Guide about GOOGLE ANALYTICS

Google Analytics can seem daunting to those of you starting out in blogging. Writing a blog is a creative process, so looking at analytics may seem both incomprehensible and dry! However, it is really important if you want your blog to be successful to have a handle on your blog’s analytics data. This post will give you some basic tips on how you can use Google Analytics to optimise your blog content, increase traffic, and generally be more insightful about how you’d like your blog to perform:

Tip #1: Installing Google Analytics

This is NOT a scary or difficult process! There are a lot of tutorials and articles that show you how to install Google Analytics. The process is quite straight forward. You sign up using a Gmail account, and select the website/blog you would like to track. You then receive your own unique tracking ID for your blog, and tracking should start working within a day. If you have made your blog smartphone-friendly, or have an app, you have the option of mobile analytics also. Here are two good resources to read/watch, that give you step-by-step details: http://www.wikihow.com/Add-Google-Analytics-to-Blogger and http://www.youtube.com/embed/P_l4oc6tbYk.

Tip #2:Think about your SEO strategy

You have the option in Analytics to track organic (or ‘unpaid’) traffic to your blog. This is useful since you can see how many new and returning visitors you have, and what posts have been popular. You can also select data over specific time periods. Take a look and see how traffic is doing over one week, one month, and three months. Maybe some posts were more topical, or more popular amongst your readers? Google is now no longer allowing keyword traffic to pass in to your traffic tools (you will see a large proportion of search terms as ‘not provided’). However, looking at page level traffic, found by clicking [Content-Site Content-Landing Pages], will show visitors on your site landing on specific pages. This may be more work than seeing what specific keywords people are using, but you can pinpoint which articles are popular and being searched for. If you see a trend, tailor and optimise your posts accordingly!

Tip #3: Location, location, location

Location, in real estate, is everything. In Google Analytics, you can search by visitor location (search by [Audience -Geo –Location]. You may think it is only your mates and your mum who read your blog. Au contraire! Your blog may resonate with those further afield. If you spot recurring visits from a specific country, maybe write a post tailored for your new audience!

Tip #4: Who is staying on your site?

If you are spending all that time posting, you want to see lots of visitors coming to your site. However, you don’t want all of them to leave. You want them to engage: to stay, read your post, and click through your blog. Take a look at the ‘Bounce Rate’ to see how many people stay on your blog after reading your post, when looking at your Page visits here: [Acquisition-Behaviour-Site Content-All Pages].

Tip #5: using your blog search box

This is a really useful way to see what your visitors are looking to read, and can give you some great inspiration for future posting. Yes, Google is slowly getting rid of organic keyword search data, but that doesn’t stop you looking for what is being searched for on your own blog. Find the data by clicking through [Behaviour-Site Search-Search Terms]. You might be surprised!

Tip #6: Out with old and in with the new?

The great thing about blogging is that after a while you can develop a sense of community amongst your readership. Getting new visits each month is great, but it is important to engage and retain your returning visitors too. Keep checking regularly how many new and returning visitors you have. The basic overview on Analytics is found here: [Audience-Overview]. If you are losing returning visitors, it might be a good idea to read any post comments, look at search terms, and your most popular articles, and try to engage with your loyal readership.

How to get invited to blogger events

Blogger events are a great perk of the job! Getting to meet new bloggers and meeting brands means that blogger events are often extremely popular. But what do you do if you’re missing out on invites? Here are a few pointers……

Last weekend a turn around for my business #bloggerball from @scarlettlondon and met amazing ladies who share the same passion as me. Very good experience and looking forward for more events….. 🍸🌹💁❣👡👗

Engage with Relevant Brands on Twitter

There are so many bloggers out there, that in order to make yourself known within your niche you need to engage with the brands you love. It’s no longer enough to have a blog relevant to your industry; you need to be actively engaging with the brands you hope to collaborate with. Whether you send them a relevant post you’ve written, or simply join in a conversation by chatting on twitter you’ll instantly be giving your profile a little boost!

Introduce Yourself to the Brands You Love

There is absolutely no harm in sending a quick email to the PR team at your favourite brand. Of course if the brand is one of the huge high street brands it may be tricky to get a response, but if you take time researching some of the smaller brands in your niche you should be able to build some good relationships with PR’s!

Be Active Online, and Immerse Yourself in the Blogger Community

It’s not just about targeting brands directly; you also need to make sure that you have a strong and recognisable profile within the blogger community. Join blogger chats, share your favourite blogger’s work and get involved in conversations. Being active online will not only mean you’ll be more visible to brands, it also shows you’re committed and are part of the community that brands so desperately want to engage with!

