I’ve been blogging for 3.5 years now, and I’ve been monetizing my content for around 1.5 years now. Some things with my blog clicked immediately for me, while other things took longer. Whether you’re wanting to monetize your blog or simply grow your readership, here are 4 mistakes you may be making with your blog, and how to easily fix them.
#1 Thing You May Be Doing Wrong on Your Blog: Your theme/layout is too busy.
Y’all, I’ve visited websites that literally hurt my eyes because the design is so busy. Busy-looking blogs do not look professional. You want your blog to look clean. I think the most visually-appealing websites have a white background. From Day 1, I’ve strived for a clean look. Both my first and second themes were semi-custom purchases on Etsy. I found layouts that I liked and emailed the Etsy seller to see if they could remove the patterned background to make it white. Remember, first impressions are so important!
There are both Blogger and WordPress templates out there under $30 with white background that look clean and professional. Invest the money to purchase one. Or, do some Googling and figure out how to change your current background to “ffffff”.
#2 Thing You May Be Doing Wrong on Your Blog: Your pictures are sized incorrectly to fit your page.
Another sign of a more-professional looking blog is that all of the pictures are sized to the same size, and they fit the blog page. This tends to be an issue on Blogger, as WordPress tends to automatically fit the size to the page. When I first started blogger, I was sizing everything to “medium” on Blogger. Then, after awhile, I started sizing the pictures to XL. This made the horizontal pictures fit the blog page, but it would make the vertical pictures too large. I tried sizing down for vertical pictures, but then they were too small in comparison.
FINALLY, a light bulb went off! I found out how many pixels wide my writing space was, and started sizing the width of my pictures to that. Typically, start with 735 px wide and if that’s too big (goes off the blog page), try 700 px wide. For vertical photos, I use 735 px wide x 1100 px height! This will make a HUGE difference on your page!
This is the SINGLE MOST IMPORTANT CHANGE I’ve made to my blog. As soon as I made this change, I began received paid opportunities.
#3 Thing You May Be Doing Wrong on Your Blog: No email address/contact info.
If you want people to collaborate with you, then you MUST have your email address listed and in a place where it’s easy to find. I cannot tell you how many times the girls of H54F and I have tried to reach out to featured bloggers, but they don’t have an email address listed! How do you expect anyone to contact you? And people are NOT going to search for 5 minutes or more on your website for an email address. You need to have a CONTACT tab on your navigation bar, and when someone goes to that page, they should find your email address there.
#4 Thing You May Be Doing Wrong on Your Blog: You have no about me picture or you have a non-professional looking profile picture.
A blog is personal, and people are there to CONNECT with YOU. They want to see what YOU look like. So be sure to have a picture of yourself on your sidebar, and make sure it looks professional. I’m not saying you have to have a picture professionally done. What I am saying is have a nice picture of yourself that looks posed and styled. Do not have a picture that is a seatbelt selfie, or sticking your tongue out (yes, I’ve seen it before), or that is blurry or grainy. You can always have a friend snap a picture on your cell phone that is specifically for a profile picture. Make sure the background isn’t busy, that you’re not cropping someone out, and that the lighting is good. Or, if you don’t have anyone to take a profile picture, use a selfie stick and crop to where you have a good headshot without the selfie stick showing.
What changes have you made to your blog that you’ve seen a positive impact with?