5 Tools For A Better Blog

tools to improve your blog
 
You may already have an amazing blog, in which case, props to you (and please tell me your secrets). Personally, I’m always looking for ways to improve this little corner of the internet in whatever way I can. Along the way I’ve had a few hits and misses (I could honestly do about 7 posts on my photography and just general blogging fails) but there have definitely been a few things that I’ve noticed have nudged The Sunday Mode in the right direction so I thought I’d share, in the hope that it’ll inspire you to give your blog a little extra kick as well.
 
 

tips to improve your blog1. Think carefully about your blog platform. 
Even though I had some teething problems when I swapped my blog over to WordPress, it was worth it. I was previously on Blogger and I was fine with that for a while, until I felt like I’d outgrown it. There were multiple things I wanted to do but the Blogger platform wouldn’t allow it and it was really crippling my creativity. Your blogging platform can make a huge difference to the look and feel of your blog overall so to improve your blog, think carefully about the platform you’re currently using and decide whether or not you would like to make a switch.

 

2. Invest in a good hard drive. 
Even with a hard drive, I feel like I’m constantly trying to clear space on my laptop. ‘Your storage is almost full’ will probably be marked on my gravestone because that message pops up on my laptop so bloody often. For blogging, if something ever happens to your computer or blog the last thing you want is to lose all your files (that is the stuff of nightmares) so getting yourself a reliable hard drive with a lot of storage will be a lifesaver. As long as you regularly back up your files you’ll be covered incase anything ever happens.

 

3. Use a blog planning system. 
I used to have a blog planning diary and I loved it. Nowadays I organise my blog through a series of Excel and Word documents on my laptop and I love that, so I’m a firm believer that there’s a planning system out there for everyone, you just have to find what works for you. I talk more about how I organise my blog here, but basically just having a place where you can organise your thoughts, posts and your social media ramblings will be hugely beneficial- not just for your blog but also for your mind!

 

4. Photography friend. 
For outfit or fashion photos especially, unless you’re super skilled with a tripod then it may be time to get some help. I have tried to take outfit photos myself and I tried and I failed, my friend. To the people out there who do use a tripod and a remote and take killer outfit photos, I envy you but that just doesn’t work for me. For the most part my blog is a one woman show, but sometimes you have to accept that you need a little help and often that’s in the photography department. Finding someone who can help you take photos can really benefit your blog because you have another person’s mind to bounce ideas off, another person to warn you if cars are coming (damn street style shots) and someone to give you a friendly reminder before you start taking photos that your skirt is tucked into your tights…Try finding a  friend or family member who’s got a knack for photography, nowadays I find more and more people have at least a decent amount of camera knowledge so they’re willing to help!

 

5. Consider using new fonts. 
In Blogger when I was really limited in terms of what I could do, I used to find a lot of ’round a bout, back door ways to make my blog look the way I wanted it too and changing up fonts was one of those ways. It’s funny because fonts are a simple thing yet they can make such a huge difference to the look and feel of your blog and the look and feel of your individual blog posts. There are a few font websites out there and while you have to be careful of the different licenses on different fonts, really consider how possibly incorporating fonts into your blog or blog posts could benefit you.  (PS-  my favourite website for fonts is dafont.com.)

 

What are your top tips for improving your blog?

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  • Great tips! I probably need to get a blog planning diary.

    LoneTeenTraveller | Travel Fashion Lifestyle

    • The Sunday Mode

      I find having some kind of a planner for my blog to be super helpful 🙂

  • Great tips and great post as always! I completely agree that moving to wordpress is the best decision done that myself and couldn’t be happier! xx

    http://www.hairwonderfulday.com

    • The Sunday Mode

      Aw thank you! I know I was really nervous to make the switch to WordPress but now Blogger seems ancient in comparison.

  • Moving to WordPress is definitely one of my blogging goals for the future. As far as self-shooting goes, I do it for all my fashion photos with a phone tripod & yes, it is a pain in the arse (especially since I’m too tall for my tripod) but I figure someone’s gotta do it. I wish I had an immediate family member who was good at photography, but alas I don’t and I’m not yet comfortable with the idea of outsourcing that part of my blog.

    Shell // The Novice Life

    • The Sunday Mode

      Oh man, props to you! If I could use a tripod and actually take shots that have my head in the frame that would be awesome but I’m not that skilled. Is your camera decently easy to use? Because I’ve found with my own friends and family people are pretty willing to help you out as long as you give them a basic run down of your camera and just tell them how to take the actual photo. Often I’ll organise all the settings on my camera and then just hand it to a friend/family member and tell them to point and shoot 😉

      • I’m just using my phone for photos, so I would say yes it is fairly easy to use. The tripod’s a pain though because it’s not entirely steady & I have to put it further back just so I get my whole body in. My Mum has a tendency to cut people’s heads off when taking photos, so I wouldn’t ask her to photograph me lol (although she did hold my homemade light reflector for me recently).

