Showing posts with label Blogging help. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Blogging help. Show all posts


How to optimize your images to get more traffic to your blog

Many bloggers are not utilizing the power of images in their blog posts so here is how you can make sure you are doing these things. This will help get more views on your blog posts through the images you share in your blog post.

How to optimize your images to get more traffic

Firstly understand:

1. There is a thing called Google Images. It's right up there on the top right corner of your Google search page, next to Gmail. It's something that you may not give much thought to. It's the way to visually discover information on the world wide web.

2. Many people use Google Images to search for images for a variety of reasons. They may be looking for a quote or an infographic, a template or a specific type of picture. 

3. It is easier to be on the first page of Google Images than it is to be on the first page of Google Search. Why? Firstly from my own personal experience over many years blogging, with multiple blogs I have seen this and secondly because of the many number of images that are shown in Google images as compared to the 10 or so on Google Search.

4. You must have an image in your post to get social media re-shares. Optimally it would be good if you had a Pinterest size image on, or hidden in, your post so that people will share your post on Pinterest. 

5. Google reads text so you have to provide text to your images. Google's crawlers cannot see your image so any words you provide in the filename, ALT attribute and caption help Google to rank your images in Google images.

How to optimize your images to get more traffic.

This is a simplified version of what you must do to get the best views on your blog images and therefore your blog. It's as simple as ABC:

A. Save the image on your computer, in pictures, or downloads, with a name relevant to your post. As an example let's consider a post about The Benefits of Walking. The image below was called  'Image00957' and I renamed it 'walking benefits'. 

This way Google will read it as  

<img src=”walking_benefits_.png”/> which is helpful. 

Whereas <img src=”IMG00957.png”/> is not helpful at all.

B. Make sure you use the ALT attribute on the image, when you put it in your post. Alt text was designed for visually impaired screen readers to explain what the image is about. It also gives Google extra information about the image.  Try and use a relevant keyword in the ALT text to describe the image, if it is relevant. For example in the image above the ALT attribute could be ' two people enjoying the benefits of walking in nature'.

C. Use a caption under the image. Did you know that this is often the most read text on your page? Also it gives google extra information about the image and your post. The example in the image above could be 'Jimmy and Lee are getting out of the house and enjoying the many benefits of walking every day at their local parks. Here they are seen at the newly updated Gannons Park.'

Ranking your blog image in Google Images.

Here are the ranking elements that Google uses according to Rand Fishkin of Moz 

A. The image file name

B. The alt attribute on the image.

C. The image caption.

D. Surrounding text content.

E. The page title

F. The page URL 

G. Image engagement and popularity

H. The image dimensions matter.

I. Image size

J. Embeds of the image

K. Traditional web ranking factors on the existing URL

L.  Image relevance and visual match 

As you can see there is a lot more to this optimizing images thing but if you just make sure you are doing the ABC described above you should start getting more traffic from your images.

Go to Moz to see more explanation of these elements A to L elements of ranking images and also an in-depth video on SEO for photos, visuals, and graphics. 

Bonus tip for getting more traffic by using images.

According to Hostgator we should be using more real images in our blog posts:

You may be tempted to pay for a stock image. While stock images are better than no images at all, research shows that real photos can result in a 35% increase in conversion.
So this means real images that you have taken because apparently people want to see images of you and your partner going for a walk or your kitten, or your sore foot or whatever is relevant to your post. Makes sense to me. What about you? Have you ever used your own photographs in your posts? You might want to go back and check if these are your popular, shared posts.

Final tip for getting more traffic by using images.

When you are revamping your old posts don't forget to optimize the images using ABC.

Your turn. I would love to hear from you in the comments. Are you already using these techniques on your images? Have you learned something today from reading this about optimizing your blog post images to get more readers?

How to optimize your images to get more traffic to your blog


Blogging when you have chronic illness conditions

Claire shares 6 tips she has learned from blogging, over the last few years, when living with multiple chronic conditions.

Blogging when you have chronic illness conditions - 6 tips
As many of us with health issues will know, working a traditional job can be a challenge with long hours, commuting and the difficult aspects of a work environment. Now I didn’t ever imagine I would be blogging with chronic illness (and about chronic illness!) back in the day when I was still at my previous job, but I almost can’t imagine not doing it now.

Blogging has flexibility as one of its main benefits. It can be done from your sofa or your bed, at whatever time of the day works for you and in your pyjamas if you wish! All of which can make it a great choice for those with chronic illness for whom a 9-5 job would be impossible, or really problematic. Aside from the financial aspect, it also helps us become part of the chronic illness community and personally I find it motivating to have my own little project. I hope this post on blogging with chronic illness is interesting, and has a few helpful tips too!

Some things I have learned recently about blogging when you have chronic illness conditions:

1. Have a rough schedule, but a flexible one – I try and do one chronic illness post a week and one new recipe. This is the ideal, but if it doesn’t happen due to symptoms, then I give myself grace over it. Staying up until midnight to finish a post is rarely a good idea and may have you feeling even worse the next day.

One way to help prevent fatigue and still be consistent with social media is to schedule your posts. There are lots of ways to do this such as the scheduler within Pinterest, or Tailwind. 

2. Pace yourself – I work blogging around other necessary tasks. Doctor’s appointments, medical admin, life admin, and catching up with friends and family come first, blogging comes second. Make sure you take breaks, take your meds at the right times(!), and have time away from your computer screen.

3. Find your niche and one that you are passionate about – if you don’t love what you are writing about then you simply won’t write! Or at least find it tedious to do so.

4. Make some chronic illness blogger friends! I am very fortunate to have quite a few such friends now and it is so lovely to be able to bounce around ideas, ask for advice or simply gossip about anything but blogging! To my two favourite blogging friends (both beginning with S!) – I love our group chats, and you both make me smile so much 🙂

5. Consider monetising your blog – if blogging is a passion of yours and you have a degree of readership, then it can also help your finances. And we all know that the chronic illness life is an expensive one! Working with an ad company is one way to earn money, you can use affiliate links or work with brands on paid posts. I can’t promise you it will earn you millions, but it should at least cover the costs of hosting, domain, photo editing etc.etc.

6. Promote your posts! While you may get lucky and get good SEO without ever promoting your post, it is fairly unlikely. Sharing your posts will get it out there, and social media is key in my opinion. Pinterest is my best referral platform by a long shot, but I also share on Twitter and Facebook and I have a weekly round-up of new posts and a few older ones on my Instagram stories each Sunday.

READ THE FULL POST AT Claire's Blog 'Through the Fibro Fog'. It's titled 

Blogging with chronic illness

Claire from Through the Fibro Fog

Claire has been diagnosed with fibromyalgia, dysautonomia, hEDS, MCAS, and interstitial cystitis. Her blog 'Through the Fibro Fog' offers tips and tricks for living with chronic illness, as well as simple but delicious low histamine recipes. Please visit her blog

Blogging when you have chronic illness conditions by Claire


Blog post starters to improve your posts

Here I am explaining all about post starters and how they can benefit your blog. They have helped me get more clarity for my readers and maybe they can help you too. This is part of our Blogging Help series

Blog post starters

Blog post starters - you may have learned about them at school when they were called topic starters or story starters or introductory sentences. They are the sentences that lead your readers into your post. They introduce what the entire text is about so that readers know what to expect. They explain the purpose of your post. 

This post discusses . . .
I'm exploring the interesting idea of . . .
This is an easy-to-read guide, that will help you find...
I'm super excited to talk about...
It's time to review some of the most annoying...
Below, you will find . . .
In the first post of the series we explored...., and this post is all about...
In this post, you will learn...
I’m going to give you a step-by-step in how to...
This,..., has happened to me many times so I am going to help you...

  • They help your readers understand what the post is about.
  • They are useful when sharing your post on social media. 
You may already be using these but maybe you are not. I see many bloggers that do not use these and just launch straight into their topic. Often they waffle on a bit, I cannot understand what the post is about and I lose interest. 
Sometimes, as bloggers close to our own topic, we can presume that our title says it all but that may not be true. Other times readers are drawn into reading a post by a cryptic title and the use of the blog post starter really helps them understand what they will be reading about.  
If you are not using post starters, please consider doing so, as it makes it much easier for the reader to decide if they want to keep reading. Anything that helps your readers is good... right? It also helps build trust and authority in your blog in general. It gives confidence to your reader that you have a topic and you are going to stick to it.
If you share a lot on social media, including other people's posts, you will understand that blog post starters help others to reshare your posts in a way that makes your topic clear. 
Consider which of these is better to share and makes more sense to potential readers:
1. It Was Just Crazy.
Remy needed the vet and then the car broke down. We went to so many places I can't even remember. 
2. It Was Just Crazy.
Today I am going to explain about the unbelievable events that occurred on the craziest afternoon of my life.

Maybe you will agree with me that 2 is much better as it explains what the blogger will be blogging about? 

I often create my post starter after I have finished a post. This way I can summarise what I have written about. For me, it is easier to just start writing and to commit some thoughts to paper before considering the introduction. This allows the creative part of my brain to have free reign before I use the evaluating part. 
I hope I have convinced you to start using this idea in some of your posts, if not all of them. Also adding post starters to your old blogs is a great way to revamp them and reshare them. I would love to hear from you in the comments... do you use this device when blogging and what do you call it? Maybe you could share a link to a post of yours where you use an introductory sentence?
In addition to using strong blog post starters or sentence starters, you want your entire post to read smoothly and coherently. Grammarly can help. Their writing suggestions flag confusing sentences and provide feedback on how to make your writing clearer, helping you put your best ideas forward.

YES I AM A GRAMMARLY AFFILIATE and they do have lots of FREE services including their Basic writing suggestions that check your Spelling, Grammar, Punctuation, and Conciseness. 

Maybe you already use what I call 'blog post starters' on your blog. Maybe you did this from your school days or maybe you learnt this as you were progressing on your blogging journey. Or are you someone who just launches into a post? I would love to here from you about your experiences and how you start your posts... do you have a formula? Please let me know in the comments below.  

Blogging Help - Blog post starters

Timezone Tweaks for social media (when to post on social media)

These Timezone Tweaks, for when to post on social media, will be very helpful and simplify your social media sharing and scheduling. These suggestions, designed for any social media platform, will ensure that even if you only post twice a day you will be reaching the most people all around the world.

Timezone Tweaks for social media or when to post on social media
TIMEZONE TWEAKS when posting on any social media (according to Vin Clancy- social media addict and growth hacker). Vin's focus in these helpful suggestions focuses on UK and USA as being the most important audiences. I have found, that as well as these two countries, I get readers from many other countries so I've added many different times in. I have not taken into consideration daylight savings as that just makes it all too difficult! I hope what I've done helps you. 
We should be posting at:
  • 8am UK time/12am Pacific Daylight Time.
    WHY post at 8 am? UK is looking at their phones on the way to work or on their computers before work at home. 
    Los Angeles is up late browsing.
    Most UK content is posted in the daytime, so you get ahead of the crowd, and if your post does well, it’ll be the first thing the west coast Americans see when they wake up.

    8am is 3am Toronto, Canada time
9pm in Wellington, New Zealand
4pm in Taipei, Taiwan
5pm Sydney, Australia time 12.30pm India
9am Germany, Sweden, Italy etc (Central European Time)
12 am Pacific Time
3am Eastern Time
2am Ukraine

  •  4pm UK time/8am pacific.

WHY post at 4pm? 4pm UK time was largely found to be the time UK people spend on social media, so a good time slot in the UK, and you catch the west coast of the USA on their way to work
That's 11am Toronto, Canada
10 am in Houston, Texas
3am in Sydney, Australia.
12 am Taipei 
6pm Ukraine 
5pm Germany (Central European Time)
8.30pm India
  • 8pm UK time/12pm pacific.
    WHY post at 8 pm? Possibly the most important time slot of the day to post on social media as it is a hyper active time slots in both territories. (UK and USA) There is a lot of competition for this time slot with other posts, and UK people aren’t online as much, but if you nail all three timeslots you’re winning.
    That's 7am Sydney, Australia
    3pm in Toronto, Canada
    4am Taipei, Taiwan
    9am Auckland, New Zealand
    3pm Washington, USA
9pm Germany, Sweden, etc.  (Central European Time)
10pm Ukraine
Timezone Tweaks for social media

 Let's get personal

So for me in Sydney Australia I should be posting at 5pm, 3am and 7am my time.

What about you?

If you are in Central European Time that's Algeria, Austria, Belgium, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia, CzechRepublic, Denmark, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Serbia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland 9am, 5pm and 9pm are your best posting times if you are trying to be seen by UK and US readers.

If you are in Toronto and Ontario Canada and New York it's 3am, 11am and 3pm.

If you are in Central Time that's Alabama, Iowa, Louisiana, Minnesota, it's 2am, 6am and 2pm.

If you are in China, Macao, Taipei, Taiwan it's 4pm, 12am and 4am.

If you are iEastern European Time that's Finland, Jordan, Greece, Latvia, Russia, Romania, Ukraine it's 2am, 6pm and 10pm. 

If you are in Nevada, California, Oregon, Washington, Idaho, British Columbia, Yukon and Baja California it's 12 am, 8am and 12pm.

Timezone Tweaks for social media (when to post on social media)

If you are looking for more help with your blog you might like:


Six Tips for Blogging with Chronic Illness

Melissa shares her Six Tips for Blogging with Chronic Illness:

Six Tips for Blogging

1. Newsletter list is your own home, followers are your rental home. I started with a free WordPress website because I just started writing. I thought that all my WordPress followers would just migrate when I did. They didn’t. Start a newsletter list immediately.

2. Traffic is important but the right traffic is best – I found Pinterest and YouTube more engaged than Twitter or Facebook people, so apportion your time and energy on the places that matter.

3. Hosting is tricky but important. My first hosting experience went terribly. I am now with GreenGeeks and they are great. You can check out their awesome hosting deal here.

4. Use Canva for images, my energy-friendly tip is to make a Pinterest size image and use as the blog image and then it is easily shareable to Pinterest. If you want to get fancy make two pin images and one Facebook image for Facebook group sharing. It is worth learning to use Canva immediately.

5. Long form content makes useful resources but make sure its very easily readable in short paragraphs. I have found a mix of personal experience, research and other anecdotal experience to be great.

6. It is so fulfilling to be able to simultaneously write and help others. There was a time I thought I wouldn’t be able to complete my number one life list goal of writing a book but I did! Bit by bit. You just have to start.

You can read her article Make Money Blogging With a Chronic Illness
Melissa vs Fibromyalgia

About Melissa vs Fibromyalgia

Melissa Reynolds has been sharing her personal journey and research into fighting the chronic illnesses fibromyalgia and myofascial pain syndrome since 2013 on the blog Over time this has grown to include two books, courses, Facebook support groups and coaching. It has developed organically responding to client need and Melissa’s ability as her personal journey has taken her closer to wellness. You can visit her blog here

Six Tips for Blogging

What should I send in my emails?

In this post I will be addressing the question of what to send to your email list.

what to write in my emails

Many bloggers ask "What should I write in my emails?"

They have been told the importance of having an email list and why they should build one, over and over, by many experts but they do not know what to write in their own emails, to their own list of people.

As bloggers we have a lot on our plate - with regular blogging, promoting, reading and connecting.  It's important to decide if you have the time to also manage an email list but more importantly your reason for having one in the first place. This in turn will direct you to what you should write in the actual emails. 

"If you write something, speak up or otherwise interact with someone, you probably have a reason. There’s a point to your statement, a goal to your instruction. The change you seek to make." ~ Seth Godin.

