I thought it would not be a perfect fit for here at HCH, but after realizing that other bloggers have included their own category on the topic of blogging, and also realizing that it is indeed one of my passions, it finally made sense to me that I should still write about it occasionally.
I want to share some of my knowledge with readers who are genuinely interested blogging and marketing online. There are many Christian business owners out there who could use solid, honest advice.
Next month, I will have been blogging here at HCH for 9 years. My anniversary date is 9/1/2008. I’ve actually been blogging longer than that because I’ve maintained quite a few blogs over the years. I’ve now retired most of those projects and have decided that I need to keep HCH as my main focus and eliminate the possibility of spreading myself too thinly, as I’ve done in the past.
I do work from home, and so I do regularly work on a couple of other sites to earn income, but this site here is now my main home. In saying that, I wanted to be clear that I’m not claiming to “know it all” regarding the ins-and-outs of blogging. I don’t adhere to ALL the blogging rules because I’ve learned over the years, you have to do what works BEST for your situation, especially if you’re a mother or a woman who has many responsibilities on your plate.
Perhaps you own a Christian business that you’re trying to promote or you simply like blogging for a hobby — either way, these blogging tips should be helpful to you…
These are practical blogging tips, that if used correctly, will help you grow a successful blog. I will also add my own “PERSONAL” thoughts on each tip because as I said, I have my OWN way of doing things sometimes. After all, it’s MY blog… I don’t need to become a slave to my blog; it would soon become an overwhelming chore instead of a labor of love.
Blogging Tip #1: Always Put an Opt-In Form on Sidebar Menu. Studies have shown that each subscriber that you have is equal to $1 to $1.50 per month for your business. So, it’s important to have an opt-in form on your blog. This allows you to turn your visitors into subscribers, who will be reminded to come back to visit your blog.
*My thoughts: I’ve studied online marketing for years, and building an email list is vital to building your business online. For me, it’s key to reminding my subscribers to visit my blog again. It’s a way for me to personally connect with them. Don’t spam your subscribers… no one likes being on the list of someone who is always trying to sell products to them. Offer them the news-worthy content…they’re the “cream of the crop” — treat them well.
**Also, offering a freebie for getting your visitors to sign up to your email list will increase your signup rates. I have offered freebies in the past for signing up to my list, and I certainly have plans to set up a new offer again soon.
Blogging Tip #2: Utilize Blog Posts to Build Powerful Relationships With Your Audience. In business, everything is about building a relationship. Once you have established a relationship with your readers and subscribers, you have also built trust. When people trust you, they will feel more comfortable buying from you.
*My thoughts: When I first started working online around 2004, my first endeavor was successful because of one main thing… building a relationship with my readers. Back then, forums were popular and running one afforded me the opportunity to build this relationship. Now, everything hovers around social media, and it’s a little more a challenge to stand out among all the “noise.” But, again, you have a chance to build a better relationship with your subscribers by building your own email list.
Blogging Tip #3: Use Videos to Create Content. Studies have shown that 50% of the people remember what they see. 30% of the people remember what they hear. However, only 10% of the people will remember what they read. My point is… When you utilize articles as your only way to build content on your blog, you need to work 4 times harder than marketers who utilize videos.
*My thoughts: In most recent years, people are becoming lazy readers. In saying that, I still do mainly readable content, but I’m now adding video to HCH as well. I’ve used video on other projects in the past years, and I can tell you that especially for salespages, videos can help increase sales conversion rates because it helps build trust… they get a glimpse of the person behind the computer…behind the content. My suggestion is to use a mix of different ways to share your content to see which ones your readers like best. Some will like to read; others will prefer video. You can offer a little something for everyone by adding different formats of content.
*One other suggestion if you detest the thought of video is to read your articles and supply an audio for your visitors.
Blogging Tip #4: Update Your Blog 3 to 4 Times a Week. One of the important factors to drawing your audience back to your blog is offering fresh content. It helps you create repeat traffic coming your way on a regular basis. Your blog would become boring and stale without fresh content on a regular basis. Who wants to come back and visit such a blog?
