Honest Mum speaks at Red Magazine's Career in Tech event

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

Honest Mum speaks at Red Magazine's Career in Tech event

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!

 

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My Top 5 Tips To Making Blogging Your Career - Honest Mum

 

 

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  4. Savannah

    These are some GREAT tips!! Honestly, I’ve really just decided that I want to make some true income with my blog, and this is such an awesome starting point for me. SEO is still a little confusing, so I will be looking into Yoast now! Thanks for sharing <3

    Reply
  5. Linda Hobbis

    It’s the last one I’m rubbish at – personal PR. That’s the one that needs the most confidence isn’t it. And I’m a bit of a wuss!
    Linda Hobbis recently posted…Fun Theme Ideas for Children’s Winter Birthday PartiesMy Profile

    Reply
  6. Clare - My Tunbridge Wells

    A really interesting read thanks! I think I need to get my hands on the SEO book. I have been plodding along doing the usual things and it’s been working to a degree but I’m sure there is more I can learn 🙂

    Reply
  7. Aleena Brown

    This is an amazing post for those of us just starting out; I was starting to get quite nervous about whether I was capable of doing this and you have restored my faith! Thank you #brillblogposts

    Reply
  8. Muma on the Edge

    Ohhh I love all of these tips: My No.1 goal this year is to switch to self hosted and beef up my webby! It’s so basic right now…
    The Red event sounds amazing! Go you xxx

    Reply
  9. Deepa

    Wow! these are some great tips and I am going to follow all of them. I know which areas to work on now. Thanks for these tips and you look great in the blue lace dress. Keep inspiring 🙂
    Deepa recently posted…Are you a fake fan or real fan? #TeenandTweenChronicle #1My Profile

    Reply
  10. Kat

    Great advice. So much to think about! I think with hard work, determination and a little bit of luck I’ll get there….. xx

    Reply
  11. Brandi Puga

    I have only been blogging for about six months or so but my goal is eventually make enough money to give some oomph to our finances! I am getting there, slowly but surely, social marketing and followers are the hardest part! I shared your tips to my facebook page! Thanks so much for helping! #brillblogposts

    Reply
  12. Rebecca

    These are all great tips thank you! Ive got the consistency, content and images down (Got a DSLR for Christmas so hopefully images will be much better!) Im terrible at SEO it think although I do try… going to look at those books you’ve recommended for sure! I also need to take the plunge to self hosted as i think the opportunities of Plug ins etc and freedom over design will be more helpful! Its just finding the time isn’t it <3 #brilliantblogposts
    Rebecca recently posted…How to rock your Moms night out: 5 Top tipsMy Profile

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  13. Sara

    Thank you for the brilliant advice here Vicky! It’s great to know that I’m on the right track doing quite a few of these things, but I’ve still learnt something new, made note of it and added it to my to-do list! Priceless! 🙂 #BrilliantBlogPosts

    Reply
  14. Neisha

    Hi Vicky,

    I’m so happy I’ve found your blog, You are an inspiration to me especially this week when I was feeling a little dissapointed with my progress. I want nothing more in life than just be a blogger/vlogger, I want to share my experience in actually living life instead of just existing. Thanks so much for your valuable information! 🙂

    Reply
  15. Anna

    I really enjoyed this post Vicky – your tips are so useful and really easy to implement! I’ve been blogging for a while as a hobby and it’s my dream to turn it into a career. Thank you for the advice and the inspiration! A xx p.s. love your outfit! x #brilliantblogposts
    Anna recently posted…New Year, New Style, Same WardrobeMy Profile

    Reply
  16. Mrs Mummy Harris

    There are some very good tips here and a few I have seen mentioned on other blogs too! I’ve gone self hosted and already installed Yoast so at least I’m onto a winner and as I tagged you on Christmas I was given the Million Dollar Blog book.
    2017 is the year I’m really looking to push my blog and I’ve already had my site critiqued so I can make changes for the better to make it better for PR and others wanting to guest post on my site or vice versa.
    ps LOVE your dress…. Do you know if it comes in petite? 5″ me needs children clothes really hahaha!
    #brillblogposts

    Reply
    • Honest Mum

      Thanks, glad you’ve found it useful. I always love writing these blogging tips posts and have for years. You can find the others in my Blogging Tips category https://honestmum.com/category/blogging-tips-2/. The brand is Precis Petite and whilst I’m almost 5’6 they cater for smaller heights. I’m not sure if the dress is still available but do check out their site here: precis.co.uk

      Reply
  17. Chloe

    Hi Vicki, some great tips that many of us will find highly beneficial to improve our blogs. I need to tweek my photos so will try your tip, so thank you. You have also prompted me to revisit Pinterest, Chloe https://pinkiebag.com/ #BrilliantBlogPosts
    Chloe recently posted…Review of Skinny Pop PopcornMy Profile

    Reply
  18. Juliet McGrattan

    Very helpful tips Vicki, thank you. I’ve been considering hiring a designer to help me. I’ve learnt so much but this might be what I need to truly get my blog the way I want it.

    Reply
    • Honest Mum

      Glad it was useful, I adore my designer, her eye means my blog always looks it’s best and she created my logo to. It ensures your blog reflects your personality and personal brand.

      Reply
  19. Michelle

    This is exactly what I needed to read atm. I need to make more of an effort on how my website looks #brilblogposts
    Michelle recently posted…Losing the fear to succeedMy Profile

    Reply
  20. Ursula (Mumbelievable)

    Some amazing tips in this post. Progress, not perfectionism is something that I’ve learnt to live by and it’s a game-changer. You’re so generous with your wisdom and I know you’ll help many with this sound advice. So much love to you XXx #brilliantblogposts
    Ursula (Mumbelievable) recently posted…Part five: And now, with the sun on my faceMy Profile

    Reply
    • Honest Mum

      Thanks my darling, Marie Forleo is the Queen huh, it’s vital to get your art out into the world. Lots of love to you girl, excited to meet up this year and hopefully soon! Whoop x

      Reply
  21. Twin Pickle

    Get tips! I have learnt soo much in the past four months blogging, it’s crazy! Still pushing for total world takeover… speaking of which – if you’re looking to host a guest post you know where I am 😉 #BrilliantBlogPosts
    Twin Pickle recently posted…Home Design Trends 2017: What’s Hot & What’s NotMy Profile

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  22. Becca Farrelly

    Really great advice! One of my aims for 2017 is to work on my blogs SEO as I did focus on towards the end of last year but need to go back over old posts and ‘sort them out!’ 🙂

    #brillblogposts

    Reply
  23. five little doves

    Fab tips Vicki. I started my blog just as a hobby but over the last six months or so Ive been determined to make it a career. These are great tips, I’m off to download Yoast SEO plug-in! #brilliantblogpost
    five little doves recently posted…Our little Rapunzels, featuring Lee Stafford CoCo LoCo Blow & Go Nuts – Review & GiveawayMy Profile

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  24. Sinead (shinnersandthebrood.com)

    Such great advice. I’m not sure I’ll ever be a pro-blogger but so much to take on board there regardless! Currently throwing myself into learning about SEO and setting goals for 2017. Love advice posts like this one! #brilliantblogposts
    Sinead (shinnersandthebrood.com) recently posted…Babywearing BasicsMy Profile

    Reply
  25. Tooting Mama

    As ever always willing to share your tips! Thanks so much. I am learning that blogging takes time, patience is key as is consistency! I need to get better at SEO, I’ll definitely check out Tom’s book. Thanks again!
    Tooting Mama recently posted…7 reasons why you need to start saying noMy Profile

    Reply
  26. Michelle Cookson

    Thanks for this advice. I’ve followed your blog for a while now and it’s clear that you definitely know what you’re talking about! Even though I too have been blogging for a while, the SEO thing has me completely stumped, so I’ve just bought the Tim Kitchen book on your recommendation.

    In a world where some people want succeed at the expense of all others it’s refreshing to see someone willing to share the secrets of their own success. Thank you, Vicky, I hope that one day I can help others in a similar way.

    Michelle x
    Michelle Cookson recently posted…Award season wedding dress inspiration – Golden Globes | Yorkshire wedding blogMy Profile

    Reply
  27. Eb Gargano / easypeasyfoodie.com

    Such fab tips, Vicki. Thanks so much for sharing. I particularly love that ‘progress not perfectionism’ mantra. And really agree about the ‘it takes time’ thing – I often look at a really great blog (such as this one!) and think – I wish I could be there…but then I realise that blogger has been blogging for 5 or 10 years…I have been blogging for 20 months so can’t hope to be there yet! But I know with hard work I will get there one day!! 🙂
    Eb Gargano / easypeasyfoodie.com recently posted…7 myths about lamb and why they are not true (plus an exciting announcement!)My Profile

    Reply
    • Honest Mum

      Exactly, your blog is an incredible blog though, the time thing is down to how much goes in your archive and being around a longer time helps in how you rank and the opps you get for sure as does the time you’ve had to build your profile. You are doing brilliantly, love your blog x

      Reply
  28. Laura's Lovely Blog

    Great tips as always. I have actually just written down ‘comparison is the thief of joy’ and I’m going to pint it out and put it on my notice board as I’m terrible for it so thank you x

    Reply
  29. Michelle

    Great tips. Developing your own voice and don’t try to be like everyone else – applies in blogging and life in general.
    Michelle recently posted…Defying Gravity Lines with ORBIS =U ENCOREMy Profile

    Reply
  30. Emma Peach

    Really useful advice! Am I the only one who feels like Yoast is nagging me? When I get two green lights it’s the blogger equivalent of a gold star!

    Emma xxx
    http://www.style-splash.com

    Reply
  31. My Top 5 Tips To Making Blogging Your Career | IM Tips By Andrew

    […] …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 ….. [article continues] Source: https://honestmum.com/my-top-5-tips-to-making-blogging-your-career/ […]

    Reply
    • Baking_Bron

      These tips are brilliant! I wish the yoast plugin worked on blogger…I may have to move to WordPress to be able to use that though…Hopefully these tips will make my blog a success this year 🙂

      Reply
      • Honest Mum

        WordPress is one of the best platforms so I’d totally recommend the move for sure. Thanks for your lovely comment x

  32. Susanna

    Great advice. I got the book Million Dollar Blog on your recommendation and it’s brilliant !
    xx
    Susanna recently posted…Sprouts – Not Just For Christmas ! Sprout & Stilton Soup.My Profile

    Reply

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