie

    Even after a year of blogging (this month!) I still feel so new to the game–there’s so much to learn that it can be overwhelming at times. I just try to focus on 1 or 2 things a day to improve and keep moving forward. It’s always a moving target!

    But honestly, the one thing that has helped me in spades is using You Tube. It’s like a personal tutor for whatever I need! Having a step-by-step video to follow has saved me many, many times. It’s my go-to when I’m feeling clueless or lost about how to implement something on my blog.

    Great post, Ramsay!


    1. Ramsay

      So many people have said that to me recently. I need to get on board!

      Thanks Stephanie.


      1. LeslieZ

        Ramsay, great post! You covered a ton of ground and this list is a great reference as you mentioned. Those starting out may get overwhelmed but they just need to work through your list and not try to do it all at once.

        I’ve also taken my posts and put them on slideshare and sites like that to get additional traffic. It doesn’t take much time either.

        Thanks!


        1. Ramsay

          Nice one. Thanks Leslie.


  • Martin

    Great content Ramsay I will be back for more, just testing your comment redirect lol


    1. Ramsay

      Love it!


  • David Horn

    Great article Ramsay, as ever. Here’s my tip: Write with the people you will ask to promote your content in mind.

    To succeed you need relationships with other bloggers who will help promote your content. So, in addition to thinking about who your audience is for your post – think about the people who you’re going to ask to promote it.

    What content do they typically promote, what types of content do they regularly share (on Twitter, Google+, Facebook, etc.), can you spot any trends on their editorial calendar that you could capitalise on? etc. etc.

    Think not just about the needs of your audience, but the needs of people who will promote your content.


    1. Ramsay

      Nice one!


  • George

    So much information here! Thanks for this great post!

    My tip is to keep learning. Even if you are an expert in your field it doesn’t mean you know everything. There is always something to learn and you never know what someone might have to teach you.

    Or just learn about anything. If you’re a health blogger and you learn something new about lumberjacks, you never know what combinations or ideas you’ll come up with.

    That was a weird example but it was the first thing that came to mind…

    Thanks again for all these tips!


    1. Ramsay

      Love it, George. Thanks for contributing.


  • Jimmie Lanley

    A wonderful post, as always, Ramsay! I would add the idea of making the most of archives (old content). This is easy to forget as you press ahead with creating new content. But if you did focus on evergreen posts (as you list above), it’s a shame to let that great material languish in the bowels of your site.
    ►Create sneeze pages.
    ►Make a getting started page that leads newcomers through your top content.
    ►Use your nav menu to highlight these sneeze pages and getting started pages.
    ►Use a related posts or top posts plug in for end of post or sidebar.
    ►Recycle and repurpose older content by releasing it in new formats (video, audio, infographic, etc.) and/or resharing to social media.


    1. David Horn

      Hi Jimmie – I love your tips! I’d forgotten all about sneeze pages … must get one set up on my blog. I also read a great article recently on repurposing older content – e.g. creating a course out of similarly themed articles. Good stuff.


      1. Ramsay

        Awesome to see you here Jimmie. Thanks, as always, for the amazing contribution. Reckon I might have to add that one.


  • Yusuf

    Hy

    Been reading this blog for about 4 months now and I really learnt a lot even though this my first comment. My tip is white page and black text. Simple is sublime. Colour just doesn’t do it. Thanks for the posts.


    1. Ramsay

      Glad it’s helped somehow.


  • Darius

    A lot of great valuable information. Thanks for the post. I haven’t tried the comment redirect yet, definitely going to start using that and the opt in skin.


    1. Ramsay

      Both very good choices!


  • Karen

    One tip is to master 10-finger typing to make sure every second you’re typing counts. A good online typing tutorial is https://online.tipp10.com/en


    1. Ramsay

      Thanks Karen. Good tip.


  • Samir

    Great list and yes agree with Grahame and Stephanie with so many things to consider can be a bit overwhelming.

    I think the trick is to keep it simple, tackle 1 or 2 things to your blog say each week, enjoy the feeling that you did this all by yourself and then move onto the next task and so on..

    No use trying to do everything all at once.

    Great article.

    Samir.


    1. Ramsay

      Totally agree!


  • Paul Back

    Hey Ramsey

    This is a killer article – I need to start working on a free give away. I always knew it but this sort of cemented it for me.. any ideas of something cool that hasn’t been done to death?

    I agree about the about us page and I am currently working on a guest post around the idea – Ill shoot you a link once it gets accepted.

    I couldn’t agree more about skype, I have had some amazing conversations and it really makes influencers remember you – paulb121 add me 🙂

    Should we get use to the 2 posts in 2 days type of schedule or are you just teasing us?

    Paul


    1. Ramsay

      Hey Paul.

      You keep spelling my name wrong. 😛

      For the free giveaway my best tip would be to make sure it is super on target for whatever else will follow. I’ve kind of deviated from that a bit and open rates have suffered.

      As for the two posts in two days – again open rates have suffered. I used to only post like once a fortnight and had almost double the opens! Eek.

      Ramsay


      1. Paul Back

        Wow sorry 🙁 I will write it out 200 times to make sure never to do it again Ramsay.

        Yeh that is what I am worried about – there are many blogs using free give-aways or reports but they don’t have that much to do with the content they publish and I don’t want to make that mistake.

