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Blogging for Beginners :: Part 2 - Design & Getting Readers

December 11, 2012

Welcome back! Last week in the Blogging forBeginners: Part 1, I reviewed: Picking a topic, blog name, buying a domain, choosing a platform, setting up the basics, joining blog groups and planning your content. I also announced 3, free opportunities for bloggers to take advantage of to help get you started!

Now that we have the basics covered, let’s cover the questions everyone wonders—the things that might hold you back from getting started or cause anxiety—“How will people find my blog?” “No one will want to read my blog.” “How do I design my blog?”

First of all, if you think no one wants to read your blog, you’ve probably picked a bad topic or you are like me and have no faith in yourself ha ha. Most likely, you’ll tell all of your friends and family about your blog, but your most loyal readers will be those you’ve never met, and that’s okay. Not everyone is into reading blogs .

HOW TO GENERATE TRAFFIC TO YOUR BLOG
sponsor other blogs
See all of those blog buttons (pictures) in everyone’s sidebars or on blogroll lists? Those are other bloggers buttons//badges. You can pay anywhere from $1-$100 to have your button featured on another blogger’s page or you can find sponsor swaps. A sponsor swap is where you put your button on another blogger’s page and in return, you put their button on your page for free. Don’t have a button? They’re easy to make, but if you want help, I am happy to create a button or two for you for a very small fee.

At the end of this series, I am giving all new//beginner bloggers a free sponsor space for 30 days, as long as you comment on one of the posts in this series so that I know you’re following along. Exciting, right? 

Buttons are a great way to find other blogs to read and they will broaden your network. Don’t forget to subscribe to blogs you like via Google Friend Connect or RSS feed.

be active
There are so many ways to be active online that will generate interest in your blog. I’m not going to give away all of my secrets since that’s what bloggers hire me for—but here are some beginner tips.

Social media: be active on Twitter, Facebook and other social media sites that you frequent. Interact with other bloggers by reading, commenting and posting their posts. Don’t come off as a salesperson—don’t promote your own blog and posts 100% of the time. Engage in conversations – have your blog link on all of your profiles.

Comments: Everyone loves comments. When you read a blog post that you like, or maybe one you agree with, do not hesitate to comment. You’ll want people to comment on your blog as well, so leave a genuine comment and below your name on your signature, include a link to your blog.

Linkups: From time to time, you’ll stumble upon linkups. This is where everyone posts about the same topic and then includes a link to the post on the host’s page. Do not participate in every linkup that you find. If you find a weekly linkup, be sure it’s one you want to commit to every week. Be consistent. Don’t just post your link and leave, visit other links and comment on other posts. Meet new people!

be patient. You’re not going to hit 10k or even 100 views overnight. It’s going to take time to build your readership. I am the last person on Earth with patience, but you have to have it. If you promote your blog 24/7 and beg for readers and comments, it’s only going to hurt you. Do not focus on page views –what does that really tell you? Focus on content. Spend your time writing quality posts and thinking about your content calendar.

DESIGN
There are a lot of options here, I’m going to touch on a few of them, it’s your job to use search engines and find the design that’s right for you. One perk of using Blogger is that design is a lot less inexpensive vs. WordPress templates.

My advice is to go with a free background until you’re ready to hire someone to create one for you—see below.

Use a free background
There are a lot of sites that offer free blog backgrounds. Some of my favorites (no affiliation) are:

Do it yourself
If you’re good with Photoshop, there are plenty of tutorials out there to create a blog background and buttons. I am available for blog consultations and this includes design inspiration and brainstorming.


Hire someone
There are a lot of affordable blog designers. You can find them by using search engines, Etsy or by looking at the bottom of your favorite blogs – there is always something that says who made the blog. Some of my favorites (no affiliation):


Regardless of where you go with your design, keep it simple and make sure you have all of the basic elements that were mentioned in Part 1. People do judge a blog by its design and you don’t want to scare people off or hurt their eyes. That’s why I love consulting – I love making blogs the best they can be!

Come back next week for the final post in this series: Part 3: How do I get to write product reviews? PR Product Pitches. Advertising. Making money. 

Please post any questions you have in the comments below and I will address them next week!

Don’t forget to check this out:
BONUS: I am now accepting reservations for guest posts in 2013 – click here if you’re interested. We will discuss a topic for you to write about and that way all of my readers are getting exposure to you! How awesome is that?



2 comments:

  1. Can't wait to put this to good use!!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hey Chels! I have been racking my brain to come up with a decent blog name after reading your first post and talking to you a bit about starting a new blog. I have a few ideas but am wondering if I could get your thoughts on them. I am trying to go for something that can evolve as my life evolves, like you suggested. Since I am going to be teaching within the next year, I was trying to think of some way to incorporate that in with the wedding theme. Here are my ideas so far:

    - Weddings and Whiteboards

    - A Girls (D.I.Y) Guide to Love and Marriage

    - Veils, Vows, and Vision

    - Love and Lace

    I also originally had "From Miss to Mrs." on the list, but after brief research I learned that this name is quite popular among blogs already.

    Let me know what you think! :) I will be asking around to some other friends and family to hear their thought as well and hopefully I can nail down a name soon!

    Thanks!
    Kelsea

    ReplyDelete