Lockdown was been a lot of things, trying & testing and downright frustrating, but for me it came with some positives. The fact that I got to spend Monday - Friday working on my blog was like a dream come true, creating content more regularly, sticking to my schedule and watching the growth of my blog too, lockdown has been tough but my blog is thankful for it. 

See the Stars - a guide to improving your blog

Bloggers & 'influencers' as a whole, began the journey of lockdown with concern, worrying and lots of doubt about what this would mean for their business, and whilst the money & the opportunities have at times been a little more few and far between, realistically influencer marketing has upped its game during the pandemic

During this time I've been creating a couple of blogging tips post and hope you've been enjoying them enough to accept a couple more...because I've got so much I want to share with you. 

Cards on the table, I couldn't have created a guide to improving your blog without the help and encouragement of a few bloggers (Kayleigh Zara and Neesha I'm looking at you...) who have helped me understand SEO & optimisation, affiliate marketing or even influencer marketing - so girls, you're the real bosses here. 

See the Stars - a guide to improving your blog
See the Stars - a guide to improving your blog

For everyone looking to start up, improve or just feel like being nosey with all the behind the scenes of running a blog, this is that post for you... 

Since being in the blogging world since 2013; you learn a couple of things along the way and one of my biggest pointers for anyone just starting out or struggling to gain following or views - get on social media, literally sign up to everyone account, create your branding and sell yourself via these channels. 

It's about time I pop myself in the old lady category in the blogging world now because I don't know what's deemed as cool anymore (and for using the word cool, oh god) - but whilst IG has taken off massively for influencers, twitter was once a goldmine for bloggers! Twitter chats, blog shares and it was the fastest way to get your blog links shared with thousands of people, so whilst it might not be the most popular platform anymore, continue to use it - find the comment threads and tag RT accounts for more exposure, schedule tweets with sites like buffer and hootsuite and more importantly use it to chat with others, share snippets of your life in 280 characters and have fun with it, it's a much more relaxed platform with more 'realism' than IG. 

Facebook is a whole other ballgame that even I need to delve into more often, so I'll come back to that one, in the future. 

Just like any other social media, but pinterest deserves it's own shout out right now.  It wasn't until recently that I realised the impact pinterest can have on your blogging views, following and potential affiliate sales (which I'll discuss a little more later on...) - I have a couple of affiliate links to some pinterest e-books and courses so if you're interest; let me know. 

However, what I've noticed in the world of pinterest, that it requires a little more work and a little extra push before you notice a difference in numbers - whilst my clicks and saves are still low in comparison to most, I need to optimise this platform the best I can, sharing my posts more regularly, creating more 'clickable' graphics and knowing that my audience on pinterest will be searching for my type of content, especially all my blogging tips and guides...persistence is key and I can't wait to see this pay off. 

See the Stars - a guide to improve your blog

I promise you; I have a post coming soon all about photography but what I find as *one of* the most important parts of blogging is the photography, I know were all don't judge a book by it's cover but what makes a reader click on your post is the imagery that comes with it. Whether you take your own photographs, use stock photos or create your own graphics - it's so important to make sure you're creating imagery that fits your blog, fits your 'brand' and makes people come back for more. 

Throughout 2020 I have seriously upped my standards in terms of my photography, I've spend more time perfecting my editing style, I've practiced more with styling my flat-lays and I'm pinning far too many inspirational posts on pinterest - but in this time I'm noticing a boost in followers and how comments, reach and engagement on all platforms and my website are based on the photography I've been sharing. 

Tip: make them bright, colours and fun! Don't focus on making them 'perfect' but instead creating photography that suits your personality and the brand you're sharing online. 

Oh boy is this a new venture for me, I've always been aware of affiliate marketing, dabbled with it a couple times with no success but when paid opportunities are low, you've got to find more ways of making dollar online. 

This for me is my latest venture in improving my blog, considering all my other points and following my blogging checklist, with the increase of following and views, with the trust between me and readership and continuing to grow relationships with companies I'm able to share my affiliate links on my social media platforms and via my website and in term I'm able to make a small percentage of money - over all my affiliate sites sales are at a total earnings of £3.17...but I've only been focusing on this for a month, so quids in really... 

Not only does think involve signing up to a number of different marketing sites, earning commission on sharing products you highly recommend, this is a huge part of how many bloggers are becoming more and more financially successful and one of the many ways we can optimise as within influencer marketing. But remember we're all out here trying, so support your fellow bloggers, use their affiliate links, retweet anything their paid posts and lift them up - not only will you be helping them out massively, you'll be sure to create a relationship with other bloggers who will do the same for you.  

Trust me, I ignore my SEO performance for the longest time and just prayed that it magically sorted itself out and surprise, surprise there's no magic SEO fairy, ugh. This is also the time to point out that again, this is still something I'm working my way through and I'm yet to master...I discussed more about this in my blogging checklist post

But as much as we focused on numbers, views and other points - one of the most essential needs for a blog to succeed is to optimise out SEO, focus on our keywords and doing other little admin bits that will boost our overall ranking. 

For me personally I've started doing this in small bursts, at the beginning of lockdown I spent a week going through my broken links and updating any old posts which are still gaining traffic. I even added some backlinks into these old posts too - all of which will help improve your DA score too. I've also started a little routine when creating my blog (which again, I used to ignore) which includes; add alt text to my photographs, using labels for my posts are more discoverable on my blog and adding a search description too. Doing these small things are slowly shaping up my blog and it's impressions and I am so thankful for that. 

Alongside the smaller bits, you can delve more into keyword research and finally setting up my google analytics to properly keep track of what's working and what isn't. 

Oo, I think that just about covers everything, maybe, probably not...

Blogging started out as a hobby for me; something I enjoyed doing in my spare time between assignments at university and I never thought I'd still be writing seven years later. While this is still something I do in my spare time and I continued you to do out of enjoyment, it's nice to discover the ways I can make the most of this platform, the friendships and the connections I've made, alongside the small ventures I've taken to earn some money. 

If you're starting out as a blogger or you've been wanting to improve a long running blog, I hope this post can help you discover new ways of changing up your blogging routine so you'll start to notice the small changing in your blogs ratings. 

Anything you want to know more about? Anything you need some help with? Please let me know... 

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