I am participating in #MyFriendAlexa campaign organised by Blogchatter for the month of September. It is for bloggers looking to boost their Alexa rank.
What is an Alexa rank, you might ask.
“Alexa is a global ranking system that utilizes web traffic data to compile a list of the most popular websites, the Alexa Rank. The lower your Alexa rank, the more popular (for example, a site with the rank of 1 has the most visitors on the internet)”.
In trying to take my blog and Alexa rank to the next level, here are some surprising things that I discovered this September.
(Ideally, this should have have been a month end post but the significant learning means I can talk about it now).
1. I can Read a lot.
I am a voracious reader and often read three books concurrently. When I found out that reading a few blog posts on a daily basis is a requirement of this campaign, I was cool.
But in reality, reading and commenting on a large number of blogs everyday, consistently, gets a little difficult. Add to that the writing I have to do for the blog. Add to that the book reviews that I have promised to write this month. And add to that the books I am supposed to read and finish before writing those reviews. Add a busy life, other than the reading and writing, to the mix.
It felt very difficult and yet I am finding that it is very much possible to do a lot of reading everyday if I put my mind to it.
Reading in slots comes to the rescue. I never realised I have so many little pockets of time in my day when I can quickly read a page or five of the books.
2. I can make time to Write.
Yes, you never have enough time but you have to make time for the things you are passionate about. All these motivational quotes are very good but in reality I was very apprehensive about the required twice a week posting schedule. Normally, this is doable, but this month was different. I felt being pulled in so many directions.
Usually, I need complete silence to be able to write contemplative, well crafted posts. I make time for these late in the nights or in early mornings. For some reasons, this was not possible and I was barely getting enough time to relax, let alone be in an expansive time frame to write.
It’s not that I had not planned my writing. I had plenty of blog post drafts lined up, ready to be polished and shared with the world. But when the time came to publish them, I didn’t like them at all. Nor could I edit my drafts in peace.
And yet, the beauty of the Alexa campaign is such that I have been able to maintain the writing schedule. Breaking my self conceived notions of when and how I write, I have been able to post twice a week. This knowledge is empowering; I don’t have to give up on my writing when the going gets tough or busy.
3. I understand the Real components of Blogging
Let’s take this step by step. Blogging is Writing and posting on my blog. Enough? No, not really. The content needs to be good quality, I should know my audience, I should put out evergreen and useful content, the title needs to be catchy or self explanatory, I should know SEO…
I discovered all this during Alexa.
Blogging is not just writing. It is also reading- others, commenting and sharing, making connections in the blogosphere. Alexa taught me the importance of being social in the blogging world. It makes a world of difference in my own perspective and on my writing as I discover and engage with varied blogs.
4. I can improve Blog Design
Blogging effectively is also putting my best foot forward so that my audience comes to my space and stays. The factors that make it happen are a good website/blog design, easy navigation, easy commenting, without many fancy sign-ups and pop ups. I had understood all this theoretically. This month, visiting so many blogs this was a great practical learning. Now I know which elements in blog design to keep and which to eliminate.
And knowing that I would get higher page views helped me make the switch to an aesthetically pleasing design and easy navigation and sharing (hope my readers feel that too), along with making sure that the site loads quickly.
5. I can implement SEO
The exhaustive topic that SEO is, it is important to know at least the basics. Again it has been on my wish list, to implement good SEO. With Alexa, I am not only motivated but also have found the tools to implement this.
I am learning how to write an optimised blog post. I am also exploring Keyword planning, alt tags, meta description and headlines, site structure, on page optimisation, link building etc
6. I must Plan Content
I know many bloggers follow a strict posting schedule and maintain an editorial calendar. I have tried to do it many times but I baulk at planning anything that is a few days ahead.
But with Alexa, I realise the importance of planning my posts, knowing which topics are topical and looking at the most popular days and time to post. I see bloggers maintaining a consistency in posting and really it reaps plenty of benefits.
7. I can be responsive to the Changing Face of Blogging
A decade back, blogging was more about putting up our writing from the journals to an online space. It was more of a heartfelt thing, more of an expression of self. Now, the scene is much more professional. A blog can be a place to showcase good content, have people coming back for more and a business that provides a good income.
Visiting a variety of blogs has brought this into a clear focus and I can see the efforts of bloggers in generating an income through their blogs.
As the month nears the end, I am sure I am going to polish up on and internalise these learnings.
What have been your learnings this month?
This post is part of #MyFriendAlexa and I am taking my blog and Alexa rank to the next level with Blogchatter.