Calling All Bloggers:
In case you missed our event recap with the big announcement… the month of May marked Peachfully Chic’s first birthday and we’re keeping the celebration going by bringing you the top blog tips any new (and experienced) blogger must read from some of our favorite bloggers!
So without further ado, straight from the mouths of some of our favs…
The Top Tips Every Blogger Must Read:
1. Becca @ Becoming Adorrable:
I think one mistake many new bloggers, including myself, make is writing about other people in their lives. This is your blog, so you should be writing about YOU, and what you are creating, experiencing, or feeling. Your readers aren’t going to keep up with who all of your friends and extended family are, and they’re going to be more interested in you than your loved ones.
Blogging ruts are a real thing, and it’s okay to take a break if you need it. Sometimes we just don’t have inspiration, and that’s okay. It doesn’t mean failure. Sometimes stepping away from the computer and living life will end up giving you more and better content!
2. Mireille @ City Peach:
As a new blogger, I am still figuring out the ways and best practices for a successful blog. I knew early on how important Instagram and social media was to use as your promoting tool, but realized that image is everything when it comes to your display. Obviously, your blog content having substance and being true to who you are is #1, but you need to hook people to get to your pages. So by creating appealing Instagram pages, sticking with a picture theme so that it all flows well together, and consistently interacting with other bloggers, will help drive traffic to your main source of content. It is hard to lure an audience to a specific place and I believe it is key to speak to your readers in a way to where they cannot wait to visit you where ever you want to take them!
3. Cynthia @ Darling Down South:
Be true to your brand. Figure out who your target audience is and be true to them. Getting stuff for free is great, but don’t accept stuff just to get stuff! You might be told no a lot and you might have to tell no a lot, but it’ll get you closer to working with brands you love, faster!
4. Erica @ Eating With Erica:
Publicists are your best friends in blogging. When I first started blogging, I always saw other bloggers that were attending awesome events, and I wondered: How did they get into that event? Publicists and being on several mailing and e-mailing lists keep you current with all of the latest events, grand openings, and hot spots.
Social media is imperative to any online business especially blogging. And bloggers should maintain and update their social media regularly.
5. Amelia @ The Fit and Well Atlanta Belle:
Stick to a schedule that you’re comfortable with. If blogging daily isn’t realistic for you, then blog weekly. Take a break sometimes. For example, every December and July, I take a blog-cation (which I communicate to folks in a blog post) and encourage people to continue to see what I’m up to on my social media accounts while I’m taking the break. This allows me to recharge a bit. Just communicate what you’re going to do with readers ahead of time, and then do what you say you’re going to do.
Write something you’d want to read. If what you’ve written and the photos you’ve posted aren’t something you’d want to take the time to look at, it’s likely that others will feel the same way. Remember that you are competing with everything from Facebook to Cosmo for people’s attention — so make it interesting! 🙂
6. Joy @ For The Love of Tuna:
Don’t get down on yourself or feel like your work isn’t “enough.” It takes a lot of trial and error to grow, so the process can feel discouraging. Sometimes you feel like you’re doing everything right and suddenly you feel like everything you’re doing is wrong! Don’t sweat it though. You’ll figure out the balance that’s right for you (ex: how often to post or when). For a while, I thought that in order to be successful, I had to post every day… only to see my readership fall. So I tweaked and tweaked again, and now I love the steadiness. Also, sometimes the posts I feel are so meaningful get no recognition, and a post I scrawled out in minutes gets really popular – but don’t let that frustrate you either. Just learn from it… learn the “why” factor.
In my second year, I am focusing on being authentic. Now, this is only my opinion, but there are plenty of avenues to “grow your blog” in ways I think are unauthentic. Your following should be organic, not bought out by exchanging likes. I only “like” something if I truly like it. If it doesn’t correlate with my brand or image, morals or values, why should I promote it? Just to get another like on my stats? Sure, it might take me longer to gain a readership or following, but I will have a greater sense of accomplishment knowing it was authentic. So my advice is to keep yourself from trying to fit in if it causes you to forget why you’re really blogging. Again, remember the “why” factor!
7. Mandy @ House of Rose:
Build Your Email List
Even if you don’t have a product to sell, building your email list lets you correspond with your audience directly without having to worry about search engine rankings or Facebook algorithm changes!
8. Arkeedah @ It’s Arkeedah:
Life Balance is essential. Don’t let Blogging over-shadow your life. In the beginning, you work so hard building your brand that you forget to take a break and have fun. I remember working so hard that I suffered from the “Blogger Burnout” so now I have a good routine so that doesn’t happen.
