Welcome to the round-up of the Top Twenty Blogging Rules you need to follow if you are to make a success of your blog.
Blog rule 20 is finally revealed below.
So let us begin.
Rule 1 Theme
If you cannot navigate your website then neither can your readers – Choose themes carefully.
Running a successful blog and website involves a lot of work. Here at The Go To Girls Blog we take every minute we can and make the most of it, whether it is having some downtime with our families or using the time to update our website or writing blog post ready for future posts.
If you make any changes to a theme, that lead you to believe it makes it harder to read or navigate for that matter then you must correct them. Remember If you cannot read it easily then neither can your readers!
We read a lot of books and blogs and watch videos on blogging during our research and one of the top things that lose you readers and potential customers is a website that is poorly presented.
We have got pretty good at developing our website as you can see by the results on our site.
Rule 2 Logo
One thing you will find your self needing for your blog is a logo. This logo will help people recognise you and your brand across every social media app you use.
If you think about your brand when you are opening social media accounts, if you use random photos or characters then how will people know when they have found the correct account?
After all, there are plenty of copy cats out there who will use your brand to get recognition for their own. You can never stop this but you can brand cleverly by having your own logo.
Some established brands even copyright the logo they create for their brand. Here at The Go To Girls Blog we actually have two logos. Either of them can help readers recognise our brand and we even have them on our business cards.
Rule 3 Great photos
Bloggers who write great posts will already know what to include and what not to in their work. Following our blogging rules could help you be one of those bloggers.
One of those things we found here at The Go To Girls Blog is to ramp up the interest in your post you must include lots of good quality photos and videos. When you take photos chose the best ones, don’t use blurry or badly lit photos.
Take more photos than you need as you never know when you will capture the extra special one. There are lots of places out there you can get stock photos for free but the best photos are taken by YOU!
While some bloggers do not use photos at all and some use the middle of the road photography you can make your blog stand out and keep ahead of all of your competition by just following this one blogging rule.
Rule 4 Hosting
Choosing the best host for your website and/or blog is probably the most important thing as this can determine how good your website runs and looks.
While there are lots of website hosts out there you should consider what you want from your website and host, when making this decision.
For The Go To Girls Blog a couple of things we wanted our blog posts to look good across all platforms, so no matter if you are looking at us on your phone or your laptop the website would look amazing.
It needed to be quick and have enough tools to make sure our website was secure and protected from cyber-attacks. One of the good things about Bluehost is WordPress can be installed directly.
There are lots of different themes within WordPress so you can build the most beautiful websites through Bluehost
Have a look around our website to see all of the amazing features of Bluehost. The most important thing of all depends on you doing your homework. Read up on all hosting services and make a list of what you want from your website then you are fully prepared to make your decision.
(This post may contain affiliate links for which (at no additional cost to you) we may receive a small re-numeration from any purchases you make.)
Rule 5 Post Regularly.
The Go To Girls Blog posts every day and there is a good reason for this frequency. If you want to get a regular following posting regularly is a must.
Whether you post every day or 3-4 times a week, POST REGULARLY. It lets people know they can expect to hear from you on certain days.
One thing readers do not like is bloggers who are unreliable. Having readers who never know when or if you will post again won’t come back.
If you do blog every day you must make sure you still keep up the quality of your writing though. Do not exchange quality for quantity and this will lose you readers just as quickly.
Don’t forget to make sure you do the same on all of your social media too.
Keeping your brand out in the public domain means making sure it is posted regularly across all of the social media platforms you use for promoting your brand.
What is the point of writing a great post and then it stays on your laptop?
The whole point of blogging is to let as many people know about it as possible. Using social media is a proven way to advertise your post so make sure you share it around as much as possible.
Rule 6 Time Management.
Time must be the no one thing all bloggers struggle with especially If you have a full-time job as well as a full-time blog. What can you do about this? I hear you ask.
Do you have great time management skills or do you get a plugin to do it for you?
There are so many different jobs you must do to run your blog successfully. You have to find time to come up with great ideas for your blog posts, take photos, keep your website up to date as well as maintenance and updated regularly.
So time management can be time-consuming in itself. If you really want to keep on top of your time then you can always use a great plugin.
Here at The Go To Girls Blog, we use Timetable and Event Schedule by MotoPress.
This plugin is great for arranging your time into slots of various tasks plus those all-important meetings.
You can arrange the whole lot in one plugin which is good as who wants to be splitting themselves between multiple time management apps as well. If you have a WordPress blog then give it a try.
Rule 7 Be Unique
With so many bloggers out there you have to consider what is going to make you stand out among all of the others. One thing we learned here at The Go To Girls Blog is to be ourselves when we write.
