For the past two years, I have participated in the Let’s Get Acquainted Blog Hop for new bloggers hosted by Beth from Plum and June. This year I get to return as an alum and share some of my favorite tips and advice on how to build a better blog.
1. Figure out Your Persona
This is my take on the common advice, “Just Be Yourself.” I would add – be the best version of yourself. Do you want to give off a nice, friendly, helpful vibe? Do you want to come off as a bit out of the box and edgy? Or do you want to just “keep it real”? All of the above are fine, depending on who your audience is and what you want to accomplish with your blog.
I look at blogging as practice for the best version of myself I want to become. I can’t edit myself in real life, but on my blog, if I write something that sounds a bit goofy, I sure love that I can go back and clean it up before I hit publish (and sometimes, even after the fact, too!)
2. Decide on a Regular Schedule
This can be as general or as detailed as you like. Do you want to blog 3 times a week – Monday, Wednesday, Friday for example? Or everyday? Or once a week on the weekends? Setting up a consistent schedule for yourself will make it easier to blog, knowing what to expect. Your followers will appreciate it, too. But of course, be flexible if you need to be and don’t beat yourself up if you need to skip a post every now and then. Life does get in the way sometimes!
In my excitement when I started growing my blog, I put up new posts 6 days a week. I’ve now cut that down to 4 days a week, which is still a lot by some standards. I take the weekends off and I force myself to skip at least one weekday so that I can spread my content out over a longer period of time.
3. Brainstorm Blogging Topics
Whenever I have an idea for a blog topic I want to explore, I’ll add it to an ever-growing list. That way, whenever I’m stumped about what to write, I look at my list and pick what sounds interesting to me at the moment. I’ve also set up categories of things to write about. Some of my regulars are: my soap box posts, books and product reviews, tutorials, works-in-progress, and sew and tell. Sew and tell is one of my favorites because it’s not necessarily stuff I’m working on. If something catches my interest, I love to tell my readers all about it!
It’s also OK to schedule out posts ahead of time. I will often think of things to write that are not time sensitive. So if I get the urge to write, I’ll jot down a few thoughts and edit it over time, sometimes days or even weeks ahead. Then I feel like I’m on top of my game!
4. Take Your Camera Everywhere!
I always keep a camera on hand, whether it’s my digital camera, or my phone. You never know when inspiration will strike. So often I’m always thinking, “that would make a great blog post!” so I try to capture things in the moment when they happen. They say a picture is worth a thousand words, so if I have a couple of great photos, that can generate a lot of blog content.
5. Keep it Brief and Stick to One Topic
In my free-lance writing work, I’ve learned that an average magazine-length article is only about 1000 words, and the average blog article should be around 500-600 words. So if you start getting a little too wordy, your followers may lose interest. If you have a lot to say (like I often do), break it up into 2 or more blog posts. That will keep your readers coming back for more, and will give you more coverage!
Moreover, unless you are doing a “roundup” type post, try to keep your blog post to one main idea. If you are excited to show us your latest 5 finishes, only show one or two per post. It will be much more interesting that way, and you can share more details!
6. Make it Easy to Find and Follow Your Content
This goes without saying, but at a minimum, make sure you have a link to your home page at the top of your blog and a search button somewhere on the blog. When you have more time, create a nicely organized menu at the top of your page so followers can browse your content. Although pretty buttons on the side of your blog are nice, they don’t show up when someone is viewing your blog on their phone, but menus do. And by all means include a link to follow via email and/or a blog reader like bloglovin’.
These are just a few of my top tips and this post is already getting long, so I will stop right there. If you have any advice to add, please do so in the comments!