Here are random things about blogging and web development that I had learned throughout the years that I wish I had known sooner. It would have helped me a lot to simplify creating content and maintaining my website.
Blogging 101 Tips
- Make sure Google can index your website. Turn Google Search Console into your best friend and make sure to add every new post into the URL inspection of the search console. Trust me; it will help you a lot. And it will also teach you how to identify and fix errors sooner.
- Add a bit of your personality to your website by adding your profile to the sidebar or footer. And a photo in About Me.
- Heading tags are used to show order on the page to your users. <h1> represents the most crucial heading, usually a title. <h2> defines the subtitles; let’s say the questions on your article. <h6> describes the least powerful header.
- Make sure to have at least 300 words in your articles because Google prefers long articles. In my case, I make sure to keep my minimum of 400 words. My longest article published was 12000 words.
- But some of your followers might prefer to read shorter posts. A 10000 words post might scare some of your readers. That’s why I try keeping a balance between 400 words and 1100 words per article.
- To find out which posts get the most page views, visit Google Analytics -> Click Behavior -> Click Site Speed -> then Page Timings.
- Make sure the 404 page on your website provides valuable suggestions instead of error messages. Provide a searching widget on your site. Visitors can find more information and stay around longer on your website. If you check my 404 pages, I even list all the categories and several links.
- A sitemap is a list of pages on a website available to crawlers. It can be a post or a web page organized in a hierarchy.
- Changing the publishing date of a post can make it appear before or in front of another post on your website.
- Breadcrumbs are internal links at the top or bottom of the page that permits users to navigate back to a previous section promptly.
- Shortening your links using Bitly allows you to trace link clicks easily.
- Switch to text mode, paste, and then switch back to add a code to your post.
- Change your username to something contrary to admin for extra security. Admin could be easily hacked.
- Avoid using underline for styling text, as it usually implies to be an HTML link.
- Google Webmaster Tools helps you fix helpful information about your URLs, causing “not found” errors.
- Test your web design on multiple screen monitor sizes, devices, and browsers to guarantee that your system performs optimally for all readers.
- Backup and update your website weekly. I have mine set up for daily updates because I intend to publish daily. Before, I used to post weekly and had my backup done each Sunday. If any problem happens while updating your plugins or system, a backup will help you save your website and bring it back to life.
- Add social media sharing to your posts and ask your readers to comment or share to increase impressions. This will improve your traffic and SEO rank.
- Make sure your website is mobile-friendly. High traffic and pageviews will be coming from mobile devices.
- Modify how many posts appear on the front page by visiting your WordPress Dashboard -> Settings -> Reading.
- Organize internal links inside your posts to keep people reading on your blog and better bounce rate with Google.
- If you want to change the author’s name on your posts. Edit it under WordPress Dashboard -> Users -> Profile.
- Use italic, bold, and list on your posts to make it easy for reading.
- Attributing a link with a “no follow” will inform Google that certain links on your website shouldn’t be followed.
- If you want to create more useful content for your website, use Google Analytics to make knowledgeable improvements to your website.
- Remember, if you edit the title of a post, make sure to edit the slug as well.
- Make an effort to keep your Google Analytics statistics clean of spam referrers. Keep track of the affiliate links on your website for better engagement.
- Visit Google Search Console and make sure Google can index your website.
- Research your targeted niche and start following people who create similar content to the one you plan to build.
- Get into the habit of writing daily. I offer some tips on how to get into that habit. Writing will make your life easy when it comes to creating content. But like any new habit, you need practice.
- Start subscribing and following online magazine discussing what’s new in marketing, online ads, and affiliates.
- Research to find the right hosting companies for your site. Besides the creative content that you might create, pay attention to choosing the right hosting company.
- I made a mistake with my first blog selecting the cheapest option, and that decision cost me because it brought unnecessary problems into my life. My website was hacked and breached frequently. I had to use plugins on WordPress to defend my site because my cheap hosting company was useless on defense.
- Remember, an affordable hosting company might cost you a lot down the road. Now, I use WPengine.com since 2017, and so far, I’m happy with this hosting plan.
- Don’t be afraid of mistakes and setbacks. You will learn the most from those episodes. I started learning about coding after I was hacked and because I didn’t know how to customize my website.
- Lynda.com and Udemy.com offer great courses to learn the basics of coding. Make sure you take a new coding class as you confront new challenges.
- Mistakes are lessons; remember that. And when it comes to learning about web development or web design, this is even more true.
- Each time you know how to fix a problem on your website, whether through a Youtube video, lesson, or article, you’ll become more confident about taking care of your website.
- Learn how to defend your website from plagiarism. Uf, this one is personal because I had my content stolen several times, sometimes by big online magazines, which decided not to give me credit for my work.
- It is different now because my content is copyright protected, and I learned how to track and report stolen work as plagiarism.
- It doesn’t hurt to try Copyrighted.com, a site that offers a free badge on your website, indicating that your content can NOT be duplicated without your permission or giving you credit for your work.
- Use rich snippets on your website and fill them with as much information as possible. Rich snippets will tell Google that you are the original creator of that content.
- There is no such thing as 100% percent protection on the internet. But you could always report the “bad guys” to The Digital Millennium Copyright Act. And also give them a lousy ranking with Google.
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Wendy Reyes Vélez
*This post contains affiliate links.