I have been running a blog in one form or another since 2009. I’ve made them for fun and professionally, for others and myself. I’ve learned a lot during that time, what works and doesn’t. Here’s what you need to get started as pro.
A Good Platform
Well first and foremost, you need to have a blog content management system that works for you, whether it’s Blogger, WordPress, Tumblr, or any other platform. It should be easy to use and something you are comfortable with. You don’t want to spend all your time fidgeting with the site. The point is to write.
If your post doesn’t have a picture, it didn’t happen. The internet is sooo visual. Make sure you take clean, crisp photos that are relevant to what you are writing about. And remember the best camera is the one you have with you.
AN EDITORIAL CALENDAR
This might sound lame or boring, but it really is good way to plan ahead and keep yourself accountable with your time.
I use CoSchedule. It helps you plane each post, make checklists for each kind of post and schedule social media. It is not a free service though. Sunrise Calendar is a great, free alternative. It integrates other cals and is available for desktop and IOS systems. So convenient. I used it before CoShedule. I integrated my Evernote account which is a powerful organizational and note taking tool. Each new post I add to the cal created a new note in Evernote. I would type posts there first and bring them over to my blog once the copy was perfect and I have all the elements I want.
You can do this on any calendar. Trello is an awesome tool. You can create sections, drag and drop projects, add attachments and color code it. I dropped Trello because it just did not have the functionality that I was looking for but it may be perfect for you. The extra step of creating and attaching a doc was time consuming and bulky. With my Sunrise system, it’s only one click and I’m ready to write.
Using a calendar lets you work ahead too. If live happens, like it always does, your posts could be ready to publish with just a quick read through.
We writers can arrogant and self-centered. We love throwing our words out there and waiting for the praise. Let’s be real though, how often does that happen organically, especially when you’re starting out? Not very.
Reach out to bloggers or other people that share your interests. I highly recommend signing up for Bloglovin. It’s basically a beautiful rss reader just for blogs. It’s a great way to connect with other like-minded individuals.
I know talking about this is like beating a dead horse. It’s important though. It’s an easy and free (if you want) way to share your content.
Take advantage of the viral nature of social media. Twitter gets me clicks. I connect with people and even bands that I love. So for that reason, I keep tweeting.
Instagram is pretty hot right now. I remember when I got my Instagram account. I think it was back in 2011. No one I knew was on there and it was my secret place to take and edit with filters, which was somewhat of a novelty then. Now everyone uses it and it is amazing. So many great artists, groups and meetups come from Instagram.
Pinterest is also a weirdly helpful tool. When they introduced statistics to their site, my jaw dropped. If I knew that I was getting thousands of pins and likes a day, I would have been all up in that months ago. Pinterest is very visual so make sure you have swoon-worthy photos that tell the whole story.
MOBILE EDITING TOOLS
I love my MacBook Pro as if it were my child. I have invested money into that thing. But sometimes I just don’t have it with me or I just want to check something really fast. That’s why I love my iPhone with equal fervor. It’s always good to have apps on your phone for your blogging platform and tools to take and edit pictures and video. It might be nice to even have some social media apps to promote your genius.
What do you use to be a better blogger?