Increase Your Traffic with a Blog Series

During your blogging adventures, you may have wondered if you should create a blog series. A “blog series” is essentially a group of posts that cover one topic over a space of time. For example, you might see a blog series entitled “10 Ways to Make a Little Extra Cash this Holiday Season” or something similar.

There can be a lot of benefits to a blog series.

  • You don’t have to think of brand new content for a while.
  • Readers are more likely to stay on your page as they browse through every post in the series.
  • They’re generally pretty popular.
  • They help establish your expertise in an area.
  • It really helps with SEO as you begin to dominate a few keywords.
  • It gives readers a reason to keep coming back to your blog as you continue to publish new posts in the series.

Overall, it can be a really great method to improve traffic and SEO. But it can also take a lot of planning and work. Be aware that are you committing to somewhat of a long-term project when taking on a blog series.

So how do you get started?

  1. Pick a topic that you have a lot of expertise in. Make sure it’s something that you have a lot to say about. If it could easily fit all into one post, then maybe you shouldn’t spread it out over multiple posts.
  2. Plan it all out! Try to come up with titles or areas of focus for each post in the series. This can help you organize the time period and frequency in which you will be posting as well. Creating a timeline or scheduling a calendar can help you to stay on track.
  3. Start publicizing your future series. You can do this by asking your fans on social mediaquestions pertaining to the topic you’re discussing in the series. You can also announce the series to build up excitement. Some bloggers also suggest creating contests or hashtags for your series, but this will depend on you.
  4. Write and publish! Remember that you’ll want each post in the series to be consistent and cohesive. Titles should relate to each other and formats should be the same. You may even want the pictures to follow a similar formula.
  5. Give your readers a way to find other posts in the series surrounding each one. A “previous” and “next” button or link at the bottom and top of each post is a good idea. You could also create a button for your sidebar that will link to a table of contents for the entire series.
  6. Continue to publicize!

Running a blog series will be different for each blogger depending on your audience, the size of your blog, your chosen topic, and even more factors.

What type of blog series have you created? What have you learned on the way?


Saddington, John. “How To: Create a Blog Post Series and Why You Need Them!” (30 Oct. 2013).

Thompson, Kirsten. “How to Create a Successful Blog Series.” (30 Oct. 2013).

9 Ideas for Promoting Your Blog IRL (In Real Life)

Oftentimes, bloggers get lost in the cyber world and forget that they can promote their blog offline. It’s easy to get caught up in social media, commenting on other blogs, and other promoting activities that can be done from your comfy couch. However, there’s a lot you can do in real life to help your blog gain traffic.

  1. Spread the word to friends and family. Ask them to comment on your blog, share posts, and like your social media accounts. You can also ask friends to guest post or interview them for a post as an added incentive to get them to share.
  2. Tell others you know who might be interested. If you’re a part of clubs or hobby groups, share with them.
  3. If you aren’t a part of any hobby groups, create one for local bloggers. Host gatherings so you can all get to know each other. Help each other out with advice or ask questions. You don’t need to see other bloggers as competition!
  4. Use some “old-fashioned” marketing methods, such creating materials to go with your blog. T-shirts, bumper stickers, pens, calendars, business cards, stickers, etc. can be easy to create, produce, and hand out. Create a QR code (a type of barcode that can be scanned using various smart phone apps) to put on all of your products.
  5. Put up brochures or fliers on community bulletin boards, such as in coffee shops or on college campuses. Just make sure you get the right permission before slapping it on there!
  6. Attend conferences or events relevant to your blogging topic. Mingle with other enthusiasts to share via word of mouth.
  7. Inform any local businesses or attractions that might be the subject of your blog. You can shoot them a quick email with a link, or print it out so they can hang it on the wall of their establishment. Local businesses or events will welcome the free publicity.
  8. Write for a local newspaper or magazine. Offline publications are a great way to share your expertise, your voice, and your blog!
  9. Find local podcasts or radio shows. Ask to be a guest! You can get yourself interviewed or share your expertise.

What are some ways that you promote your blog offline?


Cummings, Eric. “9 Ways to Promote Your Blog Offline.” (4 Nov. 2013).

Ovsyannykov, Igor. “Promote Your Blog Offline: 5 Ways to Use the Real World for Virtual Gain.” (4 Nov. 2013).

