So you might have noticed that the Mama has been moving things around.
It’s kind of like when she decides that she needs to move the couch. She knows she wants to move it, but really, she has no idea where everything is going to go in the end, so she just keeps randomly pointing and telling the Daddy to “try it there”, as he gets huffier and huffier with every passing minute. Even after what felt like a million and a half hours of work, I’m still not sure if she is done. Even she isn’t sure. Mamas! Can’t live with ‘em, but if you didn’t who would open the cans and scratch your butt?
She claims to have totally legit reasons for all this fussing about.
Apparently, she attended some pretty good sessions at BlogPaws that are inspiring all these ch-ch-changes,
but since she abandoned me like an old mine shaft in Scooby Doo
to go to BlogPaws, I wouldn’t know anything about that, now would I, eh Mama?? EH? So apparently, she’s going to take it from here since a few folks expressed interest in reading about her BlogPaws experience. (I can’t imagine why since I am obviously the writer in this family. Humpf!) With no further ado, I give you the Mama (hold your applause. No really, hold them.
She’s not that fancy.)
I guess I should just be grateful that he’s talking to me again, huh?
For the first day or two after my trip, he wouldn’t even snuggle me. He wouldn’t take treats from me. I almost took him to the vet. I assumed he was dying or deathly ill. Nope. Just pouting. Even knowing how much emotional blackmail I’ll have to endure from everyone’s favourite puggle, I believe the trip was well worth it. I learned a lot.
While I’ve heard around the blog that not everyone cared for her radical honesty and for calling us out on our “money stuff”, her brand of reality is exactly what I appreciate – and likely what I need. Her keynote was so good, in fact, that opted to skip a session that I desperately needed to attend on SEO to go to her Blog Makeover. Focused on Cheshire Loves Karma
, the session gave specific advice on how to improve and I can already see this cute blog has taken Lena’s notes to heart and made some sweeping changes in a short time! Way to go Robin!
I got a lot out of the blog makeover session, even though it didn’t address my blog specifically.
I actually think I got more practical advice from Lena West in this one session on how to run my day to day blogging efforts and how to present the blog than I did from any other session. Here’s what we talked about:
- Have a home base. Do you have an etsy shop? Have you written a book? Do you sell a product? Chances are that (like me) you’ve got more going on than just your blog. Whether it be your blog or a website, always have a home base that you can brand as your own and where people can find all your work. The ultimate goal is to drive the traffic to your site which is branded wholly and totally as YOU. Why publicize someone else’s brand (ie. Facebook, twitter etc.)?
See it in action: Might I direct your attention to the upper left area of Kol’s Notes, where you’ll find our newly created “Where we Woof” section. Come visit us in our other haunts, we’d love to see you there!
- That homebase? It should be a .com We are proudly Canadian ♥with glowing hearts♥ here at Kol’s Notes, but you’ll notice we haven’t used a .ca web address. Why not? Internet users are conditioned to assume everything is a .com. If you’re going to use a .ca, .net or other label, it’s smart to buy your domain name in each label and redirect them all to your site. In fact, it’s not a bad idea to do that anyways.
See it in action:
Coming soon. I should have done this ages ago!
- Be consistent in your branding. Every extension of your blog should have a similar look and feel, so that it is familiar to those who visit. Use common colours, fonts and profile images in your social media profiles, use a common header for your blog and newsletter, and ensure printed materials, like business cards, are consistent with the overall branding of your blog.
See it in action: Too far maybe? My nails even match the Kol’s Notes business cards which are a scaled down version of our header (with contact info on the back). We use that same Chef Kolchak image as all of our profile images and we use that same font to watermark all our pictures.
- Keep it clean. (Hopefully, Lena didn’t mean have to stop making ball jokes ’cause that’ll never happen.) Your blog layout should be easy to read, well organized and clean. Don’t clutter it up with a lot of “stuff”. You never want your reader to think “I don’t know what’s going on here”.
See it in action: We’ve wagged good-bye to our right sidebar, widening the blog reading pane and reorganizing our left sidebar. I still don’t love it. More work is needed. We’ll also be tackling each of our pages to make sure they are clear concise and woofing awesome. We already know that our Tasty Tuesday page could use a little puggle love. I’m sure other pages can too. Ultimately? A move away from Blogger to WordPress is on order, but I’m scared as woof to do it.
- Link smart. When linking to your own work in other places, link directly to your work, not to the general site. After all people are choosing to see what else you do and they’ll lose interest if they have it hunt for it. Links should open n a new window. It makes sense, now that I think about it! Why the woof would you want someone to click on a link that will take them AWAY from your blog?
See it in action: I hope I updated all of the links. I think I did. I probably did, right? OK, let’s face it probably missed a few. It’s a work in progress, right?
- Showcase your best work. Do you have visible links promoting your best posts? Apparently, you should! After all, why not put your best foot forward.
See it in action: Um…can I get some help here? I have no idea what my best posts are. Anyone out there got a favourite?
- Build an e-mail list. Apparently you e-mail subscribers are the bees knees of all subscribers! I always knew you were good folks. We were encouraged to build and expand our email subscribers list and cautioned that our e-mail content had better be more than just an e-mail copy of all our posts. Why should people subscribe if you’re just sending them what they could find on the blog?
All good stuff right?
I was surprised by how many things that sound just good common sense needed to be changed here at Kol’s Notes. I’m so glad I attended the session and that we achieved so much in such a SHORT time! I’ve made a lot of changes based on what I’ve learned and ‘m eager to implement even more as the days pass by.
That’s Not All: I’m not going to do a run down of every session I attended, but there are two more that just have to share with y’all. Pamela at Something Wagging‘s session on Time Management and Caroline from High Paw Media‘s session on Pinterest. Look for these posts coming soon!
What do you think? Do you see any changes you’d like to make to your blog based on Lena’s advice? Do YOU have any suggestions we should implement here at Kol’s Notes?
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