Archive of ‘Blogging Tips’ category

New blog!!!

Hello,

Ok I haven’t updated this site for a while but I have been working on some new projects. One of those new projects is a shiny new blog called Hello and Create. The blog will still feature DIY’s, jewellery making and crafts but other posts too!

www.helloandcreate.com

As much as I love Bead It and Weep I just wanted to have a site where I could write about a wider range of subjects. 2015 and the beginning of 2016 was a time of a massive change in my career and I needed a new blog to keep up with the shift in my interests and ideas.

Thank you to everyone who has read and/or followed this blog and I really hope you come over and to my new blog.

Nikki x

 

Should you start a blog?

Recently one of my friends was asking me whether she should start a blog. We had a long conversation about it. Most of her questions were about different anxieties she had about setting up and writing on the web. I thought back to when I started and how anxious I used to feel when I (eventually) clicked on publish. I thought I would post some of the questions and answers from our conversation.

Do I have the time?

Blogging doesn’t have to take up a lot of your time. Once you have set up your blog 1 or 2 posts a week will only take an hour or so. Don’t worry about setting yourself a schedule and see how your blog progresses. For me I learnt that I did need a schedule otherwise I don’t post but you might find that stresses you out more. Just remember it is supposed to be fun!

Do I have the confidence?

It is nerve-racking starting to publish. Common thoughts are what if no-one reads it? Or reads, hates it and leaves a negative comment? You will find in the beginning traffic is slow but all blogs start that way. Keep writing and posting on your subject and people will come.

It can be tempting not to put up a comments box but this is a great way to commucate with other like-minded people. If people are not interested in your subject then they don’t tend to leave negative comments, to put it bluntly, they move on to a different blog, but that’s ok!!! People who are interested in your subject will read your posts, comment and visit your blog. These are the people you wanted to reach anyway.

On the flip side visit blogs that cover similar topics and leave comments on their posts. You could even add a little link to your blog. I always check out blog links left in comments and have discovered some new blogs that way.

Do I have the technical know-how?

There are a few blogging platforms to choose from including Blogger, WordPress, Ghost and Squarespace. You can set up free blogs on Blogger and WordPress.com so you don’t have to spend a penny to have a go. I have used both sites and they guide you through the set up. It won’t take you long to have a functioning blog up and running. The hardest part is going to be choosing the name. (Sorry can’t help you with that.)

Blogging is very rewarding and a craft in its own way. Over time with each new follow and each click of the publish button you will feel more confident. So give it ago, you really should start a blog.
Follow on Bloglovin

Question | How do you structure your blog?

Over the last few weeks I have been working on tidying up and organising my Bead It and Weep.  You can catch up on the last few posts on this here.

how do you

I am plagued with constant anxiety about my blog posts. Are they good enough? Is anyone reading them? And am I consistent with my content? I think the answer to last question is no but is that a bad thing? Should a blog be consistent from posting certain posts on specific days to even the length of post being the same ever time. Or would such a regimented blog ruin enjoyment as a writer and as a reader?

Since I really am not sure whether this is important I thought I would ask you.

Do you have a strict routine for posting on your blog or do you go with the flow?

A couple of bloggers that I follow are very good at posting certain posts on specific days, how to’s on Monday, inspiration on Tuesday, and so on, every week without fail. Some blogging advice sites say this is important to keep your readers. Saying that there are plenty of blogs that do not have a regular posting schedule that I love just as much and read regularly.

So what do think?

Do you like to structure your blog? Does it keep you focused? Or do you prefer to write about what is on your mind at time?

 
+Follow on Bloglovin
 

Different post styles for your blog

differnt post styles

Every now and then I get stuck in a blogging rut. I am sure I am not alone in this so I thought I would create a list of ideas for different styles of blog posts to get those creative juices flowing again.

**Reviews**

Have you read an awesome book recently or seen an amazing film? Perhaps you found an amazing craft supply? Tell people about it but also why you like it or recommend it. You could also link to how people could buy or download it.

**How to’s and tutorials**

Probably one of the main type of posts on a craft blog. Write instructions on how to do something ideally with plenty of photos showing the stages. If you are good with a video camera you could make a YouTube video to embed on your blog. I feel with these kinds of post you can not overdo the instructions and the photos, people like to clearly see what they need to do.

**Photos**

How about a photo essay on a subject or trip out somewhere? You don’t need to write anything let the photos do the talking. I bet you have lots of good photos that haven’t made it on to your blog. Could you do a simple round-up of best photos of the month or season? You could even pick a random day and do the 1 photo an hour challenge.

**Questions**

Ask your blog readers a question. Discuss what you think on the subject and invite others to comment. For instance how do you vary your blog posts? Do you think it is important to keep your readers interested?

**News**

This could be a personal story about things going on in your life or you could write about a local or global news story and discuss what it means to you.

**Essay/article**

Easy peasy – share what you know on a subject with your readers.

**Interview**

Everybody has an interesting story to tell, so find another blogger, an expert, a friend or family member and interview them. I don’t think I have every run an interview on my blog before and I am quite keen to try this.

**Lists**

Nice easy to skim content for your readers. You could do a top 10, a wish list, or things that make you happy list.

**Links**

Have you found someone who has written some amazing content? Why not say why you are recommending it and link to it.

**Before & after**

If you are planning to redecorate a room or simply make over an old jewellery box take some photos of before and after to give people some inspiration.

