Truth bomb—I really could have done without posting this week. Talking about what I’m thankful for here on the blog is slightly awkward. Having a blog that’s in a specific(ish) niche, it’s hard to step away from what you typically chat about. Of course, doing a Thanksgiving-style design roundup could have been the option of choice but I do enjoy reflecting on the things I’m grateful for. While I often send thank you cards, emails, and texts to people who I feel grateful to have in my life, it’s nice to have a holiday where most people are talking about it. I won’t get too deep into my thoughts so I’ll share some fun things I’ve been thankful for this year.
Feedly – After hearing the demise of Google Reader, I was in a tiny panic that I wouldn’t be able to find a service that could handle the size of my feeds. Even though it was a glitchy transformation, Feedly has been extremely helpful and it’s a great product.
Joy the Baker Podcast – Thanks to Melissa, I’m sort of spending way too much time listening in on this podcast. Mainly because the podcast between Joy and Tracy, completely reminds me of the weekly coffee chats I have with Melissa where we say too many insane things about design, blogging, and living the life.
Evernote – I spent years running away from Evernote but now I see the appreciation for it. It’s been awesome having my random thoughts in one place.
Dribbble – I hear a lot of thoughts about Dribbble but as a designer, it’s been great to have a place to share what I’m working on when I can’t overwhelm you on the blog.
Tweetdeck – Tweetdeck is how I connect with everyone via Twitter everyday. I’ve been using it since its release and I absolutely love the Chrome app. It’s fantastic.
Unsplash & Death to The Stock Photo – These services have introduced a new way to check out stock photos and it’s been wonderful for my blogging life. I don’t always have the time to take photos for my posts so having resources is great.
Creative Market – Creative Market is a fantastic marketplace to to support independent artists and also find some great resources.
I’ve been overwhelmed by all of the great comments, tweets, and messages regarding the print I submitted for Latrina’s blog anniversary giveaway. It’s really put me in a very good mood. Not to mention we’re closing out one of our final projects of the year this week which means we get to work on a not-so-secret but secret project that will be launching in January. I’ll also be sharing some of my plans this week on the newsletter so if you’re not subscribed, today would be a great day to sign up. Outside of those tidbits, there were so many great tips this month to share and I’m happy to share them here with you.
After being sick last week, I can admit that I fell behind on my blog reading. I’m happy that I’d taken Allyssa advice and organize my blog reading. I’ve always kept my blogs categorized and easy to find but I do need to go through my Feedly account and unsubscribe. I’m subscribed to an unhealthy amount of blogs and I’m sure most of them are inactive now. While I’m a big fan of reading blogs, it can be overwhelming so I appreciated Allyssa taking out the time to share some tips on how to stay on top of it. If you’re having any trouble getting your blog organized, be sure to stop by and read Allyssa’s tips.
Want to engage your readers? Reach out! Holly wrote a fantastic post about the value of reaching out to your readers and getting to know them. It’s difficult to place content strategies when you have no idea who your market is. Also, readers are more likely to engage with a blogger they feel is a lot more personable. Blogging is a great way to get to know others, so don’t be afraid to reach out.
While it’s true that not everyone has an eye or skillset to design, design is a very important aspect of a blog. A blog with well designed content can attract new visitors and help get the message of your blog post across a bit clearer. Amber shared some great tips about helping bring design to your blog by using simple tips. Also with services like Canva, it’s becoming a bit easier for bloggers to bring design to their blog.
It’s great to be able to design images for your blog but how do you keep them consistent with your brand? Stephanie wrote three great tips to make sure your blog images assist in branding your blog. Since launching Studio 404, I’ve mostly creating images that utilize the colors of my branding. Not only is it easy for me to recognize my posts when I see them shared on other blogs or social media, it allows my readers to be familiar with my content. While it may seem limiting to some, when your blog is your brand, it is important to be aware of this and keep that focus in what you share.
First of all, can we talk about how awesome of a name is “Grow Your Blog Baby” for a blogging tips series? Amazing! I’m slightly jealous because the only thing I could come up with was Blogging 101 which I’ve seen on four different blogs since starting. The tips included in this post are as awesome as the name. Kate shared tips from Melyssa of The Nectar Collective and Karly from Karly Kim about what they think it takes to grow your blog. From writing like a rockstar to showing appreciation, I couldn’t disagree with a single thing shared in this post. So if you’re looking for some extra tips to help grow your blog, check it out.
When someone posts a 60 page printable blog planner for the next year, you sort of take them up on that offer. It’s never to early to get your blog’s planning starting and I’m all about planning for the future. Since I was able to schedule out the final quarter of my blog in the beginning of October, I’ve been looking forward to begin planning for the next year.
Utilizing most social media mediums have come easy to me as I’ve been around from the beginning. However, Instagram wasn’t available for Android for a full year and I wasn’t actively blogging when I did get on board. After reading a few of Corina’s tips, I’m learning (trying) to utilize Instagram to benefit my blog but it’s hard work. She shares some great tips on using Pinterest and managing your Etsy shop as well.
If having a paper editorial calendar isn’t your thing, Laicie shared some great tips on organizing your digital editorial calendar. Keeping a separate to-do list and appointment calendar have been life savers when organizing my blog. If you’re not sure where to start with a digital calendar, Laicie shared her calendar for the month of November and it’s a planner’s dream come true.
The biggest complaint I hear from my blogger friends is understanding HTML is difficult. It’s hard to remember what code does what and how to make things yourself. Never fear, Bree has put together an extremely detailed HTML cheat sheet that allows for users to simply copy and paste the codes wherever needed. Who can complain about that?
