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How to Keep Your Blog Afloat During COVID-19 • The Blonde Abroad

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In the event you’re like me and your weblog brings in a good portion of your online business’s income, this could be a actually arduous time for us all — it’s actually vital to check out what’s modified, decide how one can pivot your methods, and proceed to help your online business over the approaching months.

I’d prefer to preface my ideas by saying that the majority of the following pointers are centered on income-generating blogs, so when you make the majority of your weblog income by means of advert income, associates, or changing your viewers to product gross sales, the following pointers are extra seemingly going to narrate to you.

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However even when you’re simply beginning out, it’s a extremely good schooling on what to anticipate from the enterprise facet of operating a weblog and turning it into an earnings.

Right here’s how I’m conserving my weblog afloat throughout this time!

Weblog and Social Media Efficiency

Clearly, as a result of fewer persons are trying to find journey and destination-specific content material proper now, my weblog visitors is down — and with that comes fewer customers on my website, much less income from adverts, fewer product gross sales and fewer affiliate earnings. You would possibly discover that your weblog is producing much less passive earnings as nicely.

Listed below are some issues I’ve personally observed by myself platforms:

  • Instagram Tales Engagement: Elevated
  • Instagram Posts Engagement: In regards to the Similar
  • Open Price of Emails: Elevated
  • Weblog Readership: Decreased
  • Pinterest Viewership: In regards to the Similar
  • Site visitors Referrals to Weblog from Social: Elevated

My takeaway?

Extra persons are on their telephones, scrolling Instagram and opening emails, that means they’re nonetheless on the lookout for sources of data, leisure and inspiration, however they’re not actively on the lookout for journey content material, which is smart given the journey restrictions and uncertainty.

So, with that, I made a decision to make use of this time to make some modifications to my running a blog methods to make sure that I’m nonetheless capable of help my enterprise with income (and pay my group), in addition to to pivot my content material technique to construct out extra content material round non-travel subjects and hold my readers blissful and entertained!

We’ll get into all these methods extra, under!

Take a look at your “1-month” vs “2020 YTD” Google Analytics visitors to match.

Take Time to Analyze

In my private expertise, I noticed an enormous drop-off in visitors beginning in early March — at first, I didn’t perceive why, however when the pandemic lockdowns began to succeed in Europe and the US, the place the vast majority of my viewers relies, it turned crystal clear.

If most of your content material is travel-related, there’s a superb likelihood you skilled a drop as nicely, and that is comprehensible given the circumstances. Since nobody can journey proper now, wanderlust and bucket checklist kind searches aren’t as outstanding.

Right here’s my weblog visitors from January by means of April, for reference:

Google Analytics Traffic

My visitors has principally been reduce in half or, on some days, right down to a 3rd of my regular visitors.

So, going again to the thought of “pivoting” your methods, take a while to evaluate your prime visitors and see which pages or posts are nonetheless getting views. Your analytics will let you know fairly deeply about what issues have modified and stayed the identical.

Sometimes, I’ve a reasonably normal checklist of my prime 10 pages which are persistently getting essentially the most views and clicks on my weblog.

That’s as a result of these top-traffic pages rank on Google or do rather well on Pinterest, and result in a relentless move of referral visitors. However, now that individuals’s search habits have modified with the instances, I’ve entire new content material displaying up on “prime”.

In the mean time, most of my visitors is generated from extra dwelling and lifestyle-related posts.

These top-pages are nonetheless getting essentially the most views (no modifications):

  • About Me: Readers are nonetheless desirous about my story and the “how” and “why” behind The Blonde Overseas
  • Dwelling Web page: New customers are nonetheless discovering my web site from different locations (though fewer than earlier than)
  • Begin Right here Web page: There are nonetheless new customers coming throughout my web site (though fewer than earlier than)
  • Locations: After all, there might be some folks nonetheless on the lookout for data on future journeys (though fewer than earlier than)

These pages are getting fewer views (in comparison with “regular”):

  • All journey guides
  • Any destination-specific content material

These pages are getting extra views (in comparison with “regular”):

So, take a while to research your individual visitors.

The principle belongings you wish to analyze are:

  • How a lot the amount of visitors has been impacted?
  • The place customers are touchdown on the location (ie: sure pages, posts, and many others.) and if and the way that has modified?
  • Consumer habits in your website — contemplate questions like: Are customers spending extra time in your website or much less? Are they studying extra or fewer pages?
  • What kind of content material are they now in comparison with earlier than the visitors drop?

