Do you know that I share blogging tricks at least once a year on my blogging anniversary?
I celebrated five years of blogging last month.
My 4th-anniversary blogging reflections were so well-received, on my 5th anniversary, I’m sharing new information I discovered this year.
Here, on my 5th anniversary of blogging, let’s reflect on what I learned this year.
This post will cover blogger hacks I learned in the areas of traffic generation, SEO, branding, and content creation.
Furthermore, the post will include empirical evidence containing data in the form of screenshots that these blogger hacks work.
You will read these shortcuts in the order in which I learned them this year.
By the time you’re done reading this post, you’ll know new blogger hacks to save you time and improve your blogging success.
You’ll also be able to make a content creation plan for 2020.
Let’s dive in and see the blogger hacks that work.
22 Effective Blogging Hacks
Blogger Hack 1: Unsend email if you make a mistake in correspondence. I told a guest author the wrong date. Since then, I learned how to unsend Gmail for 30 seconds!
Blogger Hack 2: Don’t think for people. At the request of a guest author, I posted about travel. I predicted readers would get irritated since this is a blogging tips blog. On the contrary, people seemed to enjoy writing about their favorite airlines.
Blogger Hack 3: If you monetize your blog, be firm in your pricing. I made decisions with my emotions. Now, I have a business manager who makes financial decisions with his head.
Blogger Hack 4: Don’t write in italics. I am a credentialed English teacher, so by habit, I keep putting titles of blog posts in italics. However, I read many bloggers read articles on mobile and italics are hard to read on mobile devices. Don’t use them.
Blogger Hack 5: Acknowledge people who made your blogging journey easier.
For the first time, I sent Thanksgiving cards to my blogging contacts who helped me the past year.
One of my contacts acted as an agent for me and got me a writing gig for which I was grateful. I sent him and others this “card.”
Before the evening was over, he advertised my ebook to his Facebook followers and arranged to interview me on his blog.
I sent the card to genuinely express thanks. I didn’t expect anything in return but it is nice it worked out that way.
As you can see, these blogging hacks also boost your brand. This increased exposure can lead to monetization opportunities.
Blogger Hack 6: Don’t put “Update” in the headline.
I know I’ve mentioned some of these blogger hacks before, but here is a tweak.
You know that Google likes fresh content.
According to content marketing strategist Patti Podnar, “Pro writers want to know their sources are current.”
Therefore, when I updated a post, I’d write “Update” in the headline. Wrong move!
Feel free to write “Update” in the post before the updated information. You can also write “updated information” or “2019 update” in the meta description, so search engine users know your post contains recent information.
This shows how I updated my review of email services.
For example, when I originally published my review of 7 email vendors, I wrote that Aweber did not have 24 hours a day technical help. After publication, I discovered that they implemented those extended hours.
As you can see, I updated the post with the new information. Then, I put UPDATE in bold, in a heading, and in all caps.
Blogger Hack 7: Focus on improving your SEO.
My theme loaded too slowly. Google shows quick-loading sites to its search engine users.
Concerned my SEO was being adversely affected by my lackluster speed, I hired my wonderful technical helper Phillip Dews to change my theme, reduce plugins, and in other ways speed up my site.
Blogger Hack 8: As time allows, put your posts together and sell your ebooks on Amazon.
You’ll keep collecting the passive income from the sales and realize the time you put in was worth it.
I rounded out 2018 by publishing a resource, HOW TO MAKE MONEY BLOGGING By VARYING YOUR INCOME, a list of my monetization resources.
Shortly after, I published my Instagram Tips and Tricks ebook.
Blogger Hack 9: Make time to accept honors.
I accepted an invitation to judge the Bloggers Bash Competition.
People wrote to me from all over the world and wished me luck as a judge.
Blogger Hack 10: Speed up your site loading time.
My technical helper built me a custom theme which he said would load faster and therefore would improve my SEO.
Blogging Hack 11: Don’t skip Header Tags.
If you look in the top left-hand corner of your WordPress screen when you’re in Draft mode, you’ll see an icon of a low-case i in a circle.
Click the icon and you’ll see an outline of your post.
Do you notice how I didn’t skip any Header Tags? They are in descending order.
Make sure you don’t skip any numbers. In other words, I didn’t jump from H2 to H4.
In a real outline, your numbers would look like this.
Blogging Hack 12: If possible, try to get a link to your site from a .gov or a .edu site.
Do you want to know one of the dreams of every blogger?
Bloggers wish to build links to their sites from a .gov or a .edu website. Since these are government websites and websites from educational universities, a link from a .gov site and a .edu site carries more weight with Google than other links.
Since I am not a university student, I can’t click the link to see which of my articles the university linked to, but seeing a .edu link on my traffic referrals is exciting nonetheless.
Here are some ideas about how you can build links from .gov or .edu sites to your website.
Blogger Hack 13: Don’t underestimate the power you have as a blogger.
I received a thank you letter from a victim of the Oklahoma bombing. She thanked me for giving the victims a voice as they overcame adversity and emerged stronger.
If you’d like to see what she wrote to me at my blog party, scroll down to the comments or look at this screenshot showing the comment section from the post.
Blogger Hack 14: Use Google Analytics to determine your best days of the week for publishing.
