We've all read it on peoples blogs "Ive taken time off to spend with family," or "Blogging just got too stressful." Anyone that runs a blog understands how stressful it can be and how it can consume all your time, unless it is your day job, it's hard to determine when to slow down and simplify. It is easy to get sucked in to the blogging world, but it gets complicated when every other blog you read is about what you need to "be a successful blogger." Sometimes it's hard to keep up!
After spending sometime away from my blog to relax, prep for my brother and sister's upcoming weddings, bonding with a new puppy ect. - I've looked into a few of the "must haves" for bloggers and soul searched a bit to see if it was really necessary, does anyone really even care or notice?
Now I will preface this post - if your intent is to make lots of money off your blog, these simplifications won't help you - but if your intent is to provide good content and hopefully the sponsorships will come in their own way/own time then maybe you can gain something from my post 5 ways to simplify your blog!
Simplify Your Layout:
This is said everywhere! I swear I've read it a million times! (here, and here) It truly does help not only your readers but you! I love a simple layout because there is no up keep. When you have extra buttons and sponsorships lining your blog it gets overwhelming to keep up. I just spent time getting rid of the extra buttons I had on the side of my blog, its great to promote things I am involved in but I think it is just as useful in the about me page.
Get Rid of Useless Social Media:
I know this is a shocker but I hate Twitter. Ive tried time and time again, because blog how to's say its a must for success, but I just can't get into it. I think part of that stems from being at work 9-5 and not checking it till 8 at night and I've missed way to much! Plus it seems like its just used for self promotion now anyways. All the bloggers I follow just post their latest posts - if I read your blog I know you have a new post I want to know more about you! Anyways, that got me off on a tangent...I'm officially dropping twitter as a form of blog promotion. I love Instagram and Pinterest and don't mind Facebook pages. Basically if you don't use it, don't stress about it, just dump it.
Change the Way you Accept Sponsors:
I used to allow side bar adds, and then I'd offer all these great things, like guest posts, but I realized how much time that takes vs how much I was making off it and it just didn't seem worth it. So now I accept sponsors but in the form of "wear this on your blog" or "make a collage of the favorite items from our store" things I can do, and I'm interested in! Plus I love sharing new stores with you. This completely eliminates the stress for me, especially since I just don't have the time to constantly promote a sponsor. Change the way you accept them, weed out the unnecessary, and find your favorite way to promote and use just that.
If you want to Monetize - Choose One:
You would not believe the amount of affiliate sites, and "get paid blogging" type sites I have signed up for over the course of year, every other "how to blogging" post tells you what to sign up for. To me it is beyond overwhelming to keep up! If you want to make a little cash, choose one. This way you can actually (hopefully) be successful. I've honestly only made like $0.15 off of affiliates because I just don't have enough followers and time to really dedicate to promotion, but I am hoping over the course of a year with it simplified to one I can keep up! I really like Shopsense, if your looking for an easy to use site.
Use Apps Often:
This has helped me so much. It is less of a simplifying tip and more of a time saving tip. Using blog writing apps and photo editing apps ect gives you a chance to get more done on the run. It saves you time, if you only have a short amount of time to write a post this helps with the process and speeding it up.
Trying to de-clutter my life in 2014, this is step one.