Be the unique person you were born to be. Don’t join the blogger bandwagon and write the same old stuff you see day in, day out. Everyone has a different view on life all with our own back story and each with our own strengths and weaknesses.
Always play to your strengths. Write about what you know. What are you good at? What do your family and friends come to you for assistance with? I am yet to meet a person who does not have at least one skill.
We might not all value each other’s skills but we have them nonetheless. We all have experiences in daily life.
We all travel, work, cook, clean, care for ourselves or others. Every one of these things can give you a very successful blog. Why? Because they are all unique to YOU!, and someone always needs help or advice on one of the millions of topics around the world.
You just need to choose which one you can help others with. BUT write about it with your own unique insight. This should help at least get you recognised for being unique and therefore more people will come to your blog.
Which means, TRAFFIC. The holy grail for bloggers. Ask any blogger what their top want/need is!
They will all say the same – TRAFFIC.
Rule 8 Use Analytics.
Any blogger loves to see how their website is doing across all of the social media platforms and especially their blog. To do this you need to have some form of analytics to record things like how many followers you have across all of your social media platforms.
What method people used to find your site, did they search Google or did they click a link in Pinterest? How many pageviews a day do you have and even how much time on any given page within your posts or website. I know it sounds amazing doesn’t it that you can actually see all of this information.
Well, you can and I can tell you it becomes quite addictive. Watching how many visitors you have on the blog you just posted, tracking daily figures to determine the growth of your blog.
It feels great when you see one, ten, a hundred, a thousand people visited your site today and you never know when it is going to stop. Maybe it won’t, maybe in a few months you will have a million views but the analytics will still remain one of the most important tools you will ever have as a blogger.
It will also help you find your audience, how old they are, what devices they are looking at your website on and even what interests they have. This may not sound like the information you want but believe me, it is!
This is the breakdown of everything you will ever know to make a success of your blog. Use it wisely and it will help you build your brand.
Rule 9 Budget.
Another rule for any blogger but especially a new blogger is don’t spend money you don’t have! You will see everywhere companies who want to help you with apps and plugins, themes and advertising.
While these may be ok if you have a budget they are not so great if you are on a tight or no budget at all. The truth is if you pick the right host you can rely on them to help you with some of the technical features of building your website.
Although some do not include some of the design features of your website like colors and themes. The internet and in particular YouTube is also an amazing tool in helping create a great website.
All you need is a little technical knowledge and YouTube and you can get away with little or no budget and have a beautiful website. One of the things we do here at The Go To Girls Blog is to offer assistance to new and existing bloggers’ and technical help.
We know how hard it is to get your website up and running especially when you are right at the beginning of the process.
If you find yourself in need of a bit of technical help then drop us an email and depending on the nature of your query we may be able to help for free (in more complicated cases there may be a small charge)
But we will help you on your way to getting your website looking beautiful and your blog running smoothly.
Rule 10 SEO or Search Engine Optimisation.
Something to consider when writing a blog or creating a webpage is how it is going to appear on the internet, in particular within search engine results.
Nobody wants to spend all the time they have creating content and then not appear in any searches. Everyone wants their posts and website to appear on the first page of Google search and this is attainable.
You just have to optimise your post for this. SEO or Search Engine Optimisation is maximising blog posts or website pages chances of appearing high on search engine searches and therefore getting more traffic for your brand. As I said in a previous post traffic is key to a successful blog/website/brand.
Here at The Go To Girls Blog we use a couple of SEO Plugins. Why use more than one I hear you ask? Well, I thought long and hard about this and I came up with this, one SEO plugin told me to do certain things to my blog like use internal links and image tags.
Then just out of curiosity I installed another one and that told me a totally different list of things that would ‘optimise’ my post, like use a focus key phrase and set the width of my title to so many characters. Confusing, Yes! Or is it? Could it be more useful information on search engine optimisation?
We thought what if we try to follow the suggestions on 2 of these SEO plugins and see what happens. So we did and guess what happened?
It actually works.
We use On-Page and Post SEO and Yoast SEO.
Why not give them a go, it can’t hurt your brand but it can make the world of difference to your website.
Rule 11. Appreciate Interaction.
When you are a blogger one thing that makes your day is when your readers and followers interact with you. This can be by following you, leaving a comment, linking to your blog or simply liking your latest work.
Whatever the interaction, make the most of it. If someone comments on your work then reply and whether it is positive or negative. If it is negative just take it on the chin.
You chose to put your work out there on the internet for all to see and you will find that whatever you write it will not be everyone’s ‘cup of tea’.
If someone writes a negative comment thank them for their opinion and leave it at that. Other bloggers may ask you for help if you can then help them, DO SO! Interaction is key!