Easy Ways to promote your blog in the real world.” (4 Nov. 2013).

How to Manage Multiple Contributors to Your Blog Without Losing Your Mind

Adding on new authors to your blog can be very beneficial – you share the burden of creating fresh content with other people. New voices and perspectives can be appealing to your audience. But like with any group project, things can get complicated pretty quickly. Without some forethought and organization, this brilliant idea can turn into a terrible disaster.

Come up with a strategy

Before your new authors start posting, meet up with them; this can be in person or through Skype. Discuss your goals with the blog and why you wanted more contributors. Decide now the duties of each new person, including social media posting, responding to emails and comments, approaching potential sponsors, web design, etc. Don’t leave any stones unturned when it comes to the responsibilities of managing a blog.

When major companies begin creating their online presence, they first discuss and create a plan. They talk about the voice of the company, the tone of all posts, and other aspects that have to do with their branding. This is something you should imitate when talking to your blog contributors. You may decide to have different voices and tones for each author, but whatever you do, discuss it before you start posting.

Create a process

Does every post need to be proof-read and cleared by at least one other blogger? Do you all need to read it before publication? What’s the format required for each blog post? How do you decide on topics to write about?

Before you start publishing with new authors, it may seem like the process will run itself. However, if you don’t streamline now, problems will arise in the future. What if two bloggers accidentally write about the same topic? What if you disagree with something another author has already published? Decide now how things are going to run after all the authors begin posting.


With so many people on one blog, organization is the key to holding it all together. Create editorial calendars and decide who is posting when. Use either Google Docs or Dropbox to save and share your rough drafts. WordPress has many different plugins that can help systemize the process. Remember that it is important to post regularly, both for Google’s SEO spiders and for your returning visitors. Also make sure that you have a way of contacting each of the contributors. With blogging, your relationship will exist mostly online – grab Skype accounts, email addresses, and phone numbers in case there is a blog emergency.


“3 Ways to Manage Multiple Authors and Administrators on Your Blog.” (8 Nov. 2013).

5 Places to Find Blogs You Can Comment On

One of the best and easiest ways to improve SEO for your blog is by commenting on other blogs. On most blogs, you should be able to share your URL as part of the commenting process (underneath the name that is displayed and a space to fill in your email address). This is an easy way to share your blog with other readers and create rich, organic backlinks. Google’s spiders will see your URL on someone else’s blog and give it more SEO weight.

Some blog tips

Perusing other blogs can also be a great opportunity for learning from other bloggers. You can see how they design their website, how they use social media buttons, their “about me” page, and more. And, of course, reading entries about other perspectives doesn’t hurt either.

The challenging part about commenting on other blogs to help improve your blog’s SEO is finding blogs to comment on. If you have a blogging community or favorite blogs that you follow, you’ve probably already commented on those (or if you haven’t, start now!). So how do you find new and diverse blogs?

Social media can actually be a huge help in this regard. Log in to all of your accounts and start searching in these locations!

  1. Hashtags – Hashtags allow you to search for certain topics on many different social media outlets. Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Tumblr, Instagram, and Google+ all use hashtags. Searching for hashtags like #blog or #blogging are guaranteed to come up with a lot of results, including many that are spam or not interesting to you. Narrowing your search down to #bloggingtips or #OnTheBlog will narrow down your results. Try also searching for your niche.
  2. Groups – Lots of social media platforms have a groups function! Facebook, Google+, and LinkedIn allow you to create communities with similar interests. Join these groups or create your own. You can find groups for bloggers in general, bloggers in your area, or bloggers in your niche. Not only will they give you valuable insight, but many members share their latest blog posts. Make sure you “like” or “+1” their post on social media as a way of showing that you did comment on or visit their blog.
  3. BlogLovin – is a website that is both a blog directory that you can search through and an easy blog reader. All of your favorite blogs can be gathered in one place, so it’s easy for you to see updates. You can also search through blogs registered with BlogLovin (there are many) by category.
  4. “Do Follow” Blogs – Do a Google search for “do follow” blogs. “Do follow” blogs are ones that allow the URL you post with your comment to be followed by Google’s spiders. Sharing your backlink with blogs that don’t have this function is still useful, but not nearly as much as “do follow” blogs.
  5. Friends/Community – Take a look at your favorite blogs. Chances are there is a list of that blogger’s favorite blogs on the sidebar. Browse through some of those. They will most likely be similar to the original blog that you liked, which can be great! You can also try asking your friends, blogging community, or social media groups what their favorite blogs are.

