Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Blogging tips

I have to admit that no matter how long or "experienced" I feel with blogging, I love reading tips on blogging.  There's always something to learn, and even if it's the 5th time I've read a particular tip, it might mean something a little different to me that time than it did the first. are a few blogging tips.  Some you've probably read, and some are specific to my quirkiness. :)

1.  Make sure that your pictures are not only big, (the bigger the better!), they are the same width.  

For some reason, pictures that aren't the same width make my eye twitch.  For example...

Oh my.  I can't.  How to fix this without making your picture distorted?  First, in the "Compose" section of your blog post, click on the picture and push "X-Large".  Then, go into the "HTML" tab right beside compose.  The HTML of your picture will look something like this.

This is the HTML for 2 pictures.  Erase the "height" number for both pictures.  Then change the "480" and "264" in the "width" numbers to matching numbers.  I usually change mine to somewhere between 600 and 640 depending on the picture.  Your HTML will then look like this.

And your pictures will match up.

So much better.

2.  Speaking of pictures, go ahead and name them.  
So instead of adding a picture entitled img_001 to your blog post, change it to something that will drive more traffic to your site.  

Give them names relevant to your post.  Fall-outfit-with-riding-boots or halloween-recipe or 10-workouts-for-the-busy-mom.  Things like that!

3.  Have a nice, clean layout.  

I read somewhere that people give your blog 5 seconds or less to decide whether or not they will stay.  

What do you think is wrong with this particular blog layout?  Besides everything.

  • Too many colors
  • Too many fonts; including a super boring header font, and too fancy of a font for the text. eyes!
  • Way too busy with everything; especially pattern
  • Not enough white space
  • Too many big ads that have nothing to do with my content. 
  • No profile picture.
    •  A profile picture is SO important.  Readers like to see who is "speaking", and it also helps your readers connect with you.
  • No description of what the blog is.
  • No Social Media Icons.
  • No picture in the actual blog post.
There are many blog tip posts specifically for blog layout.  One of the biggest ways to learn about this, however, is to make notes about what you like from your favorite blogs and what you don't like. Make a Pinterest board specifically for your blog, and to keep a record of your likes and dislikes.

4.  Speaking of a nice, clean layout....Unless you are a pro, invest in a blog designer.

Carrie from Carrie Loves Design Studio did my current blog design and she is fantastic.  Sure, I could've spent hours and hours researching how to do my own design....but not only would it still look semi-decent (at best), I would've probably thrown my computer across the room by the time I was done with it.  Invest in someone who knows what they're doing.  Trust me!  It's worth the money.  (There are also a ton of great pre-made templates on Etsy that are fantastic.)

5.  Try to always find a way to link back to an old post within your current post.

I am not fantastic at this, but I am trying to make a conscious effort now to do it with every new blog post.  Whenever I find a new blog, or whenever I'm reading the ones I always love to read, sometimes I'm in the mood to just do a whole bunch of blog stalking.

If you link back to an old post or one of your social media sites, (organically, of course...don't make the link-back weird), it will keep readers on your page and interested in what's going on.

With this post, I linked back to an old blog post and an old Instagram picture to explain something a little further.

6. Do not post the same picture to all forms of social media.

This is one of my quirky tips, and I know that many people will disagree with me.  

But, why...why? do I need to follow you on every single social media platform when you post the same thing to Instagram, FB, Bloglovin, Twitter, and Pinterest?  That makes no sense to me.

Sure, promote your blog posts on all forms of social media.  That's totally fine.

But if it's a picture of your kids, or your OOTD, or a quote....just pick one (or 2 at most if it stresses you out for your information to only go to one place)! :)  It will make me more interested in following you on different platforms.  

One exception is if there is BIG, big news.  Like a pregnancy announcement, baby birth, marriage picture, graduation, etc.  But for every day things...pick one!  pick one!!

7.  If you don't have a Facebook page for your blog, get one!  (and while you're at it, get a Twitter account as well.) 

I know that Facebook has a bad rep these really does get so annoying with crazy statuses and too much of everything.  BUT, everyone...everyone(!) has an account.  

