5 Key Blogging Tips I Wish I Had Learned Sooner

Today I’m sharing 5 of my favorite blogging tips that I’ve learned during the five years I’ve been blogging!

blogging-tips

I’ve been blogging for almost 6 years now. For 6 years I’ve poured my heart and soul into this blog and at this point, I can’t imagine what my life would look like without it.

It’s funny when I think back at how little I knew about the blogging world when I first started, though. I didn’t know this was a thing. I didn’t know that people took blogging seriously and that it was a potential business and revenue stream.

I just needed a place to freaking vent!

That’s how I got started. And over the past 6 years, I’ve learned more about the blogging space each and every day, and I think that’s probably why I’ve been able to stick with it for so long.

I love that I’m never done learning. I love that every day there’s something new. Every day there’s a new algorithm stirring the pot or a new idea to try or ways to improve my old content. Maybe I’m a total nerd, but I find that so satisfying.

I recently re-read one of my favorite blogging books, Building A Framework, and today I decided to share 5 key blogging tips that even a seasoned blogger like me can take away from this amazing blogging resource. I wish I had learned these blogging tips a whole lot sooner, so here are some things you’ll want to take into consideration from the beginning.

Building A Framework

From the Beginning, Grow Your E-mail List

I’m going to tell you a really sad story. Remember how I told you I’ve been blogging for 6 years? Well, you want to know when I started seriously collecting e-mail addresses to build my list? Um…last year. I know, epic failure, guys. Had I been smarter, I would have been building my list from the start. But hey, you live and you learn and for whatever reason, an e-mail list wasn’t something I thought was important back in the day. In Building A Framework, Abby devotes a whole section of her book to how she built her list, and why it’s so important. Printing that section out and re-reading it on a daily basis!

There are certain things your blog HAS TO have

Blogs are all different. I think we can all agree on that. And while the content we produce will be unique to our particular blogging niche and writing styles, there are certain things ALL BLOGS SHOULD HAVE. Abby talks about 10 of those non-negotiables which include things like a super-strong About Me page, a standard disclosure policy, a clear contact info page, and a search bar on your home page! All of these are essentials, and they can really make a huge difference between a successful blog and a mediocre one, so you’ll definitely want to hear what she has to say about each of these.

Photo Editing Is Important, But It doesn’t have to be hard

If you’ve been in the blogging world for even two seconds, then you already ought to know the importance of high-quality visuals for all of your content. In the online space, yes, your content matters. Your words matter. But if your images look like poop, no one’s ever going to read them! Sorry, guys! Because of that, you should be putting as much effort into your photo editing as you put into your writing, and you should be creating images that are easy to share across all your social media channels. Not a graphic designer? That’s totally okay! Neither am I! But I’ve learned some basic design skills using easy-to-use platforms like Canva, and that’s gone a long way. In Building A Framework, Abby walks you through her photo editing process step-by-step, and she shares how easy it is to create text overlay for Pinterest photos using Picmonkey.

Building relationships with other bloggers is important (AND FUN)

Who understands the craziness of this blogging world better than other bloggers, huh?! So don’t you think it might be a good idea to build relationships with some of them? Abby spends a whole section in her book discussing the importance of relationships in blogging and she shares a whole bunch of ways that you can leverage these relationships to help promote your blog. Want to know a secret? Here it is: The blogging space is awesome. In six years I’ve made blogging friends all around the world and I’ve met some of the sweetest and most genuine people that I really enjoy connecting with. But I also love the support that we provide one another. I love sharing content from other bloggers because it’s really not about competition in this space. Believe me, there’s enough money and business to go around! So instead, it’s more about boosting us all up, supporting eachother, and learning as much as we can while building strong friendships. What’s not to love about that?

