Purpose, Plan, Performance, Persistence and Payoff.
5 Days of Homeschool Blogging Basics.
Day 2 1/2 Plan.
Continuing on from Day 2. Plan, I shared about planning your (1) setup, (2) plan it pretty and today on Day 2 1/2 I will be sharing some more dos and don’ts and also share the last point in my plan, which is (3) premier content.
(continuing) Step 2. Plan – Pretty Blog
Look at a few more of the dos.
- I have a call to action, which is follow my blog several places on my page and on pop ups.
I am going to list pop ups and free things on Day 3. Performance, but right now I want to stay on point with these dos and don’ts.
- A valuable and hardworking sidebar.
Don’t just slap up items aimlessly on your sidebar. That is valuable advertising space.
Preferring a left hand sidebar because of the research I have done, use the sidebar as a way to engage potential followers.
I call it the 5 Ps. Put your top posts, top pins, partners, promotions, and products, if you have products.
Of course products can be for down the road, but I wanted to give you a glimpse now into what you want to put there. Also, not all of these have to go on there.
For example, starting out, I put my posts and pins on my sidebars. As I got sponsors for paid space, they took the space and I have arranged my blog.
- Do put a search box that is easy to find. Nothing worse that will make visitors leave right away than not being able to search what they came to your site to find.
- Do put an easy way to contact you that does not require rocket science to figure out. Again, I will be putting plugins and suggestions on Day 3. Performance.
- Do add buttons so that followers can easily share your content. Don’t make them guess how to share.
Look at these don’ts.
I am the first one to love music, but it can be aggravating to followers and besides followers have a variety of taste.
- Too small of font. Guess what? If you can barely read it, then your followers can’t either. Make it a bit bigger.
- Colors hard to read or fonts hard to read.
As a font snob, I am the first one to love all kinds of font, but not all kinds of fonts are easily readable.
It is really hard to read cursive that may look fine on printed documents, but on the screen the many loops and curls may cause blog sickness. (okay,okay) Test it out by looking at the font on your phone. If it looks sick, your followers will run.
The same goes with color, use colors easy on the eyes to read. A dark background with white text is hard on the eyes to read. If you like a dark background then add a light inside frame and use black text.
- And for goodness sake, as wild as Pinterest is now, don’t use teeny, tiny and dark pictures on your blog.
Pinterest is not only visually driven, but it is my number one referrer to my site because photos and graphics matter. Even if your topic matter does not lend itself to a lot of pictures, it is a must to create at least one pinworthy graphic at the top of your post so your content can be shared.
Those are a few of the dos and don’ts to make your blog pretty.
Last, but certainly not least is premier content. This is actually more important than set up and planning your blog pretty.
Premier and Pin Worthy Content.
By far the most important thing I did when I started up was to showcase my best content first right out of the gate.
I planned a 31 Free Boot Camp for New Homeschoolers. Again, I wanted to give my best first.
Does this mean you have to plan for a 31 day series? Maybe not, but focusing on my content first was key to reaching close to 75k views in my first few months of blogging.
Scooting quickly within a few months after my blog went live, I knew that I wanted evergreen content. Evergreen content is content that is good year after year on your blog. As you can see this kind of content is the hard working back bone of any elite blog.
I knew new homeschoolers would flock to homeschool each year and it is a passion of mine. So I honed in on my passion.
Planning 5 and 10 day series my first year also allowed me to talk to my heart’s delight about what I am fond of and build evergreen content that could be visited over and over again.
But that wasn’t my only premier content.
My passion for planners and my unique way of not having one huge boring download for a homeschool planner, but allowing my followers to create their own took off as well.
Looking back, I see too that gearing up my blog in the late spring allowed for a good start to the summer when my blog is hopping with planner traffic.
Key to displaying your best is understanding the homeschool season.
For example, I knew that new homeschoolers will be visiting my site right before school starts and after the winter when they have had enough of public school.
Guess what? My free curriculum planner follows the same kind of flow.
Planning Blog Posts – When and How?
As you can see, my topics to plan came from my purpose.
Topics can have endless slants on them and the more specific the better.
For example, I shared my topic about homeschooling.
But look at some of these topics that make my heart go pitter patter that would be sub-topics under homeschooling.
- new homeschooler tips
- seasoned homeschooler tip
- printed planner
- unit studies
- middle school
- high school
- history luv
- geography luv
Take out your planner and plan your subtopics now.
When the creative juices are not flowing, I can look at my subcategories to branch off any of those topics that I can’t write enough about.
Finding time to blog is like anything else in my life and that is it has to have an assigned time. I happen to be a morning person and get up many days early so that my thoughts flow.
If you’re a night owl and do better while the kids are in sleep, then grab that time. I find that my planning consists both of brainstorming topics and writing on the same day.
There are some days when thoughts overflow and I may do or three blog posts at one time.
The point is that you don’t get extra hours in your day when you decide to blog, you have to assign blogging a time period, like everything else that is balanced.
Now that you have pulled your purpose close up to examine and you have spent time mulling over a plan how you want your blog to look, the next thing you need is some go-go juice.
The next blog post on Day 3. Performance will focus on some hard working and fun plugins. Plugins that will you track numbers and stats and generally keep your blog going behind the scenes.
Hugs and love ya,
I love my Forever Blog Planner and couldn’t blog without it!