// 5 Blogging Tips v.1



I receive a lot of emails enquiring about blogging tips and advice, so I thought I'd compile another post around some of the most frequently asked questions and topics. Blogging is super relative and it means different things to different people. The approach and execution of two blogs are rarely ever the same (at least they shouldn't be since it's an endeavor unique to each person).


1. Unique, original content. This one is hard to do because the internet is so big! Regardless of what idea or topic you come up with, chances are it's been discussed 500 times before. However, that doesn't mean you shouldn't write about it! Every person has a unique perspective. Even if there's a DIY out there you've dreamt up but then realize so-and-so did it six months ago, don't let that dissuade you from doing your version! No single person owns every piece of content on the internet, so put your spin on an article or project and share it with your readers. If you're directly influenced by someone then be sure to give credit where credit is due! But otherwise, don't cloud your creativity with everyone else's version. Of course if you want to ensure that you're not subconsciously recalling another blogger's idea/words then give it a Google or try using Grammarly. (Not only can you check the grammar in your blog posts, but you can also use their plagiarism checker because no one wants to be a second-rate version of someone else!) If you want to check out the other versions of your idea, wait to look them up until after you've written your own! That way your content won't be influenced by someone else's. You could always link to your favorites at the end of your post.



2. Promoting your posts. There are a million different ways to go about promoting your own posts in order to get more eyes and ears on your content. There are so many social media platforms today that it's a bit overwhelming when you try to think of them all. Don't feel like you need to flood the internet with your "New post!" announcements. Rather than half-heartedly hit every social media platform, choose your favorites (based on your personal preference or the ones that perform the best) and really push them there. No one likes to 15 tweets in one day letting them know about your new post, so keep it simple. One at the time of publishing, and then one maybe 12 hours later. I think 2 pushes on Twitter are acceptable due to time zones and work schedules, but I wouldn't push a post more than once on Facebook, Tumblr, or Instagram honestly. But that's just my personal opinion! Some people like to utilize hashtags on Instagram, but they're not my favorite. I use them on our Him + Honey work just to connect with similar photographers, but otherwise I usually steer clear of them. Tumblr can be a great place to build a second following especially if you're a fashion/style related blog. Facebook has always been the trusty go-to but due to their change in algorithms, now only 10-15% of your "fans" are seeing your posts. I still utilize Facebook but I don't have a whole lot of personality over there (I reserve that for IG, Twitter and Tumblr!)

The best way to handle your promotions is to test the waters and different times of the day, and use different wordings to see what sticks. I only promote original content on Instagram and Tumblr, but all posts get published to Twitter and Facebook. This works for me since IG and Tumblr rely heavily on visual aides. There's no promotional plan that is "one size fits all." It takes effort to find what works for you and your blog. Ninety percent of the time I like to post at 7am CST. That way people can catch up on my blog while they drink their morning coffee or when they settle into work. On days that I don't pre-schedule my posts, I try to have them up by 9 or 10am CST. Then there are days like today where I let life's other responsibilities get in the way and I don't publish until mid-day. Usually I don't post anything if I can't post it by 10am, but sometimes I make exceptions. Find what time(s) work best for you and your readers.



3. Bringing in new features. Regular features are a great way to grow a loyal audience. I was far from the first person to do Things I Love Thursday posts, but over time and through a lot of "dedicated" to the feature, I've garnered a lovely group of readers who come by every Thursday just for that feature. If you want to start a feature, even if it's not super innovative or new, give it your own spin. Try to make it as unique as you can to you. Also try to make sure that your features are relevant to your readers in some way. Chances are if you're reading a blog about "blogging tips" then you want to grow your blog and it's not necessarily a place just for you. This means you need to pay attention to the types of readers you attract. Even though I've only done one installation of Rad Gal, Rad Gig so far, I'm so stoked at the response and I'm so inspired to keep meeting neat girls! That feature really fits with my demographic because I have an almost exclusively female readership, and if I'm being honest, my readers are pretty rad... so, naturally I want to showcase their awesome hobbies and talents. I'm inspired by them and it goes full circle!

