Step Up Your Content: Blog Tips and Book Release from Just a Girl and Her Blog

Step Up Your Content | Just a Girl and Her Blog for The Happy Housie

Hello, readers of The Happy Housie! I’m Abby from Just a Girl and Her Blog, and I am so thankful to Krista for letting me borrow her blog space today! It’s kind of a big day at my house. Not only do I turn 30 today {I mean 29…again… 😉 }, but I am also launching my very first eBook! Building a Framework: Everything I Learned My First Year of Blogging covers every area I navigated my first year– from setting up the technical end of my blog and getting those first readers to my site to working with brands and (the big one) making money! I decided to write the book after I began receiving a steady stream of emails asking me for blogging advice. “Me?” I thought at first, “They’re asking me?!” But as the emails kept rolling in and I responded to each one, I realized that maybe I had learned a thing or two about this blogging stuff, and the idea for Building a Framework was born.

Building a Framework by

Of all the questions I would get in those emails, most of them really boiled down to either “How do I grow my following?” or “How do I make money blogging?” While I touch on both of those things in detail in my book, I think the underlying answer to both of those questions is the same: create amazing content.

Before I was a blogger, I was a high school English teacher, so I was always trying to help my students improve their writing and strengthen their content. When I started blogging, I had to figure out what “good content” looked like on a blog. I studied posts of bloggers I admired and took note of what worked well for them. I tried out different strategies within my own posts and saw what worked and what didn’t. The longer I’ve been blogging, I’ve started to notice some trends when it comes to the content in posts that really seem to take off.

1) The content is unique, particularly to my niche.

I know everyone always says “hone in on your niche” or “create a clear focus for your blog,” and I think that is great advice. I’ve found, though, that when I occasionally take a step or two outside of my narrow, focused niche, the post can really hit a home run. For example, a few months ago I let my husband invade my blog to talk about the system he uses to keep our household almost completely paperless. I had talked about organization and productivity before, as had other bloggers in the home/DIY/crafting niche, but while I had seen plenty of posts on using Evernote and high speed scanners and getting rid of paper on business blogs, it was something relatively new for my audience. Because it stood out as something different, that post been pinned over 4,500 times and has been shared on blogs across many different niches.

How to Go Paperless at

I experienced a similar jump in traffic just a couple of weeks ago when I talked about the strategies our family uses to live on one income. Honestly, I was nervous about publishing that post– I’m not a finance blogger or expert– but readers really seemed to resonate with our story, and it has been getting the highest number of pageviews of any of my posts since the day it was published.

Living on One Income at

2) It teaches you how to do something.

The posts that seem to do the best on my blog and that I’ve noticed are popular on other blogs are the “how-to” posts, the ones that teach others how to do something. Krista is really good at these types of posts. I remember coming across her post about how to turn a mason jar into a soap dispenser— my mind was blown! It was such a simple concept, but it taught people how to do something and gave them an easy and beautiful way to store their soap. I’m not the only one who thought her little tutorial was great– it has been pinned almost 8,000 times so far!

Mason Jar Soap Dispenser by The Happy Housie

3) It’s well written.

Strong writing has the ability to take a post with “okay” subject matter and make it GREAT. I remember being nervous to post my Christmas home tour last year– there are so many talented decorators in blogland, and I was worried that my simple holiday decor just wouldn’t measure up! Knowing that a well written post could help kick my tour up a notch, I wrote it descriptively, like I was having you over to my house for Christmas dinner, so although my house wasn’t the fanciest or most extravagantly decorated, the style of writing really helped my tour stand out. {Want to learn how to improve your writing? I share all of my secrets in my eBook! Go check it out! #shamelessplug 😉 }

A Christmas Home Tour at JustAGirlAndHerBlog.com4) It grabs your attention.

Sometimes a great headline can really make the entire post. Last July I wrote a little post about how I use time blocking to organize my schedule, and I included a simple printable to go with it. The title “How to Use Time Blocking,” didn’t seem very intriguing, though, so instead I titled the post “How I Organized My Whole Life.” The post took off and has been pinned over 13,000 times– not bad for one little printable! It is still one of my top viewed posts every day almost a year later!

How I Organized My Whole Life at


Not that every post has to have a “mysterious” title– a straightforward caption and a beautiful photograph can definitely grab peoples’ attention too! And speaking of beautiful photographs…

5) It’s well-photographed.

Of all the elements I’ve discussed so far, this one is definitely the biggest challenge for me. Taking really good pictures is hard, but it you can make it happen, it can be the thing that “makes” the whole post. Take Krista’s Simple and Stunning DIY Envelope Pillows, for example. There are tons and tons of envelope pillow tutorials out there in blogland, but her first picture of her beautiful, brightly colored pillows sitting in the midst of her absolutely gorgeous living room helps to draw readers into her post and has brought her over 3,500 pins so far!

Simple DIY Envelope Pillows at The Happy Housie


Of course not every successful post will meet all or even one of these criteria; there are definitely other factors that help a post take off. In my experience, though, these five elements have been the keys to many, many successful posts both on my blog and on others’ blogs as well.

Interested in learning even more about how to improve your posts to gain more readers and grow your blog? Check out my book! I cover everything from writing to photography to how I use each form of social media to promote my posts. I also get into some other hot topics for bloggers like how I got to work with big brands like IKEA and Behr, how I make money and replaced the income from my former part-time job, and how I gained 4,000 new newsletter subscribers in just 3 months! Head over to the blog to get even more details, check out the full table of contents, see what bloggers who have read Building a Framework are saying, and even read a sample chapter! I hope to see you there!

Thanks so much to Krista for having me today, and thank YOU for reading! Have a wonderful week!

Guest Post Sign-Off

Thank you for being here Abby!! I know that anyone interested in starting a blog, or even bloggers who have been at it for a while but feel they could use some more knowledge and guidance will benefit hugely from this amazing resource! I know that whenever I have a question – Abby is the girl I ask! And now she has written it all down!!

Thanks for reading. And remember my housie friends, HOME isn’t built in a day. Enjoy the journey.


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  1. I’ve only read the beginning of your book so far but I am looking forward to learning a bunch.
    Number 4, the post How I Organized My Whole Life is how I found Just A Girl and her blog to get some tips for my own organising blog! And now you’ve introduced me to The Happy Housie too!
    Thanks for sharing!

  2. Great information, Abby! And so great of you, Krista, to let her guest post on her big Ebook launch day. Can’t wait to buy it myself!

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