A few months ago, I posted a few blogging tips and tricks that I've picked up along the way, and since then, there are a few more that I'd like to share with any aspiring bloggers out there -- like me! Gotta share the love when you can, you know.
So without further ado, here they are:
1. Check out who’s pinning your blog! This little tip is something I learned over at Designlovefest: type pinterest.com/source/ yourblogurlhere into your Web browser, and you can what readers are pinning from your blog! A pretty nifty trick, right?
2. Add some snazzy fonts to your blog’s html code. I am not a web coder by any means, (although, I wish I was), but I’ve taken the time to teach myself a few things about altering my blog’s html code for the better. One tip I highly recommend is adding a couple of Google Web Fonts to your blog. Go check out more info and how-to information right here. Oh, and before you start playing around with html, be sure to back up the original code before saving anything new -- just in case!
3. Fix any Link Within widget glitches. Link Within is one of my favorite blog widgets, but for the longest time, I noticed it would highlight some of the strangest, non-related posts…including ones I’d deleted ages ago. One day I decided to see what I could do about it, and turns out the solution is quite simple -- just go to their support page and request they sweep through and fix the glitch (and any other problems you’re having). In 24 hours, my Link Within widget was updated and deleted posts are gone…for good.
4. Buy your domain. Fellow Blogger users, all you have to do is go into your settings and click through with a credit card to buy your domain. Click here for more info. Who knew it was so easy -- and so darn cheap? (Maybe a lot of you…but this was news to me!)
5. Add a pic of your mug. …and add it near the header of your blog. For a long time I nixed the idea of adding a personal photo to my blog’s homepage, but I changed my mind recently. It’s kinda nice to attach a face to a name. Make it somewhat professional, and know that it’ll help set the tone of your blog -- is your content fun and whimsical or more serious? Choose a photo that captures who you are as a personality.
6. Write a short “About Me” section. Who are you, and what is your blog about? For the longest time, my blog was just a brain dump of pretty things that inspired me -- not that there’s anything wrong with that, but over time I’ve tried to make it a little bit more personal and unique. While my blog is always a work in progress, I’ve narrowed my content down just a bit. Think of your About Me section as a slightly extended version of Twitter’s 140 characters…I wouldn't write a play-by-play of your life, but definitely include pertinent info that’s relevant to your blog. Make it short, sweet and smart.
7. Display contact info that’s easy to find. I didn’t exactly make my contact info easy to find in the past, and after a few people tried contacting me through blog comments, I decided to stamp my e-mail address on my homepage. I recently updated retro art to include my e-mail (over there, on the right!) and since then, no one’s had to work too hard to get in touch with me.
8. Organize your blog’s labels and tags. My blog has been around for almost 4 years (4 years! Time flies) and the labels and tags I’d created piled up to something ridiculous. I recently combed through them and deleted the ones I thought were irrelevant to my blog’s content as well as any duplicates. For example, did I really need multiple tags for food posts? “Southern Food” + “Baking” + “Food” just became…”Food.” It’s making my life a lot easier, and I’ve added a “Categories” cloud on the sidebar to help visitors see what’s going on here.
9. Write a regular column or feature. My January surveys revealed so many interesting things about my readers, but one of the comments that resonated with me was to have a regular or feature or two on the blog. Since then, I’ve come up with a few quirky posts (Weekly Instagram, One Cake) and others are inspired by things I've seen around the Web. For example, my Monochromatic series is similar to posts I’ve seen via Mrs. Lilien, Designlovefest and Design for Mankind. Bottom line, I’ve tried to think of creative, streamlined ways to share what inspires me. I don’t set a rigid schedule for these, (like, every Wednesday is “One Cake” day), because I guarantee you I’d forget. When I see something that excites me, I build on it and usually write a post right then and there.
10. Take more photos! This is something I’m constantly working to improve. The iPhone has made it so simple to take good photos on the go, and it's way easier to tote around compared to my chunky DSLR. I love to snap photos, and I love to share where I’ve been, what I’ve seen and what I’ve found. I find personal photos to be one of the most interesting parts of my favorite blogs, and of course, I want to encourage the love over here, too. So, take that big ol' camera along with you on outings…you never know what you might see or experience that will make a great photo -- and a great blog post, too!
So what about you guys? Anything I’ve left out? Or, do you identify with any of these tips and have further info to share? I’d love to hear what y’all have to say! And, if you’ve written any blogging tips and tricks, feel free to leave the post’s url in the comments!
See part uno of my blogging tips right here.
Photo of Jean Shrimpton here // photo of Sofia Coppola here. Both edited by me.