Even though I started blogging not that long ago I can confidently say that I’ve learnt LOADS of tricks and things about the blogging world. When I was starting out I thought of it as a hobby that would help me express my passion for writing and share my thoughts with the world. I didn’t know anything about it, let alone that you could also earn money through blogging. This post however is not overloaded with detail and tech advice but I’m more than happy to do a whole post all about the technical questions and tips in the future, just let me know! So here are my tips:
“Started at 13, quit and started again at 18”
If we go waaaay back to 2010 that’s where my love for blogs started. I’ve always loved this whole idea of blogging. A 13 year-old Mila was so in love with reading and watching what other people from all over the world were experiencing/liked doing/loved using for taking care of themselves & what they were thinking. So it all started when I was casually scrolling through two of my (still) favorite blogs classisinternal and erica mk. I looked at them and wondered “how do they take photos of themselves and their surroundings and make the posts feel so alive and almost like I’m right there with them”. They almost transformed me to whatever it was that they were doing through their blogs. It basically gave me a really comforting feeling and it really felt like I know them so well. Blogging just seemed like kind of a getaway to me. That is why I decided to start my own blog! I remember setting up on Blogger and posting about anything and everything and that was the beauty of it. Even though I was 13 years old blogging still brought me joy. After about a year of posting almost every week I stopped completely and my school and studies took over and seemed more important at the time (haha). 2016 was the year I thought “why not give it another try since I still enjoy reading and following bloggers on their incredible journeys!”. It’s been months as I said, and I’m not regretting being back! It’s such a wonderful feeling receiving all the feedback emails/dms/tweets/comments of people saying they’re enjoying reading my blog and even love it! Ahh just warms my heart.
“I suggest not to take up a sponsorship opportunity unless you are 100% positive your readers will love it & you love it as much”
So many people think that as soon as you start getting traffic – money will start raining on you, but its such a misconseption! I feel like before actually earning anything you first of all have to have a certain number of followers or traffic. I know that it often feels “unfair” that having amazing blog content doesn’t necessarily mean having hundreds of thousands of followers but, as they say, good content is only 20% of being a successful blogger whether we like it or not. I’ll talk about the other 80% in the next point.
As you guys know I’m always so transparent about my experiences and am never hiding something from my readers so I’m going to be completely honest. Throughout my blogging experience I got a couple of emails so far, from people that want to advertise on my blog. I had to turn all of them down just because A: I don’t want to have something on my blog that I’m not so passionate about, and that can potentially ruin the experience of reading it for my followers; and B: I wasn’t too sure wether I could trust the networks that reached out to me. So the answer is – no I still haven’t made money with my blog and am currently only doing it to enjoy and to give others good content that’ll make my followers happy and that will make others want to follow me along on my journey. Money and all comes second.
THE FORMULA FOR SUCCESS
“Don’t spam comment! It’ll only annoys others. Instead, ask politely & show genuine interest!”
As I said, the other 80% percent of the success depends on….. promotion (obvs). I can even tell from my own experience – whenever I spend more time on linking my newest blog posts or posting about them on my social media I get more traffic on my blog. People won’t find you if you don’t find them first, as ridiculous as it sounds. A good way for increasing your traffic is actually commenting and contacting other bloggers. And I don’t mean spam commenting or typing the exact same thing on every single post and just copying and pasting the same comment everywhere. I used to NEVER comment on posts that I enjoyed reading and I don’t even know why. I just used to read and then swipe on to get on with the other posts. HUGE mistake. As I started commenting and letting people know how much I enjoyed reading the post or how much I admire what they do, my traffic skyrocketed (but I don’t mean thousands and thousands of visists tho). The most important thing is – you have to be sincere.
WHERE IS YOUR BLOG HOUSED
“The right paltform is so important!”
I use WordPress.org as the platform for my blog and even though it might seem complicated at first (I literally had ZERO idea how to use it when I started out) you kinda get the hang of it as you go. I’d say I’m quite comfortable with it now. I did buy my own domain name and I am self-hosted. (I can write about that more in detail in the next posts if you’d like me to) It makes SUCH a difference in everything from being allowed to place adverts and people taking you more seriously. I do know lots of successful bloggers with wordpress or blogger .com domains and there’s of course nothing wrong with that, but I just felt more comfortable buying my own domain name. After all it’s only 12$ a year!
USING THE RIGHT TOOLS
“There will be some tools that can either crash your blog or help it out immensly”
As scary as it sounds, there will unfortunately be some dodgy plugins or themes from odd websites that may potentially crash your website (it happened to me a while ago and I had to recreate my blog starting from zero!). If you’re just a beginner be careful with what you use for your blog. Usually (there are exceptions of fourse) free themes, domain names, etc. can’t be trusted. I do have a list of amazing plugins that I love. They are:
Disqus is the plugin that I use for my comment section. It basically allows everyone to comment on your blog posts as well as you to comment on others’.
Google Analyticator is the plugin I use to see where from and when people read my blog. You have to first create a google analytics account tho. It actually showed me that many people from the UK, US, Australia and France read my blog so hey there guys! <3 (I love all countries tho)
Yoast SEO is the plugin that I use to make sure my post show up in the search engines and look the way I want them to look like so that others get a clear idea of what my blog/posts are all about.
MailChimp for WordPress is the plugin that I use to allow people to subscribe to my blog. I placed it in the sidebar and you also have to create an account with MailChimp firs. This one is free until you reach 2000 followers.
Bare in mind I spent HOURS watching videos and tutorials about how to install and use these plugins. (on YT)
“The design has to be simple and clean”
One of the most important things is the theme of your blog. People have to be able to see everything clearly and have easy access to everything on your blog. That is why I decided to purchase my theme from Pipdig. It’s SO easy to install and I’m nowhere near a “tech guru”. They have lots of different themes and I personally bought mine for 60$. (Another thing btw, blogging will make you spend money but it will all be worth it I prom!)
“Literally, set a timer!”
Golden rule of blogging – you’ve gotta be consistent! You pretty much have to publish as often as you can so that people don’t just forget that your blog exists. It can be hard to keep up with deadlines, work and blogging all at the same time so you should think about creating a routine. Set yourself reminders or schedule your day to help the situation.
I’ve been getting quite a few questions about my blog logo so I decided to include some info in this post. I did create my blog logo myself and no I’m nowhere near a graphic designer how some of you assumed haha. I just created an account (for free) on Canva and created my logo there. I just chose the font and the icons and completely customized everything to my liking.
DON’T BE AFRAID TO ASK
My final tip is – don’t be shy to ask other bloggers for advice. I personally love when someone takes the time to write me an email saying how much they like my blog and asking me for some advice with theirs. Reach out to bloggers (not the ones with millions of followers ’cause chances are they won’t notice your question/comment) and ask for advice. I’d also suggest reading blogs more and really writing only when you think you have something interesting or valuable to write about.
I hope this post will help some of you out and let you get on with improving your blog! Let me know if you have any more questions as I’ll be really happy to answer them and chat with you. You can tweet me at @topknotkindaday or send me an email! I hope to see you here again so be sure to stick around and subscribe (in the sidebar or scroll down if you’re a phone user) to not miss out on any of the upcoming tps, advice and all the posts in general!
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