You can try to dedicate a specific day each week or month to your feature, or you can do it when the mood strikes. I think it's great to have a set day when you can, that way your readers will learn to expect it and they can always drop in when it's time for that feature.



4. Nixing features that aren't exactly home runs. I've had a few questions about this specifically: What do I do when I'm so excited about a new feature, but no one else is? Man, that's the worst! I hate when you get all hyped up about something and you spend a ton of time on it, thinking "They'll love this!" and then it seems to fall on deaf ears. It can be super heartbreaking and it can bruise your ego a little bit... but you have two choices: Keep it going because you love it, or let it go. It can be tough to say goodbye to something that really inspired you, so if it's worth the time and energy for you to do it personally, keep on keepin' on! You may not get the pageviews and comments you were hoping for that day, but you'll feel awesome for having done it. If you're not a fan of feeling like no one cares, think about why your readers didn't jump on it the way you did. Different strokes for different folks, seriously. You can try to think of ways to tweak it, or you can move on to the next great idea.

Believe me, if I didn't care who read my blog, my blog would be ALL SHARKS, ALL THE TIME! But I also realize that most people don't care about sharks the way I do. Sure, I'd feel totally inspired by the content, but I don't think everyone else would haha



5. Think about aesthetics! Whew! This one is a big one for me. I've made all of these mistakes, so please don't think I'm on a high horse here! In fact, I still make a huge cardinal sin daily on this blog and I just like the way it looks so I don't care. (I justify all of my blog posts... despite knowing it's not the best way to set text. I know, I know! But I really like it so I do it anyway!) A few things you should keep in mind when you format your blog posts: Centered text is almost impossible to read if it's longer than one line length. Centered text is fine for photo captions or calls to action, but please don't center your entire blog post! Our eyes aren't meant to read type that way. It makes us lose our place and gives us a headache! If I see a blog post in centered type, I never ever read it. It just takes too long and too much effort. Make sure and post your photos to the FULL SIZE of the blog post! I didn't do this one for a long time (go back in my archives... anything without a "//" in the title means that the images are smaller than the body!) You'll be amazed at how much of a difference it makes in the look and quality of your blog. When things are aligned on the sides, it becomes so much easier for the human eye to follow. It gives a nice consistency to your blog! Here's a pretty outdated blog post about making your photos the full width of the body on your blog. Also avoid cluttering up your sidebars or putting them too close to your body content. Don't be afraid to leave some white space so your blog can "breathe". Your readers will thank you!


That's it for today! 5 blogging tips to help you get your blog in tip-top shape! I have loads more to share over the coming weeks, but if you have any specific questions you'd like addressed, feel free to give me a shout! You can leave them in the comments, @reply me on Twitter (@kaelahbee) or get in touch via email! I'm happy to try and help shed some light on anything you might want to know!

This post was in partnership with Grammarly. All opinions are my own 
(and I actually have a Grammarly account!)

39 comments:

  1. I think #4 is the most important one, and also the hardest to learn - sometimes, things just don't catch, so either you decide it's worth it, or you have to reshape or rework it into something that does work. Only if that doesn't pan out, would I then cancel it, but that should always be the last instance, I think. Saying goodbye is HARD! But when it's necessary, it's necessary.
    Excited for more of this series!
    xx Johanna
    Dear Life, We Need To Talk

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  2. This is such a helpful guide! thanks for posting!
    -Samantha

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  3. This is awesome!! I've been wondering about promoting my blog posts and what time of day and all that! So I think I'm going to play around with times and see what works best! Thanks a million, girl!
    ~Sara
    Sincerely, Sara

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  4. Great tips! I am totally guilty of the centered text, I don't know why but whenever I see a blog where the body is in the middle and it has a columns on each side (of sponsors or links), I just feel like everything needs to be equal and centered. If the body was on whatever side I don't think it wouldn't bother me as much. But I love the centered look, a lot of blogs look like this now. Column, body, column. And I like it!
    I know its wrong, and i know a lot of people don't like it but I just cant get past it, Its not like a hand write everything so its in the middle of the page, its just the blog. Haha, help!

