We get grilled by Michelle, Editor of ‘Beauty and the Basics’

Michelle from Beauty and the Basics blog is a trained beautician, with a passion for skin care, and writes blog posts where her professional expertise shines through. Today we get to answer Michelle’s questions about blogging. We hope our answers are useful!


Now you must get this first question of mine ALL the time, but, what are your top tips for boosting a site’s search results ranking?

Boosting your blog’s ranking in search can take a bit of time, and you have to be realistic about how much traffic your blog will get. There are a gazillion beauty blogs, as well as consumer sites, that are competing over the same search terms. The best way you can boost your blog’s ranking is write informatively and regularly. Write posts that you enjoy! Look at your Google Analytics (see my blog post here), to see which pages are getting the most views, and how long visitors are staying on specific pages. If some are more popular than others, perhaps write another ‘follow up’ article, or post something in a similar format.


Which SEO sins should you avoid committing so as not to see your ratings drop?

Make sure you post regularly: readers (and Google!) will pick up on this, and anticipate your articles. Although we are definitely not 100% against sponsored posts, having every single post being a ‘guest post’ or paid for, is not a way to make visitors think your blog is unique, and you will probably haemorrhage loyal followers by doing so. Last but not least, pictures. Better to have no picture than a terrible, grainy image. Instagram yourself in to oblivion! If you don’t have a perfect picture, you can find free images on the web from sources such as Flickr and Compfight.


With sites such as Bloglovin’, NetworkedBlogs and Glipho out there, do you think it’s best to opt for a scattergun approach by signing up for every blogging network going, in an attempt to ramp up readership, or would you advise focussing on just one or two of the above?

I think Bloglovin’ is great! As an avid blog reader, I would definitely suggest signing up and putting a button up on your site. It’s a great tool people can search for your blog and genre by, and annoying marketing types (such as myself), even use it to find bloggers! NetworkedBlogs is also a good directory, especially if you are looking for inspiration. Glipho looks like a pretty interesting platform to keep track of. You can publish your blog content direct on to the platform, and the idea is that you will attract readers, who search for blog posts by topic. It is also easy to promote your posts across social networks – a great way to encourage new readers! Go for whatever suits you – if it doesn’t work for you, you can always stop using these platforms.


Similarly, which of the MANY social media are best for driving traffic through to a site? Also, any hints about which one looks set to be the ‘next big thing’ would be greatly appreciated!

It depends on the blog and the blogger. Choose what suits you, and what you can manage. If you were a very image-laden blog, Instagram is great. As for new social media, Pinterest looks interesting. It’s been labelled ‘girly’, but it looks set to be a useful tool for image search, and that is something that could drive traffic back to your site. At the moment, Twitter is probably the most influential social media channel, not only to promote yourself but search for trends, and find other bloggers and fans. Twitter is the highest authority site on the web, and a way for you to engage with your followers, rather than just in a comment box.


What are the best ways to boost blog readership? Would you recommend doing the odd guest post and collaboration over, say, a tastefully-done giveaway?

Keep writing content that excites you, and that is true to you. Don’t write content just with a view to increase your ranking, otherwise you run the risk of becoming uninspired! The occasional guest post or collaboration is a good idea, as long as it fits with the tone and style of your blog. Most people who are serious about creative content collaboration want to give something unique to the blogger, and it can really work. However, beware of badly written guest posts, or of having more sponsored and guest posts than your own articles. Collaboration over content, incentives, or giveaways done in the right way, can expose your blog to a different audience and show that you are social and know your field!

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