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When I first started blogging in July of 2014, I always had a list of blogs I would continuously check to see how they do things: to see how they market, to see their blog schedules, etc. These were all extremely successful blogs–all with tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands and even millions of followers. Most of these bloggers were professional bloggers and made a living from it, and I always thought (and continue to think), “that’s what I want to do.”
Now let’s jump ahead a few months to December and as I continuously followed these blogs and learned from them, I kept asking myself, “What do these blogger’s think is the most important blogging tip?” And as I kept asking myself this, I finally had an epiphany: “Why don’t you just ask them, Cat?” (Yes, I talk to myself a lot).
So, that’s what I did. I reached out to some of the most successful bloggers in all of blogland and asked them their super secret blogging tips. And guess what? They answered! I look at these successful bloggers kind of as celebrities, so when they answered me I had a few fan-girl moments. And boy did they have some awesome tips to share!
I present to you: Secret Blogging Tips from 25 of the Blogosphere’s most Popular Bloggers. And I added a few of my favorite posts from each
A Beautiful Mess advice:
” Growing a blog is hard work. There is no secret and anyone who says otherwise is probably not very successful because successful people know how to WORK. With that said, you don’t have to work 24/7 on your blog to create growth. My best advice for working smarter is to expand on your best feature (whatever you enjoy writing most and/or your readers love most). This will energize and inspire you! Then, create 1-2 features you can write in under an hour! (Yes, under one hour- start to publish) In my category, which is DIY and food, it’s not uncommon for us to spend 5-10 hours or more on one post, which is awesome, but not sustainable for every single post. Vary your content so that some things are easier on your time and schedule, and you’ll feel better spending extra time on those special “epic” posts as a result!”
A Beautiful Mess offers an amazing blogging class, Blog Life, where Elsie and Emma give all of their blogging tips and secrets. I’m actually enrolled in the course myself and I can tell you first-hand that everything I’ve learned is invaluable. They have created such a successful brand and company and they really dive into what helped them become successful–it’s definitely worth checking out.
Add a Pinch advice:
” Find your own rhythm, the one that works best for you, your family, and your blog. It may not be the same as anyone else, but once you find that sweet spot, stick with it! ”
Ask Anna advice:
“As far as my #1 tip, I actually have a couple, I hope that’s okay. I would say #1 be yourself. When I came into blogging there wasn’t really a niche for cleaning but I decided to stick to what I know and now that’s how people know me. I write about lots of things but people think of me as a cleaning blogger because they know it’s what I’m good at. #2 Be consistent. It doesn’t matter how much/little you post but be really consistent and stick to that schedule. #3 Don’t be afraid to ask for help. I am well aware that I can’t do it all on my own and I think asking for good help off and on, has been one of the things that has made me good a what I do. There’s no way one blogger can know it all so asking help from other bloggers is important. :)”
Pinch of Yum advice:
“It’s easy to get stuck in the mindset that every individual thing that you do as a blogger needs to be 200% awesome, absolutely incredible, a knock-it-out-of-the-park home run. And then when you work really hard on something and it’s not really like a home run as much as just, like, a regular post? It can start to feel blah. Depressing.
Home runs are important, but it is not realistic to think that all of your creative works are going to be a home runs. The people I see being successful, being dedicated to doing their best work and also living their best Real Life, are the people who know that some of their work will be home runs and a lot of their work will be singles or doubles.
Free yourself from the mindset that every single thing you do has to be over the fence awesome. Awesome is awesome, but in certain seasons of life, the most awesome thing you can do is just show up and write another post. Again. And again. A little better every day!”
Lindsay is one of the best food photographers I’ve ever seen. Seriously, if you go to her blog, all of the food makes your mouth water–and that’s of course because they’re good recipes, but also largely due to how they’re photographed. Lindsay offers all of her food photography tips in her e-book, Tasty Food Photography*. You definitely need to check it out.
