Whether you’re a relative newbie, a blogging expert, or – like me – someone who’s been blogging for years as a hobby but now wants to get serious, there’s always room for improvement. I’ve been considering a lot of elements of my blog recently, like it’s design, the content I produce, whether to move into other avenues i.e. Youtube.
So as you can imagine, I’ve started to collate a lot of advice and tips from across various sources on the Internet. I thought it might be useful today to share, what I think, are the more essential snippets of information for anyone wanting to up their blogging game.
1. The Perfect Editorial Calendar – Not only does The Wonder Forest show you how to create your very own blogger editorial calendar, including the best way to schedule social media updates, it even provides a free printable calendar for you to get working on straight away. Creating an editorial calendar is seriously one of the best things I’ve done in regards to getting my arse organised enough to start blog five times a week.
2. Blogger Collaborations to Get You Noticed – Collaborations are the perfect way to get noticed by a wider audience and it’s also a good way to increase your blog’s Domain Authority. I often find myself discovering new Youtubers’ when they collaborate with others, and I definitely think going into the new year I’d like to create to some great content with some other like minded bloggers.
3. How To Pitch To Brands & Get Them To Work With You – Approaching brands can be incredibly nerve wracking when you first start blogging, but you’d be surprised to know, stats and figures are the last thing brands look at. Honestly. It’s about the influence you have over your reader. I don’t have massive stats but I’ve approached brands and being successful in my pitch because of the campaign I’ve been sure I could create and how my audience interacts with me on social media sites. Go on, what have you got to lose? The worst thing is an email saying no thank you. And if that’s the case, then press delete so you never have to read it again.
4. SEO for Bloggers – OK, so SEO isn’t the most thrilling of topics but it really does help search engines like Google and Bing discover your blog and get you noticed by more readers. I love this post over on By Regina because it’s totally for the non-techie among us, like me. It’s easy to understand and you’ll start to notice changes in your Google ranking in a matter of months. section of my template because I read recently that if you have it towards the bottom of the page, like I did, then if visitors land on your page and it hasn’t fully downloaded, the code won’t pick up that visitor if they leave. Now I’m not sure whether it’s because I’m getting more traffic than usual, or that change really has worked by my daily stats have doubled over the last week. section on my blog, instead of at the bottom of the page. The reason being is because sometimes Analytics won’t register a visitor if they arrive on your site and the bottom of the page hasn’t loaded in time. If it’s in the head section, then it will count it straight away. I’m not sure if it’s because I’m getting more traffic than usual after the Amara’s but my stats have doubled to what they were in October. Worth a try hey!
5. How to Take Brighter Photos – Despite having a really good camera (Nikon D300 with a 50mm lens), I sometimes struggle – especially now it’s winter – with taking nice bright images from my blog. I have limited time on a weekend to snap away, so this feature showed me different ways of creating lighter pictures, with less shadows and more detail. I’m guilty of taking pictures on an evening and thinking the yellow light from my bedroom lamp is good enough. It’s not.
6. Branding Your Blog – I can’t tell you how important branding your blog is. I’m thinking about updating my branding and having a logo designed. I love the logo I have now, but it’s quite a childlike font and I want something more 30+ appropriate. The three-part series looks at why you should brand your blog, easy steps to remember when you’re doing it, and great inspirational blogs who have the ideal branding for their audience so you can see, just why it works so well. DesignLoveFest I’m talking about you girlfriend.
7. Prop Ideas for Blog Photography – There are certain bloggers who have that knack of creating the perfect flat lay. Kate La Vie is my favourite. Her images on her blog and Instagram are always so perfectly styled. And what I love is, you don’t need masses of money to do something similar yourself. This post shows you different prop ideas all for less than £15. I have cacti, books and magazines, and home decor bits and bobs, but this feature showed me loads of different things I already have in my house which I could use. I think I’m going to create a prop box and do a blog post on it later this month.
8. Blogger Business Cards, The Why & The What – Can you believe I still haven’t had any Apartment Number 4 business cards made up, despite changing my blog domain back in March of this year? I think it’s because I’m not happy with my branding right now so don’t want to spend money on business cards when I’ll changing the look and feel pretty soon. This is a great feature because it not only gives you the information you need on your cards, but also where the best places are to get them. I can honestly say Moo have been great with me on previous occasions.
9. Creating a Killer About Me Page – If a reader lands on your blog and likes what they see, they’ll instantly want to know more about the person behind the pages. Your About Page is essentially your platform to say hello and introduce yourself properly. Right now I use mine to explain why I’m not called I Heart Fashion anymore (I still get people coming through from that domain), but I also want to update it with more of mission statement – what Apartment Number 4 is and why people should stick around. This feature I found on the lovely In Spaces Between captures everything you need to create your own killer About Page.
10. 50 Blog Post Ideas – This final one is for those times when you have serious bloggers block and can’t think of a single idea of what to create. I have times when I think I’ve exhausted all my ideas, I’ve finished my to-blog about list and I’m struggling for inspiration. When those times come, I take a break. I look for more inspiration, and features like this can spark even more ideas so it’s always a good idea to take five minutes and have a read if you’re feeling like you’re all dried out.
I really hope this feature is as useful for you as it has been to me. Just putting it all together has given me a boost of creativity and as we speak I’m putting together ideas for a new logo and website design for the new year. Have a great Sunday guys and let me know if there’s anything in particular you like on the blog and would like to see more of?
Oh, and before I forget, if you’re wondering about my gorgeous notebook above, I bought it from Homesense last week for £4.99. I kind of went a little mad and bought four new notebooks for all the ideas going around my head.