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Tuesday

Top Tips For Blogging Success | Part One


1.)     Don’t Compare

 Your blog is unique to you. There will always be times you feel like you don’t have enough traffic, followers or comments and believe me, I know full well how disheartening it can be to pour your heart and soul (and time and effort!) into posts to feel like you’re not getting anywhere.

Don’t give up.  Your blog is your little piece of the Internet which you can make completely your own. Don’t ever allow yourself to feel envious of what you see on other bloggers social media feeds, never forget that people only show what they want other people to see. Don’t compare your behind-the-scenes to others ‘highlight reel’. No one’s life is as perfect as it looks.

If you focus on making your content the best that it can be and if you can hit ‘publish’ and feel bloody proud of your post then THAT is what it’s all about. How happy blogging makes you should be the only way you measure your success. Anything else is a bonus.

2.)     Get Social

Now this may seem like an obvious one but if you want to gain traffic then you need to be active on every social platform out there. I’m talking creating Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook and Snapchat accounts and investing the time and effort to be active on every single one. I’m also a copywriter so I’ve created an online portfolio for my writing at JournoPortfolio  which offers both free and paid hosting – a great place to showcase your favourite work. I also have my blog listed on my LinkedIn and whilst I don’t share every post as a LinkedIn update I will share the link to my blog every so often, especially with more lifestyle related topics. It’s all about visibility and getting your blog out there to new readers in a genuine and non-spammy way.

Make sure your username is consistent across all accounts and include a social media widget on your blog so that people can find you quickly and easily on social. There are lots of guides on how to do this, such as this one for blogger and here for wordpress.

REMEMBER. There's no instant ROI in social media. You have to put the work in; then slowly but surely you will see results.

3.)     Get Savvy With Your Social 

Remember how I said you need to be active on every social platform? Well that really is the key. Get active and Engage. Engage. Engage. That is the number one rule of social. It’s a place to share your content but also to chat, support and connect with others.

Twitter.

Twitter chats
are a great way to connect to other bloggers, find and share great tips, become a part of the community, increase your visibility in a genuine way (don’t spam these chats with your links! If you’re involved in the chat and making interesting and relevant points then people will want to follow you. If you spam you’ll just piss people off) and discover other awesome accounts to follow. Becky has put together a great list of all the Blogger chats and times.

There are also some fabulous twitter accounts out there who will RT your content if you @mention them  - so make sure you’re following and mentioning @FemaleBloggerRT and @BloggingGals.

Don’t send Auto-DM’s. Just…just don’t. Okay. Please? It’s not 2011. No one cares, it’s lame and spammy and just not helpful. STOP IT. STOP. DO use scheduling tools such as Hootsuite to ensure you're active on Twitter even at times you may be busy - schedule links to current and old posts but be wary that you can start to look like a robot if all you're tweeting is blog links with zero interaction. Use a mixture of automated and live tweeting,

Instagram.

Try and post at least once a day. Lots of people have an Instagram ‘theme’, I’ve recently started to try stick to a cleaner, slicker look using high quality photos (you can see it literally change from February onwards ha). I’ll be doing a separate post on improving your visuals which will cover Instagram in more detail but as I began focusing on researching how to curate my Instagram feed to support my blog brand (yeah , no, believe me I know it sounds wanky) I found the following posts by Kayleigh and Laura extremely helpful and suggest you give them a read as they explain all about the apps they use and how they achieve a gorgeous Instagram aesthetic.

For Instagram video inspiration, have a look at HudaBeauty – she creates her own and regrams others all of which receive crazy high levels of engagement. Check out the Instagram blog on hyperlapse and PhotoJoJo’s comprehensive guide to shooting awesome Instagram vids.

Two more Instagram tidbits – follow people and engage by liking their photos and leaving comments. I have started to use hashtags on every single one of my posts as the first comment. Yes it can feel a bit cringe to do this but it works, so I do it. At the bottom of this post I’ve included a list of hashtags(*) that I a) personally use on my photos b) search for and then follow users and/or comment on their photos.

