Six Ways to Spruce Up Your Blog // OA’s summer bucket list.

As mentioned thoroughly and multiple times earlier this month, I am in the process of refurbishing Ordinary Adventures this summer. I have created a great foundation for my blog so far, but that is just the beginning. There are still quite a few things I want to practice, implement, and change for Ordinary Adventures. Blogging has become my favorite hobby, and every day I challenge myself to have my posts, stats, and reviews better than the last. It is exciting to me to keep learning and daring myself to make OA the best it can be. So to keep myself on track and figure out what I can do now, here is a list of six ways I have and will improve Ordinary Adventures.

1. Upgrade pictures. This is OA’s biggest to-do this summer. When I look at websites or through my Wordpress reader, there is one thing that catches my eye and intrigues me the most: fabulous photos. Phone camera pictures, bad lighting, or low quality resolution, are all things that will deter me from a post and even a blog all together. True photography skills make a blog seem professional and tasteful, while drawing in a larger audience with beautiful and lovely scenes. The blogs I stalk and adore all share the common trait of having interesting and fun and pretty pictures. I even know many people who will look through blogs and posts just for photos and will only skim the writing. Photos (good photos especially) are the backbone to any lifestyle blog and legitimate site. This is where I am failing the most when it comes to blogging and this will be my biggest challenge when it comes to renovating OA.

2. Pick the right theme. Since the start of this month, I have already sat down and finished this task. My original theme, while simple, wasn’t a modern outline like many of today’s blogs. I chose a theme that had a substantial side bar, clean color samples, a menu bar, and a perfect mix of text/pictures. There were a few other happy coincidences that I love about my blog’s set up, but those were the main things on my checklist. The right professional theme can take your blog from a online diary, to real lifestyle website.

3. Become an author / take time. For OA, I have a list of over one hundred post ideas in a document. I have not gotten around to almost any one of them because I want to do them justice. I either can’t match the idea’s photography skill or writing skill that is needed. And I’ve already talked about Ordinary Adventure’s photo revamp, but that still leaves my need for writing to be addressed. Many of my post ideas require me to sit down for a few hours, or days and just write. Lately, I’ll sit down and shoot out a post in less than an hour and go about my day. For my blog to really blossom, I will need to invest in time and in writing. It won’t be as easy, but it’ll be so worth it.

4. Plan ahead. This ties right into point #3. If you don’t have a schedule for your blog, you will find yourself day after day scrambling to write a decent post. Most days I realize I have no idea what to write about and what I can post in the twenty minutes I have before I have to leave for work/make dinner/go to bed/etc. is usually unneeded or uninteresting fluff. One way that has helped me write any post that is truly worthwhile and creative has been to generate a blogging schedule for myself. I usually go week by week, but it seems like maybe go month by month might give me more time to accomplish this and all my other blogging goals. Having a set date to prepare for, will help me sit down and produce quality work I can enjoy and be proud of.

5. Get a domain. This is another step I have already accomplished for Ordinary Adventures. Anyone can create a free WordPress site. Anyone. However, it takes thought, money, and competence to take the next step to make your site official. If you ever want to be considered professional to readers, advertisers, and yourself, splurge on having your own name and space on the internet.

6. Connect with social media. This is the spot I’m lagging the most in. It’s not as important as pictures (to me), but I am definitely falling much shorter in this area lately and have done nothing so far to remedy it. Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, Bloglovin, etc. all are amazing resources that bloggers and entrepreneur need to take advantage of. Personally I only have a Instagram, and I still have not connected OA to it. And OA’s Facebook account only as a little over a dozen followers. All these services can easily be connected with each post, and yet I haven’t taken any steps to put OA out there. This will definitely have to change.

Ordinary Adventures has quite the make over to go through and I have quite the challenge to tackle. When it comes to renovating and sprucing up OA, I know a lot more ideas and advice than just these six, that I need to implement. I need to start somewhere though and I shouldn’t overwhelm myself too much. This month I’ve already addressed two challenges, I have two more months to figure out four more.

Cheers,
— Brey


29 thoughts on “Six Ways to Spruce Up Your Blog // OA’s summer bucket list.

  1. That was really a nice read, inspiring too. It’s been a month since I have been blogging and starting to learn the nitty gritties of blogging. Well, I must say, your post really inspired me. Thanks a ton for sharing.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Love the blog post as always brey :). Anyways, I was actually wondering how you made pages on your navigation area that when we press show the category of posts. If you don’t mind giving me the instructions that would be lovely.
    xo,shei

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thank you so much! I really appreciate you stopping by blog and enjoying it!

