Blogging Tips A-Z

I wanted a quick go to for blogging tips that you can digest easily. I asked my blogging community (you can join us in our Facebook community here) for their top tips, I included mine too. They are all successful bloggers in their own right. So here goes with the blogging A-Z of tips!
A – About. Who are you writing to and what do they want to read? If it’s just a blog for you documenting your family then that’s fine – but if you want to be successful it’s good to have a target in mind. Via Mums the Boss.
B- be authentic. Don’t listen to those telling you to find articles that do well and write them better. Write your own story, your own stuff, things you are passionate about. This is your blog, your experiences, your life. Be you! Via Akamatra.com
B – Backup – you have spent months / years creating your blog, make sure you back up all of your hard work. Via Freddies Mummy.
C – comparison is the thief of joy. Don’t compare your beginning to someone else’s middle. Everyone has to start from.somewhere. you might not have 1000s of followers but work on creating content people will love and building an engaged community. Via The Ladybirds Adventures.
C- comment. To help grow your social media channels, like and comment on other people’s accounts and blogs. Via Popitha.
C for Content – content is king. Write good content. Get respect, return visitors and shares because of it. Via Mother Tongue Notes.
D- Don’t be shy! If you get invited to an event where there will be other bloggers, don’t stress and be shy just say ‘Hi!’ and the conversation will flow from there. Via A Little Lyrical.
D – dream. Always dream big, don’t let others tell you what you can and and can’t do. Via Scandimummy.
D for Dictation – when short of time to sit and type, dictate to your phone and let it write it down for you (adroid and gmail does this for example. Via Mother Tongue Notes.
E – Engage. One of the things I love most about blogging is the community it fosters – both with my readers and fellow blogging buddies. Engage with your subscribers, followers and peers and watch your community grow. Via A Simple and Contented Life.
F – friendship, being part of the blogging community is a wonderful place to make friends, ask for advise help each other out. I’ve made some really wonderful friends being part of the community! Via Champagne and Petals.
F- find your tribe, connect with other bloggers to help you learn all the new parts and support you on the way. Via Jam Jar Gill.
G – Go for it. Don’t second guess yourself. Sometimes you just need to jump straight in and start writing a post, just because you have written it doesn’t mean you have to publish it. But writing something is better at getting the creative juices flowing then staring at a blank screen. Via What Nikki Knows.
H – Have you own way of writing, planning and creating. you are your own person and you’re different to any other blogger so don’t copy them. You don’t need to, be yourself. You will find your own way in the blogging world. Via Miss Tilly and Me.
I – Insecure. Don’t post something that your never 100% on. Via My Family of Roses.
J – Jot down your ideas. Pen & paper, notes app on your phone, a leaf – whatever is to hand really. It frees up your head space and it’s means you’ll definitely remember them. Via The Growing Mum.
K – Know your target audience and write for them. Don’t try to write for everyone, you end up appealing to no-one.
L – Learn what you can, suck up all the information you can get hold of. Search Pinterest and reap the benefits. Invest in a paid course if you want it all in one place.
M – Mix it up – write on a few different topics so you always enjoy what you’re writing. And have fun. Via Gin & Lemonade.
N – network. Get out and meet the people! Knowing more people in the industry with certainly be useful. Via Truly Madly Kids.
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O – Don’t be obsessive about your ranking! Don’t stress and keep checking to see where you are, or change your style so you get higher up. If you try not to worry, keep producing great content that you are passionate about, and that your readers love, then it’ll all come in good time. Patience, and a little bit of hard graft, and you’ll make it anyway! Via Kiddy Charts.

P – plan plan plan! Take time to plan your content, plan when you will publish it and when you will create it. I use calendars that sync with my phone and Mac, plus Airtable to plan everything. Via Mummy Of Four.

 

P – Presentation. A well-presented website, decent writing and good photographs may make all the difference in you securing that next blogging job – no matter how many UMVS you have! Via Verily Victoria Vocalises.
P – Passion! Be passionate about what you write and want to say. This will draw people in! It will also help you to keep going if you talk about things you are passionate about. Via Meghan Brook.

