Blogging 101: Five Easy Ways To Make Your Blog Awesome

Filed under Get Resourced Web and Blogging Tools on Feb 19 13 by

The thing that I love about blogging is that it can be anything from a fun hobby to a powerful marketing tool. I believe that just about anyone can create a blog that is interesting and that shows off her personality — but it’s important to stick to a few guidelines!

Whether you are a fashion blogger, an aspiring writer, a health and fitness expert, or someone who simply has fun blogging, here are some tips for getting started:

1. Choose your subject wisely.

It’s important that you are sharing on a topic (or topics) that you have special knowledge of. If you aren’t the type of person who enjoys putting outfits together, don’t create a fashion blog just to mimic what others are doing. If you aren’t very crafty, don’t focus your blog around arts and crafts. If you are a great photographer but aren’t a strong writer, don’t start off with serious, word-heavy posts discussing your thoughts on serious issues. Choose a subject that you are passionate about and focus on that—your excitement will come through, and it will make your material more interesting to read.

Choose a subject that you are passionate about and focus on that — your excitement will come through, and it will make your material more interesting to read.

2. Use quality photos.

Make sure that your photos are clear (not dark or grainy) and interesting to look at. This is ESPECIALLY true if you are doing posts on fashion, beauty, food, or decorating ideas—if your picture doesn’t look nice, no one will be able to tell how cute your dress is or how delicious that pie was. If you aren’t great at taking photos but are serious about blogging, find a friend who is willing to help photograph your posts in exchange for a link to their photography site. Great photography really takes your blog up a notch, so don’t skimp!

I don't have the fanciest camera, but I take all of my food pictures on the porch to get good lighting. Click on the photo to try this recipe!

3. Choose the perfect theme

When picking a theme, it should be:

  • Easily navigable. Make sure that you pick a theme that allows users to find posts by category and that makes recent posts and pages easy to find. If your readers can’t find their way around, they’ll lose interest fast.
  • Clean and minimal. If you’re a great graphics designer or programmer, then by all means, beautify that blog! But for those who don’t have an eye for web design, I highly recommend selecting a theme that isn’t overdone—I can’t tell you how many great blogs are ruined by terrible themes. Pick something simple, and let your beautiful photography and creative posts stand on their own (I love this Minimalist theme for Tumblr).
  • Thumbnails are important! Post thumbnails are a great way to keep readers moving through your site. LinkWithin is an easy-to-use plugin that can be used on Blogger, WordPress, and Typepad; it that will add thumbnails and links to the bottom of each blog post.

My personal blog is simple, but the combination of black and turquoise totally shows off my personality.

4. Choose your blogging platform.

When it comes to hosting your blogs, there are many options to choose from. The most popular are Tumblr, Blogger, and WordPress. Blogger and Tumblr are simple and user friendly. They are great options if you don’t have much web design experience or are hosting a personal blog.

I personally use WordPress for all of my sites. WordPress is a little more complex, but has more options for customization. You can host your site on WordPress.com if you plan on using a pre-made theme. Or, you can purchase your domain name at a site such as InMotionHosting.com and install WordPress on your account. This allows you to create your own theme from scratch (or have a designer create one for you), giving you complete control of the design. WordPress has more options for plugins (such as a slideshow on your homepage), and you can have multiple users posting on your blog under different logins. For a larger blog or website, WordPress is the better choice. It’s also important to note that despite all of these options, the basics of using WordPress (creating the blog, picking a theme, uploading photos, and writing posts) are still pretty easy to figure out.

It’s important to FIND YOUR VOICE: nobody can share your unique perspective of the world quite like you can.

5. Find your voice.

Anyone can craft a dry, perfectly worded blog post. But nobody can share your unique perspective of the world quite like you can. While writing skills are definitely important, they are nothing if you are writing with somebody else’s voice. In the end, your personality is what makes your blog special, and it will draw people in more than anything else will. Your personality will come through in your writing style, but it’s also displayed in your photos and your “about me” page. I’d rather read a blog with photos of YOU wearing your fabulous outfits than one with a bunch of pictures of celebrities that you found on the internet.

For more tips on blogging and pursuing your dreams, check out this post from my own blog: How to Stay Focused on Your Dream (For the Long Haul).

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Lauren D'Alessandro
As the founder of The You Are Project’s print magazine and blog, Lauren is passionate about developing publications that inspire creativity and action. Lauren is the Editor-in-Chief of You Are REAL and the creator and manager of our website. Her dream is to continue using writing and publications as tools for communicating God’s love to the world. Keep up with her latest endeavors at laurendalessandro.com.
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