Living in Yellow!

Erin and I are guest post swapping today, sharing some of what we have learned when it comes to blogging! Check my post out over at her blog... living in my favorite color... I mean in yellow :)

Hey you party animals you.
So {so} happy to be here today.
First off-my name is Erin and I write over at Living In Yellow.
{Just for clarification-I'm on the right. If only I was that cute...}
Awhile back I wrote this whole set of blogging lessons learned, and well--a few readers liked it.
So I thought why not share it with all of you beautiful creatures as well?
My hopes is that it will teach you a new thing or two.
And if it doesn't--you obviously are a smarty pants, so my hat is off to you.
Anyhow.
Without further ado, I present to you:
1. So you wanna grow your readership base?
GET YOUR BLOG OUT THERE.
Unless you are the Momastery,
your blog is not going to go viral by staying confined to your own blog walls.
So what am I saying to do?
Sponsor other blogs.
Don't have the funds to pay for sponsorship currently?
Do button swaps with blogs similar in size to yours.
You give them your button, they give you their button.
Free of charge.
Just get your blog out there.
I started paying to sponsor other blogs six months into blogging.
My monthly page views grew by more than 40% immediately.
I now am a firm believer in sponsoring 1-3 other blogs on a monthly basis.
For more information on what you should look for when you are choosing what blogs to sponsor,
2. Give your readers more than one way to follow you.
Let's face it peeps.
Not everybody and their mom has a gmail account.
Meaning, not everybody and their mom can click on that handy dandy "Follow" button on your sidebar.
With that being said--you must give them other options.
Living In Yellow allows others to "follow" through these avenues:
and
Email Subscription
If I could tell you to do one thing immediately it would be this:
Create a Facebook page & Twitter account for your blog.
You may feel foolish because you only have 5 followers.
Trust me, I felt those thoughts.
Do it anyway.
People want to know YOU.
The person behind the blog.
And Facebook & Twitter are a great way to allow your readers to do this.
Wanna know if I am eating Twizzlers 24/7 or see what shoes I am wearing to work?
Your right.
Probably not.
Buuuut, if you do--Facebook & Twitter would be how you would learn this.
Second part to this--
These social media outlets are a great way to communicate with your readers.
Some of my favorite evenings are spent on my Ipad conversing back & forth with blogging friends.
You can't do that through your blog.
3.    Reach out to bloggers you admire
This is something that I did in the beginning.
I spent time researching my favorite blogs and shops.
And then I emailed each and every one to see if we could "collaborate" in some way.
I will be forever grateful to people like Heather at {Just.Lovely.Things} for giving me a chance to host a giveaway for her back in the beginning.
Don't be afraid to ask others for help.
Some people may so no.
But some may say yes.
Be thankful either way.
 
