10 WordPress Blogging Tips Newbies Desperately Need to Know
If I could hop into a time machine, travel back to September 25, 2015 (the day we registered our health and fitness blog), and slap us in the face with these WordPress blogging tips, I would.
Lauren and I (Alex), at that moment, sat in the exact same seats that many of you are in now…
Bouncing from website to website on the interwebs, looking for anything we could find about WordPress blogging tips and how to make money blogging. Desperate to find some good and credible information we felt like we could really trust.
What happened during our search?
Every website we found either seemed too vague or like the author didn’t have any actual experience with starting a blog.
We discovered that good information was hard to find, and we had to rely on a tremendous amount of trial and error in the beginning.
We’ve now gone on to making $20,000 – $30,000+ a month blogging (depending on the month) just from Avocadu.
And it was from fumbling all over ourselves that we learned some important WordPress blogging tips we think you REALLY need to know.
So don’t make the same blogging mistakes we did, and use these WordPress blogging tips as a fast way to transform your blog and engage your audience better.
There’s no such thing as a perfect anything when it comes to blogging.
There is no blogging test you can pass or achieve a 100/100 on. It just doesn’t work like school or college (nor does 99% of real life).
Lauren and I got hung up on trying to perfect our blog at every corner…
Tragically, we spent HOURS working on perfecting everything without knowing the harsh reality of how blogging really works…
Real talk, sista:
If you post regular helpful blog posts and are able to get people to read and enjoy them, you have won like 85% of the battle.
It really has nothing to do with how perfect your blog looks or how amazing your sales page is.
As a beginner, that is your job. Write consistently, and get loyal readers. It’s waaaayyyyyy more important than having the perfect about me page.
You’re basically a legend if you can get anyone to read and comment consistently on your posts, truth be told.
So focus on that.
Nothing you make will ever be perfect.
You’ve got to leave behind the perfectionist mentality and focus more on doing and putting yourself out there. More on content creation and less on sparkle.
For all of you preferred video learners out there, here is a video on the 10 WordPress Blogging Tips from our Youtube Channel below.
.For more free blogging tips and tricks from us, make sure to subscribe to our Youtube channel!
Facts tell and stories sell.
Lauren and I were both born as facts and figures people. She’s a former Certified Public Accountant, and I aced the math portion of the ACT without a calculator (I forgot it).
We understand the numbers and facts.
Telling someone the 15 reasons to stop eating sugar and citing a bunch of studies about why sugar is bad for you is easy for us.
It makes sense! We’re like “See people! Look at the evidence! Sugar is bad!!”
Our people responded: **Yawn**
We just didn’t get it.
It was only much later into blogging that we found out that the key to captivating your audience lies in the stories that you tell and weaving in your experiences with the message.
So in our second blog, Create and Go, that is what we focus on. You’ll notice that the introduction in most of our posts weaves in our story and how blogging changed our lives.
And Create and Go has really been blowing up lately! 😛
It’s the stories and the experiences that people talk most about. We have learned that before we sit down and write any post that we need to clarify what story we’re trying to tell first.
Your blog posts shouldn’t look like this.
Do you want to know what’s really hard to read? A long paragraph like this. One that is huge and the text is long and the sentences are run on and on and on. Even if you start out with a compelling first sentence, eventually people are going to get tired. It’s just too much of a task to take on to read this entire thing. It feels like it’s going to be a huge undertaking to read, and frankly “ain’t nobody got time for that!” So please, unless you are a writer for the NY Times or moonlight as Steven King’s Son, do not write blog posts like this. Break them up into only a couple sentence chunks at a time. Underline stuff. Bold Stuff. And start sentences with “and” just to piss the grammar Nazis off. It’s ok. This isn’t English Comprehension, and I’m not your teacher. There are no rewards for structure and grammatical finesse in the game of becoming a successful blogger. Yes, grammar matters. You don’t want your audience to think you’re stupid, but don’t worry about perfection. The only one who is rewarded is the one that effectively communicates their message with their audience. So make things fun and enjoyable to read, and you will be rewarded!
Headlines are the most important part of what you write.
- If people read your headlines and don’t click on them, you don’t have any readers.
- If you don’t have any readers, your blog can’t make any money.
