This is a mix of the things I’ve done that have worked for myself and others, the things I aim to do, and the things that you should be doing, too! Take it or leave it, here it is. (As you read, remember that Rome wasn’t built in a day. Take things step by step… blogging is a journey… and a fun one, at that!)
Blogging is highly visual. If your blog isn’t easy on the eyes, people aren’t going to want to spend much time on your site. Commit to making your blog, collages, and photos the best they possibly can be.
Really think about your design. What are the blogs you truly love, respect, and admire? The ones that you don’t just scroll through in your reader, but actually click through to because looking at them makes you happy… the ones you could just get lost in! Make a list of the things you love about each one, and figure out which elements you want to incorporate into your own design. New fonts? A sleeker header? A snazzy menu bar?
I’ve said this so many times, but I’ll say it again. Nobody wants to read white text on a black or colored background. And if you have ads or buttons on there that aren’t doing anything for you, then please – take them off! That space is valuable real estate.
Hire a pro. You can make your blog fabulous on a budget (for under $100.) If you are really serious about your site, this is a must. Danielle of Dandy Designs is incredible. Her rates are amazing and she is lightening fast. She’s basically a coding + PhotoShop goddess…
Install PhotoShop Elements. This is also under $100… even less if you are a student. Most bloggers don’t need the real PhotoShop… you can create beautiful collages and enhance/edit your photos using Elements. Get a book or take a class.. your blog will become 1,000 times better.
Download some new fonts. I love this site… there are so, so many good ones, and they are all free!
Check ProBlogger and IFB daily for tips and tricks to making your site better. Yuli Ziv’s book, Blogging Your Way to the Front Row is also an amazing reference. Every blogger should own it!
Learn HTML… at least a little bit. At the very minimum, you should learn how to link images.
Get the legal stuff squared away. LLC? Copyright? Trademark? I have no idea. This is NOT my strong suite, so I have been working with my savvy friend Sonia to get it done. I can’t say enough good things about her… she knows her stuff and will help you. Email her. Pronto!
Network, like crazy. Reach out to the brands and bloggers that you love. Attend as many industry events and conferences as you possibly can. Reply to comments when you can, and try to comment on a few new blogs every week…
Stick to a posting schedule. I personally try to post at least once a day, at 6AM. If there is extra time, then I slot posts for the weekend, also at 6AM. If I can get even more done, I layer in posts at 2PM during the week. In a perfect world, I would post every day, twice a day. DIY posts go up on Mondays… I’m resolving to add in a few additional regular features on certain days.
Join RewardStyle, if you haven’t already. It will help you monetize your links. Just please… don’t become one of those bloggers who only uses affiliate links… Write your post as you normally would, and then scour RewardStyle for links… don’t let the prospect of commission alter your content!
Build a media kit. (I’m still working on this one.) Develop a mission for your blog, gather all of your stats into one place, and use those PowerPoint skills to create a splashy presentation to send prospective sponsors.
Make a list of the brands you would die to work with. Are they working with bloggers yet? Find out, and find out what you need to do to get in on the fun. Send them your media kit, and let them see for themselves why you are so fabulous.
There you have it. What are your blogging resolutions for this year?