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September 24, 2014

My Collection of Blogging Tips

I started blogging in January of 2012~ As I've mentioned before, it began as a way to communicate with out-of-town friends of family, but has since grown into more than I could have ever imagined. It is a communication tool. It is a creative outlet. It is part of an amazing blogging community. It is a source of income for our family.

Early this year, I decide to participate in a blog mentorship program that was being offered by Ashley at The Vanilla Tulip. If you would like to read a little bit more about my experience with her, be sure to check it out here. If you are new blogger....or an experienced blogger looking for a fresh perspective, I do not think you would regret reaching out to Ashley. She is willing to meet bloggers right where they are and assist them in taking their blog to the next level. This summer, I connected with Becky at Your Modern Family! She has been a great coach and mentor as well - answering questions, sharing tips, encouraging me, challenging me - I would also highly recommend that you connect with her as well - no matter where you are in your blogging journey.

Out of respect for these ladies and the services that they provide, I will not share with you the specifics of what they challenged me to do, etc. but I would like to give you a few tips that I have discovered along the way...things that I have found to be effective in my blogging space. I realize that each blog is unique in its design, purpose, etc. so please understand that I am simply sharing what has worked here for this little corner of the Internet.

My Collection of Blogging Tips
My Collection of Blogging Tips

I wholeheartedly believe that excellent content is the most important thing. Are you producing quality content that is going to be interesting/inspiring to readers? This is what will keep your followers coming back time and time again. I would encourage any blogger to focus the majority of their energy on this aspect of blogging.

Creative Design:
I try to consistently look at my webpage with fresh eyes - as if I were visiting my site for the first time. Is it attractive? Is it too cluttered? Is it an inspiring place to land? When browsing other sites, I am attracted to large, bright photos; so that is the direction I go with the photographs I share.

There are so many great ways to promote your blog. My number one favorites?
1. Facebook Groups - My audience is mostly made up of mamas, so I post a lot at night when they're able to be active on social media.
2. Pinterest Boards - Pin lots! - Not just your own stuff, but other great ideas as well!
3. Link-ups - If you are not linking up, I will tell you that - more than anything else - this is the thing that has grown my blog! I would advise you to focus on linking up with blogs that have an audience that would also enjoy your content.
If you have any specific questions about my favorite linkups, etc. feel free to e-mail me: allkindsofthingsblog (at) gmail (dot) com

Making Money:
Before you can expect to make money, you need traffic. How do you get traffic? By establishing an inspiring space made up of excellent content that you are consistently promoting. I enjoy collaborating with other bloggers, small businesses, etc. to promote their products/services.
I would also recommend signing up for affiliate programs. Once again, if you have any specific questions about this, feel free to e-mail me - I would love to tell you where I have found the most success. I am still very new to some of the programs, but I am excited to connect with [just a few of] the great companies that are out there.

Final Thoughts:
I think it's important for bloggers to be honest and authentic in their writing - Only then will readers trust what you are communicating to them. It is then when they will take you seriously when you recommend a product or encourage them in a specific direction.

I wholeheartedly believe that it is with creative content and consistent promotion that you will see growth. But can I ask? What kind of growth are you seeking? Are you writing to encourage and inspire or is "making a living at this thing" your number one goal? While I am excited to see continued growth (as it pertains to numbers/income/etc), I pray that I will never lose my heart to connect with readers and minister to their souls.

Are you new to blogging? If so, I have a couple of things I want to say (from my experience)...Creating and growing a blog takes time...a lot of time...Be realistic - Give yourself grace - Write only when you feel inspired - Take breaks when you feel they are necessary - Don't be afraid to be you - Use your voice to reach readers in the unique way you were designed to do so - and stick around, I would love to get to know you better!

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To My Fellow Mommy Blogger: