Blog Secrets – What nobody tells you about blogging

This post was last updated on February 16th, 2021

Man reading book on expert secrets

What are the blog secrets that nobody tells you about when you’re starting out? This is something that many of us think about when we’re starting a blog.  How much of the information that we receive is balanced and accurate?  Everyone is telling you about the benefits of blogging but surely it’s not as easy as it’s made out to be.  So what are the secrets that we don’t hear about?  Here’s what we know in a nutshell:

Try to snag the Google snippet and “People also Ask” by optimising your content. It’ll take longer than you expect to get traffic, but eventually you’ll rank for lots of keywords that you weren’t even trying for.  Getting your work published and in the eyes of your readers is much more important than over-perfecting your articles. 

Accordingly, it should be remembered that internet ink never dries.  You should keep updating and revising your posts as you learn and come across new information. This fresh content benefits your search engine rankings. Similarly, don’t sweat on achieving perfect traffic lights in your SEO application. It’s just a guide (at best).

Try to Snag the Google featured Snippet

Of the blog secrets, this could be the most powerful of the lot. How this works is that you try to jump the queue and secure the Google featured snippet.  This is effectively position one as you appear just below the ads for the search term.

Example of a featured Snipped - blog secrets

How do you achieve this?  Well you just need to optimize your blog post for the snippet.  Luckily, this is super-simple.

You just ask a question in your first paragraph. This often starts with “How to” or What is”.  Try to put the question in the first sentence of the first paragraph.

Then in the second paragraph, give your best and most concise answer to the question. Don’t hold back on your answer. Just give your reader the facts that they need without any fluff.

Here’s an example from one of our articles

Example of Optimisation for Featured Snippet

The rest of your article becomes a process of elaboration as you go into more depth on each point that you raised.

This is worth trying on many types of posts.  It won’t always work, but if you get the featured snippet, it could turbocharge your results!

Embed YouTube videos to Boost SEO.

This is a really easy one to implement. You don’t even need your own YouTube channel.

Just embed a few well chosen YouTube videos in your articles.  If your reader watches a 10 minute video, they’re on your page for longer.  This gives a valuable boost to your search engine rankings.

Pick videos that have highly clickable content such as the one above.  It’s also a good idea to use an image overlay for your video so that you don’t slow your page speed.

Add a FAQ Section to the end of each Post – Blog Secrets

Adding a list of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) is so easy and is one of those blog secrets that not many people do.  They dramatically improve your chances of picking up a featured answer in “People Also Ask”

For example, when I searched for “Is Google Sites good for blogging”, the following appeared in “People Also Ask”:

 

Example of People Also ask in Google search results

There’s a link at the bottom back to the post.  Readers will often click this link to find out more.

FAQ are also a good way to increase the value and word count of a post.

Update all your posts regularly to improve search rankings

This is something that’s so easy to do and has such a big effect. Just by making a few changes to your content, you’re sending a signal to google that your content is fresh.

This additional content doesn’t need to be much.  It could be as much as a few sentences.

So we recommend regularly updating your data or at least once per year.

The other advantage of refreshing your articles is that you’ll see the new date reflected in search engine results.   Here’s an example of a post from AHRefs:

How date updated affects SERP meta date

Pinterest is the Best Converting Social Media – blog secrets

Pinterest for business is hands down the best social media for promoting blog posts.  Why is Pinterest so powerful for blogging?  

Because you can link out directly to a blog post straight from a Pin.  You can’t link directly from a post with Instagram, Youtube or Tiktok.

Firstly, you need to make sure that your customers are actually on Pinterest so make sure to search your niche on the app before you start.  

For example, a topic like “blogging” has thousands of pins. In comparison, “aircraft maintenance” has very few pins.

Pinterest is one of those blog secrets that many people don't know

Try to concentrate on only one or two social media channels when you’re starting out with your blog. It’s just too hard to deal with too many channels at the same time as writing a lot of content.

You’ll achieve much better results with just one channel and Pinterest would be my recommendation.

You’ll rank for Keywords that you didn’t even Try For

The standard practice that we learn when starting a blog is to optimise our articles for search keywords. 

Whilst this is of course very important, you’ll often find surprising results when you go back into Google Search Console.

What you’ll see over a period of time is that your post is being picked up for a whole range of other tangential keywords that you hadn’t expected. Some of these keywords might even be ranking on page 1 of search results.

How to find tangential keywords in Google Search Console - Blog Secrets

This happens because the Google and Bing algorithms are so clever.  They’ll often interpret your text and give you a lot more keywords to build your business.

You can build on these tangential keywords to find new things to blog about. These keywords represent a huge mine of organic growth opportunities to be tapped for your blog.

Don’t sweat about Yoast traffic lights – Blog Secrets

Whether you use Yoast, RankMath or another SEO plug-in it’s all the same.  When we started out blogging we were all told that all posts need to have a perfect line of green traffic lights.

