People always ask what we teachers do on summer break. The truth is, we never stop working. Maybe it is a compulsion of some sort. It is like we just cannot help ourselves. Even after fourteen years, my work is never done. I am always looking over my lessons and trying to find ways to make them better.
Now that I have been officially blogging for a whole year, I realized that I am the same as a blogger as I am as a teacher. There is no such thing as time off when there is work to be done! My goal for this summer is to revamp my blog, much like I would redecorate my classroom.
How to Revamp Your Blog
Consider Your Theme
When your are revamping your blog, the first thing you may take a look at is your theme. There are two things to consider. First, the style. You want your theme to match your content and style. Think about the overall anesthetic that you want to convey. For example, if I ran a fashion blog, I would want to have a super stylish theme with plenty of photographs. If I ran a technology blog, I would want my theme to be sleek and minimalistic.
If you are looking for something feminine and girly, check out this post by the Boss Latina, Yami Platero. (Her blog is also gorgeous, if you need inspiration!)
Another feminine and fully customizable theme is Lisa Roe’s Tweak Me v2 theme. Check out her products from Lisa Designs Life here.
The other aspect to consider is the functionality. You definitely want a mobile reponsive theme. This means that your theme will adjust the layout based on the device your guest is using to visit your blog. Have you ever visited a blog and you cannot scroll or navigate the menus while reading on your phone? A mobile responsive theme will help your reader do that!
I came this close to changing my theme in favor of a more mobile responsive theme, but I love my theme! This theme cost me $45 and I purchased it on Etsy. Truth be told, it is not as responsive as I would like and there are some features that I would like to change. However, I love the color palette and the whimsical look and feel. Sometimes you have to evaluate which is more important to you – looks or function!
“Brand” Your Social Media
What do I mean by “brand” your social media? I mean that your social media accounts should reflect your brand. You want you (and your blog) to be recognizable throughout all of you your social media accounts. Plus, you will create an air of professionalism and authority.
Your Profile Picture
I am no branding expert, but there are a few things I have learned in the past year.
Use the Same Profile Picture
Using the same profile picture across all of your social media accounts helps people recognize you! I have learned that this consistency has helped my followers know that its “me”. It also helps increase my visibility. Just think if you added up all of your social media followers on all of your accounts, that is a lot of people seeing your face!
Use a Professional Quality Pictures
For your profile picture, as well as all of your social media images, you want to use professional quality photographs. I recommend using a professional headshot as your profile picture. When I changed my profile picture on Pinterest from a family photot to a headshot, I gained hundreds of new followers. Just in case that was a fluke, I tried the same on Twitter and the same thing happened!
Check out the difference below. I think people want to see your face. They want to know the face behind the blog. Whom is giving them advice, tips, and tricks? People want to feel like they know you and can trust you.
Choose a Color Scheme
Just as when I redecorate my classroom or when you move into a new house, you need to think about your color scheme. Choose a few colors that will represent you and your brand. Use these colors when you are creating pinable images on Pinterest. Again, this will help potential readers recognize you and your blog/brand. Also, think about your font choices.
These seemingly small details help you stand out. The majority of my blog traffic comes from Pinterest. I create all of my images in Canva, which allows me to save my color preferences and fonts. You can mix and match your colors/fonts, while still adhere to the “look” of your brand.
I chose colors that match my theme, but also colors that I just like! It is also helpful to choose a mixture of dark and light colors for contrast. You can use a color wheel to find complimentary colors, as well. Here are my colors:
Revamp Your Social Media Aesthetic
Similar to above, creating imaging that represents your brand will give your blog and your brand a more professional looking aesthetic. This helps to not only gain followers, but will help you realize opportunities to work with other “recognizable” brands. This past month, I was asked to write a post for Honest Company, for example. I love the company and their products, but they reached out to me! They saw my pins and my Twitter feed and asked me to work with them. Awesome, right?
Look at Your Instagram Feed
My feed is a work in progress, but I encouarge you to take a look at your own feed. Does it reflect you and your brand? Is there an overall look or feel to your posts? I post a mixture of blog related images and real pictures of my life as a mom. For each post, I do look at the color scheme to create an overall look if someone is scrolling through my feed. But there are those that do far better than I! Check out these awesome feeds for inspiration!
Update Your Pinterest
Pinterest is forever changing their algorithms and it is hard to keep up! One thing that has not changed is that you can create covers for all of your boards. Again, this helps create a cohesive look for your brand/blog. I created board covers for all of my (many, many boards), but I decided to give them a makeover.
See the difference? Sure, I have a whole “schtick” with the fairy tale theme, but there are several things wrong with my previous background. One, it is too dark. Two, it is two difficult to read. Three, it does not look professional.
Another mistake I made, is making different board covers for every single board. Yes, I stuck with my color scheme, but it is far more cohesive to use the same background for every board. Not to mention that it took forever. These board covers were so easy. All I had to change was the title!
How to Create Board Covers in Canva
Choose the Custom Dimensions Option
Select 217 x 147 px
Create Your Board Cover
Notice how you can change the layout and text. You can also add shapes or other decorative features. Plus, you can upload your own images or search for stock photos to create your custom design.
Revamp Old Blog Posts
Just as I do with my lesson plans, this month I have been going back through all of my old blog posts to revise and update. I have to admit, I cringed at a few of my old posts! It was no so much what I said, but how I said it. Once I discovered the Yoast SEO Plugin, my life as a blogger was forever changed.
