I often see the same DM’s land in my Instagram inbox on how to start a blog, any tips I have and how to take your blog to the next level so today’s post is a bit of everything thrown together. Perhaps you’ve been blogging for a while and you fancy changing it up a bit, you might want to make some income, you might want to feel more motivated or you might want to know how to get your blog ‘out there’. Obviously these are just my own personal tips and advice, I can’t guarantee they’ll work for you but I’m presuming you clicked on this post because you have a huge passion for blogging which should be the reason why you do it in the first place. There’s no point forcing yourself to write just to be the next Zoella, if you don’t love it or have a genuine passion that will come across.
It’s important to remember: no one starts a blog and makes money straight away. I know I definitely didn’t. There’s things like DA scores, follower counts and engagement levels that brands consider. I remember the day I found out what a DA score was, it was a very confusing day! I hadn’t heard of it before then, and same goes for follow/no follow links. It’s not a case of starting a blog one day and expecting Dior to contact you, it doesn’t work like that. I’ll also be completely honest here and say brands are unlikely to contact you if you have 10 followers. They want to see that if they send a product to you or work with you that they’ll be benefiting from it in some way too. It has to be a mutual benefit. Imagine you’re a brand and you have to choose 5 bloggers to work with and send your products to in order to promote your new business. What ones would you choose? I’m not saying you have to choose the ones with a million followers because I’m fully aware you don’t need to have millions of followers to influence people. I have around 15/16k combined on social media and blog followers. I know I have the power to influence people hence why I’m mindful of what I talk about and what I promote but I don’t have a million so bare that in mind. It takes a lot of hard work and a bit of luck thrown in.
1. Switch to WordPress.org and buy a new design
Blogging will never be free if you want to take it seriously. You’ll have to pay for domains, hosts, equipment, the list is endless. This is what I mean by if you don’t have a genuine passion for it, it’s a lot to keep up with and an absolute waste of your time. I often get asked questions on who hosts my blog, what platform do I use etc so I’ll briefly talk you through what I did. I started my blog on Blogger which is free and I bought my domain on there so I got rid of the .blogspot and had .com – I loved Blogger and it was good at the start. I realised I wanted more options and I wanted to take my blog to another level so I decided to switch to WordPress.org. I paid for the Pipdig Blogger To WordPress Migration (currently on sale) because I had no clue what I was doing and I preferred to leave it to someone who knew what they were doing. My host is with SiteGround and I have no regrets at all in regards to switching over to WordPress. There are so many plugins, options and it really does take your blog to the next level. I’d really recommend whenever you feel unmotivated, get a new blog design. I love Pipdig designs but there’s also lots on Etsy. Fall in love with your blog all over again and feel proud of your design because that really helps. Every time you look at your blog you need to still feel proud and obsessed with it.
2. Delete broken links
Broken links are links on your blog that no longer exist. Perhaps you linked to a makeup item 3 months ago and the link has now been changed. This link brings down your blogs SEO which is why it’s so important to regularly delete any broken links which you can do here. All you need to do is type your Blog URL onto the website, it should come up with a list of all the broken links on your blog. Open up a new tab and go onto your blog posts to edit all the links.
3. Build your DA score
Brands do tend to look at your DA score when choosing people to work with (you can check your DA score here). The higher the DA the better google ranks your blog which tells brands your blog is worth investing in. It’s important to note your DA score can only be accurate if you have purchased your own domain. Building your score doesn’t come easy and it does take time but when you know some of the things you can do to help, it makes it easier. Some useful tips are:
- Link to older blog posts within your new blog posts where relevant. This shows Google your website can be trusted and you can also guest post on blogs with a higher DA to increase yours. Links play a huge part in improving your own DA.
- Remove broken links regularly.
- If you use WordPress download the Yoast SEO plugin to help improve your SEO on blog posts before you publish them.
- Comment on other blog posts
4. Reach out to brands
Approaching brands first isn’t a bad thing at all if you can picture in your head how you will work together. This is a huge part of how to take your blog to the next level as lots of bloggers do want to collaborate with brands and earn money. I recently did a post on how to approach brands which includes an email template you can use – you can read it here so I won’t bore you too much discussing that in this post. Check the #bloggerswanted hashtag on Twitter to see if any opportunities suit you too.
5. Invest in improving your photography
I invested in buying an Olympus Pen EPL-7 camera and the lenses quite recently because I have a huge passion for photography and I knew it would really help with my blog. If you are after getting a blogging camera I couldn’t recommend this one enough. I always buy fake flowers from places like Homesense or Dunelm because they really brighten up my pictures. Things like jewellery dishes and props are so useful to have and you can do it on a budget too! You don’t need to have expensive props to have good photos. Lighting is everything too! I take my photos in natural daylight I don’t have fancy lighting or anything like that. I edit my photos using PicMonkey and it seems to work fine. I’m going to plug my own shop here but I’ve recently launched my shop GlowIntoStyle and I’m selling lots of cute bits you can use in your blog photos if you’re lacking inspiration.
6. Use Instagram wisely
Instagram is one of my favourite platforms that I use because it’s so interactive and your own little space to be creative. It can be such a good platform to promote your new blog posts and get your blog out there. Make use of the story feature, make your stories interactive and fun to watch and you’ll get regular viewers. I always do mini vlog stories and I know so many of you love watching because I just show the real side of everyday life. I don’t try and glam it up. The app Unfold makes your stories look more professional and you can use this app to promote your blog/new posts.
I feel like I’ve just thrown information at you throughout this post but I wanted to include everything! I really hope this post has helped in someway and these are my main tips on how to take your blog to the next level.