It’s no secret that blogging takes a ton of work, especially when you are just starting out. If you’re not a master web designer, it can be really hard to make your site look professional. Over my years of blogging, I’ve found some easy and FREE ways to make your blog look great, and seem more legit to your followers.
Consistent theme: It’s hard to come up with a consistent theme when you are starting out, but once you find something you like, stick to it. Use a consistent font, color palette, and aesthetic across all of your platforms. Use a consistent logo, header image, and profile picture so that you are easily recognizable across your blog and social. Also try not to change this as often as you would on your personal social feeds. A lot of people will come to recognize you from the imagery. It’s also helpful to really plan and lay out your site and social before you start posting.
Post visuals: Your blog is mostly written content, but social platforms like Pinterest and Instagram are based in visuals, so you need to be strong in both written and visual content. I make a header image with every post with the post title and my blog name, that looks great on the site, and can be easily shared on Pinterest. I use an app called Canva that has a ton of layouts and stock images that you can use for free. It also saves your designs so it’s easy to keep a consistent layout and just drop in new images and post titles.
Made in Canva:
Pinterest growth: If you add your own photos, be sure to include alt text with your post name and blog name. This way, if someone pins your image, the title of the pin will automatically pin with this info. I also seed my own blog photos to Pinterest with each post, and include search keywords like “midcentury kitchen”, “subway tile DIY”, etc so that my post images will show up in search. Some of my blog friends see majority of their traffic driven from their blog pins on Pinterest.
Decent photos: Since the above point might not have made it clear enough, be sure you are using well lit, quality photos on your blog. Most phone cameras are so great now days that you don’t have to go buy a special camera for good looking pictures. The biggest thing you want to make sure is that you have great lighting. I often have to wait until the daylight is just right in order to take shots of my home, but it looks 100 times better than a dark looking photo. As you get further into blogging, you’ll start having post content planned that you can take photos for all at once. For flat lay type photos, a lot of bloggers use marble look contact paper to make a nice background for their images.
Titles that hook: To attract new readers, you need titles that explain the post, but also hook them to click to read more. Instead of saying “Healthy Living Ideas”, make a title something like “5 Easy Ways to Live Healthier Today”. This helps the reader know the post will likely be a nice list of actionable items, instead of a rambling novel. The word “Today” helps drive a little curiosity and urgency to read the post. Writing post titles is super hard, but always think back to search. If someone is searching for the content in your post, how will the find it? And when they do come across your post, does your title make them want to read it?
Once you set yourself up with the write tools to make your posts successful, you just have to bring the content! My other piece of advice is to write content that you are passionate about, don’t just try to rewrite blog posts that other bloggers write. If you haven’t noticed, my blog is a mix of DIY home renovations, marathon training, fashion, healthy living, and whatever else is going on in my life, but thats what makes my blog unique and authentic. It’s so much work to upkeep a blog, so you have to make sure you’re writing about things you actually enjoy!