      For the menu thing. You go down to “look and feel” on your admin sidebar and click on menus. there you can add categories and/or pages you already have made and add them to your main menu! But they have to be categories already created and used, you can make the page or category in the menu section. Also, make sure it’s added on your primary menu so it shows up 🙂
      Hope that helps! Feel free to comment or message me again if it still doesn’t make sense

      Liked by 3 people

      1. Make sure all the categories and pages and home page are all lined up and saved on your primary window.

        The only other thing I can think to check is go to the “customize” section. go down to “navigation” choice. double check to make sure that the menu you have everything saved on is the one chosen.
        My nav bar is using menu 2 (which I personally use as my primary menu) and I have to change it to that every once in a while if I’m tinkering with the theme.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Alright my menus are working but I’m having trouble putting my posts on my home page. Like when I open my blog I’m taken to a blank page that only says home and doesn’t show my posts. Any tips?

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Oi, I’m sorry I don’t, that’s never happened to me before.
        I know I dont personally have a “home” button any more. If anyone clicks on my title it sends everyone to home. So I don’t even know details about how the home button works. 😦
        Good luck though!

        Liked by 2 people

      4. Thanks for your help. I decided not to put the category pages [a little too much for my blog] but thank you so so so much for your help anyway. I hope i didn’t bother you around this time.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Another blogger told me to have a gravatar photo of whatever you choose. When someone clicks on it they will go to your homepage and whatever other links you have the gravatar linked to. Hope this helps.
    Thanks for some sound advice!! Good job! I started my blog over 4 years ago but neglected it. Now I am into revamping old articles and changing my theme. Appreciate the nudge to improve!

    Like

  4. I love the way your blog is streamlined and easy to navigate! Thank you for all these helpful tips, as a WordPress newbie, they are so helpful.
    And a quick comment about your writing- I’m not sure you give yourself enough credit! It’s a wonderful goal to take more time to write, but you have a very distinctive, original voice and its obvious that you put a lot of thought into your ideas and opinions. I truly enjoy your posts and look forward to reading more!

    Liked by 2 people

  5. All good upgrades, I am a new reader for your blog and just ask one thing…if you move from WP please make sure commenting is easy. I’ve had a couple of bloggers move to their own site and commenting on their posts is a bit of a hassle. To the extent that I don’t comment on every post of theirs anymore.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks for the advice, I didn’t know about that! I don’t see myself moving from WP any time soon, if ever. But it’s definitely good to know that and keep it in mind!

      Like

  6. I have a “Blog” bucket list as well but have to try things on the “freebie” side first since money is tight with it being summer. Right now I am doing a blog challenge that is going to provide guidance on the look and gaining readers. Hopefully I can post about those adventures!

    Like

  7. You’ve got a good list for you blog renovation. Might I suggest for social media presence that you connect early to some program that will post your blogs for you. I am involved with FB, Twitter, Google+, Bloglovin, Pinterest, Triberr, Tumbler, Linkedin, Stumbleupon, etc. I use Hootesuite (only one of the types of programs) that post to most of these sites so I only spend about 15-20 minutes per day for a 24 hr posting period. I learned this the hard way. I’ve been blogging since Nov 2014. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Just checked out our blog for the first time. I really like it and am amazed by all your activity you’ve had in just the short time you’ve been blogging! I’m a newbie at this too. One thing I desperately need to work on is my pictures! What are you doing to get good pictures? I certainly am no photographer so most of my pics are from my phone and I know they are not near to par as what they should be. Are there any apps, editing programs, or cameras you prefer?

    Like

    1. I use Pic Monkey for most of my editing! Even if I use my phone, which at this point I am, I still download them to my computer and edit it.
      I am still considering if it’s worth spending money on a camera, so we’re in the same boat!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. thanks! I had never heard of pic monkey. I’ve just been playing around with it since you messaged me back. It’s pretty fun! Thanks for responding! Also, what do you feel like has helped you the most to get your blog noticed by people? Especially if you aren’t using a ton of social media like you said.

        Like

  9. All those ideas are great and I hope you succeed in what you have set out to do.
    I, too, have in my summer plans a “full refurbishment” of my blog and I found out soon enought that it will be challenging and require some investment. However, I believe that if you are serious about it (which I think we both are) it will be worth it in the end!

    Like

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