I've been blogging for 2 and a half years now and upon reflection whilst looking at early blog posts, it became apparent that I know how to make my blog posts successful, especially in comparison to my first posts. Let me take you back to this postwhere I link to my makeup essentials. Bear in mind I had a different blog name so that's why it may seem a little odd with the whole 'BVL' thing. Upon clicking the post you first see that the image I uploaded was so small, taken with my boyfriends iPhone 4 which was sent to my email, saved and then uploaded. It's grainy and hard to make out exactly what I'm trying to show you. The text in the post is very chatty (which there is nothing wrong with) but with a lot of repetition, too many exclamation marks and includes a smiley face. Back then blogging was a new hobby to me and I had no idea who my target audience were or what the aim of my post was. Although it makes me cringe, it's important to note how small changes to your posts can make them so much more successful.
You really don't need an expensive camera or phone to take a good quality photo. There a few steps to ensure your photo looks good to both yourself and your reader. The first is that you should try to use natural lighting, but if not possible don't take photos directly under a ceiling light and try to buy white light bulbs instead of the yellow toned ones. I take my photos with my Olympus Pen E-PL7 which I bought last year on a Black Friday deal and would have not have this camera if it wasn't for the deal. For lighting I always use natural lighting despite having soft boxes in my house. If the lighting isn't exactly how you like it, you can lighten the photos when you come to edit them. Try to upload photos directly from your memory card or straight to your blog via your phone to ensure that the quality remains as high as possible. To set up my photos I use inspiration from Instagram and Pinterest.
This bit it dependent on personal preference and what the outcome of your blog is going to be. For me, I like a balance between a coherent talk through of the subject or product I'm writing about, and also reflecting my own personality. To make the most out of my posts, I separate my paragraphs when needed, and place text in between images to catch the reader's attention. From a professional stance, I try to write as well written as possible as my blog is actually included on my CV as I earn from it and use it as a portfolio for my work. This post goes into more depth about the structure, context of the post and grammar if you'd like to read more about it. An important feature when writing out your post post is to make sure it's unique and exactly what you want to write about.
You'll have your regular readers who read all of your blog posts, but in order for it to be as successful as possible you need to open your blog up to a wider readership. The best way to do this is through social media promotion. Not only will you make some blogging friends by chatting on Twitter and Instagram, but you'll be opening your blog up to a lot more views. Numbers aren't everything but when you're working with brands it's one of the factors they take into consideration when the want to work with you. Try not to stick with just one platform too - Pinterest is really good for promoting posts along with LinkedIn, Google + and even YouTube if you have your own account. You can create your own 'Like' page on Facebook to promote posts too, so the more you have the merrier. If you're unsure how you'll be able to promote your posts at certain times of the day, try using Buffer to schedule tweets and Instagram photos.
Linking Back and Analytics
If blogging is more than just a hobby for you, looking at your statistics and analytics is vital when looking at the success of your post. Firstly you should link back to previous blog posts to improve your SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) which will help your posts rank higher on Google and be more attractive to brands and collaborators. Internal linking can also increase your DA (Domain Authority) which is what a lot of brands are looking for these days when bringing out requirements for their campaigns. Secondly, you need to look at where your traffic is coming from and how to encourage readers to return to your blog. I prefer to use Google Analytics as it provides data such as page views, acquisition, audience, behaviour and even what revenue your blog may earn. Although I blog using Blogger, their statistics aren't reliable and don't exclude bots and spam and give sometimes false readings. When you're looking at your blog data you can determine who your audience is, what social media promotion works best to send readers over, With this data you can tailor your posts to your audience to encourage them to keep reading and returning.