1) When it comes to blogging, I think reading and commenting on other blogs is really important. In the beginning I found a lot of blogs to read by finding them via sponsored posts, but since sponsoring has kind of died down I find them more slowly. Searching Bloglovin’ (click Find blogs), looking through Instagram (follow Friday’s have given me some great finds!), reading a blog post where other blogs are featured, and Facebook, are some of the places I look to find new things to read. I love reading blogs and there really isn’t a set reason why I will bookmark them, but I check them daily. I’m not sure the exact number of blogs I read daily, but it is something I do each morning, and commenting is how you get your name out there.
Here’s the deal: if I see a person commenting daily on my blog I will almost always go and visit their blog and comment back. It’s a common courtesy thing among the blog world, and it is where you make the most out of this community. Commenting is just like a friendship, it takes time to build the relationship and in the end you become a part of their lives. I love reading updates and seeing what my blog friends are up to! We are all on the same journey and supporting other bloggers is something I love to do. Commenting on as many blogs as you can each day is important (though I would avoid the huge blogs, there is no reciprocal commenting there.) Of course there are some days I just don’t have the time, but I try my best and always work hard to comment on anyone’s blog that comments on mine.
2) Back in the olden’ days of blogging (two, three years ago?), sponsoring other blogs was how you got your name out there. You would pay to have ad space and also sometimes a blog post of your own to engage their readers with. This is how I grew my readership and got my name out there. Now it is very different. I rarely see sponsorships anymore from other bloggers, and ad space seems to be dying down. I find that Instagram has become to new place to find new readers and reel them in, creating a killer photo with text for Pinterest works wonders, and I get a lot of hits on posts via Facebook and their ad program. You can start to get your name out there from commenting, posting regularly on social media (daily via Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter Facebook, etc), and paying for ads on Facebook via a blog page. I think concentrating on creating killer content is great, too. A blog is only as good as its content, no matter how much you pay in creating a great Facebook ad that makes people want to click on your post, if what you write isn’t awesome they will not come back. Keep your head down and post regularly (I do five posts a week), keep updating your social media feeds, comment on other’s blogs, and share great content from others’, and you will gain a readership.
Also, I have not taken these courses from Helene, but I’ve heard GREAT things. Investing in your blog is never as mistake, and I love learning more from those that have seemingly found the secret to success;)
3) Something that I get asked a lot, and something that is a goal for most of us bloggers is HOW DO YOU MAKE MONEY? I will say this, my initial goal when starting this blog never centered around money. I wrote because I wanted to and because it made me happy. I posted here for YEARS with no intention of doing anything but creating content, and I still feel like that. The money came late in the game for me, maybe three years in or so? Perhaps if I had made more of an effort it would have come earlier, but I liked the aspect of keeping my head down and creating content purely because I wanted to. It started for me with more free products than anything (major perk!), but then it became something more for me. I realized that I had a readership that respected me and my opinion. I saw that I could charge for my posts because my time was worth charging for. Companies pay big money to advertise magazines and on TV, and your blog is no different. I’ve written about how exactly I make money blogging, but it all comes down to figuring out what you want to showcase in the world you have created, and how much you want to charge for it. (And finding what makes you special and what you can offer to the world! Designing tee shirts, blogging e-course, blog designs, stock photos, the options are endless!)
Remember, you want to only show things that you would buy yourself, and you want to share with your readership. I get a lot of offers to show things here in a daily basis, but I only show a select few. Why is that? I value my readers and what they think of me. I don’t want to show anything here that I wouldn’t want them to go out and buy (which is the real point of every sponsored post, you want to sell something to your readers!) It can be a very seductive thing being offered free products or being paid to show free things, but you want to only accept money from a company that you would buy from yourself. Don’t be afraid to charge for your hard work, and always be willing to walk away if your time isn’t worth it to them.
Another fun fact is, there are a lot of bloggers that aren’t blogging with the purpose of making money, and that is fine, TOO! Blogging for a lot of us is a hobby, and something we do because it makes us happy. Please don’t feel like you need to make money or have a huge readership to be successful. I truly enjoy writing here and coming up with fun outfits to photograph, because it pushes me to be a better person. There are months where I am not making money and that is OKAY. You may be blogging for the fun of it, and often that is way more fulfilling that writing things for money that you don’t particularly care about. Don’t sell yourself out, write and post things that make you happy, and just be YOU.