Five Tips to Make Your Blog Rock

by Guest Contributor Laura Winslow

Choose a design that you love
Just like a home, you want to make your blog a place that you enjoy being. If you enjoy being there, so will your readers. Some resources that make it easy as pie to create an uber-fab blog are {Blog Sugar} Kits from Dear Miss Modern, and add-on designs if you have a wordpress ProPhoto blog. Choose a design and design elements that make you happy, that speak to you and that are reflective of who you are (not who you think you should be).

Write in a way that shows your readers who you are
I love to laugh and probably need a “smiley face anonymous” group as I am a complete abuser of the little dudes, but that’s just ME.:)Hey, I like smiley faces, I like using them and I would much rather use too many smiling icons than to ever be interpreted incorrectly online or via email. Are you more direct and less casual? Then show it! Ultimately, your best clients are those that really see and feel your vision, and there is no better way to ensure that they do than to be yourself. Let them feel like they know you before they even pick up the phone. One of my favorite blogs that I feel is the perfect example of this is the sweet Kristen of Brand Camp. Read it. Feel it. Laugh and learn. Kristen also has SO many wonderful products that help you with everything from writing a bio to creating interesting blog content.

Choose topics that interest you and that are relevant to your readers
Creating a regular blog feature–whether it be weekly or monthly–helps to ensure quality content for your blog, helps you to stay on track and keeps readers coming back for more. Have you tried weekly blog columns in the past and had them flop? No fear, lovelies! Know that sometimes you will fail, it is all just part of the path to awesomeness. I have had a myriad of ideas for blog posts–some are received with a standing ovation, others simply fizzle out. I don’t take it to heart and this only serves to motivate my creative brain to think up the next new idea. I have a wildly popular weekly blog feature titled Wall Art Wednesdays. I religiously posted fun wall display ideas to this column for well over a year before it actually took off like wildfire. Yep, a YEAR. Now, each Wednesday brings 10,000 or more loyal visitors to my blog. I am a photographer, so naturally those that follow me (and of particular importance to me, my clients) are interested in how to use their photographs to decorate their home. I find it fun to seek new ideas and inspirational walls to share with others.

When appropriate, make sure to spread the love to those that you find amazing
Link, link, link baby! Did you post photographs of your daughter enjoying an ice cream cone at that cool new spot? Share the name and website for all to enjoy! Did you use a new template for your recent mini sessions? Share with your fellow photogs! Think people will be interested to know where you got that rad mirror peeking out of your photo? Share the shopping love! We are a community of photographers, bloggers, mothers, fathers, families and commerce–what does it hurt to give others a little exposure? In my experience, even if you gain nothing (which should be your expectation), anything that does come of it is just awesome gravy, baby.:)(Had to add a little smiling love)

Promote your blog and its content
There are SO many free and easy ways to grow your blog and your audience. Each time I publish a new blog post, the link automatically is posted to my personal Facebook page, my Facebook business page and to my Twitter account. I can also then promote it by writing a little catchy blurb and linking again. I also have a link to my blog, my Facebook and Twitter accounts in my email, and by using Wisestamp, I can also have an excerpt of my most recent blog post automatically added to my signature. Voila! Easy, peasy! A title pulls them in from all over! Email marketing sites like Madmimi and MailChimp allow you to post an email sign up on your blog to grow subscribers. You can then use those subscribers to give them relevant and fun updates on some of your more pertinent blog posts.

Above all, enjoy the journey–don’t take yourself or your blog too seriously. It should be a fun place to go, to share and to use as a creative outlet. Make it your sweet little haven and others will come and feel right at home.:)

 Print your own 8×10 {blog it} poster HERE + stay inspired!

xoxo,
laura

About the Author:  Laura is an on-location photographer in the Phoenix area with a modern yet classic style. She loves her clients, traveling and chasing after her two little sweeties, Jackson and Addison. With Starbucks in hand, she loves to dream of both her next vacation and her next fun project. Laura’s work has been featured in Babytalk magazine, Celebrate magazine, on HGTV.com and as the featured photographer in ads for MpixPRO in Professional Photographer, Rangefinder and Digital Photo Pro. 

Visit Laura at her WEBSITE | BLOG | FACEBOOK pages today!

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May - January 20, 2012 - 9:50 am

Those are excellent tips! thank yo ufor sharing.
I guess I need to switch wordpress, blogger doesn’t have much options when it comes to design and template options.

christine tafoya - January 20, 2012 - 11:23 am

This is Christine from Dear Miss Modern, thank you Laura (and Rock the Shot) for the wonderful post!

Our kits do work with Blogger, and we can install the designs onto Blogger templates as well. The kits work with any site or template that can be customized. Just wanted to let you know!
xo

Ana Telma - January 20, 2012 - 11:29 am

Greeeeeeeeeaaaaaaaaaaaaaat post!
Loved it!

Already inspired me to blog and to follow this! ;)
With the corresponding links to Laura and RTS!! ;)

Alicia J. - January 20, 2012 - 4:40 pm

Great post! I have been trying to work on weekly features for the blog and still haven’t quite narrowed it down yet but this post is definitely motivating me to start brainstorming again!

Rachel - April 24, 2012 - 9:15 pm

1 – There’s nuttin wrong with lots and lots of smileys

2 – It’s nice to read you did your Wall Art Wednesday a year before it caught on. It encourages me to just keep going, especially when it’s something I really believe in.

3 – Thanks for posting this :-)

Sophie - April 24, 2012 - 10:43 pm

Awesome tips, and I’m a huge fan of Wall Art Wednesday. Thanks for sharing!!

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