Been exploring my own blog lately and realized there were some real gems that never saw the light of day. AKA means they were most likely never read at all. There were also a lot of thin duds, yikes. The downside of jumping into blogging without any real plan posts that made no sense or saw no eyes. So that had me thinking over the holidays what would I do differently. Or summarizing. What 10 Tips would I Tell myself before I started Blogging.
Flash back to when I started, as a fun example, I have been blogging for about 14 months and I had learned a ton and still had a long way to go. First up was a media kit, I followed this great tutorial on Helene’s blog and created a Media Kit but then I realized, now what do I do about this? So my lovely media kit has still been sitting in my documents and has never seen the light of day. I did take it to a few conferences and hesitated about handing it out ( hang head in shame) and I did email it, when requested. Some day I guess I will learn ” Pitching” and not the baseball kind.
10 Actionable items to learn before blogging
1) Pictures matter as does size, yes ladies ( and gents) contrary to what you may have been told SIZE matters. Pick a size and stick to it. Make it consistent and BIG, like I said size matters. Personally I finally worked up the nerve and sent a blogger I admire an email and asked her how she got her pictures to look the way they do. She explained what to do and I did it.. size 682 ( today 735. That is what I use on pic monkey, always the same width ( well except for the occasional Gif). So thank you Shanna for being so kind to this gal.
More awesome blogging tips
4) The importance of your Name. Oh so very very true, I felt like I was having an identity crisis for awhile there trying to re-establish my self. “This is My Life, Really”, to ” My Life” ( yea how original) to where I am now, something that says to me what I am and hopefully catches your attention a little bit. Also remember re-branding is so tough and time consuming. Try and get it right from the start.
5) Networking, it is not enough to read other blogs, this is a social community and you need to be engaged. I now have my regular blogs that not only do I read them daily but I always try and comment, this way I am hopefully not only attracting them as a reader but I am developing friendships.
6) SEO, damn still not really sure about this one but two main points, it is very important to go to “properties” on each picture and place a title on the “alt text”. I still do not understand the fine points of all of this but I do know it makes the picture pop up on google during a search and thus very very important if you are trying to attract people to your blog.
As of today, 2020 I still have so much to learn and shameful secret sometimes my alt tags suck. I am still going back and trying to make them more actionable.
Next need to know Blog Tips
7) Giveaways – very important to start this early. I do not care what anyone else tells you if you are blogging and want people to read your blog then you need to find traffic somewhere. Ironically this also use to say Sponsoring. Remember that, pay another blogger to get on their sidebar? That is how I actually use to find new and exciting blogs. This has been replaced with Intagram shoutouts.
For 2020, I think sponsoring is better served through working together to achieve valid Backlinks. Check out the bloggers that you have been following and engaging with. See if you can guestpost or maybe be included in a roundup thy are doing. Please do not email random bloggers and ask for links or guest pots. Even little ole me gets too many of those requests every day. Guess what I do, DELETE. Contact people that know you have been actively engaging with.
8) Bloggers are friendly and caring- if you have a question send an email, bloggers no matter who they are, respond and are willing to help. Remember they have been exactly where you are scared, unsure yet excited and keen, it is not a competition it is a family and they will help.
Final Tips for Better Blogging
9) Its going to take time, so be prepared to spend the time needed ( and money) and to plan in advance, Blogging is a science on to itself and we are not all experts but there is a lot of expertise out there. Find a Blogging group, my best investment to date is Bloggers Tell All. great tips on what to do and what not to do. They offer a course connected with a Facebook group filled with fellow bloggers. Also they have a free trial to test it out first.
There are so many tutorials and mini courses available. Take your time going through. I am still trying to get through all the info available. They also offer mini blog audits live each week. I have discovered more tips from watching other bloggers audits.
Courses are great but big tip, check out their credentials first. I purchased an Instagram Course and realized my following and engagement was greater than the writers. Invest in yourself people, buy a consult, ask the questions do not be shy…
10) Blog conferences – step out of your comfort zone and just take a chance you will meet some great people and have a great time. My first BConnected in Ottawa was a step outside for me. A Mommy’s blogging conference for an at the time Fashion Blogger. Biggest takeaway, lessons are not niche specific. All learning is positive learning. Your mentors can come from anywhere. Find a conference close to home and try it out.
My fav to date was probably TBex North America. I went last year (2018) to Corning New York and learned so many new tips and tricks. Sign up early and take advantage of Fams and speed dating opportunities.
OK that is just ten and I know I have dozens more but by now you are probably bored silly. Better yet, hopefully you are not bored but motivated. Try these tips and tell me if they work for you.