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Tuesday's Tips

Want to know the Tips I have learned about blogging? If you want to learn the little tips and tricks I’ve learned along the way keep reading. If you don’t blog, or if you already know it all, click on to the next post, more cocktails, DIYs and snarky sarcasm can be found on other pages.

I’ve been blogging for just over a year now. Still a baby in the blogging community, but I’ve learned a few things along the way. I knew nothing when I started. I’m a little wiser now. I’m planning to do this tutorial in a multi part series. How many parts you ask? Well, as many as I can. There is a LOT more to blogging than picking a platform, a name, and a theme. I didn’t really realize that in the beginning. But, I promise to dish out my pearls of wisdom in ‘bite sized morsels’ for you over the next few weeks.

OK, let us have a ‘traditional start’ to this thing:
In the beginning I blogged my little heart out. Post after post. I posted about everything I could think of for an audience of maybe fifteen. (To you first fifteen readers I LOVE you for sticking around.) I tried posting every day. I tried posting multiple times a day. I tried posting hourly. I might have blogged about my morning coffee once, just so desperate to find the one thing that might catch someone’s attention. And: Nothing.

I read hundreds of other blogs. I envied those blogs with thousands of followers and their hundreds of posted comments per blog entry. How? I wondered. And then I figured out a few things.

The Look:
When I first started blogging I picked the busiest, most colorful layout I could find. And, I filled it with photos (really bad photos – more on that later). I put tag clouds. I put every widget I could find and I placed them all over my side bars, my footers, everywhere. And what did that get me? Chaos, I created chaos with no rhyme or reason. So, tip number one: SIMPLIFY! Choose a clean simple layout for your blog, if you can’t afford to have one designed for you then choose a basic layout from the free templates to start with. You want your readers to look at your content, not your background. Clean out your side bars. A simple category search and your contact buttons. Unless you are placing sponsored ads everything else should go in your footer.

Your Voice:
Be yourself! Seems simple enough, but when I started this blog I would post clean, plain, monotonous dialog. It was dull and it was boring and I am neither of those things. So why did I feel that I needed to blog that way? No idea. It took stumbling across this post from Forever Amber to make me realize that I could be my snarky, wine loving, curse-like-a-lady damn it, self. Tip number two: BE YOURSELF! If you want to reach people, inspire people, connect with people, be who you are. Don’t fake a life you don’t lead. There is the ‘blogging persona’ and then there is the ‘real person’ on the other side of the keyboard, but, I would rather read about real fails than fake wins, how bout you?.

Your Content:
This one should be simple enough but somehow it is missed sometimes. Tip number three: ORIGINAL AND ENGAGING CONTENT! Your content must be original. I’m not saying that you shouldn’t do round-ups of other content. I do them all the time. If you are going to do them make sure you are not over doing it. Add your own originality to it, and be sure to link back to the original content at all times. As a side note; don’t forget about editing. I’m lucky, my BFF is an editor, (you can check her blog here)but, if you are not lucky enough to know an editor just make sure someone reads through your content before you post.

Your Community:
The blogging world is very much a community. That being said, blogging can be a lonely life. Hours spent researching content. Making tutorials. Finding links. Just thinking up content can take a whole day. Make sure that when others comment or like your posts that you are taking the time to reply and if they have content you like or connect with make sure to follow them back. It’s a big wide world out there and we all have little voices we are trying to push out into it. Tip number four: EMBRACE THE COMMUNITY! If you’re already blogging check this out and join in.

Social Networking:
We live in a digital age and social networking has never been more important especially if you are a blogger. I get some traffic from Facebook, some from Instagram, almost none from Twitter, and an amazingly large amount from Pinterest. Know where your traffic comes from and devote plenty of time in the beginning to building a following in the place it will do the most good. Tip number five: NETWORK FIRST, BLOG LATER! If you’re spending hours and hours creating content for an audience of twenty then your time is not being spent wisely. If you’re just starting out commit to a specific number of posts per week (I do three to five) and devote plenty of time to social networking.

So there you have it. ‘My First Five Blogging Tips’, super simple tricks to make your blog just a little bit better! None of them are too life changing, but baby steps. In the following posts I will dive in deeper.

Happy Blogging!
XOXO,
Idyllwild

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