4.    If you want to make your blog posts funnier,
don’t allow your husband to proof read your posts.
 If you want to remain married, allow your husband to proof read them.
If you want your blog posts to be funny and you want to remain married,
“accidently” publish your post and tell your husband it can’t be re-done.
It will work.
 One time.
But after that, you must decide between options 1 and 2.
 Take your pick.
Oh, and only use the most flattering pictures of your man that you can find.
He'll appreciate it.
5.    Let’s talk about comments for a minute.
Leave em’.
And like I mentioned in part one of these blogging tips, if are you going to say something-make it nice.
There is enough negativity in this world, don’t bring it into blogging yo.
Oh.
And if you do leave a comment, I beg you for the life of me…enough of this
“I’m your newest follower…come follow me back” crap.
Chances are real high that if you say that, I will not click on your blog.
This may sound harsh, but it is true.
People hear me out.
It is not about the quantity of followers, it is the quality of followers.
If you want to attract a blogger to your blog—leave a comment that means something.
Something that will intrigue the blogger reading it and will make them WANT to come to your page and follow.
Say for example a comment like this:
“I love, love, LOVE your blog! I'm not even sure how I stumbled upon it, but I'm so glad I did! I can be having THE MOST craptastic day at work, but as soon as I read your latest post, I can get out of fetal position, resist the urge to smack the crap out of my co-workers and get my work done :)
You have a fantastic sense of humor and a great outlook on life. Heck, you can even talk about poop, which in and of itself is pretty awesome!!! Keep up the great work!!"
Thank you The2Dees for brightening my day with that one.
Moving on now.
6. Pictures.
Again, like part one said--always use em'.
Two things to add to this.
Make them big, bold, and beautiful.
I don't want to have to squint to see that picture you just posted.
As far as making them look beautiful--take time to edit your pictures.
It makes a huge difference.
I use Google's Picasa/Picnik and sometimes Pixlr.
Others may use Photoshop.
And those others are a heck of a lot smarter than I.
7. Word verification.
Take it off.
Like now. 
 I get excited when I about to leave somebody a comment, and the minute I see that stupid box with words that I can’t read staring me in the face, my head gets full of cuss words.
And I don’t even cuss people.
Make it easy for us commenting folk and remove it would ya?
To do so-follow these instructions:
8. Don’t let others fool you.
Blogging takes time.
This is something I didn’t really plan for when I started blogging.
Sure, I knew it would take me a solid ten minutes to whip a post.
But what I didn’t realize is that it takes an additional 10 minutes to upload pictures,
20 more minutes to edit, 5 minutes to arrange the post,
5 more minutes to bold certain words or make em’ big,
5 more minutes to blog and tweet about your new post,
and then 30 more minutes to respond to the nice people who comment on that post.
Oh, and then another 2 hours to read all of your favorite blogs.
Here is where things get difficult for me.
Remember that blogging takes time---
but don't let it take up all your time.
99% of us, started blogging as a "hobby".
Something extra to do in our "spare time".
Don't neglect the things you love the most because of your blog.
The minute you make your blog a chore, the minute blogging sucks.
Because let's face it--Chores Suck.
So yes, if you find the perfect balance-
Please, do tell.
I am all ears on that one.
 9. Content
Yes, numbers 1-8 are important, but it all comes down to this.
People will read your blog if they like what you have to say.
That's all there is to it.
So my word of advice on this one:
Write.
Write from your heart, from your head, from your hyper bones.
Just write.
And don't overthink it.
Write what you want to write about when you want to write it.
Find your writing voice and use it to the best of your ability.
God gave us all our unique special "voice".
Don't try to imitate somebody elses.
Oh and another thing as far as content goes--
Remember variety is important in blogging.
People will get bored if you talk about the same thing.
Over. And over. And over again.
Mix it up.
This will keep your readers engaged and interested in coming back.
10. Last but not least-
 Support one another
Blogging is a community.
We are here for one another-to encourage-to help each other out-
to show love-and to become homies.
Give shout outs just for the heck of it.
Don't be afraid to help grow one another's reading base.
One other thing--
Be humble.
Remember, we all started in the same place.
Now get your hot little buns over to my blog and say hello.
I would love to get to know you :)

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Check her out folks :) you wont be disappointed!

29 comments

  1. I love this! I've been trying to expand my reader base, so any advise is appreciated!

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  2. Honesty is something that sometimes takes a little vacation from blog world, and I loved how refreshing this entire post was. It was also inspiring. I have a little blog that I'd love to expand, and I found this tips quite useful.

    Plus, hello, this girl is FUNNY, and I now have a new blog to read! Huzzah.

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  3. Ah! I have been up and down with the sponsorship thing. Should I or shouldn't I? You've basically helped me seal the deal on that one. It's just going out and doing it that I need to do.

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  4. OOhh thank god!! thank you for your post. I'll this and hopefully this will expand my reader. ameeennn...

    thank you thank you thank you..

    all though I'm still clueless on how making my own button.

    S

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  5. Thank you BOTH for the awesome blogging tips! Refreshing and helpful. Sometimes I almost just want to become obsessed with blogging. But that is unhealthy. Finding that balance is sometimes the hardest part.

