Updated: Mar 31
Wow, I can't believe I'm saying this but I have been blogging for one year! I can't get over how far I've come in this journey, not only with developing new skills but being able to educate and promote what I've learned in my college years in a way that I want to.
For those of you who have considered blogging, however are unsure how and where to start, I would love to give some pointers and apps that have helped me out immensely. Before I go over my favorite apps that I've found and have used, I want to go over my tips and pointers.
My biggest tip that I could ever give to someone who is thinking of blogging, is to plan out and build your website over a period of a couple of days as opposed to one day. On the day I decided to become blogging, I designed and published my site in the span of one day and I only had one post written. Looking back, I wish I had spent more time designing my website, working on my brand, and writing more posts ready to be read before publishing.
Stick with your niche! Sticking with your niche makes you more believable as a blogger and makes you stronger in your writing and promoting your brand. For example, if you're a lifestyle blogger and/or health/wellness blogger (I incorporate the two for I believe that health/wellness is part of lifestyle), you can talk about several different topics however they must relate to that subject such as skincare routines, healthy recipes, mental health, morning and night routines, etc. Whatever you're passionate about, be sure to blog about it!
Engagement! Engagement! Engagement! Be sure to not only follow other bloggers, however be sure to read up on and give some love on their latest posts. Engagement will definitely help you stand out to other bloggers, especially if you read up on their posts on a weekly basis, and will make them want to read and give your blog some love as well. This also goes to social media, if you're looking to up your social media presence-engagement is key! When I'm on social media, I like to dedicate around 30 minutes of engagement (liking and sharing other people's posts) before I post, and then I dedicate another 15-30 minutes to engagement afterwards. This will definitely help get your presence known and out there and others will be sure to follow you and like your content!
Marketing to your audience is KEY. When first creating your blog, make sure you pick a niche and/or topics that will be applicable to your audience. For example, most people nowadays are looking up topics that are related to or have been impacted by Covid-19, so if you're a lifestyle blogger you can write about different activities you can do during quarantine. Another example, if you're a skincare blogger you could write about different skincare brands and routines for the different seasons. Whatever your niche is, you want to make sure you write about topics that people will want to read about.
In addition to that, you want to make sure you promote your blog posts through social media. Social media is a super handy tool to help promote your posts and drive even more traffic. And if you combine this tip with tip #3 and engage with other bloggers on social media, it's even more likely they will check out your articles when you post them.
If you're starting to run out of ideas to talk about, or need some more time to brainstorm-that's okay! In the meantime, you can re-post through emails and/or social media your older blog posts that need some love or the ones that did incredibly well. Either way, as long as your consistently posting and maintaining your presence online, it's more likely that people will check out your site!
SEO- a word that's constantly out there on the internet and it's discussed on different Twitter threads, but what exactly does it mean? SEO stands for Search Engine Organization and in short, it's the way to improve your quality and quantity of internet traffic to your site. This means making sure you have marktetable keywords in your blog title and content and your content is relatable and of value to your audience. For example, if you're a financial blogger, you want to make sure you have keywords that relate to finances (money, funds, stocks, investments) and you want to make sure your content is related to finances. If one of your blog posts discusses the best coffee places in the city, then you might not drive as much traffic to your site.
Investing in my blog was something that I didn't anticipate that I would have to do, and it's not something I do often for if you follow all of the above steps you really shouldn't have to-however sometimes it is necessary. When I say investing, I'm not talking about spending hundreds and hundreds of dollars on hiring a third party to help market your site, one big way that helped me drive further traffic to my blog, and even to my social media, is utilizing promotions. Promotions are a great way to help reach thousands of other social media users that you may not have reached before, and drive them to your site. You can even decide how much you would like to spend per day, when I do promotions I usually like to spend only five dollars per day, lasting over a period of five days, with $30 in total spending. Another great feature is if you don't want your promotion to last the full time period, you can pause your promotion and it will stop charging your account. The biggest thing to keep in mind: the more dollars you spend, the further people it will reach.
I've been utilizing Wix for my blog posts and it's been incredibly helpful in not only scheduling my posts, but also creating my site and aiding in email marketing. It divides all of your pages so you can go to each page individually to create and/or edit if need be and has the option to switch in between your phone and your laptop sites (they appear differently between the two so you want to make sure your site looks correct on both your phone and laptop settings). Wix is incredibly easy to use and helps separate your posts between which ones are ready to post and which ones you are still working on. When you're ready to post and/or schedule your post, at the top right corner is an option to publish, you can select the downward facing arrow and it will give you the option to either publish it right then and there or to schedule your post. When first creating a blog or a website in general, definitely do your research first in finding out which services would best fulfill your needs for your site and brand. The two biggest sites that aid in blogging are Wix and WordPress and both are very good.
Canva is an amazing app to have if you want to take your blog one step further and create Pinterest pins (which is highly recommended to help drive further traffic). On Canva, you can either upload your own photos, or you can utilize templates/stock photos provided by Canva that relate to your topic (which you can easily look up in their search bar). Once you have your image ready, then you can add in texts with whichever font matches best, add in your website, then you can easily download it and have it ready for Pinterest. If you're a little unsure of how to caption your graphic, then you can always utilize the captions provided in the templates (just make sure you search for what the topic of your graphic is).
Instagram is an incredibly useful tool for blogging and for other business ventures, however sometimes posting can be a little stressful.
What do I post today?
What should I promote?
How should I caption it?
It's best to plan out your posts ahead of time, that way you're not stressing out, and that's where Planoly comes in super handy! Planoly is an app that's also compatible with both Android and iOS that will upload your photos of your choosing, save your captions, and will schedule your photos onto Instagram. You can also utilize Planoly for other social media handles such as Pinterest, Facebook, and Twitter.
Hootsuite is another great app for helping you plan and schedule out your content, I primarily use this app for Twitter and it makes life so much easier as my daily tweets are just automatically sent out at whichever time I have them scheduled. If you like to have daily and/or monthly tweets sent out, however don't have the time to do them at the moment, then Hootsuite is the right app for you!
We all want to make sure our photos look absolutely stunning for social media, however not all of us are great photographers (I'm surely not!). There's a lot of work and thought that goes into photography: what time of day to shoot, angling, lighting (this one is KEY), and so many other factors; thankfully Adobe Lightroom is here to help make your pictures absolutely beautiful! Whether it be having something removed from your photo, auto edits, or presets (these you will have to purchase seperately), Adobe Lightroom is there to help! Below is my before photo and then after with a cozy white preset (notice how much the photo pops after the preset!)
Snapseed is another handy photo editing app that has helped elevate my photos to the next level. Typically, I start editing my photos with Adobe Lightroom (adding auto edits and presets), then I go into Snapseed and help sharpen my images. Sharpening images definitely helps bring in certain textures that you normally can't see in un-edited photos and it definitely helps you stand out from other bloggers.
Another photo editing app is Polish can be super fun if you would like add certain graphics or overlays. Sometimes, when I feel like my photo could use something extra, I'll add in an overlay and it really helps my photos pop in ways that I didn't even think of! Click through below to see this photo's before and after with Polish!
You can buy attention (advertising). You can beg for attention on the media (PR). You can bug people one at a time to get attention (sales). Or you can earn attention by creating something interesting and valuable and then publishing it online for free.
David Meerman Scott
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