How My Blog Got It’s Shit Together
When I first began my blog, over a year go now, it had no traffic. Each post had maybe two or three views from random people who’d happened upon it during extensive google searches, I can only assume. I was completely okay with that, it was just a small space online for me to vent and document the trip to Greece I was taking, but things have changed a little now. I’m nowhere near calling myself a pro but my traffic has significantly increased and my blog was still on the same cheap-looking background I’d picked at random from my photo stream in the beginning. I realised I needed to up my game, and here is how I did it!
(If you follow me on twitter, you will have seen this all happening over the past few weeks/days via my excited tweets)
1) Invest in Hardware
Most bloggers own some sort of laptop or PC, but, surprisingly, I didn’t! The whole time I had been working from my iPad, which was practical for carrying around but not much else. I’ve recently purchased a MacBook Pro. Obviously it took a serious chunk out of my savings, but the investment has been worth it. Not only does it feel amazing to work on and look gorgeous (both whilst working and in pictures!), actually working on my blog is so much easier and I have tonnes more flexibility. I’ve been saving up for this for a long time, and it is 100% worth it!
2) Get a self-hosted site
This is my first post on my self-hosted blog (hence, my theme isn’t quite right yet); I now pay for it through Bluehost. When I first started blogging, I thought it was strange that people would pay for a blog when they can simply get one for free, through WordPress, Blogger, or many other hosts, but paying for a self-hosted site gives you SO much more freedom! You can choose a custom domain, remove the site’s ads (even add your own, if you fancy making a few pennies on the side), use plugins, install third-party analytics (which are much more interesting), and loads more, too.
3) Set time aside
It’s important to set time aside for blogging, especially if you’re brimming with ideas. You don’t need much time to write, either; I’m currently on an hour-long break at work and will (hopefully) have time to write the majority of this post, eat my dinner and have a cheeky cigarette. I am, ironically considering #1 of this post, writing on my iPad. The time-consuming part comes with formatting and posting, which I’ll probably do tomorrow. I’ll have to copy and paste this into my blog, take some photos, edit and insert them, and format any links and tags I want to include before it goes live and I post it across my social media. Now that I couldn’t do in an hour.
4) Get snapping!
I’ve sort-of covered this already, but no blog looks complete without pictures and this is actually one of the reasons I chose to move to a self-hosted site – I just couldn’t get my darned pictures to show up on Blogger! (Still stumped, gave up, if anyone has any ideas?) whether you have a professional camera or just use your phone, it’s always a good idea to get snaps of anything and everything going on around you – they’ll come in handy if you ever decide to blog about it! Any time you feel that creative urge, get out a few props and practice your flatlays, or find somebody to take pictures of, or vice-versa.
5) Get on social media
Although to be a professional blogger isn’t my goal, it does give me a sense of accomplishment when my traffic increases. This mainly happened because I (finally) jumped on the Twitter bandwagon. I’ve only had my account for a few months but a) I am already addicted, b) most of my traffic comes from there, and c) I’ve had the pleasure to come across SO many new bloggers and made several new friends using the site. Freakin’ love it! Instsagram is another great one, although I always forget to post over there, and if you’re super into it you can get yourself a facebook page, too (which I don’t have). Another option would be to get subscription service, so that people can sign up to get your blog posts straight into their inbox! Again, I’m not there yet, but it’s an idea worth putting out there.
I think I’ve covered about everything I’ve done to improve my blog over the past few months! Because I’m moving over from Blogger, I’m going to be reposting my favourite oldies from over there in the coming days. Make sure you follow me @kirstyisabella0 to keep updated!