Hello there readers!
Ever since my Q&A last week, this topic has been racing through my mind. I was planning on publishing this idea quite some time ago, but I wanted to buckle down and really put the effort and consideration in that this post deserves.
One reoccurring question I ran into a lot last week was bloggers asking for ideas to better their own blogs. I loved this, because I got to check out some lovely blogs and it was fun going through my own knowledge and creating ideas of how I could actually help. I wish I could do that everyday, but it’s extremely time consuming. I truly try my best to scour and look into all the site’s details and give the best advice I can concoct.
As I was combing through those blogs though, I realized one major hiccup in my plan to help. Not every blog that asked for my review was a lifestyle blog! Which by the way, is awesome. I’m thrilled that blogs from all different genres and themes have visited Ordinary Adventures.
I still tried to give my best, honest critiques, but it reminded me of just how many different blogging genres there are and the importance of understanding which yours falls under.
So, why is it important to know the genre of your blog? Let’s break it down.
Theme and style.
Something as simple as what color your blog’s background is, what you have in your About section, and what categories and links you have on your blog, can completely change the professionalism and style of your blog. The same thing happens with how your posts are presented, how often you post, your fonts, colors, sizes, and so on. To take your blog to the next level, these are all things you need to consider. More than that, all these choices need to revolve around what YOUR blog’s genre is.
Do you have a photography blog? Pick a template for your blog that accentuates pictures boldly. You’ll want to shy away from magazine type styles that have small thumbnails or need to be clicked to be viewed. You’ll want a solid, neutral background so your photos are the focus. You might not even need categories or tabs, just a long scrolling home page.
Do you have a fashion blog? You don’t have to keep all the white backgrounds and filigree writing. Depending on what fashion you’re talking about, experiment with funky fonts or geometric headings. One of my favorite fashion blogs has a black side bar and neon colored backgrounds. And somehow it totally works.
Do you have a writing/article blog? Find a way to categorize and present your work in the most streamline way possible. You can’t use the same rambling template as a photographer or your readers would be lost in a sea of writing. Maybe for your About page, you’ll want a longer bio than a cooking or religious blog would offer. Share more of your accomplishments or ideas rather than a synopsis on your current life.
As a lifestyle blogger, I have experimented and stalked hundreds of top notch and just starting out blogs to see what looks fantastic and what doesn’t. I’ve found for lifestyle blogs that a neutral (usually white) background, interesting headers/sidebars, and simple but fun fonts, look the best. An easy to navigate, multiple tabs/categories, and a bold, fun About page are great tools to utilize as well. And that’s just scratching the surface!
Each genre usually has a definite style that they follow. I’m not saying you have to stay in your genre’s ideals, but there is a reason why professional blogs look the way they do: because it works!
This goes hand in hand with your theme. What you decide to concentrate on in your posts should be reflected in how, when, and where you decide to feature it. Schedules, categories, and content are all presented and crafted differently in their own genres.
For a lifestyle blogger, I’d recommend posting regularly, if not everyday. Your posting about your own life and interesting ways to better others’ lives. If it’s through DIYs and fashion and food and whatever else. But the same life update featured for over a week will start to bore readers. I love A Beautiful Mess because I can check their site everyday and be greeted by a fun, new idea. And because of that, I check their site at least once a day! When I see a lifestyle blog that only updates once a month (even if it the most beautiful, amazing posts), I’ll lose interest and definitely won’t visit as often. I’ll also encourage lifestyle bloggers to at the very least go 50/50 when it comes to pictures and writing. This is for many reasons, such as share-ability (which is a the lifeline of a lifestyle blogger), bringing more interest into a post, and usually even just helpfulness (I can’t do a DIY without pictures going step by step!).
The thing is though, for almost any other type of blogger, I would not advise most of these tips.
When it comes to publishing, be mindful of installments and how often you post. If you’re a poetry or writing blog, maybe you post every certain days of the week so you have a few deadlines for yourself and so readers know when to check in. Or introduce a new chapter every Friday to bring readers in on just a weekly, but routine basis. Don’t push yourself to post something everyday like a lifestyle blogger! And maybe art isn’t your thing, but you want to figure out how to add some color or photos into your blog in some way. If so, you can look into stock photos or you can make a deal with a photographer blogger in your area and you guys can trade works.
If you’re a cooking blogger, maybe have a breakfast, lunch, and dinner day a week so your latest post is always something fresh. Readers then can be excited about a new recipe and then you can share those recipes as downloadable content.
If you’re a fitness blog, create challenges for yourself and your readers. Maybe give healthy advice segments and be more interactive with your viewers.
Just keep in mind what is doable for your content and genre. Every theme is different and can thrive in unique schedules and ways, none of which are the same!
This might be the most important tip in this post. When you finally nail down and pick your blog’s genre, it’s imperative that you start looking for other blogs in the same category. Find your inspirations. See new ideas and ways other bloggers have crafted their blog and posts. Find your own style’s blogging heroes!
I cannot begin to tell you how much inspiration and encouragement I have gotten from other lifestyle bloggers. Their influence and tips and examples have made me a better blogger all around. I have a handful of lifestyle blogging heroes that have helped me shape my blog and motivated me to grow. I even have some non-lifestyle bloggers that I pull from to help me experiment, gain a new prospective, and just gush over. But I still understand my genre’s limitations and what would be best for my own blog. I can always come back to my fellow themed bloggers and put it all together to create my own unique style and ideas.
Now it’s time for you to sit down and decide exactly what genre your blog will fall under. Then find your inspirations and motivations. Don’t forget to stay true to your dreams and style (don’t copy anyone either though!), but do some research and see what can help your blog in the long run.