My blogging story
In January of 2013 I was ready to try something new.
My kids were 5, 4, 2, and almost 1. I was finding that I wasn’t doing as many learning activities with my younger kids as I’d done with my oldest. I wanted to change this, and I needed a way to keep myself accountable to the activities I was doing with my kids.
The Measured Mom was born.
After I got over the initial bumps, I fell in love with blogging. I began spending all my spare moments learning everything I could. By getting up before the kids, staying up late, and using nap times and other moments throughout the day, I was able to spend about 30-40 hours a week building up my site.
For nine months I generated very little income. In the fall of 2013, when I was averaging between 150,000-200,000 pageviews a month, I put Google Adsense on my blog. I began to see a return for my investment. Hmm… maybe I wouldn’t have to get a job when our youngest was in full time school. Maybe this could be my job.
In the summer of 2014 (1 1/2 years in) I took a leap and paid for a professional site design. Shortly afterward, my traffic doubled. (It’s also true that this was at the end of the summer slump. With a teaching blog, my traffic always picks up in September.) My site has continued to grow and currently receives about a million page views per month.
I give God the glory for this and thank him for this opportunity every day. Creating and sharing educational resources gives me so much joy. And I get to do all this while staying home with my children. It’s a true gift!
But blogging isn’t easy. I don’t read for pleasure anymore, and I’ve finally gotten back into exercise after – ahem – almost two years of sporadic attempts.
I’d love to help new bloggers learn some things sooner than I did.
This is my page to share what I know.
I’m just someone like you – I’m not technical and have no computer background. In fact when I first started blogging I didn’t even know what a browser was. I thank my brother, a web designer, who helped me find a hosting company and convinced me right off the bat to go straight with self-hosted WordPress. I checked in with him a few times in that first month. After that I was on my own.
I like to study and research, and that’s how I’ve learned what I know. Like you, I have so much more to learn.
There are many, many bloggers who are much bigger than I am, and others who’ve far surpassed my growth while blogging for a shorter time. Thankfully, the Internet is a very big place. There’s room for all of us!
And, seriously, if I can do this? You can too.
How to use Google Adwords to choose keywords
You can have the greatest post in the world, but if it has a creative and cutesy title, the chances are good that no one will see it. Is your title one that someone will search for on Google? If not, you have to change it.
There are different ways to do keyword research. The one I use is Google Adwords. Some people believe this is not the best tool for finding keywords, but until I find a substitute, I’m super happy with it.
You need to sign up for a free Google Adwords account. Now I’m sorry, but this part is confusing. I honestly can’t remember how I got it to stop asking me to set my budget and let me just look into keywords. But it IS possible, and make sure you’re not paying anything. Before you try at all, READ THIS ARTICLE. If you press a wrong button, you might not be able to get into it in the future without paying.
1. (See how my account isn’t active? It’s because I bypassed the billing information. ‘Cuz I’m not an advertiser.) You need to click on “search for new keyword and ad group ideas.”
2. Next, type in possible titles for a post. I’ve created a game called Monster Dice Match. How many people do you think will search for the title of my game? Um, probably none. So I need to see what they WOULD search for. I type in a variety of possible names for the post, like preschool dice game, dice game, printable math game for preschoolers, etc.
3. This is the next screen. I’ll click on “Keyword ideas.”
4. And THIS is the magic screen! You can see the average number of how many people search for that particular keyword each month. (If you click on the little icon before the number, you can see it broken down by month.) You’re looking for something with a HIGH number of searches, but with LOW competition. (P.S. Another blogger says that medium competition works best for her. I’m just sharing what works for me.) You can see that they give you more suggestions at the bottom. I’m going to choose “dice game” as my keyword. Now what?
Making a keyword-rich post with the WordPress SEO plugin
1. Now that you’ve used Google Adwords to choose your keyword, you need to make sure you have the WordPress SEO plugin installed. (I’m sorry that I can’t help you if you have a Blogger blog, but some of these ideas will still help you.)
2. Go to the bottom of your post in draft, and you’ll see this. Here’s where you need to start filling stuff in. You can see I’ve already named my post “Free Preschool Dice Game.” My keyword is in there, but it’s not usually the entire title.
3. I added “dice game” as my focus keyword. Then I wrote a meta description. This is important as it often shows up on Google after the name of your post. It’s a little teaser to get people interested.
4. See where I have a few red “no’s” under Focus keyword usage? Let’s fix that.
5. I went to the top of the post and made sure my URL (highlighted in yellow up there) has my keyword in it. And I also made sure I used the keyword in a short sentence BEFORE I added my first image.
I’ll be sharing more tips as I think of them. For now, I hope this helps you choose and use keywords in your posts… because we all want to be loved by Google!