I've been talking and thinking a lot this week about wardrobe minimalism. By the time an idea reaches my closet, there's a pretty good chance that it's already propagated through my life in general, and of course, my business. Maybe it's getting older, or wiser, or both, but I have a deep desire to simplify things all around lately, and since I spend most of my time working on my blogs, here's how I've learned to keep it simple there at least. My closet is another thing entirely 🙂
Don't OVER analyze
I have a tendency to make things WAY more complicated than they are by over-analyzing. I'll go through my stats with a fine-toothed comb to figure out exactly which pages get the most traffic and why, then I'll try to figure out how to create MORE pages like that, and before long I get sucked down a rabbit hole of statistics.
Not that your statistics aren't important, they are, but when you start to be more concerned about writing for traffic than writing for your readers (or yourself), you can get lost.
There's a fine line though, between finding that balance – because after all, traffic IS readers, so pages that are bringing in a lot of search engine traffic are bringing in readers. A lot of times you can look at those and see how they connect with the rest of your content, but sometimes those posts that get a lot of search engine traffic are seasonal, or maybe not something you talk about or incorporate in your blog every day.
Again, when analyzing your stats, be aware of the pages that are bringing in the most traffic and USE those to your advantage (link to other articles on your blog via that page; make sure it's leading readers to other parts of your site, or at least converting into affiliate commission for you), but don't get lost trying to fill your site with all THOSE types of pages, relegating other content to the background. For example, the page that brings most search engine traffic to my main blog is from 2009 and is a running list of where to buy Alexander Wang's Rocco duffel bag for a discount. I love that page, and update it frequently, but I'm not going to fill my blog with posts like that. Most of my daily readers don't even care about that page.
Your content is THE MOST important thing on your blog, not your sidebars, or advertising. When you do start monetizing, you'll be thinking more and more about those things, but do try and remember that your readers visit your blog for the content, not the ads. If they are engaged and invested in your blog, your readers WILL be interested in the ads that are relevant and address a need that they have, but they'll never get there without consistently good content.
It's very hard to maintain focus lately, with all the social media noise, and millions of fashion blogs out there competing for attention, but the only way you'll be able to successfully navigate through it is by remembering why you started your blog and keeping your goals firmly in sight.
Less is More
In my years of blogging (and living), I've come to the conclusion that less is indeed more. I've not always believed that, and if you saw my closet you'd think I'm trying to win the “she who dies with the most stuff wins” contest, but I'm at a point now where I really need and WANT less in my life. I haven't quite made it to purging my wardrobe of everything I don't need/want anymore, but I have done so with my blogs. As I mentioned last week, I have made the decision to let go of a few blogs, and recently, I re-designed my main blogs to be much simpler and focus on what I think is most important.
My headers are now “clean”, and in black & white, I moved my photo and about link to the top of the sidebar, and got rid of almost all the ads in my sidebar. I used to think that if there was blank space in my sidebar, I had to fill it; it was stuffed with affiliate ads for a long time, all the way down, so there was no white space. Now, a lot of my sidebar is dedicated to linking my readers to content either on the site or on one of my other sites, and I've tried to break up graphics with text so it doesn't look too cluttered.
Take a look at your site and see what you can get rid of or change to create more white space, and make your content the focus. If you're stuffing your sidebar with affiliate ads, or even selling ALL OF THE SPACE you can, make sure it provides enough benefit for you and/or your readers to offset how “full” your site will look.
How do you keep it simple on your fashion blog? in your life?
[Image credit: Shutterstock.com]