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DesignUntapped is Lifestyle Blog and shop all about creativity, colour, fun, fashion, design and pop-culture.

We stock Teeshirts, clocks, totes, prints and all things creative. Life is all about having fun!!! Enjoy!

Blog Development - How to Theme a Blog?

FOR BLOGGERS

This is my first swaray into the mysteries of the World Wide Web. I'm not pretending to be an expert, i don't know jargon, i don't have a marketing degree and i'm not a web developer. I have a passion for design and a full time job.  I'm learning as i go and developing my business and website. I'm going to share honest stories and developments here and provide some useful free content along the way.

Blog Development - How to Theme a Blog?

Andy Fawcett

The DesignUntapped Blog was originally intended to be a place for discussion of new products, business development and random thoughts and mutterings. To be honest, i didn't think I would enjoy blogging as much as i do, i have never kept a diary, i have never had a penpal, yet here i am actually having a good time piecing together some gibberish or a post about something i have made or posting about business development or even about my love of tattoos.  Doing this has led me to reading a lot of other peoples blogs too, mainly about how to start a blog and how to drive traffic to your website/blog.  

What this impromptu research has led me to is that my initial blog has pretty much broken all the "rules" that the blogging experts recommend.  Jessica Knapp at bloggingbasics101 has written a really good piece on the 5 beginning Blogging Mistakes you can fix, and the comments section of her blog is a great place to get some ideas for what not to do from a number of bloggers (including me).

Which got me thinking a few key points:

  •  how did these experts figure out their plans and rules to get them to a bazillion blog followers and a gajillion bucks in sponsorship money?
  • Is  there any proof to what works and what doesn't?
  • How do i, as a beginner, without marketing experience, without coding or SEO skills develop a blog that drives traffic, that becomes useful, that delivers good content?

Time for Action - How I Grouped My Blog Ideas

So that was it, my lightbulb moment, my eureka bath moment, although just to clarify i didn't have my laptop in the bath with me. I have not found that recommended on one single blog i have read. It was time to develop a strategy, where does this blog need to go to?  

Have you ever felt like this. So many ideas that you want to splurge about?

Have you ever felt like this. So many ideas that you want to splurge about?

First things first, i needed to develop a theme, not everyone wants to read one day about how to develop a brand or why i started a business and then the next day read about how i had a tinder experiment.

Defining my Blog Categories

My brain was too scattered, its great to have a lot of issues and thoughts and ideas but there is a time, and more importantly, a place. So I have split my blog into 4:

  • Random Stuff - No theme, just for fun, this is Our outlet for rants, thoughts, experiments, links to interesting material. Anything really.
  • Tattoos 'n' Tha - I like tattoos, i have tattoos (sorry mum).
  • Business Blog - The Business Blog will be to an honest insight into the development of DesignUntapped.
  • Stuff I Drawed and Maded - A home for all those creative things that don't quite fit but i'd love to share

The reasons for this are that i don't want to have to stop writing random nonsense or writing about tattoo experiences and I will be continuing to make things (why even today i have made a catscratcher and litterbox for our two new kittens, you can meet them here if you want). and why limit yourself to just one topic.

The Next Steps - What my Business Blog will Deliver

However the Business Blog is going to be my gift to everyone. What makes it different to any other blog about blogging? Good question you in the back row.  

This is going to be an honest window into development of a company or blog or whatever this is going to end up being.  I will share with you traffic figures, things i am doing to increase traffic and exposure and also insight into the do's and don'ts of blogging.

Bearing in mind I don't know the answer, i am going to be learning along the way, and i hope that you guys and gals (all two of you at the moment) may learn with me. I invite you to comment, start a dialogue, tell me where i am going wrong or suggest methods to go forward. I am starting on a road to somewhere and have no map (for you young folk a map is a satnav but on paper, that you have to read, crazy i know. To you even younger folk, a satnav is an smart phone with a maps app that doesn't do anything else but the maps app, say whaaaat! I know right! Lolz and ROFL etc etc).

The Current Snapshot of My Blog Traffic

So here it is, cards on the table, this is my traffic for the week ending 24th January 2016.

Google analytics for DesignUntapped 24th Jan 2016

Google analytics for DesignUntapped 24th Jan 2016

As you can see i am getting some people visiting. Fingers crossed i can get this to improve. This is going to be the baseline going forward. My plan is to research, develop strategy, implement and then review.  The output will be a mini-conclusion and recommendation.

Now if you have got this far, thanks, i assume you are still interested, but as a reward here is a video of Tian Tian the Giant Panda enjoying the snow storm.

If you are new to websites/blogging as i am. Maybe you don't know how to get google analytics going on your website.  If this is the case then why not read my Dummies Guide to Installing Google Analytics.

My 5 Recommendations for Starting your Blog

So what are my recommendations to you dear reader:

  • Do it. Start writing, if you aren't sure what to write about or if you have a niche. Just start writing something;
  • Read other blogs. There is a plethora of content out there, some good some terrible;
  • Don't hold yourself to strict rules. Life is a development process and so is your writing. One door may lead to another or it may lead to a brick wall;
  • I would suggest trying to group your blog pieces to relevant content for subscriber ease. If you start doing this from the beginning you won't have to move things around later, this may break some links and effect your users experience; and
  • Most of all just Enjoy yourself.

Thanks for reading, i hope you have enjoyed this blog and hopefully you will stop by again.  If this isn't for you then thats cool too.  You may enjoy some randomness/ tattoo stuff / Creativeness instead, what have you got to loose.

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Love N Stuff

Andy F @ DesignUntapped