The year 2017 was very successful over here on A Mama Tale! It depends, of course, on how one measures success. No, I’m not making hundreds of thousands of dollars. However, my articles have been republished on Scary Mommy (twice!) and Motherly! I got to interview Supermom Daphne Oz for a Huffington Post article. She was seriously the nicest, by the way. Furthermore, I have maintained consistent traffic without spending hours a day promoting. And most importantly, I have a base of loyal readers, like you!
There are quite a few things I have learned the hard way through my blogging journey. Hopefully, you can be the beneficiary of my mistakes! You can spend hours upon hours working on your blog. But that is hard work! If, like me, you also have a full time career and a family, you have to find ways to use your time wisely. These are my top ten posts and tips that will hopefully help you work smarter, not harder.
Top 10 Blogging Posts and Tips of the Year
Tip: Stay on Top of Trends
Pinterest, as I will mention about 572 times, is key to blogging success. Here is what is important to note, Pinterest is a search engine, not a social media platform. Say that to yourself aloud, so it really hits home. Pinterest is not so much about sharing, it is about searching.
Think about yourself as a Pinterest user, before every upcoming holiday, do you search for recipes and crafts or activities to do with your family? Well, guess what? So do your potential readers! This post of mine was successful because I posted it within a month of Easter. I let my readers know exactly what I was offering (5 ideas for their toddler’s Easter basket) both in my pin and the blog post title. Then, I just let Pinterest do the rest!
Tip: Create multiple pins for the same post
I have done quite a few posts on how to preschool at home, but this one was the most successful. This post has been pinned from my blog nearly two thousand times. One of the post has received over 5,000 impressions in the past week on Pinterest, even though I published this article over seven months ago.
All of the pins from this post have done relatively well, but the infographic from this post continues to gain clicks and saves every week. This year, I have experimented with sizes and formats of pins. For an informative post, try creating an infographic with excerpts from your post. These tend to do well on Pinterest.
However, try creating multiple pins for each post and then track which are the most successful. If you have not already created a business account on Pinterest, do that! Then, you can track your analytics and determine which of your pins are getting the most clicks and saves. Take a look at the size and the format, even the color scheme! Just keep in mind that it often takes weeks or even a month for a pin to gain momentum, so be patient!
Tip: Do a Round Up Post
Round up posts are awesome. One, they are great for readers because they can get everything need, including multiple perspectives in just one post. Two, you get to collaborate with other bloggers. This is always a good thing. The blogging community is really a community. You need your peeps to help eachother promote and to ask your four thousand questions! Three, you and all of your blogging peeps are all sharing each other’s work.
This particular post arose after my experience with potty training my daughter. I reached out to my mommy blogging friends and asked them for their best tips. The result is a fabulous post filled with wonderful tips that I think will help tons of parents. If you notice a need that your readers have, reach out to your blogging community and compile all of your tips into one solid post. Trust me! It’s fun and your readers will love it!
Tip: Use odd numbers in your list posts
My Type-A personality really likes even numbers. However, odd numbers tend to get more shares! Weird, right? In this post on the Wright Direction, the author explains that odd numbers are “seen as more authentic” in blog posts. Plus, your readers know exactly what they are getting before they read. The format also helps you keep your post organized, which helps the readability. Let’s hear it for odd numbers!
Tip: Link relevant posts within your post
This particiular post did not gain much momentum on it’s own. However, when I linked it within another post and that post went viral on Huffington Post, this post started to gain traction. There are plug ins that you can add to your blog to link posts automatically. This article lists the 5 Best Related Post Plugins.
You may also find that mentioning a related post, just seems to “come up in conversation” while writing a post. It’s like talking to a friend. You just end up saying, “If you like this, you’ll love this, too!” Some bloggers even give a short list of other posts their readers might be interested in at the end of each post. Find whichever way works best for you, but be sure your readers know where they can find more great stuff on your blog!
Tip: Create intrigue with your blog post title
Are you already trying to guess what my trick for taming toddler tantrums might be? So were my potential readers, which is why they clicked on my post. One, if you are the parent of a toddler, you know that tantrums are no joke. So, you might already be googling “toddler tantrums” on the regular.
In general, though, you want to grab your reader’s attention with a catchy title. Something that creates a little mystery might help that new reader check out your blog for the first time. I tell my students, this the “hook”. It’s like casting your line and reeling in a fish. Only you want to reel in new readers to come check out your blog!
Tip: Create an Infographic
Two things that I have already mentioned have innfluenced the success of this post. One, those key words like “increase” and the hook of “just one thing” helped my search engine optimatization of this post. If you are not sure how to ensure your blog post is ready to be searched for, download the Yoast SEO plugin. This plug in helps with everything from readability to making sure you have that perfect title.
