8 Simple Tips for New Bloggers - All Dressed Up

8 Simple Tips for New Bloggers

I wanted to write this article as a kind of from one new blogger to another kind of thing. In no way am I an expert. I have been seriously blogging for about three months now, and have been dedicating a chunk of my time each and every day to becoming a better blogger. I know three months isn't that long, but I feel like I've learned so much already! In that time, I have read quite a few blogging related articles. 

It can be frustrating as a new blogger seeking out advice because I feel like so many of those articles are pretty repetitive... find your blogging niche, use a good camera, have a clean blog design... It's like uh yeah, done and done so what now? Basically I feel like many of those articles can tend to be aimed at brand new bloggers, or those simply seeking to start a blog.

As a way of acknowledging this, I wanted to write an article aimed instead at new bloggers wanting to know the next steps and find simple ways in which to improve their blog. So, enjoy my 8 Simple Tips For New Bloggers!  





1) One of the best things I've learned and something I feel has really helped to grow my blog, is to always wait a few days before posting anything. And by anything, I don't just mean blog posts, this also applies to Instagram posts as well! Maybe it's just me, but I am a bit of a perfectionist when it comes to Instagram. What's really helped me to gain more followers is to not immediately post a picture as soon as I take it. I instead take a step back to see it it actually flows with the aesthetic of my page, and if it presents any value to my followers. When it comes to a blog post, I am ridiculously impatient so I have this habit  of wanting to hastily press the publish button. When I do this I don't stop to take in the details... meaning, I make grammar mistakes, I don't notice that I sized one of my photos too big, I realize I forgot to add a photo, ect. The best way to plan ahead is to...


2) Stay organized! I have an entirely separate planner just for blogging and has proven to be extremely helpful. I write down everything from "remember to reply to this email" to "publish this blog post today!". Learning to plan my posts ahead of time has seriously made my life so much easier. Not only have I turned out better posts because I've gotten in the habit of giving myself a few days to edit, but it's helped me to come up with a better variety of posts as well, which in turn brings more readers!


3) If you are planning on designing and coding your blog yourself, you can check out this post (Five of the Best Ways to Style Your Blog for Free) on how to more easily do that! I took on the challenge of designing Pleats and Threads myself, and although it was overwhelming at first, I'm so glad that I did! I love that if I decide I want the text on my sidebar to be centered instead of to the left, I know how to do that because I took the time to learn. While learning, one of the best things I did was save every piece of coding you add to your blog in a separate document and note what it was used for.


4) Always be researching ways in which to grow your blog! Pinterest is a great tool for this...aka follow blogging boards! The best way to learn is from people who have once been beginners themselves. Pinterest is also a great way to reach more potential readers! Group boards are fantastic, seriously. One of the best websites I've come across is http://pingroupie.com/. Pingroupie is basically a collection of brilliantly organized group boards on Pinterest. It lets you search for specific keywords of boards you might want to follow or join, then provides you with descriptions and a link to whichever board you would like to see! Brilliant right? I have gained so much extra attention to my Pinterest after joining group boards, which has in turn lead to extra page views!


5) There are a few keywords I pay attention to when taking or editing my photos.. lighting, background, shape, and size (and basically in this order). When it comes to lighting, always take your photos in natural light! And by the way, let me state this again that I am in no way an expert. I am definitely not a photographer, and still have a long way to go when it comes to taking great photos but these are just a few simple tips I've learned along the way that will help to make sure you are taking steps in the right direction when it comes to getting great blog photos!


via @pleatsandthreads Instagram 


Anyway, natural light is the best light. When taking flat lay photos, my best photos have come from laying products out on my white desk which is right under a giant window in my room, and opening the shades. Above are some examples! The photo on the bottom left is basically a what-not-to-do. see how dull it looks compared to the others? It was not taken in natural light, and you can definitely tell the difference. 

When it comes to background, you want whatever brings the most focus to your subject. My photographer for the most part is my mom, and she has this habit of thinking we should always get a photo in front of the most busy background.. like, "oh Ashley stand in front of this ornate fountain because it's pretty". It's like yeah it's pretty, which is why it should be the focus of the photo all on it's own. For an outfit shoot, you want the outfit to be the focus so a background without a lot going in is best.

For the shape of my photos, I tend to to make them long because that's what looks the best on Pinterest. My favorite photos I've taken are the ones with a large background so that it can be zoomed in a bit for Instagram, but long for Pinterest. Pretty simple right? As for the size, I always make sure I make all my photos the same width, which is roughly the same width of the body of my blog. 


6) Join networks and blogging groups! If you can tell from my sidebar, I'm part of a few groups and networks, and they are all nothing but wonderful! I just recently joined Her Campus Blogger network and it is fantastic. I would encourage any new blogger to apply! Make sure to read the requirements, but if you qualify, it's a really great opportunity! I am also a part of The Shelf Network, Blogher, Side by Style, and the Charleston Blog Society! A great way to learn about network opportunities is to look at other blogs and see what groups they are apart of, and what they recommend! 


7) If you are looking to be really serious about blogging, you have to treat it like a job. On the same note,  you have to know when to take a break from working. When it comes to blogging, that's one of the things that's hardest for me because I am doing this thing that I love and I love to see my hard work paying off. I am so lucky to have so many people that support me, but I catch myself taking advantage of that at times and (for example) have a hard time putting my computer away when my boyfriend has set a night aside to spend time with me.

One of my drawing teachers said something to me before that has really stuck (btw no I am still not good at drawing even after college level courses)... If you work on anything creatively for more than a few hours straight, you're not putting your best into it anymore. After a certain point, you're not looking at it the same and to be creative you need a fresh perspective. I have found this to seriously be so true. Whether it's writing, designing, or photography, creativity can't be rushed. If you're frustrated with a post, after a while you're not looking at the details, you're just doing whatever so that it can be finished. The great thing about blogging is that you are your own boss! Don't beat yourself up if you don't make your own deadline. So, anyway, treat it like it's a job, but every job has off hours!


8) Most importantly, always remember to be yourself! This is a tip commonly found in those "how to start a blog" articles, but it is reiterated so often because it's so important! It's easy to get caught up in what other bloggers are doing, but it's important to remember that your best work will come from whatever you're passionate the most about! I had to remind myself this recently when I took photos of a little Shark Week party I had (one of which is pictured above), and was hesitant to post them on social media. I caught myself thinking, "no one else has done anything like this, is it a bad idea then?". It was just then that I realized that because of that fact, it was the best idea! It was something that was entirely my own, and I got the best feedback because of it! It was also something that shared a little bit of who I am with my followers, and people really do appreciate genuineness. 





I hope these tips have been helpful to you! I feel like this post is already monumentally long, and I could still add so many extra points soo I am stopping myself here! Now that I am done talking, I would absolutely love to hear if you have any advice that has really helped you with your blog! Like I said, this was more of a from one new blogger to another, so I am definitely still in the process of learning, and would love to hear some tips that you guys have! Feel free to comment below!






6 comments

  1. This post is honestly really helpful! I can't believe you've only been blogging for a short time-your posts are very professionally put! Thanks for sharing!

    Kalina
    simplysemisweet.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you SO much Kalina! I'm so glad you found this post helpful, thanks for reading and for the kind words!

      Delete
  2. Thank you for some really helpfull tips. I'm also kind of new to blogging, and it gets me really frustrated some times. But I love it anyway. I actutally posted a piece about it today.
    Anyways, I'll be pinning this so I can reread it when the frustration gets to me again./ love Ida

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So true that this blogging thing that we do can be so frustrating, but I'm so glad I could help! Thanks for reading!

      Delete