        I wonder is it better to have less subscribers or have subscribers that join for a lure which is not always relevant to the content that is publised.. what are your thoughts Ramsay?

        Ok 2 down 198 to go.. as for your posts just re promote them on social media later on.. I did notice less comments than usual so that explains it.

        Paul


        1. Ramsay

          Hey Paul.

          Yeah, Mayi Carles from Heart Made Blog says that she goes for less subscribers and better engagement. And her blog is killing it.

          What do you mean about the social sharing equally less comments? I’ve noticed a drop in comments too but hadn’t put it down to that…


          1. Samir

            Hi guys, yeah the idea of a free giveaway is interesting.. Unless it is relevant no-one will commit to providing them your email address.

            Personally I am happy to sign up without the free giveway if it means that I am getting a blog that is informative and valuable.

            I think the online world has changed over the last year or so.. Ramsay what are your thoughts on epic blogs. I know all content and online experts believe content ( epic blogs ) are king. For SEO etc.. but I have a feeling that people are more after the quick/fast advice type information.. no-one has time anymore to spend 20 mins reading but instead people are more mobile and content like podcasts, audio, pinterest and the like will dominate 2014 – your thoughts?


          2. Paul Back

            Hey Ramsay

            I just meant that if you got less clickthrougs last 2 posts then there would be less comments – I think the first article asked too complex of a question and less of the audience replied, and this article just followed on too soon after.

            As for social media I mean just re-promote these two articles later on to get more love from your audience 😉

            Yeh I think engagement trumps subscribers as people are more passionate about your blog.. Ill have to keep that in mind and check out her blog.

            Paul


  • Craig McBreen

    Ramsay,

    This really is the bomb. So, thank you! I’ll keep coming back.

    I guess this is what you were talking about when you mentioned a 2K+ post (what’s the word count here?)

    Funny … the one bit of advice that has certainly helped me … don’t read too many blogs 😉 I usually read non-fiction in the a.m., fiction at night, and blogs in between, when I can fit them it.


    1. Ramsay

      Word count is 3,900ish. 🙂


  • Linda

    Hi, Ramsay,
    Once again you’ve outdone yourself and every other blogger on the planet!!!’
    Like Stephanie I’ve also been blogging for a year and feel lost most of the time. I think I spend more times learning than blogging – it seems to be a never ending story.
    One thing I have is the “print friendly and PDF” plugin that puts a print button at the top or bottom (wherever you choose) for visitors to print the post. I see that Social Media Examiner also uses it (or a similar plugin). Why I think this is a great plugin is because with awesome posts like this one that has ALLOT of important information (and I still have to try to implement 50% of them) the problem is that by tomorrow I would have forgotten about most of them – having it in print helps. With the button readers can “export as PDF” and your links still work.
    I do know that there are ways to print – just easier (and better for the blogger if exported as PDF) that way.
    I’ll come back regularly to this post and implement one by one…..
    Blessings


    1. Ramsay

      Hi Linda.

      Thanks so much for the kind words. I really appreciate it.

      I actually had no considered that people print my posts… very interesting.


      1. Linda

        I don’t know if everybody thinks like me, but I read so many posts and emails in one night that I can’t remember half of it. When I feel that something is VERY IMPORTANT, I want to print it to be able to highlight what I must not forget or save it to my computer (especially when there are so many links to other places like this post)You must actually see how much I must not forget – files full.
        But luckily, I save the posts in my email inbox as well, so I can find it again when I remember.
        Keep well, looking forward to your next awesome post


        1. Ramsay

          Thanks Linda.


  • Top Blogger

    Great Article. it’s a Motivational Article for every Blogger. Thank you very much for Sharing with us.


    1. Ramsay

      No worries.


  • Ana Hoffman

    My fave points: Start networking from day one and get on G+.

    Many new bloggers wait till they feel more established, have more content, etc. – big mistake!

    Honored you thought of me, Ramsay.


    1. Ramsay

      Thanks for participating Ana. Really appreciate the social shares as well.


  • Rohit Jain

    Hey Ramsey,

    These are great blogging tips, you have covered everything a newbie blogger needs to get started with blogging. Thanks for sharing them.


    1. Ramsay

      Glad you enjoyed it.


  • Stephanie Gutmann

    One inconvenient thing: when one replies to a comment one does get a lovely auto-response from you but is not redirected to continue the reading!? Not sure how to tweak that?!


    1. Ramsay

      I’m not really sure what you mean, sorry.


  • Martin

    Great number of highly useful tips. I consider myself a fairly successful blogger (making a living out of it), but there are a number of your tips that I needed to be reminded of. As a few commenters already have pointed out, it is a good idea to focus on a couple of things at a time, learning and evaluating. Otherwise it can be just a little too much.


    1. Ramsay

      Glad it helps Martin.


  • Kaloyan Banev

    Impressive, this article gather some of the best tips regarding blogging. I doubt that anything is missing in this article.


    1. Ramsay

      Thanks!


  • AbrarMohiShafee

    That’s a pretty amazing post. I have been blogging for 1 year and I’m always looking for the ways how I could make it effective.

    And finally I think, these tips would jumpstart my blogging career. So Thanks a lot, Ramsay. Keep it up.


    1. Ramsay

      Thanks mate. Glad you enjoyed it. How is your blog going?


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