If you’re engaging with people and making that effort then you will start to see people following you back and liking and commenting on your photos. Again, this does take time but it’s worth it.

Snapchat

 Snapchat is growing in popularity at an insane rate (over 100 million daily users!!) and has even overtaken  Instagram for some demographics.  If you’re serious about blogging and social media then it’s just not possible to ignore Snapchat as a tool any more. I’ve recently joined (username JRosellenM and I’ll add my snapcode at the bottom of the post) and am actually loving using it, both for creating my own content and for viewing others. It’s silly, it’s fun, it’s real-life and it’s real-time.

“Live” content - especially video - is rapidly becoming a necessary component of social marketing . Snapchat is Twitter meets Youtube and is reality TV for everybody. Snapchat allows a glimpse into people’s lives that feels real and authentic. If you’re already a Youtuber and vlog it’s a great way to give your followers even more insight into your world, or if (like me) you’re not quite ready or even if you don’t ever want to be a Youtuber it’s a fun little way of sharing snapshots of your everyday life which doesn’t involve any fancy lighting, expensive cameras or hours of editing.

It’s also a great way to share ‘exclusives’ with your readers and give them an incentive to follow you, for example discount codes or workouts, as what you’re sharing can only be found if the user follows you on snapchat and views your story within 24 hours, creating a sense of urgency and then - boom - this person is now following you and is an engaged part of your community.

Check out these top 10 Snapchatters who are using Snapchat to enhance their brand. My favourite Snapchat Influencer/Storyteller(who isn’t on that list but is on this one)  is definitely Tristan as his snap stories genuinely make me laugh (and he’s cute. YAS I AM THAT SHALLOW).

Facebook

I’ve only recently began using my Facebook Page so my numbers are still pretty low. My issue with delaying in creating and actively using my Facebook page was ‘ZOMG MY IRL FRIENDS AND FAMILY WILL SEE THIS’ but Facebook is a wonderful tool and should be utilised. When I actually recently re-branded my page and invited friends and family to like it a whole bunch of them did, which gave me a nice warm fuzzy feeling and shows that us bloggers should be PROUD of what we have created and should be sharing it everywhere!

I love using the carousel option when I share my posts as it makes the post visually appealing (and visual content is key!) BuynowBlogLater also uses the carousel option. It’s super simple, FREE and you can read more about it on Facebooks carousel advert page.  Another example of a popular and well done facebook page is Anna’s – she posts at least 2x a day incorporating a mixture of blog posts and simply sharing snaps, using short amounts of text paired with great visuals.

Facebook organic reach is dead and Facebook wants you to invest in advertising.  It’s as simple as that. Boosted posts and Facebook adverts are an avenue worth exploring once your blog is established but my tips for increasing Facebook engagement (based on past clients and I need to start doing this myself!) are:

- Share every post to Facebook. ALWAYS include a visual and use the carousel option wherever possible.
- Host giveaways and competitions where part of the entry requirement is to ‘like’ your page
- Share your Facebook link on your other social media platforms
- Invite your friends and family to ‘like’ your page
- Invest in paid advertising further down the line

Pinterest

Ah Pinterest. I have a weird relationship with Pinterest. I have heard such magical things about traffic generated from it but haven’t experienced this myself BUT I must throw my hands up in the air and admit that ‘sorting out my Pinterest’ has been on my to-do list for weeks now and so it currently looks a bit…naff (proof). I have added a ‘Pin It’ option to my blog which allows readers to pin any images they like to their Pinterest board – more info on how to do this here.

As I am actively still learning about Pinterest myself (I am actually attending one of Melanie Duncan’s free Webinars later today on The Power Of Pinning) I’m going to share with you some blogs that I have saved and am currently reading and making notes from which are all about curating your Pinterest boards and maximising your traffic and some of my favourite Pinners:



4.)     Brainstorm, Make Notes & To-Do Lists.