Yes, we need to work out our reason for having a list in the first place. What is our Agenda? What Is The Purpose of Our Email List? We need that compass. Once we know this we will know what to write.

What Is The Purpose of Our Email List

Here are some of your options:


Many great bloggers use their email list to just let their list people know they have written a new post. This is the simplest type of email to write (in my opinion). They include a small part of their post and a link to the main post. So the agenda is bringing people, who have grown numb to facebook and twitter, back to their blog. The email optin is to capture those people who may come to your blog once, read an article but never come back again. Your emails would be to attract them back to your interesting articles. Your opt in box could say something like " Let me keep you updated on my latest adventures with ..." or "Get my best stuff sent to your in box."

Things To Consider: Do you want traffic to your blog or do you want people to read your content. The first option is a "teaser' email; the second is sending them the whole post. Another option is sending teasers about your new posts and alternating with full posts from the past. You do these individually each time you write a post. Aweber call these Broadcasts. If you write blog posts more than once a week you can email your list just once a week with a list of that week's topics.


If we are promoting something like a book or a service then what we write in our emails is obvious. we are trying to make a sale. We give value and interest around the same topic as our book/service. Let our email openers get to know us a little more, what we have to offer and why we are offering it. This is called a campaign in Aweber, my favourite email service. You can set up an automated campaign that goes into motion once someone signs up to your email list. I suggest sending one a week. Once you set it up it goes automatically each week to whoever signs up. After three emails providing value the fourth is recommending your book/service. If you allow responses to your emails you will get questions that need answering or ideas for your next emails. Your opt in box could be "Get a free paragraph of my upcoming book."

Things To Consider: One email could be about the pain point that your product solves. Try to think what objections people may have to purchasing and answer each one in another email. You could send a testimonial email with what people who love your product have said.


If this is all too much we could just pick one small agenda and see if it sticks. We could start with a short series of emails about one specific topic and see if that gets interest. Don't think of it as a never ending list, maybe consider it as a group of friends who want to find out more about you and a specific topic. Drill down in your niche and find a topic that interests you, that you can explore more and that others may find helpful. Send just 6 emails over 6 weeks. After these 6 emails it might grow or morph into something else. The opt in box could say "Let me tell you about my experiences and suggestions about living with migraines" or it could be a freebie around your topic "Enter your email to receive "8 Ways I cope with migraines" and other useful info.

Things To Consider: after the inital 6 weeks decide if you want to keep sending your emails and don't skip a beat. You could change topics or ask your readers to choose from a selection of topics.


Send a variety of different email types from the ones suggested above: A welcome email, a get to know me better email, a snippet from my new book email, a these are my favorite blog posts of all time, a what do you what me to write about next email, a check list or spread sheet freebie etc etc etc.


Your big decision is still do you have the time and energy to start an email list but as with most things in life you may never really understand the benefits unless you jump right in and try. 

P.S you might also be interested in another of my posts about HOW To Start an Email List Today.

jump right in


Writing tips from the rich and famous

Writing tips from the rich and famous
First of all, you have to agree with me...
blogging is writing.... yes?

If we are in agreeance then I offer you these blogging tips from those who are well-read. 

I hope you find some helpful advice for all your blogging efforts. These tips have been handpicked by me and for me. Maybe you will like them and find inspiration here too among the famous and well-read writers. 

henry miller quote on writing

  • Work on one thing at a time until finished.
  • Work calmly, joyously, recklessly on whatever is in hand.
  • Cement a little every day, rather than add new fertilizers.
  • Discard the Program when you feel like it but go back to it the next day. Concentrate. Narrow down. Exclude.
  • Forget the books you want to write. Think only of the book you are writing.

From Henry Miller's book Henry Miller on Writing. His most read book is Tropic of Cancer.

