No, in all honesty I wanted to take a few minutes to go over some of the blogging related things I've learned so far. For the record, I started a blog at the end of November. I wrote some posts, but kept it all relatively anonymous and was still in a phase of not being really sure if I was a blogger. I didn't really start "blogging" for real I'd say until I moved my blog over to blogger.
KTJ Weighing In thus was really born, as I consider it, on January 1, 2013. Since then I've been so fortunate to make so many new friends!
What started this post was that I've received a few emails asking about how I've grown my blog in a relatively short amount of time and if I would be willing to share what I've learned. I actually had a nice little gchat conversation with a fellow new blogger McKenzie over at Chasing Happy the other day, she is actually in the process of moving her blog so it is still a work in progress, but go over and say hi! She was so sweet and we had a great blog related talk. But our talk really got me thinking about what I've learned so far about this whole blogging thing.
I'm relatively new here also and I'm happy to share what I know with you all. You can take it or leave it, no guarantee that I'm right about anything, only my opinions :)
A few things I've learned:
1.) I think I may be part robot. Yes, as strange as this sounds. But, I can never get those captcha codes on a first try. It can be so frustrating! Also, I read a lot of blogs from my iPhone and if you try to do those captcha codes with autocorrect, yeah it isn't happening. Sure, maybe there are easier ways and I'm just too technologically challenged to figure them out, but the codes can be frustrating in my opinion. I may have written a thoughtful comment, but after I can't get the code to work I give up and move on. There are only so many hours in the day. Ultimately each blogger needs to pick the comment security that you feel best, but if you want to turn off the code all you have to do is go to your blogs "settings" and select "posts and comments" then just scroll down and where it says "image verification" select "no" in the drop down menu.
2.) I think it is important to read other blogs and leave thoughtful comments. Ultimately if you want to connect with people then you need to do just that, go connect with other bloggers. Search for blogs written on a similar topic and if you enjoy a post then comment! I know when people comment on my blog I respond to the comments and I do my best to go back and check out the other person's blog also. It is a great way to meet new people and connect. Of course, if your email isn't linked it makes it more difficult for people to reply and share information with you. Check out this tutorial to see how you can make sure that your email is linked.
3.) There are thousands, if not millions, of blogs on the internet so sponsoring is a great option for getting your blog out there. Obviously sponsoring blogs generally requires money. You may pay anything from $1-$100+ depending on the size of the blog and what the blogger has to offer. I've seen some people debate about this and whether or not is good to sponsor, if you are "buying" followers, etc., but honestly it is advertising. It is a great way to get your name out there and to invite others to come over and look at your blog. Whether or not they stay is up to whether or not they enjoy your content and what you have to offer. It is all subjective as to why we read blogs, but I do sponsor other blogs and I do credit the sponsorships I've had with getting traffic to my blog. Think about it, how do you find blogs most of time?
4.) What to look for when sponsoring a blog? Yes, so this one was a question and not a statement, but I will be honest, I feel like I over sponsored, if that is even possible, a little bit. You really like a blogger and you want to support them and buy a spot for your little button. I've had great and not so great experiences and over the past few weeks looking at my traffic sources I've noticed some patterns. In my opinion, in looking at what blogs you should sponsor I would look first at the comments. Is there a lot of interaction? In my opinion, if you see people interacting a lot then it is a pretty good indication that the blog is getting a decent amount of visits and engaging readers on the page long enough to read through posts. I feel like when I started picking blogs to sponsor I looked at the number of followers first, but really you don't know if the followers came from giveaways or what. Not that doing giveaways are bad, by any means as I participate in those too and it's another way to bring people to your blog, but hopefully they will stay and interact! I've had the most success, of course only in about 7 weeks of observations, that blogs that had both a decent following and signs of interaction have created the most traffic on my blog. Also, look at the price and what is being offered, think about what you are looking to get out of it, look at how many twitter followers, etc, so you can see how many potential people could be notified that your blog exists. If you have questions I'd say its a good idea to contact the blogger for more info if you have any questions.
5.) Just because your blog grows, that doesn't mean that you need to accept sponsors of your own. I think it is easy to get caught up in the excitement of having new followers and making new friends. You read all these blog posts about how you can make money and all these things, but really if you make the decision to monetize your blog there is A LOT you should consider. Essentially, your blog is then like a business and money earned could have tax ramifications, for example. I can't advise anyone on what you should do when monetizing a blog, but in my personal experience I think the excitement got to me, but it is ok to take time to think about what you want to do. You can take as much time or as little time in developing your blog into whatever you'd like, it is your blog after all! With that I've actually decided to take more time to think about the direction I'd like my blog to go in. I'm writing to connect with others and to have weight loss accountability. I'm not saying that I won't ever have sponsors again in the future, but right now I'm taking some time to develop my ideas more. I do have some amazing sponsors this month though and they have all been wonderful and brave in sponsoring me for my first month so check them out on my sidebar and share some love!
Did you find this helpful? If you google blogging tips you will find a wealth of information from people suggesting what topics you should consider, your tone, and all that great jazz, but I thought I'd share some information I've learned and based on questions I've received and most seem to be around how I've grown as a personal blog. If people like the information shared then I can always add more, but I didn't want to write a novel!
I'm more than happy to share what I've learned and if you have questions you can always feel free to email me at ktjweighingin(at)gmail(dot)com and I'll try to help if I can, keeping in mind I am new to this all also :) It is all a learning process!
Some bloggers who have been around for awhile actually offer consultation services, like Erin and Living in Yellow. You can find info about her consultation program here. So that is another possible option if you want some extra tips.
Ok, well maybe we should leave it to some professional bloggers! Giveaway time!
You can enter to win Blog, Inc.! This book has been recommended for new and experienced bloggers alike! There is no requirement to enter, but you can earn extra entries.
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