How To Be A Better Blogger – Tips From Cathy, Your Poor Little It Girl

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blogging tips from Poor Little It Girl

In no way do I claim to be a blogging wizard. If that was the case, I sure as hell wouldn’t be working other jobs in addition to running this site and my closet would have way more clothes in it. In the two and half years I’ve had this site, I’ve learned a lot of lessons; both from my blog and from other blogs I’ve read along the way. Lately, my inbox has been flooded with aspiring bloggers asking me for my “secret” to becoming successful. While PLIG is far from being my “ticket to the top” I figured I’d dedicate a post to my personal advice on being a blogger.

Blogging Tips, Poor Little It Girl 1

Back in 2010 when I started, blogging was popular, but fast forward to 2013 and the market is so saturated it’s almost weird if you come across someone that doesn’t have a website. The difference between a “real” blogger and one who simply blogs is the mission behind why you are writing in the first place. For me, PLIG is not a hobby, it is a job…and I’ve always treated it as such. I post consistently. I hire people to help me with my site. I do it even when I don’t feel like it because it’s my j-o-b. You know the saying “If it was easy everyone would do it!” Well, everyone does blog, so how do you set yourself a part from the rest? Or are you even trying to? Make sure you know where you blog stands and where you want to take it in the future. If it’s simply a place for your family to check to get updates on your kids or what you ate for dinner last night, that’s fine. But if you want to work with brands, get advertisers, etc. you need to show that you’re providing a service. That people come to your site to learn something and are inspired by your content.

Blogging Tips, Poor Little It Girl 2

It’s a misconception that bloggers just sit back as brands beg to work with them and throw gifts their way. As previously mentioned, the market is saturated with millions of blogs; brands/PR agencies don’t have time to research every blog that has ever existed. It takes your initiative to show these brands you want to work with that you’re different. Have a particular brand you want to work with, do a little research and find the PR agency that represents them and tell them why they should work with you, ways you could collaborate, etc. Don’t just expect brands to be banging on your blogging door to work with you. You have make the first move and put in the grunt work if you want to get noticed.

Blogging Tips, Poor Little It Girl 3

Blogger friends are the best kind of friends. I met Jessica from My Style Vita after she asked me on a blogger blind date…and alas a friendship was born! A year later her and I have become real life friends in addition to starting Southern Blog Society. You can learn so much from other bloggers, so start out with local groups (or start one!) in your city and branch out. Bloggers are always helping other bloggers grow. However, this doesn’t mean you can randomly ask someone “What are your site numbers? How do I get mine up there? Can you send me your brand contact list so I can use it to build my blog?”  Yes, these are real life questions people have asked me. Stop.

Blogging Tips, Poor Little It Girl 4

You’ve heard it a million times: the key to being a blogger is being consistent. Just like a restaurant is successful if they consistently provide great food and service; a blog is successful when there is consistent and original content provided for its readers. While no one blogs seven days a week (if you do, you deserve a fruit basket), if you want to blog three days a week then stick to that schedule! While things always come up and sometimes a post just can’t go live, you need your readers to know they can count on you for new content if you want to count on them to come back to you website.

Blogging Tips, Poor Little It Girl 5

Spell check. Fact Check. Properly credit images if you take them from another site. Make sure your sidebar isn’t a drunk mess. List your city and your email address on your site where it is easy for people to find. Keep your images a decent size so they don’t take forever to load. And for the sake of all that is holy in the blogging world, have your URL and the name of your blog match. I’m left confused when they’re completely different. Please, don’t hurt my brain.

Have some blogging tips and tricks you think I’ve missed? Would love to hear what you’ve learned along the way while being a blogger…leave a comment below!

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44 Comments

  1. Cameron

    Many of us enjoy a cup of coffee in the morning, but how many want to grow, roast, grind, brew and daily retail it to the public. Cheers!

    Reply
  2. whitney

    these are great tips, thanks for sharing!

    PS-visit my blog to enter my Jack Rogers giveaway!

    Reply
  3. Lori

    I would love for someone to take my hand & help me but that’s not how it works – like you said, this is your Job with a capital J. I have been researching for almost 12 months before starting mine & I am taking it slow & steady – I know I have a loooooong way to go but I do have something to say :)

    Thanks luv!
    Cheers
    Lori

    Reply
  4. Myrna

    Thank you so much for sharing these great tips. I’ve been blogging for a year and a half and I’m just now getting comfortable with it. I’m in no rush to find brands etc. I just want to have good material that represents me. On another note, I’m in the DC area so when you move down we will have to meet for a blogger blind date.

