How Community Makes Your Creative Dreams Inevitable

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For years after 8th grade ended, I could always cheer myself up with the thought that no matter how bad things were, at least I was no longer in middle school.

My tiny middle school contained some classes with less than 10 people in them. And we had been together forever. Since kindergarten.

The problem was, I never fit in. Not really. I was shy and insecure. And I had huge hair, zits, braces, and glasses. When I walked the halls, the boys would act like their heads were exploding, mimicking the sheer volume of my crazy curls (which I now love).

And gym class. Oh, gym class. The 45 minutes of the day I dreaded the most.

In 7th grade, we played basketball in the parking lot. Our school occupied the top floor of a synagogue, and we had no gym. Thus, the basketball hoop in the parking lot. Every time I couldn’t catch the ball, it seemed to roll under one of the cars, and I had to go scrambling after it, making everyone wait for me.

Then one day, I asked my classical guitar teacher if he knew of any schools where they didn’t have gym class. He was a smart guy, an artsy guy, so I thought he might know of one. And, miracle of miracles, he did. Denver School of the Arts.

I went from a school where everyone dressed the same or got made fun of to a school where one guy wore a tux every day and no one batted an eye. Suddenly, showing your artistic flair and being different was celebrated instead of scorned. And, best of all, I was surrounded by other weird artsy people. People who cared about sharing and developing their voice. It felt like a true gift.

I’m not saying DSA was perfect. Often, our AP Chemistry teacher would play Cat Stevens on his acoustic guitar instead of teaching chemistry. It was no wonder that most kids got a 2 or less on the AP exam. And many students slacked on their classes in favor of working on their arts. But maybe that was a good thing. Because it taught me that expressing myself artistically really mattered.

Since then, I’ve had the good fortune to find other little communities to help me grow.

They always appeared just when I needed them. Like LEAPYear, the program where I built a cabin in Northern California, learned to meditate, and traveled to Central America and India.

It took me out of the traditional path of going straight from high school to college, straight from college to a job, and then staying there. Many of the people I met are doing incredible things with their lives – like Curry, who created a retreat center in Tanzania.

In Miami and the wonderful world of the internet, I’ve connected with so many creative entrepreneurs – people who care about making something new and different in the world. Creators who give time and love to things that matter to them, like blogging their truth, creating documentaries about inspiring people, and career coaching from a foundation of intuition.

These communities give me the courage to put my creativity and my voice first. And the people in my communities – from DSA to LEAPYear to The Creative Women’s Cove – the Facebook group I run with my friend Brenda – provide me with endless inspiration and conviction that what I am doing in the world truly matters.

how-community-makes-your-creative-dreams-inevitable

One Sunday afternoon, I went to an Envisioning Potluck at my friend Rachel’s house.

We ate hummus and chips. We munched pumpkin muffins (made by me) and crunched cannoli and cookies. And then we sat in a circle and shared our dreams for 2017.

When it was my turn, I shared some new things that I’ve created that are really cool but that honestly seem kind of weird. Like a picture I drew of my boundaries, for example. I told them that I want to create workshops around these creative projects, to help women all over the world connect to themselves through art and writing.

After I shared, I looked around the circle, took a deep breath, and said, I hope you guys don’t think I’m crazy.

Then one of them spoke up. Can you start your workshops now? she asked.

Yeah, someone else said. We want to go to them.

Suddenly, my crazy projects, my vulnerable dreams, my big visions seemed not only possible, but inevitable.

With the power of community behind you, your dreams aren't just possible - they are inevitable.Click To Tweet

As I drove home from the gathering, I listened to my favorite dance playlist on Spotify. I could see my life spread out in front of me, filled with creativity, connection, and growth.

Buoyed by the strength and power of community.

100 Bloggers Share Their Best Advice About Blogging (Part 4 of 4)

100 bloggers share their best advice about blogging part 4

Be true to who you are. Get a mentor. Trust your instincts.

These are just a few of the pearls of wisdom given by the amazing bloggers in this post.

This is the 4th and final installment of a roundup of 100 bloggers best advice on blogging.

Read Part 1.

Read Part 2.

Read Part 3.

The reason I did this roundup is because I know that the best way to learn and to grow in your blogging journey is to learn from other bloggers, bloggers on the same path as you.

I hope you enjoy reading their words of wisdom.

 

Kaitlyn AloryKaitlyn Alory of Freshly Messy

Find a mentor that you trust, that you “click” with, and whose strengths mimic your weaknesses.

The biggest thing I’ve done for my blog is the same thing as my biggest piece of advice to new bloggers: find a mentor that you trust, that you “clique” with, and whose strengths mimic your weaknesses. For example, if you are having trouble with consistently writing the same topic, find a mentor who is a guru in finding your focus and voice. Make sure this mentor has FAITH in you. And encourages you.

Check out Kaitlyn’s blog.

Amanda Kanashiro Amanda Kanashiro of My Gluten Free Miami

Join membership groups where you can ask questions and get support.

The one thing that has made the biggest difference for me is joining membership groups where I am able to ask questions and get support. Being new to blogging, I feel a bit lost at times and it is easy to get discouraged. Having some direction when I am clueless and support when I am feeling down has helped continue in the journey. Blogging is a marathon, not a sprint.

Check out Amanda’s blog.

Genevieve DuboisGeneviève Germaine Dubois of GiGi Eats Celebrities

You need to seek out blog friends and build relationships.

ENGAGE! ENGAGE! ENGAGE! No, I’m not talking about getting down on one knee and getting engaged that way. I am talking about visiting fellow bloggers, building relationships, asking questions, getting to know others. Blogging should NOT be a selfish thing. You shouldn’t expect people to come visit your blog after you press PUBLISH. You need to do the work. You need to seek out blog friends and build relationships! Over the years of my blogging, I have built incredible relationships – some of my best friends are fellow bloggers – and my making friends/connections has led to an extreme influx of traffic and 100 + comments of every single one of my blog posts!

Check out Geneviéve’s blog.

Stacey Higdon Stacey Higdon of Higdons’ Happy Home

Be skeptical and do your research before listening to advice.

Be skeptical. There are so many people out there promising you’ll get views, or likes, or whatever if you just do this “one thing”. But the truth is, things in the blogging world change quickly, so their “one thing” may leave you high and dry in a few months. Or it may not have even ever been a “thing”. So before you jump on a bandwagon and start making major changes to your blog, do some research. Are there other people that can verify that advice worked for them? Is it consistent with what the search engines and social media sites are saying (after all, who knows the Google search algorithm better than Google)? Does the blogger giving you advice have a blog or a career worth emulating? If you can answer yes to all of these things, then go for it! If not, you may be saving yourself a lot of unnecessary trouble.

Check out Stacey’s blog.

Jennifer NaveJennifer Nave of Nellie’s Granddaughter

Give yourself permission to trust your own instincts and abilities, even (or especially) when your instincts are not the mainstream norm.

The thing that has made the biggest difference for me and my blog is: Once and for all, giving myself permission to trust my own instincts and abilities, even (or especially) when my instincts are not the mainstream norm. I have been studying and researching, and then researching and studying some more, reading every blogging article and watching every how-to blogging video, cruising other blogs and soaking up every bit of information I could find.

What I hoped to accomplish was delving into the blogging world informed and ready to take on the world. What I actually accomplished was crippling anxiety and gun-shy insecurities.

Then I stumbled across Daniela Uslan’s post about “Stop Listening To Blogging Advice And Do This Instead.” A light bulb went on, the sun came out and with incandescent clarity I knew… “Just Do It!” “If you build it, they will come!” START! One foot in front of the other! Begin!

If I had trusted myself, my skills and abilities, and my vision, my blog would be almost a year old. Because I allowed myself to be chipped away by indecision and fear of failing, (like someone, with a runny nose sitting glued to WebMD devouring medical terms and facts and pretty soon you’re convinced you have a brain tumor and 2 hours to live.) My blog is only about 6 months old, but I love it and I’m happy and moving forward in my very own way!