9. Rachel @ Just Peachy:
New Bloggers: Make friends with other bloggers. Make friends who have been blogging for years, for months, who blog about what you blog about, and who blogs about the opposite of what you blog about. Having a wide variety of blog friends not only makes your life well-rounded, but you have so many opportunities to learn and work with other subjects! Don’t be afraid to reach out to big bloggers and keep engaging with them.
Older Bloggers: Don’t get discouraged. You started this project for a reason – because you were passionate and wanted to get out of your comfort zone! Some weeks you won’t want to blog, but just take a step back and refresh. Start back at it next week. Never take what others say to heart, and don’t be afraid to put yourself out there. Focus on yourself and what you like to write about.
10. Erin @ Living, Laughing, & Loving Life:
I would say is to be consistent. You have come this far be consistent with it. I am still learning to do that.
Have fun with it. You have the content now roll with it. Continue to do amazing things. Which again I am still learning today.
11. Courtney @ My Friend Court:
The one advice I would have given myself looking back is to just do it! Do all those crazy ideas that I was thinking about. I feel like in the past I tried to do things the way I saw other bloggers doing it. And honestly I just wasn’t seeing the results. The more I have opened up, and really shown my point of view on things- the more successful + happy I feel with the results of my blogging. Its given me an edge that folks + companies are attracted too, and since it is authentic to who I am, it often looks as easy as it seems. Meaning- I don’t have an image to maintain. My ideas for blog post + Instagram photos flow effortlessly and continuously, the serious problem is finding the time to do them all. It took me about a year of blogging to get to this point. I think I was gaining momentum. Really finding my grove in the blogging world.
My advice for gals going into their second year of blogging is to take a look back and really refine yourself. Maybe even give the whole blog a makeover! Look at what really worked and didn’t work for you in the past year. And be really analytical about it too [numbers talk]. Look at what post/Instagram photos got the most comments/likes/shares, and why? Running a blog/small business isn’t all about you. Even if your blog is call “My Friend Court” after yourself. Hehe. You are nothing without your readers/followers, so you have to listen to them and what they are responding to. Give them more of what they want! Right?! For me, it was finding the perfect harmony of art + fashion. Make it work for you too, but you have to keep people invested in your ideas if you want them to take the time out of their busy lives to read your blog.
Also, if you wouldn’t pin an image onto your Pinterest page, DO NOT put it on your blog and expect other people to. There is no excuse for bad photos in this day in age. 🙂 [same goes for Instagram photos- if your goal is to get it regramed, make it be good enough that if you saw it on someone else’s page you would want to regram it!] Or if your goal is to get big brands to work with you, look at the photos they post, look how they style their photos. Learn from others and then spin it to work for you. Year two is the time to really refine + step up your game. You have a whole years worth of content- so why not start showing people/brands what your worth?!
12. Jessica @ My Style Vita:
Research and invest in a clean and simple pre-made blog design. Don’t worry about spending a lot or hiring an actual designer. There are so many great pre-made templates that will make your site instantly look professional. With beautiful photos (even your iPhone can do that with the right techniques, apps etc) and a clean layout, you’ll look like you’ve been doing it for years.
13. Luisa @ Peaches To Pearls:
What you need to know: The best advice I can give is to utilize your social media to promote your blog. I cannot tell how much this has helped my blog grow over the past year. Instagram has opened so many doors for me and even landed me some pretty amazing new friends. Focus on posting only good pictures that serve a purpose for your blog content. After attending various workshops and figuring it out on my own, here are my Instagram 10 Commandments:
1) Thou shall post pretty food pictures- stay away from most Mexican food and half-eaten pieces of food.
2) Thou shall not post blurry pictures- even if its slightly blurry- do not post it
3) Thou shall try to have pictures of coffee, flowers and puppies- unless you don’t have a heart, these are always a huge hit.
4) Thou shall comment on others Instagram pictures- this has been a great way to build relationships and encourage loyal followers
5) Thou shall never be negative on Instagram- Don’t ever speak poorly of another blogger, vendor or anyone on your Instagram. And don’t complain. No one wants to follow a negative Nancy.
6) Thou shall not take too many selfies- Need I say more?
7) Thou shall thank all your kind comments- take the time to say thank you to your readers. This will build relationships and show what an awesome person you are.
8) Thou shall not be a copycat- Don’t steal other bloggers material or Instagram pictures. Be original. That’s why you’re a blogger in the first place right?
