No doubt about it, I am completely BLESSED to do what I love.
I actually get to wake up each morning and make stuff... and then share it with YOU! I have the opportunity to connect with other creative minds. I am so blessed, and I tell myself this every day.
But I am still no expert. I am learning new things each day. But occasionally I receive e-mails with questions from newbie bloggers. Today, I am sharing what has worked for me. So this is me on my soapbox with ten of my best blogging tips!
1. No one will magically find your blog. You simply have to put yourself (and your links!) out there. This takes a bit of work on your end. I attribute most of my blog's early growth to my participation in link parties. I regularly linked up to every link party that I could find, and this introduced other bloggers to Oopsey Daisy. Don't forget to be social at the parties! Thank your party host, make some friends, and go visit other blogs. You can visit my link parties page to see what link parties I support.
2. True confessions: When I began blogging, I was afraid to feature others. I viewed other bloggers as competition. I was oh so wrong! My friend Shelley said it best: "There is enough internet for all of us!" Bloggers are networkers, and connecting with other bloggers will only help your own blog to grow. When I started my Wednesday's Wowzers weekly feature, I was pleasantly surprised that I often gained support by featuring others' work. Readers love seeing new ideas, and they will appreciate your good taste. I promise you that blogging karma is real. What goes around comes around! When you feature another's work, they are more likely to remember you and pay it forward.
3. This is something I feel so strongly about! Comment love is a powerful thing. I remember all too well the excitement of receiving a new comment on a project I was so excited about. I am SO grateful for every comment!
Again, blogging karma is your friend here. Leave a specific, positive comment, and the recipient will remember you. It just seems that the more positive vibes I send out in the blogging world, the more positive vibes come back to me. I have created strong friendships with many other bloggers simply by leaving comments on each other's posts.
4. Eek, here is a concept that I learned the hard way. Last year, my need for a new blog design was pretty dire. I actually had a designer contact me and ASK if she could help my little blog. I learned that regardless of your fabulous ideas, visitors are seeking an organized blog layout with a clean design. Blog design is an important investment because your ideas will be judged based on the package they arrive in!
Photographs are a HUGE part of an eye-pleasing blog. Visitors will look at your photos even if they do not read your posts. Include LARGE photos, and be sure that they are quality photos. you don't have to own a fancy camera; just practice basic photography techniques like proper focus, good lighting, etc. Taking a photography class will go a long way. While you're at it, check out Kami's 10 quick photo tips.
5. Here is the big question: The moola! I am not the best person to ask about how to make money on your blog. Honestly, I started this blog pretty innocently. I just loved blogging. I wanted to create and share with others. I would definitely recommend blogging with this perspective. If you're in it for the money, you may find yourself disappointed. Of course a little compensation definitely helps out! (Especially when justifying blogging to my husband!) But find a good balance, and be sure you love blogging no matter what the payout might be!
If you are serious about creating a professional blog, I recommend taking some tips from Crafterminds and participating in their Twitter chats. These blogging masterminds have valuable tips for creating a professional blog.I definitely recommend using Social Spark's ad network to get started making some side cash. Google Ads are a good way to go, too.
6. My goal has always been to post Monday through Friday. But I have stopped stressing out if I miss a day or two here and there. I have learned that QUALITY is much more important than QUANTITY of posts. Don't post something just to post something. Feel good about it. You never know who might be visiting your blog for the very first time. What will their first impression be?
7. I truly believe that as a blogger, you can make Facebook and Twitter your best friends. I think of Facebook as a way to show some personality to my readers. It's a fun way to connect with my readers in a little more personal way and have actual conversations.
Twitter is a perfect way to connect, interact, and network with colleagues. As much as I wanted to avoid this latest social networking fad, I have found it to be invaluable. When I have blogging questions, I run to Twitter and find bloggers who are more than willing to help.
8. You know what's coming next right? Avoid drama, and keep the negativity to yourself! Be positive. Avoid whining or reprimanding your readers. Make your blog a happy place.
Unfortunately, rude comments DO happen. I am lucky to have the best readers in the world, but I can become discouraged by rude comments when they come. I simply try to vent to my husband or a friend, and then move on. Try to be the bigger person. Be diplomatic.
9. Bloggers are sensitive about copyright issues, and rightly so. Give credit where credit is due! If another project inspired you, give credit for that inspiration! Always remember a little blogging etiquette when you feature another's work. Never ever cut and paste! If you want to spotlight someone, let them know. Show a picture or two of their original work, and always link back. The author will probably be flattered, and you will make a friend in the process.
* Just in case, safeguard yourself by placing a watermark on your pictures and have a copyright on your blog. Sadly, copyright issues arise frequently. You will want to be prepared.
10. At least for me, blog growth has been slow, steady, and consistent. Even now, I can easily become impatient with my blog growth. Many days are good, but some days are terrible. It takes TIME to grow a blog. Focus on the quality of content and build up your archives so your readers can really sink their teeth into them. Don't get too caught up in the numbers.
Find you what makes you unique as a blogger, and go for it!
Guess where I am TODAY? On one of my favorite blogs--C.R.A.F.T. Jamie interviewed me, and you can find out more about me here: