When setting out to be a blogger there are some things that are a given when it comes to creating a flourishing blog. Interesting topics and well-written posts will help drive readers to your blog. However, earning views is much more complicated than that. Not to worry though! There is help for all of those additional things: Ten Helpful Extras for a Successful Lifestyle Blog.
- PicMonkey- Love editing your photos, but find Photoshop lacking in the user-friendly category? Thanks to PicMonkey you can create gorgeous photos easily! The website offers a plethora of editing options for free. I must say though for less than $10 a month the premium services are so worth it offering additional fonts, tools, templates and more. PicMonkey has been my go-to for personal photos for quite some time and is solely what I use when editing photos for Channelling Dolly. There is a tutorial section and they also have their own blog to show users how to create even more customized looks with their tools!
2. Unsplash-Photography is so important to a blog. Of course, in a best case scenario, all photos on your site would be taken by you and show your individual personality. Unfortunately, try as we might there may come a time that the perfect photo is not on our memory card. When faced with that dilemma this is where Unsplash.com will swoop in a save the day! The site offers free photos, and let me add absolutely beautiful photos, for you to do with as you please! Meaning you can edit or put them on your social media. You can do anything you wish due to the fact that they are offered free of copyright laws. Photos served up with a side of legal issues are never on the road to success, but with Unsplash you are free to use with no legal ramifications!
3. Yoast SEO for WordPress.org users- Yoast SEO is like a best friend who lovingly speaks out if you aren’t being the best version of yourself. Offered for those who use the WordPress.org platform for their blogs, Yoast helps improve a blog’s ranking on search engines. It reminds users to set keywords and meta descriptions that will show upon an internet search. There are also grammar tips to keep posts more readable. While I have a lot to learn about SEO Yoast helps me be more confident in my posts!
4. SiteGround – So once you decide to start a blog you realize you need a web host. A quick internet search will show many options for different companies to do the job. When starting Channelling Dolly and doing research on choices SiteGround was consistently one of the top-rated. They offer 24/7 technical support should any issues arise.
- Like any relationship though everything is always sunshine and rainbows when things are going well. What happens with SiteGround when there is an issue is what earns them exceptional reviews! Someone, not naming names-ME, may have tried to do some more advanced HTML changes. That, someone, learned then and there she was not an expert after the entire site looked a jumbled mess. While wiping away mascara from tears of horror and fear that Channelling Dolly would never be the same I remembered SiteGround. A quick online search for the phone number had me connected to the best customer service who assured me all would be well. SiteGround does a daily backup of their client’s sites and can revert yours back to the way it was before SOMEONE made a mistake. You are only as successful as the people you surround yourself with. Which is why I choose SiteGround.
- 5. Blogging Communities-Another extra for a successful lifestyle blog is joining blogging communities. They are very easy to find, especially on Facebook. Just type in blogging communities in the search field and up will pop many options to join. With these groups, you get out of them essentially what you put in. Meaning don’t just ask to join and then not participate. Most of the communities do weekly rituals such as Friday Facebook posts, or Monday blog comments. These options give the opportunity to not only share work with others but to read posts from bloggers that you may not have ever come across. These blogger communities are a great resource for knowledge and sharing information. Plus who among us doesn’t want a group of knowledgeable friends to bounce ideas off of?
- 6. A Planner- Creating blog posts, however often you chose to post, can be hectic. Some like to plan weeks in advance while others prefer to write in more real time. Whatever category you fall into there is one universal thing that helps a blog be successful when it comes to scheduling posts-a planner. Being able to write down ideas for posts in an organized manner helps to better see what is coming up next. Perhaps two weeks from now you wish to do a post about a craft project. Seeing that scheduled will remind you to stop by the store for supplies to get started.
- 7. BrandBacker-As a reader you often see #sponsored posts on blogs. As a blogger though you quickly realize that it takes time to create relationships with brands in order to do these posts. BrandBacker makes this relationship come together much easier. Upon signing up they will link all social media and blog accounts under your name. A quick search shows all opportunities that are currently available and the blogger then would apply to any they find interest in. Then BrandBacker will play matchmaker between blogger and brands to set up a sponsored posts. These sponsorships are a great way to learn about new brands, convey your thoughts to your readers AND you get a post out of it as well!
- 8. Hometalk– If your lifestyle blog comes with a side of crafting then Hometalk is for you! Once you create an account on their site you can copy any craft posts you do onto your Hometalk page and link those to your blog. They have a fantastic Facebook page and are constantly sharing posts from their site. My very first post on their site for a Halloween garland was shown on their Facebook page and I received 85K views on that project! There is no guarantee your projects will always be featured but that type of exposure, and for absolutely free, is fantastic when you can get it!
- 9. Moo– You are a blogger! You are creative and unique. Who needs boring business cards? Not you! Don’t settle for plain when you can create little masterpieces on a card through Moo. They offer many options and also have templates to help make the creation easier. Having business cards are a great extra when meeting with business owners that you could potentially partner up with. They are also great to have if you attend blogger events!
10. Nerve- Saving the best for last! One of the most important extras for a successful lifestyle blog is nerve! Not all bloggers that are making it big do so because they know the right people. Many make it because they have the nerve to contact the right people! Being bold and reaching out to companies makes all the difference. Will there be times when you are turned away or passed over for an opportunity? Of course, there will! But guess what! There will be times when you are blissfully surprised at the things your courage can earn you! Set blog goals and then reach out to whoever can help to achieve them. If you are turned down, simply use that feedback to improve your pitch the next time!
Are there any other tips extras for a successful lifestyle blog left off from this list? There is always room for more! Please do share!
For more blogging tips check out:
How to Beat Writer’s Block..Tips for Creating Blog Posts.
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