Blogger to Blogger | Tips for ‘Newbies’

photo via Into The Gloss

Happy {almost} weekend! Can you tell I’m already counting down the hours…haha. I’m excited to be back on my ‘Blogger to Blogger‘ game today – for those of you who may be new to LICP, or just stumbled across this post, I put have some ‘tips + tricks’ {slash advice, if you will} I try to put together once a month – a little thing I like to call…from one Blogger to {another} Blogger.

Today, I’ve put together my top 10 tips for ‘newbie’ bloggers. Not that I’m a certified expert by any means, heck I still learn and improvable upon things every day. But after blogging for 2 1/2 years {which I can happily call a successful full-time business}, I’ve been asked numerous questions by new-er curators in the blogosphere and thought it would be great to have those answers in one place. And not just the typical ‘stay true to your voice’ mumbo jumbo.

Hope you enjoy + find something a bit helpful!

number 1WordPress vs. Blogger
The age old question, ‘should I use WordPress or Blogger’? The answer should always be WordPress.org {NOT wordpress.com}. Yes, Blogger is free to begin with, but in the long run WordPress.org is so much more customizable and will allow you to grow and evolve your site’s look/usability for years to come. Both are virtually the same on the back end in terms of uploading content.

number 2Do I need a nice camera?
Would it be nice to have a professional grade camera right off the bat, of course. Is it absolutely necessary, no {although it really is a huge help}. Don’t let the lack of a camera hold you back in the beginning {I personally started with my iPhone and point and shoot!}, but certainly aim to work towards that purchase if things are going well. Quality imagery is key to longevity in blogging. Of course there’s always the alternative of hiring a photographer.

number 3Consistent social media channels
When you’re looking to establish social media channels that coincide with your blog, be sure that your handle is the same across the board. It’s also wise to take the time to create unique header images, backgrounds, and a high quality head shot {I suggest this is also the same image across all channels} that speak to your blog’s content as well as your personality. Make it visually appealing and professional. Be sure to include a bio, about, and contact info when asked.

number 4How do I {organically} grow my social media following?
This is the ultimate goal {along with traffic} for every single blogger or digital influencer, as it should be. And while there are a number of ways to go about this, I’ve found the best growth comes from a combination of follower interaction {respond to questions and say ‘thank you’ – as well as engaging with other influencers}, and brand partnerships – even if these partnerships are with small brands to begin with! Every single social tag, mention, and share is valuable – don’t take them for granted.

number 5Engage with your local community
This is so so important for new {and old} bloggers. I can’t stress enough how beneficial it is to get connected and engage with your local community of influencers and brands. Attend events, networking functions and get yourself out there! If you’re assertive, doors will open.

number 6How do I work with brands?
If you’re starting from square one, reach out to small businesses that strike your fancy! Think Etsy shops, small online boutiques, or local designers {hey, tap into your network of friends/acquaintances}. Brands expect some type of ROI when working with bloggers, so while you’re growing your readership and following, smaller brands is the way to go. It’s also a great way to gain experience working with brands and learning the ropes.

number 7How do I work with PR agencies/firms?
Again, if you’re starting from scratch and are unsure of how to work with PR companies, a great way to start is simply to introduce yourself! Instead of waiting for a brand or PR rep to find you, be the first one to reach out – request a list of current clients that may be a good fit, or simply say hello and that you’d love the opportunity to partner in some way. A simple, kind email goes a long way and will not be forgotten.

number 8Free product
The saying ‘there’s no such thing as a free lunch’ still very much stands. If you begin to work with brands, typically for complimentary product initially, keep in mind that there is something expected in exchange. There are a lot of misconceptions that blogging can get you a lot of ‘free stuff, however it’s so much more than that. Keep in mind that there is something the brand that sent you free lipgloss is looking to gain. It may just be a tweet, or perhaps a full post, but be mindful of the products you accept and ensure they’re in-line with your personal tastes/views. Don’t burn bridges over free stuff, it’s not worth it. Saying no to something is ok if you’re not feeling it, or don’t have time to commit to actually putting thought/effort into the partnership.

number 9Great resources
Aside for ‘Blogger to Blogger’ of course! When I first began blogging, IFB was a great resource for providing articles on all things blogging – definitely a great go-to.

number 10Saying no
This is very important, as I eluded to previously…saying no is okay! If you’re not comfortable with the product or message being presented to you, don’t accept. Compromising your blog’s integrity isn’t worth a mound of free product, or even a high compensation rate. Brands do take note of who works with who, so by accepting a partnership with a brand you don’t truly love, could potentially jeopardize a future pairing with a ‘dream brand’.

Any additional tips you’d like to share? I’d love to hear in the comments below!

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    Comments

    Breanna King

    This is a great article with awesome tips! Thanks so much for posting it!!

    Jessica Duarte

    This is that one article I REALLY needed to read! Thank you for sharing! 🙂

    Alex

    Hey! I just stumbled on to your blog through pinterest and I must say that I’m loving all your blogging tips! And your blog itself! Thanks for all the tips that will come in handy as I’m trying to get my blog off the ground!

    Jess

    Amazing tips! Thank you so much for sharing 🙂

    Jill D

    Just stumbled upon your blog and I love these Blogger to Blogger series posts! Looking forward to taking your advice on some of these for sure! 🙂

    Allison Cawley

    Thanks for the tips for newbies! I just started my blog earlier this year and can use all the advice possible!

    xo,
    -Allie
    http://www.peachfullychic.com

    sugarandsomething...Lindsay

    Thank you for this! Such a great read!! I keep hearing I should have used WordPress instead of blogger- Does anyone have advice on if it is too much hassle to transfer? Any advice would be GREAT!

