Work Smarter, not Harder in Blogging

Paws for Reflection blog heading
Paws for Reflection analyzes blog

Work smarter – not harder. Paws for Reflection is adopting this advice in 2016.

That’s why we’ve spent a whole lot of time tying 3 years of work together, versus spending a whole lot of time creating new content.

Thanks to BlogPaws Challenge ‘Boost Your Blog 10K, we’re analyzing what works and what doesn’t.

Google Analytics is a must

Linking posts together helps reduce bounce rate
Linking posts together helps reduce bounce rate

In January, Paws spent over a week getting Google Analytics to work. It was pretty easy once we figured out getting a WordPress plugin for adding a header and footer was all we had to do. Personally, we prefer WordPress’ Jetpack to Google Analytics, but Google does have some advantages. It’s quite interesting to compare the results.

We figured out what our top posts are, and if you look at our sidebar, we’ve now included those posts. While the top 3 stay pretty much the same, the next 2 change almost daily. Who knew?

Linking related blog posts together

Linking posts that are related has been another huge task, and we will be continuing to work on that. We’ll also be working on maximizing the posts that are bringing in the most traffic.

This isn’t exciting stuff. It’s not learning more about cats, their health, and what makes them tick. But it’s absolutely vital. It’s vital to sticking to the adage: Work Smarter, Not Harder.

Site Security is essential

Site security is another current focus. Paws got a real awakening last July when after adding Rafflecopter in a post for a give-away, we found our website had shut us down for potential malicious code.

OMG!!!! We can’t even begin to say how scary it was to think of years of work being dismantled or lost.

Imagine the looks on our faces when there was no site!

Now, we pay $20 month for SiteLock to monitor for potential malicious code and hackers. That’s on top of the annual Akimset fee to scan for spammers.

As Paws’ finances don’t allow for professional web advice, we do it ‘myself’.

It takes:
• A lot of time
• Can be very frustrating
• But has to be done

Right now, we are trying to get a different backup program to work, and it’s not proving easy. We are striving to get backups to automatically go offsite to Drop Box or Amazon, while also being able to back up to my laptop. Any suggestions on why BackWPup is not working would be awesome.

Improving Search Engine Optimization

Analyzing blog is essential
Analyzing blog is essential

Improving Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is another HUGE MUST. Google has proven to be our best friend, so need we say more about the importance of SEO. We are using the Yoast plug-in on this one.

BlogPaws 10K Challenge for February was photography. As Paws would be considered a professional photographer, having taken photos for newspapers for years – we thought ho, hum. Were we ever wrong!

Photography – Don’t forget lighting

While we are good at composition and angles, we get lazy when it comes to lighting. It’s all too easy to put on the automatic settings which are quite good, but maybe, could be better.
We just ordered a lighting kit from Amazon.com. We will be setting up a photo studio in our living room.

There are different suggested photo sizes when you post to different Social Media sites. Who knew? Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest all have different recommended sizes. For more on that check out the BlogPaws Grow Your Blog 10K February Challenge.

2016, A Year of Organization

Here at Paws for Reflection, 2016 is going to be a year or organization and pulling things together.

  • We’re going to be analyzing what is working, and what is not.
  • What can we do better?
  • How can we be more efficient?
  • How can we be more consistent and focus driven?
  • How can we maximize helping cats in the United States and around the world?
  • How can we tie our new content into the old?

March 1 is tomorrow, and we can’t wait to see what the BlogPaws March 10K Challenge will bring.

As we enter this exciting new month, we are planning to add lots of new content. Stay tuned as we have some really exciting posts in the works.

What are your blogging plans for 2016? Are there any issues or topics that you would like to see Paws for Reflection look into? Do you have any favorite posts on our site, or on your own? Please share, and participate in this interesting and very important discussion.

5 responses to “Work Smarter, not Harder in Blogging”

  1. tamietimmh Avatar

    Hi there every one, here every person is sharing these kinds of know-how, therefore it’s good to read this website, and I used to visit this weblog every day.

  2. Kitties Blue Avatar
    Kitties Blue

    It all sounds a bit overwhelming and mind-boggling. I’ve been using Yoast for about two years, but I really need to set up Google Analytics. I bought that light kit for my husband for his birthday. Any decent photos on our blog are always taken by him. I am curious to see what March’s challenge will be. Thanks for giving me ideas on things I need to be looking into for my blog.

    1. BJ Avatar

      I’m also curious to see what March will be? Nothing up there yet. I’m kind of hoping for SEO, but who knows??? I’m anxious to get the light kit and see how it works. Analytics isn’t all that bad, once it’s set up. Good luck, and yes, it is overwhelming.

  3. Ellen Pilch Avatar
    Ellen Pilch

    Excellent post. I know so little about those kinds of things.

    1. BJ Avatar

      There’s so much to learn. At times, it’s daunting.