How to Become a Good Blogger Part 2
On the 19th of September it was exactly 1 month that I launched Homemaking With Style. I’ve decided to try to post an updated blogging tips post every month from here on out. This way I can share what I’ve learned with other bloggers. I know I’m a newbie but I’m getting all of my pointers from veteran bloggers that I’ve connected with. I’ll tell you about my followings and you can do the math to see if what they have been teaching me has been working. Since I wrote my first post How to Become a Good Blogger about a month ago, my twitter following has increased by 300. It was 600 when I wrote that one and now it is a little over 900. I started a new fan page for Homemaking With Style and the number of fans I have is around 200. After a month, Homemaking With Style’s Bloglovin’ following is at about 75. I was also able to score a campaign with 1 brand already which I was extremely excited about! I cannot remember what my Pinterest following was when I wrote Part 1, but I have made some changes to how I do things on there recently because of a few posts and things I’ve stumbled upon and there has been an increase in my following there as well. Right now it is at 190 something. Ironically, my following hasn’t grown much on Pinterest, but Google Analytics shows that Pinterest is one of the top 5 places that generate the most traffic for my blog. When I get to my point about Pitnerest, you will see why. So here are some tips that I’ve gathered together for you all to ponder on and perhaps add to your blogging style.
1) I honestly can’t stress this point enough. It is the main reason I have been able to gain such momentum with this blog in such a short amount of time. Engagement. Engagement is key in the blogging world. Engagement creates followings, networking relationships, friendships and support. I’ve heard it from several bloggers who don’t even know I’ve asked them the same question. These are the bloggers who are responding to comments on their blog and who will come back over to your blog and comment on your posts too. No matter how big or popular you get this is something that you should try to stay faithful to is what I am told. This can be hard when you get like 50 comments on your blog, but you don’t have to comment on all of them all at once. A clear example. Some people might think I’m obssessed with her but I literally just can’t get enough of this one blogger that I interact with. Look at Tamara from Tamara Like Camera. She easily will have like 100 comments on one post. She has been blogging for about 3-4 years so I take her advice whenever I can get it for sure. She is the one who has stressed this point to me. I love people and interacting with them so this hasn’t been difficult at all for me. I’ve followed her lead and I believe it is generating some serious results.
2) Joining sharing networks. In my last post I talked about one of them called Triberr. So I’ve noticed from looking at Google Analytics that I don’t get that much traffic from Triberr itself, however I’ve decided to stay apart of Triberr for several reasons: 1) Support. From being apart of tribes, I’ve gotten to know more bloggers. This has opened more doors for more relationships. I have been asked to join more tribes, which means more of my content will be shared with more people that I haven’t touched yet through their social media channels. 2) I’m the mom of a very active 17 month old so I don’t get the chance to constantly get on the computer throughout the day. I do, however, have my iPhone. When people are sharing my content, especially on Twitter, I can easily quote the tweet or retweet it right from my phone. I like to do this and add some hashtags. If you didn’t already know, hashtags on just about most social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Google+ (when used correctly) can help you reach more people than those that are actually following you.
3) I have to mention this tip! It was given to me by a blogger who is rocking it right now in the blog world and she only started her blog a little over a year ago. My girl Lanaya from Raising Reagan suggested that you be yourself. This might sound simple, but there are things that you can typically run across that can make you alter the you that your readers are getting in your posts. Perhaps you haven’t met the readership that your blog is intended for yet. Just be patient and keep writing.
4) Which brings me to my next point: are you a frequent poster? I mean, do you post at least a few times a week? Some weeks I get so excited about blogging that I post everyday. This probably won’t happen every week, but posting rather frequently is a good thing from what I’ve heard from multiple sources. In reviewing my analytics, it appears people love the ‘how to’ posts and blogging tips the most. I love to write about my everyday life especially as it relates to mothering, being a wife and homemaker in between those types of posts. I’ll keep those ‘how to’ and blogging tips coming. All are apart of the topics that I like to write about so yipee! Google Analytics are your friend. I haven’t mastered reading through all of what it has to offer, but I can understand a few things that can help me plan posts accordingly.
