"Required reading" for today's smart writer.

"Required reading" for today's smart writer.
Information & inspiration to hone your craft and increase your cash...Since 2009

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

8 Ways to Add More "Bling" to Your Blog and Increase Your Bottom Line!

Happy 2013!
Whether you're here for the first time, or one of my regular readers, it's a pleasure to have you join me here at Pen & Prosper.

If one of your goals for the new year is to take your blog to new heights, then today's post is for you.
I'm sure I don't have to tell you that blogging has become a very powerful medium to build a platform, gain recognition of important causes, and increase your bottom line. It's even served as a launching pad for some to secure book deals and movies.

With this in mind, today I'll share a few creative and clever ways to help your blog to stand out and stay in the "competition". Are you on board? Let's get started...

1. Do a "mini-makeover".
Take inventory. What does your blog say about you to the general public? Does it enhance your image? Does your "about me" page truly express who you are? Are the colors inviting? Is your site easy to navigate? These are things you'll want to consider. Sometimes a minor "tweak" here and there can make all the difference. If you're unsure, poll a few friends and get their honest feedback.

2. Add a logo.
Logos help to establish your "brand" and online identity. Logos don't have to be a huge investment either; many times we have friends, family members, and other artistic connections that can help in this regard. As many of my regular readers will recognize, Pen and Prosper starts this year off with a new logo and theme. YAy! (I hope you like it.) To get more "bang for your buck," why not consider a tagline? Mine at Pen and Prosper is: "Know more. Grow more." What's yours?

3. Have a catchy title to jazz up your joint.
Just like with print magazines, readers are drawn to dynamic titles. Choose something that will ideally identify what the Blog is about, yet also make it memorable. Read it aloud to yourself. How does it come across?

4. Use quality photos and graphic images.
Visitors like visual variety. Add pictures to your site to personalize its appearance and create greater interest.

5. Remember that there is a psychology to colors.
Use the right combination to create the right effect. For example, beige and earth tone colors have a calming effect. Orange is energetic, while green is often associated with money and vitality.

6. Have guest bloggers to do periodic posts on various themes.
It adds variety and also provides for an array of interesting perspectives.

7. Make sure that your Blog has take away value.
Glitter without substance won't sustain you.
In other words, what’s in it for online visitors? Will your blog educate? Entertain? Provide money making opportunities? Provoke thought on arts issues? Decide then deliver!

8. Experiment with different templates and designs that suit the topic and tone of your blog, and your individual style of expression.
Don’t be afraid to dabble a little; it's your blog and your prerogative. As a case in point, over the last few years, I've changed everything on this blog except the name! And I finally think I have a look and feel that suits me. And I'm wishing the same for you!

Remember that a well designed blog with great content helps to increase your readership and also attract potential advertisers and future fans.

In conclusion... if you want your blog to be as hot as "Bieber Fever" follow these eight timely tips. :-)

Your turn... 
Have you tried any of these methods?
What has provided the greatest success among them? Do tell. :-) 

Image: Freedigitalphotos.net


  1. Thank you for the pointers. Happy New Year to you and yours.

    1. Jennifer Brown BanksJanuary 3, 2013 at 6:29 AM


      Lovely to hear from you and to have you start us off on this. Happy NewYear to you as well. Thanks for your faithful follow. :-)

  2. Love these points - great food for thought to start 2013. Have been tweaking my blog over the years and it's pretty close to what I want. Appreciate the reminder about the logo; had some discussions a while back with my graphic artist (who is also my son:) and we need to finalize the design. Need to rethink the tagline, too, as far as if I want to keep or tweak it.

    I do like your new look! Congrats and Happy New Year!

    1. Jennifer Brown BanksJanuary 3, 2013 at 6:31 AM

      Thanks, Karen. I look forward to your "mini-makeover". A little positive change never hurts, right? :-)

  3. A good way to begin the new year, Jen. I'll be looking at a few changes now that I've got a year of blogging under my belt. These are great ideas. I love the new look, too. Green - the color of life!