Check out Jennifer’s blog.

Alexina WallAlexina Andros Wall of Life in Focus

Don’t blog because it’s right, blog because it’s right for you.

Don’t blog because you should, blog because it’s right for you. Regardless of why you decided to start a blog – business promotion, passion or personal growth – write because you want to, because it works for you. There are dozens of ways to promote your business, hundreds of ways to express your passions, thousands of ways to grow. Lack of enthusiasm, commitment or desire to write is hard to hide, and not what you want to share with your readership. Don’t blog because it’s right, blog because it’s right for you.

Check out Alexina’s blog.

Kathleen BaileyKathleen Bailey of Biannual Blogathon Bash

Make it easy for people to share and promote your content for you.

My advice is to make it easy for people to share and promote your content for you with easy share buttons on every post, your twitter ID in every tweet. Have a newsletter with an opt-in freebie, even if it’s just a summary of your recent posts. Have share buttons on your newsletter too. Finally, write for the audience you want to reach. Figure out what your target audience is and then write as if you were talking to them.

Check out Kathleen’s blog.

Maria BloggerMaria of Collecting Moments

Content is king, but engagement is queen.

Content is king, but Engagement is queen. You can have the most inspiring and life changing words the whole blogging world has to offer, but if you don’t engage with your readers and expand your audience it’ll be a waste–of your time, your talent and your words. So share, connect, and talk to your readers. They’re part of the backbone to your success, and you have to keep them strong to solidify your ground.

Check out Maria’s blog.

 

As a blogger, content is king, but engagement is queen.Click To Tweet

Marie CampbellMarie Campbell Beausoleil of Just Plain Marie

Picture one ideal reader and write to that person.

The one thing that made a difference: I stopped journaling and started focusing on long (1500-8000 words!), evergreen posts that had social media-optimized graphics and had a real benefit to the reader. And “reader”, singular. Picture one ideal reader and write to that person.

Check out Marie’s blog.

Erica MacDonaldErica MacDonald

My best advice for other bloggers is to start an email list.

My best advice for other bloggers is to start an email list if you haven’t already.  Collect addresses using a service like MailChimp even if you do not think that you will ever use them to send out a newsletter.

Many blogs start out as a hobby. Later their blog becomes a content marketing platform for their business. When they become a business they decide to start collecting email addresses. These blog owners will lament the fact that every website visitor over the years of hobby blogging could have potentially been an email subscriber.

Check out Erica’s blog.

Chery SchmidtChery Schmidt of Success with Chery Schmidt

You are unique in your own way, with your own voice, so stop comparing yourself to others.

The best advice I have for other bloggers is to just be yourself! You are unique in your own way, with your own voice, so stop comparing yourself to others.

Your blog will always be a work in progress. Yeppers just get on it and learn as you go, educate yourself with the knowledge that you need right now to take you to the next step. Get started and Never Give UP.

Check out Chery’s blog.

Your blog will always be a work in progress, so just get on it!Click To Tweet

Ann MiszszakAnn Miszczak

Plan out your posts.

Plan out your posts. I have tried to manage without doing it with little success. Now that I plan and schedule my posts it gives me the time to really create valuable content for my readers.

Check out Ann’s blog.

AnamikaAnamika Ojha

My advice for bloggers is to get your content rich and interesting. Use lots of high quality images captured from your own camera. It leaves more impact on the readers rather than the plain content. Don’t get dishearten if you have less traffic on your blog because Rome was not built in a day. But you need to be consistent in your efforts and try to network with bloggers. Join Blogger communities on Social Media and present your work to others bloggers…Gradually you will see the difference.

Check out Anamika’s blog.

Zen ZhouZen Zhou of Happiness Wherever

Sites like Stumble Upon and Reddit have made a huge difference to my traffic.

One common piece of blogging advice is “be social” but what on earth does it mean?! To me, I find that it translates into joining and participating in social networks – not Facebook, Instagram and Twitter though you should be on those- but sites like Stumble Upon and Reddit have made a huge difference to my traffic.

Check out Zen’s blog.

Denise PiersonDenise Pierson of I Choose Me

Get a blogging buddy.

My best advice is to get a “blogging buddy.” My buddy and I meet up once a week for a workday. We have created a schedule of daily, weekly, and monthly tasks. We set learning goals for the coming week and share our findings when we meet again. My buddy is my cheerleader, my accountability, and most of all, my friend.

Check out Denise’s blog.

ElizavetaElizaveta Hesketh of Box Roundup

Make your voice heard.

The best advice is be yourself, write about what you like, and are interested in, make your voice heard, and in the end it is your blog, and what you want to see there and write about – I find it is easier for me to write about things that I like and care about, and I know there are a lot of people who are similar to me, and would love to read what I have to say – I have that confidence.

Check out Elizaveta’s blog.

Samantha MunozSamantha Munoz, Brittany Nicole, and Sarah of DIY Just Cuz

Focus on the quality and consistency of your content.

Our best advice is to focus on the quality and consistency of your content. As a coauthored blog we always have to make sure to keep our posts, pictures, and formatting consistent which we didn’t do at first. Once we focused on the quality of our projects and our posts, publicizing has been a breeze! Related to this, invest time and energy to learn to take fantastic photographs because people respond well to great photography.

Check out Samantha, Brittany, and Sarah’s blog.

Soji FagadeSoji Fagade

Do research into your ideal client.

I think one of the things that have worked well for me especially in relation to connecting with my audience is that I spent some time to do a bit of research into what I considered my ideal client, reader or customer and once I got that, I began to craft content to cater for the needs of that ideal client.

Check out Soji’s blog.

SinzianaSinziana Romanescu of Sparkling Shoes Girl

Be prepared for a lot of work and a lot of learning, reading, and researching.

Beside being yourself…because is the only way you can succeed…the most important advice that I can give to anyone who intend to start a blog is to be prepared for a lot of work and a lot of learning, reading, researching…there is no way back if you want to have a quality content and a growing blog.

Check out Sinziana’s blog.

Beth KastisBeth Kastis Tsounakas of Reviews of the Arts SA

Let people know you’ve mentioned them in your blog.

I started on Facebook, so the thing I did that helped me get followers was posting the links to blog posts on the pages of the people/companies mentioned in the blog, i.e. I mostly review movies and concerts, so when I do my review, I post to the Facebook page of the movie I reviewed. When I reviewed the Jersey Boys movie, one of the actors liked my FB page.

Check out Beth’s blog.

 

 

Jeanni CahillJeanni Cahill of Guard the Door

Don’t be afraid to change things up!

Don’t be afraid to change things up! If you feel your mission or voice has changed, be willing to share that with your readers and take them along on the journey with you. Just like life, your blog is a work in progress and sometimes it just needs some new life breathed into it.

Check out Jeanni’s blog.

 

 

BeateBeate Strīpniece of Hey There Bambi

Design is everything!

Design is everything! It’s no secret that humans love with their eyes. The best way to make them fall in love with your blog & stay there a bit longer is by paying a lot of attention to the way it looks & feels! Good quality photos are a huge bonus! Plus, don’t be scared to try a bunch of different styles. You’ll find your special one very soon.

Check out Beate’s blog.

 

ShadiShadi Hasanzade Nemati of Unicorns in the Kitchen

Find your own voice and don’t be afraid of using it.

My advice is work hard and be authentic. It will pay off and you will see the results. Find your own voice and don’t be afraid of using it.

Check out Shadi’s blog.

Find your own voice and don't be afraid of using it.Click To Tweet

FatimaFatima Ali of Blogs by FA

It’s a continuous journey.

I came across numerous issues when I was starting my blog and always when I thought I had mastered something, I came to know that there is something new that has popped up! Something new that I need to master my skill on. I would say, it’s a continuous journey. One can never stop learning! Although there is lots of help available through different blogging groups and websites, YOU are the one who is aware of the issue from its core and only YOU can solve it!