  • I’ve been on blogger for ages and everyone keeps talking about how much better it is to move to WordPress. I’ve never quite been able to get my blog to look exactly as I want it, but I’m not sure if that’s the Blogger platform or me lacking certain skills, haha xx.

    Amy // http://www.thenoiseinwonderland.com

    • The Sunday Mode

      I mean I could be wrong because it’s just me guessing, but I’d say it’s Blogger. There were a bunch of things I could never figure out on Blogger in terms of how I wanted my blog to look, but it ended up being because Blogger couldn’t actually do those things!

  • Lovely tips, and I definitely agree about photography friend, I just can’t take pictures of myself by myself, I’ve tried and failed so many times, it was such a waste of time!

    http://fannyanddailybeauty.com

    • The Sunday Mode

      Me too sister! When I try to take pictures of myself I always end up taking what looks like failed selfies…

  • I must must must buy a hard drive to back my things up honestly! I keep meaning too but I just haven’t got round to it – rubbish excuses I know! xx

    Frances Kayleigh | Fashion Beauty Lifestyle

    • The Sunday Mode

      Oh it makes you feel so much better when you have one! It’s like a massive safety net x

  • This is all really great advice! Thanks for sharing 🙂

    xo, Elisabeth
    http://elisabethhayes.com

    • The Sunday Mode

      Thanks Elisabeth I’m glad you enjoyed the post 🙂

  • Ellie

    Thanks for sharing, wonderful!<3
    http://www.blogellive.com

  • Diana Maria

    New fonts- I always play with the fonts when I feel I need to experiment! Oh gosh I hate when I see my storage is almost full, I swear it happens on a monthly basis! I guess that’s what us bloggers have to deal with xx

    Sending light & love your way,

    My Lovelier Days

    • The Sunday Mode

      Monthly basis? You’re lucky girl, my computer tells me that my storage is almost full on like a weekly basis!

  • I need to experiment more with my blog, so I love the idea of new fonts 🙂 Also, a platform can make a huge different to your blog. I really need to find that photography friend that knows what she/he is doing because one thing that my blog lacks is great quality photos 🙂 Thanks for the list!

    -Leta | The Nerdy Me

    • The Sunday Mode

      Glad you enjoyed the post! Wouldn’t it be cool if there was some kind of a database for bloggers where other bloggers could help each other out with photography if they lived in the same area!

      • That would be amazing! This is a genius idea actually!

  • I think I run out of storage every day!! No matter how many files I delete there never seems to be enough hahah. And I can totally agree that I could never take photos on my own (except for my food photography) – thankfully I have a very patient mother who doesn’t mind giving me a helping hand:’)

    maria | whatismaria.com

    • The Sunday Mode

      It’s the exact same for me, it’s a nightmare! My life is clearing my laptop storage…

      Oh man mum’s are the best aren’t they, my mum is a gem and helps me with mine as well when I need it 🙂

  • My top tip is definitely your first one, change from Blogger to WordPress. It makes such a huge difference! I started with Blogger too, but I’m not regretting that I moved. Everything here is such a good tips! 🙂

    Heidi ✨ | Heidi’s Planner

    • The Sunday Mode

      Thanks Heidi! I’m still figuring out all the ins and outs of WordPress but so far I like it so much better as well!

  • Great tips, Thank you for sharing!

    Nina
    xox
    http://www.thecrispylipstick.com

    • The Sunday Mode

      Thanks Nina 🙂

  • Definitely think wordpress is the best idea – it’s so much nicer to have proper control over your site!

    jasmincharlotte.com

    • The Sunday Mode

      Amen to that!

  • These are good tips! I would love to have someone help me take outfit photos – I tend to stick to the same spot each day as I know I can quickly setup the tripod, grab a pic and go haha! 🙂

    Hope you have had a lovely week and have a great weekend ahead of you 🙂

    Away From The Blue Blog

    • The Sunday Mode

      Thanks Mica, well at least one good thing about taking your own outfit photos is that you can take them whenever you want. A down side of getting help is that you have to wait till they’re free!

  • Amy Eade

    I think I will make the switch from Blogger to WordPress eventually although I do quite like my theme at the moment, it’s probably as un-Blogger I can get while still being on Blogger haha!
    Amy xx
    http://www.callmeamy.co.uk

    • The Sunday Mode

      Make the switch! I’m all about WordPress now, it just took me a bit to get the hang of it.

  • Great tips! Hmm, I recently changed the font on my blog and haven’t yet decided whether I like it?! Love the font on your blog, so easy to read and in fitting with your style too. Have a lovely weekend!

    Gabrielle | A Glass Of Ice x

    • The Sunday Mode

      Oh thanks Gabrielle! 🙂

  • lavinya royes

    I have definitely outgrown blogger, its so weird but having limited fonts was bugging me this week but I thought I was being too picky. Your so right fonts is simple but it really does make a difference. I usually type up my blog posts directly on blogger but I tried it out on Word, using the program also to change my fonts and it worked! and made my blog post feel better. But i think in 2018 I will invest in my own domain and host. Great tips – x

    Lavinya Royes – Fashion & Lifestyle Blog

    • The Sunday Mode

      That’s an awesome plan! I’d definitely recommend investing in your own domain and host, I feel like the more control you have over your blog, the better!

