Recently a few of my lovely followers asked me for some tips on how they could improve their blogging experience. Now although I’m no expert on the subject by any stretch of the imagination, I have been blogging for the last 18 months (Confetti and Curves is actually my 2nd blog) so it’s probably fair to say that I’ve learnt a few things along the way. However, everyone’s individual blogging goals & experience is very different. Some blog as a hobby, whereas others (such as myself) feel it’s essential for their career. Being a full time writer I believe it’s important to have a positive online presence, it also helps exercise my writing techniques, have fun and network with other writers and bloggers too – which is amazing for support & encouragement!
So to give those (who are interested) a smidgen of insight; when I started my very first blog, I had absolutely no idea what I was doing! The rest of mankind seemed to be clued up on blogging yet little old me had clearly skipped class the day of that lesson. However through trial and error I managed to pull my
socks stockings up and realised that there’s actually a certain knack to this malarkey… especially having hit a few potholes of my own, sighed at the misery of dead stats and dealt with the agony of bloggers block. So here’s what I’ve learnt from my own personal blogging mishaps & merriment…
Firstly it’s important to decide what you’ll blogging about. It might seem like a good idea to write about a mish-mash of unrelated things, but rather than spread your topics too thin & wide, consider what the bulk of your writing will contain and who’s going to benefit from your pearls of inspiration. Most of all write about things that genuinely excite or interest you, that way you won’t run out of steam too soon or end up pacing the floors with bloggers block. Remember, if it’s fun to write it’s more than likely fun to read!
Find Your voice:
Keeping posts cheery, humorous, helpful, informative but sprinkled with a unique dose of personality is always a juggling act, but in order to gain interest you need to find a voice & writing style that will encourage your readers to stay on the page. Rather than write like your composing a yawn inspiring text book, try to sound more like you’re chatting to a friend over a cuppa or humongous glass of wine for that matter *without the slurring & hiccups of course*
Keeping things personal, fun & friendly really welcomes followers to connect and engage with you.
In my humble opinion design is hugely important – it’s the first thing your audience or potential new followers see when they first hit your page. It’s the face of your blog brand or an identity almost, and if it doesn’t reflect the content then it’s likely going to confuse or put readers off hanging around to find out more. If you’re stuck for colour or layout choices have a flick through some of your favourite glossy magazines or websites that have relevance to what you’re writing about. Make sure your blog is easy to navigate around too… it may seem totally on trend to have a flashy site packed full of bells and whistles but if someone easily confuddled (such as myself) comes along and can’t seem to find the start button then it’s more than likely they’ll be hitting the back button instead!
So your blog looks like a slice of internet couture and your content seems sassy, yet no one’s saying hi or taking any notice of you, why?
On my first blogging adventure I found myself asking this question a little too regularly until one day the penny finally dropped… when was the last time I made the effort to read my follower’s posts? Had I ever even commented on any of their articles?
As you can imagine a big fat ‘POSSIBLY NOT’ was looming overhead like a giant blimp.
It takes time, effort and energy but if YOU make an effort to interact they *hopefully* will too; after all you’re not just in it to churn out articles day after day, you should be in it to learn, engage, have fun and feel inspired by others. Exercise those networking skills and you’ll soon see the results!
Yet again another faux pas in my previous blogging experience… how is anyone expected to find my super-duper blog if the very creator isn’t shouting/ranting/flailing their arms in the air about it?
With social media tools such as HootSuite free to use, there’s no excuse for lack of self promotion. For those of you who aren’t clued up about it, check it out! Basically it’s a social media management dashboard that allows you to schedule various posts that will automatically be posted onto the likes of Twitter or Facebook. Take a moment to think about it… not everyone is on your time zone, so this is the perfect opportunity to reach a global audience whilst you’re tucked up in your cosy crib dreaming of your next dazzling blog article… Oh yeah!
Use Your Space:
Is your blog’s side bar decorated with pretty little widgets advertising where else to find you, what networks you may be part of, any recent blog awards & cool top posts for new follower’s to check out? If not, why not? There’s a whole empty strip of wasted space that you could fill with lots of your favourite articles… another way to tempt readers into clicking onto new content. Okay we’re not talking Times Square here, but as they say every little helps right?
On occasion, pr companies or brands may want to drop you a line if they like what they see – it’s happened to me quite a few times now and this little blog just turned 2 months old! However in order to get in touch they’re going to need an email address to contact you on… and have you any idea the vast amount of bloggers that don’t have contact details on their site? Shockingly, quite a few!
Make sure your email address is visible – just in case the contact form happens to have a hissy-fit or the person simply just wants a good old fashioned @ address. It’s also a good idea to write a little bio about yourself; this doesn’t need to be your entire life story just a few paragraphs to inform the reader who you are & what you’re about, it simply lets the world know a little more about the person behind the blog.
How has your blogging journey been? Do you struggle in any particular area or alternatively have any top tips, thoughts or feedback to share? If so I’d love to hear from you in the comments below – you all know by now how much I enjoy a good old natter!