Check out Fatima’s blog.

Close up face portrait smallDaniela Uslan (that’s me!)

See blogging as an experiment, not an art project.

The best thing I’ve done, the thing that has kept me coming back to my blog again and again, even when it’s hard, and the thing that’s helped me grow my audience, is constant experimentation.

When you see your blog as an experiment, you aren’t afraid to try new things and keep improving. You also aren’t afraid to be honest and real, because it’s not your ego on the line.

Check out my other blog posts.

100 bloggers share their best advice about blogging part 4 of 4

100 Bloggers Share their Best Advice About Blogging (Part 3 of 4)

100 bloggers share their best advice about blogging part 3 of 4

 

Do you ever feel like the non-bloggers in your life just don’t “get” blogging?

I feel that way all the time. Which is why I think it’s SO important to talk to other bloggers and learn from them.

This post is part 3 of a 4 part series in which 100 bloggers give their best advice on blogging.

Read part 1 here, and part 2 here.

The main points from this installment:

  • Be true to yourself and your voice.
  • Learn from others/take a course
  • Plan ahead
  • Be prepared for the long haul

All of the wonderful bloggers in this post are members of my awesome Facebook group for bloggers. To join, click here.

Arelie ZhadArelie Zhad of Heart Conscious Entrepreneurs

Write about what lights you up inside.

My best advice is to write with passion, about what’s meaningful to you, and lights you up inside, because not only is it contagious, but it’ll also connect you with your audience on a deeper level.

Check out Arelie’s blog.

Ashley ClevelandAshley Cleveland of Chocolate Mama Loves Vanilla

You can’t do this alone.

The one thing that I have done for my blog was to join Facebook Groups and get into Link-ups! I love going through this experience with other people in the same boat (The boat is HUGE) You can’t do this alone, and teamwork makes the dream work!

Check out Ashley’s blog.

Natasha NashadkaNatasha Nashadka of Painted to Distraction

To keep up the momentum, collect your ideas in separate files that you visit regularly.

Many people start out with a great deal of motivation that wanes as the newness wears off. To keep up the momentum, collect your ideas in separate files that you visit regularly. When you return to those files and flesh out the ones you’ve had new inspiration on, some will approach publishing status. Then schedule a few, even the ones that aren’t completely ready to give you the extra push that a deadline offers. Keep adding to your idea files and keep tending the ones there. This just might help you reach your long-term goals.

Check out Natasha’s blog.

Apeh OmedeApeh Omede of My Life Excel

Seek mentoring and join mastermind groups.

Seek mentoring and join mastermind groups to continue learning. Follow your unique voice and don’t feeel you are in competition with anyone. Be passionate about your writing and be consistent in doing so.

Check out Apeh’s blog.

Eva PolakEva Polak 

Take part of blog tours, projects and challenges.

Take part of blog tours, projects and challenges. They will give you purpose, real deadlines and accountability. You will also connect with other bloggers and gain new readership not to mention new ideas.

Check out Eva’s blog.

AmorAmor Santovena of Living in Harmony With Nature

Push past the resistance, the fear, and just do it.

The best advice I have for other bloggers is to push past the resistance, the fear and just do it, observe it, feel it in your body and do it anyway. This resistance is the voice in your head telling you that you are not good enough, who do you think you are? You are not going to make any money, you are just wasting your time. This voice is the ego, not the real you. Experiment. See where it takes you. Surround yourself with the people already doing it.

Check out Amor’s blog.

Advice for bloggers: push past the resistance, and the fear, and do it anyway. Click To Tweet

Lucy ValdezLucy Valdez of Lucy’s Cruelty Free Beauty and Living

Use an editorial calendar and planner.

The most important thing I have done to really make a difference in my blog is use an editorial calendar and planner. While I cannot live without my phone for pretty much everything, I cannot use it for something like this. I have a hardcover paper planner and I use that to plan out my month’s worth of blog posts as well as plan out when I will be promoting each one, where and when. When I started really strategizing these things, my overall blog activity definitely improved. The planner keeps me on track and it makes me feel good when I can spend a day scheduling out a week’s worth of post promotion and blog posts and check them off as completed!

Check out Lucy’s blog.

 Aletha CrossAletha Cross Oglesby of Watercress Words

Pictures are really important, no matter what your blog is about.

If you write a food, craft, sewing or photography blog it’s pretty obvious that you need pictures. But since mine is a health/medical blog, I had not realized the importance of photos to add interest, color, and visual appeal to my posts.

Pictures also lighten up what can be some pretty serious topics. I didn’t think of myself as a photographer, but once I started searching through my personal photo collection, I found abundant material to use if I thought creatively. And since I always have my smartphone with me, I snap random photos almost everywhere I go; I look for things that will illustrate a blog post I am planning.

Sometimes a photo op will even spark a blog post idea. And for those times when I am at a loss, I have had success finding what I need on Pixabay. They have many free photos although I usually repay them with a donation to “buy a cup of coffee.”

Check out Aletha’s blog.

Tanja JugecTanja Jurgec of Daily Elfs

You are a priority and if you are not at your best, neither will be your blog.

Put yourself first. If you don’t feel like writing – don’t do it. Yes, it sucks that your blog wont be updated perhaps for a month, but if that means that you will come back stronger and with more ideas you owe it to yourself to do it. You are a priority and if you are not at your best, neither will be your blog.

Read Tanja’s blog.

Karen VonOsdel Karen VanOsdel Shatafian of One Salty Kiss

It’s a marathon and not a sprint.

My best advice for new bloggers is to stay true to who you are. There are a lot of blogs out there and your tendency at first may be to compare yourself to others or even change what you’re doing to conform to what people say you “should” be doing. Follow your path and just be you. Trust that there ARE people out there who want to hear what you have to say in your voice. Believe that. Also-it’s a marathon not a sprint. Stay your course and have fun!

Read Karen’s blog.

 

There ARE people out there who want to hear what you have to say in your voice.Click To Tweet

 

Janice WaldJanice Wald of Mostly Blogging

Networking is important.

I would want bloggers to know about the importance of networking. Blogging can be very time-consuming. If you want it badly enough, it’s worth it when it pays off.

Check out Janice’s blog.

Maria Bonacci Maria Bonacci of Krafty Owl

Grow your email list.

The best advice I have for other bloggers is to grow your email list. Having someones email is almost as good as having their phone number and you should be putting in at least an equal effort into building your list as you do your social media accounts. You have complete control over your newsletter, who will see it and when and we really have no control over social media.

Check out Maria’s blog.

Anne Chan Anne Chan of Annectar’s Room

Join a blogging group or class.

My first advice for bloggers (especially novices like myself), is to join a blogging group or class so as to learn everything about blogging, from both teacher and fellow mates.

Secondly not to compromise on quality of content. I feel our posts should be like a treat (visual emotional or intellectual, or all of these, ha! ha!) to our followers and as heart-felt as possible cos there are millions of bloggers out there. Last but not least, to share your posts as much as possible and other bloggers’ content that’s similar or related to your own genre. It’s also good to ‘ride’ important events to post on so it would have more currency and you’ll get more shares. For example, I did a post on my country’s Jubilee Year celebrations which was also a tribute to the late ‘Founding Father’.

Check out Anne’s blog.

Nayla CarrascoNayla Carrasco of Mrs. Nayla

Take original photos.

One of the things that has immensely improved my blog is spending more time in doing from-scratch work. I just started blogging this year, so I am still trying to get on the same page as everyone else, but sometimes I feel like its okay if I’m not.

Most times I wish I had a fancy camera to take all the best quality photos I wish I could create, but my iPad has been sufficient for online photos for now. When I say from-scratch, I mean that I take my own pictures, and I create my own graphics. I have noticed that they bring in more page views/visitors per day when I do put more effort in original work.

