The blogging world has exploded in the last couple of years, and more people than ever have tapped into the great things running one can bring. You get to meet like-minded people, improve various skills, you get to speak about whatever topics you choose and it can even make you some money too. If you run a business, setting up a business blog (and properly maintaining it) can promote and earn you added income too. Maybe you currently blog for fun, but are wondering how you can take your blog to the next level? Perhaps you want to gain more followers, or want to become a part-time or full-time blogger and earn some money? If so, here are just a few of the ways you can go about it.
Get Active on Social Media
Social media is an incredible tool. It’s great for connecting with other bloggers and really helps to get your name out there. People love blogs because they’re personal; you will gain a loyal following because your readers want to hear from YOU. It’s your voice and opinion that they value. So it makes sense that you would use social media to connect with them further. Keep them updated with what you are doing as well as share your content. If you share and build up other bloggers, they are sure to do the same for you too. Join in with Twitter chats and in blogger Facebook groups. Use stories on Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat to share what you’re up to with readers. It all helps to build a bond with the reader and what keeps them coming back to read what you have to say on your blog time and time again. Take a look at any successful blogger, and you will notice how they’re active on social media and regularly engage with their readers.
Invest in Good Photography Equipment
Your words are what will keep people returning to your blog, but the imagery is what draws people in. Beautiful, bright, clear and well-staged photographs will instantly grab people’s attention. While smartphone cameras can be very good these days, if you want to take your blog to the next level, it’s worth considering upgrading your equipment. A DSLR camera will give you sharp, perfectly clear images. It also gives you much more control; a larger lens allows you to adjust the depth of field. Perfect if you’re photographing products since you can focus on the item and create a beautiful, soft blurred background behind. DSLR cameras are serious pieces of kit, and they’re not something you can just get out of the box and be able to use perfectly right away. Check out tutorials and guides to educate yourself how to use it, or even book yourself in on a photography course to get to grips with the basics. Good lighting is essential too, a ring light is a photographer’s best friend and makes for awesome selfies too! If you blog about makeup or beauty, for example, this is especially handy as you need clear photos of them in use on your face. Buying some good props will also make your photos look better if you’re taking product photos. Flowers, candles and fairy lights all look effective when they’re out of focus in the backgrounds of pictures. If you’re taking pictures outside, be sure to compose your shots carefully, following the rule of thirds.
Learn How To Edit Photos
Even the best photos need a little post production work. It might be slight changes in color temperature, brightness or contrast that really make the image pop. There are free image editors you can use online to make basic changes, but if you want to get into it properly, then Photoshop is the way to go. This isn’t for the faint of heart and again isn’t something you can just open and know how to use. So some training is recommended, you can get day or evening courses which will show you the basics then you can work your way up from there. Once you know how to use Photoshop, you can make your own graphics such as headers and sidebar titles for your blogs, infographics for your posts, edit photos and so much more. It’s a useful thing to be able to use as a blogger.
Have a Professional Blog Design Installed
If you’re looking to make blogging your career or just stand out, a professional blog design is a must. A template which is responsive looks clean and visually pleasing is what sponsors are looking for. While Blogger and WordPress make it easy to customize your template, you’ll never achieve the same finish as paying for a professional to design and installing one. Companies like Pipdig offer a range of templates which you can purchase, and then customize with your own header if you didn’t have the funds to have something unique designed from scratch. Etsy also has premade templates for blogs which can be effective and generally will look better than any non-designer could do themselves. Your blog should have writing which is easy to read, so choose fonts and colors carefully. It should showcase your personal brand but without being too busy or chaotic. A fun header along with a sleek and clean layout is a good way to achieve this. And refrain from adding things like music, flashing graphics or popups to your blog. They’ll do nothing but put off whoever has come to read and will probably lead to them clicking off immediately.
Grammar Check Your Posts
You might see yourself as a fluent and capable writer, but have you ever run your work through a grammar checker? Chances are there are a ton of little errors that you’d completely overlooked. They can prevent you accidentally repeating words, make suggestions for improvements and point out anything that’s incorrect in your text. Sites like Grammarly are useful for this, but do some research and use one which suits you best. This kind of attention to detail won’t go unnoticed and is just another thing you can do to make your blog better. It’s difficult to proofread your own work when you’ve been working on a text for a while your brain finds it difficult to spot any mistakes you’ve made. For this reason, rather than writing and publishing posts on the same day, write them in advance. That way, before you press the publish button, you have a chance to do a final proofread after giving yourself a break from the text for a while. Mistakes look sloppy, so do what you can do avoid them and take pride in every piece you write.
Just like to be a good author you need to read lots of books, to be a good blogger you need to read lots of blogs. As well as supporting your fellow bloggers, there’s a lot to be learned from reading other people’s work. While of course you should never copy or steal other’s content, reading other’s words can definitely help to inspire ideas of your own. When you’re new to blogging especially this is particularly helpful as blogging has a very distinct tone when it comes to writing. If you’re used to writing university or academic essays you’re probably used to being very formal– blogging, on the other hand, is much more conversational. In fact, making your audience feel like you are having a conversation with them is one of the things that makes blogs so engaging to read. Get to understand this style, and use it to develop your own voice.
Learn About SEO
Your posts should always be written in a way that makes sense to the reader. Those that are written purely for SEO generally look spammy and actually can do your site more harm than good. However, it’s useful to know the basics and implement them into your posts where you can. For example, inserting certain keywords or strings of keywords will make your post rank more highly when people type those words into search engines. This means more traffic for your website. It’s quite a complicated thing to learn about, but read some articles aimed at beginners or check out some YouTube videos and apply your newfound knowledge to your blog.
If you’re essentially turning your blog into a business, there are a few things to bear in mind. Like any business, you do have to spend money in the beginning, but work hard and create quality content, and you will attract sponsors. It’s not something that’s going to become a full job right away, but along with some freelancing work, you should be able to earn a decent income.
Are you looking for ways you can take your blog to the next level? Do you already work as a full time or part time blogger, or hoping to monetize your blog in future?
Readers, please share these 7 tips to become a better blogger.
This post was contributed.
What was your opinion of it? What was the best tip to help you be a better blogger? I look forward to your views in the comments section.