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Quick, easy to implement tips from successful bloggers that really work. Blogging A-Z tips. #blogging #tips #blogtips #bloggingsuccess
Q- questions. Ask questions in your social media posts to get people commenting which will give you a better reach! Via Popitha.
R- resilience. When the going gets tough, keep going. Blogging isn’t the easy gig that people think it is. Reach out, collaborate, ask for help, keep on going! Via Wild Mama Wild Tribe. 
S – schedule. Sometimes the work load can become overbearing so scheduling ahead of time means you’re not under time pressures when you have posts that need to go live! It also helps you to stay relevant with certain national days/weeks. Schedule on social media too. It’s probably the place most people read blogs these days! Via The Smallest of Things.
T- Time out. It can be overwhelming sometimes so be sure to take a break every now and then. This can help refresh your mind for when you get back into it. Via Life as Mum.
U – Use what you have. You may hanker after the latest blogging gadgets, props etc., but don’t waste money if you don’t have it, use what you already have. Your content and voice will be what sets you apart.
V – Voice. What you’re writing doesn’t have to be new, it just has to come from you. You have a story to tell so find your voice. Be true to you and the right fans, your real tribe will find you. Via A Simple and Contented Life.
W – Worth. Know your worth! If you think you should be compensated for your work then don’t feel like you have to take on an unpaid collaboration. You can send them your fees and if they say no then it’s ok to say thanks, but no thanks! Via Lamb and Bear.
X – eXperiment. Don’t be afraid to take risks and try new things. New strategies, new content, new graphics/designs. Changing things up can be scary, but it can really pay off! Via Find Your Mom Tribe.
Y – Your own domain. WordPress has so many plugins and is quite versatile. Your own domain as it’s favoured to work with brands and PRs and looks more professional. Via New Mummy Blog.
Z – Zig when others zag. Don’t just follow what others are doing and churn out the same content. Find your own path, pursue what you enjoy and don’t be afraid to see where you end up. Via Isablog.
So there you have it, what would you add?

How to get Chosen for Sponsored Blog Posts and Brand Campaigns

This is one of the questions I get asked a lot. I will go through when you can start applying for sponsored posts, how to find them and what makes a blogger get chosen. Sometimes it seems like the same people are getting chosen all the time and you are left out of the game. Is it just who you know? I can tell you it isn’t like that, and it’s not all about growing your following or traffic either.

Different types of paid blog posts

There are a few different types of paid blog posts. The first one depends purely on your DA (domain authority). As you have more and more blog posts, your site is around for longer and you get other sites linking back to you (follow and no follow), your DA grows. A DA score of around 20 and above means you will start to get approached by SEO agents, also known simply as SEOs. SEO stands for search engine optimisation. There are businesses out there who, like you want to increase their DA and their visibility in search engines. The aim of the game is to get higher up on the page rankings so your business or blog can be seen more. They simply want a link back from you, typically in the form of a guest post. They supply a written post including their link. They will want a follow link and will pay you for your time and the link back. They are not really bothered about your audience, comments, shares or social media posts. I’m not going to get into great detail about whether you should do follow links for payment or not; I do, but I always disclose them as sponsored and as a guest post. I very often stealth publish them, unless I can tweak them and the topic is relevant. SEO posts make up about a third of my blog income. My blog is primarily my business, and not purely a memoir for me, so I may approach it differently to some. I get contacted every day about SEO posts, and very often, the budget is too low for me, or the links are inappropriate (gambling, loan sites, etc). The few that offer a decent budget I do work with. It can be a gamble, you never know if the payment will come through, but it’s only happened a couple of times where I’ve had to remove a link or a post due to non payment.

You may also get offered to do link insertion, to an already existing post. I have a large back catalogue of posts on Midwife and Life and they often contact me with a post already in mind and where they want the link to go. Again, not everybody does it, but for me I don’t see any issue. My main sticking point is the fee. It doesn’t take much work to put in the link but you do run the risk of Google penalty, plus they are still getting the same link value as if they had a guest post. I charge slightly less for link insertion, but it can be too high for some. You will get offered ridiculously low fees like $20 – maybe some people who  are desperate will do it for that, but it’s not worth it for me. Everyone has their minimum, you need to know what yours is. They will also say that they will have regular work for you, this is often not true, but sometimes it is. I have some regulars now that contact me for work and I know they pay when they say they will.

The second type of paid blog post is the brand campaign. This is where you will need an audience, traffic and a good following on social media. These are my favourite campaigns, where I can be creative and I feel like a ‘proper’ blogger. A brand will contact you with their campaign ideas and tell you about what they want to promote. They may approach you with a fee already, or you might need to negotiate your rate. It might be that they are paying in vouchers or products. What you negotiate is up to you, what you feel your time, creativity, blog and following is worth. Typically you write the post, you may have guidelines on what to include and a specific link or anchor text you need. Sometimes you send a draft to the PR for approval. The link is usually no-follow, but I’ve done both.

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Paid social media and video content

Occasionally you will be asked to do social media campaigns, again you need a good following. I’ve done them with a medium sized following, so you don’t need big numbers at all. After my Instagram hit 5k I started getting approached for Instagram campaigns, both paid and product.