Improve neatness in your blog with original work. Most times I see repeated photos on Pinterest of chic desks and stuff like that. Yet, when people see something new, it makes them click on the Pinterest ad you pinned because they want to know how you made it that way, where they can get it, or even just browse your site to see what other original work you’ve got.

Check out Nayla’s blog.

Horace Williams Jr.Horace Williams Jr. of Pleasing to the Potter

Stay true to yourself and know your “why.”

The best advice I can give is know your “why?” Why do you want to blog? What is your purpose? If you stay true to yourself and your “why,” you will not be so focused or distracted by everything out there in the blogosphere. You can take the ideas that “fit” with your why and implement them to make your blog better and improve as a writer too.

Check out Horace’s blog.

 

Melanie Kissell Melanie Kissell

Your blog needs constant attention, nurturing, and tender loving care if you want it to survive and thrive.

After a decade of blogging, here’s one thing I know for sure: If you don’t treat your blog like your baby, it won’t be strong and healthy enough to grow up.

What do I mean by that?

Not to get all woo-woo on ya — but your blog needs constant attention, nurturing, and tender loving care if you want it to survive and thrive.

8 Ways to Baby Your Blog:

1. WRAP your blog in a blanket of authenticity and transparency.
2. FEED your blog helpful, valuable messages your right people need to devour.
3. CRADLE your blog in easy navigation and aesthetics that are pleasing to the eyes.
4. BATHE your blog in click-worthy headlines, appropriate subheadings, plenty of white space, and an enticing call to action.
5. DRESS your blog posts in beautiful, eye-catching images and graphics.
6. HUG your readers often by replying to comments and thanking them for sharing your content.
7. PLAY to your greatest writing strengths and incorporate humor in your posts.
8. BURP the grammatical errors out of your drafts with careful proofreading and editing. (Or hire a copy editor like me to do the burping for you.)

If you nurture your blog as attentively and lovingly as you would a baby, your blogging skills will undoubtedly improve and your blog will grow to be successful.

Check out Melanie’s blog.

If you don't treat your blog like your baby, it won’t be strong and healthy enough to grow up.Click To Tweet

Amanda Nel Amanda Nel of Easy on the Tongue

Keep on doing what you think is right, keep on learning and never lose faith.

1. Set up a schedule for writing posts, attending to social media (marketing), doing research, read posts from influencers, developing your bribe to subscribe and to stick to that schedule. It is so easy to get side-tracked and end up reading a gazillion other unimportant things.

2. Blogging is about marketing and building relationships with influencers and subscribers. You will have to spend time on gaining marketing skills, not only with social media but also how you promote yourself.

3. The realization of what blogging entails is overwhelming but keep on doing what you think is right, keep on learning and never lose faith.

Check out Amanda’s blog.

Kuhiwa Erwin of Rural ReverendKuhiwa

Don’t try to be another vanilla.

The best one piece of advice I can give is to be authentically and uniquely you. Don’t try to be like another blogger or write what seems popular. We all have a unique voice with unique messages that bring more color and flavor to this world. So don’t try to be another vanilla (unless that’s your favorite flavor of course), make up your own flavor and enjoy sharing it with others!

Check out Kuhiwa’s blog.

 

 

Kathryn Combs Kathryn Combs Colvard of Haute Angel

Be informative.

Be informative. I have a fashion and lifestyle blog and people may think fashion isn’t substantial, but many of my posts are about how to avoid buying counterfeit items and how to affordably dress better, thrift shop well and to value vintage which is basically recycling.

Check out Kathyrn’s blog.

 

Niki TrippNiki Tripp of the Wild Francesca

Figure out what you can write about forever without getting bored.

Before starting a blog, figure out what you can write about forever without getting bored, and figure out how you want to benefit your readers – so that you build connections and give back to your readers. The rest is details.

Check out Niki’s blog.

Willow MoonWillow Moon of Create Mindfully

If you don’t light the path, no one will know where you are.

My first piece of advice is to be true to yourself. Write from your heart. Next, connect with other bloggers. Other bloggers know what goes into blogging, and how much time we put in. You also get support and answers from a blogging group. Last, think like your readers. Figure out where your readers hang out. By doing those last two things I have almost tripled my views. If you don’t light the path, no one will know where you are.

Check out Willow’s blog.

 Susannah Shmurak of Healthy GreenSusannah Shmurak Savvy

Get help!

Get help! You can easily waste months reading a little advice here, a little more there, and really not have a clear idea of how to proceed. Getting a mentor and a road map (e.g., a course) will greatly simplify the complex process of setting up a successful blog. There are so many steps and skills to master, and having someone reliable to go to with questions rather than researching endlessly yourself will pay for itself in saved aggravation and wasted time.

Check out Susannah’s blog.

 Kate Marie TravisKate Marie Travis of Collegiette by Day

You have to own your voice and your imperfections to stand out.

My advice to other bloggers is to not get so caught up in perfection. You have to own your voice and your imperfections to stand out.

Check out Kate’s blog.

Patricia Patton Patricia Patton

Narrow your niche.

I blog about creativity in aging, particularly for mature women in transitions. My best advice which I didn’t take myself is to narrow your niche, hone your blog’s perspective which is not to say you cannot talk/write about different things. However, your blog’s perspective or world view must be evident.

Check out Patricia’s blog.

Amy Strong Beginning Amy of Strong Beginning

Hold your head high, work your tail off, and always present yourself as the expert you want to be.

My bit of advice to bloggers is to always present your best self. You don’t need to be perfect, but you can still connect with your audience without advertising your weaknesses. For example, you don’t need to let readers know you are new to blogging or tell them this is your first attempt at an eCourse or Periscope or anything else. If you do your best work and act confidently, people will respect your experience and trust you.

Before blogging, I taught high school math for two decades. In my first years, as long as my classroom looked put together and my presentations were organized, students didn’t know that I was merely one lesson ahead of them each day. They did not see my nerves or know how incredibly hard I was working behind the scenes. Because I appeared confident, competent, and comfortable, they trusted me and enjoyed learning from me.I have worked hard to treat my blog the same way. If I want to be perceived as a professional, I need to present myself like one. We all know first impressions can make or break a business, so we always want to look our best. So hold your head high, work your tail off, and always present yourself as the expert you want to be.

Check out Amy’s blog.

Want to join these, and 2,000+ other bloggers in a fantastic Facebook group just for bloggers like you? Join here.

100 Bloggers Share Their Best Advice About Blogging (Part 2 of 4)

100 bloggers share their best advice about blogging part 2

A few weeks ago, I asked the bloggers in my Facebook group, Blogging on Your Own Terms, to share their best advice for bloggers.

(Join Blogging on Your Own Terms here.)

I got the most amazing responses from all sorts of bloggers. Whether you’re a food blogger or you blog about motherhood, you can learn a lot from their experiences.

This is the second installment in a series of 4. To read the first installment, click here.

The most common ideas this week include:

  • Get focused.
  • Believe in yourself and your story.
  • Be consistent.
  • Use social media.
  • Take time to support other bloggers.

Read on for more (and don’t forget to check back next Friday for the 3rd installment)!

Jessica MetcalfeJessica Metcalf of Beyond Buckskin

Don’t let anyone tell you that your story isn’t important.

Don’t let anyone tell you that your story isn’t important. I’m Turtle Mountain Chippewa from North Dakota, and my blog, Beyond Buckskin, spotlights Native American made fashion.

Native American people are the minorities of the minorities. As Native people, we are frequently told that our stories don’t matter, often because they run counter to mainstream perspectives. I pitched a story to CNN.com once, and I was told that my story wasn’t interesting to a large enough audience and it wouldn’t have mass appeal.

I didn’t believe that, so I tweaked my pitch, and landed a story. Your perspective is important, and it is valuable to understanding the human experience. Be tenacious, be yourself, be authentic, and you’ll establish yourself as a critical thread in the human tapestry.

