Tips for a Satisfying Blog

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Skirt: ASOS
Shirt and Trench: Target
Pumps: UO
Watch: AE
Umbrella: Gift from best gal pal
It's no secret. 
Blogging could quite literally make you lose your mind. Without the help of my friends and encouragement of my family, Kristina J. would have died a silent death mere months after it was born. People ask, How do you do it? How do you keep up with it all?
The truth is that some days, only the clear guidelines I have for myself and the blog keep my sane. Oh, and the fact that you come along to share the journey is a definite, definite plus.
1.  Brainstorm
Have a definite goal for your blog. Write some questions out on paper and answer them. 
Why am I blogging? 
What will I feature?
Will I have guest posts?
Do I want to grow a following or am I doing this for my personal benefit?
How you answer those questions will determine the look and feel of your blog.

True story.  I started my blog a little over a year ago, then signed a book contract three weeks later.  For a full year, Kristina J. wasn't what I wanted it to be. I always intended this space to be a DIY style blog where I could post tutorials, then feature those clothes or projects in outfit posts. But while I fulfilled my writing obligations, I never had the time necessary to put out great tutorial posts and the blog took a back seat. Now, though I'm still busy with the publicity of After Nathaniel, I finally have more time to commit to my original plan. Without having a clear goal through out that first year, I would have been too discouraged to continue.

2.   Pace yourself
The funny thing about blogging...it takes some actual living to have anything worthwhile to blog about. You have to bring your life experiences to the blog or it will seem stale to those who visit.   Decide how many days a week you want to post, then post on the same days every week.  If you want to post three times a week, post Monday, Wednesday and Friday...or Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. Decide what works with your lifestyle then be consistent with it. Establishing a routine can be helpful in planning your projects and posts around other functions in your schedule.
Living is the event, not blogging about it.

3.   Develop your skills
There's a huge learning curve when you begin blogging (especially for a girl who knew absolutely nothing about HTML coding or how to take a really great product picture). Tackle one thing at a time.  
--Learn a bit of HTML code.
--Integrate social buttons to your sidebar.
--Host a giveaway.
--Be friendly. Comment on other blogs and engage in their posts.

4.   Do something different.
Every once in a while, change it up. If you normally write a lot in your posts, take a break and make a list instead. Use a post to showcase your latest Instagram pictures. If you can't think of anything to write, post a quote from your favorite book or share the funny things your kids say. Obviously, this is the exception, but it can't hurt to surprise your readers every now and then.

5.  Keep a notebook handy.
The best ideas will come to you when you least expect it. I carry a small journal in my bag, so whenever inspiration strikes, I'm ready to jot the idea down in a place where it can't be lost or forgotten. The greatest ideas come to me while I'm driving, so if you see a red minivan pulled over on the side of the road...it's just me jotting an idea.

6.   Focus on what you love.
If you have a fashion blog, forget what everyone else is wearing and concentrate on the styles and colors that interest you the most.  If you're a DIY blogger, fix your energy on working with the fabrics and materials you're most skilled and comfortable with.  When others visit your blog, they aren't there to get someone else's idea. They come because they value your opinion about a topic or want to be taught from your point of view. Have the confidence to give them what they want--your specific ideas and process of doing things.

7.   Take your strongest skill and roll with it.
Maybe your photos are astounding. Maybe you have DIY ideas that are always spot on. Maybe you have a way with words.  Identify your strengths, then build the bulk of your posts around them. People will keep coming back for more.




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23 comments:

  1. Thanks for sharing your ideas - it is way to easy to get lost in the world of blogging.

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  2. Is this for me? How sweet! Thanks for all your time, Kristina! I will be implementing these!

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  3. Kristina-Thank you so much for this post today. Lots of good advice and things to think about! I can't believe that you had a book contract after only 3 weeks. Was that connected with your blog or did they find you another way? Wow! Are you going to blog about what you are doing to promote your book? Are you available to do speaking? I am co-director of a ministry for single moms and we are always looking for speakers. Hmmmmm!

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  4. What a well-thought-out list! My favourites are "Living is the event, not blogging about it," and "Be friendly."

    Many thanks, Kristina. (:

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  5. Great ideas and advice! Love your cute outfit, as usual! =)

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  6. I LIKE this! I'm working thru some of the process right now... My husband even got me a book for Christmas to help me with it. Baby steps, baby steps :)

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  7. Great stuff,loved it all! I do love all your DIY posts. So talented.

    PS: Your eyes are mesmerizing.

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  8. This is AWESOME! A must-read for all bloggers! :)

    <3 The Daily Dani

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  9. Lovely outfit (you make rain look beautiful and fun) and what an awesome post!! I felt like you were talking to me, cause I needed this advice!! Thank you!!

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  10. this was really helpful - thank you! Also, love your rainy day style - those shoes!! :) x

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  11. Thanks for the tips! Exactly what I needed to hear :)
    p.s. I love your outfit :)

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  12. Thanks for sharing all of this, great tips!

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  13. I love this! SUch great tips, thanks for sharing! And what an adorable outfit- I need that on rainy today!

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  14. What a great post! Thanks for sharing your blogging tips. Love the umbrella and your pictures.

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  15. Such a great list - I so needed this encouragement right now!!

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  16. Awesome pictures! Love your outfit and of course your SUPER COOL umbrella!!! : ) ~J. Sproles

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  17. Living DEFINITELY IS the event, not blogging about it. I think you've done extraordinarily well at still posting DIY's and gorgeous stylings, even with everything else going on. I'll always be following you! Wish it were raining here, by the way. Send it over!

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  18. these tips are brilliant, as are your shoes

    xo Camilla

    Into The Fold

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  19. great advice!! Thanks for sharing. I love the pop of red your shoes lend to your outfit, btw. So fun!

    Lorispeak

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  20. First of all I agree with each line about blogs u mentioned, all important things are well packed in this post!:) And secondly u look beautiful in red!:) Lovely style and blog!!!
    kisses

    Jelena
    glamfabchameleon.blogspot.com

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  21. thanks so much for this post. I'm a new blogger and its definitely more work than I envisioned! I came across an article about HTML coding or tagging & I am still pretty confused about it (but serious about learning it). THANKS for the advice. (got a new follower)

    nuthintowear.blogspot.com

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  22. Thanks for sharing your thoughts here. I'm still sort of new and I have been struggling with how to grow my blog. My goal is to have a discussion going on revolving around fashion law and career attire for women but my legal posts don't get as many hits or comments as my fashion ones. I don't want to become lost in the realm of fashion blogs or focus on fashion but I often feel I should just take OOTD pics to grow my audience first.

    But going off of #6 on your list, reminds me that keeping the balance of both is needed in order for me to actually do what I love! This post also shows me how you can seamlessly throw in outfit pics with an 'unrelated' topic. Thanks!

    <3

    Thanks!

    http://preponderance-of-fashion.blogspot.com/
    Btw, I invite your to enter my Hermès & gift card giveaway as your newest follower!

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