Blogging 101: Tips & Tricks

9 Oct

Hey everyone!

Today I’d like to share with you my own personal blogging tips. Some people avoid ever starting a blog, because they look at YouTube vloggers or famous bloggers with thousands of followers that review the most expensive branded products, and they think “I don’t have the money to purchase and the equipment to create content for these types of products.” My answer is: You don’t need to, at least not when you’re first building your audience database. There are tons of ways to become a blogger that doesn’t cost you so much money or time.

blogging

I’ve developed these tips through my own professional marketing experience, research of other’s tips, as well as incorporating my creativity into livening up my blog. I will be listing all of the websites I use down below. If you’re just starting out in blogging, or are already a blogger trying to look for new ideas, keep on reading!

So let’s start with the basics. If you haven’t yet created your blog, I would suggest WordPress or Blogger. These are great free websites that are easy to maneuver and manage as a blogging platform, without all of the complicated aspects of simple HTML. I chose WordPress, because in the professional world, most people use this platform, they taught me how to use this platform at my University in one of my courses, and I loved the layouts they had for blogs.

wordpress-265132_640

The only downside to WordPress, that I’m not sure that Blogger has, is that if you want to add certain plugins, you must have your own domain name, meaning “thegiftofgab.com” must be paid for on a monthly basis to remain open. I personally do not want to pay (at least not yet), so I opt out of any special effects that a domain name might allow me to have. That’s okay! The most important thing besides a domain name, is learning how to SEO your content.

SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization, and it can be very beneficial in gaining content exposure. Once you’ve created a post, you can “tag” whatever important words you do mention in your content to make sure people who are using search engines stumble upon your blog. Let’s say I’m writing a review on a new L’Oreal product, I am going to tag the words “L’Oreal, Makeup, Makeup Tutorials, Makeup Reviews, Best L’Oreal products,” and so on.

SEO

Along with SEO, it’s important to use your already established social media networks to promote your blog content. I don’t personally like to use my Facebook for these things, because I have a lot of people that I do know on my account, and I just think sometimes they aren’t interested in brand focused content. Most Facebook users are interested in dog abuse videos, funny articles, or sensationalism from news media outlets.

I like to build my audiences from a different, broader perspective. If you’d like to use Facebook to promote your blog, I do suggest creating your own Like page, though I’ve yet to do so myself. I like to use Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn and Instagram for promotional purposes. I find that these are simple sharing tools, without all of the drama and negative attention. Again, these are just my personal takes on Social Media, so do with it as you please!

Planning your blog posts is so important if you want to keep your blog momentum going. We all have busy lives, and can’t write all of the time. I don’t necessarily write content on the spot, as I always have things going on. I like to schedule at least two blog posts a week, though others suggest three or more. I’d rather create “quality” content for you guys, rather than just write about anything and post it. Be aware of what content you create, and make sure you feel it’s your best and that your readers would appreciate it!

ExcelSheetPlanningExample

How do you build up your audience? I suggest you start by joining blogging networks such as BlogLovin.com. BlogLovin allows you to connect with other bloggers, while gaining subscribers. It’s important to always look at other blogs, and comment on them while leaving your URL in the comments. That way, you can create relationships on the net, and open yourself up to new audiences and possibly new affiliations and support.

Speaking of affiliation, you can gain affiliates that offer commission! I like to use the Rakuten Network or Commission Junction, which requires you to be accepted to join a brand on a mission of exposing their ads. You must put their ads on your blog in order to gain some sort of compensation. Once there are sales made from your audiences’ clicks, you’ll be paid for your participation. Affiliation can be a wonderful thing!

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You’ll need to expose your blog on different networks, including those that connect you with brand opportunities. Brand Backer is an awesome way to join campaigns and connect with brands. They’ll send you products to review and instructions on what to do. I love this network, and have gained several opportunities from them.

The Shelf is another great way to get brands to look at your content. I have yet to receive opportunities from this website, but it’s good to have your blog “on display” on this network. Blog Her is a great way to create content on their platform and become eligible for guest blogging, or having your content appear on their website. It’s a great way to connect with other bloggers, and opportunities!

To gain inspiration, I always check out YouTube vloggers to see what is trending at the moment. This is a great way to find out about new products and techniques. It’s important to always keep your own twist on things, so be objective when viewing other content and add your own little spin to it. Here’s a great video on blogging tips by one of my favorite bloggers/vloggers, Marianna Hewitt.

Now, how do you get products to review for your blog? It’s so simple, I wish I knew this when I first started out. As you start to get opportunities, you’ll accept them and do reviews for them. You can start by signing up for freebies, or paying a very small fee to get a bunch of products for your blog content.

I love using my Ipsy Glam Bag items and Walmart Beauty Boxes to use for reviews. When I’m buying from online stores such as Ulta, Sephora, or Drugstore.com, I always do so through the Ebates portal, as I get cash back from all of my online shopping trips. It’s worth it!

 If you don’t want to pay anything, you can opt in to join Influenster, Swaggable, Smiley 360, Pinch Me, BzzAgent, or Sircle Samples. All you have to do, is promote and review items, and then be eligible for free products to review, sent right to your home at no extra cost to you!

Freebie sites are awesome for not doing anything for products! Though you’ll have to do a long time of waiting to receive your products I like Get it Free, Hunt 4 Freebies, and My Free Product Samples the most!

There you have it! All of my favorite blogging resources and tips to get your blog started or to get it going! I hope you’ve enjoyed these and have found them helpful.

Subscribe for more content like this, and great opportunities ahead. Thanks so much for reading!

Blogging Platforms

WordPress.com

Blogger.com

Gaining exposure for your Blog

BlogLovin.com

SheSpeaks.com

Affiliate Opportunities

Marketing.rakuten.com

Cj.com

Blogging Opportunities

Blogher.com

TheShelf.com

Brandbacker.com

Affordable products to Review for your blog

Ipsy.com

Ebates.com

WalmartBeautyBox.com

Freebies/free products to review on your blog

Swaggable.com

BzzAgent.com

Pinchme.com

Influenster.com

Smiley360.com

Samplesource.com

SircleSamples.com

Getitfree.us

Hunt4freebies.com

Myfreeproductsamples.com

Shop4freebies.com

Freesamplemomma.com

FreeStuffFinder.com

Favorite Bloggers/YouTubers

Kathleen Lights

Kalei Lagunero

Kim Thai

Marianna Hewitt – Life With Me

Emily Noel – Beauty Broadcast

Nicole Guerriero

Huda Kattan – Huda Beauty

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6 Responses to “Blogging 101: Tips & Tricks”

  1. Clarina October 9, 2015 at 10:21 am #

    Amazing tips and I love how you’ve supplied all of the links. I wish I had read something like this when I first started! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • The Gift Of Gab October 9, 2015 at 1:56 pm #

      I’m glad you found it helpful! I’m all about helping and uplifting other bloggers whatever their vision might be. There’s always an outline for everyone to get a head start! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Georgia Hope October 9, 2015 at 10:57 pm #

    Such a helpful post, thanks for posting! xx
    Chasing Belle 23

    Liked by 1 person

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

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  2. Chit Chat: Cirque Du Soliel Toruk, Blogger Life, & Graduation | The Gift of Gab - April 11, 2016

    […] I also want to announce that I’m now taking guest blog post requests! I hope you all enjoyed that last article by guest blogger, Peter Minkoff! Be sure to submit any requests through the PR/Advertisement portal form!I’ll stop rambling at this point on blogging advice, but if you need any as a new blogger, check out my blogging tips. […]

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