Where do you find blogs to comment on? Share in the comments!

Inspiration for Writing Posts About Your Local Area

Whether you’re a business blogger or a personal blogger, writing posts about your local area is aninvaluable SEO method. It’s much easier to dominate a keyword related to a geographical region than one without. For instance, you know that Googling “fast-food” will give you different search results than “fast-food in Smallville.” The same is true of any other location-keyword pairing.

Writing about your region is a great way to become a local authority, capture a new audience base, and give you something fun to blog about!

Here are some ideas for blog posts about your local area:

  1. Write a review about a restaurant, museum, concert venue, movie theater, and other similar businesses. Be careful about going negative – this may help you gain some traffic, but it won’t do you any favors with the business itself. If you write a positive review for a business, you can share the post with that business and gain a new ally. A negative review will not have nearly the same advantages. Instead, leave any of your bad customer experiences out of your blog entirely.
  2. Create a roundup of similar locations or activities. Include all the events happening in December or stores that sell the best gardening supplies.
  3. Get nostalgic – if you’ve lived in the same place for a while, write about what’s changed and what’s stayed the same. Or write about your favorite ice cream store as a child.
  4. Create a bucketlist of parks to visit or restaurants to try. As you complete each item, take pictures and do a small write-up.
  5. Check out all the activities happening in your town: carnivals, farmer’s markets, parades, festivals, charity events, etc.
  6. Create a list of little-known facts about your area.
  7. Share some of your favorite haunts and locations. Talk about the coffee you are addicted to or the gym where you are most comfortable.

What kind of local posts do you write about for your blog?

Some Miscellaneous Blog Tips

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Some miscellaneous blog tips Some miscellaneous blog tips

7 Harsh Realities of Blogging

Every industry has its ups and downs, and blogging is no exception. While you are able to do what you love and maintain a creative spirit, you also have to put in tons of hard work in an industry that is difficult to break into. So before you start your blog, make sure you’re aware of all of the harsh realities.

  1. You’re not going to make it in this industry without Pinterest. For many successful bloggers, Pinterest is their main source of traffic. In the past few years, Pinterest has completely revolutionized the way bloggers blog. Now there is a huge emphasis on images that are appealing, or “pinnable.” Not only do you need great, original pictures and videos, but you need lots of them to break up the text in your post. It helps that the rest of the content marketing industry has also gone the way of images, adding to the Pinterest momentum. But unfortunately, there’s no getting around it: bloggers must be active on Pinterest.
  2. You don’t actually have to be a good writer to blog. You’d think this one would be counter-intuitive, right? Your job is to write blog posts – don’t you need writing skills? Go check out some of the most popular bloggers out there. See a viral post passed around by your Facebook friends recently? Chances are that blog post isn’t Shakespeare. It’s probably more like Stephenie Meyers. But in a way, this is good news: it isn’t a blogger’s writing prowess that makes them popular, but their ability to connect with their audience.
  3. You don’t actually have to say something new to be a blogger. Similar to #2, the content of the blog doesn’t have to be a wild, original creation. When a current event happens, how many personal bloggers jump on the chance to share their opinion? How many niches are flooded with thousands of bloggers? Answer: all of them. But again, this isn’t necessarily a bad thing; what makes us want to read blogs is how we can relate to them. Parents love hearing stories from other parents, crafters love learning from other crafters, and so on.
  4. 80% of blogging is grunt work, the other 20% is doing what you love. Unless you love buying a domain name, figuring out a host, building a website, designing your blog, formatting your posts, optimizing your posts for SEO, and then promoting the heck out of each post on social media. Most of your time as a blogger will not be dedicated to creating and writing. If you’re totally adverse to the technical side of blogging, maybe you need to find a great partner to work with. Or focus on your finished product, rather than the frustrating, boring part of blogging.
  5. Haters gonna hate. No matter what you say on your blog, someone is going to disagree with you. Before you dive into blogging, you need to be able to handle criticism. As you continue to grow your blog, work on developing a thick skin. The more popular your blog becomes, the more it will attract haters. Here’s the secret about haters, though: they could very well be right. As human beings, we make mistakes all of the time. You may have good intentions when you write a post, but end up accidentally offending someone anyway. And that’s okay. It’s okay to make mistakes on your blog, as long as you own up to your mistakes and, occasionally, apologize for them. Then, move on, learning to grow from the experience.
  6. The industry is super over-saturated. WordPress reports that there are over 74 million WordPress sites with 33.7 million posts being published each month. Entering the blogging world is the same as an aspiring actor or singer trying to break into their respective industries: it is extremely hard to get noticed. Fortunately, there’s a lot of audience to go around. More than 2 billion people use the Internet worldwide, and bloggers can share visitors. And this is one of the best parts of the blogging industry: bloggers do not have to be each other’s competition, and they can, in fact, help each other. Bloggers use guest posting, link parties, blog hops, and other features to give each other a boost in numbers. So don’t let the sheer number of blogs in existence get you down, because there is still plenty of potential for growth.
  7. Blogging isn’t easy. Something about blogging gives many the false idea that blogging is easy. Sure, many people do it from home, and you do spend most of your time behind a computer screen. However, the successful bloggers are working 12-14 hour days to make their due. Personal bloggers, in a way, never turn off: their entire online presence is part of their branding strategy. Not only does blogging require all the hard technical work, but you also must build relationships with other bloggers and advertisers. And this demands a lot of time.

