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How to Use Google Analytics: The Complete Guide for Bloggers

If you’re new to living online (welcome to digital life, y’all), Google Analytics might be a bit overwhelming at first.

I promise it’s actually really easy! Once you get the hang of how to find reports for your blog traffic, and how to interpret what they mean, you’ll be golden.

Google Analytics can tell you a LOT about your blog and the audience reading your blog. It’s a super useful tool! I’m a big data nerd, but only when that data can actually make a difference and accomplish something, and that’s exactly what Google Analytics does.

Today I’m gonna walk you through EVERYTHING you need to know about how to use Google Analytics!

Let’s get started.

How to Use Google Analytics: For Bloggers

Step 1: How to Set Up Google Analytics

OK, this is the first step. If you have already enabled Google Analytics on your blog, skip ahead to Step 2.

Do you have a Google Analytics account yet? If not, all you need is a Google account (so a @gmail.com address). If you don’t already have this, click here to setup one now (it’s free of course!).

If you’re on WordPress, here’s how to set up Google Analytics easily on your blog. I’m sure it’s easy for other platforms too, but WordPress is what I know so I’ve included instructions for that below. Please note these instructions are for self-hosted WordPress blogs (wordpress.org!).

Login to WordPress! Then on the left side navigation, go to Plugins –> Add New.

In the “Search plugins…” box on the top right, type in “google analytics” and hit enter. You’ll see a bunch of results like this:

How to Use Google Analytics: Set Up

This is an easy way to install Google Analytics – using a plugin. There is a manual way you can go in and add the code too, but I like using a plugin because most of them also show you your stats right in your WordPress Dashboard (so, visible right when you login). It’s super convenient to have all your “blog stuff” in one place, right?

Anyway, obviously there’s quite a few to pick from. The one I personally use is Google Analytics by MonsterInsights.

Click on Install Now for that plugin (my button says Active because I already have it!). Once it’s done installing, that button will change to “Activate” so make sure to press that too, until it says Active, like my screen above.

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How to Double Your Email List in 2 Weeks (+Bonus Email Course Idea List!)

If you clicked on this link with the burning desire to know how I managed such an amazing feat like doubling my email list in only 14 days, well, you’ve come to the right place. I did it by…

…making you opt-in to secret shit like this.

Okay, hear me out.

We’ve all seen those posts around saying “Grow your list in 30 days”, “Get your first 1000 subscribers now!” and so much more. And you know what? They work, they really do. Creating a free email course WORKS. But where can you find an awesome email course idea, eh?

The method isn’t the problem, it’s the value.

Get ready for some super shocking news: if you combine the methods many of these posts spell out for you with the absolute BEST value you can provide to your audience, then you will be successful.

Free Email Course Ideas: Grow Your Email List in 2 Weeks

If you can’t provide any value, everything falls flat.

I know, real groundbreaking shit.

“Provide value. Gee, thanks, Michelle, but how do I do that?” you might ask.

That’s what I’m gonna walk you through today. Not only implementing a quick, easy way to grow your list, but how to provide real, tangible value to your audience, aka provide them what they want!

I doubled my email list in two weeks by creating a free 7-day email course about blog content strategy and planning. This course, to be exact.

DOUBLED ITTT!

Here’s how I created my free email course and marketed it, step by step!

 

Step 1: The Email Course Idea

Okay, this is the most important step because it’s, uh, kind of the whole thing?

It can be tough to come up with an idea for a free email course, video lesson or other big freebie (otherwise known as a “lead magnet”). I thought about mine for a long time.

The secret to coming up with a good idea? Stick with what you know, and what your readers need help with.

The idea is probably right under your nose.

For me, I love content strategy and writing… which is obviously why I started this blog, to help others with content marketing too. After awhile I realized, oh, I can teach others how to never run out of content ideas, and to effectively plan out a content system so they are never scrambling to get a post done, or wondering what to write about.

Not gonna lie, I have like 147 unfinished drafts laying out in various states of outline, 1st draft, 2nd draft and so on…

But I also have a no-fail system that makes it possible for me to write 2000 word posts in an hour.

So, once I realized that system would be helpful for other bloggers, I decided to create the free email course around that topic.

Still struggling to think of an idea? Download my cheatsheet of 60 amazeballs epic email course ideas for all kinds of blogs right hurr.

 

Step 2: Plan Out Your Idea

Once I decided on the topic, the first thing I did was create an outline of my free email course. I realized there were 7 things I wanted to teach.