    1. Jennifer Brown BanksJanuary 3, 2013 at 6:33 AM


      So glad you approve! :-) I chose green and gold because the colors are symbolic of "growth" and "prosperity"--which is what Pen and Prosper is all about. :-) Congrats on your one year!

  4. Happy New Year, and I love the new logo! I'm glad I'm not the only one who's always tweaking the look of my site. Even the placement and order of items in my sidebar. Lol.

    1. Jennifer Brown BanksJanuary 3, 2013 at 6:36 AM


      Great to connect again. Glad you like the new logo. I'm trying to constantly improve and keep up with the blogging pace here. lol

      It's always interesting and fun. Thanks for your valuable feedback.

  5. Happy New Year Jennifer! Thanks for the pointers. I am in the midst of revamping my blog and always appreciate your ideas and suggestions to better not only my writing but the look and feel of my blog. I love your new look, btw! Cheeers!

    1. Jennifer Brown BanksJanuary 3, 2013 at 6:39 AM

      Hey there, Yvonne!

      Happy New Year to you as well. I'm always happy to help where I can, and am glad you've been able to glean useful pointers. Thanks so much for adding to the mix here. Good luck with your blog revamp. :-)

  6. Well, you are a perfect example of how to improve your blog. Yours looks really great. As always your wisdom rocks. Happy New Year.

    1. Jennifer Brown BanksJanuary 4, 2013 at 6:38 AM


      How sweet of you; thanks for your kind words. :-)

  7. Happy New Year, Great New Logo!

    Yes, I frequently make 'Mini-Make Overs' and for example to better attract the attention to some of the most read posts, you can discover that I recently put a - This is Cool - Image near the List of Most Popular Posts. To communicate to te general public that you can actually find Cool Posts on it :)

    Btw. amungs my current Most Popular Posts List is a post with an interesting video, about things like Branding and defining a Unique Value Proposition.

    You can also can discover some new changes to my About Page and Since - like a Gem Stone has many facets - I also have several different Blogs, it's important to better clearly and define my UVP's, because of that you can now already find a somewhat more clarifying About Page on my blog.

    1. Jennifer Brown BanksJanuary 4, 2013 at 6:40 AM


      Always a pleasure to hear from you. I'll have to check out your site again...soon. :-)

    2. 'Mmmm, yeah, only I just realised that the video I was talking about in the comment here above is in the Most Popular list on my - Home Business Blog -.'

      You can see that I still have a little difficulty with carefully - Positioning - my Blogs that are about topics like amung other things; Writing, Blogging, Affiliate Marketing and the (Mobile) Laptop Lifestyle.

      It can sometimes make me feel like a - Rock Star - shouting 'Welcome New York' while for example being in Spain :)

  8. Happy New Year, Jennifer. I love Pen and Prosper's new look! Green is my favorite color :) Thanks for the makeover tips too.

    1. Jennifer Brown BanksJanuary 4, 2013 at 12:42 PM

      Hi Yasmin,

      ...Was wondering why I hadn't gotten your "verdict". LOL
      Thanks much, dear. :-)

  9. Hi Jen,

    I wanted to post sooner but I have been a little swamped. Also, I thought I had joined your site a long time ago, and realized today to my shame that I was not on the list. I rectified that just now :) Enjoy your weekend.

  10. bookmarked!!, I love your blog!
    Stop by my web site :: real estate

  11. Makeovers for the new year are definitely in order. And my content will be more targeted. I'm so looking forward to the new changes.

    1. Jennifer Brown BanksJanuary 10, 2013 at 2:54 PM

      Thanks much, Marcie. Change can sometimes be inspiring for some.

  12. This is great! I'm so excited about the opportunity to implement some of these things I've been working on -- especially the logo -- and glad to see that my to-do list has many of your points on it. I must be on the right track! Thanks for the great checklist :)

  13. Jennifer Brown BanksJanuary 17, 2013 at 6:40 PM

    Hi Sarah,

    Wonderful to hear from you here. I love your energy and I'm sure you'll be a big blog hit this year. Rock on! Thanks so much for connecting. Don't be a stranger. :-)