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My Top Tips For New Bloggers

For the past 6 years, I have been writing this blog and, in that time, I have made many online friends, I have had some awesome opportunities to work with brands big and small, and I have documented all the adventures and big life moments that have occurred during that time too. What I haven't done is made this blog into a big income generator for me (albeit not through lack of trying). So, you may be wondering why I am sat here penning a blog post of top tips for new bloggers if I haven't really made it myself. Well, I guess, there is no one more qualified than me to share what you should avoid doing as a new blogger and share with you what I have learnt over the last 6 years of being involved in the blogging community and also the industry side of blogging too.

Get social
Blogging is all about forming relationships. You are offering your readers something - be it an opinion, a bit of advice, or even directions on where to buy the cutest summer staples - and they will want to interact with you and offer a response. So, set up comment sections on your posts (honestly, there is nothing worse than a blog without a comments section) - I have found that Disqus is really easy to use and great for starting a conversation. And get on social media - the biggies you should have are Twitter and Instagram - and make them easily clickable on your blog page. Then just get chatting. Take time to get to know other people in the blogging community and take an interest in their content. One of the best things about the blogging community is how supportive most people are of each other but be aware that spammy comments and not-so-genuine interactions are possibly the easiest way to stop your blogging career dead in its tracks.

Another type of relationship you'll be forming is a working relationship with PRs. These are the people who will contact you with opportunities on behalf of brands. My top tip for dealing with PR people is to always be polite and professional. If an opportunity doesn't interest you, politely decline it. Don't talk bad about certain PR companies online as it will deter others from wanting to work with you. And keep your cool. As a smaller blogger, you will often get emails that feel a little insulting - like those asking for at least 8 hours of work in return for exposure - but try not to get annoyed. Simply decline and move on.

Don't allow your niche to restrict you
Every blogger and their mum will tell you that you need a niche (aka an area that your blog focuses on - like fashion or travel) but I am going against the grain a little here by saying that finding a niche shouldn't worry you too much. It isn't the be all and end all of blogging. For the longest time, I defined myself as a 'little bit of everything' blogger because there were so many different things that interested me. Lately, I would say that I have focused in on family and travel - honestly, I would love to be able to be a full-on travel blogger but my bank account is still sobbing from our Mallorca trip - but I find that I personally need to have a bit of flexibility and allow myself to write about whatever I want to. Limiting yourself to a niche can sometimes feel a little bit restrictive. Sure, people know what you're about but we all grow and adapt so why shouldn't our blogs grow with us?

Link relevant posts
This is a piece of advice that I got from the wonderful Fran Rockey in her blog post Things I Wish I Knew When I Started Blogging and that is so link new blog posts to relevant old blog posts as it helps to boost your SEO (which is a techy term for your blog's googly stats. Yeah, I don't know what it is but it sounds important). Just scroll down to the bottom of this post and you will find a section that says 'you may also enjoy' then I have linked a few blog posts that chat about similar topics. You can also link key words throughout your post to old posts too. If you look at the paragraph before this, you will see the word Mallorca in bold. I have linked that to one of my blog posts about my trip to Mallorca. So, give that a go. But maybe go back and tidy up your ode to galaxy leggings from 2014 first before presenting it to the world. Yknow, for embarrassment control and all that.

Set up affiliate links
Another thing I have been doing lately is setting up affiliate links. Peep the 'what I am wearing' section at the bottom of this post and the shop section on my homepage. Both of these contain affiliate links which give me a little bit of cash with every click through and purchase. I use the site ShopStyle which is just a fashion related affiliate site but there are loads of others out there. So far, I have made just over £1 commission (lol) but that is after just a couple of months using it is worth just setting it up as a few pounds will add up either way and it is really easy to use so why not.

Experiment with different apps
After reading Corinne's post on 5 Apps To Up Your Instagram Game, I decided to have a play around with some different apps and that is how I found Planoly. They are an app where you can schedule your Instagram posts and it has just made everything so much easier. I would also suggest giving Adobe Lightroom a go for editing - I think they do a free trial - as that is what I use to edit and I love it (especially as you can play God and make people disappear from the backgrounds of your photos).

My final tip is to just keep going. There's a saying that the last thing a fruit tree does is produce fruit and I often think about that in terms of my blog and social media. There is no quick fix to making it in this industry - only producing consistently good content and engaging with others will get you there. So, keep going and enjoy the process.

You may also enjoy:
Allowing Your Blog To Grow With You
Can You Make It As A Blogger If You Suck At Instagram?
Shooting With A Tripod: My Top Tips
How To Overcome Writer's Block As A Blogger
Learning To Switch Off As A Blogger

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