My Beautiful, Crazy Life: Royal Daughter Designs [Guest Post + Giveaway]

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Royal Daughter Designs [Guest Post + Giveaway]


Taking over the blog today I have for you Amanda :)
She is my very first daily featured sponsor & I am so very happy to have her sharing with you today!
Amanda is such a sweetheart who has a real talent for Design. I absolutely love all her work as well as her prints which you will have the chance to win after you read her very informative guest post :)

Take it away Amanda!

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Hi y'all! My name is Amanda and I'm the creative mind behind Royal Daughter Designs. I'm a country girl, farming and ranching on 8 beautiful Texas acres. My husband, Mr. E., is a minister and a seminary professor and  I'm a small business owner and graduate student. I'm a has-been foster mom, a self-proclaimed animal lover, laundry procrastinator, sweet tea junkie, and high-heel hater. 


I started blogging nearly four years ago after Mr. E. and I moved to Fort Worth, TX for him to pursue a PhD. I  wanted our blog to be a way to stay in touch with our family and keep them abreast of what was happening in our normally boring life. To my surprise they were thrilled to know the mundane details!

Fast forward 3 1/2 years. I had a small following (I still don't know where they came from) and I was ready to officially jump off into the world of blogging. As a professional. That was nine months ago. And boy-oh-boy have I learned a lot since then!

Today I'm going to share with you the five things I wish I'd known when I started blogging. 

1. Create a blog e-mail.
When I started blogging intentionally, I still used my personal e-mail for all of my correspondence. I quickly discovered that it is hard to filter several hundred emails every week. It took me eight weeks to finally get around to creating an e-mail specifically for my blog correspondence. Now I keep my personal e-mail personal (my aunts are so happy) and my blog e-mail is strictly for business. It helps me stay organized. And in touch.

2. Spend some serious time on an about me page.
Here's the way it works. Someone stumbles across my blog, and wants to know more about me. Some people will scan posts and look at pictures, but the best way for readers to learn about me is to read my about me page. So it is oh-so important for the about me page to be an accurate reflection of who I am. It must be well-written. And eye-catching pictures are a must.


3. Take some "professional" pictures.
I'm lucky. My mom is an incredible photographer. But for some reason it took me something like three months to figure out that I needed her to take some professional-looking pictures for my blog. Until that time I used some random self-portraits - you know the awkward-16-year-old-girl-at-a-concert kind of pictures. 

Your pictures do not have to be done by a professional. But it is definitely a good idea to get dressed up, find a pretty background (a park, your back yard, a cool brick building downtown) and take some high resolution head shots. Well-done pictures will work wonders at giving your blog a profession look. And always use those great photos when doing guest posts on other blogs!


4. Social Network. Do it.
Create a Facebook page for your blog, get a twitter handle, and sign up for pinterest (and that's just the  bare-bones-basics!). While blogging is great, and we all love comments, the reality of it is that so much interaction occurs outside of our blogs. Twitter is my favorite way to interact with my readers, and Facebook is a close second. Don't ever underestimate the power of social networking. 

5. Sponsoring is a must.
Gone are the days being able to grow your blog by just commenting on other blogs. For 3 1/2 years that was basically my strategy for growing my blog. But then I launched Royal Daughter Designs, and since it is my business, growing my readership was very important to me. That's where sponsoring comes in. Over the past nine months I have sponsored some fabulous, and some not-as-fabulous blogs. I've learned through trial and error what kind of sponsor opportunities work best for me. Consider these statistics:

Personal blog: 4 years old, no advertising: 360 total followers, 1,500 page views per month.
Business blog: 9 months old, lots of advertising: 1130 total followers (not including social media), 18,000 page views per month.

I'd say that sponsoring definitely pays off, wouldn't you?


Thank you so much for having me today, Breanna! Now that y'all know me, I hope you'll stop by Royal Daughter Designs and say hello so I can get to know you too!

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Thank you Amanda :)  If only I would of known all this information when I first started out I might of done somethings differently, however, it all works out for the best! I hope you ladies who are starting out find this information to be helpful because I know I would of :)

Now onto the giveaway that Amanda has graciously offered to giveaway to my readers!
She is giving away two (5x7) art prints that are pictured below!
Aren't they so cute? I wish I could win these myself!


 


Giveaway Details:
+This giveaway is open to readers worldwide!
+You MUST be a My Beautiful, Crazy Life reader
+Giveaway will go live for 6 days so be sure to enter before it ends!
+Winner will be contacted via e-mail.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

8 comments:

Kristin said...

Great advice! I wish I would've known just how important it was to comment and follow. I spent many months just reading and didn't make very many connections.
Those prints are super cute :)

Laura Hernandez said...

Don't get caught up in the number game and remember why you started blogging in the first place.

Anna @ Beauty in the Chaos said...

I wish I would have known that there are others out there that will use you just to boost numbers so be careful who you "friend"

Brittany Pigg said...

I don't think I can answer that question yet because I just started blogging! :)

Kassi @ Truly Lovely said...

Hmm... I wish I would've known the email tip! I have two different emails I use now and all get forwarded to one place.

Brooke @ Covered in Grace said...

I wish I'd have had Twitter the whole time... it's been such a great tool. And I wish I'd known how much time goes into blogging!

The Pretty Pinhead said...

This is great to know about sponsoring. How did you start doing this? How many sponsorships did you have?

Thanks so much for sharing :)

The Pretty Pinhead

Michaela {au naturel design} said...

I actually just started my blog and obviously didn't really realize what I was getting myself into, ha! This is fabulous advice and it's so nice that people can share so much with oneanother. Come check out my blog as its (slowly) developping.

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