REPORT ON PERFORMANCE

Blogging is….well, let’s just say it’s interesting. We spend a ton of effort creating content, and then we hit that “Publish” button and send it out to the universe. Then, we do that all over again. But whether you’re a newbie blogger or a seasoned blogger, it’s equally as important that you report on your performance. What does that mean, report on performance? It means looking at your stats. It means monitoring your posts to see how well they perform. How many blog visits are you getting? How many people looked at that post you just published? What’s your best performing post? What’s your #1 traffic referral stream? These are all things that you should be monitoring AT LEAST on a monthly basis. Because if you want to be a successful blogger, then you need to know what’s working and what’s not. And when you figure out what’s NOT working, you need to re-adjust what you’re doing and try something new. That’s what I’ve been doing for 6 years, and that’s exactly why I’ve seen HUGE increases in my page views and social media followings. I keep an eye on my stats because without those numbers, you can’t have any real strategy, and without a strategy, you’re just hitting “Publish” and praying for the best. It’s time to be more intentional than that, guys! In Building A Framework Abby includes advice on each of the social media platforms and offers ideas like testing out different posting times and figuring out which produce the best results. So smart!

BONUS: Approaching brands + Making Money

Once you’ve been blogging for a bit and you’re in a position to start working on sponsored content, the number one thing that people ask is “How do I find blogging opportunities that pay?” Abby definitely shares some of the blogging networks she’s a part of, but she also says this: APPROACH BRANDS YOURSELF! Sure, it’s nice when a brand reaches out to you and asks if you’d be interested in working together. But why wait on them to make the first move, ya know? Get out there and make sh*t happen baby! Don’t know how? Well, lucky for you, Abby shares one of the e-mails she sent out to a brand she was interested in working with. I loved reading it because honestly, that’s always one thing I’ve struggled with. I have all these ideas and so many brands I’d love to work with, but I never knew exactly what to say to them. What the heck is an e-mail to a big brand supposed to look like? How do I get them to even pay attention to me? Now having read Abby’s e-mail, I feel totally confident that I can do this! I can make the first move and start asking for those opportunities that I normally sit around waiting for.

2017 is going to be a game-changer, friends! I can feel it!

So that’s it! 5 key blogging lessons from one of my favorite blogging resources.

And in case you’d like to see a breakdown of all the chapters in Abby’s book, here it is, all 35 of them!

Then, go grab your copy!

*I’m also offering 1-on-1 blogging/social media strategy consulting so if you’re interested in learning more, e-mail me at lostgenygirl@gmail.com and we’ll discuss details. I’m a part-time blogger, but during the day I’m a social media manager + digital content strategist at an advertising agency. AKA, I know my stuff! Would love to work with you and help take your blog and business to the next level!*

BUILDING A FRAMEWORK CHAPTER BREAKDOWN:

Part 1- Starting a Blog: My Story

     1. Why I Started Blogging

     2. What I Did Wrong

Part 2- Starting a Blog: The Technical Stuff

     3. Choosing a Blogging Platform

     4. Setting Up the Essentials: Domain and Hosting

     5. Choosing a Theme

     6. Plugins

     7. 10 Essential Pieces to Include in Your Blog

 Part 3- Content is king

     8. What is “Good” Content?

     9. On Writing

   10. On Photography

   11. Blogging for Your Readers

Part 4- The Importance of Relationships

   12. Connecting with Other Bloggers: The “Why”

   13. Connecting with Other Bloggers: The “How”

   14. Guest Posting & Contributing

   15. More on Link Parties

Part 5- Growing Your Blog: Conquering Social Media

   16. My Social Media Strategy

   17. Pinterest

   18. Facebook

   19. Instagram

   20. Twitter

   21. Google+

   22. Giveaways and Social Media

   23. Other Ways to Be Social: Get Featured

   24. Setting a Post Live

Part 6- How I Make Money

   25. The Three Legs of Blog Income

   26. Getting Started with AdSense

   27. Working with Affiliates

   28. Landing Sponsored Posts

Part 7- Working With Brands

   29. My Big Secret

   30. Targeting Brands & Making Contact

Part 8- Product Creation

   31. Product Creation: Our eBook Writing & Launching Process

Part 9- How I Build My List

   32. Growing Your Email List: The “Why”

   33. Growing Your Email List: The “How”

Part 10- Managing Time and Money

   34. How I Do It All {Hint: I Don’t.}

   35. The Legal Side of Setting Up a Small Business

Building A Framework

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25 Comments

  1. melanie

    September 14, 2016 at 8:29 am

    Great points! I guess I need to really start building my email list. I currently don’t have one 🙁 Yikes I know.

