Tuesday, September 16, 2014

5 Tips for New Bloggers

So you started a blog. You even wrote a few awesome post—now what? How do you, like, BE a blogger? It's kind of intimidating, right? Or maybe just confusing? But also exciting and fun. You read blogs all the time. You know some of them are huge. And maybe some of them aren't. Could you be like them? Could your blog take you places? Get you freebies? Make you money? Better yet, could it introduce you to amazing people in real life or maybe just via the Internet and social media?

Yes, yes it can. It can do all of that and more on a small, medium or large scale.

It can also make your head spin (even when you think you've got the whole blogging thing down).

Let me back up.

When I started A Daily Dose of Fit, I really had no clue what I was doing. I was a writer who wanted to write, so I wrote. Some posts where better than others, sure. Some probably never garnered much of an audience. But that didn't bother me because it was fun. It still is fun. But I've learned a lot since then.

Am I a big, huge blogger with millions of readers? No.
Do I know everything there is to know about blogging? No.

Am I still learning? Yes.

So today, I'm venturing away from fitness and health for a quick post about blogging. (I know, crazytime.) Because even though I'm still learning, I've definitely learned some things along the way that I wish I had known before. See, there are a number of forums I participate in where people ask for help. And I feel like newer bloggers are always asking the same questions.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with this, but I'm always giving (and seeing) the same answers. So I thought, well...maybe I could corral some of my two cents into one post for those of you that are interested.

1) Write from the heart, always and forever. Because when you write from the heart, you exhibit your true self. As with anything, you'll feel the pressure to blog a certain way or about a certain thing—rise above that. Just do what feels right and natural. Keep it real and tell YOUR story, not someone else's. And if you feel like going off topic (like writing a post about blogging when you typically write about fitness), just do it (from the heart).

2) Dive into the social media platforms that interest you and interact with the users that share your interests and/or interest you in some way. Sure, brands love accounts with a high number of followers, but they also love to see engagement. If you follow and/or like people just to get them to follow and/or like you back, well...that's an approach that feels spammy and disingenuous. And it usually fails to work. Especially if you unfollow/dislike people AFTER they follow/like you.

Bonus tip: If you intend to grow yourself as a brand, create social media platforms that express your brand. Using private Instagram accounts for a public blog, for example, just doesn't work. Solution? Create two accounts. And if you're on Twitter or Facebook, use a service that automatically pushes your new posts to the platform.

3) Don't hesitate to reach out to brands that you want to work with. Craft an e-mail that explains what you can offer and why you want to work with them, then make an ask. It doesn't matter how big or small you (or they) are. If you're polished and professional, they just might bite. What's the worst that could happen? You know the answer.

4) Join the community. Social media accounts aside, there are a number of different blogging communities that are worth participating in. If you're a fitness blogger, you obviously know about SweatPink and FitFluential. But those aren't the only two. And for those of you that aren't fit based, consider The SITS Girls and POPSUGAR Select. This, of course, takes social media engagement to another level. They're like extracurricular activities, really, and they can open doors to new opportunities.

Bonus tip: The doors to these clubs aren't always wide open for entry. If you apply and get turned down, return the focus to your blog then apply again later.

5) Lower your expectations. And then create expectations that make sense for you, your life and your availability—because we can't all be full-time bloggers, nor do we all want to be. So if your goal is to post three times a week and you do just that. Hooray! Walk away from that feeling successful. Additionally, you might consider building a blog calendar, rather than going at it randomly from one day to the next. This not only helps you meet the expectations you've set forth, it also keeps your sanity in check.

Bonus tip: I mean, I could go on forever. 

Just know that the Internet is saturated with blogs. To get noticed, you have to be original. You have to be genuine and true, and professional and polished, too. Don't lose yourself in the race to be the best, because there really is no such thing. Just be you, because you know what they say (whomever "they" is): No one does it better.

PS: You might also like these posts...

• "The Key to Successful Blogging (and how it translates to life itself)"
• "Easy Ways to Improve Your Blog"
• "Easy Ways to Improve Your Fitness Blog"
• "6 Writing Tips for Bloggers"

PSS: Don't forget to enter my Skinnygirl Tasty Nutrition Bar giveaway.

Question: Seasoned bloggers, what tips can you add to this post for any newbies that might be reading?


Nicole said...

Great tips, thanks! I always love reading blogging tips, because they really reinforce what is necessary to help a blog become successful.

adailydoseoffit said...

You're welcome! Thanks for reading!

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