Today’s mid day meal included a smoked salmon bagelwich made with Whole Foods’ smoked salmon and Chavrie goat cheese (my favorite because it’s flavorful but mild for goat cheese and easily spreadable).
Our local Whole Foods sells smoked salmon by the seafood counter in individualized portions, so rather than paying $7+ for a small amount of smoked salmon, I purchased a big hunk of the stuff that should last for two meals for only $2.30. I guess it is possible to save money at Whole Foods. Who knew?
On the side of my smoked salmon bagelwich I enjoyed half of a pint of grape tomatoes. I only had one “dud” tomato that was overly squishy in the whole batch. Sch-weet!
Before we dive right into blogger-talk, I just wanted to let you know that the Fashion page was updated this afternoon.
Moving right along…
Blogging Tips for Beginners
As you guys know, offering advice about blogging makes me wildly uncomfortable because I feel like I have so much to learn. Still, without fail, some of the most common emails I receive ask me about blogging and my personal blogging tips.
Since I’ve been blogging for just more than a year, I obviously learn something new about blogging every single day. There are some things I wish I knew right from the beginning, and I figured these little tidbits might be of some benefit to those of you who are just getting your feet wet in the blogging world or have interest in starting your own blog. (I also previously posted my number one tip for bloggers, which you may see here.)
So let’s get to it!
- Think and Rethink Your Blog Name: It took me a long time to come up with the name of my blog. (You may see the story behind the name Peanut Butter Fingers here.)
Take time to brainstorm a blog name you think is catchy and that you personally adore. Having an original and intriguing blog name will likely encourage people to visit your blog if they see it pop up in the comments section of another blog or if it is discussed in another blogger’s post. A blog name like “Food is Good” doesn’t do anything for me and is not a site I would likely visit.
- Make Your Blog Name (Roughly) Match Your Web Address: Nothing is more confusing than visiting a blog one time and trying to visit it again, only to find that the web address doesn’t match the blog name at all. If your blog’s name is Food is Good, don’t make your web address www.ilikefood.com. Using a variation of your blog name (such as katheats.com for the blog Kath Eats Real Food) can still be memorable and can sometimes be even easier to remember than the whole name of a blog. Just make sure that your blog name and web address are at least somewhat similar.
- Utilize Social Media: If you have a blog, get on Twitter. Seriously. (Sarah, I’m talking to you.) It took me months to join because it seemed pointless and honestly intimidated me. Once I decided to suck it up and get on board, I realized how beneficial Twitter really is for bloggers.
Twitter has allowed me to “talk” with other bloggers and really feel connected with the blogging community in a totally new way. Beginning a Facebook page is also helpful, as it allows those who don’t have Twitter to stay connected to your blog, especially if they aren’t daily readers.
- Buy Your Own Domain: Like many other bloggers, I started my blog through WordPress (highly recommended) and initially had the web address peanutbutterfingers.wordpress.com. What a mouthful! I was really scared to purchase my own domain, but eventually did and was so glad I made the switch. Not only is it 10,000 times easier to tell people my web address, it is a lot easier for readers to remember as well. Of course this is not a necessary step, as there are many fantastic blogs out there (like Janetha!) that still have wordpress or blogspot in their web address, but I found it to be a beneficial change for my blog and I only wish I would’ve done it earlier than I did.
- Say No to Clutter: This is another personal preference, but I love blogs that have a very clean and simple look. Don’t be afraid of white space. When I visit a blog that has stuff all over the place, I feel like one side of the blog is competing with the other side of the blog for my attention. It’s a lot to take in, and I’m less likely to stick around. I like a blog that is simplistic in nature and very easy to navigate. Make sure you have pages (the tabs at the top of the blog) where people can go to learn more about you and what your blog has to offer.
- Show Us Who You Are: Maybe it’s just me, but I like to see a quick overview of who the blogger behind the blog is right when I visit a blog. A simple small image with a quick sentence or two describing yourself or welcoming your readers to your blog goes a long way. For example, when I visit Courtney’s blog, I know right away that she’s in her twenties, lives in New York and her interests include food, fitness and fashion. Since we clearly have similar interests, I’m much more likely to explore her blog and visit again. Additionally, if you’re comfortable sharing pictures of yourself, definitely do so.
It actually took me quite some time to feel okay with posting pictures of myself, but for me it all goes back to writing a blog I would want to read. I love seeing pictures of the blogger behind the blog. Pictures convey personality in a way words never quite can. Plus, it makes you seem real, and not like some autobot blogger.
- Don’t Blog Just to Make Money: Yes, blogs can make money, but if that is your sole motivation to start a blog, you may want to think again. Blogging requires a lot of time, effort and a serious commitment. I think it’s clear when a blogger is sincere and blogs because it’s their passion and they love writing and communicating with people who share similar interests. On the flip side, if someone is just posting nonsense and is only blogging because they want a “popular” blog, it is also quite apparent and off-putting. When I receive an email from someone that only asks me “How do I make my blog popular?” I cringe a little because I’m not sure that their priorities are in the right place. If you concentrate on producing quality content, people will want to read your blog and it will grow naturally. You can’t force-feed your blog to people. This is not saying that you shouldn’t want your blog to grow! It is only natural for you to want people to read your blog. This is not the same as blogging just to make money. It’s okay (and wonderful!) to want your blog to thrive and grow, but do it because you love blogging, not because you’re solely motivated by money. Money and increased readership can be motivating, but don’t let it be the be-all and end-all of your blog. I can honestly say that I loved blogging from the beginning when I had four readers (thanks mom, dad, Leslie and Ryan)!
Please feel free to share your tips for bloggers below!
- What has worked for you?
- What do you think bloggers should and should not do?