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  5. Thank you for the tips! I just started my blog two days so ago and these are really helpful.

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  6. Very useful thank you :) xx
    www.touchscreensandbeautyqueens.com

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  7. Great post. Thanks so much for sharing! I am confused about using tumblr as a way to share you blog posts. Isn't tumblr a blog site in itself. I have thought about switching over to tumblr but i just can't get on that band wagon and uproot my blog to another hosting site. I have used tumblr as a search engine. So yeah, how does one use it as a social site?

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    1. I use Tumblr the same way in use Instagram. I'll post a photo from my blog post with a little caption and a link! I have 8000+ followers on Tumblr and of course they don't all follow this blog, so it's a great way to bridge the two audiences. My outfit posts perform the best over there so unusually out emphasis on them! I reblog SOME stuff on tumblr, but not as much as unused to! You can see what I mean: kaelahbee.tumblr.com

      I hope that helps a little! I'll be sure to go more in depth in a future post!

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  8. I was very guilty of making my images too small for a long long time. When I started blowing them up to actual size, it was a revelation. EVerything was so much cuter aesthetically.

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  9. When it comes to promotion, I really do not like when people include their URL in comments on other blogs. Most of the time, it seems obvious that they're not actually contributing anything, they're just trying to get noticed. A generic comment and a link will never compel me to visit a blog.

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    1. I read your comment, Jess, and then the comment directly below yours... and laughed out loud. They definitely proved your point ;)

      And I agree with you. I HATE little genero-comments with a URL after it. HATE. It's never led me to a blog.

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    2. The promotion thing and the aesthetics are my two biggest weaknesses. I finally did a FB page for my blog, which helped a bit I think, and also post my blog updates on Twitter. I'm not usre how many views it gets me or anything, but hey, I did it. I'm not really trying to seek the horde of fangirls that the Big Blogs get; most of those people kiiiiinda scare me, haha. I want anyone who comments on my blog to feel free to disagree with me without getting dogpiled by 15-thousand "JUST DON'T READ IT THEN" comments. Of course, obviously that's a universe away from being a problem of mine right now, haha.

      And I DEFINITELY need a redesign. My blog design is more "functional" than pretty. I know what I want to do, but A. have I mentioned I am lazy? and B. ... nope, just laziness.

      I like these tips! Very good basic advice for ANY blogger, no matter their size!

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    3. When I first started blogging, I came across a (different) blog that had blogger tips, one of which was to leave your URL.... because that blogger said she couldn't find her commenter's blog or know if her reply to them went through if they used DISQUIS. So I wrote my comments like normal and left my blog URL as a signature below it. Silly in retrospect, which just goes to show, not everything you read on the internet is expert advice ( I suspect that particular blogger, like me, had just been new to the DISQUIS system).

      However, I love all of Kaelah's tips. Good, solid advice that makes sense :)

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  10. Great tips x
    http://whattaylorbuys.blogspot.co.uk/

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  11. Thanks so much! I made a new account and giving it a second chance. I think with you advise It'll work out for me this time.

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  12. Thanks for the tips! I'm new to blogging so these are definitely helpful to consider, especially number five. I thought about colors/images, but never considered text format could be a turn off! Thanks again! :)

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  13. this is a great feature, KB! thanks for posting, and looking forward to coming posts!!

    xo.
    holly

    happinessbrand.blogspot.com

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  14. So many great tips! Thank you!!

    http://lipstickandlacquer.blogspot.ca

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  15. Keeping all your photos the same width was one of the most best blog tips I ever got. I recently started using hashtags on Instagram because I found out it helps people who are interested in certain things find me. But I only put them in the comments because I don't like how they look.