Bagging the paid posts

So.. we know the types of paid posts, but how can we clinch the deal? If your blog is new with only a few posts, keep writing. Your DA will go up with time, and link backs. If you’re writing and sharing good shareable content, you will naturally get link backs. It sounds a bit hazy, doesn’t it? Here are a few other ways to grow your DA:

  • Comment on high authority blogs, you will gain a link back
  • Contribute to crowd sourced and round up posts by providing your opinion, or a post if relevant
  • Offer to write guest posts for high authority sites and include your blog link

Every little helps, find a group of like minded bloggers and all do guest posts for each other. Once your DA rises and you do some collaborative posts your site name will get out there and more people contact you. I must be on several lists because of the amount I get contacted, plus I see in my referrals some odd list websites. They also find you through SEO, so keep that in mind. On your about me page or home page, put down what you offer. A lot of bloggers have a ‘Work with me’ page, where you can put what you offer.

Have a media kit and rate card detailing your skills, audience, social media accounts and your rates. Offer packages and different ways to work together. Then if you get asked for it it’s there. It doesn’t have to be fancy, and Canva have free templates you can edit.

Take a long hard look at your blog. Does it have a clear header, are your photos clear? Is it immediately apparent what your blog is about? Are there any spelling or grammar mistakes? Is the content on display relevant, shareable (share buttons are a must) and easy to read? Do you regularly post? You don’t have to stick to posting every day or even a few times a week, if once a week is all you can manage stick to that. Do you have a brand identity? A logo, a header, colours that complement. Does your social media reflect your blog?

Join the networks – you’ll find a list of blogging networks and facebook groups in this post Where to find sponsored posts for UK bloggers. When you fill in forms to apply for posts, be honest about your numbers. Always write your full name, check for spelling and grammar mistakes. If there is a space for extra information, write why your blog is a good fit and your turnaround time.

Do a good job! This sounds obvious, but once you’ve agreed a rate for whatever you’re doing, do it well. Provide the post on time, read the brief and stick to it. Again, make sure spelling and grammar are up to scratch. You don’t have to be an amazing photographer, but make sure your images are clear and clutter free.

Give value: The best sponsored posts don’t look sponsored. Take this post from Edspire. On the face of it, it looks like a heartfelt post about the reasons behind their choice to home educate. It is that, of course, but it also includes a link to a school and she has it marked as collaborative. She has included lovely photos, she has made it personal and relevant to her blog and audience. It doesn’t appear salesy or promotional. Anyone seeing that would choose her over someone who had made it more obvious. Think outside the box when you are writing a sponsored post. That’s what I love about writing blogs for brands, the challenge of fitting it in around what I want to write, and the satisfaction of doing a good job for them. PRs and agents will come back to you again and again if they like your work.

Want more help to get your blog earning for you? If you want in on all my blogging secrets, more on how to make money and grow your blog and social media, I’ve written a comprehensive course you might want to consider, called Blogging Secrets. If you enrol in the course you also get these EPIC bonuses!

  • My eBook Pinterest Magic for FREE (normally £9.99), which really delves into how to use Pinterest to get traffic again and again to your blog, plus make money directly from Pinterest.
  • An editorial calendar with all the awareness days, weeks, months, special days, silly days and more to help plan your blog and social media content (worth £4)
  • A swipe file full of email templates: pitching to brands, pitching for paid work, what to say to SEOs asking for links, pitch for giveaway prizes, joining group boards on Pinterest, guest posting, replying to press releases, competition prize winner template.
  • Pinterest group board list
  • Blog schedule

Find out more and enrol by clicking here!

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Are you a new or established blogger, but wondering how to get chosen for sponsored posts? Do other people seem to always get the jobs you're applying for? Help is at hand, I explain where and how to get those gigs you need. How to get chosen for sponsored and paid post and get earning fast with your blog. #blogging #earnfromyourblog #getchosenforsponsoredposts

How to Add Emojis from a Laptop to your Blog and Emails

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If you receive e-mails from companies and bloggers, you’ll have seen that they all use emojis in the subject lines from time to time. It helps them stand out in the sea of e-mails we receive and can be a really effective marketing tool. I wanted to include some in my e-mails, and it was really bugging me that I couldn’t seem to work out the secret – were they all doing it on their phones?! Surely not…

It turns out that no, there’s a free, quick and easy way to do it and I had to do a bit of digging to find out, so I thought I’d share it with you. There’s a site called EmojiCopy that has a list of all the common emojis you want as little images, and they make it so easy, just pick the emoji you want, click on it and it appears in the top bar and you can click copy and boom, it’s on your clipboard ready to paste into your e-mail header, blog, social media, whatever you want. You could also use it to make those Facebook posts where you ask people to like, love, haha or cry posts. Perfect! 🙂🤖🤦🏼‍♀️💻

If you need any blogging or social media help, let me know and I’ll answer you, either directly or via this blog. You can also come and say hi in my Facebook group Parent Blogs. We have a Pinterest Group board and a Tailwind Tribe too.

