Once upon a time this blog was a notepad I kept in my bedside drawer. It was full of recipes, ideas and emotions. It took a lot of courage to turn that notebook into The Adventures Of An Allergy Mummy, and it was the best thing I ever did!
I’ll be honest, at the very beginning I was completely clueless. Two and half years on I’m still learning new things all the time. Today I thought I’d share my top tips for new bloggers, including all the things I wish I’d known way back when.
Social media is your most powerful tool. The great content you produce will not be recognised if it doesn’t reach anyone.
I share all of my posts on my blog Facebook page – surprisingly, Facebook is the hardest platform of all to crack as reach can fluctuate massively. The best advice I can give you for Facebook is, give them what they want. The world of Facebook probably won’t engage with your freshly cleaned oven but tell them about your child’s latest mad escapade and you’ll have them all giggling away, liking and commenting.
Like Facebook, Instagram is also a difficult platform to crack. It’s taken years to build a following on my Instagram page and I’ve still got a long way to go.
Due to recent algorithm changes, posts can very easily become lost amongst a sea of perfect homes and adorable babies. Hashtags are vital on Instagram – without hashtags, your posts cannot be found. You can find a fab list of blogger appropriate Instagram hashtags over at You Baby Me Mummy.
Instagram recently introduced ‘insta-stories’ which are fantastic for engaging with your followers and getting your posts seen – give it a try – it becomes rather addictive!
As for Twitter – again, it’s all about the hashtags! All of my posts are automatically shared to my Twitter page with appropriate and engaging hashtags included.
Example – I tweet about my most recent giveaway daily using hashtags such as #giveaway and #win. By doing this, my post will be found by those looking to enter giveaways. For posts about parenting I use hashtags such as #pblogger (parent blogger), #parenting or #motherhood.
Try and keep up with what’s trending on Twitter, talking about trending topics gets your voice heard, and once people are listening – the online world is your oyster!
Speak whats on your mind, don’t be afraid to be controversial!
Find a niche your happy with and embrace it. For me, its food and parenting. For you, it could be crafts, fitness or travel. If you’re not passionate about something, it will show in your content.
Your humour may be a little twisted, but who cares?
Maybe your parenting style isn’t typical of the society you live in, or your taste in home decor is a little wacky, don’t be afraid to talk about it. That’s what makes you YOU.
Get your head around the technicalities.
Phrases such as SEO were completely alien to me 2 years ago. I bet your reading this right now thinking, what on earth is that?
Then there are terms such as ‘engagement’ and ‘reach’ which are more commonly found on social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram.
Simplified, reach is audience size. A standard Facebook reach for me is anywhere between 300-17,000 depending on the topic and how ENGAGED my audience is. Comments and shares essentially spread the word, therefore boosting my reach.
If your writing what the people want to hear, they will be listen to what you have to say. They’ll comment, reply, retweet and share, and they’ll come back for more. When it comes to engagement, it’s all about what gets people talking.
Your blog is a portrayal of you and your life. Fine tune it to your tastes and try not to style your content to fit in with others. You’ll just blend in, when you should be standing out.
Take a look at this screenshot of my homepage – I’ve gone against the muted designs you see on other popular sites and instead I’ve gone for bold yet understated. I receive some really lovely comments about my blog design.
This design is one of MANY. I’ve lost count of the amount of times I’ve changed the look of my blog and you probably won’t find something your 100% happy with straight away.
Once you have found a design that is infused with personality – stick to it. Use online design programmes such as Canva to create a similar look throughout your social media platforms and even business cards so that people recognise you and your brand straight away.
Don’t fall at the first hurdle.
It’s very easy to feel disheartened when interaction is low, sometimes it may feel like your mum is the only one paying attention, but believe me, hard work will pay off eventually.
I believe in you.
Keep your eyes peeled over the coming months for more top tips for bloggers and some how-to’s!