A Reply to Fiona’s Letter: Blogging Tips for a New Blogger
A Reply to Fiona’s Letter: Blogging Tips for a New Blogger
Happy Sunday! Today as a reply to the letter I received from Fiona of FashionUnhinged I’m sharing my tips and tricks for the newly born bloggers out there. As it’s quite difficult to cover every single point that immediately comes to my mind, please feel free to drop me an email or a comment below the post with your additional questions.
Hello lovely A,
I am writing to you for advice! I’ve recently set up my own blog, and who best to ask for advice, but my new favourite blogger! I’m looking for some tips/tricks/advice anything you have on being a new fashion blogger! The Internet is full of information, but I find it hard to navigate through all the rubbish, and get some real blogger advice on the topics I think new bloggers want.
Firstly, I was wondering do you have any secret tips that really helped you when you first started? Did anyone give you a piece of golden advice at the start that really made a difference to you and your blog?
Secondly, I wanted to ask about competitions, I saw recently that you ran one, it looked really successful, do you think this is a good way for me to connect with other bloggers and users, to promote my blog? Or do you think this is something you should only do as an established blogger?
Thirdly, I would like to ask, (I know everyone has a different answer for this) but how many views can I expect in my first few months, what do you think the average is? Do you have any secret SEO tips, or social media tips that might help readers see my site. I really want to spread the word about my site, but I am not sure the best avenues, or the right avenues, there are so many, did you find any particularly helpful when you started?
Did you get someone to help you with the technical stuff on your site? Or any SEO advice?
Last question!! I love Bloglovin for personal use, I think it is easier for people to follow me on Bloglovin, but how do you actually get people to subscribe to your blog? Not everyone wants their email account clogged with post updates. Are the number of people who subscribe important? Or is Bloglovin as important?
Hopefully I haven?t overloaded you with questions!! If you have any tips at all, I would really appreciate the guidance and advice!
Check out my new blog and please let me know what you think!
Hey you lovely Fiona! Thank you for dropping me this letter.
I clearly remember when I first faced this thing called ?blogging?. In Bulgaria, where I?m originally from, blogging is not such a huge thing and not many people are aware of the way it works. Actually every time someone finds out that what I ?do? is ?blogging? or that I regard myself as ?a blogger? I cannot help but giggle at the puzzled facial expression I always get as a response to my words. ?You do that full-time? Really??
Well, almost a year ago, one of my dearest friends, the beauty blogger Andrea of RosyChicc and I went to grab a coffee at Starbucks. We were chatting about life and when she found out how unhappy I was being full-time employed and doing something that I?d never imagined immersing myself into, she suggested that I started a blog and did what I love most ? write and communicate with people from around the world!
At first I shrugged, letting her words melt away similarly to the way the ice was slowly dissolving in my caramel macchiato. But similarly to the way the ice alters its structure to end up perfectly blending with the liquid to which it was added, Andrea?s words somehow got stuck in my brain. Mindlessly, I was constantly mulling over her suggestion while drafting my projects at the office. And just like that the idea behind ?Letters to Antoinette? thrived, a naked idea that I had no clue how to convert into reality. Andrea was the person who shared with me quite a few tips and tricks and I couldn?t be more grateful for all that she?s done for ‘Letters to Antoinette’. However, having in mind that our blogs are in different niches ? I had to be very creative and flexible in applying her tips and tricks while undertaking the first steps towards creating LTA. Having said that:
When you receive any sort of advice or filter out the most useful tips and tricks you stumble upon on the Internet, make sure to put them in the context of your blog and the goals that you?ve set for yourself.
Ask yourself: Are you going to write lengthy and meaningful texts, or would the photos be the focal point of your blog around which everything else will revolve? For example, when I started LTA, I was already aware that my strength was developing short stories/ creative texts so I had to work harder on my photography so as to ensure that my readers are not overwhelmed with words. I needed some visual story going on as well *sigh*. Also, knowing that writing short articles wasn?t my thing I decided to prepare no more than 3 articles a week so that my readers can actually digest them. Some bloggers prefer to post much more often just for the sake of having fresh content every single day, which, however, takes me to the next point:
When to hit ?PUBLISH??