**Round up or update**

I bet you have loads of great content lurking in those older blog posts. Have a look at what you published last year or even 2 years ago. If you think you could write it better than do an update post. Alternatively if you have a collection of good posts on a theme you could do a round-up post and link back.

I am feeling all inspired after writing this list. What kinds of posts do you like to write? Or is there a kind of post you would like to publish more?
Follow on Bloglovin

Organise your blog categories

organise your blog categories

 

I’ve been continuing my blog tidy up and I thought this week I would reorganise the categories in my menu bars. My blog categories and menus were something that I typed in without much thought when I set up my blog but again like all parts of a blog they are important for your readers and for your SEO.

Readers will use categories to navigate your blog. They might land on a random page, like what they see and want to explore further. The categories enable a reader to focus on what they want to look at and, importantly, ignore the stuff they don’t. Have you ever navigated away from a blog because you just couldn’t find what you wanted?

But what blog categories should you have?

How many categories?

How many does your theme allow?

If your blog theme will only allow you to have 5 well there is your answer. I use WordPress and I can add as many categories as I want. This has not been a good thing and I when reviewed my list I had about 20 categories. I think this is too many!!

What topics do you cover?

Again like writing your about page you need to think about what your blog is about. Your categories are another way you are going to communicate what you are blogging about. Also thing about how someone might want to look at topics on a similar theme.

What to name your categories?

Be clear.

Make it clear what your topics are about so people can see what the category is about without having to click on it.

Check your analytics.

Another good way is to check your analytics. How are people searching for your posts. What keywords are they typing in. When I looked at what people were looking for to find jewellery making tutorials I found a lot of people searched for the materials used, for example silver and thread necklace, elastic and bead bracelet. I hadn’t even thought of this as a way to organise my categories. I have to admit that I haven’t finished working out how I am going to organise my posts like this but I am working on it.

Make sure you use keywords. Each category has a keyword or slug attached to it. This is used by search engines and effects your SEO. It doesn’t hurt to make your categories more searchable.

How broad a subject to include in a category.

Don’t be too narrow.

If you have a category that has a couple of posts in then it is too narrow and can be merged with something else. For instance I had a category for images from my sketchbook, my photos and things I had made but hadn’t written a tutorial for. These have been merged into one category now.

Also short series don’t need their own category. Add these to an existing category with links to the posts before and after or a link to a page with all the links to the posts.

Don’t be too broad.

My how to’s category is pretty full. It has the majority of my posts. This is where either the category needs to broken up into smaller categories or you can use sub categories. I have currently broken mine up into types of jewellery but based on my analytics I might need to change this to materials used.

Have a look at your categories. Do you even think it is important to organise them and keep them rigid or do you think being flexible and allowing your category list to grow with your blog is best? What do you think?
Follow on Bloglovin

Write an awesome about page.

write an awesome about page

When was the last time you looked at your about page? If you are anything like me then probably not since you set up your blog.

It turns out your about page is very important. Many new visitors to your site will go straight to your about page to find out whether they want to read more of your blog and as your blog is awesome you need to reflex this in your about page.

There are two important things to think about when writing your about page

  1. It’s about your readers and not about you. This may sound a bit silly but you want people visiting your blog to stay and read more so your about page needs to make them want to do this.
  2. What is the focus of your blog? Now is the time to focus on what essentially your blog is and again this needs to be communicated to your readers.
So what should be included in your about page?

Who are you?

Firstly people want to know who is the author of the blog. Ok so this bit is definitely about you. Simple information like your name and a photo is very important and lets people know there is a real person behind all the posts. It helps to build trust with your readers and in return they are more likely to come back. If you are nervous about putting your name on the internet you can always write under a pen name.

Why are you writing this blog?

Why are you best placed to write about your blog subject? Why should the person read your content? What do they gain? This information should be in the first few sentences of your about page. Think about what essentially is your blog subject. If up until now you have been a bit vague this is a good opportunity to work out what you want to achieve with your blog. Do you want to inspire people, do you want to make people feel cared for or do you want to make people laugh? Focus on what you blog is about and communicate this (quickly) to your readers.

How did you get to this point?

People like to read about how you got to know about your subject and how you got your blog started. Sharing your stories of how you worked hard and even the mistakes you learnt from can inspire people and make them want to read more.

Some other points to remember

1. Get the reader’s attention quickly

Write about what the reader can gain from reading your blog in the first few sentences. This will encourage them to keep reading.

2. Make it simple.

Firstly people need to be able to find your about page. Make sure it easy to find on your blog and not hidden away.

3. Make it memorable

This is your opportunity to stand out from the crowd make it count!

4. Make it sticky.

Give the reader some links to relevant posts that reflect what your blog is about. Don’t just list them add them in to illustrate who you are, why you write a blog and what can your reader gain.

5. Add that photo

I said this before but it is really important to make the reader feel like they can relate to you.

6. Add your social media and/or contact links.

They might be in your side bar but it doesn’t hurt to have them on your about page as well. Again rather than just listing them you could talk about how you use social media and what they can gain by following you elsewhere, for example do you instagram a lot of craft ideas or do you have meet ups on twitter to discuss topics?

What do you think is important to add to your about page?
Follow on Bloglovin

1 2


Warning: Invalid argument supplied for foreach() in /homepages/11/d478400462/htdocs/blog/wp-content/plugins/kebo-twitter-feed/inc/get_tweets.php on line 257