New Year New Blog Beach Cottage 9 Real Girl Sweet Blog Tips for New Girls
Fri 13th, Jan, 2012
Happy 2012, ready for more Beach Cottage Blog Tips? You loved Blog Tips last year from this old cottage, so here we go!
So I’ve been getting a few emails on blogging, from readers who want to start a blog this year, those feeling all full of enthusiasm and ready to rock the blogosphere!
Hmm, well it’s a wonderful world and blogging has done heaps for me…
Here are my few blog tips for getting going in the early days…it is easy to get caught up with lots of things with blogging…what platform to use, what colours to go for, filling it up with pretty badges, adding a traffic feed thingy, getting yourself on bloglove this blogranking that…these all add up to a lot of time spent on ‘doing blogging’ rather than actually blogging.. I do that still too sometimes…I would be a heap more productive if I followed my advice a bit more…
So these blog tips will hopefully help you out before you burn out before you’ve really got your mojo on and never turn on your blog again.
1. Real Girl Blog Tips – Just Do It.
OK the first blog tip… you have to get out there and get a blog set-up…and just start blogging…don’t worry about all the foofing and fancying…just write what you think and hit publish… the three main blogging platforms are WordPress, Blogger and Typepad…choose one, set up a profile and start blogging…
2. Real Girl Blog Tips – Design
Stick with the basics & keep it simple to start off with.
Oh you can choose a million and one things to do to your site…you can add lots of bright colours, get an all singing, all dancing thing going on in your sidebar, you can add a widget for your stats, you can add a widget for the weather, heck you can add a widget for how long it is that you have been blogging, I think it’s best to avoid all that..all of the blogging platforms offer a simple, easy and clean template that you can quickly, easily & simply customize as your own…stick with this in the early days and get blogging!
3. Real Girl Blog Tips – Pictures & Images
Get a camera and play with it.
In my opinion, this is crucial to blogging. It doesn’t have to be a brilliant camera, I started with a falling apart, old and cranky Cybershot and nowadays I often blog my phone photos, but you do have to work it and get it illustrating what it is you are saying.
Be careful about using other images, copying and pasting stuff from magazines etc… bottom line of this is that if you want people to read your blog, you need to blog your own stuff…you will see very very few successful blogs who are re-hashing and re-using other peoples/magazines pictures and content…most of the big bloggers, be it Home Decor, Lifestyle, Mummy Bloggers, Fashion Bloggers or Food Bloggers have been successful because they blog their own stuff, that is about them…
4. Real Girl Blog Tips – Blog What You Love
Love design? Love Baking? Love Shoes? Love gadgets? Love reading?
Blog what you are passionate about.
If you look at any blog, successful (in terms of popularity & traffic or not), the one thing they will have in common, is not their similarities, but indeed the things that make them unique…blog yours. It’s what it’s all about.
5. Real Girl Blog Tips - Get Social Media Savvy
No I don’t mean you have to get yourself on every social media site out there, but nowadays if you want to move and groove in the blog world it will be expected that you enhance your blog with social media and social media will help you too, whether you want to be the next Dooce or Darren Rowse or whether you want to connect with people that love quilting as much as you do…have a dig around with the top few…Facebook & Twitter, Pinterest, Tumblr and see what you think. I started Facebooking on a whim and really enjoy what I’ve got from it…recently I got into Twitter too and have ‘met’ and communicated with some really interesting people from all over the world, that’s the beauty of it, so get on it.
I love Instagramming too…this is an aside to my blog…I love snapping & photojournalling my little life…you might too.
As a minimum link your blog to Facebook & Twitter…if you don’t know how, it’s pretty straightforward it, just google it, there’s YouTube videos on how to…
6. Real Girl Blog Tips - Set Some Blog Goals
OK, ask yourself ‘Why Do I Want to Blog?’
I have been asking myself this recently and my answers sometimes change.
In my case I have blogged because I want to share the things that make me dance and sing…but this might not be what you want to blog about…and my blogging goals have changed too…I’ll be blogging them soon :-)
You may want to get a huge following (in that case you will need to network like crazy) you may want to make friends in the niche that says you (in that case you will need to interact with other blogs and get to know them), you may want to make a shed load of money (good luck there ;-) ) or you may be blogging ultimately as a side plate for your business (in that case you will need a focus & you will need to stick to being professional)
It’s a good idea to set some small and attainable goals for your blog at the start…I didn’t do this, I just blogged for my life….hindsight is a very good thing!