  • I went through the same tough thing of transferring my blog from blogger to wordpress. It took two tries and the second time it took my almost two weeks to fully switch everything over. It was hard but i’m glad I did it because now I have so much more independence when it comes to my blog =o)

    https://dreamofadventures.com/

    • The Sunday Mode

      I’m the same! I actually had help swapping my blog over though which was great because if I did it myself it would’ve taken me way longer than 2 weeks I think…

  • I’ve used blogger and selfhosted wordpress. I had that for a year and then just didn’t see any reason to renew it! Of course, it might have not been the right time back then and I will probably give it another chance in the future, as my blog grows, but other than that I feel like I’m good with blogger for now. I lover reading this post and I 100% agree that having a planner is a life saver!
    This also reminded me that I desperately need to back up all my files! I am fortunate to have free, unlimited access to google drive beause of my uni so I don’t have to spend money on a hard drive! xx

    http://www.dreamsandlashes.com

    • The Sunday Mode

      Oh that’s awesome! I totally forget about things like Google Drive sometimes, my mind just tends to associate backing things up with solid hard drives I think.

  • Great tips. I can totally relate to the hard drive point, that is a really important one. I could get better with planning though as I’m often pretty last minute with that aspect.

    Samio x
    http://www.samio.co.uk/

    • The Sunday Mode

      Thanks 🙂

  • I totally agree about the platform you use. I was with Blogger for so long because I never really thought about doing anything else, but once I switched to Squarespace it made THE WORLD of difference. Everything is SO much easier to customise and I can make it look the way I want with minimal effort. The layout options and overall style of SS is exactly what I’m into and I would never look back at Blogger in a million years, haha. I also totally agree about having some sort of planning system, I recently switched from EverNote to OneNote and I’m so glad I changed. It’s crucial for me to have somewhere to put down ideas and flesh them out, and if I put all my drafts into SS it would clog it up and make it hard to find the ones I’m currently working on. As a slow blogger I can be working on a post for months at a time, so I really like to keep all my drafts separate and once I have photos to go with my writing that’s generally when I’ll move the post over to SS and work on it there.

    littlehenrylee.net

    • The Sunday Mode

      I’ve always been interested in Squarespace! I’m good to go with WordPress at the moment but who knows, I change my mind a lot so maybe I’ll swap again to Squarespace one day.

      Sounds like you’ve got a really good system going and sometimes I’ll work on posts for months as well, especially if it’s a post about something that’s really personal or important to me because I don’t want to screw it up. I haven’t heard of EverNote or OneNote before, I’ll have to look them up!

  • The Sunday Mode

    Yeah I’m still in that stage of getting used to WordPress I think! Ah man, I need to get me a boyfriend who’s a photographer- that would be so handy!

  • I’ve been toying with the idea of switching to WordPress recently, but for the moment I think I’m still happy to stick with blogger. I feel you on the blog plan though – I have a big ol’ spreadsheet for everything and it’s totally changed the way I run my blog!

    Steph – http://www.nourishmeblog.co.uk

    • The Sunday Mode

      I have a spreadsheet too! I never thought I’d be a spreadsheet person but they’re actually so helpful.

  • I have just started back up blogging and finding it super hard to get my blog to look the way I want it to (I know it’s a work in progress and won’t be perfect straight away!!). Maybe I’ll try WordPress instead? But this post has been super helpful, thanks 🙂

    Kerrabella | xokerrabella.blogspot.co.uk

    • The Sunday Mode

      Yeah give WordPress a try! Or you could always try and look for blog themes/layouts you could buy as well?

  • The photography part is so important. I was taking pictures with a tripod through Summer, I was happy with them but not ecstatic. I knew that in order to get my photos to the next level I needed someone behind the camera – best decision!
    Another great post 🙂

    http://www.desiringsme.com/reasons-appreciate-smartphone/

    • The Sunday Mode

      Thanks Yara! I agree, having someone behind the camera really makes a difference, you can get all those different angles that you just can’t get with a tripod.

  • These are wonderful tips and guides for better blogging. It’s nice to know to have a good photography friend. I guess it is pretty hard taking pictures of your own.

    StyleSprinter Blog by Katya Bychkova

    • The Sunday Mode

      I think it is quite difficult but it can be done!

  • phoebe

    I’ve noticed all the great changes you’ve made on your blog throughout the years – it keeps looking better and better, presentation, photography and writing. Congratulations on your creation 😉

    • The Sunday Mode

      Wow thank you Phoebe, that’s really nice of you to say and it means a lot 🙂 x

  • Great tips! I really need to find a photographer haha My photos with tripod weren’t that bad, but they could definitely be a lot better! Also, planning and organizing stuff is so so so important!

    xo Honey – blog Royal LifestyleTwitterInstagram

  • Love this post! x

    http://www.themollyellis.com