Make Sure Your Site is Looking its Best

This is key; when all is said and done it’s your blog that’s really going to do the talking. Your site needs to be looking its absolute best in order for a brand to get you an invite to their latest event. However active you are online, if a brand visits your blog and finds that things are messy or the content isn’t quite up to scratch then the chances are you’ll miss out on the event! If you think your blog might need some work, take a look over our Ultimate Blog Checklist and make sure you have everything in order.

Would you add anything to this list?! Let us know your thoughts in the comments below…

25 things every single blog needs!

Every blog is unique, but when it comes to building a successful website there are certain things that every blog needs! Use this checklist to make sure you have the best foundation possible to reach your blogging goals.

SOCIAL MEDIA

1. Social Media Buttons

An obvious one to start with! Don’t hinder your progress; make it as easy as you can for people to follow you on social media.

2. A Twitter Widget to Display Your Latest Tweets

If the social media buttons don’t work- this will! A widget displaying your latest tweets is a great way to prompt new readers to follow you. You’ll see one in our sidebar if you need an example.

3. Pinterest Follow Board

Pinterest is so incredibly visual, so it seems a shame to have a follow button without some nice imagery! The ‘latest pins’ widget is great, giving your readers a snapshot of your latest activity on the site.

4. Pin It Button

Make it easy for people to share; having a pin it button which appears as soon as someone hovers over your photos will really help boost shares on Pinterest.

5. Facebook Follow Button

Simple and effective; if you have space make sure you add one to your sidebar.

DESIGN AND SHARABILITY

6. A Clean, Clear and Useful Sidebar

It’s not just us; pretty much every blog resource out there will tell you to keep your sidebars clean and clear. Audit your sidebar once every couple of months to make sure there is nothing  there that doesn’t need to be.

7. Clear Categories

Make it as simple as possible for your readers to get to the part of your site most relevant to them.

8. A Simple Uncrowded Navigation Bar

Are there any categories that are now outdated or a little irrelevant? Think about revamping your navigation if so!

9. An Image Specifically for Sharing with Each Post

This works really well when it comes to increasing shares on Pinterest. When adding an image to a blog post, think first about the quality and then about how sharable it is.

10. A Good SEO Plugin

Yoast is great!

11. Share Buttons to Accompany Each Post

Having share buttons at the top of each post offers readers a quick and easy way to share their favourite pieces.

12. Someone to Regularly Reply to Comments

Hopefully that person will be you……..

13. Mailing List Sign Up Point

A mailing list is one of the most useful marketing tools you can have; if you don’t have one already make it your priority in 2017!

14. Archives

As with many of these suggestions it’s all about making it easy for your readers. Including archives of your old posts will make it easy for your readers to browse old content.

15. High Quality Photos

Please, no grainy images.

16. A Search Box

A search box will allow your readers to look through your blog for their favourite pieces, as well as looking for posts on specific topics. You can also find out what people are searching for, which will no doubt give you some great new content ideas if people are looking for something you don’t yet have.

17. Recommended Reads at the Bottom of Each Post

This helps keep readers on your blog for as long as possible, as well as moving readers around  your site.

18. Google Analytics

It’s such an important tool for bloggers, and not nearly as daunting as it sounds.  If you need some guidance take a look at our bloggers guide to Google Analytics.

BRANDING

19. A Unique About Me Section

Lacking inspiration? Take a look at our 5 Ideas for a Unique About Me Section!

20. A Logo/Identifiable Header

Keep it simple, you don’t want to be creating new logos every 6 months because you get sick of them! Keep it simple, classic and personal to you.

21. A Blog Specific Email Address

Using your hotmail address does not look professional! Do yourself a favour and create a proper email address for your blog.

22. A Set Font for Blog Posts

Choose a font that you love, and stick with it.

23. Set Brand Colours

Chose a colour palette to use throughout your blog, social media channels and all of your communications, including email.

24. Business Cards

Really handy at blogger events.

25. A Good Headshot, or Logo for All Social Media Channels and Profiles

If your blog is not a personal one then a good logo will do. Otherwise it’s definitely worth investing in a good headshot! If you don’t want to, then get someone else to take a photo for you. It’ll look much more professional than a selfie!

What would you add to this list?! Let us know in the comments below!

5 Ideas “about me” section

Your ‘about me’ section is where your readers, both loyal and new will be going to find out a little more about you. It’s also a chance to be a little creative- and perhaps even show off your talents a bit! If you’re a little stuck on how to present yourself creatively, try one of these ideas out!

