Having a blog is a great way to build your brand and online presence - if you're consistent.

Having a blog is a great way to build your brand and online presence – if you’re consistent.

The most important part of having a blog is being consistent.

If you have a blog but you don’t actually blog, do you even really have a blog?

No need to post every single day, but you should post at least once a week. Your schedule depends on your blog’s subject matter, your audience, and your overall goals.

Posting once a week allows you to get used to blogging without pressure, giving you time to consider post topics, compose drafts, find images to match, and review and revise posts before publishing.

Here are 7 more useful tips for starting your blog:

1. Pick Your Subject Matter

Your blog should have a clear central topic tied to your creative business. If you’re a personal chef you want to focus on food, obviously.

Some topics for posts might include meal prep, new dishes you’ve created, a top 5 list of your favorite olive oils, etc.

If you’re a writer you might center your blog around your inspiration and musings, or your writing process. You might use excerpts and previews of works in progress, or books you’ve written.

Blog posts should be connected to your craft and business and should promote your work while also entertaining or educating your visitors.

Jounalist Eman-El Sherbiny’s Blog Design by Nineke Creative

2. Pick A Blog Platform

What if you’re a photographer, or dancer? If you’re work is mostly visual then Tumblr would be ideal for promoting your work. Otherwise, the two best platforms are WordPress and Blogger. (All Nineke Publishing sites are built with WordPress.) All three platforms offer plenty of customization and are extremely easy to use and maintain.

3. Make A Schedule

Whether it’s when you will write you posts or when you will publish them, set a day and time aside for blogging and stick to it. Maybe you want to write your posts on Sunday mornings and schedule them to post throughout the week (Tumlr, WordPress, and Blogger allow you to schedule when posts are published), commit to your blogging schedule. Consistency will not only help you get better at blogging, but also grow traffic.

4. Use Mixed Media

Eo120 Blog Design by Nineke Creative

Effective use of visual aids should not be overlooked. No one wants an eyesore. Staring at large blocks of text for too long can cause the average visitor to disengage. Using two to four pictures per post will help to engage and inspire your readers, while connecting them to your posts. Try to use images with a minimum 700 x 700 resolution, and resize them later if you need to. If you can find or make video that relates to the post topic, ALWAYS INCLUDE IT. People remember what they see.

5. Don’t Hold Back, But Know When To Stop

Your blog is your forum/stage/soap box. There is no censorship on your website. No one can flag your posts for removal or report you to Facebook. Express yourself. Say what you mean. Let it all out! Visitors will appreciate your honesty.

But be mindful of word count. 400 to 700 words per blog post is good. Anything over 900 might be too much. Unless you’re an awesome writer and you know it (or yours is a writing a blog) digital A.D.D might pull your readers away from your posts before they remember to share or like it, or even email you for a hire.

6. Ask For E-mails

You don’t need to have a newsletter ready right now. You may never start a newsletter. Ask your visitors for their E-mails anyway. This way if you have a sale, special event, or want to share something super excited you will have a list of people that you know like your stuff and will care! Ask for e-mails!

7. Formatting is Fun

You want your blog to be easy to read. But you don’t want visitors to work too hard to keep reading. The balance here is to use formatting to emphasize major points or shareable text you think people might tweet or quote on Facebook.

Search engines have a thing for Headings: They look for them. Use H1, H2, and H3 as you see fit to break your posts into digestible chunks for your readers (and Google). Change the color of your headings, uses bullet points, numbered lists, and block quotes to make your content pop. But don’t go overboard. Limit your font changes to 2 (3 max). This goes for color, font size, and font family.

Always preview a post before you publish. Take a moment to scroll through, without reading. Does it look good? Does it flow? Does it pop without being too busy?

The purpose of your blog should always be to promote your creativity and your business. Content may be king, but appearance is definitely Queen. Keeping that in mind you definitely want to have fun with it, and color it with your personality and unique vision. Like anything else, the more you do it the better you will get.


 

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