Monday, October 10, 2011

Blog Tip Monday

This post originally appeared on my main blog on May 28, 2010, I've tweaked it slightly and updated one or two things:

My lil sis has a blog!! Her venturing into the world of blogging has inspired me to write a little post on how to get your blog from a start-up blog to something a bit more established. Sending your posts into the great unknown for who-knows-what random person to read is okay, but blogging with friends is so much more fun. Making friends in the blog world is easy to do!

Now I can't give any advice on how to become a big-time blogger and I certainly can't offer any tips on how to make money blogging, that's for sure. However as someone who has been blogging (on and off) for the past five years and as someone who has taken my bog from about 30 hits a week to over 300 hits a week in just a couple months, over a hundred hits a day, I've got a few little tips to help you get started with your blog!

  1. Before you do anything else, before you even finish reading this post do this: create a signature for your emails with a link to your blog. I did this when I first started blogging and would often have random acquaintances mention having read my blog when they would see me. Every time it happened was a happy moment for me. Do it. Do it now.
  2. The second very important this to do is to make sure that your blogger profile is public. Blogger allows you to add as much or as little information as you want so there is no privacy issue here, but it's very important for your profile to be public. This allows people to click over to your blog from comments that you leave... more about that later. Make sure that you have at least a link to your blog on your profile and make sure that your photo is really good and represents what your blog is about. While you're there make sure to change your profile setting to allow bloggers to reply to your comment directly by email. Learn how to do that here.
  3. Another important thing to do is to change the look of your blog. Even if all you do is use the Blogger widgit to change the colors of your blog and install a new header that is much better than a Blogger Template. You can get yours at Shabby BlogsAqua PoppyThe Cutest Blog on the Block & Blogaholic and I'm sure there are lots of others but those will have something to get you started for sure. Your blog will look so much more inviting and be more memorable after you've done this.
  4. Now, to get some wind beneath your wings and some people visiting your blog, join a link-up. The first time I linked up I got more visits on that one day then I usually got in an entire week! It's easy and fun, browsing through my blog you'll find several link-ups that I participate in regularly. Also check out the blogs in the sidebar and see where they link up! There are many many many more, depending on the genre of your blog and what you like to post about.  
  5. After you've linked up, visit the other participants in the link up and leave a comment. This directly relates to what I was saying earlier about your blogger profile being public. Once you've left that comment others will come behind and click on your comment to view your blog, it's the best way to build your readership and start making friends. Also if someone leaves a comment on your blog, it's nice to comment on their blog. Remember that the more genuine and thoughtful your comment is the more meaningful it will be to the blogger and will make more of an impact on those who are also reading their blog.
  6. Learn to use the Google "Follow" function, Google Reader or some other rss reader so you can easily keep up with your friendly fellow-bloggers. I view my blog reader as one of the tabs of my home page. It is WAY easier than trying to remember to visit each friend. New: Google Friend Connect is another great way to do this! 
  7. You might want to load a Site Meter onto your blog. I get a weekly email that tells me how many visitors have come to my blog. I love it.
  8. Post regularly - at least a couple times a week. Otherwise people kind of forget you're there.
  9. Remember that at the end of the day, it's not just about building the number of hits on your blog, it's about building community. Do what works for you. Have fun. Get inspired!
Well, I hope that this helps you out a bit- happy long weekend y'all!!