At The Picket Fence advice:
“Our best blogging tip we can offer is to figure out early on if you want your blog to be the end-all-be-all or if you want it to be a springboard for other opportunities. We realized pretty quickly that while we love blogging, we also love that it has opened doors for us to pursue many different paths, like speaking opportunities and print work. In addition, it’s so important to remember that many bloggers burn out because they simply can’t keep churning out creativity all the time. We try and diversify as much as possible and consider ourselves a ‘lifestyle’ blog because we share just about everything. There are seasons in life when continually decorating and redecorating our homes isn’t realistic. So by sharing a variety of topics (recipes, faith, food, style, life stories) it allows us to fill in those gaps when we are in between the bigger projects. And most importantly, you have to remember that YOU control your blog, not the other way around!”
Beneath my Heart advice:
“My best tip is to attend blog conferences and connect with other bloggers. (And I am not saying that because I help plan a blog conference!)
Attending Blissdom in 2009 was pivotal in my blog growth, and it was all because of the connections and friendships I made with other bloggers. They inspired me, they encouraged me, they taught me things I didn’t know, it was HUGE for me. And I continue to have those same experiences at every conference I attend. I can say without a doubt that I would not be where I am today as a blogger if it wasn’t for the connections and friendships I have made at blog conferences over the past 6 years. There is nothing better than making your online friends your real life friends!
My second tip would be to take blogging one day at a time. It is easy to get overwhelmed with all you have to do to grow and maintain a blog, but you can do it…in baby steps. Focus on one or two goals at a time for your blog. When those are done, move to the next. If you try to do everything at once, it will leave you overwhelmed and burned out. Channel your inner Scarlet O’Hara and say, ‘Oh, I can’t think about that now! I’ll worry about that tomorrow!’ :)”
Capturing Joy advice:
“My secret tip is to get to know other bloggers and collaborate! Promote each other, and watch each other grow! I have met other bloggers at conferences or in local groups, and we have put together Facebook promoting pages, where we each drop links daily or weekly, with promise to share each others links on our social media. I’ve also done groups where there is a spreadsheet, and we each drop in 10 pins, and over the course of a few weeks, we will promote each of those out and re-pin them. I don’t think I could have been as successful without the cross promoting I’ve done with friends in similar niches. Sometimes if you are new, it’s hard to find people in similar niche and size, but be persistent, be friendly with those other bloggers that started when you did, and ask them if they’d be interested in a share group. It took several tries and several share groups to get a few going that have really worked. Don’t take it personally if another blogger that has been around for a long time, and is much bigger than you, doesn’t want to participate, look for people your similar size. It’s a business decision that needs to be mutually beneficial.”
Cheetah is the New Black advice:
“Reach out to other bloggers you admire, pick their brains, and collaborate. It’s important to stay true to who you are and your own unique vision but also so helpful to learn from and collaborate creatively with others.”
Chocolate, Chocolate and More advice:
“Always share good content and pay it forward. First, create good content on your site. If you can only put out one good post a month, then that’s all you should do. If you can do 5 a week, more power to you. Good quality is more than just what you’ve created. It’s about sharing with your readers, either on your site or on social media. more good quality content from other bloggers and sites that is similar to your content. Adding links at the end of posts, sharing on Facebook, pinning. All that love will come back to you in so many ways. Your readers will appreciate it. The links are good for SEO and those you feature will appreciate it. But remember, you are doing this for your readers first, last and always. They will come back to you because you shared what they want to see, regardless of the source.”
Clean Mama advice:
“Look for other like-minded bloggers to partner up with that have similar ideas and themes. There are always opportunities to help each other out on social media or blog posting.”
Fox Hollow Cottage advice:
“Hmm… I guess I would say to stay true to you. Don’t let blogging change your voice, style or you. It’s good to stay grounded and remember why you started blogging, and have that at your core. I started as a regular girl sharing, and that is what I still am.”
He and She Eat Clean advice:
“I would say that my TOP tip would be to not over-promise. Don’t publish a blog schedule if you are not going to adhere to it and don’t promise certain posts if they are not already written!”
House of Turquoise advice:
“I guess my favorite tip would be: Show the biggest photos you can! You might have to edit your blog template a little, but it’s worth it to have large photos. And bonus tip: to be pin-friendly, focus on using portrait shots…people love to pin them because longer/taller photos look better on Pinterest.”
I Spy DIY advice:
“My favorite tip is: Make sure the name of your site is easy to remember, and short enough to fit in a social media handle. Then make sure that name is available on all social media. Make it easy for people to find you! ”
Mel’s Kitchen Cafe advice:
“Always try (come what may) to use natural light for photography. Even if using a point and shoot camera, the food looks brilliantly better in natural light.”