If you want to really up your blogging game, how about learning all my secrets? Take the Blogging Secrets course to unlock the secrets of blogging, earn more money and find the shortcuts that work. Find out more and enrol here.

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I managed to uncover a little mystery that was bugging me last week, how to add emojis to email subject lines, copy and blog posts from a laptop or desktop - and it's free, quick and easy! Find out how by clicking through to the post

Should I join Vero? What’s it all about?

There’s a new social media on the scene, if you haven’t heard, it’s called Vero. It has seen a huge influx of users signing up, with some bold promises. There are some concerns too, so should we be using it? I’m going to go through how to use Vero and the pros and cons.

What makes Vero different?

It looks very much like Instagram, with images being the thing you share. You can also share links, videos, books, TV/ movies, places, and music. It promises a chronological algorithm and ad free feed. You can add captions to your photos and links, with hashtags too much like on Instagram. You can also set the privacy for each post to close friends, friend, acquaintance or followers at the touch of a button.

What’s the catch?

Initially they said that the first 1 million users would get free access to Vero for life, then there would be an annual subscription charge equal to ‘a few cups of coffee.’ However, after the recent influx, Vero released this statement:

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So in my opinion, now is the time to sign up, reserve your chosen name. When you sign up, it just chooses your actual name, so if you want your business or blog name, just choose that as your name. I changed mine afterwards. After you create your profile, you can add your link in your bio.

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It’s quite intuitive and similar to other social media sites we know and love, so you’ll find it pretty easy to navigate. The hard thing I find is finding people to connect with. Even when you’re asking people to follow you, all they can do is search for your name, you can’t give them a link at the moment. So if your name is Sarah Smith, it’s going to be harder to find you.

Adding posts to Vero

When you scroll through the main feed, by pressing the Vero logo, you get a + sign, press that to add content. Then you can choose from the following options:

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Mostly I’ve just used camera to add pictures and link to add my blog links. You have no restrictions on the timeframe of images used. If you don’t have the exact link you can do a search and then pick the appropriate link which is handy. After you’ve selected the link you can also add a caption and hashtags too which I like, it gives more visibility. Then you choose who can see your post, from close friend to followers, which is the equivalent of public. I forgot to choose this a couple of times and it went to 1 person! Here’s one of my link posts in action. You can see at the top under my username that I’ve selected all the categories of people to see it, as they are highlighted in turquoise. This would be useful if friends and family are on it and you want to just share a snap of something funny your baby did but not the whole world. No-one will know what category you put them in.

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This is the search function, it also shows what is popular on Vero, some hashtag suggestions and other bits.

 

 

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There have been some concerns about Vero’s privacy policy, with some claiming that Vero will have all rights over your content and can do what they like with it. I haven’t found any evidence on that so far, plus Facebook and Instagram have very similar policies in their Terms and conditions. Here’s Vero’s terms on your content compared with Instagram’s:

vero-how-to-use-who-to-follow-all-about vero-how-to-use-who-to-follow-all-about

They’re very similar, and all social media where you post images and content have to state that they need control over it so that they can post it for you onto the platform.

Another concern I’ve heard is about the owner himself. His name is Ayman Hariri, a billionaire before he even started the platform. His family own the company Saudi Oger, which has had issues in the past over delays in paying their staff. He claims he stopped working for them in 2013. At the moment I don’t have enough information to say that there is anything wrong with how he is conducting business at present, so that is not reason enough for me to stop using the platform.

As far as the no algorithm and no ads, that’s how Facebook started, and now look at it. The thing is, I believe that you do need some sort of algorithm. Say you’re an individual and you follow 2 bloggers, maybe 5 brands, a couple of local businesses and your friends and family of about 50 people. Your feed is chronological, but you have to scroll through a load of ads and updates of the businesses to get to your Mum’s update. It can get a bit tedious. You might want your friend’s content first, then something funny, then maybe something you might need or be tempted to buy. I don’t know what the answer is – maybe it is this, maybe not. It’s a struggle for any new social media platform now to take off, because for the average person, you have to get all your friends and family to join you on it to get the most out of it. That’s why Facebook is so successful, as we all have our connections sorted on there. I love Instagram, but my friends and family aren’t on it, it’s more of a business thing for me.

What do you think? Will you be using Vero? Are you on it? Let me know in the comments so I can look you up.