I like to think I'm a bit of a checklist queen, if I do say so myself. I make lists about the lists I want to make, and sometimes I re-write lists just for the fun of it. For the past few days I've ben suffering (and I don't say that word lightly) with some sort of Norovirus. So what do I do? I write lists. So far I've written a list about all of the blog posts I'm going to write, a list on today's things to do and - most importantly - I've written a shopping list of various foods that I can eat. Bread. Dry biscuits. Paracetamol. I'd like to see you fancy food bloggers make something delicious out of those ingredients. Wish I was joking. Anyway, I think it's safe to say that I'm the sort of person that never really rests, and that I'm always looking for something to improve on. A few days ago there was a little bit of radio silence on the blog and that my friends was all down to me trying to be all market-ty in hopes to find the perfect algorithm to making the perfect blog. Spoiler alert: there is no such thing as a perfect blog. But. I did notice that all of the 'best' blogs had a few things in common. Consider these your first steps to becoming the best blogger in the world..
Easy to use comments section
If you haven't already guessed by now, I love talking (or, typing, whatever you wanna call it!) so when I read a blog post that I love I always try to leave a comment, just because I know how much they mean to me when you guys do it. But when I leave a comment I don't want to have to fill out my email address twenty times, along with my first and last name, my website URL and about fifty different security question/captcha tests (I can't be the only person that sucks at those?). Now I understand a few things have to be filled in for security reasons sometimes, but if it takes me long to submit a comment than it did for me to actually leave a comment, something's gotta give.
A fast loading website
Now I don't know about you guys, but I have a pretty short attention span, so when it comes to waiting around for hours just to have one web page load, I'm not having it. Five seconds of waiting and I'm pretty much done. Maybe seven or eight on a good day. But long story short, no one likes to wait for things. Us bloggers aren't giving out the most important, life changing information, so why would anyone want to spend more time than they have to on our sites? If they wanna look around after they've finished reading, that's cool. But sometimes I just want to see your latest OOTD and skim through the text about your day and - let's face it - I don't wanna have to close every window on my laptop just so it can deal with slow website speeds. If you find your site is struggling a bit try putting less on each page, and have less moving slideshows or whatever. They look good, but not if they don't work.
Even if I have something super important to say in a post, I'll never upload it without making sure I have something decent for you guys to look at. I mean, hopefully by now (if you've been here for a while!) you like me for me and what I have to say, and not just because of a few overly photoshopped photos (if not, no judgement), but even still I like to make sure there's at least something for you guys to look at, even if it has nothing to do with what I'm talking about. Take the above photo for example. Thigh high boots have 0 correlation with blogging tips, but I know some people just like to have a sneak peak at what I'm wearing sometimes. So, outfit stalkers, the photo is for you. The text? Well, it might be useful, but it's not something you're going to be putting on your Pinterest any time soon, is it?
A snappy about page
Aaaand just like that I realise I don't have one of my own. Oops. But either way, you should have one and so should I. These 'about me' pages won't make a difference in your stats, nor will they have any other real purpose in life. They are however, a good place to actually tell people who you are. Hello! Look at me! I'm a real person and not just a thing that lives in cyberspace (no seriously, I am actually a real human!!1). It's nice to know - or at least get an idea - of the person(s) behind the blog you're reading. Just a few sentences will do. Talk about your likes, dislikes, hopes, dreams and whether or not you like avocados. I don't.
A mobile friendly website
So this is actually a must in the blogging world now. If your website doesn't work on a mobile phone or tablet then you can be penalised, and your Domain Authority score can go way down. Despite all of this, it's really handy to have a working mobile-friendly website regardless, since we're all stuck to our phones these days. Just like before, it should be quick, easy to navigate and nice looking.
A niche and a purpose
A niche doesn't mean you have to be the only person doing what you're doing, but it does mean you need to stand out from the crowd in some shape or form. For example, for ages I was just posting outfits with nothing interesting to say about them. That's fine if people just want to look at what I'm wearing, but I usually want more from a website than just a few links to where I can buy a pair of shoes. I imagine you guys feel the same way, right!? So instead of being 'just another fashion blogger' (ew who wants them?) or 'just another beauty blogger' try doing something different. Add in some lifestyle, fitness, a weekly theme..blah blah blah. Just make sure you do something a little different to your competitors. Maybe I'll make a fashion blog for my cats.
A stylish, easy to use website
Graphic design has always been something I've been interested in, so maybe, maybe, I go a little overboard with worrying about how everything looks. But despite all that, looks isn't everything. In my opinion you should make sure your website is easy to use before you do anything, then, when it is working as it should be you can go in and do any fancy tweaks to make it looks swish and hipster. Or you know, just make it look nice.
A search bar (that works)
There have been so many times that I've wanted to search for a specific post on someones blog, but haven't been able to find it without trawling through all their posts. Again, as mentioned above, my lack of attention span usually gets the best of me and I click off after a few pages of not finding it, but if these people had a working search bar I may have stuck around for a little longer. A lot of sites like Wordpress and Blogger have a little widget that does it all for you, but if not you can always find a simple code online to make your own!
A privacy/disclosure page
If you look back at my latest post that talks about various laws your blog needs to follow you'll see that a privacy page is pretty vital for your readers - just so they know that you're not going to go and sell their email addresses onto a third party. A disclosure page is kind of the same, as it informs your readers of when your posts are sponsored/paid for or when you're wearing or using something that has been gifted to. It's just there to make sure you're being completely honest with your followers. You know when companies try to sell mascaras, then you see in the tiny writing at the bottom saying 'false lashes used on the mode'? It's like that, but blogger edition.
An easy, obvious way to contact you
PR companies are awesome, but they're not always super professional detectives, meaning that - if you don't have your email address on your page - they're not always going to be able to contact you. I have three (?) ways of contacting me on my blog, not including my social media widgets, and that's just so people are able to find my contact details without trawling the entire internet for hours on end. The easier you are to get a hold of, the more likely people will contact you. This does include spam emails though, so be sure to get a good spam filter!
Do you think I've missed anything out?