9 Tips for Beginner BloggersFebruary 15, 2013
I am in no way a professional blogger nor will I ever be, but to have people emailing me for advice about blogging makes my heart extremely happy to the extent that I decided to write a post to share with you a few of the things I wish I would've known starting out.
>> COMMENT! Believe it or not, you must visit other bloggers in order to build a friendship with them. Take the time to stalk their blog, get to know them, read their content, and if you like what you see, leave a genuine comment. Leaving a comment saying "Follow me back" or "Let's follow each other" doesn't cut it because honestly I feel that is somewhat annoying, but those who leave heartfelt comments are those blogs I tend to gravitate toward.
>> CONNECT! This is the part after finding a blog that really jumps out at you in which you follow their blog or other social media to keep up with their content. You'll find that many bloggers will follow you back, but don't be discouraged when they don't immediately do so as it takes some work to gain a following.
>> COMMUNICATE! I am not very good at this, but revisiting blogs and continuing to conversate with said blogger is the key to gaining loyal followers. Have a conversation with them on twitter, leave a comment on their posts regularly, or email them to just have a nice chat. You'll be surprised how many bloggers love random conversations from fellow bloggers, myself included, and how much more likely they'll be to jump on over to your blog and check it out.
>> SOCIAL MEDIA! When I first started out I didn't have a twitter, but I'm glad I finally jumped on that bandwagon as it's one of my top traffic referrals. I have found that having a blog Facebook page, instagram, bloglovin, hello-cotton google +, and twitter has really been a blessing in disguise for MBCL. I'd recommend to have a few of these as it helps to reach a wider audience.
>> PROMOTE! Yes, we all do it, but promoting your own posts seriously helps drive more traffic to your blog. I was a bit weary on this when first starting out, but as soon as I realized it helped, I shamelessly started doing it which is where the above social media platforms really come into play, although don't over-promote because it starts to get to a point where it becomes annoying.
>> ADVERTISE! Find yourself a few bigger bloggers and begin researching on how they handle their sponsors. Really what you are doing is figuring out if you would get your moneys worth advertising with them. Are they doing everything possible to help your blog grow? Reading testimonials from past sponsors are useful bits of information when seeking out sponsorships too. There is nothing more annoying than wasting your hard earned money on a blog to find that the results were less than desirable, so do your research before shucking out the big bucks to get your blog out there.
>> BLOG HOP/ LINK UP! This is the number one thing I wish I would've known starting out because for the first few months I didn't have any readers. As I slowly started finding other bloggers, I started seeing things called Blog Hops and began to make appearances on them occasionally. I also did a few link ups and started to see a rise in comments as well as a few friendships forming which made me extremely happy and is probably the reason I am still blogging today.
>> CONTENT! Make sure you are engaging your readers with your content. Make it interesting so they'll keep coming back to read what you have to say. Inspire, engage, and be real! I wouldn't recommend doing link ups every single post, but a few here and there never hurt anyone. Visuals are a great eye catcher/separator as well which will help your readers stay intrigued throughout your entire post especially if it is wordy.
>> APPEARANCE! I know some people probably don't agree, but for me I am more likely to read your post if your blog design is appealing meaning it looks nice and as if you spent some time on it. I have always been big on this starting when I first began blogging I taught myself how to read HTML and how to design my own blog to make it look welcoming. I have yet to purchase a blog design from anyone, but why would I when I can do it myself right? It takes some time to learn HTML, but playing around with coding will eventually pay off in the long run and save you a few bucks in the process.
I'm sure there are more tips that I left out, but honestly the main thing is to blog for you. It isn't about the number of followers you have, or whether or not your blog is making money, but it's about doing something that you love. Don't let anyone minimize your worth as a blogger because of the number of people following you because we all started out at the beginning and have been there before. We are a community of bloggers, not high school cliques, and we should be encouraging each other, not tearing each other down. So if you take anything from this post, please remember that I am in no way a professional blogger and these are just my opinions and advice for bloggers starting out. Take it with a grain of salt :)