I’ve received quite a lot of emails in the past couple months regarding blogging tips and advice, so I thought it was about time to write a post up on it.
Just a little background info on myself, if any of you were wondering, I’ve been blogging since 2007 (10 years.. what?!) but I only opened Sunday Chapter in 2014. Recently I’ve been fortunate enough to make blogging my full time job, but I’m still learning and discovering new things everyday. However, today, I’m going to share with you what I have found to be most important as well as small ways to improve your blog.
Find your blogging voice
Developing a voice behind your blog is imperative. Who are YOU? People always relate to a blog more when they have an idea of who is behind it. For most people, a voice doesn’t come naturally at the beginning and you can be too influenced by other blogs. My best advice would be to pretend you’re writing an email instead of a post, & you’re writing to just your one ideal reader. Don’t try to sound like the person you want to be – sound like who you are.
Brand your blog
Many bloggers build their website and create content without considering the image they want to present. If you’re thinking of blogging more professionally, businesses and PRs wont take you very seriously if you haven’t built a brand for your blog. Even if you don’t take it seriously, it’s still an incredibly important factor to building your audience and improving your blog. This includes everything from your blogs name, tagline, address, theme, colour palette, typeface, personality, schedule, etc. It must be consistent. Consistency is key.
Understand your SEO
Before I become familiar with SEO, I sort of undermined it’s importance. It can be a little intimidating at first, but once you get your head around it, I promise it’s not so bad. Google is your best friend.
Be prepared to fail
A little dreary, I will admit, but hear me out. Sometimes you might write a post you love, and believe will do really well, to only have it end up a ‘bleh’ kind of post. Sometimes you and your readers might not be on the same page. Sometimes photos might not turn out so great. Whatever it is, you have to learn from it, and use it to your advantage to improve future work. Don’t give up just because a few posts don’t do so well or you’ve hit a bit of a slump. Failure is sometimes the best learning tool.
Make it pretty
There are little things you can do to make your blog more visually appealing like adjusting your text size, font, colours, eye-catching headers, user friendly layouts, etc. Keep your design clean and simple. Less is more. It’s not necessary to show every award and badge in your sidebar. You might want to consider hiring a web designer. It doesn’t stop at your blogs design though, it’s also your pictures. The right kind of picture can reel (or deter) readers from your posts. If your blog is not appealing it will compromise your content, no matter how great it may be.
Never stop promoting
Once a post goes live, it’s certainly not the end of the story! Now it’s time to share it as much as you can (without being overly annoying). You might want to create additional info-graphics for Pinterest (they tend to go viral) and additional photos that fit with Instagram. For example, if I’m sharing my apple cider vinegar drink, instead of using one of the photos from the post, I might post a photo to Instagram drinking it in the morning! Cater to your social medias. Don’t just promote the day of the post either, you should never really stop promoting and referencing to older posts.
Easy to share content
It’s not just you that should be able to share posts, it’s your readers too! Make sure all your social media links work and they’re easily accessible on any device. Give people bonuses or additional content if they share, it can be anything from a PDF copy of the post, additional worksheets, bonus content or free downloads.
Create an editorial calendar
I don’t know where I’d be without my trusty calendar (probably somewhere not so great). Seriously though, calendars are my life. One of the best blogging tips is to use a calendar or planner to keep track of your post dates, routines, projects and ideas. I’ve found the best calendar is the one built into my macbook – nothing too fancy, but it gets the job done. I’ve literally been through every type of editorial calendar and this method works best for me since I’m always changing things around.
Have brainstorming sessions
Stuck for content ideas? Brainstorm! Create mood boards, maps, and write everything that comes to mind.
Talk to your readers
Always reply to emails, tweets, and comments as much as you can. Go a step forward and interact with them on their blog if you can find the time! Gratitude is always appreciated.
Define your topics
Many bloggers will tell you that you should define your niche to reach a bigger audience, and although I do agree with their points, my blog covers a few topics (I cover travel, lifestyle, wellness, & beauty) and that’s OKAY. The most important thing is to write about what you love and things that inspire you. If I ever closed myself off to only one thing, I would get bored and Sunday Chapter would certainly not be where it is today. That works for me. Find what works for you. Covering every topic could be fun at the start, but maybe considering honing in on a specialty. I love this post by Helene on why it’s okay not to have a niche.
I hope these tips helped you somewhat! I’d be happy to answer any questions in the comments, and if you’d like more posts on blogging tips or full time blogging, do let me know!
What’s your best blogging tip?