3 articles Tag Blog

Giving Your Blog A Little More Glam

Your blog is getting to be quite old these days, isn’t it? You’ve been running it for 5 to 10 years now, and when it comes to the internet, that makes you an ancient player in the news feed’s eyes! You’ve updated your blog consistently over the years, building up a reader base that regularly comes back to visit you, and you love noticing all the traction you receive on social media. Hey, you’ve been working hard to build an online persona, you’re allowed to want to see it pay off!

But because of all of this history, there’s a good chance you could do with ‘glamming up’ your blog throughout 2019. It’s a new year, and it’s a big one for all of us who work online: millions is being spent on contenting writing and marketing, and the price is only going to go up!

So, why not think about making your blog more of a glamor model in your network’s eyes? Here’s a couple of ideas you might want to check out to do just that.

(Unsplash)

Know What Other Blogs are Doing

Other blogs on the platform can be your friends, your collaborators, and your competitors. They can be all three at once, of course, or they can just be another blog you’ve never approached before. But there’s one thing they are always going to have in common: you can look to them to see what works.

When you use other blogs to base your layout, your images, and your themes off of, you can quickly learn what’s popular and what isn’t. You can also mix and match much better than before, seeing as you now have a template to work off of!

Know the Templates that Work

Speaking of templates, you’ll find all kinds of posts across the internet telling you the most popular WordPress themes for the year, or the best layouts to use to make sure people stay on your website. And sure, these posts have some grains of truth to them, but they’re not experts on the matter! Your readers come from all walks of life, after all, and they’re all going to have their own little tastes; only they can decide if they like the aesthetic of your blog or not.

Which is why it makes a lot more sense for you to rely on what’s worked before, rather than try to predict the future. You’ve been in the business a long time; ask yourself how many times a choice has paid off without doing any research beforehand? For example, Microsoft Office templates are always going to popular with both professional and personal users alike. So if you’re someone who’s always out to advertise to both bigger companies you could work with, and the readers who love to consume your content, this could be a good place to start!

Your blog might need a new sprinkling of glam to it, it might not. Either way, it’s always nice to be able to redesign!

How to Organise Your Blog Posts

Blog organisationI’m not going to lie, organisation is not my strongest quality. I’m always the mum who finds the crumpled up letters at the bottom of Sausage’s bag, the day before they’re due to go in in some sort of elaborate fancy dress and I’m terrible at remembering to RSVP to anything we’re ever invited to. I’ve started using my reminders on my phone more and more to keep me organised in my daily life, and am planning to invest in some quality notebooks, but my blog is something that suffers massively because of my lack of organisational skills.

With BB off to school this September, I’ve realised that I need to get some life back into my blog, which means planning more original content and getting back on track with my writing, so I decided to ask some fellow bloggers how they get their act together and stay on top of blogging. Here’s some of their advice:

Nickie at Typecast said “I personally use a bullet journal system incorporated into my Filofax. I also have a BOAT (Book Of All Things) which is generally a brain dump and I’m a bit old school where I have to write things down. I also use Google Calendar a lot (linked to my phone) for reminders on the go and we have a Family Google Calendar too for ‘family reminders’. This may seem like overkill to some people, however, what works for me may not work for you but you can take ideas from various sources and incorporate them into your own planning system.”

Amy Lynne Andrews said “Create a way to capture your blog post ideas. Great resources to capture ideas are Evernote, a note-taking app on your phone or a paper notebook. I always seem to get good ideas when I’m driving. If you do too, try calling yourself and leaving a voicemail, having Siri or your Google Assistant email or text you or using a voice recorder app. Regardless of how you do it, keep all your ideas in one designated place.”

Alisha Nicole said “Starting off with a solid routine will help you get into the flow of creating content consistently. Your schedule should be based on two major factors:

  1. How often you are able to provide high quality content. (remember it should always be quality over quantity)
  2. When your audience is online to consume your info.

Personally, I know I am only able to create one blog post, one video and send out one newsletter per week. And according to my stats, my highest traffic days are Tuesdays and Wednesdays, so those are the days I post to my blog. Also from a recent reader survey that I conducted, I know that the majority of my audience would rather watch live webinars in the evenings and on Saturdays due to their work/life schedules. If you’re unsure when to post your content, checking out your Google Analytic stats will tell you exactly when your audience is using your site most often.”

Knowing Myself (Or ‘Help Me, PLEASE!’)

After yesterdays session at Cybher with Peggy Poyser about revamping your blog for under £50, I’ve started with gusto to try and make my blog exactly what I want it to be. One of Peggy’s tips was to work out exactly what it is your blog should say to other people, then create a colour scheme to compliment it. (That was the general gist, she obviously put it a lot better than that…)

Great, brilliant, a point to start from.

Except, I can’t work out what the hell it is that I’m trying to say or who I even am.

Sure, I guess I could be called a mummy blogger, after all, I am a mummy and I am a blogger. But a pastel colour scheme with cute cartoons over it is so not me. I may not know myself but I do know I’m just not that… insipid. So if I’m not going from the mummy blogger angle, I need to look a bit deeper at what appeals to me.

Animal print.

If there’s one prevailing pattern that I tend to choose for bloody everything, it’s leopard print. I just love it. So a few days ago, Husband created me a banner for my site, complete with leopard print background and funky lettering. I loved it, but Husband made the very good point that ‘Mum’s the Word’ written over a furry leopard print background made my blog look a bit like a landing page for plushophiles (if you don’t know what that is and have to look it up, do so with caution and at a decent distance from children or relatives with a weak heart).

During the session, Peggy showed us a series of swatches of colour and asked us to identify what type of blog each swatch represented. We all got the answers right and Peggy’s point was perfectly made. But I don’t really know what my readers get from coming and reading my random musings? What is it you expect from Mum’s the Word? I’m asking for help here, people! If you have any ideas at all, let me know.  I have a Pinterest board set up for brainstorming and if you see anything that makes you think “Ooh, that’s so Jayne”, be it a colour, pattern, font – anything, tweet me, Email me, link me up on Facebook. Help me make Mum’s the Word a beautiful place to be!