When you first start blogging, everything’s a mystery. At least for me it was. When I wrote my very first blog post on my very first blog, I had no idea the massive amount of work and learning that was ahead of me. Fast forward five years, and I’d like to think I’ve picked up a few things here and there.
We all know that blogging is about the writing, and of course that’s important. But if there’s only one thing I’ve learned in the last five years, it’s that you need to have a photo in every post. People’s attention is drawn to visuals, and blocks of text with no interruption can be pretty intimidating. That said, the photos need to be relevant. Nothing drives me more nuts than reading a post about blogging with a random picture of the author smiling at the camera.
If you’re not really into photography, there are some great websites with free stock photos that you can do whatever you want with. I use Unsplash when I don’t have my own photos for a post.
There have been plenty of great posts written about this already, so I won’t add to it except to say that I had when I get a really awesome comment, and I want to have a conversation with the blogger but when I do, I get a little message back saying my message couldn’t be sent. It’s so disappointing, and I’m sure I missed out on plenty of awesome friendships by being a no-reply commenter myself at one time.
It took my until about my third blog to figure this out, but if someone’s reading your lifestyle blog, they want to know more about you. When I check out a new blog, after reading the most recent post, the first thing I do is look for an about me page so I can learn more about the person who’s “talking” to me.
This one took me seriously years to figure out. Now that I am using it though, I can tell how important it is. Every day, Twitter is the second biggest reference to my site (Bloglovin’ being the first), with Facebook and Pinterest close behind. Blogging is all about engaging with your readers, and social media is the best way to do that outside of daily posts.
I’m the last person to preach HTML and design because trust me, I don’t know any of it. What I can do though is make a blog button, working social media buttons, put Passionfruit ads on my site, and Google basic HTML that I need to make my blog work the way I want it to.
Unless you feel like paying a designer every time something on your site quirks or you want to add a new line of code (to introduce blog advertisements into your sidebar, for example), it can be helpful to learn a few of the basics.