So, it made sense to make it a 7-day email course, duh.

I wrote down the topic of each day (or “chapter”) and then a brief description of what I would cover. Like so:

  • Day 1: Why content strategy matters and what it can do for you + how to define your audience.
  • Day 2: What does your audience want?
  • Day 3: Overall blog content strategy – your categories, topics, pages, offerings.
  • Day 4: Set up an editorial calendar.
  • Day 5: Brainstorm and fill out the content planner for actual posts, related to Days 2 and 3.
  • Day 6: Content time! Homework to create 3 solid, rockstar blog posts.
  • Day 7: How to measure results and when to tweak your strategy.

Once you’ve got your basic outline down pat, it’s time to decide on a format. It doesn’t have to be an email course.

You could create a video that’s exclusive to your subscribers only, or an in-depth ebook, or so many other formats. Don’t think you need to do an email course just ’cause everyone else is.

Although, it is ridiculously easy to setup and a fun way to deliver value to your readers!

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Blog SEO: 10 Tricks for Optimizing Your Blog Posts

I’ve talked about how to format your blog posts to get the most readers before, but today I want to talk about one of the most mystical creatures in these lands: SEO.

A search result in the wild.

You probably know how important SEO is by now, but if not… well, it’s really important.

As a freelance writer and marketing agency copywriter, I spend a lot of time optimizing content for search engines, and writing about SEO for clients. There are some obvious tricks that everyone knows, like picking a keyword and mentioning it throughout your post. There are also some lesser known blog post SEO tricks out there to increase your rankings.

I’m going to share those secret tips with you today.

Blog SEO: 10 Tricks to Grow Your Blog

A critical thing to keep in mind about SEO is WHERE it fits into your writing process.

Any guesses as to where it should fit in? At the end maybe, when you’re editing your post before publishing it and want to sprinkle in some keyword magic dust?

NO!

SEO should be thought of from the very beginning of a blog post’s life. When it’s still nothing but a wee little idea tadpole floating around your brain.

Thinking about SEO from the beginning means that ALL your future actions for that post will be optimized for the Google overlords, increasing your chances of beating the algorithm and ranking high. F yeah!

So, with that in mind, let’s get into my top 10 blog SEO tips!

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How to Grow Your Blog Audience (The Easy Way)

What if I told you that the single biggest factor impacting the number of blog readers you have has nothing to do with your content?

Yeah, really.

You could write the absolute BEST post ever, full of witty comments, helpful stats, quality content with a unique voice… all that jazz. But no one could read it.

What gives?!

It all comes down to formatting.

How to Grow Your Blog Audience The Easy Way

Formatting your blog post to be easily readable is SUPER important. I cannot stress this enough.

The key to getting more people to read your blog is to make your content easy to read (no Shakespearean language like ‘furthermore’ and ‘perchance’). And the best way to do that? Make it skimmable.

Skimmable is the new black when it comes to content.

In fact, visitors only read about 20% of the text on a webpage. 20%! So you better make your point obvious, and hook ‘em early, yo.

How to Grow Your Blog With Skimmable Content

Here are some surefire strategies to make your blog posts easy to read.

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Grow Your Blog: 7 Things to Do Weekly

I’ve been blogging for a whole year now… whoaaaa. Although, I only got serious about it two months ago.

Which is crazy, since I work in marketing as my full-time job. But if there’s one thing I’ve learned from the past year of blogging, it’s that traditional digital marketing and being a “femtrepreneur” type blogger are two very different things.

Not in a bad way!

In my day job, I typically work with businesses and corporations. I’ve found the blogosphere works in a totally different way.

Here, in female blogger entrepreneur online coach course creator content marketer land, results matter.

It’s not about how long you’ve been blogging (though I’m sure that helps), or your writing or graphics or all that (although, they do make you look professional!). It’s all about sharing your knowledge with others, and if you’re useful, you’re useful.

So don’t worry if you’re just starting out, or don’t feel like an expert in your field yet, or think you’ll never hit “the big time”. You can do it. Just show up, and be valuable.

Okay, enough about that.

Grow Your Blog: 7 Weekly Tasks to Get Next Level

So while my day job and blogging-by-night worlds are on two different planets, and nothing really crosses over, I still think it’s great.

Because I love to learn. Above all else, I love to learn new things, especially when it comes to marketing.

So, even though I am but a wee babe in the blogging universe, I’m going to share the top 7 things that have grown my blog over the past two months.