9) Thou shall use hashtags- I know they are so annoying but it is crucial you use hashtags and lots of them. They will help you grow and cultivate relationships
10) Thou shall not follow people then unfollow them- This is tacky. Don’t follow people just to gain more followers then unfollow them. There are apps out there to find out who’s doing this and you don’t want to look desperate.
Avoid this mistake: A mistake I made early on was comparing myself to other bloggers. It’s easy to look at some blogs and get really discouraged because you feel like you will never be as good as them. It takes a lot of hard work and perseverance to be a successful blogger. BUT the beauty of blogging is you will get rewarded for all your hard work. Keep your chin up and be YOU on your blog.
14. Cathy @ Poor Little It Girl:
Are you a blogger or do you just have a blog? Know the difference! Back in 2010 when I started, blogging was popular, but fast forward to 2015 and the market is so saturated it’s almost weird if you come across someone that doesn’t have a website. The difference between a “real” blogger and one who simply blogs is the mission behind why you are writing in the first place.
For me, PLIG is not a hobby, it is a job…and I’ve always treated it as such. I post consistently. I hire people to help me with my site. I do it even when I don’t feel like it because it’s my j-o-b. You know the saying “If it was easy everyone would do it!” Well, everyone does blog, so how do you set yourself a part from the rest? Or are you even trying to? Make sure you know where you blog stands and where you want to take it in the future. If it’s simply a place for your family to check to get updates on your kids or what you ate for dinner last night, that’s fine. But if you want to work with brands, get advertisers, etc. you need to show that you’re providing a service. That people come to your site to learn something and are inspired by your content.
15. Nicole @ Probably Polka Dots:
Know your worth and don’t be afraid to ask for it. First of all, make sure you’re being compensated in some way when working with a brand whether in product or in cash. Blogging is work! When it comes to working with brands, it’s hard to navigate exactly what to do, and let’s be honest, what to charge. A good rule of thumb that I’ve heard a few times that if three companies agree to your fees without hesitation, your prices are too low. If three disagree, your prices are too high. Easy as that!
Try to conduct business for your blog during normal business hours. This is so so hard for me, especially because I am writing Allison back at 9:45 pm and am clearly breaking that rule. But, if you’re partnering with a brand, try to conduct all emails and other correspondences during normal business hours. Doing so automatically professionalizes your brand and makes you look all the wiser.
16. Caitlin @ Southern Exhilaration:
1) Post consistently. Pick a weekly post goal, and try to reach it. This will provide you some discipline, but also will help your readers know what to expect from you. But also provide yourself some grace. You won’t always reach that goal each week, so don’t try to push content to hit the goal…your readers will know!
2) Engage. Follow other bloggers on social media and engage in conversations, comment on their blog posts, and engage with them in general. Blogging is a community, so don’t be a wallflower! Also, respond to comments on your posts and engage with your readers.
3) Statistics. Stats are big on your blog but don’t get bogged down when your blog and social isn’t growing at the rate you expected. Keep being consistent in content and marketing, and engaging with others and the growth will come. Most people do not become famous overnight.
17. Cat @ Styled MD:
My tip would be figure out the kind of crowd you want to attract to your blog! It’s so easy to just post about anything and everything but once you house a crowd a fan base is much easier to build and expand your blog! Also once you have it create a signature style or piece to stand you apart from other bloggers! Make it your own!
18. Chan @ Sweets By Chan:
1. Join a bloggers society. Whether you are in a city, state or region of the US, there is bound to be some blogger’s society for networking and growth. For example, I joined the Southern Blog Society to allow me to connect with others by sharing my latest post to a huge network of bloggers, readers and even sponsors. This granted me exposure big time. Some networks have annual membership fees but it’s a small amount with big benefits.
2. Quality photographs are essential to any blog. Focus on quality images that grab the attention of your readers. Invest in a DSLR camera and enroll yourself in a photography class. Learn how to control ISO, aperture, shutter speed and white balance. These are the four essence of taking amazing photographs. There is nothing worse then spending hundreds of dollars on a DSLR camera and the photo quality is no different from a camera phone.
3. Check your blog email regularly. Opportunities can come and go in a flash. I received a photo release request from a Conde Nast Traveler contributor. Conde Nast Traveler is a well known international travel magazine and website. Here they are asking to use my original photographs for an article that promises full credit and exposure for my blog. This huge opportunity was sitting in my inbox and I got to it a day too late because I don’t check my email regularly or have it synced to my inbox.
