i'm super excited to have this cute sister-in-law of mine guest post on bits and pieces today! deb is one amazing mother/wife/sister/friend and i've looked up to her for as long as i've known her.
(practically my whole life.)
i asked her to give her advice on blogging.
the ins and outs.
the things that make blogging fun and meaningful.
because who doesn't want that??
anyway, this is what she said.
p.s. i couldn't resist posting this picture she put on her blog the other day.
Hello! I've been blogging for about 7 years and have learned a thing or two. Kaitlyn asked me to write a little post with blogging tips and I wrote these 5 tips for those of you looking to be a little more serious about your blog. And when I say serious, I mean you are looking to take things up a notch and treat it as more than a hobby. You may be looking to showcase your photography or design portfolio,wanting to meet cool people like yourself, or get noticed for the creative projects you do and in turn hope to partner with brands you love!
1. Blog with the right intentions. If you’re looking to take things to the next level, you need to be honest with yourself and why you want to blog. Take a ½ hour to sit down and write goals. Your goals may be to grow your knowledge of a subject, showcase your portfolios, be in a magazine, or work with brand ABC. You must have a purpose to blogging if you want to go above hobby level. It will help you pinpoint the focus of your blog and also be something to refer back to and remind you why you blog when times get tough.
2. Always, always, always credit your sources. Sources for ideas and sources for images. Make sure they are direct, original sources, not Pinterest or tumblr links as they may not link back to the original source. If you are using someone else’s photography, give credit. It’s disrespectful not too. If you are kind and generous, it comes back to you. You can always use this handy guide from Link with Love to help you. (http://linkwithlove.typepad.com/linkwithlove/2011/06/love-for-mankind.html)
3. Approach your blog like a magazine. If you want to be serious about your blog, approach it that way. A magazine has regularly scheduled updates and original content. What type of magazine would you like to be? Set the bar for your images, posts and content consistently to that level. If you want to post frequently, that’s great. Just make sure it doesn’t trump your consistency and standards.
4. Editorial Calendar. One item that helps me a ton is an editorial calendar. I layout some of the posts I want to do for the month, season, and year. Notice I didn’t say all of my posts—I want to keep some flexibility to blog about what I’m into at the moment, or what naturally happens around me. I plan about 25% of my posts ahead of time. The other posts are planned a week in advance, or sometimes the week of. I find when I have a schedule, I’m more likely to stick to it. If you’re looking for example of a calendar, I love Princess Lasertron’s simple monthly calendar. (http://princesslasertron.com/2011/09/onmydesk/)
5. Spread the word. If you are looking to gain readership, you first must focus on your blog. Be authentic, passionate, full of personality and creativity. It also helps to post consistently with a consistent look (as mentioned in #3). Then you need to get outside of your bubble. To build a network, I recommend attending blogging conferences, starting a Facebook page and twitter account as well. I also love sites like Pinterest and Instagram. I love meeting people that inspire me and have built several friendships online with people I normally wouldn’t because we live way too far apart. On all of these sites, be giving. If you are a giver, people are likely to return the favor.
Keep in mind, these are general tips to keep in mind when taking your blog to the next level. There are many other factors to consider depending on your goals. If you are looking to learn more about blogging, I highly recommend taking some of the online classes offered by ALT Summit. They are only $15 and totally worth it. They offer classes about analytics, how to work with brands, photography, etc. (http://worldfunction.com/)
If you have any specific questions about blogging, feel free to ask away in the comments.
I promise to answer.