Back then, blogging was not everyone had heard of, and those who were actually blogging had absolutely no idea about technical jargon like Average Traffic, or Social Media Sharing, and oh, SEO! Why, even Google / WordPress weren’t throwing up “Stats” right next to Settings. Ah, golden days!
Best Blogging Tips? Go All Out & Don’t Give Up.
We, the early bloggers, stayed clear of our real names and wrote about whatever caught our fancy, and even one comment from someone who wasn’t our moms or the kind English Lit senior from college, we did our happy dance because – get this – in those times, the bloggers weren’t writing for the traffic or for the Brands or to catch the eye of PR firms looking for ‘Influencers’ blah blah.
No sir. We blogged for ourselves. And the one odd occasional comment from some stranger on the internet was like Christmas! Someone out there was reading us! Yoohoo!
But – nostalgia isn’t going to get anyone anywhere. Welcome to 2015 – the times of professional blogging. Now, you can blog as a career and live happily ever after, doing what you love doing. Isn’t that the dream? Yes, yes it is!
I’ve been interviewed a few times regarding this blog, and almost every interview ends or starts with What Are A Few Tips For Bloggers Who Want To Earn Money From Their Blogs. Not that I’m earning any money from the blog but hey, they ask, I tell. Simple.
And because I don’t want to do the entire India’s Top Blogger Interview with the SAME question again, here is my in-depth post on it. Also, please note that I have revived my then-famous How To series so here’s to Blogging!
*clinks imaginary glass of Rum & Coke with an imaginary anonymous blogger friend*
*Okay so the glass is not imaginary*
Here we go:
How To Be A Successful Blogger: 6 Best Tips From Me.
1. General Tips.
The Blogging 101 says the the best blogging tip is to blog about controversial topics. So go on twitter, check out the trending topics and pick one from the buffet! Tear apart Modi Govt. Make a 150 point list of why these are not #AccheDin like, at all. Write an emotional post about a why you support a certain celebrity who was trolled by people for his/her blatant publicity antics.
Blog about why Bajrangi Bhaijan is the best thing that’s happened to Indo-Pak relations in the past 60 years. Pour your heart out on the blog about how the IPL fixing has left you broken hearted and why you can’t watch any sport now without feeling cheated. You get the point, right?
Assuming that you are already blogging and still need the numbers to show in order to get Brands wanting sponsored posts from you – my general tips are: Um, Don’t try. Seriously. Numbers are crazy. There is a reason more than half of us aren’t good with numbers. Math sucks. Anything to do with numbers suck. Traffic game is cruel and it will ruin your desire to write, replacing it with an anxiety driven by the urge to constantly check the stats. BORINGGGG!
Also – There are no general tips, idiots. Read a book instead. Jeez.
2. Optimise Your Layout
How your blog looks is extremely important because beauty is skin deep and who wants a blog that’s well written, backed by all the right facts etcetera but it’s – Ew – NOT CUTE! So, plug in some award badges (no problemo if you haven’t got any – Google Images Save As Forever!), invest in some custom made templates that can intrigue the occasional visitor even with the total lack of quality content.
If you like, you can add your Instagram feed to the blog and pose away my darlings! Add quotes from Good Reads, more images from Flickr, your Pinterest feed of yummy lemon pies and cute DIY, and sit back and enjoy.
3. Polish Your Content
Oh yes, content. I totally forgot about it ha ha. Content is obviously the king. Or used to be. Now content is more like the guy that’s fourth in line for the throne. But by all means, write. And remember, the content can be normal, but the headline has to be SUPER catchy.
Think of a headline as a bait. Has to be alluring enough. And oh, do listicles! That’s a fancy and in-fashion name (thank you, Buzzfeed!) for completely random lists about stuff no one needs to know about, but everyone comes flocking to them because – Rad Headlines, Yo!
4. Be Interesting
Hells yeah! You have to be interesting enough to keep the reader on the page for at least 32 seconds (totally random number that all the articles tell you, or maybe I’ve forgotten. Just Google it). Otherwise, refer to point 2 – and let your Instagram and Pinterest feeds work for you. What? It’s a strategy! And a good one at that.
5. Implement SEO
Ah, the illusional-delusional Search Engine Optimization. No one seems to know too much about it because like a girl who likes to keep the mystery alive, the SEO algorithm keeps changing every 6 months or so. Annoying? Well, tell me about it. The total lack of SEO on this blog is sign that I knowth not muchth about it.
Excuse the Shakespearean attempt, I get carried away at times. Anyway, the least you can do about SEO is to put keywords in your posts. So if your keyword is Travel Blogger, use Travel Blogger in your content because Travel Blogger it Travel Blogger is a good practice Travel Blogger. See? TRAVEL BLOGGER I ROCK. *smug smile*
6. Get Social.
I love this part!
For a blogger, social media is key to success. Your mother is on Facebook because she wants to keep in touch with the entire extended family, your colleague is on Twitter because he wants to stalk his ex, your friend is on Instagram because she loves photography but you, dear blogger – are on every social media platform because you want TRAFFIC!
Spam your Facebook TimeLine with your posts – past an present and even future, if you ask me. Flood your Twitter with URLs to your posts. You can do so much more! Jump in two random people’s conversation on Twitter and say – “OMG you guys, I wrote about it. here is the link!”
Tweet totally random and absolutely made-up things like, “Hey Brands, I will NOT blog good things about your product if I don’t like it even if you pay me 10k!”
This is for reputation building, even if fake. DM people on Twitter with hey, long time how’s it going? And when they reply feeling touched by your concern, you reply “Amazing! Read my latest blog post and RT. Ta ta!” Also, take it up on Instagram, Tumblr, Pinterest, Facebook, Reddit, and everywhere else you can think of. Remember – Social is Crucial so share the fuck out of your posts.
That’s it. Those are my blogging tips. You’re welcome.
What? I never said my tips are going to be of any use! Bye for now, I have to go on Twitter and share this one pronto. I’m thinking I’ll tweet: “Because I won’t ever give my trade secrets for free, Me – Indian’s Top Blogger Me! because it is catchy and mainly because I have no tips. I am still learning. Isn’t that the fun part about anything creative? You learn new things all the time. 🙂