Example of Yoast traffic lights

The reality is that you don’t need to get too hung up on the traffic lights. Try to optimise your posts as much as possible but don’t worry if you get a few amber lights.

It’s totally possible and even likely that you can still rank regardless of a few amber lights.  This is because there’s no hard science to SEO.  The creators of the plugins aren’t necessarily aware of what Google is looking for as the information isn’t publicly available.

Done is better than Perfect

Many bloggers procrastinate for far too long over the perfect wording of their articles. 

It simply isn’t worth the time and effort required to make your writing look like prose from a novel.

 

 

the word done with a tick next to it

What is important in the blogging game is to pump the work out as quickly as you can. Don’t spend too much time editing and re-editing.  

It’s simply not worth it and you’ll get much better results and quicker results if you get your articles published as soon as possible while maintaining a good standard of work.

It’s our duty as creators to help our readers so we carry this duty of service with our publishing schedule.

Internet Ink never Dries

Expanding on the last section, you need to remember that we should always push to get our work out there. Don’t worry about it whether it’s the perfect solution to a problem. 

The reason for this is that we’re always evolving and coming up with new solutions. Here at OnlineSiteBuilders, we often go back and improve old posts when we discover new solutions to problems.

As long as you’ve published your best work at the time, it can always be improved later.

Pen with ink

In fact, it will help with your SEO to regularly update your content.  This is because Google now shows the date that a post has been last updated in search results.  The search engines love to see fresh content, either with new posts or updated older articles.  

Accordingly, when you update old content, it will get a “refresh” with Google.  This might only need the addition of a few additional sentences or images.

It takes longer than you think to start getting Search Engine Traffic

For starters, the search engines always seem to sandbox new sites for a few months.

Once you start to show up in search results your progress is going to be dependent upon factors that can take time to develop such as the quality of content and backlinks etc.

 

Chart of website traffic growth

What we’re saying is to not expect a rapid ascension in the search rankings. The general experience for most sites is a more gradual increase over a number of years.

What we’re hoping for is to reach a point where we start to see hockey stick style increases in search traffic leading to a snowball effect.

It can Take even longer to Earn Money

Most blogs are monetised through affiliate marketing links or pay-per-click (PPC) advertising. 

Given that not many people click on the affiliate links and even less click on the advertising (less than 1%), it becomes obvious how important it is to get decent traffic to earn an income.

Fewer More Comprehensive Posts Win – blog secrets

If you have a look at blog posts that are ranking at number one for most keywords you’ll find an interesting statistic. You’ll see that the posts are generally over 2,000 words and sometimes over 3,000 words. 

What sets these articles apart is the high level of detail that the writer has gone into to explain the subject.

If you look at Backlinko’s search engine positioning report, The number one post gets approximately 32% of search traffic. 

Furthermore positions 1 to 3 get the lion’s share of traffic – a massive 75.1% Of total clicks

When you get past page one, virtually nobody is looking at those posts.

Hence, if you can concentrate on fewer but yet more comprehensive posts, you’ll be in a better position to snag positions 1 to 3.

Summary – Blog Secrets

Starting a blog can be incredibly rewarding. It can literally change your life in so many ways.

Having said that, it should be noted that starting a blog is a long term endeavour. 

There is no fast money here no matter what you may have seen in social media and YouTube. 

It takes time and a lot of effort and momentum for most blogs to become successful and profitable.  However, once a blog develops size, it has the potential to snowball and become a valuable asset.

Frequently Asked Questions – blog secrets

With the increase in Social Media is it still necessary to have a Blog?

Yes.  This is because every brand and community or tribe needs a central meeting point. The site becomes the central information hub for all of the business. Your website is also necessary if you want to run landing pages for product promotions etc.

Which blogging niche makes the most money?

“Make money online” and Finance are generally the two most profitable niches. This is due to the high number of software products with strong recurring affiliate commissions in these sectors.

Is it easy to make money blogging?

While not exactly not easy, it is possible to make money operating a blog if you focus on high quality content optimized for good keywords.

Should I blog in a niche if it’s already crowded?

Rather than looking at a crowded niche as a problem it’s better to consider it as a golden opportunity. A crowded niche usually means that there is a lot of traffic to go around. Therefore it’s a positive sign.

How long does it take to start making money blogging?

It can take months or even years to gain the sufficient amount of organic traffic to earn decent money from a blog. Therefore, blogging is a business where much of the work is front-loaded in the early period.  This requires a long period of effort, persistence and tenacity.

How can you get the Google featured snippet?

Start your first paragraph with a question containing the keyphrase for the post. Then, once you’ve finished the first paragraph go to the second paragraph and bold the whole paragraph. The second paragraph will be your best condensed answer to the question posed in the first paragraph. Prepare it in such a way that it gives packaged useful information for the reader.

Photo by Austin Distel on Unsplash

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