Apparently, people enjoy my blogging tips? This will forever elude me, to be honest.
Last year, I entertained the idea of writing about WordPress hacks, but failed to, and that was definitely, one hundred percent NOT because I was too lazy. What are you talking about?
(It was probably best that I didn’t, because it probably would have turned out terribly.)
BUT now that I’ve had a year and a month of blogging (!!!) under my belt, I think it’s time that I spill my greatest secrets at your feet.
You’re welcome in advance (I kid, I kid).
Also, P.S. you’re probably wondering where the heck I’ve been the last four days. Well, all of last week, I was sick with the flu! After years of not getting it, it finally caught up to me. Go figure. It was awful and terrible, but it got really bad after Wednesday, so I ditched posting on Friday and was super late replying to comments and didn’t blog hop whatsoever all weekend. And I also missed a whole week of school. So if I’m slow or anything, just know that I’m probably dying from being buried under school work.
But I am much better now, which is great, because being sick was the worst. I watched a lot of movies and TV shows, though!
That is all.
hack #1: take all photos for your featured images in one go.
Obviously, this only applies if you actually take your own photography when it comes to featured images, but as someone who does, I’ve always found it really helpful to just take all my pictures in one go when you’re in the mood to do so instead of taking a picture every single time you write a post! It cuts down on so much time, not to mention you won’t be caught unaware if the weather is bad, so it messes with the lighting or you’re just REALLY busy, etc.
It also goes by way quicker when you can continue to use the same backgrounds or books over and over again. I think people get this idea in their heads that their pictures have to be super original and bring something new to the table EVERY SINGLE TIME. They really don’t. People will rarely notice if you swap out books and continue using the same background, so don’t feel like every single picture you take has to be super original, because it doesn’t have to be.
hack #2: write a sample blog post before applying new-fangled things.
When I figured out how coding worked, I definitely knew I wanted to apply it, but it made me anxious to mess up a blog post that I was already set on writing because I’m a natural worrier and over-thinker.
(Also, I have a terrible memory, and I didn’t want to have 20482084 tabs open to remind me what size I liked my pictures to look.)
So, I basically just wrote a sample blog post in my Drafts! It’s never going to be published, and it’s basically just a bunch of word vomit and random, unrelated pictures and graphics that mix and match, but I keep it open so I can refer to it whenever I need to know how to size a graphic (I have particular settings for each of my graphics because I am the most extra blogger alive) or what font size I want this specific heading to be! And it’s also a good way to preview how a blog post might turn out before actually applying it.
hack #3: name files in your media if you’re constantly using them.
Personally, I have constant headers and borders that I use when it comes to my own posts; let’s take for instance my “Chat With Me” graphic! I have
WAY TOO MANY a lot of photos clogging up my Media space, and it’s a pain in the butt to try to scroll for ten minutes trying to find the date when I originally uploaded the graphic (trust me, I did this so much in my blogging newbie days. Why?).
So, if you click on a photo and look to the right side at the “Attachment Details” section, just look at the Title, change it to whatever you please – for mine, I usually just write the word of the header – save it, and now when I type the words into the search bar, I can easily apply the graphic to my post. A MIRACLE.
hack #4: use a design template for your graphics.
I know there are people out there who use new graphic packages for every post – and if you’re one of those people, hats off to you – but I personally like to use the same graphics over and over because I ALREADY SPEND ENOUGH TIME BLOGGING AS IT IS.
I basically make all the graphics within my posts on this easy-to-use app called Pic Collage, and I basically use design templates for all the graphics you see on these posts. Here’s a little peek at what my basic templates look like! The first one is reserved for displaying books with headers, the second is for subheadings, the third is for when I sometimes do headings under the main border, and the fourth is reserved for main headings!
Depending on what I’ll be including in my post, I basically just replace the text, save to my Photos, crop it, and upload it to Google Drive to include it in my post! Quite the simple process!
hack #5: save the introduction and conclusion of your post for last.