Now, let’s dive into what “new” content material we’re creating that’s killing it!

New Content material

Usually, we’ve a reasonably normal content material creation schedule which incorporates tons of journey guides. It’s positively very heavy on the journey theme, however on condition that a lot of the world is on lockdown, we’ve determined to share extra way of life content material and issues to do at dwelling—in anticipation of what the following 6-12 months will seem like for journey.

Fortunately, I’m fairly assured that we are able to keep it up with a majority of way of life content material in the interim and nonetheless have interaction my readers.

We’ve seen a pleasant spike in curiosity for content material like comfortable garments to put on round dwelling, issues to do to remain entertained and handle stress throughout this time, and the worldwide recipes we’re sharing.

Listed below are a few of my prime way of life posts that we’ve created throughout lockdown:

What I’d suggest for brand spanking new content material for the brand new few months is content material that brings in some type of affiliate income. Embrace a number of shoppable moments. Take into account what your viewers is doing proper now. In the event you don’t know, ask them! Most issues ‘from dwelling’ are going to do nicely!

So, take this time to discover different concepts or different pillars of content material that you just may not usually deal with!

blog working from home

Enhance Present Content material

I’m personally experiencing disaster fatigue and struggling to place my head down and be productive.

Are you feeling this, too?

In the event you’re battling developing with new concepts, one of many first productive issues you are able to do is to enhance outdated content material and people newly high-ranking pages.

Perhaps the copy is outdated because you wrote it, or outdated images should be optimized. Or maybe it’s essential to repair up the grammar and incorporate extra inside hyperlinks to newer content material in your weblog.

My suggestion: Undergo your highest-traffic pages and posts, so as of web page views, and ensure they’re one of the best they will probably be.

Listed below are my tips about revamping current content material so it’s optimized for consumer expertise and search engine marketing!

1. Optimize Photographs for Retina Show

I began running a blog eight years in the past and by no means resized my photographs. FAIL. Enormous photographs decelerate your website. It’s SO vital to add accurately sized photographs.

To seek out an optimized picture dimension on your weblog submit: Open a weblog submit, right-click, and press Examine—the ‘show’ dimension of that picture is what’s proven (ex. 300x500px). For retina show screens, you’ll wish to add a picture 2x that (ex. 600px large) and beneath 300kb.

Right here’s a screengrab of my picture Export settings in Lightroom for reference:

Lightroom Export Settings

 

2. Is Your Title Partaking and Optimized with search engine marketing Key phrases?

Yoast’s Weblog and Backlinko are nice sources for studying the fundamentals of search engine marketing and implementing them. You’ll want to incorporate searchable phrases and phrases all through the submit and replace the title to one thing extra participating, if obligatory.

For instance, I had some weblog posts from 2011 and 2012 that have been written in additional of a diary format with titles that nobody was ever going to seek out by means of a search engine, so I up to date these kinds of posts to incorporate extra itinerary data and extra tangible ideas for vacationers.

Moderately than drafting your whole outdated content material, you would possibly contemplate ‘re-vamping’ an older article. For instance, you’ll be able to take a “My Expertise in Prague” submit and remodel it right into a high-ranking “Easy methods to Spend 48 Hours in Prague” information with just a bit search engine marketing analysis and a few edits to the copy!

Articles which have been reside longer are inclined to rank larger, so modifying an current submit is usually higher (when you’ve got a superb base) than ranging from scratch.

The following part is all about search engine marketing, so when you’re not well-versed, don’t fear — I’ll dig deeper subsequent!

3. High quality of Imagery

Make sure that your photographs are participating and high-quality. In the event you don’t have your individual images, try royalty-free picture databases like Unsplash or free inventory picture web sites. Create participating Pinterest graphics, too!

Platforms like Canva Professional supply tons of designs and instruments that will help you create lovely graphics when you’re not acquainted with Photoshop simply but.

Since we’re not our exploring for the time being, it’s a good time to enhance your handbook pictures data or step-up your flat lay picture sport!

I put collectively these guides so you’ll be able to up your picture sport:

 

4. Replace the Copy

If the data in some older weblog posts is now not as helpful or informative because it as soon as was, take this time to replace outdated data.

For instance, possibly a product you really helpful final yr is now not obtainable, or the value you paid for a meals tour just isn’t the at the moment marketed price, readers will recognize the freshest data, and so will Google.

