I’ve received several emails lately from people stepping foot in the blogging world asking how to get started, gain followers and get posts shared. Now I’m not a huge blogger by any means, but I have learned a lot in my past year of serious blogging and I wanted to write a post sharing some secrets I’ve picked up and some things I wish I had known when I first started. Have any other questions you want answered? I’m always happy to help – feel free to email me or leave a comment below!
Getting Posts Shared
The best way to gain pageviews is to have others, especially bloggers, share your posts, particularly on Stumbleupon and Pinterest. But how do you do this? Join some of the numerous Facebook groups for bloggers that have daily share threads. Basically you leave your link and share others’ posts in exchange for them sharing yours. Yes it can be time intensive but it works. These groups also often have follow for follow threads that are amazing for growing your following. On top of all that some of the groups also serve as forums where you can ask any blogging questions you have, or share tips you’ve discovered, or find bloggers to collaborate with. Facebook groups are a great resource for bloggers and one that should definitely not be overlooked.
Okay this one is not that big of a secret. I’ve even talked about it before on a post about blogging. But I get asked all the time how I put text on my pictures and make collages. I have no clue how Photoshop works, I’m sure that’s one way to do it, but PicMonkey.com is free and easy to use so I always recommend using it to create blog images.
This is probably the question I get asked most often. So how do I find sponsored posts and other collaborations? Well it depends. Sometimes the company does approach me through email, but this isn’t often. I typically find sponsored (aka paid) posts through networks that I am a member of. My favorite of these to work with are Izea (affiliate link), Social Fabric and Linqia (affiliate link), as these are ones I have worked with in the past with no issues and get recurring campaigns from. There are other networks out there that I hear bloggers rave about but I haven’t had the chance to work with them yet. Sometimes I do reach out to companies through email and send them pitches that involve using their products. I get way more positive responses than I expect through direct pitches and have established some great relationships with companies through doing this.
You know how your favorite bloggers must all have the exact same patio where they take those perfectly styled pictures? Was I the only person who thought this? Well if there is anyone else out there who thought this it’s not true. Those are vinyl backgrounds probably on top of the kitchen counter top or just on top of the floor. You can buy these for about $20 on Etsy and they are well worth it.
I spent so much of this first year trying to figure out what you HAVE to do for a successful blog. I read you HAVE to give you blog an alliterative name, HAVE to buy your own domain, HAVE to have a lot of white space, HAVE to have certain thing on your homepage, HAVE to publish posts at certain times every day, HAVE to write about certain topics and etc.
But looking at a lot of my favorite big bloggers, none of these are true. Instead they just are themselves and let their creativity and uniqueness shine through which is what has gained them readers. It seems that the best of the best post when they feel like it about what they feel like. They have templates that they like regardless of what color background is used and some even have blogspot.com or wordpress.com in their domain names. It seems that ultimately that isn’t what matters. If everyone does what everyone else does every blog will be a carbon copy of the others and who wants to read that. Be honest, open and most of all be yourself. And if you’re not having fun there is no point in doing it.