Hey, guys! Today I will be sharing with my top five most helpful/important blogging tips. I know you’ve probably read tons of tips out there but I promise you these tips are different because they are based on experience. It is based on months of failure and successes, from disappointments to happiness and from pure passion to just blogging reflex.
It’s a collection of lessons I’ve learned the hard way. I hope you find them useful! Let’s start.
My first three tips are purely visual. Visuals are important in the blogosphere because this is what captures your readers. It is also what holds their attention and piques their curiosity.
1. Featured Images
Featured Images are basically thumbnails for your posts. I find this important because 1) it gives your readers a preview of what your blog post is about and 2) it is super important visually because it can make or break your blog’s theme/layout.
Take a look at Kisty’s blog and how amazing it looks with featured images. Imagine the same blog but without pictures and only texts. It would definitely look empty.
TIP: I highly suggest you utilize featured images if you are opting to go for a grid layout.
I, personally, run out of stock images for featured images. I also run out of creativity for it. This is where Canva and Unsplash, my two greatest friends, come in. You can create your own designs using Canva while you can get stock images from Unsplash. Here are some of my basic Canva designs. It looks basic BUT with it, my post looks less boring and for me at least, gives the readers a sneak peak of what my post is about.
TIP: You can personalize your designs to your heart’s content using Canva, I just prefer not to because I go for basic stuff.
This is where you are made or broken, lol, kidding. It is highly important to have photos on your posts. I love looking at photos and asking myself what’s the story behind it. That’s why for me, photo quality or what camera you used aren’t important. What’s important is how you made your reader/viewer feel while looking at the photograph you captured. Everyone has their own version of a view. That’s why no two photographs can ever be the same.
Which means that you don’t have to be obsessed and have the newest camera out in the market just to take that perfect shot. You can have any camera out there, old or new, and still be able to tell a story.
Take, for example, my current fave, RG Gabunada’s Instagram. He is the husband of famous blogger, Tricia Gosingtian – Gabunada. They recently traveled to Japan and he took tons of photos using a Leica iif. It’s an old film camera that’s basically older than you and I. But still look at some of the images he captured. Amazing, isn’t it?
3. Editing your photographs
As a blogger, you have to tell stories all the time and photographs definitely complement those stories. You have to find your own photography style and capitalize on it. But what if you feel like your photos lack that oomph? Don’t fret, there are tons of tutorials, apps, and built-in programs that can help you!
Tutorials: I’ve seen a lot of tutorials out there but my all-time favorite tutorial is this one from ToThe9s. This one is mainly focused on collages but it capitalizes on phone apps which make it a hit for me. We don’t always have Adobe Lightroom (or whatever) handy.
Apps: My favorite photo editing app would have to be VSCO. I love how easily you can select a filter and how your image transforms from a miss to a hit! I always go for the A8 filter. I think that’s the only other investment I have for my blog besides my Premium WordPress account, lol.
For my photos, I always go for simplicity. The less editing the better. As you can see from the photos above, the differences can’t be seen too much. Just the way I like it. Sometimes we over edit/filter our pictures that the realness of it goes away. 😦
Built-in Programs: If you’re running on Windows, don’t you dare forget about Paint. I love Paint and how easy it is to resize my photos using it.
I also love Microsoft Photo Manager, lol. This program makes adjusting brightness and contrasts easily too. Sometimes what you need is right under your nose. 😉
4. Tags and Categories
A lot of new bloggers overlook this. If you’re serious about blogging, please don’t. It’s for your own good!
Categories and tags help maintain organization for your blog. It helps keep all of your posts classified accordingly and makes it easier for your blog visitors to navigate through all of your posts. Remember to keep all your categories universal, ie. food, reviews, lifestyle, while tags to be specific or personal, ie, spicy Filipino food, food I wouldn’t eat ever, etc.
TIP: If using WordPress, go to your WP Admin page and edit your categories/tags there.
5. Just do you!
This tip is the most important out there. There are tons of bloggers out there but it is so important to stop comparing yourself to them. You should focus on your craft and strengths and stop having the urge to compete with others.
Blogs are a reflection of our own self and styles and that’s what makes it such a wonderful place for self-expression. If you always feel the need to copy or imitate another blogger’s style, you’re not helping yourself and you’re stopping yourself from growing. Which ultimately sucks, right?
But let’s be honest here, we all get inspired somewhere. If you ever do get inspired by someone, always twist things up and don’t forget to personalize it and make it your own. Just like how I got inspired by Teesh and created a similar post as seen below.
I hope these five tips help you whether you are an old or new blogger. I feel like these tips are basic but are often times forgotten because we want to just post stuff immediately. Having a blog is one thing but having a blogging community is another. I feel like individuality, creativity, organization, and visuals would really transform your blog from just a blog to a blog that people would actually visit and engage with.
Do you find these tips useful? What other tips do you have?