Take this chance to enhance the readability of your older weblog posts by breaking apart massive chunks of copy into smaller, simple to learn sections, or bullet-point lists, for higher consumer expertise.

In the event you make substantial modifications, you’ll be able to add the up to date date on the prime of your weblog submit (ex. Up to date Could 12, 2020)—Google Iikes to crawl content material for when posts have been final up to date, which may also help your content material’s rankings.

 

5. Hyperlink Out to Different Content material on Your Weblog

Make sure that it’s simple for readers to what they’re on the lookout for! Normally, if a reader is participating with one in every of your posts, odds are they might like to learn extra about that matter — so it’s essential to make it EASY for them to seek out extra of this associated content material inside seconds.

That’s simply doable by integrating extra inside hyperlinks to associated content material in your posts.

Useful Tip: All hyperlinks to exterior websites ought to “open in a brand new window” and any inside hyperlinks (different pages and posts from your individual website) ought to open in the identical window.

All of those little issues may also help enhance your consumer expertise, enhance web page views and the time readers spend in your website and may also help with web page loading velocity (whenever you optimize your photographs).

Set your objective to revamp and replace 2-Three posts a day when you’re not creating new content material. In the event you’re like me and have hundreds of articles on the location, it might need been some time because you’ve final reviewed a few of your outdated content material!

search engine marketing + Key phrases

In case you have just a little little bit of financial savings or finances and are closely dependent in your weblog on your earnings, an search engine marketing audit is a good useful resource to have an expert analyze your website for enchancment. This might be a good time to have an expert have a look and offer you suggestions on enhancements you can also make throughout your web site.

Whereas it’s fairly expensive, it’s an funding in your online business, and the modifications that he really helpful to me helped to generate extra web page views and earnings throughout the board. It’s very useful to have somebody information you thru the entire course of and offer you precise steps to take to enhance your search engine marketing.

In the event you’re simply getting began with search engine marketing, this search engine marketing Simplified Course was put collectively by my good friend, Sam, who’s an skilled within the subject. I additionally suggest him for the search engine marketing audit.

If you wish to DIY, listed here are some ideas:

In the event you’re not utilizing an search engine marketing plugin, begin there!

Yoast search engine marketing makes it really easy to enhance your weblog submit and pages’ rankings in Google Search and is the go-to search engine marketing plugin for WordPress. Additionally they have tons of sources when you’re simply studying about incorporating search engine marketing all through your weblog.

You may as well confirm your Pinterest account by means of the plugin.

One of the vital easy and free methods to research your current content material is to make use of KeySearch’s key phrase test. With this device, yow will discover out which key phrases are sending customers to your web site and the way readers are coming throughout your content material when looking out on Google.

For instance, for a journey information to Cape City, I’ll embody longtail key phrases like “one of the best issues to do in Cape City,” “the place to eat in Cape City,” and “itinerary for Cape City” all through the submit. These are all key phrases that individuals would seek for, and through the use of them, I’m guaranteeing that individuals will discover my article through search engines like google.

On Pinterest, check out your analytics and see which pins are getting essentially the most clicks (aka, visitors to your weblog), and which key phrases are utilized in these pin descriptions.

Doodle & Design

At any time when I’ve downtime is after I actually begin to critique the design and value of my web site.

Once more, one other manner I’m stimulating my creativity with out feeling that type of “productiveness fatigue” is by doodling and creating customized graphics for my web site. I made a decision to work on creating some cute, hand-drawn parts that I might use to replace my social media graphics, sidebar parts, and extra!

Take this time to create some new, enjoyable templates on your social posts, so you’ll be able to work with these sooner or later — and so that you don’t should recreate the wheel each time.

In the event you’re utilizing a template for WordPress, one of many best issues you are able to do, aesthetically, is to boost your weblog (sidebar, homepage, and many others.) with customized graphics that ship readers to totally different items of content material.

Is a full rebrand so as? Perhaps not. However now could be the time to begin wanting on the look of your weblog and tweaking issues that you just’ve been eager to.

Consumer Expertise must be the #1 precedence for any weblog!

How is Your Weblog’s Consumer Expertise?

A very powerful factor to think about is what the expertise is like for any reader who stumbles upon your web site.

How fast and intuitive is it for a consumer to get the data that they’re on the lookout for?

A number of the issues I’ve labored on over the previous month are simple updates, and good methods to enhance general engagement.

