Tips For New Bloggers

Hello everyone I am sorry to my readers who are non bloggers for this post but I figured this may be useful for everyone as you never know, one day you could be writing a post for your blog!

On the 2nd of February my blog is 6 month's old, I say old but I am still considered as a new blogger until I am a year old. I don't know exactly what made me start a blog, I loved reading and writing and felt like a diary just wasn't enough. I was a regular reader of the Baby Budgeting blog which is written by the wonderful Becky and decided I wanted to do the same as Becky, I wanted to blog!

I have received quite a few emails from fellow new bloggers asking me how I got so 'successful' so quickly, that they have been blogging for x amount of months and cant get any reviewing opportunities. This post will be like a mini guide for new bloggers and something I wish I had when I first started out. 

Product Reviews

Firstly never ever start a blog if you just want to do just product reviews. It takes a while for a blogger to build up their stats and reader follow-ship, not only this companies are not willing to send products to just anyone, they want to know a little bit about the blogger and this has to be something the company can find out themselves by post.

To start off with product reviews, I would personally recommend you review a product that you have recently purchased or a place you have recently visited, this will give companies a insight into the way you review.

Never ever copy a fellow blogger's review, do not steal photo's or text! Take pictures of the product in your home with your surroundings with children/people interacting with the product. Be honest in your reviews, if a product has a feature you personally do not like, mention it, if a product does not have no faults in your opinion, don't look for one.

Although there are some great product reviewing sites out there (Grocery Gems and Madhouse Family Reviews) I would not ever start off blogging and presume that you are going to be successful as the two mentioned blogs above, I am not saying you can get not as successful as them but they have been around for a while and have built up good relationships with both the companies they work with and their loyal readers.

Companies will soon get in touch with reviewing opportunities. Look out for blogger request on Twitter and if one pops up don't be afraid to say I'd like to be involved! 

Social Media

If you are not a big fan of social media, try and make friends with it. Although you don't have to have accounts with the different social media platforms out there, I highly reccomend them as not only a way to keep in touch with fellow bloggers/loyal readers but also as a way to promote and advertise your blog post. Social Media has also been a great way of companies finding me, I have had a few emails starting with we found you over on Twitter!

Facebook: Create a free Facebook fan page based on your blog page, keep your personal and blogging  Facebook away from each other, although your loyal readers may be interested in your personal blog post they may not want to know about your arguments with your boyfriend! Do share your Facebook fan page on your personal account if you are fine with family and friends knowing about your blog, and do make sure you have a link/button on display on your blog for your blog visitors to get across to your blogging fan page easily. Share your post on Facebook and write statuses to keep your Facebook fans engaged, ask fans for their opinions and what they would like to see more of on your blog.

Twitter: Believe it or not, well actually a quick flick through a few pages of my tweets will make it believable but I have only been a real Twitter lover since starting my blog. I was advised by a friend to create a Twitter account for Unique Young Mum and have not once regretted the decision! Twitter as I have mentioned is a fantastic way for companies to find you, still to this day I get really excited when a company follows me! Follow companies and individuals back, follow fellow bloggers and interact with them when you can (I must admit this is something I am terrible at doing). Interact with your readers and do tweet random thoughts! Post a short title of your latest post with a link for people to read it! Use hash tags to find and promote post! Again as I said previously with Facebook make sure you have a button or link to your Twitter account so its easily found from your blog.

Competitions

If you have been around since the beginning of Unique Young Mum you may remember the Ben 10 competition I was running for my first month of blogging. I purchased this item myself as a prize for my readers/visitors. Competitions are a fantastic way to bring in new readers/visitors and for getting your blog discovered. Even if you only buy a box of chocolates a competition will bring in new readers/visitors. Hopefully within time you will soon start getting competition opportunities with companies you are working with.

Events

Don't starting blogging thinking your be offered an event opportunity straight away, many events I have seen are shared by fellow bloggers on the companies behalf if they are looking for more bloggers to attend their events, companies will invite you along to events but as everything else involved with blogging, nothing comes quickly, be patient and the time will soon come! I have had a number of event opportunities I can not attend because of the time/date and simply because I have not had the money to spend on the travel! Don't presume a company will pay for your travel expenses, some do and some don't.

Gaining Readers/Followers

Aww I remember receiving a notification that I had my first blog follower, I was amazed that someone wanted to follow me, it was a truly special moment. Don't be disheartened if your readership stats don't pick up quickly, people will sometimes bookmark a blog and often re-visit instead of signing up via GFC, Networked Blogs or via email subscription. Most importantly people will only follow if they like your posts, we cant force anyone to sign up as a follower but I am sure they will soon start rolling in.

Google Friend Connect (GFC)

Google Friend Connect is a great way for people to follow your blog, add this free tool to your website if you are on Blogger (I am not sure if this works with other blogging platforms such as Wordpress) and maybe put a nice title above it like add me as your friend!


BlogLovin'

BlogLovin' is a new platform for me, but one that is really popular with other bloggers and one I can see becoming possibly the best following platform out there.