Secondly, I created not one, but two, infographics that have gone viral on Pinterest. Spoiler alert! The “one thing” to increase your blog traffic is Pinterest! In my infographics, I explain how to hide your pinnable images within your blog post and how to optimize your success on Pinterest. I create all of my infographics in Canva. It is so easy and does wonders for your blog post!
Tip: Write from the heart
The one thing that is going to keep your readers coming back for more is your authenticity. You always hear “write what you know”. There is so much truth to this. When you write about the topics that are near and dear to your heart, your readers will see your authentic self. That is captivating.
This particular post is my favorite on the blog. After watching my daughter open gifts last Christmas, I sat down and wrote this post. She took hours to open her gifts because she wanted to give each present equal time and attention. I saw that she was taking in the feelings of all of the gift givers, as well as the “feeling” of the gifts themselves. Of course, she loved unwrapping gifts, but it also made her kind of stressed! I realized that I had to acknowledge her sensitive heart and tailor my parenting accordingly. I also realized that I am not the only parent that has a kid with a gentle soul.
After pouring out my own heart into my post, my words captured the attention of others. This is the post that has gone viral on Huffington Post, Scary Mommy, and Motherly. I like to think it is because I shared my experiences and tips in the most authentic way possible. However, I think it is actually because there are so many out there that can relate to my story. So, the best advice I can give is to be you. You probably do not even know how many out there can relate to you, but when they find you, they will be so grateful that someone out there “gets” them.
Tip: Combine a “How To” post with a SMART Goal for your reader
How To posts are my go to. You will see that these posts tend to do very well. But, you can take it to the next level with a SMART goal. SMART goals are Specific, Attainable, Measureable, Relevant, and Timely. In this post title, I let my readers know what specifically they could do (gain Instagram followers) and exactly how many followers they could gain (1,000). An attainable number because I tried it myself. I think it is also something that is relevant to not only bloggers, but everyone. Who doesn’t want more IG followers, right? Finally, I gave a targeted time line (30 days).
Think about this formula when you are constructing your post headline. How to (insert awesome tutorial) by (insert percentage or amount) in X number of days/months. Remember, people like numbers in their posts! However, people also want the nitty, gritty details. They want to know, “If I follow your tips, how long will it be until I get results?” We live in a very fast past society. Everyone wants information and they want it fast!
Tip: Use your analytics to promote your top-performing posts
This is my number one top performing post on the blog. The pin associated with this post is my top performing pin. At least twenty-five percent of my traffic is generated from this one post alone. There are several factors that I think have contributed to the success of this post.
- The key word “faster”. Again, we are fast-paced society and we want to know how to everything better, faster, and more efficiently.
- The pin for this post is of me, but it is only of my belly and not of my face. Face-less pins tend to do better on Pinterest!
- The title and pin description are search engine optimized. I know this because if I search for related key words/topics like “c-section” or “cesarean section recovery”, my pin comes right up! Try searching before you right to determine your chances of being found.
Once you have a pin or a post that is beginning to take off, you want to promote it stragically. But remember my whole mission of working smarter, not harder? You can totally do that and help your post snowball.
How to Promote:
1. Join Facebook Promotion Groups
Facebook promotion groups are wonderful places to promote your blog posts, but also to build relationships. If you are looking for groups to join, check out Find Your Tribe Online. This is how I found all of my favorite groups and where I learned how important the blogging community truly is to your success.
2. Join Tailwind Tribes
Similar to participating in promotion threads on Facebook, the idea is to not only share your pins, but share those of others. Again, it may take a while for your pin to gain momentum, so be patient. If you are not yet using Tailwind to schedule your pins, you have to got to give it a try! Talk about a time saver! It evens calculates the best times of day to pin! You can try it out for free by clicking the link below. Then, come join my Tailwind Tribe by clicking here!
3. Use Schedulers to Promote in Your Sleep
As mentioned, Tailwind is awesome. I also use Boardbooster. I like using Tailwind to schedule everyone else’s pins and Boardbooster to schedules my own pins. This system is automated, so you do not even have to think about it. You can also set it up for your pins to be simultaneously shared on Facebook or Twitter. It is seriously, set it and forget it. What could be easier?
Don’t forget to use your analytics! Check your Google Analytics and your Pinterest analytics to determine which post and pins are your best performers. Promote these to help get that snowball rolling. This data will also tell you which post titles and pins your readers are gravitating towards. Maybe you have a winning format that you were not even aware of!
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How was your 2017? Did you meet all of your blogging goals? What are your goals for 2018? Please comment and share below!