Monday, March 19, 2012

Blogging 101

Today I'm dishin' on what I've come to learn about this whole wonderful world of blogging.  This is just my experience of what has worked for me! By no means is this the right way to do things...just how I've done things and my opinion on the subject :)


I started my blog in the summer of 2010 as a way to collect all my design inspiration in one place. I never would have expected so many awesome things to come from blogging! Here's some insight into what I think makes a good blog, how to grow your blog, how to keep readers coming back and a few things in between :)


A good blog has:
1. A visually appealing, clean, layout that represents YOU. Nothing is worse than a scattered  blog design with background music and no direction. I'll just be honest and say that I judge a blog by the layout and if it's messy or I don't know what type of blog it is, I'm probably not sticking around. It's the first impression! 


2. An About Me Page! Let's be real...bloggers are nosey :) We want to know about the author before we start reading their posts! Personally, my About the Girl page is the most viewed page on my blog. With this comes a picture! If you don't have a picture of yourself on your blog {or specifically your about me page} then you need to get one.right.now. It makes your blog look more professional. Again with the bloggers are nosey thing :)


3. Good Content. Readers love original content. To keep readers coming back, I found it best to post often.  When I first started blogging, I'd post maybe 2-3 times a week, but realized the more I posted, the more people would come back. This is advice I got from an awesome blogger, who told me to imagine going to my favorite blog and there not being a new post. I'd be let down and possibly not come back for a few days. Now I blog M-F and treat it like my job. {A very fun one, at that!}


4. Clear Photos! There's nothing I love more than clean, large, bright photos {without the use of a flash!! Flash = no!} 


5.  A Genuine and Authentic Author.  This one's important. Be YOU, be open to share your story and be ready for lots of fun blog friends if you're willing to invest some time :)




Other little tips:
- Make sure your email is attached to your profile so you the blogs you comment on can reply to your comment via your email. Great way to connect!
- Reply to as many comments as possible {as your blog grows, this will become more difficult, but is crucial to cultivating community and friendships initially}
- Comment as much as you can on other blogs in order to get your name out there! 
- Realize that real life comes first. Don't obsess over the blog...family and friends, school and work should take priority!
- Be sure you have a substantial following before offering ad space.
- Keep a list of blog post ideas in a notebook or phone.
- In order to cut down on the frantic writing of posts the night before, I try to get 2-3 posts written on the weekend. I also keep a schedule of all my posts on my iCalendar so I know when to plug in sponsor shout outs, She Loves Me guest posts etc...
- Reach out and take advantage of this awesome community of people who share our passions.


So, what do you think? What is your number one blogging tip??
Don't forget to enter the adorable Twenty Three Oh One giveaway...Ends Wednesday!
Happy Monday!
Love,
Photobucket
PS. Welcome to my sponsor Simply Pillow
Karen sells darling pillow covers with fresh and modern prints! Be sure to check her out here.

53 comments:

  1. Absolutely love this. Thank you for the information-I can use a lot of it!

    My advice would definitely be to treat it like a job and "market" yourself. If you want people to read it, you have to share it with the world! Have an awesome week!

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  2. I really need to get a decent head shot for my blog. I keep putting it off. Great advice Michaela. My advice is to keep it fun which usually relates to write what you know.

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  3. Love these tips and agree with them all!

    My number one would have to be the "be yourself" part, I think it can be easy to get sucked into the numbers and start posting about anything that might increase them. Your blog should be a true reflection of who you are as a person, just like you said!

    xxx
    Jenna

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  4. I learn so much from posts like these! Great advice. Hope you had a great weekend!

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  5. Such a perfect post! You are one of my favourite bloggers because of your huge success and the fact that we are similar in age and both pursuing and education in interior design. I feel like I can relate to you so much! Thanks for the great tips!
    Tiffany
    thedesignerlifestyle.blogspot.com
    ps. What kind of camera do you use?

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  6. Great info! I still have so many areas I feel I want to spruce up since I started this past August :) Always appreciate good tips. Sometimes I feel like lack of content can be a real struggle... or trying to post around the kiddos sched. If you have time I would love some input.. on what to focus on, what to change add. Check out roomsforrentblog.blogspot.com if you get a chance! Always enjoy your posts! ~Bre

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  7. great tips!!!! I agree on all of them. Unfortunately I can only blog about 2-3 times a week but wish I can do it more often.

    Have a great week!

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  8. I love all of this advice, girl! Thanks for sharing! :)

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  9. Awesome tips and advice! I'll never forget how you helped me in the beginning {specifically with my non-comment status!}. Blogging is so rewarding...and it's brought friends like you to me ! xo

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  10. This is so great! Fantastic advice and perfect timing! We need an about us page and pictures of ourselves, you just gave us the swift kick we needed to make it a priority!! Really great tips! Happy Blogging:)

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  11. I found this so interesting - Especially the part about not using a flash. I don't know if I use my often or not, but I'm so interested in learning why we shouldn't use a flash. Hehe!! Fill a sista in ;)

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  12. Great post! I couldn't agree more with you. I definitely think that commenting on other peoples blogs and I mean genuine comments are what helps your blog grow and you expand your blogging friends! It takes work but if you want people to comment on yours, you need to be a commenter yourself! :)

    www.thedailyeverythins.blogspot.com

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  13. Great tips, Michaela! I think it's important to keep your blog clean and clutter free. It keeps people coming back for me because they can actually read (or see!) what you have to say and show. Keep being an inspiration to all :) xoox

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  14. So true! I hate my layout and I know I have to change it but I'm just so darn lazy. Haha!
    Great tips!