    XX-Myrna
    Mybeatboutique.blogspot.com

    Reply
  5. amanda

    I am a new blogger, and these tips are really helpful! One thing I have done since day one is posting consistently. I publish a new post every morning 5 days a week and I think that is important. Before I started my blog, I remember being so disappointed when I was looking forward to reading a certain blog, only to find out they randomly didn’t post on that day! I am also hiring someone to create my blog design, because I believe that it’s important for your site to be unique, pretty, and easy to navigate.

    Thank you so much for these tips. I will most certainly be referring back to this as my blog grows. In the meantime, I would love it if you visited my blog! I would love to hear your thoughts. I am in Tennessee and am interested in joining the Southern Blog Society and am headed there now for details!

    amanda
    thesequinedspaniel.blogspot.com

    Reply
  6. Joanne Mason

    Great post Cathy! I think this is exactly what I need to hear and feel like you were speaking to me directly. Since I found out I was pregnant and with the loss of energy and motivation I’ve had, I’ve completely fallen off the blogosphere and hate it. Four months ago I would totally consider myself a blogger – I worked for each post, researched, made sure my content was up to snuff and was proud of the direction it was all going. But then everything changed and not it’s sad to know that I have a blog but wouldn’t consider myself a blogger anymore. Alas I want that to change! I really appreciate this post. Great job missy and keep up the excellent work.

    P.S. While I don’t live in DC anymore I’m happy you’ll be joining the ranks of some of my fave DC bloggers! You’ll love it there:)

    Reply
  7. Amy

    These are great tips. I am still trying to figure out who to get sponsors, but even for someone who has been blogging 7 months, these are still so great! Thanks!

    coffeebeansandbobbypins.blogspot.com

    Reply
  8. Amberly | A Slice of Glam

    These are great tips. I need to build up the courage to reach out to brands…Thanks for sharing these tips!

    Reply
  9. Milna

    I really enjoyed reading this.
    Thanks for sharing!

    Win a MAX Factor MASCARA: >> GIVEAWAY <<
    milna89.blogspot.com

    Reply
  10. Kory

    Thanks for the advice! I’m a new blogger, so I’m always looking for ways to improve

    Reply
  11. Julie // Bound

    Thanks so much for this advice, it’s incredibly helpful to someone who’s just starting out (um, me). And I agree that probably nothing in your life should be a “drunk mess,” haha. That can’t be the key to success in any arena (except maybe a frat party).

    Reply
  12. Sarah {Raving Fashionista}

    Well written, and well said!! Always inspiring pretty lady! xo

    Reply
  13. Mimi

    I just came across your site today. This is great advice! Don’t be afraid of the word NO…if you keep up the hard work, eventually you’ll be the one that has to say no!

    Reply
  14. asia

    This was great advice PLIG! I’ve been contemplating getting into the blog world myself but sometimes I wonder if like you said. It’s to saturated with other blogs, I think their is a place for all of us with a voice(blogging or otherwise). We just have to figure out what that voice is and let it be heard!

    Reply
  15. Brian

    Your thoughts make you sound like a blogging wizard. Next post you should write is one about Bluehost. You and I and thousands of others could co-write, “How to Escape from Bluehost Before Losing Your Sanity.”

    Glad to have met you last night on Twitter. By the way, right after BH went down, I signed up for the affiliate program at the webhost I’ll most likely transfer to and then began tweeting w/the link. I had over 400 people go visit their site. They can’t be worse than Bluehost.

    By the way, great blog.

    Thanks,
    Brian

    Reply
  16. Forever Krk

    That was really helpful info because I havent been consistent. But i wil start now

    Reply
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  19. Jessica

    Great tips – I especially appreciate the one about blogging even when you don’t necessarily want to. I have grown to expect my readers to show up, and I need to operate on the schedule that I have made them accustom to as well! I am a new member of the SBS & love reading the wonderful content!!
    xx
    Here&Now

    Reply
  20. Reina

    I just wanted to say “Thanks!” I remember when I read this post over a year ago being inspired, having been contemplating starting a public blog for years. Well, I’ve FINALLY begun my blogging journey, and I have come back to reread and be encouraged yet again. ;) Great tips; I appreciate the concrete advice with practical application. Love your blog.

    Thanks!
    Reina
    http://www.adornedwithblessings.com

    Reply
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