3 May 2017

6 Tips On How To Boost Your Blog

Tips On How To Boost Your Blog, lifestyle blog, Hampshire social media manager

I started blogging in 2012 and am now on my 6th year of blogging professionally, working with brands and companies and my blog has given me the opportunities to go freelance doing what I love. I love the world of blogging and think that as an industry we're only starting to scratch the surface of how far blogging will go. It all started with individuals wanting to diarise their experience, share stories with the world, and capture important moments all writing from their bedrooms on a Friday night.
Now blogging is a huge part of brand digital marketing and advertising strategies, with influencers and bloggers working from Hawaiian beaches - and consumers trust blogs because bloggers are real and honest, and perhaps even more important that anything - we are relatable, and within reach.

I'm far from an influencer that gets flown to Australia on a wine sampling trips with brands but what I have achieved with Dalry Rose is something I couldn't be more proud of - being in control of my career, and pursuing my dreams. That has taken years of work and hours of training sessions, and to be honest with the way digital marketing moves we always have to learn new hints and tips on how to better our platforms.
But what I can offer you is these 6 tips on how to boost your blog to the next level - whether you're just starting out, or are stuck and feel like it's not moving forward, or want to refresh what you are doing with your content and look:

1. Think of your niche and what you bring to the world. For years I have been blogging about everything and anything that I was interested in and what I thought you guys would be interested in. But then I stopped and had a thought that actually there isn't much that is connecting my blog - what is my blog? Lifestyle I guess because it's just everything. But when I actually sat down and figured out a plan of how I wanted to be seen and what I wanted my blog to bring to people I realised I have been throwing content in every direction.
Now I'm focussed on my lifestyle blog bringing people ideas and news on how to live a stylish life on a budget; and help you navigate through the world of digital entrepreneurship. I'm still aiming my content to those who enjoy reading lifestyle blogs and finding out news, but I'm also bringing value to you by sharing my tips and hints - and this isn't just for readers but for my clients too.

2. Create brand guidelines to help your blog come together. When it comes to colours, fonts, images and anything visual you are creating, having the uniformity helps. It helps your readers immediately recognise your blog and connect with it. I have drastically changed the look of my blog probably 4 times now until I finally became happy with the brand I am creating. Now I've nailed what I stand for and what my look is I have a clear vision in my head with where I'm going - and so do my readers who are on this journey with me.

3. Imagery is everything - so make sure yours is up to standard. By the end of 2017, social media will be 90% imagery and video focussed in terms of content, so your photographs do matter when it comes to blogging. Think about what you enjoy in someones blog and I bet one of the things will be inspiring and captivating imagery - if you want to be treated professionally then your content needs to reflect that.
Clear, crisp imagery will help you go a lot further than photos taken in a dark room, edited to the point where they are pixelated and you can't really even figure out what is going on in that photo. Your photos don't have to be taken on a professional camera - smart phones have the ability to produce high quality, beautiful photos. And then you can download editing software like VSCO or A Colour Story to help lighten images, make your colours pop and add effects. But please, lets stay away from star and heart overlays, yeah?

4. Think about your SEO. What is the point of writing beautiful articles that will never get discovered, or working with a brand on a product launch but your review never makes it to the Google readers? Think of keywords, and use the Google Keyword Planner to help you find out what popular searches are around that keyword. Then implement those keywords into your blog posts, include photo descriptions (Title and ALT Text), utilise the search description. And make sure the same keywords appear on your social media to help give your SEO that extra boost!

5. Give your readers freebies: these can include giveaways, tips, advise, events, discount codes, vouchers... The list is really quite extensive. Team up with a brand, or use a code you found online to make your readers lives a little easier, and bring value to their lives.
You have to think about what your readers will be coming back to, and why are they coming back to our blogs? Actually, I'd love to hear why you come back to my blog - please leave your comments below!

6. Make sure your content is original, well written and grammatically correct. We all make spelling mistakes, it can't be helped - but when your posts are difficult to read because there are so many typos it's effort for the reader. If you're not a brilliant speller, spell check the post before it goes out. And don't copy content from websites or others because it shows - your blog is your original piece and it's OK to take inspiration from others but always make content your own.

I have always treated my blog as a professional platform and a portfolio of my work, and I take pride in the posts I put out. And when I look back to the years before I can see the difference in my photography, content, layout - I'm excited to see how my content is getting even better year by year as I'm learning and applying my skills. If you treat your blog as a platform to showcase your skills, one day it can help you turn your dreams into a career.
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