Tuesday, July 22, 2014

My Top Ten Blogging Tips



I've been blogging for over 3 years.  I can't even believe it has been that long!  I started my blog as a way for Law Enforcement Wives to connect, share budget ideas, tips, etc but it blossomed into so much more.  I am thankful for that!

Blogging is a creative outlet for me.  It allows me to connect with other people, share my ideas, tips and I enjoy reading blogs.  Never in a million years would I have thought I could/would have a space in the internet universe.

I will be honest.  I hate writing!  It takes me for.ev.er to write a post and edit pictures.  It wasn't until recently I found my love for writing.  This brings me into my first tip.

#1-  WRITE IN YOUR STYLE

I misspell words,  my grammar is not perfect and I use !!!! way to much but that is me.   I tend to live my life over the top and have fun with everything I do.  Writing doesn't need to be super duper formal.  Sure I confuse ; and , but honestly until an autocorrect turns as into ass we are ok!  Don't stress yourself out about a typo.  It happens.  I would much rather read a blog with humor.

#2-  WRITE ABOUT WHAT YOU LOVE

I know some people will call a blogger a sellout if they do sponsored posts.  I will be honest, I've done more sponsored posts this year than ever.  The reason being, it costs money to blog.  I use my sponsor money for projects, fees, etc.  Honestly I offset any income with expenses for tax purposes.  If you love a product and a company is willing to pay your for your time to blog WHY NOT?  Bloggers should not be working for free.

#3-  DON'T STRESS OUT ABOUT TROLLS AND SPAM MESSAGES

As a blogger you will meet Trolls and receive spam messages.  It comes with the territory.  Shrug it off and move on.  When someone criticizes something I do or say I will listen or read the comment and decide if it is worth my time.  99.9% of the time the comment is from a troll trying to ruin the joy of your post.  Block them or ignore them.  The next minute is a new minute.  Move along accordingly.

#4-  YOU ARE A BRAND

If you like it or not you are a brand.  Embrace it.  I am not saying you should make T-shirts with your face on them and slap magnets on your car but you are the face for your blog.  You are your own brand.

Think about it this way.  If you are a fashion blogger, people like YOUR style.  If you post recipes, people like YOUR recipes.  Same for a craft blogger.  They like YOUR crafts.  You see where I am going here.  Don't be intimated by this, run with it!

#5-  SOCIAL MEDIA WILL SUCK THE LIFE OUT OF YOU

It is true.  With all the social media you can get sucked in and before you know it, it is 6:30 at night.  I normally post my blog on all my media channels.  Depending on the post I will focus on that media channel.  For example, this post is more details and chatty.  I will create a super awesome graphic for pinterest and focus the post there and on twitter.  If this was a fashion post or beauty related I would use instagram.  Focus your media on your post.

#6-  LINK UP PARTIES ROCK MY SOCKS

My blog has almost 500k hits from one post.  My DIY Bathroom.  This happened because ONE blogger featured it after I added it to their link party.  I added it to a few other link parties and it was featured.  It ended up on Pinterest and the rest is history.  I still receive almost 2k hits per day because of that post.

Find a few of your favorite link parties and join them.  I always pick one or two of my favorite posts for that week and share them.  I also visit other shared posts and comment.  That is good blogging etiquette.

#7-  TAKE A BREAK IF YOU WANT

I am such a lazy blogger sometimes.  If I don't feel like posting I won't.  I want my posts to reflect me and my attitude.  If I am not in the mood to blog I take a little break.  It helps me refresh and recharge.

Don't be shy about taking a blogging break.   If you take a break don't be gone for to long!  Pop in every once in a while with a post and say hi.  You don't need to be in peoples faces all the time but readers will move on to new favorite blogs.  Always stay connected via posting or media.

#8-  DESIGN A BLOG YOU LOVE
When I first started blogging my background was black.  Not joking!  White or light backgrounds are pleasing to the eye but I read a few blogs with awesome pattern backgrounds.

It took me 2.5 years to be brave enough to design my own blog.  I would HIGHLY recommend hiring a designer.  I wish I would have done it when I first started.  If you love the design of your blog you will feel more confident and proud.

If hiring a designer is just not in the budget look for a pre-made template on Etsy.  Some sells will even install them for you!

#9- INVEST IN A GOOD CAMERA AND SOFTWARE

My very first camera was a little point and shoot.  I didn't think photography was that important.  I WAS WRONG!  It wasn't until my Grandma gave me a Canon SX10IS for my birthday that I realized how important photography is.  You can find nice cameras for $100-$500.

I love my Nikon D3100 for photos.  It is a DSLR but I think I paid like $400 for it.  I also use photoshop and PicMonkey.  I use PicMonkey on 99% of my posts.  It is quick and easy.  I also suggest paying for the Royal version.

If you are new to photography I can't recommend Shoot Fly Shoot enough.  Their online classes are AMAZING!

#10-  LOVE YOUR BLOG

Take pride in what you do, your posts, your photos and your media.  Order business cards and pass them out.  Grab your camera, take photos, keep a notebook of ideas and enjoy it!

I hope you enjoyed my tips!  I've included a few more mini tips just for fun :)

-WHITE POSTER BOARD IS PRICELESS

When taking photos white poster board is amazing.  It will give you a nice white background if needed, reflect light and in a pinch you can use it cover paint on to prevent spills :)  Not that I know that from experience, Ha!

-GET A PLANNER

A blogging calendar will help you so much!  I just did a search on Etsy.  Having an editorial calendar keeps me organized and on track.  I also use mine to track expenses, income, stats and a VERY long to do list.

-PLAN YOUR TIME

It is easier for me to spend a day editing photos, videos, writing posts, etc.  I use my spare time during the week for social media.  Find what works for you and run with it!

-MAKE BLOG FRIENDS

Follow a few of your favorite blogs, comment and interact on social media.  It makes blogging easier when you have friends to talk to.  Also, link up to social media link ups.  Say hi to new bloggers and post kind messages.

Please don't post a comment like this.  This will not make you friends "Hey girl!  Love your post.  Cool idea.  Following you.  Follow me back."

What is your #1 blogging tip?