The things I wish I knew a year ago. . . | Health, Love & Fire

The things I wish I knew a year ago. . .

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Starting a blog over a year ago, I'll admit I had absolutely no idea what I was getting myself in to. I figured I'd write whenever I felt like it, share what I wanted to, and that it would be a good place to keep track of what was going on in my life. Little did I know, a couple months in, I would really start to like being able to write every day and the relationships I started forming. I slowly paid more attention to the numbers that would stare back at me everyday. How many page views did I have yesterday? How many followers have I gotten? Did anyone comment on my post? I started this blog not caring if anyone saw it, and I quickly started to care about random strangers finding my blog and liking me.

Now that I'm a veteran I've started to feel like I know what I'm doing a little bit, I've seen my numbers start to slowly grow. Now I'm absolutely not someone with thousands of followers, and I'm not even someone with 1000 followers, but I feel like I've stayed true to myself and I've made some awesome connections. Here's what I wish I had known about growing my blog a year ago . . .
Be You! - When I first started I would do all the daily linkups and I found myself only writing lists and taking pictures off pinterest and creating collages. While the occasional collage or linkup is awesome, make sure you still share your original content. People probably don't want to read lists all day every day, unless you're a fashion blogger and those lists include where you got the awesome outfit you're wearing! If that's why, then by all means go ahead! Readers want to get to know you and see what you're about. Don't be afraid to share what you're up to or what you're thinking! This is your space and you should own it!

Network! - Never underestimate the power of a comment. Commenting on other blogs and responding to comments people leave on your blog is the best way to build relationships! There are so many ladies who comment on my blog daily or shoot me an email who I have absolutely loved getting to know! Having those relationships and interactions makes coming to this space daily so much fun instead of work. Every day I try to find a new blog to comment on. This way I am always reaching out to someone new. Also, never be afraid to reach out to a "more popular"blogger. They were in your shoes once too and most of the time super happy to help and offer guidance!

Buy Sponsorships! - When I am looking for blogs to sponsor I look at a ton of different things. I want a blog that might allow me to participate in a group giveaway, or that will do social media shootouts throughout the month, or maybe they are willing to do an interview style post or feature post on their blog during the month about me. Any extra exposure that comes from having my little face on their sidebar is always a plus! I also look at the type of blogs I'm sponsoring. Because my blog is primarily a lifestyle blog, I'm probably not going to sponsor a primarily fashion blog. I want my name and ad to be in front of readers who would want to read my blog too.

Participate In Button Swaps! - Button swaps are a great way to help another blogger gain exposure, while at the same time, getting your ad out there too! These are normally free swaps where you put someone else's ad on your sidebar and they do the same. Win-win for everyone!

Write Guest Posts! - A great way to get more exposure is to do a guest post. Many times bloggers will look for other people to write up a post for their blog when they are going to be on vacation or have to take a break from blogging. Normally they offer these spots for free and allow you to choose the topic of your choice. This is a great option because you are getting free exposure and able to share a story or tip with readers who might not know who you are. If you do guest post, make sure to go to the blog you're posting on and respond to any comments their readers leave for you. Any connections you can make are valuable.

(Today you can actually find me on The Grits Blog, so come visit!
Hopefully you will find some of these tips useful. And while I do hope to grow my readership and build my network, this blog is more about the relationships I've made than the number of daily page views I receive, or so I keep telling myself. What have you found to work for your blog? How did you help your blog grow? I'd love to hear what worked for you and what didn't!

29 comments :

  1. Great advice! Thank you!

    ~Ashley @ A Cute Angle
    acutelifestyle.blogspot.com

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  2. Love this list. I started off my blog for me as well, but it quickly became a passion!

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  3. Great advice.
    The only thing I've learned blogging for 8 yeas is that people come & go... which is sad to me. I get so invested in some people & then they move on & I'm like, Hey, I still want to know about your life :)

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  4. i so love that you are writing about advice for new bloggers starting up!! it's been nice to see you grow over this past year! love your blog libby :)

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  5. Great advice, you have a wonderful blog that I sure enjoy :)

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  6. These are great tips! The blogging world can be over whelming but once you get settled it so nice the relationships that are made!

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  7. These are some really good tips! Thank you.

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  8. Thanks for this great advice, I'll be sure to use this :) Thanks for sharing.

    Have a great day
    -Rosy

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  9. Great great tips!! Especially the sponsorship one - I wish I had known what to look for in a sponsorship when I started.

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  10. this is a great post! i also found myself blogging picture collages and what not at the beginning and really loved when I found my voice. I realized you just gotta do you :) Group give-aways are my favorite though..love giving gifts!

    have a happy weekend friend!

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  11. Awesome tips Libby, thank you! I am a newbie blogger and have been reading like crazy to try and stop those newbie mistakes!

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  12. Thank you so much for the suggestions. I am just switching from blogger to a self-hosted Wordpress, and I am trying to take blogging from a hobby to a business. These tips are really great. I really love the design of your blog! Following and pinning.

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  13. I know this an older post, but I love it! SO helpful! I just started blogging this year, and I'm hooked! These tips are great, keep them coming!

    -Annie
    http://www.annieskinn.com

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  14. Thanks for advice! I didn't think about button swaps but I think it is a great idea. Also, I've heard from other bloggers too that guest blogging really helps with promoting your blog. In other words, I will definitely incorporate some of your tactics into my marketing strategy. Thanks a lot!
    www.stylesprinter.com

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  15. Thank you for the great info. I am new to blogging and have been doing some researching. You gave me some new things to research!

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  16. Thanks for the suggestions! I'm looking to kick my blog into high gear this year. Definitely some great things to think about! homeandfamilyoils.com

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  17. Blog Commenting and responses to those comments is very important. Its creates the relationship and also help to improve the your blog for the next time.
    some more tips to make the blog effective: http://gatelogix.com/blog/marketing/content-writing/7-successful-blogging-rules-you-must-follow/

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  18. This post is wonderful! I was considering buying sponsership (is that how you phrase it?!) and this has definitely encouraged me to do so! Thanks for the great advice :)

    http://thelifeofastudenttraveller.blogspot.co.uk/

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  19. Thanks for the info! I'm definitely trying to get my blog off the ground and this was really helpful.

    -Kayla from theknnlife.com

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  20. Thanks for taking the time to post these tips. I am currently considering starting a blog and this has helped me make my decision.

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  21. Many thanks .. this is so helpful

    www.leesabethjewels.blogspot.com

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  22. I have read some just right stuff here. Certainly value bookmarking for revisiting. I surprise how much attempt you place to make this type of excellent informative website.

    Regards
    Ashley Jones
    crazyask.com

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