I realized the days of the week people came to my site changed. Blogger Hugh Roberts also reported seeing this population dynamic change on his blog.
To see your metrics, go to Analytics.Google.com. Scroll down to “When Do Your Users Visit?”
The result: I started publishing on different days of the week than I had previously been publishing.
For example, instead of my blog parties coming out on Saturday at 2:00 am, I started publishing on Friday.
My big post of the week that used to publish Sunday at 2:00 am, I now publish on Saturday at 2:00 am.
Blogger Hack 15: Realize blogging takes a percentage of luck in addition to hard work.
Immediately after I published my post about unfollow apps, Instagram penalized users of unfollow apps.
As a result, there was a mass interest in this topic, and the post was my third-best performer of 2019 in terms of page views.
As you can see, 61 different keywords or keyword phrases bring up my post when users search for it.
Blogger Hack 16: Use a keyword position tool to discover the keywords bringing you traffic.
Then, put that keyword in a new keyword and publish a post focused on that term. This tells Google you are knowledgeable about all things related to that topic and Google will send you traffic.
Look at #2 and #4 in the screenshot. I knew my Instasize post was sending my blog traffic so I composed a post about a new topic related to Instasize– Instasize video.
At the time of this writing, there are 1300 searches for Instasize video monthly and my post ranks on Google’s Page 1 of the SERPs in Position 5.
I repeated the process again using the keyword terms “Ubersuggest” and “Ubersuggest io.”
In the past, Google sent a great deal of traffic to my Ubersuggest post.
Afterward, I composed a follow-up post with the keyword term “Ubersuggest io.”
Now my Ubersuggest io post ranks well also.
As you can see from the screenshot, my Ubersuggest io post ranks higher on Google than two blogs with higher Domain Authority Rankings than mine, FortuneLords.com and ShoutMeLoud.com.
Blogger Hack 17: Put a Table of Contents (TOC) in your blog posts.
I heard that if you put a Table of Contents into your post, Google will rank your post higher in the SERPs, so on September 2, I put a Table of Contents in a post I was composing about the SERPRobot tool.
Shall we see if the hack worked?
Position 12 puts my post at the Top of Page 2 in Google’s SERPs. If I update the post by adding images or additional information, I might be able to give it a nudge up to Google’s Page 1.
Facebook’s Jim Miller agrees. “Tables and structure of data help a lot on Google at the moment.” Therefore, I started using Tables of Contents and Structured Data on my site.
Facebook’s Jill Barletti believes having a Table of Contents improves social sharing since the section links on the Table of Contents improves the user experience.
This is due to the fact that a Table of Contents organizes your information for your reader.
Note: I realize we don’t know how well the post would have ranked without the Table of Contents.
I did not use a Table of Contents for this post since I only have two subheadings.
This is the Table of Contents for my post about blog comments. Do you notice the different sections?
These are live links to the different sections in your post.
This improves User Experience. If your blog visitors are only interested in reading one section, instead of scrolling down, they click the name of the section. The link will take them to that part of your post.
Blogger Hack 18: Use Push Notifications
In September, I started using push notifications.
Some people prefer getting notified of your publications through push notifications instead of emails. This is to avoid cluttering their email boxes.
Subscribers is a free plugin. Can you tell in a 10-day period I received 92 subscribers? This occurred between September 12 and September 22.
Blogger Hack 19: Vary your passive revenue streams.
September was an exciting month. My business partner, Peter Nyiri, and I started the Mostly Blogging University where Peter teaches people to make money blogging.
Blogger Hack 20: Add new keywords and update the information in your posts by making them longer.
You can also add more images and structured data such as a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) box. Adding a Table of Contents also counts as Structured Data.
Then, I told Google I updated my posts since Google likes fresh content by going to Google’s Search Engine Console.
I reflected on my blogging success this year so you can emulate my wins.
Blogger Hack 21: Apply the EAT acronym to your blogging practices.
I did not create the EAT acronym. However, the concepts are relevant to this post on blogging hacks:
Looking at my Top 2019 posts, you can see that Google considers me to be an expert and an authority in the area of social media first and video making tools second.
Look at my highest traffic generators.
Google has spoken loud and clear this year: It considers me a social media expert. It trusts me (the 3rd letter in the acronym), to give its users reliable social media information.
Blogger Hack 22: Set your content marketing objectives.
Play to your strengths. In other words, continue what is working.
Those should your content marketing objectives for 2020.
If Google ranks my social media posts and my video tips posts above all others, then my content marketing objectives should be to create more content on those topics in 2020.
Wrapping Up: Blogger Hacks
Have you checked your year-end summaries in your WordPress dashboard?
What topics does Google consider you to be an expert in? What will your content marketing objectives be to focus on in 2020?
Readers, please share so bloggers discover these blogger hacks and have a more successful blogging journey in 2020.
I look forward to your views in the comments section. Are there any blogger hacks you can add to this list?
Janice Wald is the founder of MostlyBlogging.com. She is an ebook author, blogger, blogging coach, blogging judge, freelance writer, and speaker. She was nominated as the 2019 Best Internet Marketer by the Infinity Blog Awards and in 2017 as the Most Informative Blogger by the London Bloggers Bash. She’s been featured on Small Business Trends, the Huffington Post, and Lifehack.