10 Facts About Me

Picking 10 weird and wonderful facts about yourself can be a quick and easy way to create a unique ‘about me’ section that won’t get lost with all the others! These posts work best when you mix a few fairly ordinary facts (e.g. when you started blogging) with a couple of more unusual facts about yourself. You can also try making a post like this really stand out by picking 10 of your favourite fonts- one for each fact!

A Video!

This might seem way out of your comfort zone to some of you, but if you feel confident enough in front of a camera, a short 1 minute video can be a great way to introduce yourself to readers.

A Photo Montage

Remember your about section is a good time to be creative and visual, so why not spend some time putting together a group of images that shows your readers what you and your blog are all about!

A Timeline

A timeline is great way to put together a visual and informative profile of yourself. Pick out the key parts of your blogging life that you think your readers will want to know about, and turn these into a visual timeline so your readers can instantly se your journey!

Ask Your Readers!

Ask your readers exactly what they want to know about you! Run a short campaign on your blog and social media channels asking your followers what they’d most like to see from you in your about me section. You can then use your answers to these questions to make a really informative ‘about’ section that you know your readers will appreciate!

If you have any questions about blogging, or just want to get in touch email : merlinebeauty01@gmail.com

How to create a blog signature for Blog Post

One of the quickest ways to posh up your blog is most certainly by adding a blog signature.
Not only does it give it certain flair but I like the fact that it gives a visible stamp of your authority over your blog content.
And again, like having a blog button, to me it just screams “I Am A Serious Blogger”.

I decided to create something more personal and original in my blog. I thought sharing this post for “already blogger” and “new blogger”. It is quick easy to follow the tutorial.

STEP 1

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STEP 2

http://www.onlinesignature.in/ 

You have different options to create your signature either handwriting, animated, fun, creative or live signature. Most of them work well so you have many options.

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STEP 3

  • Write your blog name
  • Select any font, colour, background to create your signature
  • Click I am not a robot
  • Submit

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STEP 4

  • Don’t forget to download the image and save it

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Related posts: New blogger, Blog header, 19 tips for blog contents

Design Tip Creating a Blog Header

Give your readers a good first impression when they stumble on your blog by creating an eye catching header!  A well designed blog header is essential because it is the first thing that people see when they visit your site.  Through a header, you can convey the look, feel, and vibe of your blog.

The two most important things to remember when designing a header is to make sure it is the correct size for your blog and that it is transparent. If you are using a template from WordPress or Blogger each theme should indicate somewhere in the information the header size. For example my header size is 1040 x 250. Whatever your size is, make sure that you design the graphic to be that exact size! Otherwise your header will be too small or large for your page.

Now in this next step you can use whatever design software/website you are comfortable with. In this example I chose to use, PicMonkey, a free photo editing website.

Step 1: Change the canvas size to match the exact size of your footer.

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Step Two: Change the canvas color to transparent.

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Step Three: Design!

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What are your thought?

7 Steps: How to grow your Instagram

If you own a smartphone and are a blogger you will most likely already use Instagram. If not…where have you been? Instagram is a fantastic visual platform and is another way to express yourself as a blogger, a photographer and someone who is looking to build their brand. It’s by far my favourite social media platform as it gives me the freedom to be creative while allowing me to connect with others. I srarted June 2016 from 200 to 7000 followers in less than a year. Wow unbelievable but it took me hardwork.Seriously I was doubting it might work but I saw my Instagram growing everyday because I was constant and creative in my way. The most important is to be yourself and original,no need to copy someone else. You can be inspired by other bloggers but what makes growing your followers is your originality, personality and inspiration. Since Instagram is very visual, use as many apps on visuality, edit videos or pictures. More tips will come soon on this blog.

Here are some of our tips on how to gain more followers on Instagram!

Step 1. Decide on a theme and stick to it

Try and edit your photos the same way each time by using the same filter to create a theme and be consistent in the way your photos appear. That could be images of your kids and home decor, beauty or fashion posts or even crafts, its entirely up to you but try not to post random content. You may like bright and colourful images or you may prefer black and white or a bright image with white backgrounds – choose what works best for you. You may also want to create a portfolio which is great for brand recognition or perhaps you just want your feed to look pretty and in that case keeping all your images flowing nicely will do just that.

Post any personal images on your personal Facebook profile or page instead to keep them separate if you really want to post the image but if you’re wanting to create a theme on your profile I would suggest sticking to it and not posting other images which don’t fit that theme.

