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Do you know the saying, “It takes one to know one”? Well here I am, a blogging newbie giving you some invaluable tips that I have learned in my first few months of blogging.
Even though I am a Faith-Blogger I feel these tried and true tips can be helpful to writers in any niche. I have realized that there is a tremendous amount of investigating and studying involved with starting a blog. You never really learn everything, because like anything else blogging is continually changing. What may have worked 3 years ago is now obsolete. In order not to be left behind you have to stay up to date with the trends of the blogging community. With that being said, here are 6 things that I have learned in the past 3 months that been super helpful and that I’m still trying to fully implement.
6 Tips for the Blogging Beginner
Your Photos need to be the Right Size –
Ever post a picture to your blog only to realize that after publishing it is blurry or is larger than your actual post? Maybe it is bite-sized and you need a magnifying glass to see it. This means you aren’t uploading the photo in the correct size. Do a little research on your blog theme layout and find out what the dimensions are for your header, post, and sidebar are and make some changes to your images.
Perhaps you don’t have Adobe Illustrator or Photoshop so you might be wondering how you can resize a photo without buying these programs. No need to worry. I don’t own those programs either. I use a free resource called Lunapic. It is fairly easy to use and edits photos in a snap. It gives you the option to download the finished product in either PDF or PNG format. PNG looks the best so that is what I recommend.
Another thing that I am learning is that photos that are uploaded in their original size are usually fairly large. Large is anything over 1000 px. It may look something like 4400 x 2240…this size image eats up large quantities of your site bandwidth and makes your blog super slow when trying to open. That is a big no-no and one I’m still working on myself.
Your Graphics Need to be Pinterest Friendly –
You can make Pinterest friendly photos on Canva. It’s free and awesome! Canva is a user-friendly graphic making machine. All you need to do is create a profile and choose a template of the graphic you’ll be creating. There are tons of photos to choose from, appealing fonts to use, and they take the guess work out of finding the right size because they are perfectly sized for whatever platform you will be posting to.
When making graphics for your blog I recommend using either a Pinterest template or a Tumblr template because vertical graphics do better on Pinterest. Make sure that your font is large and easy to read. You may not even use Pinterest yet so you might be wondering why I’m making so many references to it. Pinterest is a great way to drive traffic to your blog and you should be taking full advantage of it. If however you are uncomfortable with that platform or just haven’t gotten around to starting an account my advice is to still make your graphics Pinterest worthy so that your visitors are able to pin your posts to THEIR Pinterest boards. That makes it a win-win for everyone!
Sign up to Gravatar –
Ever wonder why when you comment on someone else’s post other users have their friendly photo pop up and yours only shows your name or a generic pic? Gravatar is a simple site that you can sign up to that creates a photo image for when you are commenting on other blogger’s sites.
Commenting on other blogs in your niche will build friendships and spark interest from other commenters. Having a recognizable photo is an awesome place to start. I know that when I am visiting other blogs I will often browse who is commenting so that I can visit their blog too. More often than not I’ll click on the ones that have an image and ditch the ones that don’t. Your friendly face will create interest and may bring some attention to your blog. Gravatar is a resource that can be easily overlooked and I’m kind of surprised that I don’t hear more about it.
Get a Cohesive Look for Your Blog and Social Media –
While this isn’t a huge deal I find that it really does wonders when trying to attract an audience. There are oodles of options out there so you can get super creative with your blog look. One of my favorites is Creative Market. They have an ginormous (yes that’s a word lol) selection of fonts, stock images, blog themes, and more to choose from. For those of you who are willing to invest a little money into your blog they have some of the most aesthetically appealing items out there. However, even if you are going the free route Creative Market has something you’ll just love. If you sign up with them they will send you free downloads every Monday in your email. I’ve already accumulated quite a font and photo collection thanks to them.
While there are hundreds (maybe even thousands) of places to go for a nice looking blog theme, Creative Market showcases some stunners for awesome prices. Just make sure you do your homework and pick a theme that offers all of the features you want for your blog. Pick a color you love. Choose some fonts that appeal to you. Then make sure your blog, graphics, logo all fit nicely together and use that same color scheme for your Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram posts. It will make your “brand” a recognizable and memorable one! I wrote a pretty lengthy post about branding that will help you tons!
Break Up Your Paragraphs –
So sometimes you come across a blog and you start reading and your eyes begin to get blurry and your mind starts to wander. The text starts jumbling together and you wonder why…you like this blog and want to finish this post! There are no photos, no paragraphs, no line breaks…it’s all one large paragraph. You HAVE TO break these babies up into small paragraphs with white space between. Use different size fonts, headings, sub-headings, photos…anything to break up the monotony. PS. I’m learning this myself lol.
Be Sociable –
Get out there and make some friends. Comment on the blogs you subscribe to, join some link-up parties, and make friends with people on social media. If you haven’t subscribed to Milk & Honey Faith yet you are missing out on a valuable tool that will connect you with other Christian Bloggers. If you haven’t started collecting emails I must suggest that you do so immediately by setting your blog up with an email provider like Mail Chimp. They are free until you reach 2000 subscribers. There is nothing like recieving emails from new like-minded friends. It’s truly refreshing!
I really truly hope that at least one (or all) of these tips helped you in some way. I know that I had to do lots of homework before I found this stuff out for myself. I’ve saved you the leg-work. If you have a new blog please comment so I can stop in and see how you are doing on your journey and give you some encouragement. I want to see those pretty new Gravatar pics ; )
If you are looking for a resource that will teach you how to grow your blog without compromising your faith then I have the perfect solution. My dear friend Carmen Brown wrote an eBook that you can download immediately so you can get your blog started with a solid plan. I highly recommend “By His Grace We Blog” and only wish this book had been around when I started blogging. It would have saved me hours of research and it would have kept me from wasting hundreds of dollars. There’s nothing out there that I would recommend more than her eBook. If you feel like you are going around in circles, Carmen’s book will help you get on the right track. Buy yours today!
Many Blessings on your new endeavor,