- And if you’re not making any money, you have a hobby and not a successful blog.
Crazy but true story:
There are people being paid MASSIVE salaries at companies like Buzzfeed, Upworthy, NY Times, and others – just to come up with compelling headlines.
That’s their job. Every media outlet with any success has realized the importance of great headlines and are paying accordingly.
As a newbie WordPress blogger, here are a couple tools you can use to analyze your headlines:
One of the best beginner-friendly tools you can use. Just put in your name and a little information about yourself to get started plugging in your headlines.
Co-Schedule then analyzes the headlines and rates them based on a few categories. For reference, this post got a score of 66.
This tool I prefer over all others, but it is more advanced. They analyze your headline based on the emotional values and triggers in the actual headline itself.
30%-50% is a good score for most professional headline writers. Anything at 60%+ is something only the most gifted wordsmiths will accomplish.
I’ve only achieved about a 60% with one headline before: 101 Fun and Popular Blog Topics That Actually Make Money
For reference, the headline in this article got a 44%, but if you are just starting out, a 15%-30% is great!
Keep social media SIMPLE (for now).
Internet Marketing Gurus: “Be everywhere!”
Us: “Naw dawg.”
I’d rather be right where I need to be.
Avocadu.com started with us trying to do everything. Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, etc.
It ended up being a huge cluster eff of mediocrity, and that mediocrity didn’t stop until we switched all our focus and energy over to mastering Pinterest.
Over time, with all our research and hard work invested into ONE platform, our account began to grow fast and our blog along with it. We became so good at Pinterest, people couldn’t help follow us.
Only after we got good at Pinterest did we decide Youtube would be our next big thing.
We actually created a completely separate channel from Avocadu called The Health Nerd.
This Youtube channel reached over 100,000 subscribers within its first year because we used the crazy amounts of Pinterest traffic we were getting to leverage it and give it a fast start.
That fast push really helped, and we are doing the EXACT same thing with our Create and Go Pinterest Account.
We are using it to leverage the foundations for our Create and Go Youtube Channel. And it’s WORKING! We have reached over 4,000 subscribers in the last few months.
I’m not saying you have to do Youtube and Pinterest or only Pinterest. What I am saying is that getting good at social media and leveraging it has really worked for us.
There is a reason for that. One day, it will be HUGE with a massive loyal following, but only after we build a big Youtube base to support it.
Social media works far better when you initially focus on just 1-2 platforms, and then you use the success to leverage other accounts and endeavors.
Get a solid theme.
Getting a good WordPress theme is the difference between driving across USA in a used red pickup vs a yellow Ferrari.
Yes, the used pickup (also lacking AC) will save you a few bucks and eventually get you there, but it will take much longer. You’ll have all sorts of random malfunctions and headaches to deal with along the way.
Your canary yellow Ferrari will get you there in a third of the time with half the headaches.
Lauren and I hunted for a theme for a LONG time before we found one we liked.
We’ve tried them all…
Without a doubt, the best place to start a blog for beginners is with Divi Theme.
Divi Theme is incredibly customizable and very user-friendly. It’s our #1 recommendation and what most of our new bloggers in our Launch Your Blog Course are using. You can easily customize the design of your homepage and other pages on your website and they have great customer service.
They also have a no-questions-asked, 30-day money-back guarantee so there is absolutely no risk to try it!
When you purchase Divi, you also get access to the entire Elegant Themes market, which includes over 70 other themes to choose from if you don’t end up loving Divi. This theme is quickly becoming the #1 new theme on the market for newbie bloggers!
*Note: We currently use Genesis Framework. Genesis is one of the fastest themes out there, but we don’t recommend it for beginners. We only made the transition after we could afford to hire a website designer to custom code our website with Genesis for us. We recommend starting out with Divi Theme and making the transition to Genesis after you start making some income!
Make your permalinks look better.
If you were like us, you’re probably thinking… “What in tarnation is a permalink!?”
Let’s look at the one on our post for How to Start a WordPress Blog for Beginners.
The URL looks like this: https://createandgo.co/how-to-start-a-wordpress-blog/
The permalink is everything that comes after your blog name. So the “/how-to-start-a-wordpress-blog” is the permalink.
The first step to better permalinks is to make sure they are automatically pulling from your post names.