Delete all the bad stuff – Go back through your feed any delete any images which don’t fit your new theme. This may take a while but you don’t need the irrelevant images on there. If you want to build your portfolio you want your feed to be up to date and looking top notch!

Step 2. Be active 

As with all social media platforms the more you put in the more you will get back. The same goes with Instagram. Being active doesn’t just mean posting new content, you need to interact with your followers. If you don’t engage with others then they’re less likely to interact with you. Of course if you receive hundreds of comments a day it will be impossible to sit down and reply to all of them but do try and reply to any questions. I try my best to answer every question although I do miss some if I didn’t see the notification in time before it disappears off my wall. Aim to post every day if possible, even if it’s just once a day but don’t post 10 times a day as that’s just off-putting!

Step 3. Connect your Instagram to social media

By connecting your Instagram account to your social media accounts your are extending your reach and drawing in more potential followers. Connecting your accounts is easy and can be done from the settings option on your profile. Each time you share a photo you will have the option to share with your Facebook and Twitter accounts and it can even be set up to automatically do it each time.

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p style=”text-align:justify;”>Step 4. Share!

This isn’t everyones cup of tea but it is an amazing way of growing your readers! This could be sharing a favourite Instagram shop of yours or a favourite feed and giving each other a little shout out. I like to post a round up image with four different Instagram accounts I’ve been loving lately with an image from their feeds and tagging them for others to go and check them out. This is a great way of building your followers as others are likely to join in to and you may get mentioned by a few different people. Don’t forget to delete any features after 24-48 hours so they don’t clog up your feed and mess up your theme or portfolio.

Step 5. Add your Instagram feed to your blog sidebar

If you’re reading this post then you most likely own a blog and should already have a link to your Instagram profile somewhere alongside your social media buttons. The next step would be to install an Instagram widget in your sidebar. If you have regular traffic to your blog and readers like what they see, your readers will more often than not click on the widget to have a browse of your feed if you’re not already following you. You can install an Instagram widget pretty easily however some blog themes do already account for this so all you need to do is add your blog username in the html and it will do all the work for you.

Step 6. Use relevant hashtags 

Not only are hashtags are a great way to find new Instagram accounts they are also a great way for gaining new followers as they are usually used by likeminded people and if they found your feed through a certain hashtag they are most likely to follow you too for future content. For example if they were to search “#beautyblog” they are most likely a beauty blogger or looking for relevant beauty posts.

Now, I’m not saying that you should tag your image with 100 different tags, that would put your followers off. Simply use a handful of relevant hashtags which are easy to remember or are from a specific community for example #blogs #ontheblog #bbloggers #pbloggers. See what tags other bloggers use on a regular basis and take the time to check out what others are posting and engage which is good for interaction. I’d suggest not using hashtags like #tagforlikes and #commentforcomment as these look spammy which aren’t good!

Step 7. Host a giveaway!

Just like hosting a giveaway on your blog hosting an Instagram giveaway brings in more followers as they are required to follow you and share the post if required meaning your giveaway gets seen by more people. There are various types of giveaways you could host and here are a few of the most popular types:

Brand giveaways – If you already collaborate with brands for giveaways on your blog then perhaps suggest to host one on Instagram to boost their followers if they have an Instagram account. This is a great way to build their brand awareness as well as gain some new followers for both of you.

Loop/Group Giveaways – Do you have a group of IG friends who you interact with regularly? Gather 5-10 or however many you like (preferably not too many) and all post the same promotional image at the same time on the same day. This could be a gift card or PayPal cash or even an item. You all put your money together to fund the prize. You each tag one person on the list and they tag the next going round in a circle back to the first person in the loop. Each follower who comes across the giveaway are then required to follow all of the accounts listed if you made it a requirement that they must follow for the chance to win. If the prize is good you will definitely get a batch of new followers! Some people have been known to receive 2000+ new followers from group giveaways! Try and keep it small as people are less likely to participate in a group giveaway if they’re required to follow several new accounts.

Shop giveaway – If you own an Instagram shop decide on something to giveaway, this could be one item or a bunch of items. Make it a requirement that they must follow and re-post the giveaway as an entry and you’re bound to get some new followers! Sometimes it’s a good idea to ask them to tag someone or up to 5 people, which is another great way to get your giveaway and feed seen!

Related posts:  19 Useful tips for your blog, New Blogger

So those are our top tips on increasing your following on Instagram. Do you have any tips to share? Let me know in the comments below.