Check out Jessica’s blog.

Don't let anyone tell you that your story isn't important.Click To Tweet

Lisa LottLisa Lotts of Garlic and Zest

It’s about being consistent — so that your readers can count on fresh, quality content.

I write a food blog. I’d say that going from 2 to 3 posts per week has increased my traffic. I also submit my recipes to most food aggregator sites to increase interest.

It’s about being consistent — so that your readers can count on fresh, quality content.

Check out Lisa’s blog.

Sue Loncaric

Sue Loncaric of Sizzling Towards Sixty

The most important thing is quality, not quantity.

I’m Sue from Sizzling Towards 60 and I actually just wrote a post called 8 things I wish I had known when I started blogging. THE MOST IMPORTANT THING IS QUALITY NOT QUANTITY. Respect your readers and put effort into what you write. People will tune out quickly if you produce a lot of posts that don’t have substance or sound rushed. Have faith in yourself and write as you feel. If you don’t feel the passion don’t write it. Plan and schedule. Find a mentor, DANIELA USLAN I would recommend, and keep learning. If you aren’t enjoying blogging don’t do it because it can be a roller coaster ride.

Check out Sue’s blog.

Lyn HillesheimLyn Hillesheim Sweeny of Mid Michigan Mom

Master the art of social media marketing.

My best advice to bloggers is to master the art of social media marketing. Also, sign up for new platforms as they are introduced to claim your handle! Yes, great content is important, but if an audience never finds said content then all of your efforts are done in vain.

Check out Lyn’s blog.

Tom Birkenmeyer

Tom Birkenmeyer

Put your opt in somewhere on your page that requires no scrolling.

Put your opt in somewhere on your page that requires no scrolling. The most valuable piece of real estate on your blog is the piece of real estate people first land on without having to scroll up down or side to side. If it’s curiosity piquing enough, they will scroll and click around. If they don’t have to scroll or click to opt in they are more likely to opt in to your list.

Check out Tom’s blog.

Kristen CollinsKristen Collins of Wonderfully Eccentric

Get on a social media schedule.

One thing that did to really help my blog is get on a social media schedule. I post one blog a week and then share it on different days at recommended peak times for each social network throughout the week. This has definitely helped to increase my page views!

Check out Kristen’s blog.

Monica IngudamMonica Ingudam of Finding the Voices

Voicing straight from the heart…

Voicing straight from the heart, what is felt continues to strike a chord with the viewers and listeners, whom I fondly call as the family of FindingTheVoices.

I have received the most touching and heartfelt messages from people I have never met.

Check out Monica’s blog.

 

Carrie Dix

Carrie Fossum Dix of Team Colors by Carrie

Just get started!

My advice is to just get started! I’m a new blogger, and am finding my focus and my voice as I go. I spent a lot of time up front, trying to perfect what my blog was going to be all about, but have learned more since I got started, and wish I hadn’t waited so long to get going. As the Nike ads state: “Just Do It.”

Check out Carrie’s blog.

Want to blog? Just get started!Click To Tweet

Danielle MenditchDanielle Menditch of the Career Pioneer Network

Be vulnerable and put yourself out there.

My best advice is to be vulnerable and put yourself out there. It scares me every time I do and yet I get such a positive response and more clients every time I do it.

Check out Danielle’s blog.

 

Kimberly Morris GauthumKimberly Morris Gauthier of Keep the Tail Wagging

Don’t try to cover everything.

The best advice I give to bloggers is (1) don’t try to cover everything, instead, write about what’s important to you – I narrowed my blog’s focus and a year later, my traffic increased by over 500%.

(2) If you want to monetize your blog avoid the temptation of signing up for every opportunity that comes your way. I used to be a member of several affiliate marketing program and I made $50/m; I changed my focus to a few, focusing on products I use and love, and now I make over $500/m with affiliate marketing.

(3) Get to know Google Analytics. It’s a great way to see where your traffic is coming from and what they are reading. I use GA to clean up old blog posts. If one is getting a lot of traffic, I better optimize, add affiliate links, and reshare.

Check out Kimberly’s blog.

Amanda MligAmanda Milg of My Life I Guess

Make sure your content creation comes first.

My best advice is to make sure your content creation comes first. You can spend hours researching and implementing blogging “rules” and/or fiddling with the back-end stuff until the layout and design is just right, but no one will coming to your site if you don’t give them a reason to.

Check out Amanda’s blog.

 

Nija Jihad

Nijah Jihad of NJs Plus Size Beauty

Make sure your blog represents you and your unique voice.

The best advice I can give other bloggers is to make sure your blog represents you and your unique voice. Never try to imitate someone else’s style. Keep being an original and the people with whom you need to connect with will find you!

Check out Nijah’s blog.

 

Leah Kelly Harvath

Leah Kelly Harvath of Fabulous Farm Girl

Everything changed on my blog when I finally moved over to WordPress.

Everything changed on my blog when I finally moved over to WordPress. If you are serious about blogging it’s the only platform to be on and the sooner the better. The other game changer was video. I did a video lead-magnet, started doing regular webinars, doing video tutorials to go along with blog posts and recently started using Periscope. People want to connect with you and there’s no better way than with video. It’s great for SEO too! All you need is your smartphone and a lapel mic. It doesn’t have to be perfect, so just have fun with it.

Check out Leah’s blog.

Amber Hammer

Amber Hammer of In Our Castle

Never lose sight of why.

For me the big change came when I stopped focusing on my stats and started focusing on my writing. I was about 3 weeks into my boycott of constant statistic refreshing when a mother wrote to me and said one of my articles moved her to tears. As I read her email I began to cry and that was my much needed reminder as to why I even started blogging in the first place. Never lose sight of the why.

Check out Amber’s blog.

Want to succeed at blogging? Never forget your WHY.Click To Tweet

Linda Osberg Higgins

Linda Osberg Higgins of Ten Things I Love

Blogging is no different than life, in that you have to be true to yourself.

The thing I have done as a blogger that has made the biggest difference for me, is writing about what matters to me personally, rather than writing to attract an audience. If I write about things that are meaningful to me, the words just seem to flow, and the end result is a powerful, engaging, heartfelt article that others respond to positively.

On the contrary, if I write something that isn’t meaningful to me, just to get traffic to my blog, it doesn’t flow. I struggle to find the right words, and inevitably, the article doesn’t get much engagement. I’ve found that when I write about what is important to me, I automatically attract people to my blog who feel the same way, and they come from sources I never even anticipate. Blogging is no different than life, in that, you have to be true to yourself. It has to come from the heart for me or it just doesn’t work well.

Check out Linda’s blog.

Blogging is no different than life, in that you have to be true to yourself. Click To Tweet

Sarah Cox of Sarah’s Heart WritesSarah Cox

It is all about showing up consistently.

The piece of advice that has had the biggest impact on me and on my blog is CONSISTENCY – consistency in writing, consistency in the look and feel of the blog, consistency in content, consistency in replying to comments, consistency in the voice you write with (which should ALWAYS be your own), consistency in the social media outlets you choose to use, etc. It is all about showing up consistently. It doesn’t have to be every day – you determine the frequency with which you blog – but try to be consistent with it. Humans like patterns, we are drawn to them like bees to honey, and if we can appeal to that with the consistency in and across our blogs, we are doing well.

Check out Sarah’s blog.

Christy StricklerChristy Strickler of My Scrapbook Evolution

Relax about blogging.

Learning to relax about blogging made the biggest difference for me. It is so easy to get caught up and start worrying that you’re doing the right thing with your own blog after reading so much of the advice out there. You’ll end up spending all of your time tweaking this or doing that. The next thing you know, you realize that you are getting behind sharing content. Pick one or two things you want to tweak each month and set a goal to work on them. Spend the rest of your time focusing on the main intent of your blog- sharing with your audience.