7. Real Girl Blog Tips - Follow a Blogging Superstar
I have watched with interest many around me rise (and fall) in the blogosphere and it’s interesting to see what they do.
So pick someone in your niche that you like, this can be someone small with a few, but very loyal and interactive readers,or it can be someone like Pioneer Woman….now look at how they do it…do they Tweet a lot? do they answer comments religiously? do they posts two or three times a day? what subjects do they post about? how do they link in their social media? are they consistent? (if they are big, you bet your bottom dollar they will not only be consistent they will be focused and persistent) do they network? do they comment on other blogs? do they use video too? do they give your their opinion?
One thing I always think with the Superstar bloggers is most of them are doing all of the above (or did at some point) to get where they are…lots of the bigger bloggers gloss over this fact…it appears to be effortless…that is so not true….
even if you did happen to have even a blog that has ‘just grown’, it will have ‘just grown’ because the blogger turns up there a few times a week working on it… I was recently having a conversation with another blogger about this…she was amazed at how her blog had ‘just grown’…she did nothing to grow it…nothing but provide unique, consistent, high quality and engaging content ;-)
So observe and pick a few things to do yourself..don’t go overboard in the early days, just get comfortable and watch what goes on…don’t try to do too much…you may see your Superstar Blogger using Twitter, Facebook and Instagram plus see her around other places too…she will be good at it, she will have worked it into her life and more importantly she will have worked out how to work it all! Take it one step at a time until you get into your groove with what works for you, but more importantly what you enjoy…
8. Real Girl Blog Tips - Keep it in Perspective
Don’t compare yourself to anyone else….that is one of the best blog tips I have, new girl or not….do not compare yourself to your favourite blogger, not that awful blog that you somehow find yourself reading that has a huge following but you can’t work out why and don’t even think about the big girls like Dooce.
It is probably fairly certain that in the first few months it will take a while for your blog to get going, you will need to be doing more than reading blog tips to make it successful…there are a few overnight successes but hardly any.
9. Real Girl Blog Tips - Love Your Blog & Be Your Own Celebrity in your Own Little World
This is something I learnt on my first ever blogging event only a few weeks ago (yep always learning in blogland)…yeah I was whisked off to Malyasia by those lovely guys at Nuffnang and to be honest I was apprehensive…I thought I would be very much out of my depth with all these big girl serious bloggers, I thought they would be all professional and interesting and focused and I would be some silly little housewife blogging about white paint and ballet flats…(they were all professional and focused btw, more on that soon)
but a strange thing happened…
I realised that the silly little housewife, with white paint and ballet flats is actually me, I am my very own little celebrity…just like the other girls there…the one who is seriously organised and loves it (please help me), the mummy who loves to travel (can you take me in your suitcase?) the one who owns rather a lot of beauty products and rocks them (& I thought I had a beauty product addiction), the one who takes photos I can only dream about (can you teach me stuff), and the one who blogs about the crafts she loves (can I come & stay in your caravan?)…all these girls are passionate and happy and love their blogs… and they made me see that I also love mine! …and that I need to shout it from the rooftops…
There’s nowhere else in your life, that you can be your own celebrity…you may be, like me a busy mum who may have lost ‘me’, you may be trudging away working full-time, you may have not much in your life to adore…well you can be…on your blog you can be your very own homegrown celebrity….on your very own blog, the place for you
One of the things I find really interesting in blogland is that many so-called ‘celebrities’ in media etc find it very hard to crack blogging…you see them trying…like really hard…because suddenly everyone needs a blog….if you like the same homey stuff as me you’ll know of a couple like this….you see some who have been on TV shows then try to carry it on to a blog and it doesn’t work…blogging is a very different, growing and changing medium and that is the very beauty of it for you… you have what it takes…YOU!
And I don’t mean in a totally self-absorbed look at me kinda way, I mean making a place that you love and rock and adore…that’s what I learnt in Malaysia from those other bloggers and that’s what blogging is for me
Your blog should be the red-carpet of your life…work it baby
And those my Beach Cottage lovelies are my thoughts on getting a New Blog in the New Year…my real girl doin-the-laundry while you blog tips
I bet you’ll love it ;-)
Over and out from Beach Cottage Land, wanna see my bathroom? It looks DIRE.