This is another post in the free blog help and advice series.
I met a very nice lady on Twitter who runs three, very successful websites. She is a school teacher, and works on the internet during her time off. One of her websites, Audacity Magazine, was the first online magazine for people with disabilities and has won very prestigious award. Her other website, lacosmopolatina.com, is also a very nice web property with a high google page rank.
Her third web property is her personal blog. She says she wants this blog to basically be where she talks about anything and everything that inspires her or impacts her but she wants to utilize this blog to market her public speaking and writing. She wants to use it to build a platform for herself.
Our conversation on twitter was fun but she was asking a lot of questions about what she could do to improve her blog. I told her I would take a look and submit a quick report of suggestions. Since that conversation she has changed her theme so I started over and made a report of my recommendations.
This is that report.
How To Improve My Blog
Tip #1: Decide what kind of platform you want.
If you’re really wanting to build a platform to promote your public speaking and writing, a blog is the perfect way to do that. However, your blog is your first impression. If you’re wanting to be seen as a professional that can bring wisdom and insight to a discussion, having a fun “diva” theme might not be the best choice.
My first recommendation is to find a theme that not only gives a professional impression but also captures the bubbly personality of the Latina Diva at the same time. Being a public speaker doesn’t mean you have to be boring. And being a writer doesn’t mean you have to be best friends with a dust mite. However, bridging the gap between “fun” and “professional” is something that should be thought about.
Stay away from the free themes available around the internet. Invest in a nice, quality theme that can be customized to fit your needs. Themes are important for the first impression as well as the quality of coding in the back ground. Gaining organic traffic through search engines is the best way to promote your blog and the quality of the theme can make a big impact on search results.
These are my favorite sites for premium themes under $40.00:
Tip #2: Solidify Your Identity
In my mind, making a blog and building a platform half-way is not worth the effort. The only reason to go through with it is to be successful. In order to build a platform that matters, and solidify an identity that people remember means you have to build a personal brand.
This means that your blog, Twitter, and Facebook accounts, should all look like you. You want to be recognized no matter which outlet someone finds you on. To do this, there is a few things we need to do:
- Get a personal logo. (Audacious Lady should be easy to get ideas for.)
- Get a color palate and keep it through all mediums.
- Add photos of yourself. People should get to know you.
- Think about adding writing samples and videos of you speaking.
- Get a logo designed
If you ask nicely, they may even draw in a funky “Audacious Lady” text with your caricature. You may laugh but a lot of successful people have an online identity with a caricature. Jerry Lewis and Dean Martin exuded both comedy and professionalism with their signature caricatures.
- Add logo to your WordPress logo area
- Add logo to your Facebook cover photo
- Add a photo to your about page
- If you know how, edit your Twitter background to include your logo
- Legal Things: I would add these five things to your blog.
- About Me Page:
- Add a personal photo.
- Give a more detailed bio of yourself.
- Include important posts for them to read to know more about you. Like, posts you’ve written on teaching and disabilities or public speaking. These are things you want people to know about you. Link to posts you’ve written to that subject inside your bio.
- Public Speaking Page:
- Just like the bio page, this page should talk about your public speaking.
- What subjects do you talk about?
- What venues have you spoken at before
- How can they book you to speak?
- Include links to posts you’ve written on speaking.
- Writing Page:
- What you write about
- What you have written
- Where can they buy your book?
- Links to posts on writing
- Sidebar Widgets
- Add a categories widget
- Add a popular posts widget
- Add a Twitter feed widget
- Add a Facebook widget
- Add a Newsletter Signup Widget (More Next)
- Add a Newsletter Option (Important)