5 Tips to Take Your Blog to the Next Level

5 Tips to Take Your Blog to the Next Level

Have you ever attended a blogging conference or webinar and left thinking 'Wow, what a waste... that was so basic, tell me something I don't know." I feel like there's so much helpful information for beginner bloggers, which is wonderful I'm not discrediting, but what I would love to see is more tips and information for bloggers who are beyond the "Here's how to use Instagram" or a walk-through on adding images to your blog. I want to know how to grow my blog by getting my content discovered, gaining new readers, and more of what I call the "next level" blogging tips.

Luckily there's so many resources for bloggers out there and as a blogger, you do learn from experience. Keep reading for my top five tips on taking your blog to the next level>>

1. Create Goals: When I first started blogging it was really just have something to do in my free time, but since then it's evolved and has become so much more. Combined with a full-time job and well, life, it can be hard to always put the effort into it that I should in order to see amazing growth. I do make goals, such as increase Instagram followers by XX this month or get XX pageviews in a month, answer all blog comments,  post this many times a week, etc.

I've read posts from other bloggers that outline their monthly goals at the beginning of the month then share a recap at the end of the month sharing what they had accomplished, what they're working on and what they could be doing better. I find that these posts allow for accountability. Whether you do this or not, I think it's important to pinpoint a few important goals for the month and make an effort to complete them. If your goal is to increase pageviews and you really work for it, you'll see it happen.

2. Keep an Editorial Calendar: Having my post topics planned out ahead of time is so much more helpful and less stressful than if I just fly by the seat of my pants and try to get a post up last minute. An editorial allows me to schedule and plan out my content weeks in advance  so when the time comes to post, I'm not scrambling trying to figure out what the hell to blog about that day.

I prefer to use a mini planner, which I keep in my purse so if an idea strikes, I can immediately write it down or schedule the topic. You can also use Google Calendar, create a doc, use Coschedule, write it out on a cocktail napkin, whatever works for you. This then gives me time to really think about the topic and how I can make the post engaging for my readers. If you need to switch posts around or something comes up, you can push back that topic to another day. Funny enough, I had this post scheduled several times but things kept popping up or I just wasn't feeling it and am finally getting around to posting.

3. Don't Just Get Social, Be Engaged: You write a fab post, you create gorgeous images to go with it, you post it to Instagram... and that's that. If you're wondering why your posts aren't getting much action or you're not gaining many followers is because you're not engaging with others. Social media is about being social and if you want people to engage with your content, you need to engage right back.

The easiest way to do so, at least on Instagram, is to search hashtags and find content that is similar to yours and start liking and commenting. With Twitter and Facebook, share your content in a way that's engaging and promotes comments and replies. For me, even though I lag at getting pins up, Pinterest is one of my highest traffic drivers. I make sure that my content for Pinterest is delivered differently than what I post to Facebook.

Another tips for social, don't try to be a rockstar at every platform-- each platform has it's own challenges (I'm looking at you Facebook and Instagram with your sucky "algorithms")-- pick a couple that you're seeing the most return on and put your focus there. Yes, you should still be sharing your content to the others,  but put more time in the ones that you're getting the most engagement on. Also, think about your audience demographics-- if your audience tends to be upwards of 40, Facebook is probably the better option, whereas if you're content is geared to those in their early 20's, Instagram and Snapchat is more your jam.

4. Join Linkups: Aside from social, another way to get your content discovered is by joining linkups.  While I don't get gobs of traffic from linkups, I do get a few new readers here and there, which is great! I host a weekly style and beauty linkup, Good HUES-Day, every Tuesday and join several others throughout the week. You can find ones for so many topics-- recipes, crafts, travel, even ones with no  theme. If you check the bottom of each of my Good HUES-Day posts, I include a list of all the style-centric linkups I join throughout the week.

Linkups are not just a good way to share your weekly posts, but to discover new blogs as well. When I have some free time, I like to go through some and visit new blogs!

5. Network with Other Bloggers: I think the largest group of blog readers is other bloggers so to me, it makes sense to network with other bloggers. Guest posting, comment pods, and blog Facebook groups have been immensely helpful in helping to get my content discovered and engaged with. I love seeing bloggers supporting other bloggers, which I think is one of the best parts of blogging. I appreciate all the clicks, reads and comments I get from other bloggers and do my best to return the love.

One of the top ways to connect with other bloggers is to join Facebook groups. Everyone shares ideas, wins, information, tips and are so supportive. From these groups I've been able to then join an Instagram comment pod, which has helped spark additional engagement on my posts-- both here on the blog and on social. I also highly recommend guest posting and having guest posters on your blog in return. This way, they'll share your content and you can share theirs-- a win-win for everyone!

What are some of your best blogging tips? Share!

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