Hello, there! Are you a blogger, or new to having a blog?
Whether it’s your New years’ resolution, you’re coming back to a dormant page, or you’re an avid post-maker, here are some tips for all bloggers alike. :)
Now, I don’t have the most ‘successful’ site, in the eyes of others – I don’t have sponsors, or over 1,000 followers, but I have posted 46 heart-felt posts and interacted with some pretty awesome people across the globe because of it since September 2014. Throughout the short lifetime of my blog, I can reflect on some learned tips that could be of use to others.
- Firstly –Choose your blog name very wisely! – You can’t change this– so even though I am the ‘Texan in South Africa’ that is now back in Texas, that will go back every year for an undisclosed amount of time back to South Africa…. I really think that in hindsight, even though it seemed such a perfect name at the time, I could have picked a less concrete name to have gone with. If you know of a way to change your blog name on your blog- please do tell! I have done a bit of research and it seems the only way is to potentially upgrade to the paid platform or create a whole new blog- which is not an option for me- too many dear posts to lose!
- Write down a blog schedule – Topics should be those that will inspire you and be easy to manage. Drafting a schedule makes goals- so start with just two posts a week on specific days – do that for a month and then increase to three. And you don’t have to sit down on the Tuesday you want to post- you can do them both on the same Sunday evening and schedule them to post on the days you want!
- Interact with other blogs! <– This is a biggie! The only way you are going to increase your blogging confidence (therefore blogging more and completing your posting goals) is by getting a tad bit of traffic and feedback (comments) on your blog! And the only way that is going to happen is to go visit other blogs on your reader – follow a topic, (preferably one that is similar to your blog) pick one (I always pick blogs to read that don’t have thousands of followers- helping the other little guys out!), read it a bit, and then click that follow button – they will be sure to check yours out and then reciprocate that follow to yours! And don’t forget to join in on the conversation and COMMENT on a post! As a blogger speaking to a fellow blogger- comments are the hugs of the blogosphere, are they not?! They are the warm little notifications that someone has read your post you potentially spent hours on, enjoyed it, and taken the time to give you their thoughts back! Which brings me to our next bullet…
- Be a notification watch-dog! – If someone has commented on your blog- it took them time, confidence, and caring of your post in order to do so, so make sure you reply back to their comment, and in a timely manner – otherwise they may not visit again. Interaction is blogging key!
- Install the WordPress App!– Other than the obvious reason that you will get instant notification of likes or comments, you will also be able to reciprocate right there before you forget, read other blogs all day long, draft whole posts, and write down any thoughts that may come to your mind that you don’t want to forget- this happens to me all the time!
- Connect your blog to a social media platform – Mine is now only linked to Twitter – I had had it linked to my personal Facebook page, but when posting from the app, it wouldn’t give me the option to not share to Facebook, and there are just some posts I would prefer not to bug my newsfeed with. BUT linking to your social media outlets does generate views! So share away. You can also link your Twitter and Instagram feeds to your blog, which is always nice for visitors to see.
- Pick your blog theme wisely! – This is SO important! If I visit a blog that isn’t easy to read or has just way too much going on, I probably won’t follow them. Make sure that your theme is clean, crisp, and most importantly of all- easy to navigate. Play around with that customization bar and try it out before making it live. .. and even if you do, a little change never hurt anyone, it just takes (lots of) time to do so!
- Develop and post a Site Disclaimer – I have mine on a its own page and I took quite a long time to find and develop the language that I liked, but I think it’s pretty good, if I do say so myself. :) This just protects you in the case of if someone does use any of your material (words, pictures, etc.) in a space that you may not like or agree with (and you are privileged enough to find out about it).
- Use Hyperlinks! – See that blue text up there? Site Disclaimer? if you click that it will take you to my site disclaimer because I added a hyperlink. This is a great way to link to other blogs, articles, or any information that you may want to credit or include. Use ’em!
- Pictures, Pictures, PICTURES! – Unfortunately, sometimes our little human brains have a hard time staying focused, and pictures are a great way to trick them into paying attention and reading more, plus pictures in a post also draw people to your blog or post. If your pictures look interesting, they will probably keep reading or even read more posts from your blog! So take lots of pictures and use them (and if they aren’t yours, credit them!).
- Post Flow/Format – This is a big one- going back to our inattentive brains… make sure that your post flows easy to the eye, use that enter key and make some paragraphs! Make sure the post has an entertaining and introductory beginning and close with a thought or question.
- PROOFREAD – and then proofread what you just edited again! I can’t tell you how many versions of each post I have had… so many, oh, so many. I read over each post about three times before I post it, and then afterwards I will still find something I want to change, whether it is making a new paragraph, putting a space here, centering that picture, or finding yet another grammar error. oy. And there is nothing worse than finding an error a week after it has been posted! (But I may be slightly OCD about grammar… just slightly.)
- Don’t be a stranger – Tell people who you are! – Oh my good golly gumdrops, ya’ll… It drives me crazy when bloggers remain anonymous. If I am entertained enough to read 1 or more of their posts and then I find out they are just a keyboard in goodness-knows-where… I won’t visit again. I want to know whose wonderful mind I am getting a view into, and know where they are from! Everyone likes to feel like they connect with someone, and if you are anonymous, that is just hard to do. So tell people who you are– even if it’s just your first name and your state, and a couple of quirky traits.
- But, Keep it a bit Private! – For goodness sake, don’t include a specific location to places you frequent, your residence or that of your family. If you do have Instagram or Twitter linked to your page, make sure that you don’t include locations on any of those posts, either. And if you do, make sure you only post them AFTER you have left that place. You never know about the creeper that could be reading your blog and never commenting…. keep yourself safe and post smart! (There are some dark blogs out there, i’ve run across them!) If you do have someone follow your blog that seems a bit sketchy, you can go into your blog settings, see your followers, and unbeknownst to them, have them unfollow your site. :)
That about sums it up!
I hope you enjoyed my blogging tips!
Are there any you would add? What have you learned from being a blogger?
Thanks for visiting!