This is a guest blog post by Jaime Tung. Jaime is the author of Angloyankophile, an upbeat take on life as an American expat in London, with a focus on food and travel. Her blog was recently shortlisted for the UK Blog Awards 2015 and she can be found tweeting at @angloyankophile.
1. Write each post as if you were writing an email to a friend.
Ever hear people say, “Just be yourself”? Or, “Write in your own voice”? But what does that actually mean? To me, it means writing each post as if I were writing an email to a friend. My favourite bloggers are those who write as if I’m the only one reading their blog – even if I’m one in 10,000. Ask a question. Invite feedback. Spark a conversation. Your readers will instantly feel more connected to you.
2. Invest in a clean, professionally-designed template that reflects your personality and your blog.
Whether you use WordPress or Blogger, shelling out some cash on a nicely designed template is worth it. Etsy has hundreds of them for under £100 – from ready-made, off-the-shelf templates to custom-made layouts that are created according to your desires and needs. Keep the look clean and simple; you want people to focus on your content, not distracting bells and whistles.
3. Photographs are everything.
We’re visual creatures. You don’t need to rush out to buy a DLSR, but even if you’re taking pictures on your iPhone, make sure you take the time to edit them in a photo editing app such as VSCOCam or, if working with a series of photographs, use A Beautiful Mess to create a collage.
4. Use social media wisely.
Don’t just use Twitter to promote your own posts. Engage. Participate in Twitter chats – there are plenty that take place on a weekly basis, covering a wide range of topics from food to travel to writing. It’s a great way to “meet” other bloggers and to engage in some interesting discussions you wouldn’t have otherwise. Retweet news stories that interest you. Have an opinion. If you use Instagram, tell a story in your caption. Use it as an extension of your blog.
5. Read other blogs. Every day.
I have a list of favourite blogs that I routinely visit every day. Not only is it interesting and inspiring to see what other bloggers are writing about, it’s also a great motivational tool to help you keep going. Most blogs are abandoned because their writers lose steam; constantly refreshing your outlook by reading others’ perspectives prevents you from slowing to a halt.
6. Post at least three to four times per week.
Any less than that, and you’ll be tempted to quit entirely. Sure, a hiatus for holidays is fine, but it’s much harder to start again once you’ve stopped. Even if it’s just a short post to, say, link to an article or pose a question, your regular readers rely on the frequency of your posts.
7. Collaborate with other like-minded bloggers.
Guest posts are a terrific way to gain visibility across blog readerships. Admire a fellow blogger’s work? Consider asking them to contribute a guest post to your blog. You’ll increase traffic for both of you and it’s a great opportunity to get a breath of fresh air on your site.