I don’t know about you guys, but I suck at writing beginnings and endings. The meat of the post is easy for me because I usually have an outline or certain direction that I want to swing to, but when I’m first writing a post, I just don’t know what to say.
Nowadays, I don’t bother to write introductions or conclusions until I’m finished writing the entire thing. I find it much easier to sort out my thoughts and what I want to say when I’ve already written the entire thing. Plus, I just like the sense of accomplishment it brings me to know I’ve finally finished a post. Sue me.
hack #6: if you don’t know what to write about, look to books.
I think books are definitely one of the best ways to gain blog post ideas. I mean, isn’t it just basic common sense?
- Maybe you’ve just finished a diverse novel, and you didn’t like the representation in it. Talk about whether it’s okay to support or not support a diverse novel that has representation that doesn’t sit well with you. Or what can be considered good representation regarding marginalized identities. Or whether you prefer bad representation or no representation.
- Say you just read a book that had a trope you tend to hate, but you still liked the book. Ask if tropes are all good, all bad, or in between. Talk about some tropes you love and hate. Recommend some books that deal with tropes you hate, but were done well.
- You’ve just read three hyped books in a row, and all of them disappointed you. Discuss whether book hype is a good or a bad thing. List some hyped books that delivered or fell flat. Talk about the pros and cons regarding talking and hyping up the same books in the blogosphere and book community.
(All of these are free to use, by the way!)
hack #7: on busy days, set a specific amount of time to write.
Not all of us can drop out of school and quit our jobs and focus only on blogging (though I really wish I could, damn it!). So how do we tackle managing our blog when we’re busy, busy, busy?
Simple: just set a timer and write your little heart out! Or maybe you can take some pictures for your featured images. Or outline a couple of blog posts you’re planning on writing. Or come up some ideas for blog posts. Or finally get to changing up your blog like you said you would.
You don’t have to hunch over your laptop screen for hours at a time on the weekends struggling to find the words to say (I definitely do not do this whatsoever. Ahem.) if you don’t want to or can’t find the time. You know what they say: slow and steady wins the race.
(And finishes writing their blog posts for the upcoming week.)
hack #8: outline your blog posts before writing them.
When I was a smol newbie blogger, writing blog posts can basically be summed up as me just opening up an empty Draft in WordPress with an inkling of an idea of what I wanted to write and hoping for the best.
Obviously, this was a terrible idea.
I find it so much easier to do my brainstorming way before I even bother to open up an empty Draft anymore. It helps me organize my thoughts and arrange the post the way I want it to look. Not to mention I’m much faster at writing posts when I have an idea of what I’m actually going to say. Do you know how long it takes to brainstorm for my lists and recommendations beforehand?
(Spoiler alert: an extremely long time.)
hack #9: utilize the notes app for planning.
I am a very messily organized person. I have my blog posts for each month in one place, and my outlines for those blog posts in another. I take all my bookish photos for featured images beforehand.
Yet I have about five separate Notes dedicated to blog post ideas, and I switch around post ideas all the damn time. IT’S A SICKNESS, I TELL YOU.
Because of this, I prefer to use the Notes app, where I can easily switch things around and copy and paste to my heart’s content when necessary. It’s not necessarily the cleanest or most organized way to do things, but I absolutely love it.
(Also, before you ask, yes, the reason why all the times are the same is because I edited the posts so they could line up all nice and pretty. I HAVE 44 NOTES, AND I’M GOING TO MAKE IT LOOK THE BEST I CAN.)
hack #10: hook up your blog to your Twitter account.
It actually took me a full month after having Twitter to realize this was something I could do…and I found it by accident because I was clicking around. MAY I SUGGEST WORDPRESS CREATE A GUIDE UPON SIGNING UP OR IS THAT TOO MUCH?
But I actually found out that after searching via Google, there is, indeed, a guide telling you how to connect your blog to your Twitter account. I highly recommend doing this if you have Twitter, especially since it cuts down on manually having to do it yourself.
(Also, I can’t think of witty captions on the spot, so there’s that.)
are there any book blogging hacks that you’d like to share? do you find these hacks helpful? tell me all about it!