19. Melissa @ The Rambling Llama:
I think new bloggers should know commenting is key. that’s how you grow a community with other bloggers. if you’re using disqus, having your blog link in the disqus profile is key. I want to be able to find you easily to return the love.
Blogger blogs: remove the no-reply! I really do want to reply to you but u can’t if you’re a no-reply blogger.
Finally, if you have the money, invest in a good design.
20. Liv @ Unbelievably Human:
My best tip for moving into your second year of blogging would be one that I got after completing my first year and the best piece of advice that I have to date: Keep going and don’t be afraid to try things until you find your true voice, aesthetic, style. In the same token, don’t be afraid to quit things that aren’t working for you. It’s your blog! Share your passions!! But be Authentic.
BONUS! Meg & Kelly @ Peachtree Roadies:
#1. We’ve also received a lot of questions from people looking to launch a blog or just getting started this internet industry. Our advice? JUST DO IT! Don’t over think it or you will never get it off the ground. Before Peachtree Roadies we had both contemplated starting a blog for years – and finally, over brunch and tons of mimosas, we decided to just…start. And we made a bunch of mistakes. Want examples? How about only taking pictures with our iPhones (tiny, tiny, pictures I might add) and not leveraging SEO to its full extent (uh, whoops.) However, for us, the scariest part was getting started, and once we did the mistakes didn’t freak us out us as much. In fact, we will probably always make mistakes, because that means we’re growing and trying to be better.
#2. We’ve said this a lot, but one of our favorite parts about blogging is the amazing, supportive and inspiring online contributor community we’re fortunate to be a part of. Simply put, we’ve met some seriously rad people in the past year we would never have run into otherwise. Our advice? Get out from behind the computer and go to those networking events – you never know who you might meet!
And of course… I’ll throw in the best tip(s) I’ve learned throughout this first year…
Allie @ Peachfully Chic:
Running a blog consistently is hard work… and while some people have the opportunity to run their blog as their sole full-time job, it’s not always realistic to try to keep up with those bloggers when you are holding down a 9-5 (or rather an 8-6 job) too. Knowing that you work hard and consistently on your blog, and continue to improve things as you learn about blogging is what it’s all about. Take a deep look at what you can manage with your own unique lifestyle, and create a blogging style & schedule that works for you!
Quality is always better than quantity, as long as you set your readers’ expectations and follow through…
AND NETWORK in person and online with fellow bloggers! I waited a few months in ’til I really started to feel confident in sharing Peachfully Chic, but from all the wisdom and advice I’ve gained from the blogging community, I wish I had put myself out there much sooner!!
Techie Tip: Start with a “responsive” web design template that is mobile friendly, and then add, remove, or change things up as you go. Don’t skimp on setting up a strong structural site in the beginning. It will make things easier than just throwing something online now and then having to spend lots of time and money learning to fix it or hiring someone to fix it later. Plus you’ll rank higher in SEO with Google if you have a mobile friendly site!
Just because you may not have things perfectly perfect, that doesn’t mean you should wait on starting or improving your blog. There’s a huge community of support! Just look at all these wonderful blog tips from some of our favorite top bloggers!
Did we miss something???
If your best blog tip is not covered above, please do share your thoughts below!!! Share the knowledge peeps! 😉
Wow! All great advices!
I agree! So wonderful to hear everyone’s tips and share all the collective knowledge 🙂
Thanks for having me, Allie! I love Nicole’s advice so much. Blogging is work, and work deserves compensation!
As a new blogger, I LOVED this post! Thanks for the great insight–I loved everyone’s take! –Carly, http://www.workoutlifebalance.com
I’m so glad to hear you found it useful! It’s tough starting a new blog, but it’s great to be able to leverage everyone’s experience so you don’t make the same mistakes! xo
Thanks for having me, Allie! Everyone had such great advice! It’s always beneficial to learn from others! That’s what blogging is all about…community!
Definitely! The community is by far my favorite aspect of blogging! 🙂
Loved this post, it’s full of such good advice! Thanks for compiling it all and sharing it!
Glad you liked it!!! Hope it helps! xo
Amazing pieces of advice, Allison! Thank you (from the bottom of my heart) for rounding up these bloggers and putting these tidbits together. This will be a resource that I utilize and come back to over and over. xoxo
You are so darling Megan – thank you for your kind words! You seriously just made my day! I honestly think sharing this information is so critical to our blogger community supporting each other, it makes it totally worth rounding up everyone’s advice when I hear your feedback! xo