Check out Christy’s blog.

Rachel EllingtonRachel Catron Ellington of Design Happy Home

Write to your readers as if they are sitting in your living room chatting over coffee.

BE AUTHENTIC. Our unique voice & perspective in sharing our stories is what speaks to readers. I’ve read articles about using templates & formulas when writing content, but I have found that speaking/writing to your readers as if they are sitting in your living room chatting over coffee is more authentic than following any formula or template.

Check out Rachel’s blog.

Write to your blog readers as if they are sitting in your living room chatting over coffee.Click To Tweet

Kathi RodgersKathi Rodgers of Oak Hill Homestead

Ask questions.

My advice is to ask questions. Ask experts so you can learn, ask your readers a question so they will leave comments on your blog, and don’t be afraid to ask them for help too. While you are teaching and sharing, let them help you as well. Ask them how they’ve solved a problem.

Check out Kathi’s blog.

Tom HandyTom Handy 

You will never know everything.

My best advice as a blogger is you will never know everything. There is so much to learn and what works for blogging continues to evolve as you learn and top bloggers find new ways that work. Your audience changes and their beliefs change with it. Don’t get discouraged but use that energy to continue to learn, write, learn and write some more. Your blogging will get better after each blog you write.

Check out Tom’s blog.

Mary Jo LopezMary Jo Lopez Minarich

Write about something you really love.

My first best piece of advice would have to be to write about something you REALLY LOVE. Post will come easy when you love what you write about and believe in the words. My second piece of advice is DONT GIVE UP. It may not seem like your blog is moving at all but staying with it and writing, writing, writing is the key to having a successful blog. And my third and last piece is NEVER stop learning. Read how others fix problems and ask bloggers questions if you need to. It’s amazing how supportive we all are in this giant blogosphere world we live in.

 

Kelechi Honey

Kelechi B. Honey of B Out Loud

Nobody has all the answers.

The Best Advice that I can give to other bloggers is to realize that NOBODY HAS ALL THE ANSWERS! Different people just offer different methods and ways to do certain things…that’s all! No one is an expert. So you don’t have to be afraid of feeling like you don’t belong in this realm, or that nobody can learn anything from you. Everyone has something to offer and there’s always room in the spotlight. Always.

Check out Kelechi’s blog.

Everyone has something to offer and there's always room in the spotlight.Click To Tweet

 

Felicity LittlefairFelicity Littlefair of Felicious Cupcakes

Believe in yourself and you can do it.

My piece of advice to fellow bloggers is yes, you are definitely going to feel overwhelmed and yes, it is going to be tough and yes, you will feel like giving up, BUT believe in yourself and you can do it. Find your tribe and use them to support you through the tough times. Take one step at a time to get closer to your dreams and you can do it.

Check out Felicity’s blog.

Yes, you will feel like giving up, BUT believe in yourself and you can do it.Click To Tweet

Stacie Arker Hamilton

Stacie Arker Hamilton of Makeup Obsessed Mom

Take time to read, comment, and share other bloggers’ posts.

One of the things that’s made a huge difference for my blog has been doing blogger outreach. This includes taking the time to read, comment and share other bloggers’ posts. Not only does it help build relationships with other bloggers but It actually helps to bring traffic to my site as well.

Check out Stacie’s blog.

 

Jeanette AndriulliJeannette Andriulli of Horror Made

When you promote other people’s work it makes you realize we’re all in this together.

I’ve realized that sharing other people’s work is the best thing I could ever do. For me that means hosting guest posts and feature other people’s creative writing and artwork. In the practical sense, if you have other people’s work on your site you get a little boost from their traffic when they share. But there’s a more gratifying side to sharing. When you promote other people’s work it makes you realize we’re all in this together. Suddenly you have a reason to be consistent with posting, an audience made up of friends you want to talk to, and a better sense of purpose.

Check out Jeannette’s blog.

 

100 Bloggers Share Their Best Advice About Blogging Part 2

Blogging isn’t always easy. But if you follow the advice of these bloggers and…

  • Get focused.
  • Believe in yourself and your story.
  • Be consistent.
  • Use social media.
  • Take time to support other bloggers.

…you’ll be much more likely to stick with it and succeed.

 

100 Bloggers Share their Best Advice About Blogging (Part 1 of 4)

100 bloggers share their best advice about blogging

This blogging journey is long, and everyone has their own path to success.

That’s why I asked the bloggers in my Facebook group, Blogging on Your Own Terms, to share their best advice for bloggers.

Over the next 4 weeks, I will be publishing weekly posts gathering all of their words of wisdom.

Some of the most common advice?

  • Engage in the community.
  • Embrace your unique voice.
  • Be consistent.
  • Know your audience.
  • Write what you are passionate about.

Read on for more (and don’t forget to check back on Friday for the next installment)!

Laura WilliamsLaura Williams of The Badass Business Mum

Know your audience!

Create an ideal audience persona and keep that person in mind at all times. Design your blog around their style likes and dislikes, write posts for them (for every post idea, ask will my ideal reader really care!), plan your products for them. And them specifically. You will feel you’re excluding people but you’re actually creating content for the ‘Super fans’ that will want to marry you, not just think you’re ‘quite nice’!

I did this when I started my new blog and I’m already getting subscribers and awesome comments on my branding and it’s only been live two weeks.

 Check out Laura’s blog.

Jennifer Cofill Jennifer Coffill Peters of Because I’m Cheap

Blogging isn’t, “If you build it, they will come.”

My best advice and biggest lesson learned is engagement. Blogging isn’t “if you build it, they will come.” You’ve got to get involved. Go out and network, interact, comment on your followers’ stuff, find people in your audience, offer insight or help, anything you can to engage them and build those relationships and community.

Check out Jennifer’s blog.

Blogging isn't if you build it, they will come. Click To Tweet

GinaGina Karas of California Scrappin’

Be true to yourself and keep your eyes focused on your vision.

My best advice for bloggers is to be true to yourself and write about what you’re passionate about. Keep your eyes focused on your own vision and not on what everyone else is doing. When you concentrate on making your blog the best it can be with a laser focus, then the engagement comes easy because you’re attracting the right audience.

Check out Gina’s blog.

Ashley BehnkeAshley Behnke of Ashley Behnke Design

Ignore that negative and defeating inner voice.

The best decision I’ve made is to ignore that negative and defeating inner voice. You know, the voice who says to do nothing when tired and to be silent when scared.

I may not draft 3 blog posts in a day (kudos to those who can!) but I can do 2-3 small things that make my blog better. I may not always feel confident in the moment, but I push through the fear for myself and ultimately the reader.

Check out Ashley’s blog.

Ava S. RobertsAva Snider Roberts of Christy Paws and Savvy Pet Care

You can’t afford to stop learning.

In this day and age of technology, you just can’t afford to stop learning. Read everything you can and implement what rings true with you. Continual learning will bring awareness to all the other things that are important like engagement, being true to yourself, writing in your own voice and creating killer content.

Check out Christy Paws    Check out Savvy Pet Care

 

Amanda Settle

Amanda Settle

Write about something you believe in and are passionate about.

What is the best advice to other bloggers, write about something you believe in and are passionate about. If you don’t love your subject matter, how can you expect others to?

Check out Amanda’s blog.

Amy Milcic Amy Milcic of the Busy Boys Brigade

Don’t be afraid to use your unique voice & story!

Don’t be afraid to use your unique voice & story! Be genuine-true to yourself. When you are real, the words will flow and readers will come. You don’t have to blend in-stick out!

Check out Amy’s blog.

Don't be afraid to use your unique voice & story in your blog. Click To Tweet

Joe BartellJoe Bartell of My Dad Does

Stick with it and read a lot.

I would have to say, as a SAHD, it can be difficult sometimes, but know that if you stick with it, and read a lot, you will be successful, it takes passion.

Check out Joe’s blog.

