After blogging for more than a year and a half, I decided to compile a list of things I wish I knew earlier on in my blogging journey. I’ve always wondered why people had so much more followers compared to me when they had only been blogging for a month or two. Though some could say that it is content, (cause my blog sucks) others might say that it’s due to how hard they work. To be honest, when I first started blogging the first few months I did practically nothing. Yes, I managed to post about 3 times a week, and I have gone months where I posted everyday, but that was all I did. No interaction, nothing. So, if you’re a new blogger, I hope you can see this list and hopefully learn something that will help you on your journey that we call “blogging.” Included in the list are some tips that I just recently learned!
1. Find people to follow by using the search tag option.
When I first started, for some wild reason I never really took advantage of the sidebar, the option where you could search for specific tags. I guess it was because my blog was more of a personal one and I just went on wordpress, blogged, posted and went back on facebook. Now, I actively search out blogs that I find interesting using the tags. Before, I would find that my reader would be too empty and that made it boring – but now, by following lots of blogs I always have interesting things to read – and more engagement.
2. Engage with everyone, but be sincere.
Running a successful blog takes a lot of time. I’m not saying I have a successful blog, but I do take a few hours out of my day to skim my reader and take time to comment on the things I find interesting. Like I said before, I never really followed any blogs therefore I didn’t really have anyone to talk to. I would go around liking posts, but never really taking the time to comment. Now, I make sure to comment on posts and let other bloggers know what I think.
I always wondered why there were some bloggers who barely started out but had hundreds of followers while I had been blogging steadily for almost 6 months and was still under 200 followers. How did they grow their following so fast? They take time to form lasting friendships with other bloggers. I love to read About Me Pages so I can get the bloggers name and a little bit of information about themselves. Doesn’t it make you happy when someone replies to you with your name instead of your blog name?
3. Join a blogging community.
There are many types of blogging communities that you could join. Find a community on facebook, etsy, etc. I am also under multiple communities/teams on etsy – and you can share your posts, and find new blogs to follow. Why should you follow a community? Well, you can make everlasting friendships with people who share the same passion and joy as you do, learn things that will help you become a better blogger, and have a great resource at your disposal!
One of my favorite blogging communities would be, the Lovely Lady Bloggers created by :Christina and Hilary . This blogging community is a closed group on facebook where bloggers get together and ask for advice, tips, and connect! Thanks to this community I’ve made some great friends, gotten tips on hosting, and ask for advice on giveaways etc. if you’re interested, just click on the photo to join!! Also, it’s not only ladies 😛
4. Create a Blog Button
Swapping blog buttons is fun! Create one using my tutorial HERE. Why should you create one? It’s a great way to keep in contact with your favorite bloggers and get your name out there. There are other people who offer sponsorships to have your button on their blog, but you can always find a friend to swap your button for free! I admit that when I first visit a new blog, I’ll make sure to look at their sidebar and see if they have anyone’s button. Also, don’t be afraid to ask to swap buttons! It’s all about connecting with other bloggers.
5. Connect with possible sponsorship opportunities.
Aka, get free products to review!
When I first started blogging, I noticed a lot of people had Brandbacker buttons. So I signed up for it. I created a profile, put the button on my page and didn’t do anything else. It wasn’t until this year (after having my blog for a year) that I actually started using it. Where do people get free products? How do people get free products? Use brandbacker. You are able to apply for opportunities and if you are accepted, you’ll be given a free sample of a product to review on your blog.
At first, I didn’t have any confidence to apply for a campaign. After all, my blog doesn’t have a huge amount of followers, and I didn’t know what to expect. Just apply, you have nothing to lose. So, I took the first step and applied to my first campaign – which was Evian. I didn’t get accepted, but I applied to my second campaign and got accepted! I was so excited, and worked really hard on my first review. This goes to show that you never know what will happen unless you try – don’t underestimate your blog and have more confidence. If you don’t get accepted, try again (you can apply for multiple campaigns at once).
Also, if you want to start using brandbacker, just click on the badge in my profile. I would also like to mention that there are other similar programs, just do your research 🙂
6. Look into sponsorships/advertising.
I’ve never done this before, but I have done plenty of research. Depending on what blog you contact, sponsorships can run from the inexpensive side ($20) to quite pricey $$$. Look for a blog that you like, read about the details you get out of the sponsorship and contact them. Do you want to go for a blog that is very well-known and has over 50,000 views a month? Be prepared to shell out some major cash. Or, did you want to look into a blog that has about 10,000 views a month but will also be willing to share your articles once a week and also devote time into promoting you daily? Look at your options and also your budget. And me? I’m looking into doing a sponsorship probably in the summer. If you would like any more recommendations, send me a comment and I’ll give you a list of people that I have found to have inexpensive rates (<$20).
Things you should consider:
1. Will this person be able to help you meet your needs?
2. Does their blog fit with your audience? Don’t simply go for a blog that has an inexpensive rate, research their blog posts and their followers. If you were running a health and beauty blog, you wouldn’t contact a marketing blog or an education blog.
3. Will this person be there to answer any questions and concerns you have / make time to get to know you and support you long after the sponsorship is over? I think this is something to consider, some major blogs simply don’t have time to get to know you or want to form a lasting friendship.
4. Does it fit your budget? If you’re not that serious about blogging, then sponsorships may not be for you. Or, if you want to try to increase your following then maybe shell out $10-$20 dollars. If you have the cash to burn and want to really get into the professional world of blogging then you can contact blog owners who have a higher google page rank of 1+.
7. Schedule your posts
When I first started blogging, I would just post whenever I was done with my post – big mistake. Sometimes, I would be up late at night and finish writing a really good product review; then the next morning when I woke up I would be a bit disappointed when I realized that I didn’t get any views on it. Choose a time where it has been proven that your posts get the most engagement and make the most of it. For me, it’s 3 PM on weekdays. For others, it could be a Sunday Night, Noon on weekdays, etc.
Ever since I found out that I could schedule my posts, it’s been a life saver! If you go through phases of blogging, it could be beneficial to you also! Basically, sometimes I go into a blogging frenzy where I write 5 posts in one day. Instead of posting all those five posts in one day, I can schedule the posts and have them post everyday at 3 PM or three posts a week, it’s completely up to you! This is perfect for me, because I go through phases where I am just itching to write posts or other weeks when I have no motivation.
8. Reschedule your post for better engagement *
This is something new that I learned and it works. Before I knew about this, I would do something pretty stupid – let me explain. This one time, I posted a review on a restaurant that I very excited about, a little too excited… I ended up posting it at 9 PM on a friday. That didn’t turn out so well, because on Friday’s people are more likely to be going out and not checking wordpress. So, I got about 3 or 4 likes on it – I ended up deleting the post (which resulted in losing the likes and any other comments) to reposting on a different day. So, I put what I learned to use. I posted a review the other day at 1 PM (too excited haha), and when I didn’t receive the engagement that I wanted, I rescheduled it to post at 3PM and got 3x as many likes. I will also reschedule my LUSH GIVEAWAY post before the contest ends 🙂
Anyway, this list became a lot longer than I originally thought it would be. Hope you guys enjoyed it!