This month’s Ask Elle will be a collection of commonly asked questions that I get about blogging. It seems as bloggers we become so guarded about our best blogging secrets! Well, I wish someone had been there to help me out in the beginning & avoid a lot of the mistakes I’ve made. There’s so much to cover, but I wanted to hit some highlights. I am by no means an omniscient blogging expert; instead, I’m sharing what I’ve learned in the past year (I recently celebrated a year of blogging here).
Q: How do I get more followers?
A: Followers do not equal readers, unfortunately. I’ve seen crappy blogs with 1000 followers but little interaction. I’ve seen great new blogs with few followers, but having followers is a great way to get your blog “seen.” Visit other blogs & legitimately comment. I can ALWAYS tell if the commenter has even read my post.
- Host a giveaway every so often. Don’t make your followers have to leap through hoops to enter.
- Post consistently & often, especially in the beginning. I’m currently posting 4-5 days a week. Do what works for you.
- Offer to guest post or wait until a blogger asks for help. Keep your word & follow whatever directions she gives you for the post.
- INSIDER TIP: I do A LOT of image searches for my blog. People can find your blog this way too by searching for images. For example, most pics are titled by date. Rename the file whatever the pic is about (ex. daily outfit color blocking).
- GET RID OF CAPTCHA CODES & MUSIC. Both are unnecessary and aggravating.
- If you’re looking for a fresh voice you can also try free content provided from places such as Article Writing Services.
Q: I can’t think of anything to write about. Help?
A: I’ll be honest—I’ve not (yet) been bitten by the Writer’s Block bug. I have months of ideas (eye rolling commences now) at any given time. But, when the mood strikes, jot down that idea before you lose it! I keep a NB in my car to jot down ideas; I have a notes app on my phone, a document on my computer, as well as drafts on my blog.
- What I DISLIKE is when someone completely copies & pastes a post from a well-known blog. EVEN IF the post is cited, it’s still unoriginal to me. First, chances are we’ve already seen that post and two, it shows you’re out of ideas. Don’t post until you’ve got a better idea. Better yet, include that post you found in a Links Roundup!
- Having a posting schedule really helps. Monday I do beauty/style tips. Tuesday is my weekly outfit. I have monthly posts like my Lust List, Elle Entertains, and my Ask Elle, which you’re currently reading!
- Be different. Be authentic. Be the girl-next-door. Be the girl we wish we were.
Q: How can I be a better blogger?
A: Model (but don’t copy) the blogs you like. You’ll notice patterns of what makes a good post.
- Use good style and grammar.
- Decide what you will cover on your blog. Often times we start with random topics on everything, hoping something will stick. What are you getting the most comments/interest in? THAT’S what your blog should be about. I admit, it’s hard letting go of some topics, but if there’s no interest, it’s time to let go.
- Nothing is worse than a blog that is used as a place to vent. Definitely post about your life but incorporate it into the post, unless your blog is completely about your life (like Dooce.com).
- Set up a blogging schedule and follow it. I spend hours on posts sometimes.
- Respond to comments often. Many respond as soon as they get them. I wish I could—I’m currently on a respond-weekly schedule.
- Try social networking with Twitter and Facebook. Don’t make every Tweet/Wall post about your latest post. Share other links and some posts (not complaints) of your life.
I hope these tips help. What blogging tips do you have?
PS--Would you like advice on ANYTHING? Email me & you could be featured on the next Ask Elle.
Happy EARLY Mother's Day to my Mommy! I love you.