 

Jenn RobertsJenn Roberts of Chaotic Bliss Homeschooling

Be active with the blogging community.

Be active with the blogging community, especially other bloggers in your niche! You need those friendships, and you will gain a wealth of knowledge! It will also keep blogging FUN instead of turning into another chore!

Check out Jenn’s blog.

Bryce RaeBryce Rae of NZ Home Business

If you want people to be reading your blog, you need to be reading yourself.

To move forward with my blogging I have joined blogging groups. This is via Facebook, Google+ and Linkedin. I have also started to see the benefits of Pinterest. If you want people to be reading your blog, you need to be reading yourself. Leave comments, positive ones. There’s no need to be afraid about leaving long comments either. Write from your heart. Write as if you’re having a conversation

Check out Bryce’s blog.

Mandy HalgreenMandy Halgreen 

Keep your unique voice, as it helps you stand out in the crowd.

I have learned it is important to keep your unique voice, as it helps you stand out in the crowd! And for me this is the best thing I have done for my blog and it is the ONE piece of advice I would give new bloggers.

Check out Mandy’s blog.

 

Jean WiseJean Wise of Healthy Spirituality

One of the best thing I have done is conduct a yearly readers survey.

One of the best things I have done is conduct a yearly readers survey. I ask a variety of questions but the most revealing question is “What are you struggling the most with with your faith life?” Really gives me an inside look on who is my reader and ideas of what to post.

Check out Jean’s blog.

Anjuli Johnson Anjuli Johnson of the Far Pavilion

Start building relationships.

My suggestion is to start building relationships. I’m still seeing how this affects my blog, but it’s made such a huge difference in my own attitude and motivation that I know will start to spill over into everything I do. I love the bloggers and artists I’m meeting and the ideas and inspiration is now non-stop. I can’t believe I ever thought it was ok to just hit publish and get off the computer.

Check out Anjuli’s blog.

 

 

Ally VermeerAlly Vermeer of The Speckled Goat Blog

Know who you are and what you want to write about.

Know who you are and what you want to write about. Defining your voice and your purpose builds the foundation for your blog. It also saves a lot of time and decision making- you only have to ask two questions- Does this fit with who I am? Does this fit with what I’m trying to do on my blog?

Check out Ally’s blog.

 

 

Defining your voice and your purpose builds the foundation for your #blog.Click To Tweet

 

Wes A MillionWes A Million of Much Bites

Move to a self-hosted blog as soon as possible.

If you are SERIOUS about blogging, please, please move to a self-hosted blog as soon as possible. if you wait for when things are going well, (which they will) you will experience a lot of technicalities that you need not go through. Getting on the wordpress. org platform gives you so much flexibility. Put simply, not moving to self-hosted is like having an iPhone 2G with iOS (the first one that didn’t have access to apps) This is boring. Being self-hosted is like having an iPhone 6Plus with access to all those awesome apps. Don’t delay.

Check out Wes’s blog.

 

Stacey Campbell Ogden.jogStacey Campbell Ogden of Creating My Happiness

Do something for your blog every. Single. Day.

The best thing I’ve done for my blog is joining groups like Blogging on Your Own Terms for information, support, and a feeling of community. My best advice is to do something for your blog every. single. day. If you want your blog to be a business then you have to treat it like a business and work it!

Check out Stacey’s blog.

Do something for your blog every. Single. Day.Click To Tweet

Traci BarberTraci Barber Synatschk of Mentoring Mompreneurs

Be consistent.

The best advice I have for bloggers interested in growing their readership is to be consistent. If you want to blog everyday, do it, if you want to blog once a week do that, but be consistent.

Developing a content calendar is a fabulous step towards ensuring you have a plan for your content. Know what you want to post about each month and then stay ahead of the curve so that blogging remains fun.

And don’t forget to share your posts! Share them on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ as well as Pinterest and Instagram! Having a content calendar helps you plan out your ideas, see where you can create Pinterest worthy images around your content and keep you on track spreading the word about what you do best!

Check out Traci’s blog.

Melanie WilsonMelanie Wilson of Psycho With 6

Automate social media.

My best advice is to automate social media as much as possible with tools like PostPlanner and Tailwind. These kinds of tools have not only improved my blog traffic, but have freed up my time to interact with my readers.

Check out Melanie’s blog.

 

Dolphia Nandi-Arnstein of Story of CooksDolphia Nandi-Arnstein

Know your audience. Learn what they want and work on that.

The best advice I have for bloggers is know your audience. Try to learn what do they want and work on that. I have installed google analytics on my blog, which tells my traffic pattern. It does not matter how many people liked your post on Facebook, end of the day it matters how many people are actually opening up your blog post. So focus on that and work in it. If you’ve a food blog, work on the pictures. These days pictures speak thousands of words. I will never open a blog which has bad pictures, no matter what the recipe is.

Check out Dolphia’s blog.

 

Amanda Long

Amanda Long of Uniquely Unfolded

Never stop learning.

My best advice would be to never stop learning. No matter how advanced or how many followers and page views you have, you will never stop learning. So don’t put up some magical wall when you think you’ve reached your peak because you haven’t, keep learning. Even if it’s to learn how to teach people how to blog.

Also the minute you stop totally loving your online and blogging time is the time you need to give it up, or at least take a break. If you dread your tasks now and working through them, you will possibly ruin yourself forever. If you need to step away you should. Hire a VA to do some tasks you are up in arms with, free up some of your time by having some guest posts.

Check out Amanda’s blog.

 

Julie Smeltzer

Julie Smeltzer of Velvet Rose

Blogging is a conversation, not a monologue.

Blogging is a conversation, not a monologue. Get involved in the community and develop friendships with other bloggers. We grow together as we support each other.

Check out Julie’s blog.

Blogging is a conversation, not a monologue.Click To Tweet

 

Sara Alvord of A Flavor JournalSara Alvord

Make sure you find something you’re passionate about when you start blogging.

My best advice is to make sure you find something you’re passionate about when you start blogging. For me, I have a full time career that doesn’t allow me much free time to blog, but I love cooking and writing so much that it’s not work for me; it’s incredibly enjoyable and my favorite hobby. So, passion is key when it comes to starting a blog and especially maintaining it even when you can’t always find the time!

Check out Sara’s blog.

 

Charlene MaugeriCharlene Maugeri of Mrs. Maugeri

Blog about what you’re passionate about.

My advice is to blog about what you’re passionate about. I blog about marriage because I am passionate about it. If you blog about what you’re care about and write to help others out with this topic, it will seem more authentic and the rest will fall into place.

Check out Charlene’s blog.

 

Sheila MarieSheila Marie of Model Savings

Always think before you do.

My best advice has to be always think before you do. Have a thought out plan about what is your doing and why you’re doing it.

For me I feel like I have so many good ideas but I never take the time out to actually think about the ideas in a step by step manner.

Check out Sheila’s blog.

 

 

100 bloggers share their best advice about blogging part 1

Do you want to get advice from other bloggers on a daily basis? Join Blogging on Your Own Terms, a Facebook community for bloggers like you.

 

 

 

How to Make Blogging as Delicious as Eating Cupcakes

How to make blogging as delicious as eating cupcakes

Imagine eating a really delicious cupcake from your favorite local bakery.

You lick the chocolate frosting slowly, wanting to savor every bite. As you nibble at the cake, you stop to enjoy the sweet flavor on your tongue. This cupcake is so damn good, you want to keep eating it forever.

Do you ever feel this way about blogging?

That you want to keep blogging forever, because it just feels that good?

I do.

But my blogging journey didn’t start out that way. My first 5 blogs all failed. Why? Because I stopped enjoying the process. Because blogging felt more painful than joyful after awhile. And who wants to do something that doesn’t feel good?

When blogging is delicious, you look forward to doing it, just like you look forward to treating yourself with a yummy cupcake. When blogging is delicious, you actually crave it. (This weekend, I had to force myself to take a day off from my blog, because I am that addicted to it.)

