A few years ago I started blogging about the children’s book my sister and I wrote together, The Practically Perfect Princess. I have watched and learned quite a bit over the years and wanted to share some helpful blogging tips that I have picked up.
1. Do not ruin a good blog hop or post, by being spammy. No one likes the comment, “Just popping in for the hop. Follow me here.” This is rude and is the conversation equivalent of saying, “Well enough about you and whatever you were sharing. Let’s talk about me now.” I do not like when people do that and I know I am not alone in this sentiment. Do not be this person. It’s kind of like:
I’m happy for you and all, and I’m going to let you finish your post, but my blog is the best of ALL TIME!
If you do not have the time to actually read the person’s post and pull at least one thing from it which you can comment on, then you are better off not commenting at all. Seriously.
Do, however, use blog hops or visiting other blogs as an opportunity to grow your tribe. Doing this is a wonderful way to find kindred spirits that are at your level of blogging experience. Your tribe can also help compliment any weakness you may have by providing guest posts and giving you inspiration to keep going when the pathway seems lonely and tiresome. 2. Do take every opportunity you can to grow your audience. Even if it means experimenting and moving outside of your comfort zone. You can post on something that is new to you and entirely outside of your wheelhouse or try a different social networking medium to get your message out. Except not Reddit, you aren’t ready for Reddit!
Do not accept everyone as a friend. Seriously there are some creepers out there. A few years ago I had the opportunity to host a young up-and-coming political blogger based out of Washington D.C. My husband and I took her to lunch at a famous landmark in our town. As we were waiting outside for a table a man approached us and I could tell from her look she definitely knew him and wanted this conversation to end. . . quickly. I steered her away and told the man we had to go. She thanked me profusely and said that he was a social media stalker. She was running into this problem a thousand miles from home! Understand that you are no longer anonymous. Interestingly, my blog has only been around for a few months and I have a couple of creeper candidates already. Kind of freaks me out. Be safe!
3. Do not just dump content and run. This means you should be reading other people’s blogs and commenting on them. If you are on twitter, tweet about other people’s work and form relationships. Same goes for G+ and any other social media platform you are using. A successful mommy blog is not a newsletter, it is a community with links and relationships to, and with, other individuals.
Do provide lots of content. My husband told me that when he lived in Russia many of the street corners were covered with shopping kiosks. Each was nearly identical with very little selection or product variety, and every one of them gave you the same atrocious customer service that you would expect from a workforce still not quite accustomed to capitalism. This was in great contrast to the outdoor marketplaces which had a very large selection of goods and where the people participating seemed genuinely happy to be there. In order to have success and differentiate yourself you need to give people a lot of material to go with. Nothing is as sad as watching someone get a good start then cut down to blogging once a week or so. No social networking magic can turn a handful of posts into a vibrant marketplace. If you can’t commit to posting several times a week, you will never grow beyond a kiosk.
Stay Happy! Stay Informed!