This post on tips for bloggers is specifically related to blogging so apologies to those who have zero interest. I get a lot of questions from bloggers new and old on various areas from social media management to website design. I’ve also worked on a number of websites, from helping them set up their blog initially to streamlining and redesigning existing blogs and business websites. So if it is something you want a bit more advice or help on drop me an email. I have shared some of my tips here previously and will continue to do that as I got lots of advice from seasoned bloggers when I started and (not that I’m seasoned by any stretch of the imagination) I have put a lot of effort into the technical aspects of blogging and social media. So here are some tips I either found useful when they were given to me or tips that I figured out along the way.
- Use the same blog title and profile picture across all social media platforms. Keep the same picture for at least the first 6 months so people are familiar with you across all the social media platforms. Keep the same username too, again making lief easy for people to find you!
- Make sure your contact details are clearly displayed on your website. I have a Work with Me tab with all the relevant contact details on it and also a summary of what sort of services I provide via my blog. Don’t be afraid to share the link to this page on your website either plenty of times especially to Twitter where I have found alot of opportunities have materialised.
- Buy your own domain – anything with wordpress or blogspot stuck in the middle of your name is cumbersome. Costs less than $20 a year to register and then its yours.
- Know your website Domain Authority (DA). I use Moz’s Open Site Explorer to determine mine – long story short its basically a good measure of where your website ranks in a search engine and here is the more detailed explanation by the experts. You will often find PR companies asking for this so know your number. Tips for improving it would be to get your website linked on a higher ranking website than your own, the links to my Irish Times articles have pushed my DA up.
- Take good pictures – use natural light always, yes this is hard going during the winter months but light bulbs casts an orange glow over pictures which just doesn’t give the same sharpness that natural light does. Your style will evolve over time that is inevitable.
- Study the social media platform – I’ve become extremely selective about the pictures I post to Instagram, I have a bit of a loose theme going on where I try to have white in the picture to show cohesiveness, it’s certainly working. I’ve written before about my twitter strategy. Find your Facebook niche – took me the guts of a year to develop a posting schedule that worked for me. And know your audience on each – I find Twitter better for making connections with bloggers and businesses, Facebook is where your public audience is, well really it’s where everyone is, and Instagram is becoming a platform for everyone but again I still find it best for connecting with bloggers and likeminded people.
- THINK – Is it True, is it Helpful, is it Inspiring, is it Necessary and it is Helpful? Every single time I post anything I keep this acronym in mind. For me if the post isn’t informative I won’t post it. And always be kind, you never know who is watching your blog and you certainly never know where the next opportunity is going to come from, so be nice!
- Use wordpress – this us a personal preference in a way but it’s so simple to use, so many professional looking themes and it’s easy to transfer your blog from wordpress.com to a self hosted version. I’m not hugely clear on it but I believe that with blogspot you don’t own your own content and if you break the rules your site can be taken down by Google.
- Realise it’s a commitment – blogging does take over a good piece of your head space once you get into it, I’m always planning and thinking of interesting things to chat about here.
- Get social – get involved in blogging networks, there are loads on Facebook for every facet of blogging from beauty to general. These are a great place for asking ‘stupid’ questions (there are no stupid questions fyi!) because there is almost always someone who can help. It’s also nice to get out from behind also computer or phone screen and meet like minded people. I’m part of a few lovely blogging groups ITWBN, Irish Bloggers and Cloggers and it’s a fabulous way to meet new, lovely people. This is probably one of the aspects of blogging I have enjoyed the most!
- Be patient – lots of people (myself included) wonder when the opportunities are going to start appearing. They do but only if you find your grove. By this I mean you concentrate on creating good content – write well, be personable and take good pictures and the rest will follow. PR companies will find you when the time is right and if you’re intentions are right.
- Be consistent – I aim to blog about 2 times a week at the moment and I use my social media networks hourly daily! Google and Facebook specifically detect regularity and reward you for it. Your SEO will improve and your Facebook reach will be improved.
- Use tools to make life easy – I use Tweetdeck to schedule tweets. I use goo.gl to shorten every link to my website, firstly because, obviously the link is shorter, it also means that Facebook doesn’t instantly recognise it as shameless self promotion and try and bury your post to force you to pay. If you have a Gmail account it is linked to this so all the links you shorten are saved and you can use the app from your phone to easily tweet a link out during the day when you get a minute and you can see the number of clicks the link gets which is great for figuring out what content works best for you blog.
Those are my tips for bloggers that may be starting out. It’s a fabulous outlet to have connecting you with new people all over the country and the world and it provides you with a whole new set of skills. Again, if you want to ask me anything in particular or if you’re interested in working with me drop me an email firstname.lastname@example.org