You will be surprised how far answering a question (which may be easy for you to answer) will take you with regard to your reputation as a good blogger.
Other bloggers will always appreciate interaction whether it is a bit of help or advice when they need it. Don’t forget not all bloggers are ‘techie’ or good at all aspects of bogging so you never know what help a fellow blogger will ask for.
Here at The Go To Girls Blog we get asked all sorts of questions from what hosting do we use? to how do we center ourselves when we write? We always reply with as much information as we can.
Rule 12. Teamwork.
There are so many different jobs you need to have covered when you are running a successful blog which could make it impossible to do alone. With this in mind, you are going to need an amazing team of very skilled people. Just to name a few roles you need to fill are a web designer, a social media manager, a photographer, and a writer.
When we started we did not have any of these roles here at The Go To Girls Blog there were just two of us. Now we have a few more people helping out with all of the various jobs we have to do daily. I can tell you it feels great not having to fit in all of these roles ourselves.
Directing all of these amazing people is so much simpler than doing it all your self. The one thing we noticed is the teamwork aspect of our job has just transitioned from managing time to managing our team.
Great teamwork is key! Everyone who has ever worked in a team will know not only do you need a team with the right skills for the job, they also have to have the right personality for your team.
Here at The Go To Girls Blog our team fits perfectly together. Everyone knows the importance we place on teamwork and we like to have a laugh but we all know when it is time to get our heads down and get to work too. Our team all work really hard and are always ready to put in that bit extra when it is needed.
This has also helped The Go To Girls Blog expand into helping other fellow bloggers who contact us regularly for help with various queries about their blogs. If you find your self in need of any help drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or use our contact us link on the website. We are always here to help.
Let us know your stories about teamwork whether it is a small or large team, we would love to hear all about it.
Rule 13 Use Links.
When writing a blog post you will hear people recommend that you use ‘links’. Well, this is ok, if you know what they are and how to use them. What they are for is another thing you will need to understand.
Firstly to explain a link is a way bloggers can direct traffic to other posts whether they are their own or other bloggers. This is a great way of getting other posts and bloggers traffic which may have a similar topic or niche.
Linking to other bloggers is also a great way to make blogger friends and building your blogger community. Using them is relatively easy as on most platforms the symbol for links is recognisable.
Simply click on this symbol and enter the name of the post you wish to link your current post to. If you are using WordPress you don’t even need the full post name just a word out of the title will do.
Click apply and that’s it. You have now inserted a link.
I know it is easy and it is amazing how much more traffic it creates for the other posts you have linked to. Why not give it a try if you have not already. Again if you need any help with links or any other blog-related issues drop us an email. You will find this is a link to contact us on our website.
Rule 14 Niche.
An important part of starting a blog is choosing a niche. If you are not familiar with blogging, a niche is a chosen area to base a blog on. i.e. food or fashion.
When choosing the niche for your blog think about something you can write with ease about, something you are passionate about.
Write about something you know about. It will make your blog so much easier to write if it is something you know about. For example, a chef would not go for a job in an office doing accounts as he would not have the knowledge to do the job so why would you write a blog on a subject you do not know anything about.
Also, the internet is a brutal place if you get it wrong. Here at The Go To Girls Blog, we have had first-hand experience with readers criticising our writing when we get it wrong.
It is not nice but you have to just suck it up and be polite with any criticism you receive. Hence the reason for choosing something you know about. Also, research is key if you are expressing a point you are not sure about research it!
It will take a couple of minutes but it will be worth it. Especially when you are writing and giving people advice or tips you need to make sure you are giving the correct information. So choose your niche wisely.
You don’t even need a niche to begin your blog if you are not sure what is your niche then just write about all sorts, to begin with, and then narrow down your area as you grow your blog. Your niche will eventually shine through in your writing.
Hopefully, you will end up with a niche you are knowledgable about and make your blog a success.
Good luck with choosing yours.
Rule 15. Visibility.
When you decide you are going to start any kind of internet-based business whether it is a website, a blog or a shop you will have other questions you will need to answer.
One of those questions is about visibility, how visible do you want to be on the internet. This is especially important when writing a blog.
You have to decide how much of yourself do you want people to see? how much do you want people to know? You may reduce your visibility if you are quite shy.
You may not want people knowing everything about you or you might not want to go to events and network with other bloggers. If this is the case then it is fine, however, if you don’t mind being in the spotlight then you could be at home putting your world out on the internet for all to see.
Just remember that once you put something on the internet it is there FOREVER! You may take it down but you never know if it has already been copied and/or reposted somewhere else and you never know when it will resurface.