*My thoughts: A blog requires commitment, but you have to decide what’s a reasonable goal for creating new content for your blog each week. Although 3 to 4 times is suggested, especially if you’re building a business and blogging for that reason, you still need to be reasonable and realistic with yourself. If you only have time to blog once a week, then do what you can. Consistency is key here. For quite awhile I only blogged once a week here at HCH. Sometimes, I did not manage anything for awhile, which is detrimental — yes, death to a blog!!
*Tip: When you are really stretched for time, revamp an old blog post. This is one trick that I do during the summer months when I’m gardening and doing outside projects more. Also, seek out guest bloggers when you know you’re going to be too busy to blog due an event in your life. One other option is to write ahead of time and schedule your post to launch live on the date you need it to be available for your readers.
Blogging Tip #5: Integrate Your Blog With a Facebook Fan Page. This is one of the easiest ways to get more traffic to your blog. Why? Well, when you integrate your blog with a FB page, you attract a new set of crowd from Facebook to your blog.
*My thoughts: After Facebook started manipulating who sees your content and how often, etc. it’s been tough to get attention on Facebook. You have to pay to boost your post to get it seen by more of your Facebooks members. This is kind of a bummer deal, but still yet, it’s worth the effort. After all, practically everyone who uses modern technology uses Facebook. It makes sense to use it as a tool for your blog. BUT, don’t spend all of your time there. You can study how to use Facebook ads if you want to really boost your traffic.
>> Here’s my FB page if you’d like to join: https://www.facebook.com/herChristianHome/
Blogging Tip #6: Integrate Your Blog to All Social Networking Sites. It’s important NOT to leave any stone unturned. NOT all your audience will be on Facebook. They could be on Instagram, Pinterest or Twitter, etc. It also means that the more you integrate your blog to other social networking sites, the higher your chances are to getting more traffic from different mediums to your blog.
*My thoughts: Even though it’s suggested to be “everywhere”… it’s not practical, unless you’ve grown your business to a point that you can hire a social media manager. For HCH, I’ve picked three main social media networks: Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest. I occasionally do Twitter. Start with just one or two sources…master those and see if they work for you. Figure out where your target audience hangs out.
Blogging Tip #7: Always Treat Your Blog as Your Main Hub. Things can change on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and much more. Why do I say that? Well,15 years ago, there were many search engine companies such as: Yahoo, Excite, Lycos, Alta Vista, Ask Jeeves, Look Smart, Info Seek, and much more. Now, many of them have gone out of business. My point is… You see all these wonderful social networking sites, but many of them could be out of business in the future.
*My thoughts: When you treat your blog as your main hub, instead of those social networking sites, your business will not be so affected when or if they disappear. You may first experience a loss of traffic, but you own your blog and content. These other sites you have no control over.
Blogging Tip #8: Build Your Business on a .com Extension. It’s important to remember that .com is the default domain name you SHOULD use to build your blog. When people type names into the search engine, they almost always try the .com before another options.
*My thoughts: Starting your blog off with a free blog hosting site might be a good testing phase to see if you really like blogging and if you can handle the responsibilities. Your branding is built when you invest in your own .com domain name. People can see that you feel your business / blog is worth investing in when you buy your own domain name. You also have more control over your content when you host your own blog. Blogs have suddenly “disappeared” on free hosting sites.
>> I buy my domain names at Namecheap. Click here to check it out.
Blogging Tip #9: Choose a good hosting service. There’s nothing worse than having a bad hosting company that’s undependable. Your site will be down too often and could be extremely slow, causing you to loose the interest of your visitors.
*My thoughts: I’ve had various web hosts over the years, and I can tell you… this decision is IMPORTANT. With capital letters! Yes! And sometimes you can start off with a good hosting company, and then they can slowly go down hill, so you may have to choose another host. I will probably be changing servers once again this coming fall, so I will update you with the new company that I have chosen when that happens. (I already have a company in mind, but I do everything carefully and with much thought, research and prayer.)
