I started blogging a few years ago. However, I only started Double the Monkey Business in January this year. This is the first time I have blogged and actually tried to promote it.
Since I started promoting my blog, it has been a steep learning process. So what have I found out since this all began?
- You never have enough time to promote as much as you want to. Blogging is not full time for me. I have a part time job, two kids, a hubby. I have other stuff that sometimes takes over. Yet I love blogging. I love it so much that I spend every free minute trying to make it the best it can be. That includes promoting whenever I can: when I am waiting for an appointment, waiting for the kettle to boil, in the toilet… ehh, anyway…
- Link ups are for everyone. When I first started I could see bloggers that I follow talk about linking up. I wanted to join in. I thought I needed to be passed a golden ticket to join in. I was lucky enough to be invited as it turns out, but I realise now you can just link up. Providing you share the love and follow the rules you can join any one you want. So if you are standing on the side lines looking in, like I was, then put your shyness aside, grab a cup of tea and go for it! If you are not sure how to do it, then check out the lovely Becky at Cuddle Fairy’s link up guide. This easy-to-use guide got me started and I have never looked back
- Bloggers are friendly and supportive. They are all in the same boat as you, writing for the love of it and wanting people to enjoy their posts. I have felt so welcomed into the blogging community, I feel like I have been apart of it for years.
- Social Media rules okay! Social media is your best friend, whether you like it or not. At the start of the year I really only used Facebook, with a neglected twitter and Instagram account. I am now on Pinterest, Twitter, Instagram, Stumble Upon and Google Plus – every day! They all make a difference and help to drive traffic to your blog. They also help you engage with other people. What ever you do, make sure you do engage by the way, if you are on twitter start conversations. If you are on Facebook groups, don’t just drop links to your latest blog post. Speak to people..
- Comment, comment, comment. This is the best way to get to know people. Comment on other blogs. I spend more time commenting than I do writing blog posts.
- Don’t let Crowd Fire get you down. Oh this is so tough, I have crowd fire to catch those sneaky tweeps who follow you, wait until you follow back, then unfollow you. This tends to be people trying to sell things. Its hard not to take it personally when you see people unfollow you. Try to ignore it.
- Find a tribe. So I read a post when I first started where someone spoke about finding their blogging tribe. I found it interesting but thought nothing more about it. I dont need a tribe.. I thought. As the weeks rolled into months, I found myself finding a tribe. Not because I went to seek them out, it just kind of happened. They are group of like-minded bloggers that were always on hand for advice. Always supporting each other. I guess it is just like when you realise you have a group of friends, it just happens. The only difference is, that I have never met these ladies. I guess that is what blogging conferences are for.
- Finding a niche. I have heard a lot about finding your niche. Sticking to something that is just one topic. I have to say since I started to stray away from parenting only topics, mainly thanks to the blogging challenges, I have noticed a lot more traffic to my blog. It does make me wonder how rigidly you need to stick to this. I guess time will tell.
- Don’t be afraid to listen to your stats and change your tactic. When I started blogging I had an idea to do a weekly instagram round up. I was really loving my new Instagram account. In reality though, these posts have always had the least traffic. So I have changed it to a monthly only affair. Trial and error, that is what it is all about my friends. Don’t be afraid or embarrassed to change your tactics.
- The more you write the more ideas will come your way. It has not been the first time I have sat wondering what I am going to write. Even when I have been given the topic, like for the blogging challenge. Interestingly, the more you write, the easier it seems to come. That said, I do constantly worry about running out of ideas!
- Don’t be afraid to have a day off. I think this advice is to myself if I am honest. I constantly worry that if I have a day off people will forget about me. Last week I had a stomach bug, I had a mandatory day off. Nothing happened, my readers still came back the next day. Nothing changed. So now I have decided Sundays are my day off, I am not even going to look at wordpress on this day, or Facebook, or Twitter. Honest!
- Blogging should be enjoyable. I know that some people are hoping to make money out of blogging, hats off to you. Ultimately, for me, I blog because I enjoy doing it. I enjoy being part of the blogging community and hearing everyones comments. I LOVE it. If I stop enjoying it, I will stop doing it.
How long have you been blogging? Tell me what have you found out along the way? Have you got any advice for people just starting out?