 

Take a look at Your Search Bar

For instance, if I kind in ‘Cape City’ into the search bar, what comes up? Is it the content material that I wish to pop-up? Is it related?

In case your search device isn’t providing you with the outcomes you’d like, attempt the SearchWP plugin — it’s extra intuitive than every other search bar plugin I’ve used, it’s cheap, and you may even set your individual parameters based mostly in your content material to enhance the consumer expertise.

It’s additionally a terrific thought to reference the analytics from the plugin and see what persons are truly trying to find in your web site — you need to use that to create a plan to both replace these items of content material and/or add new related content material to fulfill that matter!

 

Hyperlink to Associated Content material

Make sure that to crosslink your content material! If a reader is scrolling by means of my submit on “The Prime Issues to Do in Cape City”, I would like them to additionally see The Final Information to Cape City, A Information to Driving the Cape Peninsula, and The place to Eat in Cape City linked all through that article—and for these posts to simply be one-click away.

I wish to drive the consumer to my most complete pages the place I do know they’re going to spend extra time digesting my content material!

While you begin to construct out a variety of content material, older posts can begin to get buried—so that you’ll wish to create a system to stop this, and be certain that your older, however associated, content material is simply as discoverable and straightforward to seek out because the newer posts.

Work on bettering your posts’ structure and inside hyperlinks so customers can discover what they’re trying to find, and in the end, spend extra time in your website.

Related Posts

Whether or not you manually add a “Learn Subsequent” part with textual content hyperlinks to your associated pages or use a plugin to generate a carousel of associated posts on the finish of a submit, there are fairly a couple of methods you can also make positive customers are seeing your whole content material on the subject!

 

Add in Choose-In Monster Pop-Ups

I hate pop-ups as a lot as the following particular person. So, as a substitute of getting it flash throughout the display screen and have a generic join my publication, I’ve added pop-ups or “slide-in” graphics which are curated relying on the content material the consumer is .

It is a technique to hold readers on my weblog longer, enhance my web page views, and in the end enhance my advert income whereas including to a consumer’s expertise. Moreover, this may also help direct your readers to particular content material that makes you cash (suppose: associates, merchandise, presets, and extra).

Take into account OptInMonster slide-in pop-ups which are low profile and which you could simply customise — I select to have mine slide-in from the underside of the browser.

It takes a little bit of legwork to get the graphics designed and arranged, however the course of with OptInMonster is kind of simple, and as you’ll be able to duplicate pop-ups to totally different pages with only a few clicks.

For instance, a number of the popups I’ve are:

  • Promotion for Presets (income-generating)
  • Free Lightroom Enhancing Information (to assemble e mail subscriptions)
  • Learn Subsequent Posts and Journey Guides (improves consumer expertise and driving folks to content material)
  • Promotions for my Merchandise and Journey Store (income-generating)

the blonde abroad blog computer

Advert Income

I’ll be blunt, I’ve seen my web site’s advert income drop by about 1/3. This has lots to do with a drop in general visitors, nevertheless it additionally has to do with what advertisers are paying for now — many have diminished their budgets throughout the board.

No matter who you might be, you’ll be seeing a drop in advert income for the time being.

That being mentioned, I’ve at all times been fairly conservative about what number of adverts are on my website and the kind of adverts which are displayed.

However since advert income is a giant earnings stream for me, with the intention to compensate for the lower in visitors, I’ve just about doubled the variety of adverts on my website and allowed for extra video adverts that are larger paying.

They are often barely extra annoying for the consumer, however I believe most folk are understanding about attempting to maintain my weblog afloat and altering techniques.

tba newsletter

Weekly E-newsletter

I’m persevering with to ship out my weekly publication, and proceed so as to add that private contact to what we’re doing — checking in with my readers has been actually vital to me, and well-received from the group. Folks search that sense of normalcy, even whether it is only a constant e mail each week!

In the event you haven’t ventured into the publication world earlier than—now is perhaps a superb time to begin focusing in your e mail checklist and sending some like to your individual group.

Need to see what my publication seems to be like? Join it right here!

TBA Lightroom Presets

Whether or not you’re simply beginning out with pictures or have been capturing for years, these easy-to-use presets will immediately add a good looking aesthetic to your whole photographs!

Store Now

What issues have modified for you? How are you adapting?

I’d love to begin a dialog about enterprise methods throughout this time. Let me know within the feedback under!

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