As with any career choice, you have to weigh the pros and cons. If blogging can help grow your passion, then stick with it. And good luck!

What are some of the harsh realities you’ve learned about the blogging industry?

Sources: (29 Jan. 2014).

“More Than 2 Billion People Use the Internet, Here’s What They’re Up To (INFOGRAPHIC).” (29 Jan. 2014).

10 Writing Tips for Bloggers

A blogger can wear many different hats – they could be web designers, marketers, social media gurus, photographers, and any other occupation that applies specifically to their niche. But bloggers are always writers. And as with any type of writer, it takes constant practice to hone your skill. But a blogger’s audience and objective is unlike those of other types of writers: journalists, magazine writers, copywriters, novelists, etc. Writing advice regarding character development or the inverted triangle doesn’t apply to bloggers. So what pieces of writing tips are specifically for writers who publish their work on blogs? We’ll fill you in on a couple methods you can practice to perfect your writing skills as a blogger.

1.      Remember your audience

This piece of advice is true for every type of writer, but works differently for bloggers. Bloggers need to think about the demographics of their audience as well as the fact that their audience is reading their work online. People who read blogs are looking for something that is entertaining and informative, but more importantly, easy to digest and a quick read. Use numbered lists, bullet points, and short paragraphs to achieve this.

2.      Maintain your voice

There are literally millions of other blogs your audience could be reading right now. So what keeps your readers on your website? Other than your impeccable blog design and undeniable expertise, it’s your ability to relate to your readers. They want to know that there is a real person behind the screen. When you write blog posts, make sure your personality shines through them. Use your slang (as long as readers can understand it). Share your stories.

3.      Sit on your post for a few days after writing it

There’s a few reasons why leaving your post alone for a few days before publishing it can be beneficial. Obviously, it’s easier to edit it for clarity and typos when you’ve distanced yourself from your work. It can also help you stay on message better. Sometimes when we first write a blog post, we pour all of our thoughts onto the “page” in a haphazard fashion. This method can be very useful, but should not be published immediately. Just because your first draft made sense to you when you wrote it doesn’t mean it will make sense to your reader. Taking a break from your work before returning to it helps you iron out those tangents and unclear points.

4.      Take the leap of faith

Being a writer always requires some level of vulnerability. You are sharing parts of yourself and hoping your reader likes it. There is inherently the risk that they won’t like it, and that could hurt for a writer. While there’s nothing wrong with feeling hurt after receiving negative feedback, bloggers do need to develop thick skin. Instead of hiding away or limiting how much of yourself comes through your blog posts, take the risk. Let yourself be vulnerable. The thick skin comes after.

