Blogging is a wonderful journey and first day of blogging journey is always special. But this journey is definitely not a bed full of peonies or roses. Believe it or not, blogging needs some serious efforts, patience and a hard working attitude. Many think blogging as fun, create blog after blog, the excitement is there to enjoy. But the fact is that blogging must be taken seriously if we wish to be a professional blogger and make money blogging in the long run. Because from the very first day, the process of blogging asks for so many things from us. And there is a long list of things our blog must have from the first day or start of the blogging journey.
“A blog’s only as interesting as the interest shown in others”
― Lee Odden
To make blogging fun and full of excitement along with a red carpet roll out for the readers to stop by your blog to visit and perhaps make your blog a point of stop every so often that they will feel right at home when they visit your wonderful blog. 🙂
In order for all those wonderful experiences to happen, we must start with the basics but considered very essential to the life of our blog. Keep in mind our blog is like a delicate and beautiful plant, we must water, nurture and handle it with love and care . . . because in return “where you put your attention is where you will get results” Quote by (Tiffany Romero) 🙂
A blog design that is pleasant to the eyes
- I know it’s a fun process to get creative when designing your blog, for a start particularly the background, don’t go too wild and crazy. You don’t want to make it hard to look at for readers. Don’t use neons colour as a background. People, by nature, appreciate a bit of calm in your design. Allow some space for white. If you’re not very handy dandy in the design department, get help. It doesn’t have to be crazy expensive.
Banner and Logo
- Blog banner and logo are the second most important thing and perhaps the first thing that a reader notices when he/she lands to your blog. Banner and logo play an important role in branding of your blog. You might have noticed, many top level companies like Apple, Google, Facebook etc. are easily identified by their logo and banner. Your readers find it easy to remember your blog due to your banner and logo.
Many budding starter bloggers avoid getting a banner and logo during the initial phase of blogging. But the fact is that it is not a good idea if you are looking to get going in your business for a long run. You can get an attractive banner and logo for your blog easily at minimum cost from crowd sourcing sites like Fiver ($5), Freelancer and SEO Clerks(Depends on quality)
If you are a good artist then I would love for you to challenge your creativity and show the world a good looking banner and logo of your own work.
A clear & precise purpose
- When a reader click onto a blog, they want to know what they are looking at. You need to make your intentions clear. This can be accomplished in 3 key ways: Title. Tagline. Content. Make it all relevant to the overall theme of your blog and stay on that topic at least 80% of the time. Otherwise, you’ll meander and lose the interest of the readers. I love visual things & images so I tend to add it throughout my blog for better visual effect.
An about me page stamped with your personality
- How would you feel if you stumbled across an about me page that said this, “Hi, I’m Bijoux. I am 34 years old and this is my blog.” to say the least, apart from being envy of the foreign name, most would be catching some zzz falling asleep and eventually finding themselves another blog to read. Stamp your About Me page with your personality. Your charm and attitude will be the main focus of who you really are. Welcome your readers into your digital world with first class wine and dine. 🙂
- I have noticed too often bloggers forget to add their contact info. How will people or company contact you when they want you for business, don’t make this mistake. It is a crucial part and perhaps life of the blog.
The search Bar
- I cannot remember how many times I’ve come across a great blog, and wanted to search to find more of what that person has written on a particular topic, sadly only to discover they have no search bar on their site. A search bar makes it easy for your readers to re-visit old posts that they loved, instead of them having to go searching through your entire archive. Some good spots to put your search bar is along your sidebar or in your main menu section at the top of your blog. It’s super-easy to add a search bar, in fact, many WordPress themes have one built in. If your website theme doesn’t have one built-in, you can easily install a plugin that will give you a search bar widget. Or get your designer to add one. However you do it, make sure your blog have it.
- Your list of categories need to be preset in your blog, either across the top of your blog or as drop-down items in the sidebar, but they need to be somewhere on your blog so the readers can see. If readers can’t find a specific post via your search bar, they might browse categories like “DIY” or “beauty” to see if anything else piques their interest. Organize your content so it’s easier to search at a glance.
A blog backup
- Backing up your blog will save your life in case anything ever goes wrong. It happens. Believe me. You accidentally trample over one of Google’s content rules or mess up something in your HTML or PHP code, you’re gonna be one sorry little chicken about to gets it’s head chop off, if you didn’t back up. I use UpDraft Plus or Backup for WordPress and have it set to back up my entire blog every week to a separate external drive. Unfortunately, unexpected things do happen from time to time. When if everything disappears one day, you’ll have yourself to thank for.
The special touch of your personality
- Of all of points we’ve discussed so far, I believe this one is the most important. Blogs without personality, in a word, lifeless. A lifeless, boring blog, just a page rambling and zigzag with little words. You can be the smartest, most qualified individual in your field but if there is no “YOU” in the posts, you’re unlikely to hold the reader’s attention. When I think of the blogs that entice me to come back time and time again, they’re the ones that make me feel something laughter, sadness. Perhaps at times, confusion. In essence, the readers want to read about your topics, but they want to hear it from you. So bring YOU to the party, you ARE the party.
Links to your social media
- Let your readers know where else they can find you easily. In the top half of the blog have links to Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest or which ever social media platforms you’re using at the moment. Visible (preferably branded) social media icons & social sharing buttons. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve clicked onto blogs I’ve loved, wanted to connect further, and couldn’t for the life of me, find accessible social media account buttons. The same has happened when I wanted to share their content and they had no Tweet, Pin or Google+ buttons. This is a small mistake, but very crucial. Even if you aren’t on those platforms, your readers are, other people are. If you want them to find your blog, you have to get on board with those social media features, and get them soon.
An easy to use comments system
- We all do not appreciate spam. We hate it in our email, and we hate it in our comments. unfortunately, this has lead many bloggers to add protective tools to ensure that robots and aliens aren’t leaving pointless garbage on our sites. This can mean anything from a spam filter to a Captcha test, but don’t take it too far, and have too much fun. When the process of leaving a comment becomes too elaborate, it becomes an invitation to say no to the hassles of going through just to leave a kind comment. In the end people will just say, “Forget it!”
The very best part about blogging is the engagement and interact with comments you get from dear readers, so make sure they can leave a comment on your blog to share their thoughts on something you’ve shared. Allow them to chime in, to be part of the conversation. Make your readers a top priority to provide convenience for them to comment with ease. Disqus is a great one (when it works) or the default systems for Blogger or WordPress are good too. But please turn off Captcha or those little codes numbers or letters you have to rewrite in order to leave a comment. They’re just too difficult most of the time, and so many people turn away as soon as they pop up.
And of course, the killer “SEO” Don’t focus on SEO and kill yourself to understand it, SEO is changing every day, and the basics are what you need. Just looks at the tips that Google offer, apply them as they are, and you will be safe from the future algorithm updates and even problems. But, the main idea is that you really need Google as the main source of traffic. Therefore just do your best to keep up for the time being, until the next changes come along. 🙂
Which do you think is most important for the blog to have? Is there anything your blog was missing that you would want to improve?
Bonjour Thursday! 🙂