Why does blogging on this blog feel like eating a red velvet cupcake, when my last 5 blogs felt more like eating spinach after awhile? And how can you enjoy your blogging process more?

Here is my recipe for making blogging as yummy as eating your favorite cupcake:

1. Appreciate where you are in your blogging journey.

Imagine eating a vanilla cupcake, then looking over at your friend’s chocolate cupcake and realizing that you want hers more. Suddenly your own cupcake isn’t so tasty anymore.

It’s the same with blogging. If you spend a lot of time looking at other blogs, and wishing you were that good, or that popular, etc., you won’t enjoy your own journey as much.

If you are a beginner, enjoy it. Now is your time to experiment and find your voice. You can just focus on writing and promoting, which won’t be the case when you are in the later stages of building your audience.

Instead of looking at where you want to be, take time to appreciate where you are. This is the beginning of a long and exciting journey. You don’t know what lies ahead. So savor this moment.

Even if you’re not a beginner, you may feel the compulsion to compare your blog with others. But the only way to really love blogging is to be able celebrate your own blog, even while you acknowledge the awesome blogs of others.

Basically, focus on your own cupcake (blog). You’ll enjoy it a lot more that way.

2. Build your blog in small, tasty bites.

I was coaching a blogger last night who said she felt like she was always missing a piece of the blogging puzzle. There are SO MANY ways to improve your blog and she was anxious she might miss one.

Just like you appreciate a cupcake more when you eat it slowly, blogging becomes a lot more enjoyable when you commit to tackling it one chunk at a time.

First, just write. Don’t worry about all of the promotional stuff. Just write and work on determining your focus and your angle.

Then connect with your audience, once you’ve figured out what audience you are trying to attract. Talk to them. Gather ideas that they really care about.

Then you can think about promoting your blog on one social media channel.

Each of these steps can take months. And that’s okay. Your blog will grow one post at a time, one conversation at a time.

I know you want to be 6 months ahead of where you are with your blog. But the only way to get there is to do one thing, right now, to move your blog forward.

If you shoved your cupcake into your mouth all at once, you would choke. And you wouldn’t enjoy it nearly as much. It’s the same with your blog.

3. Don’t be afraid to choose a focus.

I am notorious for not being able to pick what I want to eat. I might look at a case of cupcakes for 10 minutes, totally frozen and unable to choose one. Then when I finally do pick one, I wonder if I made the right choice.

Do you ever feel like you are in that indecisive place with your blog? You want to write about so many topics, you get overwhelmed, and end up not writing a blog post at all.

Choosing a focus can feel scary, because you are committing. But you have to commit to a particular focus and a particular audience to grow your blog. And once you do, blogging gets way better.

Instead of sitting there wondering what to write about every time you go to write a blog post, ideas seem to be everywhere.

Having a focus is like actually buying and eating a cupcake instead of just looking at them and scratching your head. Your blog feels tangible.

Blogging really can be as delicious as eating as cupcakes. Click To Tweet

4. Blog with others.

Eating cupcakes with friends is way more fun than eating them alone.

And blogging with friends isn’t just way more fun – it’s absolutely essential.

You need community to stay motivated, to get feedback, and to know what direction to take with your blog. Otherwise you will get lonely. And you will lose motivation. And blogging will start to feel like work, instead of play.

So get out there and make some blogging friends.

They will keep you committed to the journey. And when blogging starts to feel like eating spinach and liver, they’ll remind you how delicious blogging can be at its best.

How to make blogging as delicious as eating cupcakes

 

How to Get the Blogging Support you Need

How to get the blogging support you need

Do you ever feel like a lonely blogger lost in the dark woods of the Internet?

That’s how I felt when I first started out – alone and scared.

Every time I pushed “Publish” on a new post, I hoped that at least one of my Facebook friends (other than my mom) would be interested enough to read it.

I spent all this time pouring my heart out in my blog, only to be met with a few blog comments, mainly from my mom and her friends.

After a few weeks, the pleasure of writing gave way to the pain of not feeling seen or acknowledged.

Since I wasn’t in contact with other bloggers, I didn’t know that it takes time to get loyal readers. I didn’t have anyone to turn to when blogging got hard.

I dropped that first blog after a few months.

Now, I have the support I need to keep blogging every week. I have an accountability partner who really listens to me every week and gives me great ideas for moving forward. I have a mastermind group who share similar struggles and who give me strength. I know how to connect with my readers to better understand which posts help them the most. And I have a blogging mentor who feeds my creative fire and helps me see the path going forward.

I no longer feel alone in the woods. Instead, I feel like I’m at a party surrounded by people I trust. And it’s made all the difference.

1. Get an accountability partner.

I’ve written before about my accountability partner, Josh. We talk on the phone every single week, touch base about what we’re working on in our blogs and our businesses, and keep each other on track.

Having someone to check in with on a regular basis is a great way to motivate yourself to actually do the work. It also transforms the blogging process from a lonely trek up a mountain to a walk on the beach with a friend. It starts to feel enjoyable.

If you want an accountability partner, there are so many places to find them. Facebook groups, Meetup groups, Twitter, and conferences are all great places to find accountability partners.

I think the most important thing is to know you want one, and then he or she will appear.

2. Join a mastermind group.

Every time I talk to my mastermind group, I leave with tons of ideas. I also leave with the knowledge that I’m not alone – that we’re all working on our stuff in different ways, but also having similar experiences.

There are 5 of us in the group, and we meet every 2 months. We each get a turn to share what’s going on with us and to get feedback on our businesses. But I find that I learn just as much from talking about other people’s issues as I do about my own.

You can create your own mastermind group by making a framework for what you want it to look like and then reaching out to business owners or bloggers that you respect and asking them to join your group.

Just last week, someone in one of my Facebook groups put out a group message asking if anyone would be interested in joining her in a mastermind group. Over 10 people responded.

You can also join paid mastermind groups as part of many courses. Both options will give you the insights and the connections to feel energized in your blogging journey.

3. Join a blogging community and participate.

There are SO many blogging communities out there right now, from Facebook groups, to sites like Fizzle.co. You just have to decide you need a community and then go out and see what’s out there.

The key is to participate.

Respond to other people’s questions if you can help. Ask your own questions when you need feedback. Celebrate when people share their blogging wins. Empathize when they share a struggle.

Being part of a blogging community and really CONNECTING with that community gives me so much strength to keep going. Try it. You won’t be sorry.

4. Connect with your blog readers (or potential readers).

A great benefit of blogging communities is that some of your potential readers are probably in there. And they WANT to tell you how you can help them.

Ask them what they’re struggling with most. Give them a survey to fill out so you can get to know them better. Offer to give them free advice over Skype for 15 minutes. These are all amazing ways to find blog topics that people actually care about.

Also, when people reach out and share your stuff, or comment on your blog, be sure to respond every time. Thank them for sharing, ask them a question, and follow them on Twitter or Pinterest. That’s how you start to gather a tribe.

5. Find a blogging mentor.

If you’re impressed with someone’s blog, don’t be afraid to reach out and ask them questions about how they’ve become a successful blogger.

See if they’re willing to chat with you on the phone and answer your questions, or to do an interview that you can publish on your blog.

If you want to mentor with a higher level blogger, you may have to pay. But it may just be worth it. Because learning from someone further on the path than you will help you cut out a lot of mistakes along the way.

Plus you may be able to build relationships with others in their network of bloggers as well.

I’ve recently connected with Sue Anne Dunlevie of Successful Blogging. Talking to her has been so inspiring for me, because she knows shortcuts for getting more blog traffic and building relationships with higher level bloggers. Because she is further down the blogging path, she can show me how to move forward.

How to get the blogging support you need

Do you feel supported on your blogging journey? If not, reach out. Your blog supporters are just an internet connection away.