Ah, welcome to the new year everyone. Cheers to an incredible 2015, and to having an even better 2016! It’s officially the time of year that calls for a big REFRESH on life, and on my blog. I recently sat down and took a look at my “Blog Plan for 2015” that I created for myself last year. Like how many other people write New Years Resolutions, I write out my New Years Blogging Goals. It’s almost like a business plan where I outline what I’d like to see from myself and my blog in the coming year. It can be simple things like 1. Double Traffic in 6 Months, 2. Grow Instagram Following, and 3. Expand Blog Topics.
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After reflecting a bit on my 2015 goals I realized one thing – I need to think bigger. Rather than just looking to improve my only blog and stats – I want to help others, too. That’s why this year I am looking back to one of my favourite topics: blogging tips. I have loved sharing my blogging tips here on The UU, and I am looking to kick of 2016 with a bang by launching my Blogging Tips Series on my new blog, The Mint Edition. Click through to find out more on my blogging story, and how I plan to assist you guys to success this year.
Back in 2012, I started my blog with absolutely no knowledge of blogging. I simply sat down one day and launched The UU. What I didn’t know back then was that there’s an art to blogging, and there are easy techniques you can use daily on your blog to make your website more accessible possible readers. I am always asked by friends, co-workers, and family – why did I start a blog? And the answer simply is: because I wanted to. The follow up question is usually – how did I start a blog? And to that, I have no other answer but: I just hopped on google, found blogger, and started The UU up. I wish I could say that I had done my research, that I weighed my options between blogger VS. wordpress – but I didn’t. I didn’t know what I was doing, I just knew it was incredibly fun.
Let’s fast forward to today. I have been able to grow my Instagram to 18.5K, my FB has never seen so much engagement, I have implement SEO strategies into all of my posts which has quickly boosted my pageviews. I’ve watched my twitter following grow, and seen the powers of Pinterest. Now, to clarify – I am not saying this boastfully. I am saying that if I can do – so can YOU!
The honest truth is that only a few short years ago did I dive into this world of blogging without any idea about… well, anything. I had no idea how to write my first post, how to optimize my layout, why Pinterest was so useful, or that SEO was even something I should pay attention to. Now, I receive e-mails from fellow bloggers asking questions and I actually am able to answer them – even old friends, family, and co-workers have reached out to me to ask for blog coaching lessons. In-fact, that’s one thing I love so much about blogging and bloggers – that willingness to ask questions and share information.
A number of months ago, I attended a blog session. I went thinking I would get the “insider scoop” on how to grow my online presence, streamline my blog, and improve my engagement. I went with a note pad and my hopes high. Sadly though, I left feeling as though they really only scraped the surface of what blogging was really all about – and what it actually took to succeed. Everything they shared I had already knew, and while we went on break I was finding myself even helping others who attended the session delve deeper into the tips. This was actually the exact moment that I realized that I had a lot to share. I have studied and learned a lot in the last four years, and have a lot of useful knowledge to share with my fellow bloggers. I love helping others succeed and grow, and I truly get excited each and every time I share a blogging tips post that I know will help someone boost their blog.
Over these last few months, I have shared a number of blog tip posts and it’s something I am really excited to do more of. Let’s be honest, there’s a lot of fluff out there when it comes to blogging tips. There’s a million guides saying the same things. But that’s not what I am aiming to do. What I want to do is give you actual concrete advice on how you can effectively grow your blog FAST. There are a number of topics I want to talk to you all about, and I am excited to share a few of them with you today.
One of the most confusing parts of blogging is how exactly bloggers make money. We throw around terms like affiliate programs, sponsorships, campaigns, and collaborations – but how do we really turn that into a full-time sustainable income? Well, over the next few weeks and months (and any time I discover something incredible and new) I will share with you how exactly I make money from my blog, and a few ways you can make consistent money, too.
If you’re reading this than you probably already consider your blog a brand, OR are wanting to take your blog to that next level. The truth is, bloggers are no longer just people sitting behind a screen – we’re a brand, and we can even be a business. Creating buzz around your brand can feel impossible – but I promise you, it’s not. There are many easy tricks you can implement into your blog posts to make your content more buzz-worthy – and I can’t wait to share them with you.
Part of having a buzz-worthy brand is having a consistent brand, right? Well, I am to show you how to create consistency across your social media outlets and your blog. I’ll show you a few design tricks and tools to use to create most beautiful images for your blog and social networks. Once you’ve mastered what your blog is and made it visually obvious you’ll be able to reach your target audience and captivate them with your dazzling content.
The struggle is REAL when it comes to growing your social media outlets. There are a lot of tips out there on how to grow your presence, and while many of them carry some weight – a lot of bloggers don’t want to share all their growth techniques. Plus, when you begin copying and pasting social media growth tips from different blogs and sources you can quickly lose focus.
I want to share with you the behind the scenes of blogging and how I have grown all my social media outlets – Bloglovin, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, and Google+. I promise you, it’s not through giveaways (though I tried that when I started on Instagram – what a mistake!) or paid promotion.
Ah, good old SEO. We all need to know it, but most of us begin to snore before we can really soak up all it’s worth. The truth is, SEO is boring. It’s complicated and time consuming, and… it’s totally worth it. I can’t wait to share with you more on how to easily implement SEO tricks that will take your blog to the next level! And I just know that once we get started, you won’t find SEO all that boring.
Editing your images is a big deal, and it’s not something that bloggers often share. I edit all my images. I don’t alter my body or do anything weird to make my images drastically different. But, I do edit them to make them brighter and more vibrant – and at times, I have even created my own unique filters to create a softer look to photos… But we’ll get into that later. I am already typing up a few posts on how I edit my Instagram photos, what I use for Instagram photo backgrounds, how I edit my blog photos, and how I create my own filters.
I’m not a professional photographer. In-fact, when I first started blogging I was taking photos on my slightly-ruined (from a dropped in the sand incident in mexico) Fuji Camera. For some reason, I still have the camera and at times it has almost acted as a reminder of how far I’ve come since the early days of The Urban Umbrella. It took a long time for me to warm to the idea of investing in my own DSLR, and then it took an even longer time for me to figure out how to use the thing.
Let’s fast forward, today my fiancé and I both take the photos here on my blog. He shoots all my outfits, and I shoot everything else. Neither of us had any formal training, and yet we’ve both received comments on our photos and have even been asked if we were available for hire! Seriously! So, without any formal training or any pre-existing knowledge of how to use a DSLR, we have still managed to take some pretty beautiful, clear, and crisp photos. The truth is, you don’t need to be a master at photography to take beautiful pictures, you just need to know a few simple tricks – and I’m going to share them with you.
If you’re still wondering how you’ll benefit from this than let me say this: So often as bloggers, we find a mishmash of information which we then try to piece together in order to build our blogs up. Or, even worse – we follow advice that’s only half given. A lot of bloggers hide their real tricks to increasing their traffic and readership because they fear their competition. The thing is though – there’s enough room for all of us, and I want to see you all succeed. This half given / mishmash of information typically this leads to a lot of confusion, and a ton of unanswered questions.
What I am looking to do here on my blog and in my Blogging Tips Newsletter is clear up that confusion. I want to share blogging tips to grow your traffic, increase your readership, and skyrocket you to success. I want to answer your questions. So, how do we get started? It’s EASY! Simply just sign up for my Blogging Tips Newsletter and let’s get chatting. Send me your questions, and I will be sure to send out tips, guides, and worksheets to improving your blog + traffic + readership FAST!