Happy Veteran's Day! I hope that as we ponder about the freedom we have in this country, and realize that freedom has been bought with a price, that we can bridge the barriers to understanding one another that we have in our country right now. I am so thankful to be an American and to be the wife, daughter, sister and aunt of Veterans who put themselves in harm's way to stand up for what was right and to defend the Constitution. Because of men and women like them, we still have the right to vote our conscience, we have the right to disagree with the outcome of an election and we have the right to talk about it. I hope that we can learn to talk about it in a way that is helpful, and not hurtful. A way that is honest and not unkind or malicious. And, in a way that sets a tone for our country that is an example of good and not filled with hate.
Now! On to today's blog topic! This month I set the goal of reaching 1000 views per day. I have achieved it, I know it is a drop in the bucket compared to some blogs, but I am pretty happy about it and so I thought I would share a few tips for new bloggers that I have found to be successful.
Hot Cocoa Bombs! The idea that my daughters and I came up with in 2014 that inspired our blog. We decided to start blogging because surely people would love these wonderful things, sponsors would come out of the woodwork and we would become overnight sensations. I figured we would be the next Bakerella! Ha Ha! Boy have we learned a lot since then! Of course, none of that has happened, especially since for the first year and a half we were still using the free blog site where I could only blog 10 times per year. But, I did find out that I enjoy blogging and sharing the things I do. I still have so much to learn, and so much that I have learned that I still need to implement. I hope that some of these tips will help some of you .
1. It is worth it to upgrade to the paid blog. When you upgrade, you can blog as often as you wish. I blog on Weebly. When you upgrade, you can register under your own domain name. I don't really understand why that is helpful, but I just did it recently and my views began to increase more rapidly. I am a cheapskate, and I didn't really want to pay anything before I was making any money from my blog, but upgrading is really very reasonable, and worth every penny. You receive much more support when you upgrade and can do more things with your blog.
2. Use social media! Most of my views come via Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter and Instagram. We have our own page on Facebook. You can have business accounts on Facebook and Pinterest that give you analytics about what people are interested in on your blog. These can help you see what people are interested in reading.
3. Read advice from other bloggers and then gradually start implementing them. There are so many bloggers out there that blog about blogging. Many of them give the same advice, over and over again. You can pay for courses to help you, but refer back to my cheapskate remark. There is a lot of free advice. Here are some that I have found useful. This one from Allison Lindstrom and this one fromblogbrighter are good places to start. I said "gradually" start to implement them because there are so many things to do that may or may not work for you that it can be so overwhelming. I am still pretty much in an overwhelmed place, but I am also determined, so I keep going.
4. Join link parties and meet other bloggers! This has been a fun and successful way to improve your views. The first time one of my posts was featured on a blog, (this one) I was so excited! Someone liked my work! Not only that, the first thing to be featured was an article about my Hot Cocoa Bombs! I was elated! I really believe link parties are a key to success.
5. Work on your content, titles and pictures. Back when I first started to blog on the free site, and I had about 20 readers on a good day, I thought it was important to have catchy titles on my blog. Surely, everyone would appreciate my wit and humor and want to read everything I wrote. Well, I have learned that it is much more important to clearly state what you are going to write about so that readers will be able to quickly peruse the internet and find something that applies to them. They aren't interested in your witty title. Look at this one entitled "Babies, Babies Everywhere". It is about making a baby quilt, but who would realize that and click on it if they are interested in quilting?
Another thing I have done is start to use PicMonkey to edit my photos. If you look through the blog, you will hopefully notice that my pictures have started to improve. Nice images attract viewers.
Well, these are some of the key things that have gotten me to the point I am at today. It has been since June of this year that I decided to get really serious about blogging. I bit the bullet and paid for the upgrade, giving myself 6 months to see progress. I am still not making enough money off of affiliates to actually receive a check, but my clicks are going up, there is actually money in those accounts, so I am hopeful that as my views continue to grow, the monetizing will happen. Here are my final two tips: Get a good support group behind you. This blog is a team effort between my girls and me. While I do most of the writing, they pitch in at times, and I really appreciate the break because this takes much more time than you may imagine. They also help promote on social media, they do a lot of the computer technical things that I take a long time to master and they give me ideas and act as sounding boards as I talk about my successes and ideas and failures. My husband is so supportive and helpful with my projects, as are my sons. Finally, Have fun doing it, or it won't be worth your effort! I find that blogging spurs me to do more, to get more things done that before I only thought I would do someday. When people give me good feedback on the comments section, it builds my self confidence and makes me smile. I get to write, and that is something I have always enjoyed doing. And, blogging helps me to set goals and work on them. I mean if I put down in writing that I am going to do something, I feel obligated to do it! That is a good thing!
So, if you are an experienced blogger reading this post and you have any great advice for me, please let me know! I know that I have a lot more work to do to make this blog what I would like it to be, but I am so pleased with how it is coming along. My first 6 months of seriousness has worked out pretty well I think, and that means I will be signing up for a longer haul! Keep your eyes opened for us and thanks for your support.
Creators of Hot Cocoa Bombs! (copyrighted)
Helen Reynolds: Mother of six children , grandmother to eleven! I love to cook, craft and create things and I especially love doing that with my family, So, when my lawyer daughter, Lindsey, my artist daughter, Madalynn, and I came up with the idea of Hot Cocoa Bombs, this blog was born. Then, one more daughter, with her technical and science skills, plus creativity has joined in to round us out! Read more about us here!