Blogging Tip #10: Install Akismet to Stop Spammers from Spamming Your Blogs. Your blog is your home. If you don’t install this plugin, you’ve made the decision to allow spammers overrule your blog.
*My thoughts: Spam is the number one fight you’ll deal with while maintaining your blog and social media accounts. For entertainment, read through your blog’s spam comments. They are HILARIOUS! Yes, they’re also a pain, but Akismet moves most of them automatically over to the spam section so I rarely have to deal with spam.
*On another note: One thing I do hate is trying to leave a comment on a blog that’s gone way overboard in spam protection by using third parties to maintain and monitor their comments. It’s nice to control spam, but hard for those genuine people who just want to leave a simple comment without the hassle of logging into some site.
Blogging Tip #11: Install WordPress.com Stat to Track the Visitors of Your Blog. This is an important plugin to use on your blog. Why? Well, you need to know which traffic sources are bringing in more visitors and which traffic sources are wasting of your time.
*My thoughts: I personally use the Slimstats plugin. Any good plugin that will help you track where your traffic is coming from will help, whatever your choice may be. Using Google analytics is another additional tool you can use.
Also, another important thing to think about with stats… Which content is bring in most of your visitors? Your stats will show what type of content interests them the most.
Blogging Tip #12: Cover Sub-Topics Within your Niche. Covering different sub-niches within your niche will bring in more traffic. There are a variety of interests under a main topic Covering a wide-range, but keeping your content related to the interests of your readers will certainly draw in more traffic.
*My thoughts: It can be tricky keeping a good balance on your blog. Too many topics [categories] to discuss will spread yourself too thin with content creation — and overwhelm your readers with too many choices. On the other hand, only covering a couple of topics can end up leaving you scratching your head about what else you can talk about since you’ve covered so much already on a certain topic, and you limit the number of visitors that will come to your blog.
Blogging Tip #13: Optimize All Your Videos on YouTube. It takes time to create videos, but the question you need to ask yourself is… “Why not spend a few extra minutes optimizing the videos?” This allows you to NOT only get extra traffic from repeating visitors, but it will also help you to get massive traffic from people who have searched for certain keywords on YouTube.
*My thoughts: You won’t need to be some professional SEO expert to use video marketing to your advantage. Just take a little time into learning the basics on how to optimize your videos with keywords that users will use when searching for the type of content that you’re presenting. When you upload a new video, you have the title, the description and tags to consider while you’re waiting for your video to upload. Put some clear thought and a little research into this process. (I go back in to edit the description later to insert the link where I also pasted the video on my blog. This helps lead YouTube watchers back to my blog.) (Optimize your videos by sharing your blog name and link within your videos as well.)
Blogging Tip #14: Always Recommend a Product or a “Call to Action” at the End of your Post. If your blog is a business blog, then this is a great time to suggest to your readers a product that will help them. Make sure it’s something related to the content you’ve shared. If you do NOT recommend any products or services to your audience on each blog post, well, you are just leaving the money on the table.
*My thoughts: Each blog post should serve a purpose. Is it to encourage them to join your newsletter? Or, is it to share your expertise so that they will consider hiring your for a project? Put some type of plug for your product or a call to action at the end of your post. If your blog is not a business blog, then you can decide when and where you want to place your call to actions. For instance, I share devotionals here on HCH. To me, this is not an appropriate time to sell my readers something. It’s a time to encourage them with God’s Word — That is my main “call to action” in my devotionals.
Blogging Tip #15: Add a “Products” Tab on Your Top Header Menu Why is this important? When visitors enjoy the content you’ve shared with them in your blog posts, they will automatically want to learn more from you. This is why it is very important to put all your products on a product page.
*My thoughts: Decide how you will monetize your blog. If it’s “ebooks” then put a tab for that… if it’s “printables”, then put a tab for that. My main point here is to make it clear to your visitors what you are offering. I do have some plans in the works to add digital downloads and printables here on HCH in the future.
