Monday, September 21, 2015

5 Tips For Blogging

Although my blog might not be the most "successful", I've come a long way since starting and can only envision more growing in the future. I started out my blogging by writing for my school's chapter of Her Campus. This is an online magazine geared towards women, and I did anything from beauty reviews to interviews to study tips. After writing for them for two years, I created Makeup Music Books last June and voila. If you're just starting a blog, or feel like you're stuck in a rut, here are five tips I've found to be helpful when it comes to blogging.

PS: My name's obviously not Emily (it's Rachel) but my sister took this of me sitting at her desk last year and it's the only picture of me writing :0

1. Find your inspiration. For me, it was watching YouTube videos, which led to reading those people's blogs. I found myself compelled by their advice and was strongly influenced whether or not to buy something, and I kept returning every day. They also follow the rest of the tips I've listed below. There are about 5-10 blogs I have bookmarked, and have used many of their types of posts for inspiration (fall lipstick colors, brand focus, etc.)

2. Be consistent. I'm not saying you have to post every day--I strongly admire people who can do that, especially when it's good! Now obviously you shouldn't post content just to post it. And you're not perfect--real life should always come before blogging and the world will still be there if you don't post. But in order to attract readers, be consistent. If this means posting every Monday, or three times a week, stick to it. It doesn't have to be the same day every week, but I find that at least once a week is enough to keep the blog fresh and on my mind. Otherwise, you may fall behind and out of someone's mind. It's sad but unfortunately true in this day and age.

3. Interact with your community! The reason I've built up what little following I have is because of interactions. As I mentioned, I read many blogs and I make sure to comment! Usually it's not something like "Great Post!" or "Cool Blog", but rather something specific to the post. It can be as simple as "Love the lipstick!" but including some detail lets the author know you're truly reading the post and not just trolling for comments. Make sure you include a link to your blog, so others can visit you, but don't let that be the only thing you're commenting. In the online community of your blog's topic, the best readers and followers are people doing the same thing as you! If you consistently comment and read a blog, hopefully that person will do the same to yours.

4. Make things personal. Anyone can write a review on something, so why are we drawn to certain ones over others? It's all a matter of tone and voice--obviously competency and knowledge are important, but do you want to read something dry or filled with personality? I like getting to know little tidbits about other author's lives, whether it's a casual comment in the post, or even more personal separate articles. Although my blog is mostly makeup reviews, I do tend to write more personal posts occasionally. If I feel like something exciting or relevant is happening in my life, I also include that in a post, because I want to share my life with my followers!

5. Be patient. A consistent following won't happen overnight--it takes work. Utilize your other tools, like posting about your blog on twitter, Facebook, etc. Having your friends share posts increases your following. Don't give up if you aren't getting as many posts as you hope--there are so many blogs out there that it's hard to stand out. But after you start to consistently post and interact with others, you'll develop loyal readers. Reaching out to companies, tagging them in your posts, or making your actual site pop (with the help of a graphic designer or on your own) are great ways to draw attention to yourself.

Do you have any tips for making your blog successful and staying passionate? Share below!

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