    XoLindsay
    Sugar & Something

    Krysta

    Thank you for the tips. Tip number 6 was especially helpful.
    Time and time again, I always see the suggestion to not jeopardize the integrity of your blog because of money. I totally agree!

    Thanks again,
    Krysta

    http://www.greatervista.com

    Megan

    Great post! I have a Blog Talk series on my blog (http://www.lushtoblush.com/category/blogging-2/blog-talk-blogging-2/) that discusses a lot of these things. It’s so crazy how much you can learn with experience. Great tips!

    xo Megan, Lush to Blush

    thekentuckygent

    Couldn’t agree more on several of these, especially the “say No”, when I was first starting out I said yes to everything and often times was left wondering how the hell I was going to make something work. Great B2B post, as always.

    Ariana Romero

    Thanks for all the great insight! 🙂

    Uzo

    these are really great tips , i’m glad i came across your blog , thanks for sharing this

    http://www.stylenbeautylounge.com

    IvyDaisy

    this post helped a lot ! we are very very new, and its
    realy more difficult than we had expected:D
    but i think its worth it <3
    theeighthforest.blogspot.de
    oh and P.S
    do you think it is going to be a problem for us that we used
    blogger ?

    Alisa

    This is a fantastic and educational read. As a current boutique owner doing research to step out into the big world of blogging, this post was influential. Hopefully one day we will be able to work together! Love your blog and your style! Keep up the fabulous work girl!

    TheMissFierce

    Thank you for all the tips. They are super helpful. I am very new to blogging as well, and eventually want to add ads to my page. The resources you added are much appreciated. 🙂
    Amanda

    Valentina

    Some wonderful tips though of course as a user of Blogger, I kind of have to disagree. I never liked WordPress which is why I started mine on Blogger. And from following other people’s blogs, I see a tooooooon of people do as well!

    Valentina
    Valentina Duracinsky Blog

    Iyanu

    This is very helpful! I started a wordpress blog 3 days ago. I still have some things to figure out, but this post gave me a bit of confidence, so thanks!
    http://iyanustylez.wordpress.com

    Jaime-Leigh Mason

    Very helpful x

    http://www.mimileighmacy.blogspot.co.uk

    The CHIC Insomniac

    LOVE this!!!! I’m a newbie and REALLY appreciate the advice!! I actually DID just say no to an offer that I didn’t feel comfortable with, so it’s nice to read this now… I was feeling so bad about it!

    Kiersten C

    I actually started out on WordPress but I couldn’t figure it out so I switched to Blogspot and I prefer that…I guess it’s just what works for each individual.

    yomalixherreraYomalix

    Love this, this is great advice! What advice would you give to a someone that wants to start their own blog but is very discourage when it comes to writing. You see… Im not the most creative person when it comes to writing nor with grammar.

      Kristin Clark

      I would say just be yourself and don’t focus too heavily on what your writing says to others. Plus, depending on what type of blog you have, you may not even have to write – there are tons of ways to put together more image driven sites. Hope that helps! xo -K

    Martha Palacios

    Great tips! Thank you for these very informative posts!

    Robyn

    Thank you so much for posting this! It was really helpful and answered the questions I have been asking over and over! I’ve blogged for established websites in the past, so getting products and working with other websites was easy (standing out as one of the only girls in that blogosphere helped too), but getting my personal blog (www.sweetsthrnsass.com) out there is definitely no walk in the park. Thanks again! I look forward to next month’s Blogger to Blogger!

    XOXO,
    Robyn
    http://www.sweetsthrnsass.com

      Kristin Clark

      Hi Robyn, thank you so much for sharing, it means more than you know. I’m happy to hear it’s helpful! Best of luck growing your new site! 🙂

    kellysparklesshoes

    I completely agree, the best way to grow organically is to stay active and engage with followers / readers on a consistent basis!

    xx Kelly
    Sparkles and Shoes

    prettyloved

    Great tips <3 Thank you :)))

    Lindsey

    I love these tips! There is definitely a lot to learn about blogging, especially since it is an ever-changing industry! One thing I’d really love to hear your thoughts (or a post) on: Pitching to brands or starting a business conversation via email & at events. What do you think are the best ways to go about it, especially for smaller blogs?

    Lindsey | http://dressycasual.co

      Kristin Clark

      Hi Lindsey, great questions! I’ll certainly keep those in mind for future Blogger to Blogger posts!

    Scarlet

    Wow thanks for the helpful tips! I’m really kick starting my blog but I didn’t really know how to get noticed by my community except maybe posting on a forum or something. Also, I take my photos with my iPhone but felt kind of insecure about it. Thank you for saying that you started off this way, too!

    Rebecca @ Hello Creative Blog

    Great tips – thank you so much for sharing your advice!

    2girlsin2cities

    Thanks for including these honest answers and good advice!

    Martha

    Hi love,
    These are some great tips and I think it’s fabulous that your sharing them and encouraging new bloggers to grow and succeed 😉
    Xx

    Robyn

    I am so grateful to you for sharing these tips! I am very new to blogging and will be using the tips you provided to help grow my blog. I am especially grateful for your advice about engaging the community. Will be pursuing this immediately!

    Robyn
    http://feelgreatfashion.com/

    preponabudget2013

    This is such a great group of tips! Now that I have been blogging for a while, I couldn’t agree more with these, especially tip 10!

    Hunter
    Prep on a Budget

    Cathy, your Poor Little It Girl

    Always love your B2B series, so many great tips!

    xoxo
    Cathy, your Poor Little It Girl
    http://poorlittleitgirl.com

    @kristinclarkfsu