**Remember, it’s YOUR blog, so don’t rush the matter. Work on offering your readers GREAT content FIRST… then work on adding products for sale.
Blogging Tip #16: Add “Recommended Resources” Tab on Your Top Header Menu This is the page where you can put all the resources you recommend — with your affiliate links (referral links). This allows you to earn affiliate commissions as well as test the conversion rate on each product you release.
*My thoughts: I’ve seen many bloggers use this method successfully. I’ve used it in the past on another blog and it’s fairly effective if you have sufficient traffic. Again, it’s YOUR blog.. so test the waters to see if people are visiting your “resources” page.
Blogging Tip #17: Add a “One-on-One” Coaching Tab on Your Top Header Menu Remember, when people love your content, they will be wanting to learn more from you. By adding a one-on-one coaching program, chances are there will be some people willing to pay for your services of helping them.
*My thoughts: Coaching is a great way to monetize your blog, but do consider if you have the extra time to offer. At this time, I haven’t been interested in offering this type of service, but know of people who make good money doing it. Realize there’s a lot of competition online these days. Don’t let that discourage you from coaching others if you wish to do so, but first make sure you’ve established a good blog with lots of top quality content.
**If you are receiving good feedback from your content…and if people are asking a lot of questions wanting to know more…. then, this would be a good sign that you might be ready to offer coaching services to your readers.
Blogging Tip #18: Utilize Videos as a Way to Review Affiliate Products. Instead of spamming your blog visitors with “buy my stuff” mentality, you can create a video review telling your audience all the pros and cons of a product. If the product has many benefits and gives your audience the reason WHY they need to own the product, you can draw more visitors (who are looking for honest reviews on a product) to your site AND earn additional income using your referral links.
*My thoughts: You can do written reviews as well as videos. It’s your preference, but you can gain a little extra traffic by creating video reviews, uploading them to YouTube and then pasting the video code into your blog post. This way you have traffic from the search engines to your blog as well as additional traffic from YouTube.
Blogging Tip #19: Post Results From Your Clients on Your Blog. Instead of posting only article content on your blog, you need to also tell your audience the results from your clients and customers. This allows you to plant the seed in the mind of your audience that you truly care about their results. In turn, it helps you to attract more clients for your business.
*My thoughts: Sharing feedback is also a good option. If someone writes to you saying that your ebook really helped them, ask if you can share their feedback with your readers. People are afraid to open their wallets when purchasing online, but if they know they can expect a good product or good results, they will be more likely to pull out their wallet. Don’t be shy or afraid to let others brag on your products and services.
Blogging Tip #20: Utilize Q&A Blog Posts to Answer Questions From Your Audience. Every single time you add a Q&A element to your blog post, it will attract more and more clients for your business. In addition, it helps you to convert visitors and subscribers into sales. HINT:One famous online marketer has had a closing rate of $1,000 per blog post by utilizing these techniques.
*My thoughts: Having a Q&A page also cuts down on customer service issues and answering many email questions. On another positive note, Q&As can assure your visitors that your product is right for them before making their purchase. Customer complaints and refund requests often happen when buyers are unclear on what they are purchasing.
Blogging #21: Hold Live Webinar with Experts in your Industry. — Then, add the recorded webinar to your blog. Why is this important? Every single time you interview an expert, you will automatically establish yourself as the leader in your industry. This will help you to increase the conversion on all the products and services you share to your audience.
*My thoughts: I personally do not do webinars, but I know they work great. They are very helpful in educating people about your products and services and bringing in new customers.
Here’s an important thing to know…. Your webinar should be offered to educate your audience and help them. They will leave if your webinar is only a “sales presentation.” If you’re a professional organizer, you could hold a webinar on “How to Organize Your Closet in Under $50” etc This will allow you to connect with many people who are seeking to get their lives and homes organized.
If you’re wanting something a little more informal for your blog, consider doing Facebook live or live YouTube video events.