Blogging

Five Easy Ways to Grow Your Blog's Pageviews

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How to improve post statics, and increasing pageviews is on every bloggers' mind. It took me a little while to get into the swing of things, and start seeing a consistent increase in my blog's pageviews. In today's post, I wanted to share what helped me.

Pick a Topic You Love

Writing about a topic you enjoy is the best way to have great blog stats. Why? Because if you write about what you enjoy, readers can feel that, and are more likely to enjoy reading it. When picking a topic (or topics) you want to write about, make a list of blog posts you'd write. This is helpful for many reasons. First, you'll have a go-to list of posts you can write, so you don't have a lull in posts. Secondly, it's a good way to determine if there is a topic you should write about. If you have a list that goes on-and-on, you know this is something you're passionate about and have a lot to share. However, if the list is fairly short, you might want to look at different topics you can use instead of, or in conjunction with the one you were planning on using.

Write Evergreen Content

To get the most out of each post, make sure it will stand the test of time. If your content is tied to a specific day, like that year's Oscar nominees, then you'll see the stats for that post diminish as it ages. On the other hand, if your posts are useful day-after-day and year-after-year, then you're going to get more views out of each of your posts everyday. I'm not saying don't write content that has an expiration date. But I am saying that you need to make sure your have a good mix of content that is evergreen and will expire.

Search Engine Optimization

Proactively managing your site's SEO is key to increasing your pageviews. By following basic SEO tips, you should be able to increase the amount of organic traffic you get. Not sure where to start to improve your SEO? You should definitely read my Beginner's Guide to SEO:)

Share on Social Media

If you're not doing this already, this is going the easiest and fastest way to increase your pageviews. Share your new content with your friends, family, and fans using social media like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest. Personally, I love using Pinterest to attract readers to my blog, but it does take a little more work then just posting a photo. To get the most action out of  your Pinterest posts, you need to create bright, colorful, and long graphics that depict what you're sharing about. When done right, those few extra minutes pay off to a lot more pageviews.

Link to Your Other Related Posts

You may or may not have noticed that I already did this earlier in the post. I already have an in-depth post about improving SEO that ties in perfectly with the topic of improving your blog's stats. So I linked it :) You need to be doing this, too. When someone finds your site, you want to give them an easy way to find all the other relevant content on your site. To do this, you need to be mentioning and linking your other posts that relate to one another. Maybe you wrote a new post that ties in to one you wrote a couple months ago. Well go to that older post and link the new one. You need to make it as easy for your readers to find what they need on your site. The fewer clicks and searches they need to do, the better!

Want to start a blog? Read my post "How to Start a Blog" here!


The Beginner's Guide to Improving SEO

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Understanding how to get your blog or website to show up in search engine results can be very overwhelming at first. It can be difficult to decide where to even start. So on today's post I'm sharing some SEO tips and tricks that have helped my blog.

What is SEO?

SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization, which in a nutshell means that your site is search engine friendly. In broader terms, this means that the code for and content on your site is fashioned in a manner that makes it easy for search engines to understand what each page is about. This is extremely important if you're trying to increase your organic search traffic, because search engines are looking for sites that ensure it's providing relevant results for each search.

Write About Content People Are Searching

Now I'm not saying never write about what you enjoy. BUT! You should make sure to write content that people are searching for that's within your blog's genre. Because, let's be honest here, if your content isn't about what people search for, then you're not going to get any organic search engine traffic. For example, my product review posts get more organic search traffic then anything else. Now those types of posts make up a small portion of my blog's content. Because I'm very selective about the products I review on here, I only write about products I love or was honestly curious about myself before I even got it. However, because I know this helps my blog's overall SEO, I keep an eye out for products I personally would search for more information about to review on my blog.

Choose Titles That Work Well as Search Results

This is key! When you write the titles for blog posts and webpages, you need to make sure it's something your reader would click on in their search. For example, I picked the title for this post, because someone who is trying to learn more about SEO would be likely to click on it. I wouldn't want to name it "Search Tips" because that name is too vague for someone who's quickly skimming through search results to think, "That post seems relevant, and they must know what they're talking about. I should read that one." So make sure you choose your titles wisely if you're trying to improve SEO.

Post Regularly

Now you're probably wondering, "How often should I post?" Sadly there is no perfect answer for this one, because it depends on your site. For example, if you're posting about news, you'll need to update your site on an hourly basis, while I can get away with only posting new content a couple times a week. However the more stale your site becomes, the more likely it is that it will dip in the search rankings. So, try to set a schedule you can maintain, so you have some new content on your site regularly. Even if that schedule is only once or twice a month.

Give Your Photos Descriptions (and use Alt Text)

When you look at a photo of flowers, you know it's flowers. However, when search engines see a photo of flowers, they only see the information in the code. So, you need to tell it what's in the image. This is when adding photo descriptions is important to increasing the odds of your photos and website coming up in search results. Wordpress also gives you the opportunity to add Alternative Text to your image that can also help search engines better understand what's in your photos. This is the perfect place to add keywords that might be searched related to your post's topic.

Use Google WebMaster Tools

This is an extremely helpful tool when you're trying to improve your SEO. The one feature I use most is Fetch as Google to have it Request Indexing. This is one way for you to tell Google that your site is there, and it has content to crawl and read. You can chose to have it fetch your site as mobile or desktop, and you can even give it a specific URL on your site to fetch. Once you click the "Fetch" or "Fetch and Render" button, it will give you the option to select a "Request Indexing" button for the new fetch. After click on the "Request Indexing" button, you can chose for it to crawl only that URL or that URL and all direct links (I typically do the latter). This process can take a few days to complete, but once it's done it will also give you a report of any errors it found on your site. Some of these errors are minor that you don't need to fix, while some are major and need to be fixed before Google will trust your site enough to use it in search results.

