April 18, 2013

Blogging: Five Things You Should Be Doing

(Image: The Everygirl)

You all know how I feel about paying it forward and sharing blogging tips and insight. I've compiled five fairly simple things that I believe every blogger should be doing to grow their blog and appeal to their audience on a personal level. I know getting personal is easier for some than others - but I'm not just talking about bearing your heart and soul in every post. I'm also talking about connections. Getting personal also means making connections (and lots of them!). Put these five steps into place and I'm certain you will see growth in your blog and social media.

1. Linking your email address
I can't stress how important this is - I'm certain that I've mentioned it here before. There have been so many times I've wanted to reply to a reader's comment directly but there's no email linked. Having your email linked makes it so simple to network and build relationships with the bloggers you're visiting (whether you're just a reader or a blogger yourself). So, for those of you using the blogger platform here's how it's done.
a. Log in to blogger
b. In the upper right-hand corner you'll see your picture. Click on the drop down box and select "blogger profile."
c. Once that page opens, then click the orange box in the upper right-hand corner that says "edit profile."
d. Under "identity" enter the email address that you would like to be linked to your profile.
e. Finally, in the "privacy" section just above "identity" select the box that says "show my email address."
And you're done! Now when you leave a comment, the blogger will be able to respond directly to your comment via email.Which reminds me - bloggers, make sure you're getting comment notifications sent to your inbox!

2. Revamping your blog design
Has your blog looked the same since you created it back in 2009? It may be time for change. There are trends in blog design just like there are trends in fashion. Your blog design is the first thing (I promise) people notice when they click over to your site. Don't you want it to be absolutely awesome? Yes, I thought so - that's what keeps people coming back! Think about reading up on basic HTML coding so you can tweak things from time-to-time by yourself. But for the full redesign, I recommend seeking a pro. Most blog designers are wonderful to work with and will play with the design until it's exactly how you want it.

3. Taking your own photos
This is a band wagon I didn't jump on until somewhat recently, and now I realize how important it is. You know those posts that you just know are going to get great response as soon as you hit publish? My posts that feature my own photos are a guaranteed hit with my readers - and I'm certain if you try it out, you'll see what I'm talking about. The reason for the success? Those photos can only be found on your site. You're the creator, the original source, and they're coming to you to see them.

4. Saying "thank you"
Or you're welcome, or whatever the pleasantry may be! If someone sends you a tweet saying they loved today's post - say thank you. If someone leaves a comment on instagram that your new dress is lovely - say thank you. Being polite and courteous is always in style. I remember Tina Craig telling us at IFB Conference that everyone deserves a response - to an email, a comment, a tweet. This is a key way to build relationships with your readers, other bloggers, and ultimately leads to...

5. Creating a network
 It's taken me a while to get to this point and (thankfully) I feel like my network grows every week. So how do you do it? Start with number one on this list. Then do number four. After that, remember that you get back what you put in. If you want to build a network you have to be proactive. Sometimes it's scary. Trust me, there's nothing scarier than being in a room full of (well-dressed, well-educated, witty) girls and trying to strike up a conversation. But, I promise, it's worth it. Creating a strong, solid network often means stepping outside your comfort zone.


You can look back at similar posts here. And as you probably guessed, there's a "five things you shouldn't be doing" that will accompany this post very soon!


Tasia |Ruffles and Sequins| said...

Good advice Julie! these ring so true :D

Unknown said...

Really good advice Julie, thank you.

Have a great day! X

Unknown said...

Your blogging tips are so helpful. Thank you for sharing this. I need to step up my game, girl!!!


Emily {Isnt That Charming} said...

Great tips Julie! Very helpful. Will be linking to this on my Friday "Charms"!

Alyssa said...

These are such awesome tips, Julie. I couldn't agree more with number four!

Alyssa said...

Great tips lady!

Especially love #4....I never understand the people that complain about not getting comments/views/etc but then the few that they do get they never even give a simple "Thank you!".



viv said...

These are all 100% on point!

Anonymous said...

Great advice. Now teach me how to tweet. I'm so bad! xo

glitterfancy said...

It is SO true about the "taking your own photos" thing. As a reader, I appreciate that the blogger is willing to take time out of their busy lives to snap a few photos to share with me. I get turned of by blogs that only post entry after entry of magazine/pinterest photos. Mix it up a little! Show us who you are! =)

Sam (Savvy City Chic) said...

Thank you so much for all these tips!! As a new blogger, I'm still trying to get the hang of everything. I actually had no idea that my email wasn't visible until you told but then I also had no idea how to fix. Definitely doing that right after writing this comment. The exciting news is that once I move in with my new roomie, I will have ootd posts since my new roomie has an AMAZING camera and is a photographer.

Preppy Pink Crocodile said...

Wonderful tips! I have needed a blog re-design for ages. Hopefully I get that checked off the list ASAP.


walking dot photography said...

Great advice! I don't usually use blogger, so I had no idea that my profile info wasn't on there. 'Tis now officially updated! :)

Sheryl at How to Make a Life said...

Thank you for this post. I've recently started blogging and I am taking all of the advice I can get. I haven't moved to the point of a new design bit that is something on my list.



Kristin Clark said...

Great post lady! Very tastefully and well written, we all have those things that drive us crazy about the blogging industry that can sometimes be hard to put into words. Well done! :)


Anonymous said...

great list!! <3

XO Sahra

Unknown said...

I appreciate you taking the time to post these tips! As a new blogger, it is very helpful!


Samantha said...

Such great advice! I need to do #1!

maryjanecarney said...

I love these--I've GOT to be better at building a network. Thanks so much for the reminder!

50Peach said...

New member of Southern Blog Society here. Just wanted to say thanks for the great post and sound advice. Happy to say I've done 1-4, now for number 5! Can't wait to read more.

Unknown said...

Hi there! I just found your post as I was browsing through the Southern Blog Society, and I am so glad that I did. This is really great advice! I always love to see posts like this to learn more about being a better blogger. I really can't wait to see your next post about what you "shouldn't do!" Thank you!
Jaclyn, of Written in Fashion