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Monday, 5 February 2018

Simple Ways You Can Grow & Improve Your Blog

It's taken me a long, long time to get my blog to what it is now, and even now I know it could be better so I'm always working on improving it as and when I can. I've been working on increasing my DA over the last year but I've also been working on my blog layout, my vocabulary, content and social media, just to really try and up my blogging game and make it the best it can be. I look up to so many other bloggers and know I'm nowhere near some other peoples levels with it, but I'm really happy with some of the changes I've made recently to my blog and I wanted to share my tips in case any of you are wanting to try and make some improvements.

growing your blogRead Books 

This might seem like a bit of an odd one but I really do think the more you read, the better your own writing gets. I sometimes read through my posts and find I'm saying the same sorts of things all the time, yet when I go away and read a book or really up my blog commenting game, I find I just come out with new vocabulary I haven't used before on my blog. I also always feel a bit more motivated to blog after reading for some reason and I tend to find I come up with more ideas too.

Buy A Domain

When I first started my blog on blogger my website address was www.foodandotherloves.blogspot.co.uk and at the time I felt it showed I was quite a new blogger. There's nothing wrong with that and obviously not everyone can afford to change it straight away, which was the case for me, but I do think the sooner you can buy a domain and officially have the blog as yours, the better. It shows you're willing to invest money in it and as soon as I bought my domain, I instantly took it more seriously. I changed mine to www.foodandotherloves.co.uk quite a while ago now via GoDaddy and I pay a small amount each year to keep it. I think the last time I paid it was about £16 and that covered me for two years. You'll find now a lot of brands ask for bloggers only with their own domain so it can mean missing out on opportunities and also it affects your DA. If you try to check your DA when you're still .blogspot it won't be a true reflection on you and the work you've done as it's technically tracking the blogger site, if that makes sense? Once you have your own domain name, you can properly track your DA and get accurate results each time. Read my post with tips on improving your DA here.

Create Engaging Content 

This is something I mentioned in my DA post, but creating engaging and relevant content is so important if you want to get somewhere with your blog. Having content that makes people want to come back is important and posting about things that others can engage with and connect with. I post all sorts of things and some are mainly just for me, like birthday posts but generally I try to post about topics that I know others will be interested in. I've given my tips before on renting and my experience, beauty products I recommend, recipes I feel need sharing with others, and my own personal experiences with mental health, university, work etc. I like to think the sorts of things I post about people can relate with and that's personally the sorts of blog posts I like to read. Also be passionate and let that show! I find if I'm not really feeling blogging one day then it shows in my blog post, and if I'm not enjoying writing and reading it, why would someone else? Only post content you're happy with.

Focus On Your Design (layout/headers)

You can create some beautiful layouts and blog designs on the standard blogger websites but I do think sometimes it can be worth investing and spending a little money to really make the most out of your blog. I tried to do the best I could with a blogger layout I chose years ago but then in 2016 I finally bit the bullet and spent about £30 on a layout I really loved and installed it all. I was instantly so much happier with how my blog looked, it was just a little bit more professional and sleek. I then had a header made, personalised with icons I thought were relevant to me and that also made a huge difference to my blog. Again, it just looked more put together and like I had really worked on it. To pay for both of these I actually used some money I had earned from sponsored content, I felt quite proud putting money back into my blog and I definitely think it was for the best.

Sharing On Social Media

It's so important whenever you post, to share on social media. I can't even explain how much sharing your content helps with your views and engagement. It is a pain sometimes to schedule tweets and go through all your platforms sharing the same post but it's worth it. I now share all of my blog posts on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Google+, Bloglovin and Instagram. I definitely notice a decline in views when I haven't scheduled tweets so try to make it a priority.

Proof Read Posts

This is a bit of an obvious one but it surprises me the amount of posts I read which have spelling mistakes in them. I don't mean that in a bitchy way at all, and I'm sure they'll be posts of mine I need to go back over and edit because of little mistakes but now I give all of my posts a thorough read through at least 2 or 3 times before publishing, and then I'll quickly go over it again after I've published it. Posts can sometimes just look a bit rushed if it's full of errors and taking the time to go through and properly check it ensures you don't have to spend any time going back over it in the future. Also when writing a post you might include a link to something, but if this post is scheduled for sometime in the future, when it comes to posting, whatever you linked to may no longer be available and then it becomes a broken link which you don't really want if you're trying to increase your DA. A quick click on any links you're planning on including before publishing, is a big help.

Routine/Schedule

 I don't think a proper schedule with your blog is a necessity but it does massively help. Sometimes life gets in the way and it's not as simple as posting on set days every week depending on what you have, but I personally notice a massive difference in views and engagement when I post reguarly or stick to the same schedule. I used to post Monday, Wednesday and Friday and then in 2017 I started doing Monday-Friday which at the moment I'm just about managing to stick with. Having this routine means people know when to expect a new post from me and I do find I get the same sort of people commenting on my posts and coming back which is always nice. Having a schedule just makes it all feel a bit more organised and personally makes my head a bit clearer so I know exactly what's what. Even if you only post one or two times a week, sticking to the same days each week is really helpful.

I find I have weeks where I love everything about my blog and feel so proud of it and others where I want to change everything and I think I haven't done enough with it, but that's totally normal! I think because so many people blog now it can be easy to compare yourself to others and feel like your blog isn't good enough but IT IS. Just taking simple steps to grow it makes a difference and it's not something that can be done overnight. I've been doing these things for ages now and I still have such a long way to go, but I'm better off now than I when I started so they do work.

Let me know if you take on board any of these tips, or if you have any of your own! I'd love to learn more ways I can improve too.

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