To set this up, simply do the following:
- Click “Settings” in your WordPress dashboard.
- Then click “post name” under Permalinks.
- Finally, click “save changes” to finalize,
The second piece of advice is to use whatever keyword you’re targeting as the permalink.
For the example above, we were targeting the keyword “How to Start a WordPress Blog,” so that’s what our permalink is. This will help with your blog rank better in search (SEO).
Finally, just remember to make them as simple as possible. You don’t want a bunch of random text or mumbo jumbo up there.
Optimize. Your. Images.
You know what’s a ton of fun?
A slow website!
“Just sitting there waiting for the circley bar to finish spinning brings such joy to my heart!”
-Insane Asylum Patient
Lauren and I made this mistake BIG TIME on Avocadu.
Not optimizing the hundreds of images on our website brought our website speed to a crawl. Slow speed = fewer readers and fewer sales.
If you are adding high-quality images from Shutterstock or a free stock photography website, you need to make sure they are optimized. Here are the steps to doing this:
- Upload the image to befunky.com and resize it to the smallest possible size that you need it to be in order to have it look good on your website.
- Upload that resized image to optimizilla.com to compress the file size. This usually reduces the file size of the image to anywhere from 30-70% of the original file size.
- Finally, upload the resized AND compressed image into your WordPress media library.
Your sidebar shouldn’t look like an episode of hoarders.
This goes back to what we just talked about with website speed.
The more content and plugins added to your sidebar, the longer your website will take to load.
Now, it is important to have other links to your blog posts. This will help with SEO and make your site’s navigation more friendly.
However, you can overdo it. This is what we recommend having in your sidebar:
- A photo of you + a quick introductory ‘about me’ statement
- Links to a few related or popular blog posts
- A sticky widget that provides a good call to action (This can be to an email opt-in or to a product, and the plugin Q2W3 Sicky Widget is a good option).
- We also have some ads on our sidebar on Avocadu, so that’s a good option if you are monetizing with ads (we don’t do it on Create and Go).
That’s it, and it still seems like too much!
Getting everything right and optimized on your blog is going to take time, especially because you are aiming at a moving target. One of the hardest problems you will face is staying inspired to keep blogging.
Some days, the motivation just isn’t there.
This is why we follow a few successful bloggers that inspire us with their work:
And why we hope that our income reports and other articles inspire YOU.
Some days, when we’re feeling bummed out about our business for whatever reason, seeing Michelle’s work or how Melyssa crushed her latest launch is the inspiration we need to keep moving forward.
So make sure to follow the people who inspire you most and use them for inspiration.
You WILL reach your goals if you keep working at them and never give up!
Bonus WordPress Blogging Tip: Don’t go at this all on your own!
We are going to insert a shameless plug for our awesomesauce course for newbie bloggers: How to Build and Launch a Blog in 1 Month!
“The Launch Your Blog program is excellent! When I say I learned a lot is an understatement. I literally knew nothing about blogging or the process of what type of equipment you need (Bluehost, WordPress, X-Treme, etc.) You both were great teachers. I’ve watched all the videos once, just as a overview, and now I’m going through them again taking notes [and writing down questions that pop into my head]. This was definitely a case of, “I didn’t know how much I didn’t know.” I feel confident now to get everything set up and ready to go! Starting from Square 1 doesn’t feel so scary anymore. Well worth every penny! Now I can work on making millions of pennies myself!”
If you’re interested in getting that jump start to fast track your blog, you can check out the Launch Your Blog Course here.
Co-Founder, Create and Go
P.S. Have you launched your blog yet? If not, this is the ultimate FREE 7-Day eCourse on Starting and Launching Your Blog from scratch. Please check it out and join the THOUSANDS who are already talking about it.
If you enjoyed this article on WordPress blogging tips for newbies or have any questions for us, leave us a comment below!
Alex & Lauren
Latest posts by Alex & Lauren (see all)
- Transfer a Free Blog to WordPress.org (Self-Hosted) in 5 Steps - February 13, 2018
- How to Get Rich and Wealthy While You’re Young Enough to Enjoy It - February 11, 2018
- How Much Does It REALLY Cost to Start a Blog? First 3 Months and Beyond - January 22, 2018