February marks my blog anniversary, i have been blogging part time for the last five years and i’ve kept all those shaky first posts just to remind myself of my personal evolution – just scroll down my Archive and see what i mean. Although my blog is still a work in progress, i believe i have some good tips to share from my blogging experience.
1. Quality over Quantity.
90% of blog content should come from your own personal experiences, being opinions over social matters, outfits, holidays or new products in your routine, whatever is relevant to your own style. 10% can be wishlists, fashion news or giveaways. Never and i mean never, copy paste a press release start to end – it doesn’t add any value to you or your readers. You can add your own twist on things like ‘the product claims’ and ‘my thoughts on that’. Also, don’t feel obliged to write about absolutely everything you are sent, if it doesn’t fit your blog profile. For example – it would be really strange if one day you would see posts about Online Poker Services on my blog.
Your readers will appreciate more a well thought and researched blog post, with quality photos and personal opinions rather than a rushed copy/paste one. Lets be real, no reader will ever scold you that this week you posted twice and last month only once, so no need for apologies.
2. Images are Important.
We are visual creatures, people will be drawn to pretty layouts and beautiful photos. I have read many times that you don’t need a professional camera for blogging and to be completely honest, i disagree. Yes, indeed you don’t need to spend thousands on the latest professional equipment, but do try to get a second hand DSLR (they can be really cheap) or research the best point and shoot you can afford.
Play with the settings, watch online free tutorials and create pretty compositions. Just be creative and post only photos you are proud off. Sometimes it takes about 100 photos until i get that ONE perfect shot, so a critical eye is a must. There are many free online editing programs to help you create your masterpieces – PicMonkey.com is a great outlet for cropping, filters, enhance light and saturation or create collages.
3. Be polite.
Always try to keep emails, tweets or general social media conversations polite, positive and courteous. You don’t have to agree with everything is said and its healthy to say No, just try to do it in a professional manner. Its really embarrassing when i see fights happening publicly and people tearing each other up. Personally, my mantra is ‘if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all’.
Comments will probably be a mixed bag too – as in life, some people will like you, others not so much. Take criticism as it is, learn from it and above all, remember you cant please everybody.
Keep your word when it comes to deadlines and try to respect them as much as possible. If a PR company is sending you products and you are happy to feature them on your blog, try to send them a quick email when the post is up so they can check it out too.
4. Use Social Media.
You need to get yourself an account on all social media outlets available. Time consuming yes, but so worth it. Use your blog analytics to track where does your most traffic comes from and grow that platform. For me is Facebook and Twitter, every time i publish a new post – i try to promote it on said outlets. You would be surprised how much your blog can grow if you are consistent. That said, try not to spam – i try to promote a new post twice max on the same day.
Facebook can be great – a page for your blog is a must and yes, boosting and advertising is worth it. Also there are many blogger groups that you can join and promote your new articles, so just find your niche. Schedule posts and tweets to keep interest up.
5. Be honest.
I never understood why people would feel offended when a PR would ask about their stats. Of course a company would need to know your reach before deciding if they should start a collaboration or not. Being transparent and honest is always the best policy, be proud of what you have achieved and don’t compare yourself to others. Also sharing your reach will show a company how steady you are growing – for example i have been working with a PR for years, sharing my stats on a yearly basis and every time, i get an email back congratulating me on my progress.
Sponsored posts will happen, to some more than others. This is not a bad thing, so don’t be shady about it. State if a product was sent or if a company has paid for an article, you will gain the respect of your readers and blogger colleagues if you are honest.
Hope this post is helpful to all new bloggers out there, if you have any specific things you would like to know, please ask me in the comment section bellow and i will try my best to answer.
Also, i would like to Thank You all – dear readers and supporting blogger friends for sticking by me for such a long time. Corny but true, your comments, likes and feedback make my day and motivates me to make my little corner of internet the best it can be.