Once the joy and thrill of the New Year’s celebrations (and the influence of alcohol) wears off, it is time to make some plans for the months to come. I’d gladly share my travel plans with you all, but since we are looking at multiple potential destinations right now and nothing is set in stone, I decided to start the year by sharing more boring useful plans of how I plan to improve my blog in 2017 (my apologies Emma, Angie and Polly for being such a downer on your January link-up party) in the hopes that it might help some other bloggers out there and/or trigger a dialogue where you, my lovely blogger readers, might be willing to share your blogging tips.
Before I even move to the nitty-gritty details, I want to make one thing very clear for anyone who is thinking of starting a blog: if you think blogging is only about writing a 500-1000-word text, uploading some pretty photos and hitting the publish button, then you’re in for a disappointment. If you want your writing to reach people beyond your immediate family and friends, then get ready to dedicate a lot of your free time to your site. Because guess what? It is as much about your networking and marketing skills as it is about your ability to create adequate content. You need to make sure your blog is technically well-maintained, looks decent and is user-friendly; that you regularly produce high quality content – stories are engaging and photos are properly processed and look appealing – and, most importantly, you need to network with other bloggers, promote your blog on every social media possible AND try to reach out to brands or publications for potential collaborations. And that, my lovely readers, takes more time than you’d imagine. Now, do you believe me when I say that blogging is my second job?
I absolutely love it though, and since all my hard work on Travel With Nano B. in 2016 paid off I want to continue the trend and dedicate 2017 to enhancing this web-site and building my brand name. How do I plan to do that?
Revamp The Blog Design
I believe that a blog is a face of the writer. If you don’t like what you see the very first time you open my site, or if you have difficulty finding your way around to get the information you need, then you won’t stick around for a long time AND most certainly won’t come back again. That’s why I have invested some funds and spent the entire 1st of January redesigning my web-site to make it more sophisticated and user-friendly. I added menu panel on the top, as well as social media icons so that you can reach me/navigate the blog easier. Plus, the footer and side bar widgets so that you can easily subscribe to my blog and have a look at my Twitter & Instagram imagines. Please have a look and let me know how you like it and if there is anything that you’d want me to tweak further?
Improve My Photography & Post-processing Skills
Now that I have a new camera gear (woot woot) I want to push myself to be more creative, step up my photography game as well as learn more about post-processing. I believe these are very useful skills to have even if you don’t own a blog. I’m still experimenting with various photography styles, I typically love the vibrant pastel colors although I’m also attracted to film look. We’ll see where my little experiments take me, you sure will be witness and a judge of it all.
While your blog must have a theme and focus, it is fine to write about different topics as long as they have a logical link. While my primary focus is travel and food, I also have tons of lifestyle ideas I’d want to write about (similar to this post which have remained as drafts until now). That’s why I decided to add monthly series – Things That Made Me Happy – where I’ll share some exciting news, and give a round-up of positive and interesting events that month: happy moments, favorite finds (local products and items), reads (blog posts, articles and books), etc. Something beyond the usual travel guides and restaurant reviews I write. I feel like this will be a good way to have you, my readers, get to know me better and help me engage with you more.
The idea of writing monthly posts about my past travels also tickles my brain (I have thoroughly planned and traveled to multiple cities in Europe, Russia, UAE just to name the few), but sadly many of my photos have been lost or are not of adequate quality so I’m not sure if I’ll go ahead with this plan.
Increase My Twitter Presence
I won’t lie, I have a love-hate relationship with Twitter and have been on/off it quite a while now. On one side, it is so fast-paced and totally overwhelming, and on the other, I feel like all the action is happening there. It seems to be a great way to engage with wide array of audience, be it potential readers, other bloggers or the brands you’d want to work with. Having said that, I have been willingly ignoring this golden mine for the past year (again, because it takes so much time). However, I feel like it’s time to fully commit if I want my blog to reach even more people. Twitting regularly, retweeting my old posts via Buffer, sharing others’ interesting posts/articles/posts, participating in Twitter Chats – are just a few habits I must adopt!
Engage on Pinterest and Facebook
While we are on the subject of social media, I also need to figure out how to better utilize Pinterest & Facebook tools in favor of my blog. If you have any effective tips or posts written on this topic, please feel free to link them down below. I’m sure many readers besides me would benefit from it.
That’s about it for now. Although, as many other bloggers will agree, it is a never-ending learning curve. Life online is constantly evolving and if you are serious about it all, you need to learn new tricks and adopt new techniques to keep abreast of the time (although I still refuse to use Snapchat!). I very much hope my list will be insightful to some, and will encourage others to share their experience and advice on the topic.
Do you have any tips on how to improve a blog? What has/hasn’t worked for you? Any blogging dos and don’ts?
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