The idea that Bloggers are obsessed with stationary is no lie. I have genuinely started carrying around a little notebook and series of coloured pens so that I can write down blog post ideas whenever they may strike. This post, for example, was something I thought up as my battery had died (nooooooooo!) on the train back from London. I sat scribbling away on my ‘to-do’ list and it included things such as ‘SORT OUT PINTEREST’ and it struck me that a post with blogging tips would be helpful – et voila. Here we are.

Brainstorming ideas is a great way to come up with new content and a phrase that I always try and remember is ‘Think like a reader’ – what posts would I find helpful and really want to see and read, then start jotting down ideas.

To-Do lists. Now, as I am heavily focusing once again on my blog there’s a mammoth list of things that I need to do and it can be slightly overwhelming (she says whilst rocking back and forth in the corner of the room). SO I find that having one overall list of things that need to be done followed by daily to-do lists help me achieve things in small chunks. The daily to-do lists need to be realistic, achievable tasks and there is SUCH a sense of satisfaction when you can cross something off your list. Finally, a little self-discipline is needed – if you’ve set yourself the task of doing ‘X, Y and Z’ today then damn well sit down and do it.

Don’t procrastinate (well, I mean a little bit obviously but not too much!) and don’t put things off until ‘tomorrow’. No excuses. If you don’t manage get it all done then that’s fine - at least you know you tried your best and you’ve made a start which means less work for you to do at a later date.

5.)     Make Small Investments


"Anything you're good at do yourself; everything else, punt.” - Gary Vaynerchuk


If you’re serious about blogging then I believe a few small investments are absolutely worth it.

1) Blog design

HTML, Javascript, coding….basically anything technical gives me a headache. I don’t understand it and I can’t do it. No matter HOW many hours or tutorials I watch I will inevitable f**k it up and it’s just not worth the time or effort of me trying to master it. So, I use a blog design which is created and installed by PipDig. Yes this costs money and any extras I have asked for come at an extra cost but for me hiring an expert to do the job makes far more sense than me trying to fudge it.

 
2) Camera Accessories

Don’t have a willing boyfriend to trot around after you taking your photos? ME NEITHER. (Oh Haaaay there fellow singletons.) Yup, if you’re a solo sally then it makes taking photos of oneself INFINTIINELTY TRICKER. Enter the tripod. Invest in one of these babies and it will make your life a whole lot easier. A wireless remote means you aren’t constantly running like a madwoman to get into position after you’ve set the self-timer too. Win. (Also if you are loved up then you can get super cute lovey-dovey coupley photos without asking some random to watch you frolick up and down the beach.) A selfie stick (WHEN USED CORRECTLY - OMFG GET YOUR ARM OUT OF THE SHOT PEOPLE. COME ON!) is a fabulous little tool to have, blogger or non-blogger, when snapping photos or shooting video out and about.

-Mobile tripod and remote -DSLR Canon Remote Control -DSLR Tripod-Selfie Stick
 

 Part TWO will be up later this week! Please let me know if there’s anything specific you’d like me to cover.

Snapcode:


(*) Hashtags (mainly for Instagram):

Blonde Bbloggers Bloggerstyle Bbloggersuk Bloggersuk  Bloggersofinstagram Fashionblogger
Girls Style Styleblogger Styleblog Styleoftheday Styleinspiration Stylediaries Styleinspo Styleguide Fashionbloggers Fashionbloggerstyle Fashionbloggerstyleblogger Fashionbloggeruk
Stylediary Travelblog Travelblogger Travelbloggers Travelblogging Travelblogs Travelbloggerlife
Beauty Beautyblogger Beautycare Beautyqueen Beautyguru Beautytips Beautyjunkie Beautyproduct
Beautyvlogger Baking Bakingtime Bakinglif Bakingqueen Bakingporn Streetstyle Streetstyles Streetstylefashion Streetstyled streetstyle_gf  streetstyleinspirations streetstylephotography SweetTreat  Londonlife  londontown  Londoner Londonfashion Londongirl  londonsupercars Nom Yum Obsessed Goals Want Heels HeelAddict ShoePorn FoodPorn Inspo Inspiration QOTD QuoteOfTheDay WiseWords Positivity
  
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