Monkey See – Monkey Do: 8 Easy Steps to Improve Your Blog
By Holly J. Bertone
I always feel extremely unqualified to give blogging advice. I’ve only been blogging for a little over a year and I am still growing, so why should anyone listen to me? I love to share my experiences and what has worked and not worked for me. But I’m not an expert. I’m just me. Sharing. So hopefully you will find one take-away to customize and apply to your business model.
Today, I am going to share how to improve. My dearest Holly, improve what, you might ask. Improve whatever you want to improve. Creating compelling content, pin perfect pictures, captivating titles, or pretty much anything.
This eight-step advice is so easy, even a monkey can do it. Yes even this monkey!
Step 1. Make a list.
What are your strengths? What are your weaknesses? What do you do well as a blogger? Where do you need to improve? Be as general or specific as you want. This is the time to brainstorm and free flow the ideas.
Step 2. Make another list.
List your weaknesses and areas of improvement in order of what you want to improve upon first.
Step 3. Mindlessly surf the Internet and/or Pinterest.
Play and have fun. Look at pretty pictures. Read great articles. Flip through your favorite print magazines. Let your mind go.
Step 4. Evaluate.
Go back to those beautiful pictures or compelling articles. What did the picture look like? How was it styled? What did the title say? What did the article say? Dig in and really study and evaluate all of the elements that immediately captured your interest.
Step 5. Make another list.
I know, sorry. I’m a list girl. Make a list of all of those elements back in Step 4. What are the top 5 titles that you clicked on? What are the design elements of the pictures on Pinterest that made you pin?
Step 6. Compare.
What are “they” doing that you are not? Be open minded and not too hard on yourself. This is your chance to improve and teach yourself how to be better.
Step 7. Implement.
Make the changes one at a time. Don’t get so overwhelmed that you end up in analysis paralysis. Make one change at a time. Little baby steps.
Step 8. Track your improvement.
As you make these changes over time, track your improvement and see if it’s really working.
Let me give you an example. It hit me one day that even though I have a “photo area” near a window for all of the glamour shots for my blog, I randomly click and take pictures. One day it clicked (pun intended) as I was mindlessly surfing Pinterest. Why am I pinning certain images over others? I have no interest in making this recipe. But the picture looks pretty so I pin it. Since then, I’ve been studying my favorite pintastic pictures of food, crafts, tablescapes, pretty much anything that I blog about. And I try to replicate it. I try different angles. I set up different props and backdrops. I stand on a chair. I lay on the floor. Are my pictures perfect? Oh heck to the no! Have they improved over the last couple months? I think so.
I recently wrote a post on a recipe for my delicious pumpkin bisque. Before I took the glamour shots, I conducted a search on “pumpkin bisque” on Google Images and Pinterest. After a quick scan of the images, I set the stage for my photos. What started as a boring bowl of soup, was topped with seeds and some thyme leaves to give it more flair and interest. Is it magazine worthy? Nope. Is it a better picture than what I would have taken without those 60 seconds of browsing? Absolutely.
The take-away is to find what speaks to you and study it, and implement it in your own way. Don’t copy for copy’s sake. Make it true to you.
See – easy, right? If this monkey can do it, so can you!
Love, hugs, and looking for a banana.
Find Holly at the Coconut Head’s Survival Guide