The holidays are still in full swing, even though Christmas is behind us. And that’s sad, because Christmas is a wonderful time. So, to make sure we don’t lose all that holly jolly, let’s take a look at our Month of Christmas Cheer Instagram Challenge to remember what a great month we’ve had.
Holiday decoration: My little doll tree
Christmas sweater: My favorite Christmas jumper! It’s so cuddly and wonderful
Friends: Last year we did a Christmas card. I can’t help but love these crazy kids.
Favorite Christmas song: Michael, all I want for Christmas is you
Festive scarf: I shall eventually make one of these
Sweets: I get really into these.
Choose your own: Went to Walmart, was attacked by 1D. They have cute little dolls!
Nutcracker: The performance for this was amazing
Festive store decorations: Good job BCBG
Christmas drink: I really love my nutcracker cup.
Snow: Let it snow let it snow let it snow! It’s too warm on the West Coast!
Favorite Christmas film: One of the funniest British films I have ever watched. It just fills me with joy!
Starbucks red Christmas cup: My chai tea latte and I are ready for Christmas
Christmas countdown: It’s so soon!
Holiday cheer: Some gorgeous mall decorations really put me in the Christmas mood
Santa: SANTA! And a crying child.
Christmas clothing: It’s all about the dancing Santas and snowflakes
A gift you bought for someone else: It’s KatySueSays Secret Santa gift. I really surprised her.
Elves: Will Ferrell just makes Christmas.
Christmas Tree: Look at this beauty
Choose your own: Just having a photoshoot. Continue on.
Favorite ornament: The adorable owl ornament I own
Playing outside: Ain’t nobody got time to play outside
Cookies and milk for Santa: Yum!
Christmas morning: We did some damage to the living room this Christmas year
Favorite present: It’s been a good Christmas this year.
I’ll see you all again before the end of the year, when we review what an amazing time we’ve had and how thankful I am for where you all put me on the Internet map.
I am a huge fan of Christmas. There, I’ve said it.
I think Christmas is a great time of the year, and December is all about Christmas and cheer and holidays and just being a kind person. All of these are things that are important to me.
Now, I’ve seen a lot of Instagram challenges over the last few days. If you don’t know what an Instagram challenge is, it’s where for a certain amount of days (usually for a whole month) you follow a list of pictures that you post to Instagram.
So, I’ve combined these two ideas (Christmas and Instagram challenges) and made my own challenge. I know there are already a lot of Christmas Instagram challenges, but as I am a leader and not a follower, I’m making my own.
Below is my Month of Christmas Cheer Instagram Challenge. If you would like to see all my pictures, be sure to follow me on Instagram (@morganmckay). And if you want to do the challenge also, be sure to hashtag your photos #monthofchristmas so that I can see them!
You might notice that Teenage Enthusiasm looks a bit different than it did yesterday. Why? Because I gave it a make over.
My wonderful friend Katie, who is extremely talented with a camera, came over today to help me create my new theme. We spent three hours goofing off, taking pictures, and exploring Tumblr. Oh, and talking about the amazing Halloween party we’re going to have.
Now, during one of my trips this summer I was sitting in the car, driving home, when I came up with my new idea for a blog theme. But, to do this, I needed someone who was good with a camera and had mad-cool Photoshop skills. Enter Katie.
It was pretty adrenaline-pumping taking all those pictures, changing clothes, and everything else. I definitely had fun. But it was Photoshopping them all that was so much fun. I learned how to put pictures next to each other, put myself into Harry Potter scenes, and change the brightness. It was stuff I’d been trying to figure out all summer.
So, my real point is that we all need to send a mental “THANK YOU!” to Katie and leave your comments on the new theme. I really want your feedback. I mean, you’re the ones looking at it.
People blog for different reasons. Whether it be to expand your writing abilities, become famous, get information out, or for any other reason, you like people to read what you are writing. And those readers are called traffic. But the good traffic, not I-have-to-be-at-work-in-ten-minutes traffic.
This morning, as I was helping my mother get ready for my father’s birthday celebration, I was chatting this subject up with her. My mum is more than aware of the fact I blog. She actually follows me! But that’s beside the point. We were talking about how bloggers get traffic. She talked about how this woman actually wrote a list of blogging tips and how to get more traffic and etc. And after hearing what this woman had written, I had to say that I agreed. But the issue is, with a lot of the tips that she’d given, if you didn’t pull them off correctly, you just seem like a blogging loser with no friends who is really needy. And no one wants a needy blogger.
I took it upon myself to not only make my own list about how to be a better blogger and get more traffic, but how to do it without seeming like a needy blogger. You should blog for yourself, not for the amount of followers.
MORGAN’S WITHOUT-BEING-NEEDY BLOGGING TIPS
Have an interesting layout: When people happen upon your site, they will leave almost immediately if you have a generic site. They want a great theme that says “I have things to say and they look attractive too!” Try to stay away from mostly white (unless it goes with the outstanding theme you are going with) and play with fonts, pictures, and different layouts from various blogging websites. Tumblr has some really groovy (!) ones and so does WordPress. But don’t try a really stand-offish theme that distracts from your content 🙁
Comment on other blogs: If you see a blog that has similar content to yours, or if you just really like them and their audience, comment on their page. This is a nice way to have them click back to your site and maybe get their followers to do the same. But how to do this properly? First off don’t say that you want them to link back to you. Bad idea. I just had someone do that to me, and it was a major turn off. Always say how much you like their content and compliment them on what you liked about it. And then maybe you can mention how your blog is similar or something to that effect. Otherwise you just seem needy.
Tags are a must: When writing a post, always remember to tag it. These will help get you traffic as every time someone searches that particular tag, they might possibly come across your blog and the post with that tag. Make the tag pretty generic like “blogging” instead of “blogging about apples”.
Social networking should be your friend: Facebook, Twitter, etc. are all great sites. There are whole countries that are smaller than the people on these sites. And these sites actually have ‘Sharing’ features that enable your blog post to automatically go to that site once it is published. Also, you can put links up on your Facebook Wall and Twitter Tweets to notify your friends and followers when you post. Just be careful not to bug your friends and followers too much about it. If you know that a friend has clicked on your link, do not bug them about it a million times when you post a new one. Not only will they stop reading your blog, but they might stop being your friend.
Help others like you: If you know a blogger who maybe doesn’t have much traffic and you either really like them/they are a personal friend talk about them in your own blog. If they’re a nice person, they will reciprocate and talk about you. If they don’t, send them a nice little e-mail saying that it would be nice if they returned the favor. But don’t be rude. If you are crude, they can report you. And reporting = no blogging.
Pictures are like freeways, words are like potholes: Include pictures in your posts. Something might be fun to read about, but having pictures accentuates the whole story. Too many words and people tend to get annoyed and leave as quickly as they can, like a pothole in a street. Try adding pictures of things you’ve done recently or you can even find things on Google that go with what you’re talking about.
Have creative titles: Did you see my title? You wanted to read because it not only helped you, but it was eye-catching! Just avoid using too many exclamation points and bad spelling.
Be the best writer you can: When your writing is good people want to read more. On websites like WordPress, they actually have a Feedback feature where you can e-mail your friends the post and they can give you feedback before you publish. Just tell them you’re looking for constructive criticism and don’t get angry if they tell you something you don’t like.
And those are my tips on how to get more traffic/be a better blogger without seeming like a needy git!
Thank you for reading. I hope it will help your blogging adventures and let you enjoy blogging more. Ever since the internet came around, writing has been more accessible and readable than ever, which is fantastic. Remember to use it safely!
P.S. Don’t forget to ‘Like’ me on Facebook. Please and thank you!