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Saturday, September 17, 2011

: how to be a better blogger :

woo hoo!
high-five for the weekend!

so, a lot of you are new readers [hey!] and a bunch of you have been around for a long time [thanks!]
i started this blog a long time ago without really getting it. last year, when i decided that i wanted to create a business for myself, i started reading a million different blogs. reading for context. for the photos. the features.
last august ; i had 19 followers. in february, i had 33. and today? i have 218. [please dont delete me!]
i am pretty proud of my little blog. i feel like i, my business, my blog, the content and my photos have really come a long way in 12 months!

as i was reflecting on my blog and what i have learned in the past year ; i came up with a few helpful tips.
also, i would love to have a discussion in the comments. if you have any tips, comments or questions, please add them!

tips for better blogging : 

1) be nice.
nobody likes a jerk blogger. use good manners. if somebody says something nice to you ; say thanks.
people are busy. we have jobs. kids. families. other obligations. people dont have to be reading your blog. be appreciative. it really does go a long way!
[remember, there are a billion blogs in the universe ; if you arent good to your readers, someone else will be]

2) stand for something.
get involved. we all have social causes that are important to us. [a few of mine = biking. education. autism. haiti. natural disaster relief.] if a fellow blogger is trying to rally a few troops ; help out.
do you run a shop? donate a bit of your profits.
[but diana ; i need that money. i have kids. loans. bills. and i want new shoes]
every month ; i donate a percentage of all profits [and then blake and i BOTH match that total] to give to a cause that we care about.
i get that money is tight ; but lets be honest ; the $5 you spend on a latte could save a life!
[annnnd personally, i am much more likely to support a business that uses their voice for good]

3) say hey
i spend a lot of time on the computer, and i find new blogs every day! see a blogger with cute shoes? or a great attitude? or someone that lives nearby? send an email. 
say 'hey. you look cool. i am cool. let be internet friends.'
[it almost always works][i have made a lot of great blog friends just from reaching out]
and really, this blogging community offers so many great opportunities. you just have to take them! 

4) get your face out there
you want more followers?
*offer a giveaway. host a giveaway. contact 5-10 of your favorite blogs/shops and see if they want to work together. write a few blogs with common interests and see if they want to guest post on your blog. or ask if they are ever looking for guest posters.
*have a product, but want more exposure? see if anybody will review your goodies. [you send it to them to keep and they write about it and tell all their friends]
*wanna sponsor, but not quite ready to spend/accept money? ask about button swaps. find a few blogs that you dig and see if they will post your button while you post theirs.
*annnnd use social media! have a shop you love? write about it. post it on facebook and twitter.

5) go ahead ; say no!
as your blog grows [i promise it will!] you will be contacted by companies that might not be aligned with your values [or your readers]. it is soooo okay to say no!
[personal story : a few weeks ago, i got an email from a company that i have seen around the internet. i dont use their products and honestly; i think they are overpriced! i was told that i would earn a commission  on each sale that came from my site. they werent willing to give me any samples, but they were hoping i would plug all their greatness. and i said no thanks.]
[this blog is a positive community full of intelligent, crafty, wonderful humans and i will never mislead my readers in hopes of a 5% payout]

6) shake your feathers.
blogging can be tricky. its easy to feel like your blog is lame cuz so-and-so has 29304820 followers and you only have 12. its easy to compare yourself to others and get bummed when you arent getting the results you want.
well, you know what? be proud of your blog. make it a cozy, happy place where people are engaged, inspired and learning new things. make it appealing. as soon as i get to your blog ; is it clear what its about? is there an easy place to locate your email address? clear photos? easy-to-read font?
make this blog work for you ; and make it welcoming to your readers and it will succeed!

7) turn down the damn music.
when i am on the computer, i almost always have music or netflix playing. its stressful when someone else's music is blaring and i have to figure out how to turn it off. [and i would hate to interrupt my fave backstreet boys song!]

thanks for reading along!
and i really do appreciate all of you! blogging is such a fun journey for me ; and i love that all of you are by my side!

if you have any feedback, comments or questions ; please put them in the comments!
i would love to create a discussion.