Welcome to part 4 of our blogging series. We’ve been going over some of the most common blogging questions and have covered serious ground. These questions are directly from my blog and were submitted through visitors through comment box or contact form. I’ve included questions that are relevant to both beginners and experienced bloggers. The answers come straight from my experience and the tips I’ve used to grow my blog throughout the years.
If you have any feedback or questions, please post it in the comment box below. Let’s get started…
Does my blog design really matter?
Blog design is very important and a solid design will increase the user engagement on your blog. Google has also stated a well-thought out design can help boost rankings within the SERP’s. Here are some elements to pay attention to…
First, ensure content is easy to find by adding a clear navigation menu. Next, a solid internal linking structure is great for visitors to find other relevant content leading to increased social shares, etc. A solid internal structure will also help index your website better and increase page authority. Next, make sure your layout is well thought out with statistics showing a right-sidebar as having the highest conversion rate. Next, a load speed below 3 seconds of optimal to increase user engagement and boost rankings. The last thing Google wants to do is display a slow loading site high within the SERP’s. This hurts user experience and de-values the search engine.
How do you moderate spam?
If you’re like a majority of bloggers, then you’re probably using WordPress and have customized it to suit your needs. WordPress has more than enough plugins that will take care of the spam problem. These plugins can be customized to perform moderation tasks that fit your preference. Here are the two popular ones I recommend…
- Akismet â€“ When you first install WordPress, this plug-in is installed and simply needs to be activated. The plug-in is very simple as it automatically detects SPAM and will send it to the designated folder. However, it’s important to keep a close eye on the emails it sends through.
- GASP â€“ This plug-in is picking up in popularity and the interface is very easy to use. The plug-in will add a cap-tcha to your comment form. Having a captcha will ensure that no bots can send through spammy comments and emails, etc.
Should I use free or premium themes?
I get this question many times and my answer is very simple: It’s depends on what you’re trying to accomplish and your budget. Because blog design is very important to increase user engagement and decrease bounce rate, I would recommend exploring both options. For example, all themes whether FREE or premium can be customized but if you lack the basic CSS skills, then a premium theme might be the right choice for you. Next,
If you’re simply blogging for yourself, a simple FREE theme will be able to handle your requirements. If you have a budget and can invest some money into premium themes, then that’s an awesome option. Keep in mind that you should consider the purpose of your blog and what environment you’re trying to provide for your audience.
What social networks drive the most traffic to a blog?
From my experience, you should devote your time and effort into the big 3-4. The social networks that have proven to be successful in growing my blog are Facebook.com, Twitter.com, Google+, etc. These networks have millions of users each month and your effort will yield greater results when engaging on them. Next, it’s important to learn how to use the interface effectively before starting your campaign. Always focus on relevant followers, using the right #hastags and posting the highest quality content. You’re going to be up against enormous competition and the ones who succeed will be those who effectively engage with relevant people.
Use tools like Google Analytics and Bitly.com to track where most of the clicks are coming from. This way, you can direct your focus to only those 1-2 social platforms.
How did you add the social sharing buttons on your posts?
Over the years, I’ve experimented with a lot of different types of social buttons. First, it’s very important to have social buttons above and below your posts. Next, social engagement can boost your traffic 5x within a very short period of time. Social media has changed the way people find and share content online so it’s important you leverage this trend right away. Next, if you’re using WordPress, you’ll have enormous options in terms of plug-ins, however, I would stick to the most recognized like AddThis.com and ShareThis.com. They have been in the business for years and offer a WordPress interface as well. Next,
It important to use a plug-in that provides complete stats on clicks, content ratio, trackbacks, etc. Knowing this data will help you make a more informed decision when posting content within social platforms. The cool thing is installing these plug-ins will be done automatically as soon as you configure the plug-in. The installation will automatically add the required code within the pages and you simply configure it after. That’s all!