Welcome to the blogging world! We're glad to have you. From one blogger to another, I want to make sure that I am supportive of you. And rather than viewing you as competition, I want to help you succeed.
When you first get into blogging, it can be pretty overwhelming. I totally understand. Calm down, take a breath, and maybe look at some cute puppy photos before you start creating a 3-page to-do list.
Here are 7 things you can do to make your life easier and make your blogging experience more fun:
1. Be authentic
I like to consciously try to type/blog to you guys as if I were talking to a good friend. I don't ever want to pretend to be a person that I'm not, and I don't think any of you would believe me if I did, haha.
Just be you, and let people into your life (no, I don't mean you need to share all of your darkest secrets for the internet to know). Each post should feel like something you put together -- like an extension of you.
Think about your audience. Who are they, how do they want to be spoken to. What do they want to know about YOU. They're reading because they like you, cuz at the end of the day, they could find a workout/recipe/DIY/craft somewhere else. They chose your blog for you.
2. Take good photos
I spend more time working on photos than on anything else. Photos are more shareable and they help the reader connect with the content. Also, I mean... who doesn't love pretty photos?? I use a Cannon T3i DSLR camera with a stock lens. I also invested in a tripod and Adobe Photoshop. While all of those investments definitely help, you don't NEED them. Do the best you can with what you have.
iPhones can take really good photos. Spend some time positioning the objects/people in the photo to create visual appeal and make sure you have good lighting -- natural light is always your best bet. Step outside or take photos by a window. That will help a ton!
Also, there are tons of photo editing tutorials out there. For the below image, I used this tutorial: How to Create Vibrant Color Photographs by A Beautiful Mess.
You can tell how much brighter and perkier the edited photo is, right? I used the same tutorial for the header image of this post!
Moving forward, I will be sharing with you what I do when I take photos, and what you can do to make your photos look awesome. Stay tuned for that!
3. Be consistent
I am totally talking to myself with this one too. Consistency with blogging is super important. Nothing is worse than when a follower likes a blog you wrote and follows, and then when they come back a week later there is no new content. They'll assume you stopped blogging.
If you can only post 2x a week, do that and try to be consistent with which days/times you post. Your readers want to know when they can expect new content.
I'm trying to blog 4-5 times a week right now, which is a lot considering I work full-time. That's why planning ahead is so important for me.
4. Plan ahead
I use a lot of different things to help me plan ahead. One thing that has been really helpful for me is Evernote. I use this app all the time. I have it on my laptop, phone, and iPad. It's basically like having a notebook that you can access from anywhere with internet. It's always with you when you have a new idea or when you need to change plans.
Because I work full-time, I like to do all my photos for the week on the weekend. This way, I can make sure I get the best lighting and that I won't end up throwing something together last minute during the week.
Here's a glimpse into my Evernote -- don't get your hopes up too much for what is coming up on my schedule, because it will probably shift around a bit before those posts go up. Life happens.
What you're looking at here is a screenshot of one note within my "Blog" folder of my Evernote. This is how I keep track of my posting schedule. Once I have posted, I change the font color to grey. I like doing this so that if I have a post that requires some research or hard to get photos, I can be productive in advance. The blue is for when I send out my emails (if you're not an email subscriber yet, you can sign up in my sidebar).
If y'all are interested in a full Evernote tour, let me know in the comments below.
5. Join the conversation
Social media and blog commenting!
What social platform do you like the most? Start with that. Talk to people, share useful content with them, and be a real person.
You can use tools like Hootsuite (which is what I use) for scheduling, but I wouldn't rely 100% on that. Read other people's tweets/posts and comment/RT.
Another really important thing for bloggers is to read other people's blogs and comment on them. This will help you become more immersed in the blogosphere and will inspire you! Commenting shows other bloggers love, and often can lead to increased site traffic on your site (people see your awesome comment and they're like ooh, I wonder what she writes about!
If you can't name your top 10 favorite bloggers, you have some blogging research to do (fun!!)
Here are some of my faves (no particular order):
- A Beautiful Mess
- Peanut Butter Fingers
- Tone It Up
- The Skinny Confidential
- Oh She Glows
- Eat Yourself Skinny
- Vintage Revivals
- Minimalist Baker
- London, Like the City
- Running to the Kitchen
You can see a full list of the blogs I regularly follow on my Bloglovin page.
6. Make blogger friends
Since moving to the city, I have made a number of blogging friends. Having blogging friends, even if they don't write in your topic, is so wonderful. For me, it makes me feel a lot less like a loser to hear other people going through the same thought processes that I go through.
- katiesfitscript (fitness, healthy lifestyle)
- beingelliott (vintage fashion, styling)
- madlymignon (fashion, lifestyle)
- figgyandsprout (healthy food, wellness)
7. Be Patient
Write about your passion well, and the stats will come. It definitely takes time. Your numbers will increase at a snail's pace at the beginning, but enjoy that phase of the process. Be experimental, find your voice, and figure out what you want to talk about before you have 5,000 daily page views.
I know it can be tough when you write an awesome post that you put a lot of effort into, and then it's just crickets chirping when it comes to comments. Be patient. Keep blogging. You're not alone in that feeling.
This is a fun stretch of the journey -- ENJOY IT.