I could really get into this.
As I have found writing more and more engaging, I have also found the technical side of blogging quite fun too. Feel free to reap the rewards of my research, taking me from blogging noob... to just noob.
Biography of a nobody day 38. February 7th 2021.
Today was a strange one, I seemed to wake up at a reasonably early time but still feel lively through the AM. Alex and I had some fun and played some Sumo Squats, quite a fun game where you have to pick up mini Sumo wrestlers via a hook on your waist by squatting. Alex also had plenty of fun cooking with Bee and I also got some time in to make my Patreon. The guys had been talking about things like Patreon and I thought what the hell- it took about an hour to set up and you never know, it could be worth it.
All of the other parts of my day I spent researching the various terms I had discovered by frequenting the r/blogging Reddit I had sought advice from last week. Terms like SEO/Keywords, Niching, google ranking, traffic, backlinking, Adsense, affiliate links. With my research and limited understanding- I will attempt to explain these now.
SEO and Keywords. First of all, SEO means Search engine optimisation. You optimise your ability to be found on search engines such as Google by using keywords. There is an importance to what keywords you use and why. I write A LOT about my mental health- so mental health should be one of my keywords. The only issue with that is that there are also A LOT of other people writing about mental health. That means that all of those sites are my competition for that first page on Google. This is where Niching comes in. Before I move on to explaining Niching I will mention some important tips I learnt about keywords. The more prominently you feature these (and the more often) the better. Using them as page titles, subheadings and even using them as the names of your images on the page all help you.
Niching. Or, finding your niche. Basically, this means narrowing that broad and overused term into something with less competition. This will obviously mean fewer people are searching for it, but that is better than never being found thanks to low Google ranking on a search that is more popular. The simplest example I could give is that if my keywords went from Mental Health to Men's mental health- I almost half my competition. I could niche further by niching my keywords to Men's mental health after divorce- because a lot of my writing is about my mental health journey after my divorce. Again, there are two things to remember here- the more go niche the less competition you have but also fewer people search for it. The less you niche the more competition you have for your keywords- so the lower you appear in google without some thorough SEO work and stringent keywording. There are professional tools/sites/apps you can use to develop well-searched keywords for your site but that is a whole post in itself. If I ever get round to using some I will do a separate blog post about them.
Google ranking. This one I should have known without even looking- it basically means how high on google you appear when related to your keywords. When my site is fully indexed (I did a whole extra post on this) then I SHOULD appear near the top for 'Biography of a nobody' being a relatively underused set of keywords.
Traffic. Traffic basically means how many people are clicking on and reading things on your website. There are simple analytics tools you can use such as Google search console to know your traffic levels. Google search console can also help you index your site so that it appears on Google in the first place. Indexing turned out more complicated for me that it needed to be because I didn't know what a sitemap was. I am a website noob.
Backlinking. This is basically getting other sites to post a link back to one of your posts or your website. The more trusted by Google the site is that posted the link, the higher it will help you rank in google. The more of these sites that do that the higher you will rank- Obviously the more traffic you also get to your site.
Adsense. I didn't look too far into this one as once I knew what it was I realised I wasn't interested. Adsense is basically one of a choice of companies you can register with online and give them spaces to put adverts on your site. The more traffic your site gets, and the more clicks on the adverts you get- the more your website will earn for you. I HATE adverts when I am trying to read something- so I WILL NOT be doing that.
Affiliate links. This one makes a little more sense to me and something I could get on board with over something like Adsense. Affiliate links are basically links you share to products that pay you if the link leads to a sale. An example would be if you review a product you bought from Amazon then post the Amazon link to that item. If it is a normal link then the clicker just gets to buy what you were reviewing as normal. If you were an Amazon affiliate and posted an affiliate link for people to click on then you would receive a small commission for helping lead to a sale. Pretty simple. From my brief time researching, there are A LOT of affiliate opportunities out there and some can be extremely lucrative. Amazon already gets a lot of natural traffic so affiliate links to them pay a pretty small amount- but if we go back to the Niching I wrote about further up- If you affiliate link with a company in your niche (the more niche the better) they are more likely to be a much more rewarding as they will also be grateful for the extra traffic. The more traffic you have- the better rates you can negotiate for.
Being new to blogging myself I had little or no understanding of some of the above so I am glad I took the time to look. It has already helped me change my site for the better- for example, each of my diary posts was just titled with the date. With the help of someone cool on the blogging Reddit and my research, I renamed each days post with a title relating more to what I did in my day. This not only made the site look better and helped current people find posts that they would find interesting- It will also massively help with my google ranking.