Today, I had the pleasure of interviewing—professional blogger—Kimberly Gauthier. She is the blogger behind Through the Lens of Kimberly Gauthier, Adventures in Blogging, and Keep the Tail Wagging. She has some blogging advice for you. Kimberly started blogging to share her love of photography and has expanded her writing to share blogging tips and build a community for her fellow dog lovers, which introduced her (and her dogs and cats) to Life’s Abundance premium pet foods and products, which she happily promotes as the best pet food she’s fed her fur kids.
Me: What are the top three steps to consider when setting up a WordPress blog?
Kimberly: This is such a fantastic question and my answer probably isn’t what most aspiring bloggers would expect. The top three steps would be to…
(1) Make a list of what you’re passionate about, because it’s easier to keep up with your blogging if you’re having fun; I love our dogs, they’re disgustingly spoiled and I thought that there are plenty of others who feel the same and I was right.
(2) Do some keyword research. When I started Keep the Tail Wagging, I researched keywords surrounding what I wanted to discuss to get an idea of the competition out there (which will determine how I’ll rank).
(3) Choose an easy to remember domain name. I chose Keep the Tail Wagging, because that’s what I’m trying to do with our dogs and I was able to gain a page rank of 2 in less than 2 months – keywords are important, but there are many ways to leverage them in our blogs by optimizing our blog pages and blog posts.
Me: Bloggers want their posts to get picked up by searches engines. That translates into more eyeballs on their posts. If you could only pick three SEO tips to give to bloggers, what would they be?
Kimberly: There are so many SEO tips that I’ve learned and I’m going to make the assumption that you know to promote your posts through social networking; three SEO tips that helped me make Keep the Tail Wagging my top blog are…
(1) Write keyword rich content; writing blog posts where you can naturally repeat your keywords takes some getting used to, but it is possible. I spent time on blogs with larger audiences to see how they did it and took notes.
(2) Write consistent, quality content. Not only does Google give us points for doing this, our audience learns to appreciates consistency. Create an editorial calendar to help you (I use the WordPress plugin Editorial Calender to keep me organized).
(3) Leave quality comments on blogs. I follow blogs that cover my wide range of interests and make a point of leaving quality comments; you won’t always be inspired to comment, but when you are inspired, leave a comment that you would want to receive on your blog. Not only will the blogger stop by your site, other people who leave comments will check you out too. A good portion of my traffic comes from people who read a comment I left on another blog.
Me: What has been your experience with affiliate marketing? What pearls of wisdom have you gleaned from this experience? At what point do you think a blogger should consider using affiliate marketing?
Kimberly: I love affiliate marketing and recently did a video sharing my tips. I recommend that people treat their affiliates like sponsored posts – promote them with buttons/banners, in blog posts, and on social networking sites. I try to promote my affiliates daily; that sounds like a lot of work, but with sites like Hootsuite and Buffer, you can schedule your Tweets to save time. My philosophy is also why I only work with a small number of affiliates.
If a blogger is interested in affiliate marketing, I recommend making a list of of companies that make sense for your blogs and then visiting each site to see if they have an affiliate program or apply to their program through Linkshare or Commission Junction.
Thanks so much for this opportunity, Laura-Lee. I would like to add that bloggers should always remember to have fun, make connections through forums and following other bloggers, and make time for yourself.
Photo credit: Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com