So whatever you choose to do remember there are no do-overs. Another thing to remember is you will not be everyone’s cup of tea. You will get people who love what you do or what you sell or what you write but you will get haters too.
Be prepared to deal with all of these visibility issues before you publish that very first web page or blog post.
Don’t forget, be careful out there on the internet.
It can be a weird or wonderful place.
Rule 16. Social Media.
As part of a blogger’s daily life, you will probably use some form of social media. This may be Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest or any of the other social media platforms out there. You may even use some kind of application to schedule these posts.
Well if you do make sure you chose these applications wisely and even more importantly use them wisely. The can be a great tool for a blogger but if used incorrectly they can ruin your social media traffic.
We have first-hand experience of this and paid dearly for this mistake. In our case, it was truly just a technical error that looked like we had spammed our Pinterest account but it was a genuine error.
Nevertheless, The Go To Girls Blog was punished severely and lost half our traffic at a time when our blog was just taking off. So take this as a warning to use social media carefully and if you manage your own technical sides to your blogs and applications then make sure you check all of the settings very carefully!!
If you do not this can cost you dearly! Anyway, on the lighter side of social media, it can help increase traffic to your website/blog greatly.
Here at The Go To Girls Blog, we have several social media accounts where we post our daily blogs which returns us a reasonable amount of traffic.
The trick is to keep all of your social media apps updated daily or as often as you can. If you update them regularly it lets your readers know you have posted again and of course they come to your website as long as you keep your posts interesting. Using good images and exciting blog post titles.
Blogging Rule 17. Know Your Audience
Do you know who reads your blog? Male or female? Old or young? What country they are residing in? No! neither did I until recently.
As I discussed in my post the other day on Blogging Rule 8 analytics can help you with more things than the amount of traffic your website receives.
I particularly love the audience insights which gives you a breakdown of the age of your audience, their gender, location and even which devices they are looking at your website on!
How amazing is that? I love checking these figures out.
I was excited enough when I saw the figures for the number of impressions my website was receiving without the split of all the categories I found when I started digging.
The analytics I use even tell me the interests recorded by the individual reading my blog. This is amazing to see as you just can’t imagine ever knowing this amount of information about your readers and followers.
I love knowing all about them. What analytics do you use? Do you know all about the people who read your posts?
You should as this can help you write more relevant posts and get more traffic which in turn can help you make your brand and website more successful.
I love it when I learn things as I can then spread the word on my blog and help all of my readers to use the tips and tricks I learn much quicker.
Rule 18. Design.
The design of your blog and website is the most important thing you will need to master if you want to produce a successful brand. You should make it easy for your readers to get around using menus is a great way to do this. They will guide you around your website with relative ease if you have formulated and organised them correctly.
Make sure your website is eye-catching, you can do this by picking the right colour theme to match with your blog theme this will make it look professional.
If you have a niche then make sure your theme, colours and even the font you use reflect your niche. An example of this is if your niche us gardening then a nice natural theme and colour palette will enhance your website whereas a bright neon palette would clash horrifically and ruin the natural look you would normally use for this kind of blog or website.
Just because you are trying to monetise your site don’t overload your posts with adverts, this annoys me so it must annoy other people.
Finally, according to my research, a lot of people now read blogs on phones and pads so make sure your theme design is responsive to being used on phones and pads otherwise you could lose a lot of readers. WordPress has loads of themes especially for this and they are really easy to install.
Rule 19. Security
This is one rule you must follow. Security for your blog is crucial.
DO NOT MAKE THE MISTAKE OF NOT HAVING SECURITY!!
I can not stress how important this rule is. Security for your website can mean the difference between your website being potentially taken over by hackers or even held hostage.
I know this sounds dramatic but it is a distinct possibility and is happening more and more. Just imagine if you spent a month or even a couple of weeks setting up your website and it is perfect.
You are getting ready to launch, then the unthinkable happens, your website gets hacked!! You lose all of your hard work, money and time! What do you do then? What can you do?
Well, I hate to say it but unless you have some amazing tech skills or know someone who does then you start building your website all over again. No one wants to do this, do they?
So take our advice and get your site some security from day one.
Before you do any work on your website get some form of security. If you are using WordPress then security is easy as they have a lot of plugins for all of your security needs.
The Go To Girls Blog uses Bluehost as this provides all the security needed to make our website secure.
Rule 20 Research Everything.
While you may be writing a blog about something you are very knowledgeable about, you still need to do your research. Do not make the mistake of thinking you know everything. There are a lot of people in the world and you can almost guarantee someone will call you out on any errors you make!
Well, I hope this post will help you in creating a better blog/website and don’t forget if you need any help with anything ‘techy’ drop us an email.