Take a Look at Your Post’s Readability
This plugin does two things. One, it helps you improve your SEO ranking. (This is something I still need to work on!) Two, it helps with your readability. This plug in will let you know if your paragraphs are too long or you need to insert a subheading. It also tells you if you started several sentences the same way or your sentences are too long. Or, it will tell you if you use too many 75 cent words, as I have a tendency to do!
Considering your readability is really important! Remember, you may have a lot of readers viewing your post on a mobile device. The impulse to scroll or move on affects us all! You want your posts to look visually appealing, but you also want to give the gist as concisely as possible.
This does not mean that your post needs to be short. On the contrary, Google likes to see longer posts! However, you can eliminate your more “flowery” adjectives (that I always tell my students to use!) in favor of more precise language. Yoast will score you on the Flesch Reading Ease test and let you know exactly how easy your post is to read.
Add a New Content Upgrade
When evaluating my old posts, I have been asking myself, “Is there anything new I can offer my readers?” I do not just want my readers to reread my old content, even if I have given the post a face lift. Yes, I hope to gain new readers by updating my old posts, but what about my loyal readers and subscribers? I want them to get something out of the deal!
A great way to offer something new is with a content upgrade. Also referred to as a “lead magnet”, a content upgrade is an incentive to subscribe to your blog. A freebie that helps “upgrade” your existing content. For example, I revamped my old posts on Baby Sign Language. These were posts that did very well on Creative Child, so they were well out there for people to view and read. I created free printable Baby Sign Language “cheat sheets” for subscribers.
These were posts that did very well on Creative Child, so they were well out there for people to view and read. I created free printable Baby Sign Language “cheat sheets” for subscribers. It did not take long to create these printables in Canva, but I have received awesome feedback! One reader emailed me to say that she printed them and placed them on the refrigerator to help review the signs daily with her baby. Yay!
Check out my “new” posts!
How to “Update” Your New Post
Once you have updated your old blog post for readability, take another look at your images. First of all, do you have pinnable images in your post? If you do not, go make them! Perhaps you do have pinnable images, but consider their performance. Next, look at your Pinterest Analytics to determine how well they are performing on Pinterest. Also, look at which of your images are performing the best on Pinterest. See if you can recreate that magic with your other images!
Once your “old” blog post is updated, you want to make it “new” again. For an awesome tutorial on exactly how to do that, check out this post by Twins Mommy, Elna Cain.
In this post, Elna describes how Google likes to see new content! However, if you have an old post that is amazing, you can push it back into the rotation with one easy trick!
June Blog Traffic Report
*This section contains affiliate links to Tailwind and FYTO. For more information, please see my disclosures page.
Last month, I detailed How to Gain 1,000 Instagram Followers in 30 Days. Now that I have these followers, I want to keep them engaged! I created a Free Instagram Challenge for June that really helped! Take a look at my analytics below. This month, I have continued to gain followers and keep them engaged! Win-win!
To keep this momentum going, I created a new challenge for July. I even included hashtags to get us all going. Come join me and tag me in your posts!
July Instagram Challenge
Want to track your analytics for both Pinterest and Instagram? Check out Tailwind! You can save time by scheduling all of your posts. Plus, Tailwind will even tell you the best times to post! Recently, they added a hashtag finder. As you are creating the caption for your post, Tailwind will provide a list of suggested hashtags. They even rate the hashtags as good, better, best to help you reach and engage the most followers! This really helped me as newbie to Instagram.
June Blog Traffic Goal Recap
Blog Page Views: 5,750 Yay! 5,940
Twitter Followers: 7,750 Yay! 7,853
Pinterest Followers: 3,750 Yay! 4,064
Facebook Page Likes: 875 Yay! 979
Instagram Followers: 1,500 Nay! 1,333
Write 10 Blog Posts Yay!
Pinterest for the Win!
As you can see, there was a lot of great wins this month! Pinterest is where I receive well over half of my traffic. This month, I began looking into my Pinterest analytics. It’s about time, right? If you click on the “analytics” section on Pinterest, you get all kinds of great data!
The image above shows the impressions my site received over the past 30 days. According to Pinterest, “Impressions are the number of times a pin from your profile has appeared on Pinterest home feeds, category feeds, and search.” According to this, my average impressions were up this month! This means that people are actively looking for the things my pins are related to!
The board for my blog, that contains nothing but my pins, received 145,938 impressions. This sounds great, but take a look at the number of clicks and saves. About 1% of people who “see” my pins click-through to my blog posts. Nearly 2% save these pins. That is not great. Of course, I can look at it another way. 64% of those whom save my pins, click-through to read my post. Yay!
Now, the goal is to figure out how to get those who see my pins to save my pins. Then, click-through to my blog post! No small feat, I know. In order to determine my plan of attack, I am using another feature of Pinterest analytics.
If you click on the “All Time” tab, you can which pins have been your most shared, most saved, and most clicked. This goes back to the very beginning of your Pinterest account. The area that I am focused on right now is the pins that rank the highest in search. Determining the best titles and keywords for my pins I know will help me create even better pins!
Find Your Tribe
The other way I get my pins shared is through Facebook Groups, Pinterest Group Boards, and Tailwind Tribes. How do you find these awesome groups and the amazing fellow bloggers that will help you share your stuff? Check out Find Your Tribe Online. Not only will these tribe members help you spread the word about your amazing blog, these are the people you will go to for advice, encouragement, and support. It does not get any better than that!
Blog Page Views: 6,100
Twitter Followers: 8,000
Pinterest Followers: 4,150
Facebook Page Likes: 1,000
Instagram Followers: 1,500
Did you achieve your goals in June? Do you have any plans to revamp your blog? Please comment and share below!