Miss Mustard Seed advice:
“Don’t underestimate the value of community when it comes to growing your blog. Linking up to link parties, participating in blog hops/home tours, swapping buttons, leaving comments, engaging with other bloggers and readers on social media, etc. is one of the best ways to get your blog name out there. It’s definitely a lot of “sweat equity,” but it does pay off (slowly, but surely)!”
“Engage with other bloggers in your niche! Find your blogging “BFF”. It’s so important to connect in this industry so that you can all learn and grow from each other. Create a Facebook group or email chain with a few of your blogging friends to keep up-to-date on new ideas and share each other’s content to help everyone continue to succeed! It’s so valuable to have a group of friends that you can bounce ideas off of, especially in this ever-changing fast-paced blogging world. Don’t be afraid to reach out to bloggers as many are often very willing to help and share information!”
Sally’s Baking Addiction advice:
“Produce the best quality content you can and write about what you love. Readers can tell the difference when someone writes about a topic because it’s their life and they love it, compared to someone who writes about a topic because it’s a chore. There’s no magic formula or trick here, just write about what you are passionate about. I genuinely love being in my kitchen, rainbow sprinkles, baking oatmeal cookies, and eating apple pie, so they’re easy to write about.”
Savory Simple advice:
“Learn how to take really good photos. It helps you stand out from the crowd.”
Jennifer has an entire post on tips for bloggers you can read here.
Shanty 2 Chic advice:
“Our number one tip would be to focus on quality content and not the quantity of content.”
– Whitney & Ashley
DIY Show Off advice:
“I’m not sure I have any secret tips for success. My advice is to just ‘hang in there,’ ‘persevere.’ Dedicate the time it takes to build a following, to accumulate great content. If you’re looking for a hobby, treat it as such. If you’re looking to create a business, the same advice applies…meaning it doesn’t happen overnight. It takes four years to get a college degree. Consider giving blogging/anything career choice the same dedication. I do love blogging. It’s evolved into my full time career over a 7 year time frame. However, I work more hours now than I ever did working outside of the home full time. ”
The Graphics Fairy advice:
“Well I guess my one tip would be, just try to focus on creating the best content that you can. It’s easy to get caught up in the whole Social Media treadmill, trying to spend countless hours pushing your content out to be seen. And you will have to do some of that, but don’t spend your whole day on it. The truth is if you have great content, your readers will pin, tweet and promote you on Facebook so that you don’t have to.”
The Handmade Home advice:
“The one question everyone should ask is ‘Who am I and what makes my voice unique?’ There are a million and one bloggers out there, so what separates you from them? What is your brand about and what are you doing to develop that brand. Every action you take, every post you write should reflect that brand and move you in some direction towards that brand image. You have to learn to say ‘no’ to certain things, including sponsors and sponsored post that don’t fit your brand, so that you have room to say ‘yes’ to who you are as a brand. You need to have an eye on the long term goals, not the short terms payouts. If you do not concentrate on a developing your unique brand you’ll just be another blogger in a sea of blogs.”
Thistlewood Farms advice:
“Label your pictures and make sure they are sized correctly for your blog. Not too small….not too big. Just right. Somewhere between 700-650 pixels wide depending on the size of your blog.
You also want to label them with an SEO friendly title so you can be indexed by the search engines so new readers can find you so you can grow your blog. :)”
Today’s Creative Blog advice:
“I’d say blog your passion, not what’s popular! I’ve seen so many talented bloggers jump on the same band wagon as many others because they think that’s what they’re supposed to do.”
Catch my Pomegranate, Blueberry & Coconut Smoothie over at Today’s Creative Blog.
Wooooooo, that was a lot of advice. I love learning from such amazing bloggers and hearing what they have to say and hearing different opinions on different topics. It really proves that there really is no right way to blog. Blogging is such a personal thing, and as long as you’re doing it your way then that’s what’s important.
Thanks for stopping by my favorite post I’ve ever written (mostly because the research stage was so much fun!) I hope you learned a little bit from the pro’s.
Now, tell me, what’s your favorite blogging tip?