These are things I do on a weekly basis that I keep seeing better and better results from every single week. Success upon success upon success. YO.

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How to Create a Simple Blog Business Plan (Free Template!)

Struggling to monetize your blog, or turn it into a profitable business? Or, thinking of starting one but getting hung up about where/how to start?

You. Need. A. Blog Business Plan. STAT!

Simple Blog Business Plan

You’ve probably seen tons of posts out there from other bloggers about creating a Blog Business Plan. I’ve downloaded many of their templates myself and filled them out. Don’t get me wrong – those templates were awesome, and really helped me narrow down my goals, focus and how I could get there.

But after filling out so many questions, I felt a bit lost. How was I going to implement all of this RIGHT MEOW?!

It was pretty overwhelming, especially when I was new to blogging.

 

Why You Need a Blog Business Plan

Creating a biz plan is of utmost importance, even if you’re just starting out. Not having one is like setting sail on a journey across the ocean with no map. Crazy talk. A crazy ass pirate ain’t even gonna do that.

Here are a few of my favourite blog business plans from other bloggers (all 3 of them are amazeballs and I have secret entrepreneurial crushes on them, shhh):

Melyssa Griffin’s 20+ Page Bangin’ Blog Business Plan

Regina’s Epic 36 Page Blog Business Plan

Allison from Wonderlass’ 9 Step Business Plan for Creatives

But I’m not writing this post to just give you a bunch of links to check out, although you should most definitely check those out for super in-depth blog business plans.

It’s easy to get overwhelmed by business planning, especially if you’re just starting out.

So while having a multi-faceted, detailed, ironclad biz plan is definitely a must at some point… we all gotta start somewhere.

For me, I filled out template after template of planning resources out there, but I never did the most important thing you need to in order to be successful.

What’s that you say?

Oh, it’s actually IMPLEMENTING something! Doh.

I was all plan, plan, plan and no action, action, action. Don’t be like me.

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Create A Blog in 30 Minutes: Step by Step Guide (+ Plugins I Love!)

Have you been wanting to create a blog but not sure how to start? Or haven’t had the time? This step by step guide will walk you through the whoooole process in 30 minutes flat.

I’ve set up (and promptly abandoned lol) many blogs in my time, so I’ve got this down to a routine now. Sit back and relax… well, there’s a bit of clicking involved. What I mean is, follow along and you’ll have your very own blog 30 minutes from now! Let’s go!

Create a Blog in 30 Minutes with Bluehost

 

Okay, first, a few things you should know…

  1. I am partial to WordPress, because it’s what I know. It’s also a pretty popular blogging platform. There are other ones out there like Squarespace and Blogger, so you should check out each option and see what’s best for you. I like WordPress because it’s free, so… you know, that’s cool.
  2. You’ll need to spend a teeeeeny tiny bit of money to set up a professional blog. Yes, you could just setup a WordPress.com blog for free (in which case, you don’t need this tutorial), but that ain’t exactly pro. For one, you’re gonna get blogperson452.wordpress.com as your URL, and you can’t do advanced stuff like install plugins and other cool shit.
  3. There’s gonna be a few terms I throw around like hosting, domain, CSS, themes, plugins… don’t panic, yo. It’s really easy stuff and I’ll explain it. You got this.

 

OKAY LET’S START ALREADY.

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How to Create a Rockin’ Blog Content Strategy (Free Course!)

Why is Content Strategy Important for Bloggers?

There are a million blogs out there. It’s hard to capture attention from your target audience when there’s probably thousands of other blogs in your niche, offering similar content in a similar format.

So what makes you different? Why should people take time out of their day to read YOU, instead of some other blog?

It comes down to having a good blog content strategy. If you know WHAT your audience wants, WHEN they want it, and HOW to deliver it — you’ll be successful. Sounds simple, but of course it’s not and it does take practice to make perfect.

Blog Content Strategy Free Email Course for Bloggers

Good blog content strategy means thinking less about you, and more about who you want to read your blog. When you focus on what your readers want, they will be attracted to your content.

More importantly, the right kind of readers will be attracted to your content. I don’t mean that in a snobby way – hell, I’m thankful that anyone even reads my blog (Hi Mom!). By “the right readers”, I mean that the people you want to drive into your sales funnel will be attracted to your content.

Oh don’t have a sales funnel yet? Don’t have any products to sell yet? That’s okay! You still need a content strategy, though.

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