I think 2015 is going to be a really good year for blogging, lots of people seem to be set on improving their writing or photography or just their blog in general. I'm definitely ones of those people, 2014 wasn't the best year for my blog so I'm determined to make some big improvements this year. I've become so much more organised recently and I've got lots of ideas about how I want to improve my blog throughout the next 12 months so I thought I'd share them with all of you! My ideas are nothing special, they are all little things that I think can really help to push things along over time to make a bigger difference. Of course if you've got any tips, tricks or ideas yourself I'd love to hear them so do share them in the comments. This isn't me telling anyone what to do, just sharing a few of my ideas and what I'll be doing this year, I'm definitely no expert!
Social media is such a big part of my blog, I get a lot of traffic from Twitter and I'm starting to see more come through from Pinterest now I'm using it more effectively. If you start sharing your posts with the correct hashtags you can reach a lot more people, try scheduling tweets as well as none of us are always around to share our newest posts, I use Hootsuite myself but there are loads of different platforms out there. Also Pinterest is getting bigger and bigger, I'm finding it such a good place to share new posts at the moment. I'm trying to make my images a bit more pinnable, there are certain things that obviously are going to get more re-pins on Pinterest so if you're looking to get traffic from there do a bit of research, find out what's popular. I've found myself neglecting Instagram during the past few months but now is definitely the time to start sharing some of your blog photos on there as it is one of the fastest growing social media platforms out there. It's a great way to connect with your readers on a more personal level as well.
SHAKE UP YOUR BLOG DESIGN
This is something that I'm planning on doing myself during the next couple of months, now is the perfect time to make a few changes to your blog design or you could change everything about. Make it eye-catching but not too busy and add in a little bit of your personality. My design is definitely too boring at the moment and it shows in my statistics, people aren't sticking around for long at the moment. Make sure that when someone clicks onto your blog they want to stay and read more.
RE-VAMP YOUR 'ABOUT ME' PAGE
I've seen lots of posts recently all about how to spice up your about me page a little more, I often forget just how important it can be. Whenever I come across a new blog I like to read through their about me page (if they have one!) to get to know the blogger a bit better. It's probably going to be one of the first places that a new reader will go when they find your blog so make sure it's an exciting page. Tell the reader what your blog can offer them, share a few of your favourite posts and of course add in some photos.
LEARN MORE ABOUT SEO
I'm very guilty of not being clued up on SEO, in all honesty I'm a little too lazy to be learning more about it and making some changes. Google is your best friend when it comes to SEO, there are tons of posts and articles out there about how to make your blog and posts better by using SEO. I definitely need to start labelling my images and creating more interesting and informative titles for my posts, why not create a little list of small SEO related changes that you want to make?
IMPROVE YOUR PHOTOS
This doesn't necessarily mean going out and buying a new fancy camera, you don't have to spend hundreds of pounds to take good photos. Although if that is what you want to do then that is also fine, I plan on upgrading my camera this year. Try and set up more interesting backgrounds for your photos, that costs nothing or very little. I'm so bad at using boring and repetitive backgrounds so this is going to be a big focus for me starting from today. Also if you do have a fancy camera then learn more about it, learn how to get the best out of it! Get to grips with photo editing as well, I use picmonkey which is free and very easy to use, I nearly always brighten my photos a little and sometimes I add text to them, it's great for both those things and more.
SET UP A BLOG SCHEDULE
In general I think getting organised helps but if I were to be more specific I'd say that creating a blog schedule helps a lot. Knowing what posts you've got going up when is really handy so you can plan in advance and you won't be left rushing around at the last minute. There are loads of free printable blog schedule templates out there so get googling!
USE A THESAURUS
I will hold my hands up and say that when it comes to writing I am very very repetitive and will use the same words over and over again. I used to do a lot of creative writing and still do every now and then so you'd think I'd use some of that knowledge to help my write posts but I still struggle all the time. That is where my friend the thesaurus comes in! I use an online one and after I've finished writing a post, if I remember, I often go through and switch out a few words for something a little different and more exciting. It really does make a difference so I'd recommend that everyone does it!
FIGURE OUT WHAT IS UNIQUE ABOUT YOUR BLOG
With there being so many blogs around these days it is getting more and more difficult to stand out from the crowd, it's still very possible though. Everyone has something about them that makes them that little bit different to everyone else so simply find out what that is on your blog. It might be a series of posts that no one else does, your writing style, what you talk about and many more things. You won't find out what makes your blog unique overnight but it is something to think about as more and more people create a blog.
FOCUS ON QUALITY OVER QUANTITY
I used to blog every day of the week and I had the time to do it and still do now just about but sometimes it isn't the way to go. It's works for a lot of people but I'm definitely going to start focusing on quality rather than quantity more. I'm posting about every other day, if I don't get a post up one day I don't beat myself up about it. Spend more time creating engaging content rather than putting up a half hearted post, I'm spending more time planning posts now which helps a lot. I'd rather be planning tomorrow's post and have nothing go up today instead of posting 2 OK/average posts.
TAKE A NOTEBOOK WITH YOU EVERYWHERE
This is something that I've always done and it is so important in my opinion. I get inspired by everything around me and my memory really is quite shocking so having a notebook with me all the time means I can quickly jot down post ideas or anything inspiring wherever I am, knowing that it will all be there when I get home. I've even written whole paragraphs of posts on the bus before because ideas have come to me! If you aren't a fan of notebooks or don't have space in your bag for one then you can always leave a note on your phone.
There are just a few ideas for you to think about it if you are wanting to improve your blog this year! Like I said before I'm not an expert, these are just some things that I'll be doing this year that I thought were worth sharing!