I'm constantly hearing statements like "I should've started my blog when you did", or "It's too late now, look at how many new blogs are launched every day!".
So, just in case some of you thought you were off the hook, or fully believe it's too late, I'm here to tell you that the majority of people in the world are not even on-line yet. And three billion more will be by 2020.
We had a dinner party a few weeks ago and the conversation turned to all the little shops in town that are going out of business because of the big box stores. All of this is true and we can get mad or glad or sad about it, but the reality is, one of the best new locations to have your next mom and pop store/business is on your laptop.
This way you can still live out in the country (like I do) or if you want to live on an island where there are no jobs to support you or travel the world because your office is anywhere your laptop is, well, you'll be able to do that.
Isn't that good news? If you need some help with your design blog, you can still get this blogging webinar I did with Penelope Trunk on demand here.
It's been awhile since I've written a post about blogging, so I thought I'd share some of the latest little tweaks I've made to my blog that you could also incorporate into yours.
Write better headlines
When I'm stuck for a headline, I always pull out Jon Morrow's Cheat Sheet for writing blog posts that go viral. You get his report just be subscribing to his blog. And it's the perfect place to be if you want to be a better blogger.
Just make sure your content matches the awesome headline you come up with. A good headline combined with bad content won't make your reader come back any faster.
His report is exactly where I got this headline: How to be Smart in a World of Dumb Designers and Danger: The First 24 Hours After you Take Possession.
Hey, made you want to click right?
Getting more subscribers
It seems like I've read a million blog posts on all kinds of magical ways to get more subscribers, but no one ever talks about how many readers actually unsubscribe each time you post which cancels out many of your new subscribers. It's a never ending battle, to keep your readers.
Some of my readers got annoyed when I experimented with the pop-up, so I got rid of it.
I found the best approach for me is to post a subscribe button (below) at the bottom of each blog post. This is what mine looks like. This way if someone likes your content, it's a natural transition to have them subscribe.
And while we're talking about special reports, notice that it says you'll get 26 INSIDER SECRETS not just a measly three? Which one sounds better? Something to think about when writing the special report/guidebook or eBook your subscribers will receive.
What should your URL look like?
When I switched from my Blogspot blog to WordPress, my URL looked like this:
Every time I Iooked at the DATE in the post, I was annoyed. I thought I was stuck with it forever, but then I found out that I could just get a re-direct installed and go back to having a short URL.
Also, when you write a post with a long headline, you can shorten the URL before you publish it. Shorter URL's are better because they don't get cut off when being shared and are easier to remember.
Link to Past Content
You want your readers to keep reading right? I've told you this before but I'm saying it again. It's so much more fun to read a blog when the writer links to past posts so you can really understand the context of what he/she is saying.
Since a blog is an ongoing conversation with your readers, it's better when a new reader can feel included.
Learn to use your DSLR Camera
Okay so I was really slow to do this. Five years into writing a design blog and I was still walking around like I did not have the time to learn photography. The lamest excuse ever.
Finally Terreeia had enough. She registered me into an 8 week photography course and gave it to me for Christmas.
Suddenly, I did not have a choice.
But was I ever happy the day I was able to take the following photos of my interior.
The before and after is pretty dramatic.
Just in case you think it's a photoshopped image, they were taken at the same time. The first using the auto function which failed as usual (and it was the only option I knew) and doesn't work when you include a window in the image and the second photo was taken using my new manual skills. See them both here.
I'm so excited with my new skills, I'm thinking I should sign up for some computer courses next. Photoshop is the next requirement of having a great design blog and I'm thinking learning to use Powerpoint in a much more efficient way then I'm using it now would be revolutionary.
I'll still be a year older whether I learn something new or not.
Recently a reader sent me an email saying she was hearing all kinds of conversations and presentations even in blogging conferences about how the blogging world is changing, or that trends are changing. That blogs will no longer work as they used to and what did I think about that?
Gary Veynerchuck is calling the changing world of the internet the second industrial revolution. He says, "Big corporations need to change the way they talk to the consumer because our BS radar is high".
How blogs are changing is this, if you don't differentiate your blog from the rest of the noise with your personality, no one will read it.
And there are many ways to make money via the internet. It's not in everyone's personality to get up every day and write. It's just the way I do it.
Whatever your passion is, you can start part time, when your not at your day job, and then one day, you too will wake up doing what you love all, day, long.
What are you going to learn next?
If you would like your home to fill you with happiness every time you walk in the door, become a client. On-line or In-person.
Download my eBook, How to Choose Paint Colours – It's All in the Undertones to get my complete step-by-step system on how to get colour to do what you want and to make sure the undertones in your home are right, get some large samples!
If you would like to learn how to choose colour with confidence, become a True Colour Expert.