5.      You don’t need to be Shakespeare

I understand it’s kind of contradictory to tell bloggers to work at their writing and then turn around and tell them that they don’t need to aspire to the Bard. But what I’m saying here is that while you should always strive to improve, you don’t need to get bogged down with fancy language and flowery prose. Your content is more important than your writing style. Do your best as a blogger to balance clear, readable messages with an effort to improve your writing.

6.      Work on your headlines

A huge chunk of what attracts readers to your blog post is the headline. Your headlines must be compelling and meaningful – no clickbait! Use keywords and strong, attractive words to really juice them up. Make sure that your blog post keeps the promise that your headline is making; otherwise, your headline really is clickbait and you will disappoint your readers. Use title generators if you’re having difficulties creating headlines on your own. Pay attention to the types of articles you read online and what their headlines are. Write a few different headline options before choosing the best one for your blog post.

7.      Create a writing routine

For all writers, sitting down and creating when inspiration strikes is the ideal. However, it’s not the norm. Most of the time, writers have to struggle. Their craft does not come easily. And for bloggers, it’s especially important that you publish new content consistently. Instead of waiting for the perfect muse, sit down and write even when it’s difficult. Some writers choose an hour in the morning before doing any other activity. Some writers challenge themselves to write 500 words a day. Pick a method that’s best for you. The most important part is the consistency. Writing is a lot like exercise in this way – the more endurance you build up, the easier it gets.

8.      Work on your calls-to-action

Don’t forget that you are still a marketer. Calls-to-action compel your reader to complete an objective, whether it’s moving on to a similar post, leaving a comment, or sharing your post on social media. Oftentimes buttons, like social media buttons, are an adequate CTA on their own. Just don’t let those be your only CTAs. Pay attention to the CTAs other bloggers use. Frequently, they will use a question that starts a conversation. “What do you think about this issue?” can be compelling enough to motivate readers to leave a comment or respond on social media. If you constantly work on improving your CTAs, you can avoid making them trite.

9.      Write on topics you are passionate about

If a topic bores you halfway through writing it, what makes you think your readers are going to stick around that long? Pick topics that inspire you, bug you, make you angry, make you happy, etc. Don’t be afraid of controversy or picking a side. You’re blogging at least in part to share what makes you,  you. Your opinions on certain topics, even if they aren’t popular, are necessary to complete that. And they make for much better reading – even if your audience is incensed, they are still on your website, right?

10.  Do your research

Yes, you’re the expert here, but that doesn’t mean your knowledge base is limitless. Make sure you can back up what you are saying with some outside sources. At least brush up on a topic before ignorantly making statements about it. Just don’t forget to properly cite your sources in your blog post so that you aren’t plagiarizing.

What’s the best writing advice you’ve ever been given as a blogger? Let us know in the comments!


Guest Blogging Backlash: Why is Free Guest Post Safe?

Yesterday we came across the article, “Google Takes Action against Major Guest Blog Network.” It states that Google’s algorithms are now penalizing guest posting networks, especially a site called My Blog Guest. All of this began with a statement from Matt Cutts that guest posting as a strategy is failing. In his words, “…stick a fork in it: guest blogging is done; it’s just gotten too spammy.”

While we disagree with Google’s approach, we can understand that this announcement, and the lowered ranking of a fellow guest posting service site, may be concerning for some bloggers. However, we don’t believe this will affect the core purpose of Free Guest Post or the safety and anonymity of its users. Here are a few reasons why:

1. We do not require any backlinks to Free Guest Post, or charge any fees.

That’s right, our service is entirely company-funded, and we aren’t in it for the rankings. We are in it for creating a platform for writers and publishers to easily engage in content marketing. This is different than some guest post networks that charge membership fees or require backlinks to their sites.

2. We provide a safe, private environment.

Unlike other publishing systems, we do not make public your email or contact info. All communication is done through the system, ensuring total privacy.

3. We ensure equality for all.

All publishers and writers have equal opportunity in our system, with absolutely no favoritism. It’s a first-come-first-served pool of content ready to enrich your site!

4. Our articles are certified unique content by Copyscape.

This ensures that publishers are receiving content that doesn’t appear anywhere else on the web, ruling out any duplicate content issues.

5. We give full control of articles written to the author.

As a writer, you have full control of who is able to publish your content. As a publisher, you get to choose which articles you feel best fill out your content portfolio, so neither party has to worry about spammy material.

