Sweater: Forever 21 (option) (option)| Chambray: Forever 21 (option) (option) | Jeans: Old Navy (exact) (option) | Boots: Pac-Sun (exact) (option) | Belt: Old Navy (option) | Necklace: My Sweet Friend, Dusty
Sorry, non blogging friends. This post was written for the bloggers of the world. So, my feelings won't be hurt if you duck out early, but I hope I at least gave ya a little fashion inspo.
Back to the task at hand...blogging. Hmmmm, such a broad word. It means so much more than just writing something and slapping it up to an URL page you have made your own.
I have seen my fair share of posts where bloggers discuss the dos and don'ts of blogging. I have never written one before because I felt like mine would sound and read like whatever everyone else has already said. I am not of fan of being redundant.
I am by no means an expert. I am by no means a "big" blogger. I by no means think I have it all figured out. I learn something new from you guys every single day.
What I do know is that I feel like my blog has turned out somewhat decent by discovering a few things that actually work.
Take it with a grain of salt. Or pack it in your suitcase for the bumpy ride we all call blogging.
Again, these are my own opinions and the ones I feel are most important. And if you think I missed a BIG one, make sure to slap me with the stupid stick in the comment you are about to leave.
Here goes. Not sure how long this is gonna get...
1. I turned off my word verification after a few months of blogging. I found out that people hated filling out those tiny words that don't make a lick of sense. Those of you who still haven't turned it off, I promise you will not get spams that actually show up in your blog comments.
2. I get so sad when I want to respond to a comment and the person is a "no-reply" commenter. It breaks my heart because they wrote me something REALLY amazing and I go to tell them thank you and how awesome they are and instead of their email popping up, the nasty message of "no-reply" pops up. Make sure you email is set up in your profile and linked to your blog. That's what blogging is all about, making friends, chatting, engaging, gossiping, etc....so much more fun that just returning comment favors.
3. Advertise. If you really want your blog to grow, this is the best bet. At first I swapped buttons with other blog friends I had made. Then, after about 6 months into blogging, I purchased my first sponsorship. It was the best decision I made. I now try to sponsor anywhere from 1-3 blog per month. I choose my advertising based on their readership, how many people engage with them, their content being similar to mine, that they are active bloggers and use other social media outlets.
4. I participate in link ups. New bloggers may not know what this is. Well, it's like today's post. It's a hub where bloggers link a specific post relevant to the link up topic. It's a free and easy way to get my name out there and meet other bloggers. I try and not make every post I do a link up.
5. I write about my life. People are Nosy Nellies. Blogging is voyeurism at it's finest. I want my friends and readers to get to know me, the person behind the blog...what I am like, a glimpse of my personality, a piece of my everyday...again we are nosy. Advice: post a few pictures of yourself from time to time. It kinda weirds me out when I don't know what the blogger actually looks like.
6. Respond to people. I used to respond to every single comment that was left on my blog. It was crazy time consuming, but it helped build a strong foundation of friendships and loyalty. I still do my best to get back with everyone who stops by in some form or fashion, but sometimes it gets overwhelming and I can't physically do it. Just don't ignore people. We all take time to read and comment and if someone writes something genuine and sincere on your blog, the least you could do is say thank you. And yes, I agree with ignoring the "I follow you. Wanna follow me?" comments.
7. Speaking of genuine and sincerity, that is what I strive to be every time I comment on a blog or respond to a comment that has been left on mine. I will 99% of the time write something longer than a four word sentence. You will not see me say, "I love that dress." "Super cute top." or "This was such a touching post." Most of us spend an enormous amount of time writing our posts, planning our topics, editing our grammar and then rereading what we just wrote a least 10 times. We all take pride in what we do or we wouldn't be doing it. So, I try not to be a jerk and insult someone with an insincere comment. I would rather say nothing at all.
8. I use social media. Alot. I shamelessly and religiously plug this little blog everyday on three sites: Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. I will pin myself on Pinterest when I do an outfit post. Go ahead and roll your eyes about the Pinterest one. Say I am self absorbed. Now tell me what you think about this. I have had over 5,000 hits to my blog from pinning my posts. BOOM. It works, people. It drives serious traffic. But, I am mindful to not only use social media for my blog. I am known to throw in crazy stuff about my life, connect with my followers and engage in conversation.
9. I have reached out to other bloggers and made genuine friendships. I discovered ones that have things in common with me. They have ended up being my biggest support system and vice versa. I have also contacted bloggers that I admire. I have picked their brains, asked questions and learned a few tricks from them too. Don't be intimidated. It never hurts to ask. Who knows, you may end up finding your long lost best friend in the process. Blogging has been known to create some crazy strong bonds.
10. I have taken a few gambles here and there. I put myself out there not knowing if I was going to sink or swim. Case in point, doing a Bauble Swap all by myself. I had no clue if anyone would even sign up. I was nervous as hell, but it turned out pretty good and man, it taught me that I would never do it again. Then came this link up. Again, I was peeing my pants the morning of the first one. I was terrified that nobody would participate, but my blog buds came through. This link up is my baby and favorite post of the week. And last week, I announced my new personal styling business. Talk about not sleeping the night before this post got posted. I had to pop four melatonin to sleep. I received more love and support from this new venture than I have could have asked for. And it was all because I took a gamble and reminded myself that I had nothing to lose. And that my friends, is what I recommend to you. If you have an idea you are passionate about or believe in, go for it. If you don't try, you will never know. That is the beauty of having a blog, you have a voice. A unique voice that can't be replicated no matter how hard anyone tries. Shoot for the moon and reach for the stars. You may miss a couple of times, but that one shot just might hit the bulls-eye.
11. Most importantly, I have stayed true to myself. If you don't do this, you will fail. Why? Because it's not YOU talking and people will see right through the BS.
12. I get out of it what I put into it. I have found that the more I put into my posts, the better results, traffic and comments I get.
13. It has taken time for me to grow. Only for the lucky few, does it happen overnight.
Wow, this might be one of my longest post to date. I really do hope this helped. It's been a long time coming.
So, what did I miss? I know there are a few other big ones. My brain is just a little fried now. Help remind me and the others, if ya don't mind.
**If you are linking up today, please use good manners. I kindly ask that you follow my blog and link back to it in your post. It's called blogging etiquette.
Oh, and go meet some new friends!