Guess what? Just Bee celebrates its 3rd anniversary at the end of this month!! Can you believe it’s been 3 years already?! Thank you so much to those of you who have been around this whole time! This month, I’ll be sharing more blogging-related posts – starting with today’s post on how to take your blog more seriously.
Every blogger takes a slightly different approach to blogging. Whether or not you’ve been blogging for a long time, my guess is your way is a bit different from my way — and that’s okay! The neat thing about blogging (and having your own personalized corner of the Internet) is the fact that there aren’t rules, and you’re allowed to do it your own way! You can take your blogging journey as seriously or as casually as you’d like!
I actually had a different, really casual blog while in college that had a lengthy name and a much more journal-and-musings type approach. Then, I rebranded and reinvented what blogging meant to me during the summer of 2014, creating Just Bee as we know it. That summer was a pivotal one for me in terms of blogging. Because I wanted to take my blog more seriously, I spent a lot of time researching how to start up and grow a successful blog. I worked through formatting and setup issues, spent a lot of time on customer service chat help, and even invested money and time into taking a blogging course.
Three years later, as I reflect on this whole blogging journey so far, I’ve come up with a list of what has especially helped me take my blog seriously. If you’re looking to do the same, then I hope this post brings you some fun ideas!
9 Ways To Take Your Blog More Seriously:
1 // Strive for high-quality photos. For better or for worse, blogging seems to almost require nice photos now days! I do share a variety of iPhone photos and DSLR photos on this blog, although I prefer the DSLR photos. 🙂 The iPhone photos especially show up in my more personal life-updates posts. Even if you don’t own a fancy camera, you can still take your photography more seriously by thinking about the composition, lighting, clarity, and editing of your photos…and even having a more consistent style.
2 // Secure a “.com” for your blog. I started out years ago with the free version of WordPress (www.____.wordpress.com) and while that can work just fine, I really felt like my blog became my own when it became simply www.justbeeblog.com. I now have a self-hosted WordPress blog hosted through WPopt, which I recently switched over to and totally love! I feel like having your own domain makes your corner of the Internet really yours.
3 // Watch your grammar and spelling closely. There are a LOT of grammatical and spelling errors on the Internet; after all, people are allowed to write what they want! However, due to the super public nature of blogging, you do lose credibility when you’ve got spelling or grammatical errors — especially if they happen repeatedly. The error I see the most often is when bloggers say they have a “SNEAK PEAK” instead of a “SNEAK PEEK.” (Sorry, it’s just a pet peeve of mine!) A “peak” is a mountaintop whereas a “peek” is a look at something. So, if you’re using blogging language and telling your readers that something is an early look at a post, make sure you’re stating it’s a “sneak peek.” 🙂
I want to note here that we DO need to give ourselves – and each other! – grace, because everyone makes mistakes, and I’ve been grateful in the past when people have pointed out typos to me. It’s just something important to keep an eye on in the midst of all the other blogging tasks!
4 // Shoot for consistent graphics. If you type pretty much any subject into the Pinterest search bar, then you’ll see the huge variety of graphics that bloggers use to promote their posts! Once you settle on a style that feels the most like you, then I’d recommend sticking to it. That part of branding really helps your audience quickly recognize your posts – readers like to know what to expect, even subconsciously. 🙂
I use a free account on Canva to create the majority of my blog graphics (Pinterest-friendly images and featured images). I love Canva so much! You can save your graphics as templates to use later, to keep a more consistent blog aesthetic.
5 // Utilize an editorial calendar. Bloggers do really differ on this one, but I sincerely love the structure and guidance that an editorial calendar gives me. All you essentially need is a blank calendar where you can write which blog posts you want to post on which days. It allows you to map out your month (or months) so that you’re consistently posting and also rotating between topics.
Many bloggers also like editorial calendars because then they aren’t just waiting for inspiration. (I used to blog that way – and it got tiring and stressful on evenings when I didn’t feel inspired but really wanted to have a post up the next day.) With an editorial calendar, you can take advantage of moments when you feel especially inspired, map out your posts on your calendar, and then later on in the month when you may feel less inspiration, you’ll have solid ideas to lean on!
6 // Create social media accounts for your blog. As you begin to take your blog more seriously, you’re going to want to grow your readership and offer your readers a variety of ways to follow along. I’d recommend a Facebook page for your blog, for sure. I use my blog’s Facebook page to alert my readers of new posts, as well as share other little updates or other bloggers’ posts I’ve enjoyed. When it comes to social media accounts, you’ll often hear the tip to have a consistent “handle” or name across the board. Mine isn’t 100% consistent but the majority of my social media account handles are “hannahbeeolson.” 🙂
7 // Connect with others in the blogging community. There are many, many blogging groups out there on Facebook. My recommendation would be to not join every group there is, but instead to join just a few groups that are most helpful or specific to your blogging goals. You can also join (or create!) a mastermind group of bloggers with similar niches or goals to yours!
8 // Schedule in advance. I remember the absolute feeling of liberation I got when I started scheduling my blog posts (and especially all of the social media promotions of those posts) in advance! It felt like I had entered a whole new world as a blogger! 🙂 WordPress allows you to schedule your blog posts for another day, of course, but scheduling the promotions of those posts (or anything you want to post to social media) will save you a lot of headaches. For me, as a full-time elementary teacher, I’m not going to be logging into all my social media accounts during the day and trying to promote different links and images here and there. It’s just not convenient, I don’t have time, and I want my focus to be on teaching during the day.
I use a free account on Hootsuite to schedule most of my tweets and Facebook page posts in advance. Some weeks, I really haven’t been on top of scheduling things in advance, and it’s been much more stressful! So, I try to stay on the ball when it comes to scheduling, making life a lot easier. 🙂
9 // Stay inspired! There are a lot of ways to gather inspiration from your day-to-day life. I created a detailed workbook on blogging inspiration (and how to get ideas for your blog posts), using 6 strategies that really work for me! You can access the blogging inspiration workbook for free simply by subscribing to the Just Bee email community! I guarantee it’ll help you stay inspired over time, too, especially as you internalize these strategies for use in your daily life.
For those of you who have blogged for a while, how do you take blogging more seriously? Share your tips below!