A few weeks ago, I had the absolute pleasure of speaking at Red Magazine’s Career in Tech Day at the Sky Campus in my hometown of Leeds.
It was one of the most inspiring events I’ve ever spoken at or in fact attended for that matter; as the day was shared with kick-ass folks thriving in the digital sector: fitness blogger and author, Zanna van Dijk; tech entrepreneurs Digital Mums; and app experts Freeformers. The session was hosted by the brilliant Sarah Tomczak, Deputy Editor of Red Magazine.
We each shared our tops tips on how to seize the digital landscape and turn it into a successful, empowering career.
In particular, I focused on the secret to creating a successful blog and how to promote it – check out my tips below!
Although a few weeks have passed since the event and it’s a whole new year now, I can still feel the positive vibes of the day and meeting so many of that afternoon.
I filmed a short vlog of the day which you can watch here. Thanks to Precis Petite for my pretty lace dress.
My Top Tips To Make Blogging Your Career
1. Content is EVERYTHING…
…or Queen as I like to say. Write and film your interests and passions and be dedicated and consistent (you don’t have to blog every day but aim for once or twice a week if you can) and that way, your audience has an idea of what to expect from you so they can read and tune in regularly. Progress not perfectionism as Marie Forleo advocates, is the name of the game. You can edit and polish your posts forever but you’d never get anything else done and out there into the world. Hit publish and crack on with the next post. Comparison is the thief of joy as Theodore Roosevelt wisely commented so stop looking over your shoulder and work on honing your own voice and skill set and sharing your art with the world.
Do buy Natasha Courtenay Smith’s brilliant book The Million Dollar Blog for endless inspiration (I’m also interviewed inside and quoted on the cover).
2. Invest in creating a professional site
Make sure your site looks good, is easy to navigate and reflects your personality. Your blog is an extension of you and is your window to the world. It’s basically your platform, show-reel and CV all rolled into on so make that first impression count. You can hire designers for decent prices these days and there are literally hundreds of themes out there to use as a blog template so get to it!
Once up and running, ensure photos are high res and look as professional as possible. Use apps to polish up phone shots and ideally include a photo of yourself and a logo and use the same photo across all platforms for recognition and brand awareness. Blogs are personal brands so make sure you personalise yours.
Importantly, make sure your site is mobile-optimised which is vital for SEO. Mobile traffic is the bigger traffic-driver so make sure your site works on mobiles.
3. Install Yoast SEO plug-in and optimise your blog
Yoast is my go-to plug-in for SEO as it’s super simple and effective and means your posts will have the greatest chance of reaching readers thanks to organic SEO. Social media and links on social, directing back to your site are also crucial for SEO.
Vitally, don’t forget to optimise the photos in your posts by installing an image compression plug-in and do add ‘alt tags’ to all the photos you upload, describing each photo so Google can understand what the image is to help with searches and those with an visual impairment can be aided too.
Essentially, all these points along with of course, great writing (honest, relate-able and engaging content) helps to inform Google that you’re a quality blog.
Please remember that building your blog and ranking in search engines can take years so be patient. Obviously the quicker you get into the routine of writing consistently whilst optimising every post, easier it will be for you to be ranked as well as discovered by readers, PRs who will hopefully hire you and press who will promote you.
YouTube is also great for SEO so add your post links and other social urls in the description box on each of your uploaded videos.
Do buy How to Get to the Top of Google by Tim Kitchen, by go-to book on all things SEO.
4. Get social!
Promoting your work on social media not only helps SEO but it’s how and where you can build a loyal following.
I advise uploading natively where possible to platforms for the best reach eg. upload video directly on FB and also on YT. Don’t promote video links from YT on FB though as they will be reduced to small boxes as it’s not in FB’s interest to promote that others bounce off their platform onto their competitor’s.
Use Social Oomph, Buffer or Tweet Deck to schedule tweets and think about your most popular evergreen posts as tweeting those can keep traffic flowing to archive pieces.
Pinterest is a great social media tool and image search engine. You can create infographics to share there along with beautiful editorial images, creating boards which reflect your interests and blog.
Don’t forget to include a board which reflects your blog directly as this is another form of great PR.
5. Get PR for yourself
Everyone needs PR be it plugging away on social media to hiring your own publicist. There are easy ways to generate coverage for yourself and your channels and first off my recommendation is pitching to other bloggers, ideally those who are more well known than you as well as to feature on super sites like the BritMums blog.
Guest posts also offer you quality back-links which improves your domain authority as well as exposure to a wider audience and hopefully juicy referral traffic.
Approach local press first and then move to national pitching an angle to your story. Ask yourself why someone would want to cover your story then tell them! Often papers, big and small have websites which make them important for more backlinks to your site.
Similarly, don’t wait for the press to discover you, reach out yourself. Follow the hashtag #journorequest on twitter for opportunities. and submit to write for high authority sites and other well known blogs.
I hope this has inspired. Get blogging, folks!