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  16. Great tips! I'm definitely guilty of centering my text so I'm going to have to rethink that one. :)

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  17. I've followed your blog for a couple of years now. I started a blog around the same time but I stopped and have just started again. Since starting again I have been looking for any advice and tips! So thank you very much! I have just made all my photos the same width and totally get what you mean about how it looks! So thank you and I look forward to more tips you share. :)

    Ceira xx
    www.forgetmenotforgetmenot.blogspot.com

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  18. this is really helpful! i've found myself working a lot on my blog aesthetic lately!
    Rebecca @ tr[i]b[e]cca

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  19. Useful tips indeed! I think I will start my own weekly feature at some point. But first I have to be more regular with my blogging I think. And the Things I love Thursdays seems to be a nice idea to start with a weekly feature. I may seriously think of that.

    Promoting my blog is also a tip I should seriously consider. I have always promoted my blog on a facebook group and I think it's not enough if I still have a small number of followers after one year of blogging..

    Lastly the style advice is a good piece of advice. I am not best at designing but I have already kept all my posts with the same style and all my photos at the same width. That should really help. My blog now looks neat, even if simple.

    Thank you for sharing your five tips!

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  20. These are really good tips, some I will have to take better myself. I've been following you since the good ol' LJ days and I love to see that you're still active(even if the type of blogging has changed)! I can't wait for more of these posts!

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  21. Also, I always check for your TiLT post as soon as I wake up! West Coast! I love TiLT!

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  22. Love the tips!!! This is amazingly helpful! Thanks!

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  23. This was very helpful! I've recently started blogging and this was very informative for me. I definitely need to go back and left-align all my posts and make my pictures bigger. Thank you!

    Dianna from www.simplydianna.com

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  24. (Sorry if this posted twice, I went to comment then it redirected me back to a blank comment box)

    This was very helpful! I just recently started blogging and this was so informative. I definitely need to go back and left-align all my posts, as well as making my images larger!

    Dianna from www.simplydianna.com

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  25. If I could just get around to writing regularly that would probably help the most at this point but then I'm just not sure I do much worth writing or reading about. Lol. Great advice though! *runs off to stop centering all my posts* XDDD

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  26. These are awesome tips. Most people give the typical tips but I love your take on blogging tips! It definitely has me thinking.

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  27. Thanks for sharing your blogging tips! Really inspiring....really really inspiring! I just started my big blog and I'm screwing up left and right BUT I just need to not stress and go with the flow till I get the hang of it ;) Thanks again!!

    Tam
    http://www.cardmakingartists.com

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  28. I love all these tips! I'm currently using the last one on how to get my photos the same width of my blog. :)

    I would love if you could give tips on money and blogging. It's hard to maintain consistant blog posts that have original content and paying for materials for DIY posts and such, when you aren't making money from your blog to pay for these posts and all the money I make from working goes to *life*. This is something really hurting me being able to blog! I'd love tips on when it would okay to start asking for sponsor, and really just the money part of blogging! Maybe budgeting tips for new bloggers as well. I've tried the modcloth ads where if someone buys something, you get a very little amount and it just wasn't working. /:

    And congrats on the baby boy!! I'm so excited for your little family!
    Sara from andalittlechaos.blogspot.com

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  29. Thanks so much Kaelah, for sharing your wonderful tips! I've just started my own little blog, and I'm not quite ready to start sharing it extensively. But when I am - what are some of the better ways to go about it? Purchasing ad space on blogs I admire, commenting regularly on other blogs with my URL as a signature, etc..?

    Thanks heaps, keep up the inspiring work you gorgeously talented lady! x

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  30. I'm so glad you make these posts, so helpful!

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  31. This was very interesting - especially as I'm a new blogger myself and I'm always looking for tips on how to improve on what I am doing.

    Thanks for posting - I'm glad I found your blog today!

    Sophie xxx

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  32. I love your post very much.At the first sight, I was caught by your photos.But when deeply reading your thoughts,I am really obsessed by your writing.What you said make me think deeply about my life.I can feel that you are a talented lady and live your life with a sincere attitude.Would please make friends with me? Maybe it is my honor to be with you!

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HEY! Thanks for dropping by. xo KB