Welcome fellow traveler in this crazy but wonderful world of blogging! Today I’m sharing 5 simple blog basics that are essential for your blog’s brand and soooo easy to implement that it is RIDICULOUS! And speaking of branding, there’s a giveaway at the end of this post for a chance to win a complete design package from Tailor Brands, that you definitely don’t want to miss out on!
1. Keep your permalinks date free.
The permalink is the URL of your post. Keeping your blog permalink date free allows you to update and republish an old blog post without changing the url (keeping all your social shares intact, ie pins, likes, etc.). It also looks much more professional. For example, which one looks better to you?
The first one, is a lot longer, not as pleasing to the eye, and gets out dated fast. If you are like me, when I see a post that was published back in 2011, I’m less inclined to read it.
So how do you change your permalink settings? Pretty simple actually, in WordPress, go to Settings -> Permalinks -> click on ‘Post Name’.
And that’s it! Now you have great looking urls and are free to republish your posts.
But… what about us that have been blogging for awhile and already have many published posts? Won’t changing the url mess up links to my site? Is it too late?
Nope! There is a simple fix.
I had been blogging for almost a year using a date in my permalink when I came across a great post entitled How to Easily Redirect Permalinks in WordPress from Budget Girl. She writes on the importance of keeping your posts evergreen and then walks you through how to redirect your permalinks. It only took me a few minutes to make the changes and I’m very glad I did. My urls look sooooo much cleaner and I haven’t had any problems updating and republishing an old post.
A heads up though, when I redirected my permalinks my pin count on each blog post went to zero. Yes this was very, very sad to see. However, it did not affect the pins and links that people had pinned from my site which is much more important.
2. Have a photo of yourself by your comments.
Having your picture next to your name when leaving a comment on other blogs helps your blog look legit and makes your comment more personable by putting a face to a name. You just need to get an avatar.
I was clueless for awhile about avatars and how others photos ‘magically’ appeared when they wrote a comment. I was so excited when I finally figured it out that I wrote a tutorial on How to make your Photo Appear Next to Your Comments which takes you through the entire process. It is ridiculously simple to implement (you may be kicking yourself for not getting an avatar earlier) and only takes a few minutes.
3. Customize your favicon. Your what?!
The favicon is the little square icon that you see next to your site in the browser tabs.
If you don’t create a favicon, then your blog will receive the default image of your hosting company.
And very unprofessional. By having your own favicon it makes it easier for your viewers to identify your site when they are jumping around from site to site and have multiple tabs open (don’t we all?). I found this tutorial on how to create a custom favicon for your blog that I definitely recommend referring to if you need help setting up your favicon.
4. Add an email signature.
As a blogger, you will be corresponding with other bloggers, followers, and clients through email. Having your own customized signature complete with social media links will help give you a more polished look.
Setting up your own personalized email signature is A LOT easier than it may seem. Believe me, I was completely daunted by this task! Then I found this tutorial on Creating a Custom Email Signature that helped me through my email signature intimidation.
5. Set up rich pins.
Rich pins are pins that include additional information about each pin–the website name, favicon, and headline. Take a look at the difference of a pin with and without having the rich pin enabled.
Makes a difference, huh?
Setting up rich pins is super simple and so beneficial to your site. First off, you must have a Business Pinterest account.
Install WordPress SEO by Yoast plugin (this is a search engine optimization plugin that I strongly recommend even if it weren’t for rich pins). Once you activate the plugin, in your wp-admin, go to:
SEO –> Social –> Facebook –> check the “Add Open Graph meta data” box and save your changes.
Next go to the Rich Pin Validator. Click on “Validate your Rich Pins” and then enter a link to one of your blog posts and click validate. You will receive a message that says:
“Your pin has been validated! Apply now.” Click on the “apply now”. Pinterest will review your application and let you know via email that you have been approved. I received my email approval in a matter of seconds but I have heard others waiting a few weeks to hear back.
That’s it! Now all your pins are fancy rich pins. 🙂
Super quick and simple blogging tasks right?
Now onto the Giveaway!
Back to the blogging basics, do you have a logo for your blog or business? Do you like it? Good design branding can be expensive, but is crucial for establishing your blog presence.
I am excited to team up with Tailor Brands to offer a giveaway for one of their design Premium Bundles (a $99 value). Tailor Brands believes that great branding should be accessible to everyone and makes it possible to get great design at an affordable price. You should definitely check out their design packages!
The Premium Bundle includes:
Giveaway time! Here is your chance to win the Design Premium Bundle (a $99 value)!!!
To enter: Just fill out the Rafflecopter widget below. The giveaway ends April 21st at 11:59pm. The winner will be chosen and notified via email within 24 hours of giveaway’s end.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
A special thanks to Tailor Brands for providing this fabulous design package for our giveaway! I was not compensated in any way to write this post–I just wanted to offer you something awesome! 🙂
For more helpful blogging tips, check out this complete list of blogging resources.
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