Lindsay Gill: Blogging 100...the class even before Blogging 101!

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Blogging 100...the class even before Blogging 101!

I know so little about blogging that this is the class before Blogging 101.  But a few friends have expressed interest in starting a blog and I wanted to share everything I have learned in my now three month blogging experience, so that I can hopefully save you three months of googling.

1.  Wordpress or Blogger?  I don't know.  I have heard that google can take away your blog.  I'm not sure if that is true, but it sounds devastating.  I have read that Wordpress makes it easier for readers to find you in search engines.  I wasn't able to find a free Wordpress format/theme that I liked so I haven't made the transfer (you can pay for fancier themes or themes that you can edit more).  It seems best to transfer early on when there aren't too many posts or followers to move over to another site.  Eventually you can buy the domain to get rid of the .wordpress and .blogspot in the url.  I think I will do that, but maybe hire someone who knows how so that I don't accidentally lose everything.  Let me know what you think.

2.  How can you make money?  There are many ways but remember that this is Blogging 100.  On the layout template in Blogger, you can "Add a Gadget" and add "AdSense."  This will add advertisements that (I think) are supposed to somewhat align with your blog topic.  You can make pennies or much more, depending on how many viewers and clicks you are getting.  You can also sign up for Amazon Affiliates.  You can add links to their products or an aStore like I have under my "shop" tab.  They give you a small percentage of certain sales they make that came through your blog.  Once you get a good amount of followers, people might want to advertise their product or blog on your blog.  Some sites offer blog space for monthly periods for various amounts (I've seen $10-$50).  This is why people have a "media kit" that shows possible sponsors about their view count and statistics so the sponsor can decide if it's worth it for them.  Other bloggers get paid for product reviews.

3.  How can I get more readers?  Well if you're reading this, you're probably my mom's friend.  She is in charge of my marketing.  In the grocery store she will say, excuse me do you know where the carrots are?  When they show her the carrots, she will say thanks, I am trying to make a stew that I saw on WEDDING RINGS TO TEETHING RINGS BLOG.  (Thanks, Mom.  She's also my one and only Etsy customer.)  Joking aside, Pinterest seems like the way to go.  I have pinned all sorts of blogging help on my "Blog" board that give ideas that I'm exploring myself.  Follow that board here.  You can also be part of "link parties" where you can post articles that pertain to the link party topic (and usually add their "button" to your page).  Definitely respond to all comments that people write, and comment on other blogs when you like their content.  Link up with other bloggers...sometimes you can do a blog swap or a guest post to get more exposure.  The main thing thing is to post good content and to keep your own voice.  That seems to be the number one piece of advice.

4.  How do you center your header image?  Under Template, click Customize.  Click Advanced and then scroll down to ADD CSS.  Paste this code: #header-inner img {margin: 0 auto 0 65px;} and then change the 65 to whatever number centers your image.  There is a code to "center" it but I had better luck doing it this way.

5.  How do you add texts and design to images?  This was very frustrating to me because I was an art minor in college and had access to the most updated and fancy computer programs available.  Now, I don't.  But I found out about PicMonkey which allows you to edit photos and create collages.  There are lots of free iPhone apps as well like Overgram that help you put text over images.  This is helpful when you're pinning on Pinterest.

6.  How do you do giveaways? seems to be what most bloggers use. It's $7.99 per month and very easy to use.  You set up your giveaway on their site and then paste the "widget" on the HTML part of your post (next to the compose tab).  As you can see by my begging, I didn't have tremendous luck with my giveaways so I am on a giveaway hiatus until I learn a bit more.  I was lucky enough to have a few Etsy shop owners let me giveaway their product, and more people are willing to help when you have lots of viewers!

7.  How do you add the "Pin it" button to your images?  I'll let this site explain.

8.  How do you add "labels" to your posts?  When you are in the "compose" tab writing your post, there is a post settings section on the right.  You can add labels under "labels."  Duh... but I didn't see it until Meg pointed it out.

9.  How do you schedule your posts?  Again, under the post settings, you can schedule when to publish your posts.  I was so excited to figure this out!  You could theoretically plan out the blog for the rest of your life...not quite but you can schedule multiple posts during ONE naptime!

10.  FYI: One article wrote about Twitter and how important that is for your blog growth.  I'm not good at Twitter, it doesn't come naturally to me...yet.  But you can connect you blog to Twitter and to Facebook and to Bloglovin so that once you post, all social media systems spread the word. There is a site that takes your old posts and tweets about the so that your old posts still get exposure!  There are tricks about times of the day to post, and which days to post.  I've found that it really helps to find other blogs, successful and not successful, and just take note of the things you like and dislike about their blog.  Then google your way to doing the things you like on your own blog!  I think this is all so interesting!  But certainly topics for Blogging 101.

Please comment on any other tips you have learned along the way!  I'm excited to learn more about this process!

No comments:

Post a Comment