I received a number of these emails this month, (more than I usually do) so I decided to dedicate an entire post to new blogging tips and tricks. This is kind of like a part 2 for my 6 Things I Learned in my First Year of Blogging post. I in NO WAY think I am a blogging expert of any sort... but I am going to share the same advice that I share with the ladies who email me and hopefully I will help out a few new bloggers.
1. Choose Your Name Carefully: This is SO important. Like REALLY, REALLY important in my opinion. If you are thinking about starting a blog, you should try to select a name that represents what your blog is about. If you can't think of one, make sure you select a name that has some sort of meaning to you and that you like it A LOT. I say this because you are going to be typing out your blog name more than you ever dreamed possible. Try to keep the name short and memorable. Jot down a few of your top contenders, and do a web search to make sure there isn't another blog with the same name. Then head over to GoDaddy or a web domain site and see if that name is available as a .com. You don't have to buy a domain name to start a blog... but you should know if the name you choose is available.
2. Claim Your Social Media Accounts: Before you actually START the blog, take the name you selected and make sure it is available on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. If your name is available on those sites, there is a good chance it will be available on Periscope, Pinterest and Google+. Social media such a HUGE part of becoming a successful blogger these days. People need to be able to find you. Now some bloggers will debate me on this, but I think having your social media match your blog name is a must. Most people remember my blog name, Working Mom Magic. So when they search for me on twitter or instagram they simply type in Working Mom Magic and I pop right up. If I was Working_MomMagic or my name, it would be much harder to find. If you can't match your social media handles to your blog name, consider a new name. No joke.
3. Check out Bloglovin: When I first started my blog, I ignored bloglovin' since I didn't really see a point. Now I love it and I wish I would have started using it sooner. All it does it put all your favorite blogs in once, easy-to-find place. Why do you need this? Because you should be commenting on other blogs you enjoy. This helps you to get your own blog out there and you can see what you like and don't like about other blogs. It can be very inspiring to read what others bloggers put out there and helps to give you ideas for your own blog.
4. Join Facebook Groups: There are TONS of blogging support groups on Facebook. You can find groups for every type of blog out there. I really like Mommy Bloggers Share and Grow Your Blog. I am also a member of a few smaller groups. Just don't post your content unless you can really participate... or you will be (quickly) tossed out of the group.
5. Use Nice Pictures: I lived in a hole for way too long when it comes to how important pictures are for your blog. I still am pretty lazy, I only use my phone, not a DSLR... but I have stepped up my game in other ways and noticed a huge difference. Make sure your pictures are large and clear. I really like Canva and use it for almost all of the 'title pictures' for my blog. I know I still have a long way to go when it comes to pictures... but if you are a new blogger, take a moment to check out how your favorite bloggers showcase their photos.
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6. Set Goals for Your Blog: Each month set a goal for your blog. Take a moment to think about what you want to improve and write it down. It could be growing your Facebook following, a 25% increase in pageviews, adding new share buttons.... whatever. Just set that goal and then think of ways to accomplish it. Every month I have a few goals set specifically for my blog... sometimes I reach them all, others get put on the next month's list again. Either way, it really helps me stay focused and it gets results.
So there you go, my newbie blogger tips! I hope this helps at least a few people, and my inbox is always open if you have other questions! (firstname.lastname@example.org)