When I launched LTA I had no idea when to publish my posts. 5 months later I?ve established a schedule, posting 3 times a week at particular days ? Sundays around 4 GMT, Tuesdays around 6 GMT, and Thursdays around 6 GMT. In this way I ensure that my readers know when to expect a new post from me. Also, I’ve chosen this exact hours so as to ensure that my readers both from Europe and America (where I get most of my traffic from) would have the chance to read my articles minutes after they’ve been published (it’s daytime both in the USA and Europe).
Having touched upon the subject of ‘blog traffic’ I recommend that you sign up for Google Analytics. It’s a great platform which will give you a more clear picture of where you get your traffic from as well as what your primary audience is. And beware as Google Analytics may become an obsession! Also, try not to obsess way too much over your page view statistics! If you invest enough of your energy in promoting your blog – you’ll notice massive difference in the page views you get in no time.
Also, as I have ‘Read more’ on my posts, the number of page views I get are a bit different to the ones you would. That’s why I don’t want to confuse you and speculate on the numbers you should be getting as a newly born blogger. What I know for sure is that with each and every new post I publish, my page views are increasing. Of course sometimes I won’t get the numbers I expect but I’m aware that there can be many reasons behind that – holidays, a bit more unpopular topic. So what you need to do is EXPERIMENT, writing on different topics, posting at different times until you finally find out what works best for you and your blog!
I?m pretty sure that there are many people who would be put off by my lengthy posts. However, for what I?ve chosen to achieve through my blog ? these are the type of posts I have to go for, especially
having in mind that I’m seeking answers to the so-called ‘grand existential questions’. LTA is a blog that I want you, my readers, and I to eventually create together (hence the name Letters TO and not FROM Antoinette). I realise that the niche I’ve chosen is a tricky one, however, since the very beginning I’ve been all in to do my best and succeed in it. For this reason I?m not afraid to be different and original ? I believe that there are still some people out there who would be interested in the sort of content I generate. And you know, when I go to Bloglovin? and see that only a few people have liked my posts in comparison to the dozens of ?likes? beauty and fashion bloggers receive ? I smile. Why? Because I do know that what I do cannot (and it shouldn?t really) please everyone?s taste. It would, however, touch the ones who?re genuinely intrigued by what I write ? be it healthy living, love, friendship, etc. In this sense whatever you decide that the centre of your blog will be ? go for it! More photo-shoots? Sharing quirky outfit ideas? Covering fashion events? Find out what your favourite topics are. Ask your readers what they love the most and why. And meanwhile ? NEVER EVEN DARE THINK ABOUT GIVING UP. The world of blogging is expanding with each passing minute. But the ones who truly stand out are those who are bold enough to do their thing. The ones who are not afraid to let their true and unique personality shine through. The ones who do NOT copy and instead invest all of their energy in creating content that others would feel tempted to copy instead.
Well, that?s a tricky subject. I believe that giveaways are a great way to say a little ?thank you? to your readers for you achievements, which wouldn?t have been possible without their support (ex. Bloglovin? followers). Would you get more traffic if you run a giveaway? Yes, that’s for sure. The problem is, however, that there are a number of people out there who would participate in your giveaway just because of the prize (yes, there?re people who do that for a living ? participate in various giveaways without engaging with your blog at all). Yes, many of them will follow your blog, but unfortunately only a few of them if any will actually stick around to read articles. What your blog truly needs is people who would follow it for the right reasons and engage with it rather than use it as a lucrative source of presents.
My suggestion? Run a giveaway (competition) only when you think it?s appropriate (ex. to celebrate a milestone ? 500 followers etc.) and when there’s a solid reason behind it. Also, try and think of meaningful gifts that are closely tied to what your blog stands for. Your readers would appreciate a thoughtful gift much more than a meaningless and commercial one.
