If you’re looking to start a Barbie blog of your own, here are my best tips:
1.) Categorise, categorise, categorise!
Can I say it enough? Categorisation and tagging are SUPER important, because it helps readers find similar posts and then stay on your blog for longer. Basically, if you do a doll review on Ashlyn Ella, you can put it under the category ‘Doll Reviews,’ as an example. Then you could supplement that with tags like ‘Mattel’ and ‘Ever After High.’
But what if you do HEAPS of Ever After High doll reviews? Instead of just tagging everything with ‘Ever After High,’ you’re better off creating a sub-category of ‘Ever After High’ in the parent-category of ‘Doll Reviews.’
So it would go:
Parent Category – Sub Category – Post
Doll Reviews – Ever After High – Ashlyn Ella.
For myself personally, I list every product I have ever reviewed on a seperate page called ‘My Collection.’ I’ve done this because I have a lot of products reviewed, and having them written out under seperate headers makes things easier for the audience. This is in addition to tagging and categorising.
Remember -it’s totally fine if you change your tagging system later on as you write more posts!
2.) Prep your photos!
Sure, you could upload your photos raw, straight from your camera, which is what I did for many years. Or… You could not. Editing your pictures makes them look so much better!
I take my pictures with my iPhone (on square), then run them through an Instagram filter (my favourites are Juno and Clarendon). If you want to get fancier, you can edit your photos with Photoshop. Adjusting the levels is an easy way to play around with your image, and there are heaps of tutorials online, too.
But here’s the bad news -unless you upgrade to a personal, premium or business plan, you’re left with very limited photo space on WordPress. Which sucks, because a big part of doll collecting is taking a photo of every little detail!
To combat this, I upload my photos to Flickr, which is completely free. Click on your photo, right-click the little arrow button on the right, and then select “open in new tab.” Once the new tab opens up, you’re ready to go! If you’re on Windows, click “copy image link” and then paste it directly into your WordPress post. If you’re using a Mac, click “copy image.”
And there you go! You get an image on your post without wasting your WordPress storage space!
PRO TIP: If you want to include a ‘Featured Image,’ you’ll have to upload your photo to WordPress, which will take up a little bit of space -but not too much! You should be okay to do this.
3.) Widgets, man!
There are heaps of widgets available on WordPress, and they help make your sidebar look extra-fancy. Including a Twitter or Instagram widget will send views to your social media, including a ‘stats’ widget will help you keep track of your traffic easier and including a ‘tag cloud’ will help your audience find the tags they want to read about.
So go on -have a look at the widgets available and add some in!
4.) Remember to use your words, not just pictures!
I see many doll blogs that have lots of nice pictures, but they don’t include many words! They’ll say, for example, “here’s a picture of my new Skipper doll” and attach about ten pictures. And that’s it.
No! Don’t do that! In order to engage your readers, include at least some writing underneath each picture. For example:
“This is my new Skipper doll I bought today! She was $20 at Walmart, and I think she’s really pretty. I love her blue hair, but I think her arms are a bit stiff. She’s wearing a pink top and jeans with white sneakers.”
See? How easy was that! I usually write about 400 words per post, but for longer, text-based posts (like this one), I can easily write 1000-2000 words. There’s a little counter in the corner which you can use to check.
5.) Post frequently, and use a schedule!
Having a blog is kind of like having a YouTube channel. Most YouTubers post a certain day of the week, and your blog should be like that, too! Of course, it totally depends on your schedule -perhaps you can only find time to post once a month, and that’s completely fine!
Don’t be worried about “finding enough things to write about.” I usually post three or four times a week and I have never been stumped for ideas. If you’re passionate about something, the ideas will come!
Some things I cover on this blog:
- Product reviews
- Showing what I already own
- Photoshoots with a certain theme (sporty, colourful, girly, etc.)
- Showing what products are available at my local mall
- Talking about my opinion on certain things
- The history of a certain character
- Film reviews
- Things I want to buy later on
- DIYs -clothing, furniture, etc.
- How To’s -hair care, rebodying, starting your collection, etc.
You can also write fan fiction, or interview somebody you really admire -perhaps a doll YouTuber, or somebody with a lot of followers on their Dollstagram account. You could also write about yourself -perhaps your favourite Barbie memory, or about your first Monster High doll, or anything you want!
6.) End with a call-to-action!
So you’ve just written a really good post on say, removing marker from a doll’s face. But you get no comments! How annoying, right?
In order to drive comments to your blog, end your posts with a question directed towards the reader. For example, “have you ever struggled with getting marker off a doll’s face? How did you rectify the problem?” Then, a reader will comment and share their own personal story.
Something important to remember…
How many posts, videos and articles do you read every single day? Probably hundreds! I start off my day by catching up on WordPress blog posts, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, YouTube and so on. You probably do the same! But let’s just think for a moment -how many of these posts do we actually comment on? For me, I only comment once or twice per day, despite seeing hundreds of posts.
So don’t despair! Comments aren’t everything -just focus on creating lots of quality posts, with effective tagging and categorisation, and things will fall into place by themselves.
7.) Make your titles specific!
If you’re wondering why your blog is struggling to get views, ensure your post titles are specific to your subject. Instead of titling your post “I Got Something New!” or “I Went Shopping!” try instead “What’s Inside my LOL Surprise Series 1?”
Then, when somebody searches ‘LOL Surprise Series 1,’ hopefully your post will appear somewhere! (If not, that’s totally okay -just keep making posts about other things!)
Another example, instead of writing “Island Princess is the best movie,” write instead “Barbie as the Island Princess (2007) Movie Review.” And so on. You get the point!
Okay, I think that’s everything!
The most important thing to remember is to write about what you want to read! If you are passionate about a subject, then writing posts should be easy!
Oh -and if you’re wondering whether you should try WordPress or a different blogging platform, definitely choose WordPress!
What are your best tips for starting a doll blog? Is there anything you struggle with?