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  6. I wish I had seen this post a few months ago! It's all so true, and I've gotten a few new things out of it, so thank you! Just checked out Living In Yellow and I'm already in love!

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  7. Both of your guest posts were super helpful. I started blogging last month as a new mom and new wife. It began mostly as a way to record thoughts, memories, etc but I have been so inspired by the blogs I have come across since then. Thanks for taking the time to share the knowledge! :)

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  8. Love this post! Thanks for the tips :)

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  9. Loved this post, it spoke exactly to what has been on my mind lately. And Erin is adorable, I'm so glad I found her blog!! She seems so fun and genuine, I love her 'about' section.

    Thanks for all these awesome tips, and Alycia, I loved your post over at LIY, too. Great ideas to consider!!

    Jessi from Hopes and Dreams

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  10. I always love posts about blogging tips...I'm still a relatively new blogger meself so I definitely appreciate the advice! :) AND her sense of humor.

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  11. Alycia, I came here from LIY and I'm SO glad I found your blog! You mentioned in your tips that blog appearance is at least 50% of your audience's initial opinion and the look of your site definitely pulled me in (your fun, down to earth, quirky writing style is keeping me here, though!).
    Thanks to both of you for doing a post swap so I can expand my reading to even more lovely blogs!

    Andrea
    Left brain, right brain, pug brain.

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  12. GREAT GREAT post! :) It is so helpful for those like me that don't know exactly how to get my blog out there. This is a great start....so THANKS! :)

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  13. GREAT GREAT post! :) It is so helpful for those like me that don't know exactly how to get my blog out there. This is a great start....so THANKS! :)

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  14. FANTASTIC information!! I completely agree on the word verification - DRIVES ME NUTS!! Great advice my dear!

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  15. I am so glad you did this swap... Not only did I find LIY but I learned some awesome blogging tips. Being new to the blogging world, I will take all the advise I can get! Thanks

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  16. Amen and Amen. Erin put it the way it is. I especially agree on the word verification and the whole "I'm your newest follower come follow me back" thing. That is almost an immdeiate turn-off for me when someone says that. I'm here to make friends, but I don't want someone pushing me to be their friend. I respond to every comment, so I will have visited their blog anyways. :)
    Headed over to her blog now! She's cute. (And I think she's wayyy cuter than her pup, FYI) hehe

    SoUtHeRnPiNkY.bLoGsPoT.cOm

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  17. I so agree!!! Especially #7. It cracked me up reading it because Oh my lord do I hate that thing! Nice job with the blogging advice!

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  18. I honestly LOL'd at the "Word Verification" comment. I HATE when people have that stupid thing and I seem to always get it wrong when I have to type it in! Great post- keep it up!

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  19. This is great! I have always wondered if sponsoring made a difference, but I don't want to pay for something like that. Doing a button swap is a great idea!

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  20. Such good tips - thanks for sharing!

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  21. My hubby was killing himself laughing as he read this post :)

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  22. My friends and I were wanting to do a guest blog on each others blogs. I was wondering if you swapped passwords or if you write it in word, email it to one another and then just post their writing in your own blog?

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    Replies
    1. You write it and then email to each other and you put it into your own blog, the last thing you wrote :)

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  23. Great post. I hate the "new follower, follow me back too" thing. I am thinking of doing sponsorship swap due to lack of funds.

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  24. These are all wonderful tips! I really go hate the captcha word things! Its' even more annoying with 2 words now!

    I love the way Erin writes her post, she is really funny in all of them :)

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  25. this post is great. some real blogging tips and encouragement. just what i needed to get the week started with some (hopefully) good posts.

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  26. What an absolutely great list of tips! And so well/cleverly said. I'm bookmarking this now. Thanks!

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  27. Thanks for such a great post! It was very helpful, especially since I'm trying to grow my little blog. Anyone want to swap buttons? ;)

    PS Erin is hillarious :)

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Howdy Ho :) Thanks for stopping by my blog! I have enabled the forum feature on my comments so we can all interact in conversation. So if you leave a question, look back for a reply!