  • Use the time of a total stranger in such a way that he or she will not feel the time was wasted.
  • Write to please just one person. If you open a window and make love to the world, so to speak, your story will get pneumonia.
From Kurt Vonnegut. Most famous for his novel Slaughterhouse-Five

Ursula K. LeGuin quote about writing

  • Hardly anybody ever writes anything nice about introverts. Extroverts rule. This is rather odd when you realize that about nineteen writers out of twenty are introverts. We are been taught to be ashamed of not being ‘outgoing’. But a writer’s job is ingoing.
From Ursula K. LeGuin. Best known for the EarthSea books
  • The main rule of writing is that if you do it with enough assurance and confidence, you're allowed to do whatever you like. (That may be a rule for life as well as for writing. But it's definitely true for writing.) So write your story as it needs to be written. Write it honestly, and tell it as best you can. I'm not sure that there are any other rules. Not ones that matter.
From Neil Gaiman in an article in The Guardian. Famous for American Gods. On my must read list is Art Matters.

Margaret Attwood quote about writing

  • It is, actually, a hopeful act just to write anything, really, because you’re assuming that someone will be around to [read] it.
  • All writers feel struck by the limitations of language.
  • If it’s a story I’m telling, then I have control over the ending…
    But if it’s a story, even in my head, I must be telling it to someone.
    You don’t tell a story only to yourself. There’s always someone else. Even when there is no one.
  • The only way you can write the truth is to assume that what you set down will never be read. Not by any other person, and not even by yourself at some later date. Otherwise you begin excusing yourself.
From Margaret Attwood. Most famous currently for The Handmaid's Tale

maya angelou quote about writing
  • I make writing as much a part of my life as I do eating or listening to music.
  • You can’t use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have.
  • Each time I write a book, every time I face that yellow pad, the challenge is so great. I have written eleven books, but each time I think, 'Uh oh, they're going to find out now. I’ve run a game on everybody and they’re going to find me out'.
  • I’m trying to see how it can really sound. I really love language. I love it for what it does for us, how it allows us to explain the pain and the glory, the nuances and delicacies of our existence.
From Maya Angelou.  I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings is her 1969 autobiography.

  • Never use a long word where a short one will do.
From George Orwell. Most well known book is Animal Farm

writing tip from Annie Dillard
  • One of the things I know about writing is this: spend it all, shoot it, play it, lose it, all, right away, every time. Do not hoard what seems good for a later place in the book or for another book; give it, give it all, give it now. The impulse to save something good for a better place later is the signal to spend it now. Something more will arise for later, something better. These things fill from behind, from beneath, like well water. Similarly, the impulse to keep to yourself what you have learned is not only shameful, it is destructive. Anything you do not give freely and abundantly becomes lost to you. You open your safe and find ashes.

 From Annie Dillard. Pulitzer Prize-winning book Pilgrim at Tinker Creek

  • I still get up every morning at 4 A.M. I write seven days a week, including Christmas. And I still face a blank page every morning, and my characters don’t really care how many books I’ve sold.
  • I spend my life essentially alone at a computer. That doesn’t change. I have the same challenges every day.
From Dan Brown. Wrote the possibly top selling novel of all time The Da Vinci Code.

  • When you finally start to write something, do not let yourself stop...even when you are convinced it's the worst garbage ever. This is the biggest caveat for beginning writers. Instead, force yourself to finish what you began, and THEN go back and edit it.
From Jodi Picoult. Her top seller is My Sister's Keeper.

Khaled Hosseini quote about writing

  • I don't know the nuts and bolts of writing. I studied medicine. I was a pre-med nerd. So everything I learned, I know about writing is very instinctive.
  • Writing for me is largely about rewriting.
  • I would give them (aspiring writers) the oldest advice in the craft: Read and write. Read a lot. Read new authors and established ones, read people whose work is in the same vein as yours and those whose genre is totally different. You've heard of chain-smokers. Writers, especially beginners, need to be chain-readers. And lastly, write every day. Write about things that get under your skin and keep you up at night.
From Khaled Hosseini. Wrote The Kite Runner which hit the international stage with a blast. 

I hope you enjoyed these writing quotes from famous writers and that they gave you some inspiration for your own blogging endeavors.