Also!!! Make sure you add every version of your site to this tool. This includes http and https, with and without www., and all sub-domains you have. This will help better direct Google to your site. Plus, it will help you understand what is being pulled up in organic searches, and any errors that occurred when your site was crawled.

GIVE IT TIME!

Last, bust certainly not least: SEO doesn't just magically work overnight. It takes weeks, even months, to really take full effect. So, do not get discouraged if you're not getting the organic search results you were hoping for right away. Just keep implementing these tips and tricks, and eventually you should see results.

Want to start a blog?
Read my post “How to Start a Blog”
here!


How to Start a Blog

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Starting a new blog can be a daunting task, especially when you think about how many blogs are out there. It has even been hard for me to continue or even start blogging again, but my love of it means I always return. Because of this, I've learned a lot over the years, and I wanted to share it with you.

1. Always remember that there is only one you!

I think this is the thing that always gets me excited about blogging. On the flip side, forgetting this is what discourages me the most. Blogging is a way to share your story, whether it be through recipes, style tips, parenting advice, workout tips, or even literally telling about what's happening in your life.

You shouldn't start a blog to be like someone else. It makes it too easy to give up because you don't have what they do. There will always be someone out there who has more money, better equipment, or more time to make their blog better than yours.

It's easier to find inspiration when reading other blogs, if you always remember that there's only one person who can tell your story, your way.

2. Decide what you will be writing about

Pay attention to what blogs interest you. This also means bloggers you follow on social media, especially  Pinterest and Instagram. Bloggers use these sites as a way to capture their audience's attention and get them to read their content. Maybe you follow a lot of fashion bloggers on Instagram, you might follow food bloggers on Pinterest, or you could read more posts by mom who share their parenting advice that you Google search.

Knowing what content draws your attention, might help you narrow down your blog subjects. It's very hard to blog about something consistently that doesn't keep your attention. So, picking subjects that you enjoy reading about is extremely important. You also need to build your blog subject list, and find a way to bring them under one umbrella. Keep in mind that your interests might grow and change. So pay attention to that throughout your blogging career, and consider evolving your blog throughout the years.

3. Pick a name

This can be one of the hardest parts of starting a blog. You want to make sure your blog's name fits with the subject(s) you have decided to cover, but there are two camps on how to name your blog:

  1. Choose a name that clearly defines what your blog covers

  2. Choose a name that allows you the ability to change your blog topics as your interests change

You can probably tell by the name of my blog that I went with option number two. I write about what interests me, and what's happening in my life. So, I was somewhat narcissistic and named my blog after myself. However, that name gives me the opportunity to write about my interest even when they evolve and my life changes.

4. Get your domain

Now that you have a name, it's time to see if it's available as a domain. Honestly, you may need to come up with a few different names before you can find one with an available domain.

If you are going to be a hobbiest blogger, I would recommend starting your blog with Wordpress.com. It's an awesome site and gives you a lot of options for free. With this site however, your free domain will end with .wordpress.com (for example thehayleyfiser.wordpress.com).

However, if you are looking to make money off of your blog and monetize your site, there are two options I would recommend using. First is Squarespace, which is what I’m currnetly using for my blog. It’s super easy to set up and relativly inexpensive. It’s the perfect option for someone who doesn’t have experience with coding a website. They make it super easy to purcahse and host a domain through them with some of the pricing packages they offer.

The second option is for someone who knows website coding and wants more control over the way the blog looks and functions. For those people, I would highly recommend using Bluehost (yes, that is an affiliate link :) ) to purchase your domain and host a Wordpress.org site (this is what I did for my website before I starting using it for my consulting business and it was just a blog). You can use their Domain Name Checker below to see if the name you want to use is available.

If your domain is available, head on over to Bluehost  and purchase your domain. They also make it super easy to install Wordpress.org, and they'll host your site. So once you buy your domain, you can immediately start your blog on a trusted blogging site. They make it super easy, and have professionals available via phone and chat if you have any questions or run into issues when setting your site up. I ran into a ton of issues migrating from a Wordpress.com to Wordpress.org site, and their chat representatives where extremely helpful.

5. Design your site

You officially have a blog! Now it's time to make it shine. There are a ton of different templates and themes to choose from for Squarespace and Wordpress, and they are super easy to put your own stamp on. I am currently using the Squarespace’s Bedford template. Back when I had my site on Wordpress, I paid for the theme Holly & Weave by pipdig and loved the way it looked and functioned.

Have your blog set up?
Read my “Beginner's Guide to Improving SEO” 
here!

This post contains affiliate links for Bluehost, which means that if you make a purchase after clicking on one of the product links, I’ll receive compensation. Let's be serious, mama needs a new pair of shoes :)


New Adventure: House Hunting

Hello out there! I know I've been MIA for the past few months, but my husband and I have taken on a very sizable endeavor... We are going to buy a house! Needless to say, I didn't realize I'd be spending every weeknight and weekend looking at homes all across Ingham county - online and in person - instead of writing and filming for my blog.

We have put offers on a few houses during this time, but we have lost most of them to other homebuyers. We're optimistic we will find the perfect one very soon, but until that time, I do not foresee myself having much time to write for my blog.

Once we buy our home, I anticipate much of my Life section on this blog will be geared toward home improvements. I'm hoping to get back to beauty and style blogging soon, but it may not be the main focus of my blog entries until we have our home improvement projects completed.

Until then, thank you for reading and stay stylish!

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