Blogging is easily one of the most popular things you can do on the internet and Blogging Butterfly is a blog about blogging! It offers advice for setting up your own blog, growing your following and how social media can help spread the word. This week we had a chat with @BloggerFly about why they love to blog and their tips for newbies.
CG: We’ll start from the beginning, why do you love blogging?
BB: I’ve always loved the idea of sharing my life experiences with others, but I’ve never really been able to translate that into something useful until recently. Once I decided to help people with setting up their own blogs, everything clicked into place. I know a lot about tech stuff and I work in graphics and 3D every day. I love project planning. I love researching new tools. I never thought of sharing my knowledge on this in a centralized place before I decided to take blogging more seriously. It’s so exciting to be able to write things and show people how to do things to improve their own projects. It’s really changing my life. I don’t feel as stuck as I used to.
CG: When did you start blogging?
BB: My first blog EVER was probably about 18 or 19 years ago. Back then you did it by hand or had a script you had to install on your web server, if you were lucky enough to have one, at my age anyway. I’ve mostly had personal blogs up until now. I also maintained one for my business for a bit that I’m in the process of redoing. I just launched Blogging Butterfly on December 1st, and that’s the one I’m really pushing to become more than “just a blog” for me.
CG: We understand that feeling. We are also hoping for more than “just a blog”. It is a difficult road with so many others out there blogging, but we do our best to be new and different. We have also only been around a short time since November.We struggle with keeping our content consistent. We also just overhauled the blog and are starting fresh.
What do you struggle with the most?
BB: My blog is all about giving advice, and even though I’ve been blogging for so long and dealing with social media for my business, I feel like I shouldn’t be giving advice. I’ve found that the best way to combat this is to just help someone out with something you’re confident in. It really boosts the self-esteem and that person’s happiness and success validates your advice.
You may not know everything about something, but you probably still know more than someone else out there. You just have to make it your business to seek out those people. Learn more along the way and you can give bigger and better advice in time.
CG: I think everyone goes through that battle with yourself where you feel like a fraud or not good enough to be giving advice. Like you said though, you are bound to know something that you can teach someone else.
So, what sites or tools do you recommend?
BB: I see so many people recommending the same tools over and over again (part of the reason why I started Blogging Butterfly in the first place) so I’m going to try to mention a few lesser known tools int he blogging world.
If you like Canva but you’re an Android user and you still want to be able to create awesome graphics on the go, check out Desygner (https://desygner.com). Their mobile app is available for both iPhone and Android.
Mailer Lite (https://mailerlite.com) is an affordable email marketing option. It’s free to 1,000 subscribers with unlimited emails (paid pricing starts at just $10 for up to 2,500 subs). It has a template and form builder and you can create automation sequences.
Everyone loves Buffer and Hootsuite for scheduling, but I’m going to offer up Dlvr.it (https://dlvrit.com) and Recur Post (https://recurpost.com/). Dlvr.it will track RSS feeds or social media accounts and post to the account of your choice. Recur Post will let you create an evergreen library of your favorite posts and then pull from that library to schedule posts on your Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn.
Boardbooster (https://boardbooster.com) will seriously change your Pinterest life. This tool will help you grow your Pinterest automatically. You don’t need to worry about spacing out your pins because it will do it for you. Experts suggest pinning around 100 times per day, and this makes it possible. Thanks to Boardbooster, I have a Pinterest account that’s exploded to 2,524,089 average monthly viewers (and growing!), and another that’s been showing exponential growth since implementing it.
If you run a Tumblr and reblog a lot of things, invest in Q+ (https://qplus.io). You can use it for free and queue up to 600 posts at a time (there’s no monthly limit, only a limit to how much you can have in your queue at one time), but a subscription is only $3 a month for unlimited queued items. Totally worth it. Queue up tons of reblogs at once with their free Archive Poster (http://archiveposter.com) browser extension.
CG: What advice would you give to new bloggers?
BB: The thing I find people are the most anxious about is getting traffic to their blog and wondering if anyone would even read it. If you’ve thought of it, there’s a huge chance someone else has to. You just need to make your content helpful to readers, and the marketing to get your blog out in front of the right people. If you think your blog idea is “too specific,” that’s actually great. You’ll have less competition and an easier time establishing yourself as the go-to source for info.
If you want your blog to grow, it helps to think of it as a business. Your posts are the products, views and shares are the currency. Pay attention to what top brands and businesses are doing to promote themselves as well as small businesses and solopreneurs like e-course creators, Creative Market designers, and Etsy sellers. Don’t be afraid of terms like “content marketing” and “Internet marketing.” There’s an entire industry already built around catching peoples’ attention. Use that to your advantage.
Remember that “marketing” doesn’t necessarily mean spending a ton of cash. Use your friends to circulate your posts through social media, learn how to use Pinterest, and learn how to optimize your posts for Google and other search engines.
No advice-for-new-bloggers answer would be complete without mentioning that you need an email list! Start it from the very beginning, and don’t forget to actually send out emails. Think of an email list like you do followers on social media. Most people are constantly worrying about building their Twitter, Instagram, or Pinterest followers. When you ask if they have an email list, they think they don’t need one.
You should be just as concerned with building “followers” for your blog as you are with building followers on Twitter or Instagram. Just because that number isn’t publicly displayed doesn’t mean it isn’t important.
If you build an email list, you’re gonna have a way to get your new posts directly in front of people and on your terms. You don’t have to wait for them to log into Twitter and maybe catch your tweet within the 18 minutes it takes for a tweet to get buried under other tweets. You won’t have to worry about Instagram’s new algorithm where your post might not even be seen by some of your followers.
I’m not saying social media isn’t important, just that it’s more useful in gathering new readers than alerting the old ones.
CG: How does social media factor into blogging?
BB: Social media is the ultimate word-of-mouth marketing. How many times do you share interesting links with your friends via Facebook, Twitter, or whatever you use? You really need to be encouraging people to share. A recommendation from a friend is going to be a million times stronger than someone just passing their own link around. Take advantage of that. Make posts EASY for people to share and encourage them to share or tag their friends.
And again I’ll mention the importance of an email list. Try to convert as many of your followers as you can. That way you have them on a list that YOU own, not one that could be gone in an instant if something happens to your social media account or the service shuts down. It’ll be way easier to share your sponsored posts or affiliate items with them, as well.
CG: Thank you for chatting with us! It was a pleasure getting to know you and about your site. I know our readers will find the information useful!
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