  2. GiGi Eats

    September 14, 2016 at 10:16 am

    My photo taking/editing has grown into a beautiful butterfly – ha!!! At times it sucks, but I have to say I am pretty impressed with where I have come photo wise. It’s rewarding to take a great picture of a delicious recipe you make!

  3. Marette

    September 14, 2016 at 10:16 am

    I wish I had started building an email list sooner as well. I had no clue!

  4. Brittany

    September 14, 2016 at 11:07 am

    Great post! I am going to keep this up and start working on some of these things! Thanks so much!

  5. Renee groskreutz

    September 14, 2016 at 11:20 am

    This looks like a fab book. I love this kind of stuff and will check it out.

  6. Terryn Winfield

    September 14, 2016 at 11:35 am

    I bought her book when I started and I am so glad I did! It’s helped so much.

  7. Katie

    September 14, 2016 at 12:09 pm

    I’ve been blogging for nearly 6 years too, I can hardly believe it! I feel like my blog has grown with me but there are some things I definitely wish I knew or took more seriously from the get-go!

  8. Tawni

    September 14, 2016 at 12:21 pm

    Wow, what a great resource! Thanks for sharing your favorite tips!

  9. Cara

    September 14, 2016 at 1:12 pm

    Thanks so much for sharing this! Looks like a great resource and I’m definitely checking the packages out right now! Building an e-mail list is something I really want to focus on, as I keep hearing that’s key to building a good following! 🙂

  10. Erica @ Coming Up Roses

    September 14, 2016 at 1:31 pm

    GIRL you so know your stuff! All awesome tips here…I might need to snag the book!

    Coming Up Roses

  11. Charlotte

    September 14, 2016 at 1:39 pm

    Thank you so much for sharing this. Whenever I read posts like this I know it’s important for me to step up my game. Have already started pitching to brands but developing and growing my email list is just not something I’ve ever really focused on. I know!

    Really appreciate this ama thanks for the share 🙂 going to pick up this book.

  12. Jackie

    September 14, 2016 at 2:35 pm

    Great points! I need to checkout this book!

  13. Natalie

    September 14, 2016 at 3:58 pm

    Great points! It looks like a great book for bloggers and I may just have to read it myself 🙂

  14. Jessica

    September 14, 2016 at 4:50 pm

    I need to read this book! I do agree, building relationships is key!

  15. Neely Moldovan

    September 14, 2016 at 4:56 pm

    I so wish I had started my email list earlier!

  16. Aryana

    September 14, 2016 at 6:13 pm

    Thanks for this! It’s so much more concise and easier to understand than so much advice stuff than I’ve been reading lately.

  17. Jenny

    September 14, 2016 at 9:57 pm

    I need to bite the bullet and get this book. I have heard it’s helped so many people.

    xoxo, Jenny

  18. Desiree

    September 15, 2016 at 12:55 am

    This is a great post. I just recently got back into blogging after taking some time off when I had my daughter, these were some great reminders of what to focus on!! Thanks for sharing!

  19. Kiara Catanzaro

    September 15, 2016 at 7:31 am

    I love this post, Kayla! I’ll be sure to check out this book as well because I think it could be amazing for bloggers to reference throughout the years!

  20. Mistle

    September 15, 2016 at 11:18 am

    I just purchased this book! I can not wait to start reading it. It looks like you learned some awesome stuff from reading it.

  21. Eloise

    September 19, 2016 at 4:38 pm

    This is beyond helpful! I’m just starting out blogging and could use all the pointers I can get!

    http://www.thepostgradcloset.com

  22. Shaina McGregor

    September 23, 2016 at 9:35 pm

    This is great! Especially as a new blogger, there is a lot about the blogging world I need to learn about. What does it mean to grow one’s email list?

  23. amber

    October 27, 2016 at 11:24 am

    I just bought this book last night. Wow you are right, there is so much in here! I am so excited to start implementing these concepts, and BTW your images and theme are so so so pretty. Love your site.

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  25. How To Start A Blog - GEN Y GIRL

    March 18, 2017 at 8:31 pm

    […] 5 Key Blogging Tips I Wish I Had Known Sooner […]

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