5 things every blogger needs

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hi :)

hope you are all enjoying these blogging posts! they have been fun to write and share with you :)

today i wanted to share a few things that i think every blogger needs. obviously everybody has different opinions when it comes to this and you can find conflicting advice depending on where you look, but these are the things i’ve found to be the most helpful :)

5 things every blogger needs

1. a clean, user-friendly website

this is so important because when you get visitors to your site, you are trying to capture their attention and keep them on your site for more than 0.2 seconds. a great way to do this is by keeping it simple. for example, my blog uses peach and light pink as accent colors, only 2 fonts that are easy to read, and is branded around the idea that i am a san diego based lifestyle blogger. you can post on different topics, but try to keep your overall first impression clear: blogs typically have a lot of information, but try to frame it all around a central idea or theme. keep your visitors’ perspectives in mind when you are designing your site - if they want to find a hair tutorial, make sure they do not need to jump through 8 hoops to get there, because odds are they will just click off and go elsewhere.

also! make sure it is easy for them to leave a comment (don’t make people create an account to do it! the worst) and subscribe to your email list - (which is an easy way to entice someone back to your site).

lastly, try not to have so many ads/ pop-ups that it distracts from your main content, and remember.. less is more :)

2. an email list with some sort of opt-in

you’re going to have people visiting your blog for all different reasons, and you are most likely going to want them to visit again. one way to encourage that is by creating an email list that they can subscribe to. keep in mind that most people are overrun by hundreds of emails a day, so try to only send them information that is purposeful and useful to them (hint: i send a bi-weekly, email that shares one or two of my blog posts that benefits them in some way. if it’s just an outfit post, i don’t usually send those). to entice people to sign up for your emails, offer an opt in - something that they get for free in return for signing up for your list. i send a photo editing guide, but you should choose something that relates to what you blog about (ie. a shopping list print out your subscribers can fill out if you have a recipe/ food blog). 

respect your subscribers’ investment in your blog by not sending too many emails, try to make sure all of your emails are optimized for both desktop and mobile versions, and don’t forget to check that all the links work before you hit send! such a simple thing but you can never be too sure :)

3. a system that keeps you organized

i use a calendar - some people call them content calendars because they keep a calendar specifically tailored to blogging separate from their other planner - but i have everything mixed into one big color-coded situation. yes, color-coding really does help when it comes to this :)

there are a lot of different hats to wear and things to balance when you are blogging because you are usually doing it all on your own. i’ll be sharing a full post on content calendars and the strategies i use (if that sounds complicated, please know it’s not - i like to simplify things as much as possible) ☺️ but in general, your calendar should include what you are posting, when you’ll have it all ready by, when you’re shooting photos or reaching out to brands.. all of it.

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4. content that you are excited about

so #4 & 5 go hand in hand because i think the main thing people are concerned with is getting people to read their blogs, comment on posts, attracting and building a consistent (and large) audience, etc.

i am not an expert and as you know, didn’t go into blogging with a master plan, but here is the two-step process that has kind of worked for me:

first - you have to post content you are excited about. don’t post what other people are posting, or what is popular (how many people can share the same sweater for the nordstrom sale, truly).

post what you like, and don’t be afraid to share a variety of content. there is a lot of talk about identifying and then staying consistent within your “niche” - and there is legitimacy in that, but i haven’t really done that, and it’s worked out well for me, so i want to offer this as a second option. it’s hippie-ish but i believe in energy and i think when you post things that you are excited about and feel good about, others can somehow feel that energy. i have shared a handful of posts like that that don’t have much to do with my “niche” (whatever that is, still haven’t figured it out), but they’ve still done well and brought traffic to my site. i’ve also posted random things that, again, wouldn’t necessarily fit a niche but i just thought “why not” and those have brought a lot of consistent traffic to my site, too. i think if you constrain yourself and try to chase what you think is going to do well in the hopes that it goes viral or whatever.. it isn’t going to happen. and that forced, frustrated energy is just going to stunt your growth even more.

5. authentic promotion strategies

goes hand in hand with #4. i say authentic because there are a lot of little ways to force engagement (especially on instagram), and the best way to build and grow a blog is to keep it genuine every step of the way. don’t join pods or “follow trains,” plain and simple.

my best suggestions for getting people to look at and engage with your blog posts are two-fold:

(1) look at joining online groups where people aren’t necessarily obligated to comment on your stuff - people who are intrigued by your posts will click and comment and then hopefully they will keep coming back. you can also build friendships through these groups, which is nice, because you both have a shared interest and can support each other - it isn’t built on some social-climbing intention.

(2) pick one or a few social media platforms to focus on and forget the rest. i mostly utilize SEO as much as i can, and then share on facebook. i do have an instagram account where i share blog updates, too, but that isn’t my main traffic source. i don’t know how to use pinterest whatsoever (i’ll learn eventually), and cannot be bothered to check twitter. pick a few and do them well.

and lastly.. when it comes to social media, you will always be playing “keep up” with algorithms. i suggest spending more time on learning backend/ tech stuff, like SEO, because i think the payoff is higher in the long-run :) you can learn more about how i have utilized SEO to grow my blog here.

thank you for reading :) i hope that this helps you! have a good rest of your day! x