5 Blogging Tips to Improve Your Website

Over the past couple weeks, I have been working hard behind the scenes on Believe in a Budget. I decided to create a short list of blogging tips that I have learned and share all the changes I have been making!

When it comes to blogging, there are so many blogging tips out there! One important blogging tip is how important your blog's appearance is. You should update your blog periodically, sort of like a makeover! Here are 5 tips to update your blog.
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Blogging Tips

I’m sharing five blogging tips on how to update your blog’s appearance. I just gave my blog a makeover and decided to make some upgrades. I am so excited with the results!

If you are thinking about starting a blog, this tutorial will help you start a blog today. You’ll also get a FREE domain name for a year! I was able to quit my job and blog full time, all within my first year of blogging. I am really glad I took a chance and started a blog! I invested a small amount of money to start my blog using Bluehost, and I made $13,000 in 6 months of blogging. That’s the best return of investment ever! 

Related reading:

1. Upgraded my website to a child theme

A couple of months ago I went from a free, basic wordpress theme and upgraded to the Genesis Framework theme.

I was thrilled with this decision, but stuck on what direction to take my blog. I only wanted to pay once for a child theme (at least for the near future) so I took my time, explored all the child themes I could find and finally made a decision. If none of this is making sense to you, download my free Ebook above which explains the difference between a Parent and Child theme!

I selected the Delightful Pro theme by Restored 316 Designs. I’m still doing some tweaking, but I like the new design and layout. There are a few color palettes to choose from (I love the happy and bright colors!!) and the theme is flexible enough so it’s not overly girly (even though I love girly!!) for visitors.

This is what my old website looked like:
New Believe in a Budget Website

  

2. Improved user friendly widgets & cleaner navigation menu

I added an attractive, user-friendly signup from SumoMe. It only pops up after a visitor has spent some time on my site. A reader has the chance to receive my freebie that I am giving away if they sign up for my newsletter.

I love making a freebie for someone because it’s usually based off of something I’m doing on my end, and then I can just share it with everyone!

Next I streamlined my navigation menu. I am a minimalist and wanted my menu to be a little less crowded. I am thinking about adding a “Start Here” page, but don’t want to add any more tabs. My sidebar is also much cleaner and less crowded.

3.  Outsourced my work to save time

Since my blog is still in the beginning stages and I’m on a budget, I rely on myself to do 99% of the work. However, I am a big fan of working smarter, not harder. There are some areas of blogging I need help with so I use Fiverr.

I recently outsourced 2 different tasks and had results within hours. I simply didn’t have enough time to focus on these tasks. This saved me a lot of time for a minimal amount of money. 

If you are thinking about starting a blog, this tutorial will help you start a blog today. You’ll also get a FREE domain name for a year! I was able to quit my job and blog full time, all within my first year of blogging. I am really glad I took a chance and started a blog! I invested a small amount of money to start my blog using Bluehost, and I made $13,000 in 6 months of blogging. That’s the best return of investment ever! 

4. Increased the speed of my website

This is one of the best blogging tips I have heard repeatedly when I listen to blog podcasts. This topic has been on my to-do list for a while. I am not that great (yet!) at learning the technical parts of blogging, such as site speed, so this was one area I was happy to pay someone on Fiverr to improve my website’s speed. 

Faster speed is better for visitors! My source not only helped speed up my website, but also helped me clean up and delete unnecessary widgets and files.

5. Created free resources and tools I can share with others

I really believe that my blog not only keeps me accountable for my actions, but should positively benefit others who visit. I’m working on a bunch of freebies that I can stick in my online library that readers can have access to.

I’ve also added a resource center where I can share all my favorite apps, plugins and tools. This includes things like:

  • Rakuten (I use this website to order all my office supplies; you get cash back every time you shop online – hello free money! If you want to try Rakuten, use my link to get $10 off a $25 order)
  • Ibotta is another free cell phone app. You use it after you go grocery shopping and use your receipt. It’s basically a rebate app, so you can earn anywhere from 50 cents to $5 off everything you buy. My favorite part about this app is that it’s not always brand specific, like a lot of coupons are. So you’ll be able to scan “any brand of bread” for 50 cents off, etc. If you do coupon – you can STILL use Ibotta and get a rebate. For the diehard couponers out there, this will often result in getting an item for FREE. Crazy, right? If you want to grab the Ibotta app and start making money off your grocery receipts, click here to get started. You will receive a cash bonus of $10 when you scan your first item! 
  • 10 Ways Your Blog and Business Can Benefit from Pinterest

Have you made any changes to your website? Do you have any blogging tips?

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14 Comments

  1. Thanks I much those wonderful tips! My blog is almost one month old and it is extremely slow. I tried speeding it up myself and ended up breaking my website, luckily I had the foresight to back it up before trying to do this technical work! I never thought of using someone on fiver for this task and I so grateful to you for sharing this ! Thanks

  2. Your website looks great! I’d like to outsource SEO- it’s the one thing that I find so time consuming. Thanks so much for mentioning my post ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. I’m new to your site but I love the way it looks. I’m in the process of changing some things on mine as well. I never would have thought to use Fiver to do some maintenance things on my blog. Love these ideas!

    1. Thanks you Tennille! I am really happy with it!

  4. My site was giving me fits. My web guy took one look and told me my theme was horrendously out of date. I was not pleased that I’d put things off so long.

    So I was forced to get a new theme. On the other hand, my site looks a lot cleaner and has fewer distractions in the sidebar. In the end it worked out, but I swear it took a year off my life.

    1. It’s so hard to keep updating, especially when the update isn’t a smooth transition!

  5. Your blog looks awesome!! I love the new layout! I recently changed my layout as well and I’m very happy with it. That’s awesome you paid $5 for someone to help with your site!! I’ll have to look into that, as my site tends to run a little slow too.

    Keep up the great work!!!

  6. I’m curious to see what you outsourced and how much you got accomplished with fiverr? I’d love to outsource some things too but like you on a very tight budget.

    1. I outsourced cleaning up my website ($5) after I upgraded to a child theme (not everything transferred smoothly) and speeding up my website. This included going through all my widgets and plugins. I had a TON mostly because when I started out, I pretty much downloaded anything and everything. Now that I’m where I want to be theme wise, my guy removed a lot of crap that was slowing down my site, including Jetpack, Google XML Sitemaps, and a couple others. The guy then sent me screenshots of my old speed scores vs my new ones. I paid $5 + a tip because he did a lot more than I was expecting!

      1. Hi Kristin,

        There are various plugins that will actually speed up your site and can make a huge difference. I ran a speed test of my own (which is outlines in the attached blog post) and there are several things you can easily do to improve your speed and SEO.

        Look at a plugin called w3 total cache (which will help leverage caching, minification of JS/CSS, and gzip compression). I would also recommend EWWW image optimizer as it will scan and losslessly compress uploaded and theme images.

        733.6KiB of JavaScript is parsed during initial page load, which slows the site down a lot. Some things you can’t control (Adsense JS), but a lot of things can be loaded asynchronously and would help render much more quickly.

        Take a look at GTMetrix and it will tell you exactly what is up. Im seeing 2.29MB page size, 171 requests, and a load time of 5.24 seconds.

        It is great that you are taking a leap into the technical side of blogging, it really is a fascinating area. It also helps out the business side!

        1. Thank you soooo much for these helpful tips! I know having the Adsense definitely slows down my website. I will have to look at w3 total cache, EWWW and GTMetrix. I do need to work on compressing photos & images – I’m sure they are a big component of slowing my site down. I will have to do a before and after on the speed of my site. I see a future post about this ๐Ÿ˜‰

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