It’s no secret that WordPress is the powerhouse host behind many blogs, including my website ToiTime. Last week I attended the WordPress Growth Summit, where I listened to a session on community building. Whether your site is self-hosted or not, there are a few key aspects that every blogger should keep in mind.
Connecting Social Media on Your Site
What I loved about the WordPress Summit was the amount of interactive learning, an especially great feature for visual learners. For example, during the Blogging Workshop, they didn’t just tell participants that they needed to have social media buttons on their site. They showed the participants where to access it. They then gave them time to implement it on their actual site. This is helpful for beginner bloggers who may not even know where to access the social media Jetpack on WordPress.
This was a rookie mistake that I made in my first two years of blogging. If you don’t have a built-in social media presence that connects your readers to your site, you are doing them an injustice. The site should be built with the reader in mind, making it easy for them to navigate and discover your content.
Increasing Your Digital Footprint
During the pandemic, many bloggers and business owners learned that an online presence is just as important as an in person one. If you are selling a product, make sure it’s easy to process and receive online payments. Ensure that your website is easily accessible and up to date. You’ll always need fresh content, up-to-date sales, and an accurate online inventory. It’s not only a good business decision; it’s a business must.
Staying True to Your Why
Above having a digital presence and appropriate Jetpack, is keeping in line with your “why.” So many bloggers and companies alike will be tempted to do all kinds of things to win on social media. One of the biggest collaterals according to Kim Fox of CalMatters is your integrity. It’s imperative that bloggers of all kinds keep their why in the forefront as they grow. Sometimes in the desire to grow you may be tempted, to do all kinds of “shortcuts.” Simply don’t! As you brand, remember your team and those you align with early on are what matter. It will be the basis and the groundwork for your brand’s voice.
The word “SEO” (short for search engine optimization) sounds scary to many bloggers and business owners, but it’s simply a tried-and-true method for making a website experience enjoyable for your readers. In other words, your site should be appealing and easy to navigate. If the words are too small, or the page loads too slow, readers may lose interest in continuing on your site or purchasing your product. Without optimized SEO, Google won’t be able to pick up your site as a valuable source or authority. Spending time on your SEO strategy is imperative and for those using WordPress, there are plug-ins that make scoring your SEO easier, though you shouldn’t depend on those alone. Things like your meta description will build itself (in WordPress); just make sure you expand on your own.
Business Tip: Ask for Help
Building an online business is hard work. Knowing your strengths and weaknesses is key. If you don’t know something, find someone that does. Collaboration is key. There is nothing wrong with asking for the help that you need to build a successful business. You don’t have to have all the answers. However, being able to either learn a new skill or on-boarding someone on your team who does will make a huge impact.
Join a Network
If you want to grow, join a network of other bloggers. Encourage creators in the same niche as you. Don’t be afraid to guest blog on another blogger’s site. Follow and support their work. Growing isn’t just about the basics of building a great site but what you do off-site as well. I recommend the SHE Media Partner Network, which does an amazing job of providing resources that help drive website traffic.
If you missed the WordPress Growth Summit you can still purchase a ticket that will give you access to the entire Summit for up to a year. For the price that they offered this expert advice, it’s truly a steal.
Toi Storr currently reside in Philadelphia, PA with my husband and 3 children and writes about mental health and self care on her blog, ToiTIme. Her mission is to help and inspire women (and men) to step out into this world to be their best versions of themselves despite dealing with anxiety, or mental health issues. You can follow her journey on Instagram.