As a seasoned blogger and website designer, I get so see a lot of different blogs and navigate them to see how easy it is to find posts and information. You’d be surprised at how many sites are not set up for success and lose out on sponsorship opportunities simply because of small missteps. I have put together a list of 10 things you can do right now to make your blog stand out and therefore be more successful with your readers and sponsors.
1. Make sure contact information is easily found.
Your contact information should be readily available, either in an eye-catching graphic or in your menu. A sponsor will usually not hunt for your contact information no matter how qualified you are for the campaign.
2. Keep your search field prominent.
Make sure your search field is somewhere above the fold (in the first 1/3rd of the site). Readers and sponsors should be able to find posts they want easily.
3. Make sure your posts have pinnable images.
You can use an online editor like PicMonkey to edit your images. Add clear, easy to read text to the image (usually the title of the post works best) as well as your site URL:
4. Your site should look clean and organized.
Go through your sidebar and reposition widgets. I tend to dedicate at least the first half of the sidebar to paid ads and self-promotion such as Pinterest and Instagram widgets. Another awesome look for your sidebar is to have top posts displayed – you can do it with Jetpack or use a Featured Posts widget, or simply upload a pinnable image and link it to the post.
5. Make sure your posts are easily shared.
Use a sharing plugin like Shareaholic or Social Flare so that your posts can be tweeted, pinned, and added to Facebook. This is the KEY to getting a viral post – a post that is shared quickly across social media platforms. Viral posts are GOLD!
6. Share every post.
Share every single post across all social media platforms! If you don’t share readers won’t know to go check it out!
7. Have a brand.
Your social media graphics should match your header graphics. Images should be clean, fit your personality, and overall pretty simple. Think about the logos of the most successful companies – most are merely the name in an interesting font. Header graphics should be a .png or .gif, NOT .jpg since they cause compression and “halo” around the lettering and images. I do graphics!
8. Be personal.
Unless you want your site to be more informational, be personal! I use a headshot image as my avatar across social media instead of a site graphic, which I use for cover images. Post personal stories. People want to know who you are!
9. Respond to every email.
Even if a PR rep contacts you about a campaign you aren’t necessarily a good fit for, be sure to respond to tell them, but ask them to keep you in mind for others. Many reps handle multiple accounts and pass blog names around. Keeping the communication open will eventually get you more sponsored work.
10. Above all, have fun!
You probably started your blog because you enjoy writing, sharing, and learning about new things. Make sure you are having fun and enjoying your site. If you find yourself in a rut take a few days off to become inspired again. If you continually find yourself dreading the mere thought of blogging, it might be time to rebrand, which I can help with.