So far blogging has been a little more work than I expected. I by no means expected it to be easy, but I thought my engineering background would make the computing part a breeze. Wow was I wrong! I probably feel like my dad does when I try to explain to him what the heck e-mail or even the internet is. There are so many terms that I don’t have the faintest clue what they mean! The marketing and social media promotion of the blog seems to take up more time than working on the blog itself. And SEO? What the heck is that? (Search Engine Optimization…would love a guest blogger to explain that one!)
Luckily, there are TONS of other helpful blogs out there. There are so many topics, it can be overwhelming at times when looking for an answer. One thing I can’t seem to lock down it Pinterest. I know its a valuable tool, but literally making a decent pin seems like a mystery. And for every part of a blog-social media, SEO, etc., there are many blogs with great tips.
Here are just a few that have really helped me get off the ground:
Janice of mostly blogging has really been helpful. One of her best posts in my opinion is the 89 free blogging tools that will save you time blogging. She has answered questions, and is very active on Twitter. She hosts ‘linky parties’ and a link exchange, and is very open to cross promotion.
I have recently discovered the site www.successfulblogging.com by Sue Anne Dunlevie. She has tons of information on blogging. What I like about Sue’s blog, is that she tells what apps and websites she uses on her own site. For example, through her site I discovered Canva, which has lots of ideas for all kinds of graphics. There are several templates for different kinds of social media, including Pinterest.
Another great blogger is Marc Guberti. This guy is only 18, and has over 305,000 followers on Twitter! He has lots of great advice on how to grow your blog including Youtube tutorials.
These are just a few of the many helpful sites I have discovered. You just have to make time. You can start out and say, ‘Ok, today I will grow Twitter followers’, and the next thing you know you are on your 17th Pinterest page of the day. Making a schedule would probably help. Explore all options that are out there. I use the following:
Twitter: Myself, I don’t just follow everyone that follows me. Make sure the topics or person are relevant to your blog.
Pinterest: The hardest part about Pinterest is actually making a pin! But like I said above, Canva has a lot of templates and even some free stock photos. Pinterest is great too, because the titles are right there on the pin. You have some sort of idea what you are going to be reading even before clicking on the pin. I am going to be looking into rich pins soon. I’m still not sure what they are, but I hear they are better than non-rich pins.
Facebook: Facebook is supposed to be great at driving traffic to your blog. So far I haven’t really figured out the difference between a ‘page’ and my personal profile. You can’t just ‘like’ pages as your page without taking a few extra steps. It shouldn’t be that hard to understand that most people who run a blog or business would want to have a page separate from their personal profile. Unlike other social media, Facebook will not allow you to have multiple profiles. And apparently you cannot join groups with a page, just your profile. Yes, confusing I know.
Google+: Well, this one is pretty new to me, but I thought what the heck. To me it feels like a cross between Facebook and Pinterest. I still have a lot to learn about this one, so I can’t really offer much feedback. Still, its social media, and worth joining to promote your blog.
Instagram: This is another social media platform that I am very new to. For one thing, I take pretty crappy photos! But if I can snap some things that are relevant to this blog, or that people find generally interesting, then its worth a shot if it will help drive more traffic to my blog.
Stumbleupon: Stumbleupon is unique, because you are searching mostly topics, not people. You simply ‘stumble’ until you find something you like. Then you like it, or save it to your pages. You choose topics you wish to stumble. This one really has helped drive traffic to my blog. I’m still trying to understand why exactly, but I’m glad I joined!
There are still several platforms that I haven’t joined yet. I’d like to get the feel for a few before I branch out. But I encourage you to get out there and promote! If anyone has any other suggestions, feel free to comment.