Do you ever wonder how some people seem to get it all done? How they make it all look so good, neat, and. . .well, easy? Me Too! That’s why I’ve created this new feature with some of my favorite pals! These ladies rock the blogging world and seem to know the whats, wheres and whys of it all . . .and though each one is extremely humble and I can see them now shaking their heads over my gushing, they really do know their stuff. I thought it would be fun to throw out a question each week and see what these lovely ladies can come up with. Are you in? Ready to read some applicable blogging tips? Well join me as we tap into the knowledge of all these wonderful bloggers.
To kick us off I asked a few bloggers “If you go back to just before you started your blog, what advice would you give to your former self?”
Jamie from BooksandBeverages.org What a great question! First, I would say stay consistent. Whatever schedule you decide, stick with it. I blogged as a wedding photographer for years before starting my book blog, but was never really consistent, so my readers never knew when to expect a post. Early on in my book blog, there’s was no rhyme or reason either and it wasn’t until I became consistent I saw steady growth. Whether it’s 3 times a week or 5, pick a schedule that works for you! I’d also say dive right into the blogging community! Commenting on fellow blogs, connecting on twitter, Facebook or whatever your social media favorite is, not only helps you grow, but you also get to make pretty awesome friends too 🙂
Sheila from BookJourney I would tell myself “Prepare to be blown away!” When I started blogging I had no idea how big the blogosphere was – in fact, I didn’t even know I was blogging… I thought I was keeping an online journal of books I read.
Oh and also, past self, seriously… that fuzzy pink and blue striped sweater of 2009? Don’t wear that again. Ever. 😉
Rissi from Dreaming Under the Same Moon Of course, there are countless technical or scheduling advice I wish I’d been aware of but I guess if I could go back and give myself any advice it’d be simple: don’t be afraid to jump in with both feet. In the beginning I was timid and unsure of what was “proper” in blogging. I still have a healthy sense of nerves when trying something new or publishing a post on a controversial topic, however the most important thing I’ve learned is to not be afraid to express thoughts, opinions or to join in interesting conversation. If you’re afraid to “live” in the blogosphere, then your experience will be limiting. It’s your readers who make the experience rewarding and because of that, I never take the time they take to offer insight – whether it be adding input to the topics brought up on Dreaming Under the Same Moon or comments on favorite moments over shared book love, for granted.
Kathy from BermudaOnion I’ve been blogging for five and a half years and have learned a lot in that time. There’s still plenty I don’t know but there are a few things I would do differently if I were to start over. I had no focus when I started my blog – I didn’t really know there were book blogs – so I would start with a focus and goals before starting a new blog. Then, I would carefully consider my blog’s name because it will become a part of you. I would also suggest reaching out to another blogger so that I would have someone to proofread, bounce ideas off of, and vent to.
Lydia from The Overweight Bookshelf Great question! Never in my wildest or most hopeful dreams did I think my blogs would take me to where they have or afforded me so many wonderful opportunities. But, the learning curve has been steep at times. My biggest tip is find a community that you want to belong to, not compete in. Thankfully the world of Christian fiction blogging is a warm and accepting place—we actually love to see new book loving blogs pop up because we are consummate over-sharers. I have encountered so many exceptional women, many of whom I consider my friends (waving to you Stacy!). Stay in touch with your online community through commenting and social media. It will make your connections all the more genuine and valuable.
If it starts to feel like a job, step back and reevaluate why you are blogging and who you are blogging for. Don’t be ashamed to take a break and come back with refreshed passion and revitalized writing voice. It is easy to overcommit and underestimate the value of your free time. Make a blogging schedule that allows you time for yourself, yet still provides your audience with regular posts.
On a more logistical level, I wish I had started on WordPress from the beginning. There is a lot of creative liberty using their framework and you can customize your site to really suit your personality and audience. Speaking of audience, remember that your content should be the star, not your sidebar. Avoid too much clutter since it can distract your readers and hinder them from returning. The eye needs a certain ratio of white or empty space to fully process what you are trying to read.
Most importantly, remember to have FUN!
and finally, Juju from Tales of Whimsy sums it all up beautifully:
2. Don’t be jealous. Just like in life, there will always be someone cuter and more articulate then you. But there is only one you. Tap that. Share that. Embrace that. Keep it simple. Keep it true. Stay happy. Have fun.Signed sincerely,
Are there any tips you could incorporate into your blog today? What advice would you go back and give your blogging self?