Many people wonder how to create a blog that rocks. We all have different goals and definitions of success for our blogs. In the six months I have been blogging, I have followed a clear plan that has produced amazing opportunities in London. So, I will cover everything here from seo tools to branding. This is some of what my plan involved…
1- Start Early
Three months prior to arriving in London, I had the idea for Sunny in London. I created Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and Facebook accounts and started posting steadily. I wrote posts about places where I had been and used pictures from previous times I lived in and visited London. For example, on November 22, 2013 I wrote about my summer trip to Midhurst and the Veuve Clicquot Gold Cup. Notice the date in the picture?
I wasn’t deceiving anyone. I was working on attracting readers and establishing by brand.
My husband AKA “Mr Sunny” (a lifelong Londoner who was waiting for my visa approval so I could join him here) took more pictures on sunny days and sent them to me. I would tweet them and comment on the lovely weather in London.
2- Tweet! Tweet! Tweet!
I started by following everyone I could find in London on Twitter. When they followed me back, I put them on a public Twitter list.
I certainly takes time to set up and maintain. I wrote down my new followers’ names each week and gave them a #FF shout out by category as a “Thank you for following me.” Here’s some recent examples:
Check my Twitter account to see the lists, follow me and follow the list members!
3- Understand SEO
I’ve read several books and countless articles written by SEO experts and other popular Expat bloggers like Found Love, Now What. I know I have a lot to learn about SEO even after 6 months of constant reading, but it’s an on-going challenge every blogger must embrace. All of the books are available in Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk. SEO is definitely not something to be underestimated. I know so many people who have noticed big changes in their website traffic once their online content has been optimized for search engines. Above all, in the digital age, you cannot afford to ignore digital marketing strategies that incorporate SEO.
4- Hire a Web Designer
Because I really wanted the Sunny in London brand to have a professional, solid image by the time I arrived in London, I hired a web designer to make it happen. Kate Jordan is amazing. She made sure the new design roll out happened nearly the day I arrived. It was FABULOUS!
5- SEEING is believing!
I’m lucky to have experience as a journalist and publicist, as well as a Master’s degree in English, so writing is less of a challenge for me. Managing my Sony Cybershot DSC-RX100 has been another story. While “Content is Key,” so are your images! Most people would rather see a story through images rather than read it painstakingly word for word. So, take time to learn how to compose a good shot. Then, use software to fix and enhance your pictures.
Yep. I read this one too.
6- Rotate Booze, Beer, Beef, Bulldogs and Bikinis
This is my favourite piece of advice! I noticed a majority of bloggers were females. I purposefully wanted to include males in Sunny in London, so I came up with the B’s strategy. Face it- guys really just want to see Booze, Beer, Beef, Bulldogs and Bikinis. I try to balance all posts with those topics in mind. Watch my Instagram: flower, afternoon tea, architecture, wine bar, champagne, BURGER, BOOZE, BEER TAP.
It’s given me a 46% Female, 54% Male split in readers. Interesting isn’t it? I don’t have a dog, and I doubt I’ll post a bikini shot of myself. If you have either or both… USE THEM!!!
How to create a blog final thoughts:
So, those are my tips on how to create a blog. If you’re a regular Sunny in London reader, you’ve seen that I’ve been invited to some spectacular events. For example, I spent a day at the Covent Garden Academy of Flowers learning how to make floral arrangements. This past week I had the opportunity to view London from Europe’s tallest building!
I have clear goals to keep growing for the next 6 months. There’s tons for me to learn. For example, “How do I attend all these restaurant openings and still fit in to my jeans?”
The MOST IMPORTANT part of all of it is to be ethical and share.
If someone asked you how to create a blog, what advice would you give? What questions do you have? Please put them in the comments below! Let’s all help each other and be inspired by our individual creativity. 🙂