We can all look back over our lives and say that we wish we had done this or that differently. Like I wish I had started saving money in my 20s instead of waiting until my 30s. And I wish that I had never eaten that whole bag of cotton candy in one go!
With blogging, it’s the same way! There are so many things that if I could go back in time, I would tell myself to do differently right from the start.
And today I’m going to share three of those things with you so that you can learn from my mistakes!
Spend time learning SEO
Search Engine Optimization. I kept hearing about how important it was and I knew I needed to learn about it. But it sounded so complicated! So I kept putting it off! Bad Idea!
My blog has over 500 posts on it. At least half of those were never optimized for SEO. Which means that I now have to go back and fix all of that. And I am. Slowly. But if I had worked on SEO from the start, I wouldn’t have to go back and fix so many posts!
Don’t be like me!
There is a ton of great resources out there on SEO! And it’s really not as complicated as I believed. Here are a few things you can start doing to optimize your posts today.
- Start using Keywords.
- Name your images using your keywords – don’t leave it image0034.jpg.
- Always use Alt tags with your images. And use your keywords there too!
- Use your keywords in your URL instead of a date or random post number.
- Use Headings to break up your text length.
- If you use WordPress, install the Yoast SEO Plugin.
Writing engaging and interesting posts is what keeps people coming back to your blog. But SEO is what gets them there in the first place! So it’s definitely not something that can be ignored.
Don’t ignore Pinterest
Back when I first started blogging years ago, I just wrote my post and hit publish. I never gave a thought to images!
Even though all the blogging advice I read said it was important to use images in your posts, I ignored it. For one simple reason, I’m a terrible photographer, people!
And I had it in my head that I had to be the one taking the pictures, and since I was terrible at it, I kept putting it off.
Which was crazy! There are so many talented photographers out there that are willing to share their work with us for free! Why not use them? See the image for this post? I made it using free stock photos from Lyrical Host and the free graphic program, Canva. And it was so easy!
So even if you’re a terrible photographer or you hate taking pictures, you can still have beautiful images on your site. And in today’s internet world you need them! Because of one word Pinterest!
Since I wasn’t using any images that meant that no one could Pin from my blog. Which meant that I was missing out on a huge source of traffic!
So use those free photographers and free graphic programs and start creating Pinnable images for your blog. You won’t regret it!
Start an email list
My blog is small so I didn’t think I needed an email list, but now that I’m starting my own business I see the value in it. And I wish I had started one right from the beginning!
Maybe you think the same thing? Your blog is too small. You’ll wait until it grows before you start your list.
This is my biggest blogging regret. I regret not utilizing SEO and images on my blog, but I can go back and fix those things. But I can’t go back and sign up all the people that have visited my blog over the years. Who knows how many connections I missed because I didn’t put the time and effort into connecting with them?
That’s what having an email list is all about anyway. Connecting with your readers and getting to know them on a more personal level. You can learn what issues they are having and how you can help them. And that’s too important to put off!
So, this is what I would do differently. From the start, I would take time to learn about SEO, I would use Pinterest-ready images on my blog, and I would not ignore all the advice to start an email list.
Now, what about you? If you could go back in blogging time what advice would you give yourself? What’s your biggest blogging regret? Let’s learn from our mistakes together!