Networked Blogs

Networked Blogs is a great way for anyone who doesn't have a G-Mail account to keep in touch with your post. Networked Blogs allows users to log in with either their Facebook account or email from what I am aware of. Networked Blogs allows you to follow your favourite blogs (as long as the blogger supports this platform) and then you can read them from the Networked Blogs online reader.

Email Subscriptions

Make sure you have a option on your layout somewhere for email subscriptions which gives readers/visitors the option to have your post emailed to them, they can then choose how often they would like to receive your updates.

Turn OFF Comment Verification

If I have to type in words and/or numbers from a picture to prove I'm human, I leave the blog without commenting as do a lot of other bloggers. The reason why I end up leaving the blog is because I cant make out the letters/numbers that the picture is showing me, or I type in what the letter/number looks like and it tells me its wrong! Once I turned off this option on my blog, more comments were left!

Leave Comments On Other Blogs

If you have read a post, leave a comment, even if its a short quick one, make sure at the end of your comment you leave a link to your blog. Your most properly receive a comment back from the blogger and have a better chance of getting new visitors to your blog from readers/visitors of the blog you've just visited.

Statistics 

Don't get obsessed with statistics, honestly don't loose sleep on over working, believe me it is not worth it!

Join Blogging Communities

Britmums, Tots100 and Netmums are just the names of a few online blogging communities, don't be afraid to ask questions, there are plenty of bloggers out there willing to help.

Free Blog Sites

To begin with first of all, your need a blog. Join up to either Blogger (the one I use) or Wordpress. I personally recommend you start off with a free domain. The reason why I suggest this first instead of buying a domain is because you may not get into blogging or you may change your mind in a few weeks. If you get to the point where you want to buy your domain there are plenty of tutorials out on the internet telling you how to do this.

Spell Check/Check Your Post

I would recommend this to new bloggers more as I suppose bloggers who have been around for awhile are use to doing this by now. I must admit I always forget to spell check my posts and then read it back to myself and notice something. My biggest problem is there and their! I must sort that out.

Check your post before you publish and as soon as you publish, sometimes we miss spelling mistakes as long as the first and last letter of the word is in the right place! I have had posts that I have read 3-4 times before noticing the mistake! Do double check all your post!

Random Bits

Make sure you have a contact page or contact information on display somewhere that can be easily found.

The first thing I do when I find a blog is check out their about me page, I want to know a little bit of info about the blogger so I recommend having an about me page or even an about me section. 

Don't be a expert but don't be lazy, sometimes I see really 'messy' blogs and it really puts me off, try and have a easy to read font and stick with primary colours, I can not read luminous green so stay away from them really bright colours. Have your side bar in some kind of order so for example your social media in one section then all your badges in another section.
  
Enjoy Yourself!!!

If blogging is becoming something of a chore, take a break, don't start writing boring post because they will be unread and if boring post become a regular occurrence on your blog then you could even start loosing readers and returning visitors. If your stuck on a post to write, why not write a list, for example 10 random things you never knew about me, or a passtime memory of a holiday destination? If your really stuck look for idea's on Google! I do love Google!

I think I have included everything in this post, over time I am sure I will post more. If there is something you feel useful for a newbie to know please leave a comment and I will be sure to add it in this guide!

Until next time,
Jade


12 comments

  1. Great informative post, well done hun :) x

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  2. Brilliant post!
    I've just started my new blog ( http://pinksweetheartdesigns.blogspot.co.uk/ )
    @mammalewis recommended your blog post. This is going to be so useful to me!
    Thank you Jade.
    Jayne
    xxx

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    1. Hello Jayne,

      Thank you for your comment, I have just popped over to your blog and love the Harry Potter card you done!

      Jade xx

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  3. Hi,

    I found you through the UK Bloggers facebook group :)

    I love your blog! I've been blogging for about a year as a beauty blogger but recently swapped to a pregnancy/mummy blog :) These are great tips!

    Hayley
    http://sparklesandstretchmarks.blogspot.co.uk
    xxx

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    Replies
    1. Hello Hayley,

      Thanks for checking out my blog and leaving a comment. Glad you liked the tips!

      Will check out your blog now,
      Jade: )

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    2. Hello Hayley,

      Thanks for checking out my blog and leaving a comment. Glad you liked the tips!

      Will check out your blog now,
      Jade xx

      Delete
  4. I've nominated you for a Liebster Award x

    http://www.mamaowl.co.uk/2013/02/blogger-awards.html?m=1

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    Replies
    1. Thank you so much hun, will pop over now and check it out xx

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  5. Thank you so much for the mention! Great post with lots of helpful advice and information for newbie bloggers :-)

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    Replies
    1. Your welcome hun, I love your blog! Totally amazing x

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  6. Thank you for this (yes i know its an older post but ive just found you & starting from the beginning!)

    im a new blogger. i love it and will be implementing some of your recommendations :D

    i hate how 'basic' and 'standard' my blog looks though, cannot for the life of me work it out in wordpress though :(

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