For that reason, having a Facebook page for your blog is so important.  Don't just drop your blog post link every day and leave.  Make it a place for conversation.  I love it for that reason.

And as far as Twitter is super confusing at first, but once you get the hang of hashtags and replying and all of that, it's a piece of cake.  Plus...bloggers are on Twitter!  If you want to connect with other bloggers, brands, etc...having a Twitter account is a must.

8.  Pay it forward.

If there is a particular blog post, outfit, tweet, etc., that you genuinely like...share it! pin it! retweet it!  We're all in this together, so what better way to help each other out than to share each other's material? (if it's something you really like, of course.)

And just for fun....a few beginner blog tips:

*Make sure your email is linked to your blog profile.  Tutorial of how to do that here.  This will allow other bloggers to respond to you.

*Make connections with other bloggers.  The blog world is so great, so comment on other blogs, and interact with them on Twitter. (Attend blog conferences as well to connect and learn.)

*Do not focus on making money....especially not in the beginning.  Anyone can tell a blogger who is just in it to make money, and those blogs never last (because no one wants to read them!)  

*Going along with that one...bloggers receive lots of pitches and opportunities to receive free products and sponsorships.  Don't take everything just because it's something.  It's exciting, yes, but be sure to stay true to who you are and what you want your blog to represent.  

*Go ahead and buy your domain. (I bought mine on GoDaddy.) Having a .com instead of a allows your blog to look way more professional.

*Especially at first, participate in link ups!  I still do this (usually) every Wednesday with The Pleated Poppy for What I Wore Wednesdays, and Because Shanna Said So for Random Wednesday.  Link ups provide the opportunity for people to find your blog, and help you find new blogs to read!

*Create a mission statement for your blog.  This will help you stay on track with what you want to accomplish.

*Like I said before, research other blogs; their design, their content, their pictures, everything.  Make notes about what you like and what you don't like!

There a billion other things that can be said, but these are just a few that I think are really important.

I would love to hear about anything else you would add!


Sarah said...

Fabulous tips! The width one drives me nuts too but I was never sure how to fix it, thanks for that tip!

Amy in Austin said...

THANK YOU for pointing out that pictures should all be the same size. I almost can't bear to read posts that are a) a big picture dump, and b) a picture dump with all different sized pictures. I typically use PicMonkey to resize (and edit) my pictures before posting, but I like the ease of tweaking the HTML too!

Katie @ Team Skelley said...

These are great! I never thought about labeling my pics -- I will have to start doing this!

I am also the world's worst about dropping links on FB and scooting on.

What about if my pics are ALMOST all the same size? ;)

Helene in Between said...

these are all spot on!!! i love the blog design one... haha that made me laugh!! couldn't agree more with all of this!

Unknown said...

I always love reading tips for blogging since I'm fairly new at it. :) When I first started my blog I went through so many different ideas. I ended up doing it myself, and yes, it happened through a TON of searching and reading how-to's. But, being the slight geek that I am I enjoy that part of it. Something I found SUPER helpful was really focusing on what I liked so much about other bloggers I follow - gathering all kinds of ideas from successful bloggers (and Pinterest - great idea) helped me fine tune everything.

Kristie said...

I agree with your don't post one picture on every form of social media. I hate that! I hate getting on pinterest and finding a bunch of the same picture from one person. Easiest way of me unfollowing you!
But I disagree about facebook/twitter/instagram. I don't do any of those forms of social media, because usually there is way to much information about your day and sometimes I just don't want to know. I really dislike when a blog does a giveaway, but the only ways to enter are using facebook/twitter/instagram. Just my pet peeve, as I don't use those forms of social media. And more and more people I meet are following suit!

Caroline said...

Such a great round-up of blogging tips - I would have found this especially helpful starting out in blogland! I really need to work on #5 - it really comes down to my being lazy... I hate going back through my posts to find something relevant! ;) To go along with that, I hate it when a blog doesn't have an archive option. Either a page, a dropdown menu on the sidebar, or even the option to click to numbered pages at the bottom of the blog - I looooove back-stalking blogs and really hate it when I find a blog that I love, but can't access earlier posts!