Now that you have some HTML and design knowledge, put it to use by designing your blog. Mooi shared a list of great tips to help bloggers design their blogs. All the way from your header to profile photo, Mooi shares some fantastic tidbits to help you get your blog into great shape. I’m always a fan of well-designed blog.
Happy Monday! I spent the weekend slightly self-indulging in some alone time which meant no time for last week’s Links I Love post. It was very impromptu and the calm before the storm so to speak. With the final quarter underway, we’re close to closing out two very different projects and I see myself putting in a lot of time in some new opportunities that popped up over the weekend. Plus, the holidays are around the corner and they can be just so draining. So thank you for putting up with my MIA status over the weekend. I’m excited about this month’s roundup. Some really great posts from blogs I’ve never featured here before in this roundup which is always exciting.
I’ve really come to enjoy The B Bar’s blog, The Well, lately. Meg shared some really good tips on things to remember before hitting submit on the comment box. The comment section can be an inviting, warm space for visitors to share their thoughts or it can be a complete battlefield. Whatever your intention for leaving a comment, think before you speak is a simple rule to remember.
Blogging with a full time job can be tough. Elizabeth shared some of her experiences as a blogger who previously held a full time job or from the perspective of being a full time student. Finding the time to submit your posts and interact on social media isn’t the easiest when 8-10 hours of your day are dedicated to your career. “The biggest thing, when it comes to blogging on top of a 9-5, is organization.” is one of my favorite quotes from the article so if you’re having some issues dealing with your 9-5 and maintaining your blog, be sure to read a few of Elizabeth’s tips.
I’ve heard so many great things about Alt for Everyone which is why I love this roundup of simple blogging tips from Victoria. Being yourself is one of the first key items to creating an amazing blog space. It doesn’t matter how many readers or followers you have. As long as you’re being genuine, the right audience will come along. Victoria covered two other great points so be sure to read what she learned from some of Alt’s amazing speakers.
It isn’t everyday that a wedding blog ends up on this list but Kat of Rock N Roll Bride shared some great tips last month about blogging mistakes. The biggest tip (and the first) that impacted me the most was what Kat shared about having a lackluster about page. “… be sure to let go of your inherent shyness.” As someone who absolutely abhors writing about herself, coming up with something other than Hi on my about page was a big deal. I will definitely encourage all bloggers to check out the list if you haven’t gotten to it yet. There are great tips for all bloggers, no matter how long you’ve been blogging.
This article is slightly different from what I’m accustomed to posting on this list. However, if you got a chance to read Victoria’s post above, this post would be an amazing follow up. Alyssa challenges bloggers to take a look at themselves and check if their online personas reflect who they are. After spending more time this year connecting with other bloggers, it’s slightly relieving to know that my blog is a reflection of my offline character. I try to be as honest and upfront on my blog and if anything, I’m more honest when talking to other bloggers face to face. If you feel you don’t feel authentic on your blog, take some time to read Alyssa’s post to reflect back on how to showcase your character through your blog.
Before I can chat too much, can I talk about how much I adore Kelly and her blog? She’s really become of my favorite blogs to read in the past few weeks and I admire her tenacity and honesty. She’s also very kind which is always appreciated. In her list of things all bloggers must do, she goes into detail about keeping your followers updated and promoting yourself the good way. I know it’s hard to promote your blog, especially when you’re a new blogger but being authentic is the best way to get people to read your blog. Be sure to see the other three tips Kelly covers and she also shares some great tools to make blogging efficient.
Corina shared some great tips on Latrina’s blog, Of Trees & Hues, this month on how to achieve the perfect blog. Being observant is one of the tips Corina shared and one of the most overlooked I think at times from most bloggers. If you’re not sure about what to bring to your blog, check out other blogs! Of course, you need to remain unique, but sometimes inspiration can be hidden in your RSS reader.
While Elizabeth talked a little about how to manage life with a 9-5, Chelsea offers tips on creating an editorial calendar that any blogger can use. While things can be overwhelming, it’s nice sometimes to know that you have a post or two queued so you don’t have to worry about putting something together at the last minute. Having regular columns, much like this roundup, has really aided me in filling in the days of the week with content. If you’re looking for tips on how to keep your blog updated, I would definitely read Chelsea’s tips.
Prior to using WordPress, the CMS I was using set up my article links to be www.sitenamehere.com/CMS/########### which was a SEO nightmare. With WordPress, you can setup custom permalink structures to allow your blog posts to be a lot more SEO friendly. Alyssa shares a quick tip on how to update your WordPress permalinks to make your life 100x easier. This is also a great post to read if you have no idea what permalinks are to begin with.
Mike sent me an email after last month’s roundup and I have to say his blog platform comparison chart is one of the most thorough on the web to date. From Blogger to Tumblr, Mike covers the pricing, spacing, and customization information for almost every blogging platform out there. The only thing missing from my knowledge is Squarespace which is an amazingly popular option for creatives, including Dana Tanamachi. So if you’re still unsure of where to move your blog or where to host it, check out Mike’s chart. It’s pretty awesome.
A few weeks ago I wrote about the value of supporting other blogs which I would encourage you to check out if you haven’t. Posts like this one is my way of supporting other bloggers for providing great and helpful content. If you want to showcase bloggers for doing the same, I talked about a few ways to be helpful while still being respectful.
Feel free to share any of your blogging tips in the comments! I hope to have some lovely posts planned for you this week so be sure to check back.