How to Optimize Your Blog & Create an Apple Icon

Some blogger's don't need a lot of help optimizing their blogs, somehow their sites get attention through a few simple steps...other's follow many of the same steps and don't see the same speedy results. I for one sometimes feel a bit behind, I've seen people to have blogged for a way less amount of time than I have see much greater results. Maybe I didn't devote the time, maybe I haven't discovered my niche, maybe I'm just not giving my readers what they want. In any matter, there are a few ways to successfully optimize your blog, change a few mistakes you are making, and see some results. 


There are a few things I am plagued with. 1) Affiliates always want numbers, I can give them page view numbers...but my actual subscribed GFC followers are lower than they like. 2)Who on these unknown people reading, what do they want to read about, how do I actually engage them. And 3) I am still trying to get my head wrapped around SEO...and finding the time to do all of this can be a full time job in itself. 

Before we get too deep, there are a few things you can do to enhance your blog experience::
1. Interact with other bloggers, comment, comment, comment!
They won't talk to you if you won't talk to them. 
2. Find button swaps and get to swapping. 
This is something I am working on, I don't have the cash to pay out every blog on earth for it is a matter of checking out blogs I fall on and seenig if they offer free swaps to bloggers. 
3. Get on Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest!
This is free marketing, use it! People will think you are nuts for using your blog name on everything, but you have to brand yourself and use a consistent brand to actually make sense. I can't hope between accounts with differnt names and easily convince affiliates that I am LABride. So to solve it I stay LABride on everything. 
4. Make your blog easy to read and navigate.
There is nothing that makes me leave a page faster than automatic music and a cluster of madness. 

Now what do you do after you've done all of that?

Get Google Analytics and check your grade on Grader.com

I'm getting the hang of Google Analytics, and have sworn myself off of it for a month until it gets accurate stats on me. Otherwise I will go insane watching numbers change like crazy. So get on, set it up, add it to your blog template, and leave it be for a bit. 

Once you are on you will need to go to Admin, then Tracking Info, and get the code and add it to your blog's template (html). This is the tutorial I used to figure out just how to add the tracking info to my blog, it was a total pain figuring it out. 

Now let's get to why you should be using Grader.com. 

First off it grades your website on a 100 point scale based on a ton of things listed below. It takes into account your Twitter, Facebook, and a few other things that I just don't understand how the internet know it! 

After you've entered all of your social media and blog addresses you will be shown 3 scores (that all come together to make your main score) that include Top of the Funnel, Middle of the Funnel, and Analytics. 

Thi is why I said to get Google Analytics set up, it will help your overall grade if you are working on such things:)

Top of the Funnel then tells you whether or not you meet their top actoin items such as Blogging, SEO, Mobile, & Social; Grader gives you a little check and some tips, if not it tells you how to fix it. For instance, I don't share posts on Facebooka and Twitter more than once a day on average. I should do it more, but I'm afraid it will bug the tar out of people. I also don't have Apple Icons, but we will get to that later. 

Middle of the Funnel goes over the same topics, but it comes in from a differnt angle. For instance, mine told me that 5 out of my last 5 posts included landing pages. Does your blog have an email subscription link? Do you have social media subscription icons? Okay, you're good, we can contine. One of the best things about Middle of the Funnel is that it digs deep into your Twitter interactions and flat out told me that my Twitter links aren't landing me many peeps on the blog. The good side of that, it gave tipes on how to fix it. 

Analytics just basically checks off that you figured out how to use Google Analytics and lets you off the hook. 

So what do you do with your Grader informatoin? Use it, find out what you aren't doing and start doing it, but in the least annoying way. You can tweet badly, you will annoy the mess out of people is you come online soley to tout your blog and jump off. This is why interaction is so key. Am I good at it, not at all. I have times of the week and year when I can devote more time to blogging in its full capicity and I do it them. Thanks to websites like Grader and Analytics I do know how to solve some bloggy issues now. Things that four years ago weren't even an issue. 

Now for that Apple Icon. I am going to be working on mine to get it up and running, but thought I'd share what I've learned anyway. Hey, if a girl can't go to a blog conference she may as well use spring break for some blogucation (yeah I made that up right now.). Making an icon looks easy enough, we shall see once I dive into messing with it. With mobile page views being so high, and the majority of web...interactions...coming from there it is crucial that we use the mobile format that Blogger offers up for our blogs. It makes things just a little bit more easily accessed. The icon, makes it easier. 

Creating an Apple Icon
1. Resize the photo you want, or blog button, to a 57x57 (I've also head you can use 144x144 and it will auto resize) pixel using an easy site like Picmonkey.
2. Upload the image to a photo hosting site such as Picasa or Photo Bucket, whatever your use.  
3. Add this HTML code to your header before the closing
tag 

Be sure when doing this that you use an icon that is easily recognized as you, don't get too detailed, it will be lost in the small size of icons. Basically the whole point of this is that this is the icon that will show up if and when someone chooses to save your blog to their homescreen in iOS. Otherwise it just gives a screen shot of your blog...which isn't going to be clear at all. This is yet another, free branding. Use it, love it. Free is free, and hard to come by in the interwebs.