Problem 1: My layout is ugly and doesn’t look professional.
A lot of bloggers out there offer custom blog designs for a REALLY good price! They have done some lovely templates for other bloggers usually have a library where you can see their old work.
If you don’t want to pay for a design, then you can always tweak your current one. My blog started as a free template and I’ve basically edited the crap out of it. I’ve chanced the header, changed the nav bar, changed the colours, changed the size of the side bars and main content section, I’ve added a ‘date’ stamp to my posts, I’ve taken out some images that were in the template and more. It did originally look like this when I first installed it, but as you can see I’ve changed the bits I hate about it, slowly over time.
Pinpoint what you don’t like about your blog and change it. There are tonnes of tutorials out there. If you want neat and tidy social media buttons, rather using the ones provided by the social media websites dotted all over, then find a tutorial on how to make customer social media buttons and follow it step by step.
It can be so depressing seeing all those beautiful blogs out there, but it’s so much easier than you think to create your own header or mess with the size of your titles. Just google how to do it and you’ll find it!
Problem 2: My photos are not as good as other bloggers.
DSLRs are LOVELY things to work with and do make your blog photos lovely. If you know how to use them. But good blog photos don’t have to be a direct result of a DSLR! I took my first blog photos with my iPhone. You can actually get some really good photos with your phone or a point and shoot if you know how. You can Google tips for good photos on blogs and come up with tonnes. Or visit Emma and sign up to her newsletter, it’s a quick 5 day course to give you simple tips that just work.
Top three tips for beautiful photos:
- Use natural daylight
- Have clutter free backgrounds. I simply take most photos of products on my living room floor in front of a massive window. I also take instagram photos on my phone there too.
- Keep all images the same size! It just looks nicer when all your images are the same size, try to get them the same width of your text too, this is sometimes hard but I’ll edit 2 or 3 photos together if they are not wide enough so they are all the same width!
Problem 3: I’m running out of ideas for posts.
If you’re still struggling, there are tonnes of tags you can do out there, such as ‘what’s in my bag’ or ‘favourite skincare products’.
You can even set yourself certain days to do certain posts, like ‘What I wore Wednesday’ might be a weekly outfit post, ‘Foodie Friday’ may be a day you post about what you ate that day. There’s ‘Throwback Thursday’ where you post an old photo or tell an old story. The list is endless of things you can post, with tags or themed days of the week. There’s also monthly posts such as a roundup of your month, your top products, your favourite outfits, the famous ’empties’ posts. You could even link back to another bloggers post that you’ve found inspiring and give your thoughts on it. There’s your top 5 perfumes, the top 5 products you want to try, your top 5 bloggers or blog posts in a month…
Unless your niche is REALLY narrow, there is no limit to what you can write about!
Tip: Every time you see a post that inspires you or you find interesting, make a note of it and do your own thing with a similar idea.
Tip 2: Ask other bloggers to guest post for you – giving you some content to put on your blog as well as giving them a chance to introduce themselves to your readers. Guest posters do tend to promote their own post on your blog and social media too, so it’s great for traffic and linkbacks!
Problem 4: It’s too time consuming
I’m spending too much time trying to keep up with Twitter, Facebook, intstagram and commenting on blogs that I don’t have time to actually write. Everyone says I should promote and I just don’t even know what I should do for the best.
I’ve been there. Yes, blogging is time consuming. Ask yourself what you want from it.
If you’re blogging as a hobbie, then the second you find yourself finding blogging a chore then you need to take a break for a few days, or even a week.
If you are wanting to improve your blog stats and take your blog to the next level, you need to take a planned approach to how you use your time.
I always plan my posts ahead of time using an editorial calendar. It’s not as fancy as it sounds – it’s just a calendar that let’s me enter what post I plan on doing when, and to move it around if I need to change things. I then plan when I am going to write each post around my work schedule.
Think of how you are going to promote and how you are going to do it. Is it through commenting on other blogs? Then set aside a set amount of time to do so. Is it through social media? You can schedule tweets etc in advance all in one go so you don’t have to worry about them.
There is a rule I’ve heard of, that you should spend 80% of your time promoting your content and 20% of your time writing it.
It’s different for everyone. I think initially, you need to focus on creating content until you have at least 20 blog posts written out, then focus more on promoting. When you are getting visitors to your site, switch your focus to a 50% content creation and 50% promotional model. Like I said, it is different and this is just what works for me – experiment and find what suits your lifestyle and your audience.
Problem 5: I’m not getting enough followers or traffic.
Do not be passive when it comes to blogging, get yourself out there and drag those readers back to your blog. As soon as you start investing time and new ideas into your blog, you will start to naturally feel more motivated to spend more time growing something you’ve invested so much into.
Everyone feels in a slump at some point. The trick is to pull yourself out of it and keep going.