I see you, friend. You have your blog up and running, but you’re still trying to figure out the practical day-to-day tips that you need to operate a successful blog.
You know you need to keep those jumbled ideas in your noggin organized and figure out how to design your images to their highest design efficiency, but you’re at a loss. Over here I discuss how to stay hopeful in the blogging process, but it’s in this white space where I’ll be talking to you more about the practical tips that will hopefully help you in your day-to-day life as a blogger.
1. Get a Planner or Three-Ring Binder to Organize Your Blogging
Let me first say that although it may seem a little old school to use a paper-based planner, keep in mind that at least with paper, you won’t have a computer/phone/tablet fritz where you lose your precious information. And in our experience, a clunky binder is typically easy to find. You can get a cute one on Amazon here and dividers here.
We’ve had the three-ring binder that’s pictured below for roughly three years now to keep track of everything that’s needed for the blog and it’s been a practical system for us ever since. You can see in the picture that we also have tabs labeled for easy access where we have our information stored. One tab says “prayers” and has the many prayers we pray on a regular basis for the blog: a strengthened faith for our readers, growth from Christ for us in the blogging process, and many more.
We also have an “ideas” tab where we store different ideas we plan on executing for the blog and a section called “encouragement” where we keep the encouraging words someone left us in a comment on social media or in an email. As most of you know, blogging can become discouraging and lonely. So when those rainy days come, you can easily have a reminder of some favorite uplifting words about your blog stored away.
2. Find the Best Plugins for Your Website–Here Are Some Favorites:
It can be great to optimize and customize your blog with plugins, but be careful not to overload your website with these added features as it can slow down your website. Some of my favorite plugins are the ones in where I can customize social media features with the branding from Inkblots of Hope. For instance, we use the Ultimate Social Media PLUS plugin to point people to our social media platforms. We really like it because you can customize it to fit your branding in a photo imaging program by creating a 75×75 image. We used an image of an inkblot and then placed the different social media platforms in the blue color we use at Inkblots of Hope.
We did the same with the Pinterest share plugin, jQuery Pin It Button for Images by creating a 90×90 image with an inkblot image and the word “Pin.” Yoast is also a helpful plugin to optimize your posts with the proper SEO– which all just means it will make search engines easier to find your posts.
WP Super Cache is a great plugin to help your website run faster. But just keep in mind that if you’re trying to make edits to any pages or posts, etc., you’ll most likely need to disable it temporarily and then reactivate it once again. If you don’t disable this plugin, your changes most likely won’t stay.
3. Make Sure Your Images Are Mostly Congruent
It may be fun to use different filters on your images to place on your blog, but doing so can make the feel of your website half-hazard and inconsistent. We like using an old Adobe Lightroom program we have to create our own customized presets that we apply to each photo.
What’s a preset? A preset is a file you create on Adobe Lightroom that indicates exactly what exposure level, saturation, etc. you’re telling the photo to have. You can create presets like we have to use on your images or you can purchase them or even find some for free. I will give you a fair heads up that some of the free ones or even the purchased presets can look too over the top, so unless that’s the look you’re going for, you may want to create your own or try: signing up for ones we like for free. (As a heads up, we consistently used in the past a dark, overexposed look on our photos. Whereas now, we use a bright, vibrant, but slightly undersaturated look, so you will see a difference between past and present with us because we haven’t changed the images we did in the past. )
4. Use a Social Media Scheduler to Schedule Out Social Media Posts
Just like you can schedule out posts on your blog to save time, you can also do this with your social media posts on a site that services different social media platforms so you can schedule out your posts all in one place. Planable can be used to schedule posts for Twitter, Facebook, and soon, Instagram. We like it because it’s the most visual social media uploader that we know of so however you see the post on Planable is exactly how it will be seen on your social media platforms.
Hopefully, in these four points, there was at least one beneficial takeaway for you. And always remember, in the sea of text on the web, your words of faith really do matter, friend.