Bloggers and Social Media – Part of a Whole
I hope you?re already hooked on social media as if not ? starting from today social media should become an essential part of your life. Since I launched LTA I?ve been constantly on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Bloglovin? and Pinterest. Social media are the channel through which you HAVE to promote your blog. Every time you publish a new post make sure to promote it across all platforms. Some people prefer twitter ? others Facebook so what you have to do is do your best to reach out to as many users as you can. For example, most of my readers from Bulgaria find out about my new posts from Facebook, whereas my international readers find out about them from Twitter. I believe that if you?re active across all social media, both promoting your posts and giving a sneak peek behind the scenes (yes, people are actually quite curious to unveil more about your personal life), you?ll get a step closer to succeeding in your unique blogging adventure.
Your Readers ? The Essence of Your Blog:
Your readers are what will make your blog successful. Great content without readers remains ‘soulless’. It’s precisely the ones who will get inspired by what your write that will turn it into a source of inspiration. Having said that, when developing your blog, make sure to put your readers first. For example, when someone comments below a post – make sure to reply even if you don’t do it straight away. The fact that they?ve spent some of their time reading a post and leaving a comment – that’s already A LOT. Show them your appreciation and gratitude by responding and establishing a bond with them. Also, please remember ? no comment is negative. Each and every comment you receive will help you uncover what your strengths and weakness are pointing you to the right direction in which you should be heading. Constructive criticism is actually one of the things that can turn you into a successful blogger in no time. At the end of the day your blog is targeting ?your readers?. Try and give them more of what they love most when visiting your blog.
Bloglovin? and E-mail Subscriptions:
Well, from my own experience people are more willing to click follow on Bloglovin? than subscribe to it vie e-mail. Is Bloglovin? worth it? Certainly! I regard it as ?facebook? for blogs. The people who?ve created accounts there are already interested in finding new blogs/ promoting theirs. I do think that the platform is a great tool for getting your blog out there and reaching out to people who are already looking to follow blogs from your niche.
How to ask people to follow your blog?
I certainly believe that if your content is strong enough ? be it photo-wise or text-wise you won’t have to persuade anyone to follow it. They will do so for the right reasons ? keeping up-to-date with the great content you?re regularly ?cooking? for them.
SEO and the Choice for A Blogging Platform:
When I was choosing the platform for my blog I knew that I had to start with something simpler (having had no previous experience within the Internet field) which is why I went for Blogger. Also, as Google?s blogging platform, Google will help you a lot with your SEO. All you need to do is use ‘strong’ keywords (words that people would regularly type when using Google Search Engine) and then add them to the ‘search description’ box prior to publishing your post. If you?ve chosen another, more sophisticated platform, you should certainly do your research so as to enhance your SEO yourself. Unfortunately, as I haven’t really worked on my SEO myself, I suggest that you look up for some online guides which would provide you with the basics. Also, make sure to participate in #BlogHour chat on Twitter every Tuesday at 9PM GMT as you can stumble upon experts within the Blogging Industry who can give you some great advice within the SEO field.
And A’s Golden Advice for A Newly Born Blogger:
Over the last 5 months I’ve learned one essential thing which has turned into my maxim.
What you need is to do is stand out and certainly not blend in.
Be bold. Go out and explore. Experience. Experiment with your style. Seek adventures. And most importantly LIVE.
When I clicked on your blog I was impressed by the simplicity of your design and its thoughtful name. Also, you?re photography and fashion sense are great which indicates that you’re already on the right track! From now on all you need to do is build upon what you’ve already laid the grounds for. Of course, there would certainly be days when you’ll lack motivation and inspiration. Use these days to go out and explore all the lovely secrets that the world keeps for those curious enough to uncover them. Life is way too extraordinary – it’s up to us to go out, enjoy it and get inspired by it.
Your blog is your own unique space. Make it as exciting, as different and as quirky as you want. Be creative and don?t doubt yourself whether you?ll succeed or not. You will and You already Have.
That?s the attitude I wake up with every single morning. Try and do that too <3
Have a great time blogging! Ultimately, your blog is an adventure book not a chore! Make sure to have fun with it!