Greetings friends, let’s talk business today!
Everything I have learned about blogging is from other bloggers, searching the web, and personal experience. I am in no way an expert but I have learned a thing or two this last year mostly through trial and error. Here’s to passing on some of this information because I am so grateful for those of you who took the time to help me (and others) with your wonderful tips.
How to Improve Your Blog in 10 Steps
1. Keep your blog design simple.
Make sure your readers are focused on your awesome content. Try not to distract them with to many busy fonts, multiple colors, and other unnecessary “pretty things”. Stick to 2 to 3 main colors and font choices (that are easy to read). Here are some of my favorites.
2. Align your text from left to right.
It is unnatural to read text any other way, so avoid centering your text if it is more than one or two lines. (I’m guilty of this. When I first started writing, I centered my text for aesthetic reasons until I read this tip from another blogger.)
Sample from a post:
“Happy Thursday to you! I hope you are staying warm and indoors as much as you can. There has been a lot of great feedback thus far for the Love Your Space challenges and I have enjoyed reading all of your comments and ideas of what you might be doing. Keep them coming!! If you want to snap a quick pic or two on your phone, I would love to see what you are up to on Up to Date Interiors Facebook page. If you don’t know what the New Year’s Challenge is or have missed any of the previous days, you can find them in the links below.“
Roses are red, violets are blue, reading this way is hard to do!
3. Make sure your site is easy to navigate.
If you don’t have categories/subcategories for your posts in your navigation bar or side column, you should think about it. You spend a lot of time creating awesome content, make it easy for your readers to find it!
4. Stay consistent with your image sizes.
Think Goldilocks, don’t make your pictures too small or too large, make them just right! 😉 I know that my post area is 700 pixels, so my personal preference is so to keep images between 550 to 700 pixels wide and no longer than 800 pixels. That way, most computers can display the full image on their screen. (I’m still working on improving older posts.) 😉 Pick a size that you think works well with your blog and stick to it!
5. Don’t overcrowd your side columns.
Try to only use “widgets” or “gadgets” that will improve your blog. It’s easy to get distracted with all of the neat “add-on” options and to fill your page with different feeds, ads, “buttons”, blog rolls, and so forth. What do you want your readers focused on? (The foot notes are a way place to add an extra doo-dah.)
6. Don’t compare yourself to others.
There will always be someone doing better or less than you. Focus on giving your readers great content in a way only YOU can do. In other words, be yourself and do your best. If you aren’t satisfied with a post, don’t publish it until you are!
7. Take “pinnable” pictures.
Images that do great are: lit naturally (or mad editing/photography skills!), close up shots, taken/cropped vertically, and usually don’t show a face unless it is a model (more generic).
Here are some of Pinterest’s most popular pins right now from three different categories.
8. Create a brand.
If you don’t have your own domain consider purchasing one (I bought mine from godaddy.com for $20/year). Choose a catchy tagline or slogan. It should tell the readers immediately what your blog is about. Example: Up to Date Interiors love your space! Use the same profile pic, logo and tagline across all of your social medias so your readers will recognize you. Branding also means developing your own, unique style of writing.
9. Create a fantastic about me page.
Include some personal information but share what your blog’s objectives and goals are. Also include your email (not a contact form) for sponsors. This is for the benefit of your readers and interested sponsors. Its your big chance to let others know what you are all about! You can find mine here.
10. Make it EASY to follow you and to contact you.
This applies to all of your social medias. Is your blog’s link and name on all of your homepages (twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Google+, etc..)? I’m constantly surprised at how many bloggers don’t actually show their website name on their Facebook homepage and I have to go searching for it. Don’t let that be you! 😉