Tomorrow is the first day of September. This will mark one year of columnsbykari.com. On September 1sth 2016 I published my first ever post on my blog, called “How and why I started Breastfeeding“. Two days later I posted my first lookbook called “Favorite Office Outfits“. One year later I am still writing about parenting, style, beauty and health. And I still love it. I have met so many amazing parents over the past twelve months and learned so much about blogging. On my blogiversary I want to share some of that wisdom and knowledge by offering you my 10 Tips for (New) Bloggers.
1. Go Selfhosted, Now!
I’ve talked about this in my Dutch blogpost on how to make money blogging. You need a selfhosted website if you want to monetize your website and become an affiliate for brands and shops. I can highly recommend using wordpress.org and using Bluehost as a web host [affiliate link]. Don’t be afraid to take this step. It’s a bit of an investment in the beginning – money, time and patience wise – but it’s definitely worth it!
2. Start Using Affiliate Links Immediately
If you are writing about what you love there is nothing wrong with getting a percentage of the sales you promote on you blog. Two thing are important when you use affiliate links: be genuine (don’t link to products you don’t truly love) en be honest (always disclose the fact you are using affiliate links). Some of my favorite affiliate networks are: Daisycon, TradeTracker (affiliate) and Zanox (Awin). If you want to know all the affiliate programs I use, you will find them in this post!
3. Approach Brands You Love
Don’t wait around for brands to come knocking on your door to work with you. Approach companies you love and ask them if they would like to work with you. Be genuine, be enthusiastic and show them you know your stuff. This is how I get 90% of my collaborations.
4. Don’t Sell Out
Don’t work with brands you don’t genuinely love, don’t lie about products or companies and don’t write about stuff you don’t find interesting. Not only will people smell it a mile away, you will lose your spark if you go against what you think, feel and believe.
5. The Analytics are Important, but…
I would highly advice you to get into your Google Analytics. You need to know who is reading your posts, which posts they love, what their interests are and if they are coming back or not. But! Don’t follow the analytics blindly. If you love writing about a certain topic, but it is getting less views than something you are less passionate about, don’t stop posting about your true passions. You don’t want to become a slave for the numbers: you want to create great content.
6. Find you Tribe
If you are a mom blogger, connect with other moms and mom bloggers. If you are a style blogger find your fashion tribe. If you are a beauty blogger, get into that MUA group. Not only are they a great source of support, advice and inspiration, they are also an important part of growing your blog. Bloggers read each others blog! So, start doing that too, if you haven’t already.
7. Get Social
As with your tribe, social media is a great source of inspiration and support, but also an important part of your analytics as most people find blogs and articles through social media. I would advice you to find something you love and don’t force yourself to “be everywhere”. For me that’s Instagram.
8. Talking About Instagram…
I personally don’t appreciate influencers and bloggers that succumb to the whole “follow-unfollow” method or even buying followers. It’s annoying and not very genuine. Focus on growing your following organically, by posting interesting/fun/beautiful content and spreading kindness. Put your energy into people that are supportive and kind. Don’t bother with “haters”, know-it-alls or people that make you feel crappy. In my experience Instagram is a wonderful place!
9. Quality over Quantity
Post as often as you can and like, but don’t push yourself to post every day, if you don’t have the time or inspiration. I have settled into a routine of three posts a week: every Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday. This is what works for me. But I would never post something just because that is my schedule. I always try and create quality content I feel passionate about. Put time and effort in your research, photography and writing. Nobody wants sloppy: people read blogposts because they want to learn something and/or feel inspired. Be that place where they can get those things.
10. Don’t Compare or Copy
You are your unique self and have something to bring to the world. Wether it is knitted sweaters, three happy children, beautiful makeup looks, delicious cakes or an advice column about fashion: it doesn’t matter. If you feel passioned about it and do you, it’s a succes no matter what. Don’t compare yourself to other bloggers or influencers or try to copy their style or content. Use them as a source of inspiration instead of spite. Let them motivate and teach you, instead of dispirit you. Jealousy kills creativity.
Thank you for visiting my blog. Maybe you’ve been here since the beginning. Maybe this is your first time here. I am very grateful for all of you and would be honored to have you back!