5) My new favorite social media site: Pinterest. I want to give a shot out right here to my blogging buddy Betty Taylor. She wrote up a post about her gaining Pinterest followers and it has changed how I do networking on that site for sure. You can read the post here. The video on there is a bit long, but totally worth watching! I learned a billion things from it. :) There are some things you have to be careful of as well with Pinterest. A nice blogger named Amber that I’ve met along the way wrote up a nice tutorial that all bloggers I believe should read! Very easy to follow and worth the read. Take a look at it here. In my attempt to grow my following and stay more engaged with Pinterest, I’ve discovered some pretty awesome linky parties that you may want to consider joining here: the PinCentive Blog Hop at Cropped Stories, Mommy Mentionables’ Get Inspired With Us Pinning Party, Delectably Dawn’s You Pin Me right round baby, Diana Rambles’ Pin Me Linky Party.
6) Getting traffic from Pinterest means that you want to have pinnable images. People are going to see your images on there before they see your great content so creating good pinnable images is a must. What happens if you aren’t a great photographer like my friend Tamara or Michelle from A Dish of Daily Life? Take advice from my blogging buddy Mrs. AOK. She uses not only picmonkey.com but ipiccy.com as well. I knew about picmonkey but ipiccy was a pleasant surprise I didn’t know about. Another great tip!
7) Are you hosting a giveaway? Giveaways are a great way to give back and thank your readers for stopping by to comment and always read your posts. I hosted a few already on this blog and I’ve learned a few things about them. Rafflecopter is what many people use. If you want to have more than a few social media sites for people to follow, you will need to upgrade from the free version to the $7.99 per month version. Not to sound cheap, but I’m a stay at home mom who is frugal like it’s nobody’s business because we are still in the sacrificing stage so that I can be home with our little one, so $8 a month goes a long way. Besides, with all of the other things that come up in life, sometimes a few dollars can make a difference. My Blogger BFF Mrs. AOK told me about another site you can use called Punch Tab. The next time I host a giveaway I will be checking that out!
8) Linky parties. Yes, you want to participate and perhaps host some linky parties to grow your following. Here is what I’ve learned about linky parties, though: you want to maintain a balance. The advice I’ve received frequently is you want to remain engaged. How can you continue to stay engaged if you are constantly following a million blogs but not having the time to go back and comment and read those blogs? I’ve learned this the hard way in trying to host several types of linky parties. Usually, the most topic specific you get in your requirements to link up, the harder it might be to grow your linky party at first. Apart from occasionally co-hosting with others one week here and there, I’ve decided to stick to hosting my one linky party every week called the Mommy Monday Blog Hop. I have 2 other co-hosts on that one, Mrs. AOK and Lisa from The Squishable Baby. We take guest co-hosts on that every week for free so if you are interested in guest co-hosting with us one week, feel free to shoot me an email under my Contact section and I’ll add you to the calendar. :) I’ve maximized my networks using Mommy Monday because I try my hardest to go and comment on all the blogs and follow the bloggers who participate as well.
9) This brings me to my last tip about maintaining engagement once you’ve discovered new blogs from blog hopping and hosting linky parties. I have recently started to use Bloglovin’ more to help me in this area. I’ve started to categorize the blogs I follow in a way that will help me stay more engaged with bloggers I meet. It was a bit difficult for me at first because I was just going by what was in the feed on the Home screen. Using the category tool has been so helpful.
10) I haven’t explored this area too much because I’ve been just so excited this first month to post content and read other blogs, but if you are interested in monetizing your blog I’ve come across some great posts that are worth a read here: Shannon’s post called Business to Blogger and Kelli also has great tips here.
11) My last point! I promise! Have you joined some of the networks that offer opportunities to work with brands as well as help you connect with more awesome bloggers? I have joined a handful of them. You can look on the left hand side of my home page and just click on the image and it will take you to these sites that I’ve started joining.
I honestly hope these are truly helpful for someone out there in the blog world. If it helps just one, I feel like all my gathered research for these posts was totally worth it. Here are a few of some other bloggy buddies I’ve met that are just awesome. They are really engaging and will follow you back
Ophelia from Latina Mamma Rama
Courtney from What’s Up With the Wilhems
Dana from Kiss My List
Miranda at The Involuntary Housewife
These are only a few! I’m going to be updating more people each month as I interact with more awesome bloggers! Until next time!