We were so excited to host an amazing array of bloggers and influencers during “From Idea to Brand: A Look Into the Blogger Playbook.” The webinar was led by Bluehost Content Manager Machielle Thomas who was joined by SEO Expert/Blogger Maddy Osman, Lifestyle Blogger Stephanie Hernandez, and Travel Blogger Oneika Raymond. This innovative webinar debuted “The Blogger Playbook” which is a guide from the Blueprint series that discusses how to create a winning blog, branding, monetization, and more!
The webinar walked attendees through the importance of branding which begins with selecting a domain name and establishing the style of your blog through your photography. Our panelists also shared their tips for engaging with audiences on social media, how to get more organic traffic using Search Engine Optimization (SEO), and monetizing your blog with affiliate marketing and paid ads.
In case you were unable to catch the webinar live, we compiled some of the most popular questions attendees asked during the duration of the webinar. If you have any additional questions, please let us know in the comments below!
Q: How can I add Google AdSense to my blog?
You can add Google AdSense to your blog using the WordPress plugin Easy Google AdSense which makes Google AdSense monetization easier for your WordPress website.
Q: Is Yoast SEO the same as Google Analytics?
No, Google Analytics helps you see your traffic, Yoast helps you work on your Search Engine Optimization (SEO).
Q: I’m very busy designing and building websites for clients, do you have any recommendations for how to make time to create content on a blog?
There are a ton of tips for writing. Take a day to write out all the ideas, a day to write description or outlines, and then choose one that inspires you. Also, you can write shorter posts.
Q: What issues can you encounter using stock photography on a blog?
Oneika: My blog “Oneika The Traveller” is very personal, it chronicles my life in travel. In order for me to be authentic to what I’m doing it’s imperative I take my own photos. I also wanted to avoid copyright issues and have someone tell me that I didn’t have permission to use their photos.
Stephanie: For me, the struggle I have with stock photography is choosing something that isn’t cheesy and is relatable to what I’m posting. You don’t want to post anything generic. I hit that wall with writing any pop culture content because a lot of branded images are copyrighted. I invested $20 month in Depositphotos which does provide me with pictures that I can use for discussing pop culture topics like Taco Bell, Hulu, or Netflix.
Q: How often should you post on social media and blogs?
The amount of times you post depends on your schedule and frequency of posting. We always recommend creating a consistent schedule you can maintain whether that’s 1x daily or 3x a week, you want to develop trust with your audience so they know what to expect.
Q: Can you create an effective blog if the writing is not very extensive? I’m more of a visual person.
Yes, you will need supporting content to go with any images you use. You always want to make sure your images are SEO friendly which you can do by using captions, reducing the file size, and changing the image resolution.
Q: Is it better if your social handle name is the same as your domain name?
Yes, we do recommend keeping your social media name and domain name as similar as possible for consistency and as to not confuse your followers online.
Q: What do you for hashtag research for your Instagram when your a lifestyle blogger and are looking for new topics?
Stephanie: I base my hashtags off of my aesthetic on “The Tiny Herbivore“. I look at seasonal hashtags based on what the photography is about. When you search for a keyword, it’ll generate the number of posts associated with it. I recommend using a hashtag that has between 10k-150k posts when you are trying to hone on a specific group of people. If it’s too large your content will get lost.
Q: When you are first starting your own site is it best to do everything in the “staging” area?
We would recommend that after your website goes live, you use the staging environment to test any changes or modifications you want to make.
Q: How do I get affiliates BEFORE I have a large audience?
You can get affiliates without having a large following. Some people will work or test products for companies unpaid to get proof that they are valuable to company.
Q: How long did it take you to monetize your blog?
Oneika: It wasn’t until 2016 when I was doing it full-time that I was able to start getting paid. I think part of what helped me is that I had so much content from when I was doing it as a hobby it showed my consistency, voice, and established brand.
Stephanie: While I’ve been blogging about 3 years now, it wasn’t until the past year I started getting paid. A big factor of how I made my money was because of my social media. Building a following and establishing my online presence helped to drive traffic towards my blog. It was after that I started getting brand deals and partnerships that helped me monetize my blog.
Q: Do bad backlinks affect you? If someone doesn’t have a reputable site and is linking to your blog, can it affect your ranking?
Maddy: Yes, you always want to be cautious of who is linking back to your website. A good way to check is using the “Disavow Links Tool” in Google which can protect your site so it doesn’t affect your ranking.
Q: How do you build relationships that will enable you to get backlinks?
Maddy: I always recommend setting up a mentions tools like Awario so when someone mentions you on your blog or website, you get that alert and then can make a connection and build that relationship. You always want to build your ranking so you can offer that you’ll share the link on your social media. Another great way is to create content like infographics that are share-worthy.
Q: Would it be a good idea to use Google Trends to see what keywords are being regularly searched?
Google Trends is a great resource for identifying trending content and keywords within your market, we also recommend checking out commonly used keywords within your industry and using those to help with your keyword identification.
Q: It is advantageous to use keywords that have high search volume per month, like 72K per month?
The goal is always to use high volume search terms. There can be challenges as other companies are probably doing the same which could cause difficulty for you to begin to rank on search engines.
Q: Why is having a sitemap important for a website?
A sitemap is a map of all of the content on your website. It’s what Google uses to identify what content and pages are on our site. When a crawler has access to your sitemap, it can determine what’s new, what has changed, and how this will affect where you’re indexed.
Q: Where on Bluehost can we get the SSL certificate?
You can locate your SSL certificate within your cPanel. If you need help with it, our support team can help you in minutes. Here’s the number: 888-401-4678.
Q: If I change the theme and look of my blog, will I lose all of my content so far?
You can change your theme as often as you’d like. We do suggest doing a back up first to be sure there are no issues that can cause you to lose any content. CodeGuard is a product we have. Updraft Plus is another option to consider because it simplifies backups and restoration. Then you’d also want to test the new theme through Staging in your cPanel. Our support team can help you with that at 888-401-4678.