You may have noticed that my blog has recently undergone a major makeover. I decided that I wanted to get serious about blogging so I got advice from professionals, read every ‘how to make a blog’ tutorial that I could find and got to work. I also read How to Launch Your Blog in 90 Days, an ebook by the founders of Who What Wear. This book contains nearly all the knowledge you need to set up the best blog that you can and I highly recommend purchasing it. I’m not a web design or SEO expert by any means, but I have been blogging for about five years now and I’ve learned a lot through trial and error.
So, first things first, I made the switch to self-hosted WordPress. This does require a little more of a financial investment (unless you really know how to code). But, if you plan on eventually turning your blog into a business, this is a must. There are plenty of tutorials out there that will give you step by step instructions on how to switch. Or, you can hire a professional.
There are a couple of options once you make the switch. Option one is to hire a designer to build you a custom site. This is quite pricy and in my opinion not necessary. The second option is to purchase a template and hire someone to customize a few small things. This is the route I chose. Take your time browsing templates and find one that has just about every feature that you’re looking for. Fonts and colors are easy to change, so that shouldn’t be a priority. My site is hosted by Bluehost which is affiliated with Mojo MarketPlace template shop. I purchased my template there, but you can buy a template from anywhere.
Here are some things that your template should absolutely have (in order of importance):
1. Responsive design
This means the template will be automatically reformatted whether you’re on a desktop, mobile device, or iPad. If your site isn’t mobile friendly, it will hurt your Google search ranking.
2. Post previews
This is crucial for monetization. You want your blog to get as many page views as possible. If all your posts can be seen with a single endless scroll, then you’ll only get one page view per visitor. If your readers have to keep clicking to get to different posts, you get way more views.
3. Social share
You want to make it as easy as possible for readers to share your posts. Make sure there are share buttons at the end of every post and I also recommend a hover effect Pinterest button on all your images.
4. Static sidebar
This means that the sidebar moves down as you scroll. Watch my sidebar.
5. Static top navigation bar
Again, see how my navigation bar stays at the top of the page so you can easily click over to other pages.
Once you’ve found the perfect template, there are a couple of services that I recommend if you need changes made. I previously worked with XOMISSE; she does really great work that’s specific to fashion blogs. Fiverr is another resource that you can use if there’s something specific and straightforward that you need done, i.e. change a font color. You can find someone to do just about anything with prices starting at $5.
You can find another blogging guide that I wrote a while back here. Have any additional questions? You are always welcome to contact me or comment below. If you found this post useful, please share it with other bloggers!