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  15. Great tips! Definitely have learned SO much in the last 2 years through blogging!!

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  16. I think a pop up comment box is nice so that if I don't make it by every day and want to comment on multiple posts I don't have to keep scrolling and reloading your page. Great tips!

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  17. Loved this post, Michaela! You've already helped me so much, but this post was such a great reminder! :D I definitely think staying true to yourself is so important... no matter what the stats and numbers look like. I still have lots to learn... but definitely enjoying the journey too!

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  18. I agree 100%. I'm under one year new and have learned and still am learning everyday what works best. Thanks for this information. Love it!

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  19. Love the tips. So many of those are how I got my blog started and now I'm just trying to make it grow some more. Love the inspiration board! I totally zoned in on the Wicked poster

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  20. Good ideas friend! I really like anything that is clean and uncluttered, and the same goes for a blog. :) And stressing over it definitely isn't worth it. Having fun and letting personality shine through seems to be the best. :) Hope you're having a good monday!

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  21. Ah! Thanks so much for posting about this! I recently started a new blog and really needed some good advice! Your blog is lovely and I really appreciate the tips! :)

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  22. Thank you SO MUCH for sharing - reassurance is always welcome! And these tips are great advice. Hope you have a wonderful week, Jalon

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  23. All great tips. . . most important to me when reading a blog is that the blogger uses their own voice. When the personality comes through it's so much more engaging. Great post.

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  24. Great advice! You so right about blogging regularly unfortunatley its somtimes hard to get the time!

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  25. Great tips! Thank you so much :)

    Silver
    http://starthinker-silverbarter.blogspot.ca/

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  26. thanks for the great tips! :)

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  27. thanks for the great tips! :)

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  28. I am new to the blog scene and LOST! I really value tips like these. Thank you so much for posting your thoughts to help out the little guys.

    http://shabbysweettea.com

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  29. These are great tips! And your blog is certainly a perfect example of these tips in action!

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  30. This was such a great post! Also, I just wanted to say that I absolutely adore how you have customized so many of your links. Your comment "message" is so cute

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  31. Michaela, this is a great post filled with helpful tips. I am a reader, still a reader for quite a while now....I guess I'm a bit shy at taking the plunge! You have a beautiful blog...written from your heart which is nice and a great sense of style and talent. An inspiration to myself and I know many others!

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  32. Such great tips and all so true. The commenting back has gotten much harder...especially since I'm all over the place with Twitter/Facebook/Pinterest and commenting on my favorite blogs. But I usually respond to those with questions. A lot of work, but so fun!

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  33. First of all, congrats on being able to make it this far! Blogging regularly isn't easy. And thanks for all the great tips! I agree with all of them!

    My number 1 tip is: blog about something you are passionate about. don't blog for the sake of making money...

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  34. Thank you Michaela! Us newbies still have a lot to learn! I did not know about not using a flash, which I usually don't anyway, but thanks for sharing! Happy Spring! :)

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  35. these are all great tips! it's been really fun to see your blog grow over the past year or so :) congrats on your amazing success.

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  36. Great advice! I'm bad about sporadic posting. My blog needs some consistency.

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  37. This is a great and timely post. We are newbies also and are in love with this whole community of decorators.. Thank you for the tips...applying some right this minute
    Nancy
    Powellbrowerhome.com

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  38. Hi Michaela! I've just discovered your Blog via Sam at The Peak of Tres Chic. I really like it! Read carefully this particular post, thanks for the tips and advices! Wish you a great week and I'll come back frequently, there're many interesting things around here! XoXo Maca

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  39. I love all of your tips! I need to work on balancing everything and emailing/ and commenting blogs more often. With school work piling up, I've stopped commenting blogs. I do read them though. Hope to get back on track. I love all the content on your blog, but it helps that your as sweet as sugar :)

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  40. Great tips Michaela! I love that you're so honest about all of it! I wish I would've had all of these tips when I started my blog!

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  41. Hi Michaela. I'm curious, what exactly would you classify as a substantial blog following? How many followers?

    Also, as a new blogger I figured that someone like me would want to be a sponsor of the big guns, like yourself, in order to gain more followers. Any thought on that??

    Thanks for this post. I am always so excited when seasoned bloggers share their tips.

    Mommy Sauri~
    http://casadesauri.blogspot.com

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  42. Great tips Michaela! I think all of these are important, especially the clean blog look. I don't know how many times I've gone to a blog and been totally lost on what the blog is about. A clean design helps draw me into reading more.

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  43. This post was So helpful ! am just getting my blog underway and your advice is great. I will be trying some of the suggestions.

    Thanks so much

    ~Amber joy
    my blog: http://www.2strongandbeautiful.blogspot.com/

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  44. Congrats on recently graduating and the success of your blog! I love the metal owl on your bookshelf in the photo above. Where did you get it? I'm also an interior designer and have been in the business since 12 years old. I love your blog!

    Have a great day!

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  45. Thanks for this advice post!!!

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Thank you for stopping by! If you have a specific question, please email me at michaelawarner90@gmail.com. I always reply to emails! Have a blessed day! xoxo

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