6. Flagging.

Our system depends on you – our users – to help us moderate and make Free Guest Post an even better content platform for your needs. This is why we invented flagging. If you’re a writer and your piece is published in a way you are displeased with, you can flag it and we will address your concerns in a timely manner.

7. Feedback.

Because we care about our users, we are always open to feedback on how we can make the system better and easier to use.

Google strives to endorse quality, 100% original content and so do we. With the same goal in mind, we’re not worried about being negatively impacted by Google’s changes, and Matt Cutts later retracted his remarks on the death of guest posting, stating, “There are still many good reasons to do some guest blogging (exposure, branding, increased reach, community, etc.).”

Free Guest Post is committed to adding value to the Internet user’s experience. We will continue to provide tools that will help content marketers be successful online.

How to Create a Domain Name for Your Blog That Drives Traffic

Choosing a domain name for your blog is one of the most important parts of starting your new venture. It’s a simple item, but it can affect your SEO, your branding, and your traffic for better or for worse. When it comes to blogs, there can be a lot more freedom in how creative you are with your domain than with businesses, but many of the same challenges apply.

Before you settle on your domain name, Darren Rowse of recommends considering your traffic sources. He names three sources of possible incoming traffic to your blog:

  1. Loyal Readers – As a new blogger, you probably don’t have any loyal readers yet, but let’s assume that this category also encompasses people who come to your website through typing in the exact URL. Your friends and family fall under this section, as well as any other sources of traffic that aren’t online (like business cards).
  2. Search Engines – This is where your SEO efforts come into play.
  3. Referral Traffic – Social media, backlinks, guest posting, RSS feeds, and email newsletters all fall into this category.

It’s important to recognize what your biggest sources of traffic will be. For many lifestyle bloggers, visitors come mainly from social media or loyal readers. For business blogs, search engine traffic will be vital. And all blogs want to foster loyal readers.

While there aren’t any hard and fast rules to picking the ideal domain name, there are a few guidelines that generally help new bloggers:

  1. Make your domain name the name of your “brand” or blog. It’s hard to go wrong with this concept: making your blog name and domain name the same can eliminate confusion and make your URL easy for visitors to remember. Of course, you might want to consider making your blog name optimal for SEO and gaining traffic if you decide to use it for your domain name as well.
  2. Use keywords. Putting a relevant keyword from your niche or industry is a great way to gather search traffic.
  3. Short and easy to remember is the way to go. If your visitors can remember your name and easily type it into their search bar, they’re more likely to return. When it comes to making a memorable domain name, you might decide to sacrifice keyword opportunities for branding ones. “Google” is the best example of this: “Google” is an easy, short, memorable word, though it doesn’t describe its function at all.
  4. Use your name. Personal bloggers may want to consider using their own name as their domain. It’s easy to remember and it establishes you as the expert. It also has the added bonus of making sure you have control over that domain before someone else snatches it up. However, be warned: using your own name does limit the possibility of adding multiple contributors to your blog in the future.
  5. Pick “.com” instead of other Top Level Domains. You have the option of picking other URL endings, like “.net” or “.org,” but “.com” is the most common. Other TLDs have different connotations to them, such as businesses or other institutions. And most importantly, your traffic is highly likely to search for “.com” rather than the correct URL – and you don’t want to miss out on any readers.
  6. Buy up all the other TLDs as well. Yes, “.com” is the best, but if you have “secret” domains, you can direct all traffic to your one blog. This way, competitors and spammers won’t buy up names that are too similar to yours and confuse potential readers.
  7. Avoid letters that confuse. This means letters that invite misspellings and get your traffic lost, such as duplicate letters or homophones that aren’t clear. You might want to avoid using “kar” instead of “car” or other creative spellings as well.
  8. Run a few choices by your friends and family first. Having another perspective will alert you to any problems your potential name might have.

Before you get your heart set on a domain name, make sure you search for it and make sure it isn’t already bought or in use. You can search for an active website by typing in the URL, or you can search for a purchased domain name with any domain registrar. Once you’ve decided on your final domain name, you can buy it through a domain registrar and pick your hosting!


Rowse, Darren. “Choosing the Domain Name for your Blog.” (25 April 2014).

“Tips and Tools to Pick the Best Domain for Your Blog.” (25 April 2014).