A Quirky Girl's Guide to Blogging!Wednesday, September 12, 2012
Have I ever mentioned how much I love getting emails? Lately, it feels like I've received more than the usual amount of emails from readers who are curious about my thoughts on blogging. While I'm not an expert blogger, I am a self-made blogger who started out from scratch with only a few friends to support my endeavors. I felt inspired to compose a post all about blogging after reading through all of my recent emails. Feel free to add your own ideas & tips in the comment section below!
1. Be Willing to Work Hard! Being a blog author requires a lot of work, time, and dedication. Even if you are just blogging for fun, you will still have to put in a lot of time preparing your posts, managing your content, and organizing your blog space. If you are really interested in blogging, make a solid commitment to your blog. A great majority of people who start out blogging eventually abandon their blogs after a short while because of a lack of readers or site traffic. It takes an enormous amount of hard work and patience to create a successful blog with a strong following. Don't be discouraged if things on your blog are not picking up right away. Be patient & put in the hard work. Your determination will definitely reflect in your content and encourage readers to return to your blog.
2. Don't Count Your Comments. We all adore receiving feedback from our readers, especially after you have worked extremely hard on a particular post. But it can be discouraging at times if you base your blog's success on the number of comments you receive. The truth about comments is that a great deal of your readers will never leave a single comment. People refrain from commenting for a number of reasons. Some are too shy or feel they don't have anything intriguing to say. Others just have a lot of other things to do and blogs to read, or they don't have the time to leave comments. Whatever the case, don't let a lull in commenting discourage you from writing. If you are curious about who is actually reading your blog, install a traffic tracker like feedjit. It will give you a better idea of who is reading your posts.
3. Find Fresh Ways to Stay Inspired.One of my favorite ways to find inspiration for my blog is to read other blogs. I often think of random blog topics just from reading the thoughts of other writers. Now I'm definitely not encouraging you to steal the ideas of other bloggers out there, but I do believe that we all feed off each other's creativity. If you do like a particular post or feature, send the author an email and ask for permission to use their idea. I also enjoy reading my favorite magazines and looking at image database websites such as Pinterest & Weheartit. If I'm having writer's block, I usually grab my camera and go for a walk or drive. I also carry around a composition notebook and jot down random blog ideas when they come to me. If you think of something to write about, make sure to scribble it down somewhere before you forget about it! If you are a visual person, you may benefit from an inspiration board.
4. Find Your Niche. The best way to start out blogging is to write about what you know. Write about your interests & passions. Many bloggers often declare a niche topic such as fashion, crafts, productivity, beauty, etc. Another option would be to target a niche audience and write based on the interests of that specific group. I prefer to write based on my own interests, problems, obsessions, and challenges. I write about a variety of topics, attempt to dip into various areas of interest, and constantly change up my feature posts. Figure out what works best for you and write based on your niche. In other words, write about what excites and provokes you as a writer. If that happens to be one specific topic or a wide variety of topics, so be it. Play up your strengths and explore what you are passionate about!
5. Stay Connected With Your Readers. Respond to comments, return emails, and just give a hoot about your readers. Also, take a little time to stop by the blogs of some of your readers and leave comments. When I first started blogging, I spent hours and hours just visiting blogs and leaving comments. I still take a little time every week to visit new blogs and say hello. It's the best way to get your name and blog out there.
6. Quality of Content Over Quantity. It's very easy to get wrapped up in the stress of cranking out those articles. Although I have never felt threatened by other bloggers, we all have to keep up with each other in the blogging world in order to keep our readers interested. While it would be wonderful if you had the time to post a good quality article every day, it may not be realistic. It's better to post fewer articles of excellent quality rather than a large amount of poor quality articles.
7. Allow the appearance of your blog to enhance your blog content. Arrange your blog in an organized manner and customize it with fancy fonts and different colors. If the technical side of blogging isn't your strong-suit, ask a friend to help or hire a blog designer. While your content should be the most important thing on your blog, I strongly feel that the appearance of your blog can have a powerful impact on your readers. I tend to find myself more attracted to blogs with creative headers and whimsical color schemes. Putting a little effort into making your blog unique is like making a good first impression when meeting someone new. It's definitely worth the effort.
8. Network.Linking up with fellow bloggers, readers, friends, and family can be very helpful in promoting your blog. Networking allows you to notify your readers when you have new content and attracts new readers who may be interested in what you have written about. Don't be shy about promoting your blog through your social media. If you are afraid of bombarding your friends with spamy reminders, try opening up a separate account for your blog.
9. Be Willing to Learn. There is a plethora of information out there on the internet waiting for you. If you don't know how to do something technical, look it up and learn how to help yourself. Be willing to put in the time to learn. You will be very proud of yourself after you have solved your own problems through research & trouble-shooting.
10. Set Yourself Apart. Be creative. Take risks. Think outside the box. Don't follow all the trends. Put your own personal spin on whatever it is you are writing about. Set yourself apart from the others and help your readers to see your unique viewpoint. Find your own trademark and run with it.
Sending you lots of positive vibes!