Saturday, August 29, 2015

Want to make your blog shine? How I did it.



If you would like to read more of my "Mommy Writer" posts, click HERE!

My Blog's Life

I have been blogging here on Crazy Little Family Adventure for almost three years. It has been changing constantly without really going places, just existing. I tried many times to improve it, make it more professional looking, to write more engaging stories; some changes were pretty good and others not so great. I went through a stage of lots of plugins and gadgets and just too much stuff going on at once.

A good friend Martin, I call him my Seo Guru, helped me fix some things like the sitemap, the google index and google bots. He helped me figure out that my blog wasn't showing up in searches at all, so he helped me with the description, keywords and all that stuff in html in the template. Strangely enough though we forgot to check the Google Analytics! But that's another story altogether.



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Researching for Tips

I then started following some tips about making your blog better by reading posts and articles I found in the FB groups; The Blog Loft and Blogging Boost with the hopes of finding some kind of inspiration. I learned about going back to old posts and editing them, and organizing labels and categories. 

After fixing a whole bunch of things on the blog I was feeling pretty confident, and then I found the 15 Day Blog Makeover Challenge by Daniela Uslan. I started it and did my best, some of the challenges felt like I didn't need to do them, like the Blog Place, and the Branded Graphics. In short, I didn't manage to finish the 15 day Challenge, not sure if it was procrastination or lack of faith in myself. I did really enjoy joining her FB group Blogging on your Own Terms, one of the most interactive blogging groups out there.


And then Daniela launches the 10 Day Blog Makeover Challenge, a revised version of the previous one, I think she took out five of the points because it was too long. I decided I had to do it again but trying to forgo the "I don't need to do that" attitude I had the last time.

When you finish each challenge you get a funky little badge! I've added mine here so you can get excited about doing this challenge for your blog. Wait, did I mention it's free? IT'S FREE

I will show you what I came up with for each challenge and how some things changed, or how I felt about them. I won't tell you how Daniela helps you tackle each challenge, thats for you find out on your own.


I Tackled the 10 Day Blog Makeover Challenge.




Mission Statement

The first mission statement I wrote wasn't really that great. The second time I came up with a better one. Although I think it still needs some tweaking. Daniela gives you a guideline on how to create your own.

"I write about being an expat mother, and the trials that it brings me. As my blog has progressed the major factor has veered from how our family travels to my writing as a personal release and how making art with my kids keeps anxiety at bay. I believe in Worldschooling as the best way to educate my kids, and I hope to inspire other expat mothers with or without depression and anxiety to find creative outlets and truly find themselves no matter where they are. I try to use humor when I can, and recently have started writing fiction."




Blog Place

The first time around I didn't even do this part of the challenge, I did it the second time and it was actually lots of fun!.







Fonts

I decided that my fonts were going to be Ribeye for the Blog Name and Post Titles and Amatic Small Caps for subtitles. I used to use any old font on my shareable images, thinking "I'm eclectic I can't commit to two fonts." I finally gave in and decided on those two fonts. That decisin took me to creating my final header and then my logos in two different sizes. They look great and they are now a face for my blog as a brand.





Colors

The whole color idea was difficult for me because I couldn't pick a limited scheme, in the midst of thinking about colors I found the great graffiti background I have now and changed my colors inside the blog to go accordingly. I finally settled that my colors were basically the primary colors, all of them! I was happy with that decision.



Branded Graphic

This part of the challenge was just as "annoying" the first time around as the whole colors and fonts thing. But if you think about it, fonts, colors and branded graphics make a brand. When you have a brand, it gives your blog a special character you wouldn't have otherwise. So I gave in and started making branded graphics with my chosen fonts, following my colors and plugging in my logo. The differences are outstanding! Jut look at my Pinterest board for a global view of how things got better. 





Headlines

This one is fun, Daniela gives you a great little trick to make killer headlines. Good headlines means better SEO, and that means more views, and that means better engagement. I enjoyed this part of the challenge from the very start.






Blog Organization

This bit I had actually just finished, I had been categorizing posts into six labels to make a sitemap. I had also chosen the most important labels and posted them on the sidebar. Daniela give lots of ideas of how to organize your content, you really should try them all. That way the navigation of your blog is enjoyable to your readers.







Post Formatting

This is one of the most important challenges I think. If your post doesn't look good, no one will want to read it! All the ideas given in this challenge are a must for your blog to look amazing! I was doing some of the given tips but not all, and when I started using them all, my engagement went up!







Calls to Action

This has been a peeve of mine, I have tried all kinds of Calls to Action on my posts, Daniela gives you the best formula for yours. You can use any service or manual Call to Action in your post, but the point is doing it right!







Celebrate and Plan

Once you are done with all the challenges you will really look at your blog in a different light. It will feel better, more you. If you follow all the tips you will definitely see a positive change. Now if you want to grow the blog even more, then you should join the Have Your Cupcake Membership and get even more tips, and ideas to make your blog SHINE!