Blogging Challenge Week 2: Blog Optimization & Prep

In this episode, Angie and April continue the blogging challenge by discussing blog prep and optimization.

blog prep

Blogging Challenge Week 2: Blog Optimization & Prep

 
 
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This is the 2nd week of our four-week blogging challenge. This is building off of our Intentional Blogging workshop from the TpT Conference.  Over the next several weeks, we will focus on helping you with blog optimization and writing intentional blog posts. It’s OK if you missed the conference workshop, this challenge will work for any TpTer. If you are just joining us, make sure to check out Week 1 here and join our mastermind group for blogging accountability as we work through the challenge: www.growwithusmastermind.com.

Week two of the blogging challenge is all about prepping and optimizing your blog for success. Having quality blogs is important, but you want to make sure your site is set up and ready for when people show up. You want your audience to easily find out about you, see your posts, and find your resources.

Let’s get started…

Blog Optimization with SEO

Yes, you want to include your SEO keywords within your blog posts, but blog optimization requires to go even further. You need to think about things like your link structure. This should be SEO friendly as well.

What you’re looking for is a link that looks like this:

YourBlogName.com/keyword-phrase

Keep your links short, simple, and use your SEO keywords. I just recently got all of my links redirected and switched over. All of my old structured links now redirect to new SEO friendly links.

I actually paid someone to help me with this (learn more about outsourcing in episode 14). If you can redirect your existing blog posts, that’s great. But, if that’s not something you have time to worry about right now just use this strategy moving forward.

Blog SEO resources

We are going to dive further into SEO keywords next week, but SEO is an important part of prepping and blog optimization. So, here are a few resources:

Past Grow With Us Podcast Episodes

SEO keyword finder tool

Uber Suggest is a great, and FREE, resource! You can enter in a topic that you’re interested in and it provides you with a list of ranked keywords.

Challenge resources

Angie and I compiled a list of SEO resources and included them in our Blogging Challenge resource list. You can find them on the main resource page for the challenge here or at the link below. There is one list with SEO for Blogger and one that’s SEO for WordPress.

Prepping your homepage

You want your homepage to me more than just a list of your existing blog posts. When your audience arrives at your homepage, they should be able to find out who you are, what you do, and what you stand for.

There should also be a call-to-action (CTA). You want people to easily be able to sign up for your email list, training course, or anything else that you have as an option for people to opt in for.

You need to include a way for people to interact with and engage with you. If you’re just starting out with your blog and haven’t created an opt-in yet then encourage them to follow you on social media. The main goal is to make sure that you have a way to continue interacting with them once they click off your blog. You don’t want to lose them forever.

Optimizing your contact page

Your “Contact” page is a way for people to easily reach out to you. You can do this by simply sharing your email address on the page, but this is also a good way to receive a ton of spam emails from bots. I’m guessing that’s not what you want.

A better option is to have a contact form that people can fill out. It makes it easy for people to find you without getting spammed by bots. But, the most important thing is just making it easy for people to reach out if they want to work with you or have questions on your resources.

Optimizing the About Me page

I’ve been on a lot of blogs lately where I can’t find anything about the person running the blog. This makes it a lot harder to connect with the blog and to remember it. That means in the future if I see something else by the same person, I might not even know it.

Having a strong About Me page is important. But, it doesn’t need to be something big. A few paragraphs about you will do. Share a little about yourself, your background in education, and what you bring to the table.

Letting people know who you are helps them to feel more connected with you. And, this is what you want in order to grow your TpT business.

Focusing on your email opt-in

Your email opt-in should be one of your major CTAs on your blog. It’s great to include it in your blog posts, but you also want it somewhere where it’s up on your site all the time.

Angie and I highly recommend having the opt-in at or near the top of your page. It needs to be above the fold (before people scroll down). We’ll talk about the sidebar option in a minute.

Building your email list is really important because you need a way to contact people that is within your control. It’s great to have a huge following on social media, but if that’s all you have your ability to stay in contact with your audience is dependent on someone else. If Facebook changes the algorithm, you could see a major decline in the number of people seeing your posts. When you collect emails, you have the ability to reach out directly to each individual person.

With that being said, there’s nothing wrong with doing an opt-in to get people on your Facebook Messenger marketing list as well. But, make sure you grab their email as well. Even if you don’t have a plan to start an email campaign right away, collect them now so you can use them in the future.

Here are a few podcast episodes on the topic:

And, don’t forget to put Facebook and Pinterest pixel on your site to optimize your blog as well. This will help you retarget your audience that comes

Should you use the sidebar for my email opt-in?

In my opinion, the sidebar used to be a lot more effective than it is now. A lot of people are accessing your mobile site which moves everything on the sidebar to the very bottom. That means they have to scroll all the way past everything else on your homepage in order to see it.

Because of this, I removed the sidebar from my site. Angie has one on her site but has found that people don’t really sign up for email list from there.

I use a free program called HotJar. It allows you to track where people are clicking on your site as well as how far they are scrolling down. This is helpful because if people aren’t scrolling to the end of the page then I don’t want my opt-in to be at the bottom.

When optimizing your blog it’s important to test things out to see what’s really working.

This week’s assignment

Ok, it’s time for your homework! This week your focus will be on optimizing everything on your site. You want to make sure it’s all working well before we move on to writing posts in week 3.

Head over to our Blog Challenge resources page to get the Challenge Organizers printable that includes a checklist for blog optimization.

And, don’t forget to come to the mastermind and share how you optimized your website this week and how it went completing the checklist.

optimize your blog

Written by April Smith

April runs her business Performing in Education, LLC full time. Her main focus is on her Teachers Pay Teacher store, but she also has an online course for teachers and has written a book on project-based learning!