Warehouse has recently launched its Women To Watch campaign (I’d know, because guess who wrote a lot of the copy for it… *inserts a monkey emoticon because he to the ha), which basically brings together new female UK talent from across the creative industries, with mentors who are already aceing it in their respective fields.
One of the rising stars that Warehouse is championing is Chloe Watts. AND SHE IS BABEIN. Seriously babein.
Chloe can code. I wish I could code. She launched Chloedigital a couple of years ago, and basically she helps style publishers (or, well, fashion and lifestyle bloggers) with the techy side of their blogs.
You can sign up and pay her (and her team – I’m pretty sure she has a team) monthly to deal with all your WordPress issues. Things like widgets and font styles and colours and plug ins and updates and all the ridiculously confusing things that make you want to sob on the floor and maybe jump up and down on your laptop until it’s in small pieces, and then sulk and eat pizza.
I’m really tempted. Really, really tempted. Eee.
The point of my long story about Chloe is that Warehouse set up a bloggers breakfast in their flagship store recently, as part of their campaign, where Chloe gave a talk on all things blogging for business.
So I thought I’d share what I learnt with you.
But if any of you go out there and suddenly become multi-millionaires, then well, I’d like some Sophia Webster heels as a thank you. Or something from Anthropologie. Or a spa pedicure. You get the gist.
(Also got to drink coffee and eat berries and buy new summer clothes, but y’know, I doubt you reaaaaally wanna hear about that…).
MAKE A MANIFESTO
This is the sort of thing my boyfriend has been badgering on at me about since day. Having a plan. Treating my blog like a business, not just something fun I throw things at and see what sticks.
Essentially, having a manifesto means that you have direction whenever you feel a bit lost about your blog (something I get weekly, which is mega funsies), helps you plan content, and also is something which helps brands suss out if you’re for them.
Write a few lines, write a paragragh. Think about what you stand for, what you believe in, what you want to achieve, what you want your reader to take away from visiting your blog, your website, your destination.
Then, when you’re done, put it on your about page, it’ll help people – both readers and possible clients – understand you more and what you’re all about. It’ll help secure your niche and show off what’s different about you compared to all the other zillion bloggers out there.
(Promise I’ll write my manifesto soon, promise, promise, promise….)
I get a lot of emails from people asking questions about how to blog, how to break journalism, how to intern, ALL OF IT, and I’m like, FFS, I’ve done SO many posts on this. Turns out there’s an easy way to please people, and get them to stay on your blog longer – create a page that has the links to ALL of these posts.
All of the helpful stuff you’ve ever written, all of the advice – even some of your most read posts or things on specific subjects like how you got into blogging/how you cope with mental illness/your favourite London restaurants.
Have a new page, easily accessed from your homepage that’s static, just stays there so that new visitors (and old, returning visitors) know where to find everything. I guess a bit like a FAQ page, but snazzier and more fun.
It also means readers are more likely to stay on your blog and click about. It also makes navigation easier and let’s be honest, who doesn’t bloody roll about with happiness when they find a blog they love that has easy navigation? Dreamboatin’.
It sounds obvious, but find out as much about your reader as you can.
Who tweets you? Who comments on your Instagram account? Who comments on your blog or your YouTube? Who reaches out to you?
Obvs also look at your Facebook and Twitter analytics if you have them, AND apparently there’s some extra Google Analytics coding which you can put onto your blog that’ll capture more info about your readers – their age, gender and their likes. I know, megz creepy. HOW DOES GOOGLE KNOW EVERYTHING ABOUT ME.
Not only might it be a bit eye-opening because hey, it might not be who you assume it to be, but it’ll help you put yourself in their shoes and think about what sort of content they might like to read. Also think about what they’d like to take away from experiencing your blog and social media channels – how do you want them to feel? What do you want them to think about? What purpose does your blog play in their day?
THINK LIKE YOU ARE YOUR READER. Uh huh.
I like to think I’m quite good at creating content that doesn’t expire a few days later. It’s that sort of evergreen content which not only ticks over and brings in views in the background, but that also, can end up working well in the long term for search if you use a subject that’s heavily searched for and you’re ranking highly.
The point is to make your timeless content obvious to your readers, a bit like your resources page. I’m planning on having a big part of my side bar made up of featured posts that I choose and refresh every few days (when I get round to sorting it out…). Lists or posts about things that have been successful, the sort of thing you can read any day. The sorta thing someone might click onto after they’ve read your new post that day.
If people like your content, chances are they’ll want more things ready to read and basically signposted out to them. And they want it to be relevant to them now. Not just product reviews from 2010 or a random post about your fave Topshop picks from SS13 – posts that work just as well today as they did when you wrote them.
LINKING TO EXISTING CONTENT
The classic one. The one that’s been drilled into my head since I first started working in digital content. LINK THE SHIT OUT OF EVERYTHING.
The example Chloe used was, if you’re writing a post about Parisian chic, link back to your post about your last trip to Paris, or your favourite places to shop in Paris – link to similar content in EVERY SINGLE POST.
Obviously there’s plug ins (like the one I use) which automatically pull in exisiting related content at the bottom of your posts, but it’s worth adding more in throughout your copy to increase the likelihood of a reader staying on your blog for longer.
But don’t be dull, don’t just write ‘click here’. Be snazzier. Like in this post I’m writing now, I should probably do something professional and clever and say – oh and FYI, if you’re finding this post interesting, then you should most definitely read this one too.
See what I did there. You kinda wanted to click right? And that’s the point, you’ve got to link to relevant content in a way which would make YOU click. Because chances are, if it makes you click through and add another page impression, it’ll do the same for your readers. Wizard.
We need to use the word wizard more. It’s a great word. Oh, and this is the end of the post, hope you found it mega helpful. Hearing it from Chloe made me feel really empowered and motivated to come home and make my blog a digital masterpiece, but uh, running low on time at the moment. One day. Soon. Yup.