Fairy Princess Jord said...

Love these tips especially the not so conventional one about the social media. I follow so many bloggers on Twitter/Instagram/facebook and their blog (of course). I'm fine with a little crossover especially for really exciting news but it's boring to see the same thing on every platform...even if you're sharing the same news you can share a slightly different perspective or picture (or something to keep it interesting)!

Because of Jackie said...

These are awesome tips, and all of them are spot on! I think picture size is so important, (though I size all mine beforehand in Picmonkey), and also, sharing the love is what I like to do! There are some amazing blogger's out there, and there is enough to go around. Be nice is always what I strive to do, and authentic.

Erin LFF said...

You have changed my life with the pic sizing. I always resize them BEFORE uploading them, but thats a bigger pain than anything. I think your method might be quicker! :) Thanks for sharing!

Rach said...

This is all great advice! It's funny because I'm a little different on the picture sizing thing... All my vertical photos are the size height/width and all my horizontal ones are the same. But they are different widths from each other. I could make them the same, but for some reason when I'm reading a blog, I don't like to scroll to see the whole photo. I want to be able to see the whole photo on the screen at once. So I usually size my vertical shots down (even width wise) to make them easier to see. It does bother me that they aren't the same width as my other photos so honestly I just try not to post them at all, haha! But if I have to, then they'll be different sizes. I definitely get where you are coming from, though! Great tips! :)

Meghan @ Hayes Days said...

I'm working on #5 as well. I never thought about making my first photo match the width of the page because I've been putting the four photos below it. It would look really neat to have the first one be page width. I may go mess with it right now! lol. These really are awesome tips. I love having them all in one place.

Janssen said...

AMEN about the picture sizing. Gives me the cringes. (There's some code you can put in your CSS that will auto-force your pictures to the same size so you don't have to do it every time:

This is such a great post!

Unknown said...

Thank you for these 8 tips! I love reading tips no matter how long I've blogged! I just purchased a remade design on etsy from 17th avenue and absolutely love it!

Kelley Gilster said...

These are awesome tips, especially about resizing photos. I've been struggling with that :) THANK YOU!

chantal marie said...

I don't usually like blogger tip posts because the tips are super obvious and not really that helpful. HOWEVER, this post was great!! you pointed out some things I did not know about and that are really helpful!! Thanks for sharing!

Hoa said...

hello! i came across your blog when i was searching for Charleston bloggers. I am making at trip out to Charleston for the first time and wanted to check out Charleston bloggers' fashion and any weather tips. I will be coming in March for a few days before we head down to GA for a wedding. Lo and behold I came to your site today with great tips for all levels of bloggers. Thank you for sharing these tips - the one particular resonated is the labelling pictures. Do you mean label them upon uploading? My question is does that help drive people to yourself if you label your picture a certain way and your pic can pop up on a normal google search? My friend and I started a website just a few months ago and we're having fun and patiently waiting for more readership. Most likely, I'll be blogging about my travel trip to Charleston for the first time so any tips would be greatly appreciated! Hope to hear from ya soon!

Because Shanna Said So said...

First of all, I spy my good friend Amy in the second comment!! Yay! She LOVES your blog and style!! So happy to see her reading and commenting!! :) Second, this is such a GREAT many fantastic tips for all of ...I am pretty bad about posting the same pic to IG & FB, but I have to think of it likes this...not everyone or the same people follow all my accounts, so I pick my favorite and share the love! Ha! And yes to sharing the love...about to share it now! xoxo

Unknown said...

This is such great advice! I have had my blog for just over a year now, took a hiatus to study for a large exam, and came back to it before the holidays. It has been hard taking such a long break, but having watched my blogger friends keep growing was rough too. I felt a little left behind, but this post is a gentile reminder that it's possible to keep learning, and keep moving forward with things, no matter where everyone else is at on their blogging adventure, so thank you so much for sharing!

Jordan Taylor
Richmond, VA

Girl Meets Bow said...

Just hopped over from SBS! You're picture sizing tip just changed my blog (for the better)!! THANK YOU!!!!!

Girl Meets Bow

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...