Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Advice for New Bloggers

Plum and JuneLast year I was able to participate in Beth's New Blogger Blog Hop and I had a tremendously positive experience.  She is running the Blog Hop again for the third year (yay!).  If you are interested in participating, check out the info page here.

Beth asked me if I would write a few tips to share what I learned during and since the Blog Hop last year so I have compiled a little list that I hope will be helpful. But before I start listing off tips I wanted to start with my main piece of advice: I made new friends and I learned a lot while participating, but the most important thing that I probably learned is that making friends is a big part of blogging.  And that information has been so valuable in helping me to develop friendships and my blog over the past year.

Make sure you are having fun.  
Don't feel like you have to write a certain way or post multiple times a week or have all of the latest fabric lines.  Make what you want to make and have fun with your blog posts. Find a way to share that works for you.
Pasquale with his quilt
If you have a question about your blog, Google it.
I am certainly no computer or blog expert, but if I have a question I have found that there is a tutorial out there for everything. Whether you want to change your blog header or increase the width of your blog, there is probably a few detailed tutorials out there.  If you don't know how you want to improve your blog, just Google, "How can I improve my blog's appearance?" and I promise you will find some answers.

If you have a question about quilting, just ask.
Posting questions on your blog is a great way to get answers and feedback and is also a great way to help others get involved in your blog.  Plus it may help someone later when they are looking for answers to the same question.

Improve your photos.
You don't need to take perfect photos that are works of art, but a little effort goes a long way.  And you don't need a fancy camera to take nice photos: focus on using natural light and spend a few minutes perking up your photo in an editing program if necessary. You can read my tips on taking better photos here and here.
habitat quilt top
Make your photos bigger.
Fill up the width of your blog with your photos so we can see all of the beautiful things that you have made.

Would you rather see this photo?
Ed Emberley Chevron Quilt
Or this one?
Ed Emberley Chevron Quilt
Try to be (at least a little bit) real.
We don't need to know all of your business, but sharing issues and asking questions (about life and quilting) makes a blog more relatable.  Finding a balance between what to share and what to keep private is a personal decision so decide what works for you.

Share a little about where you are.
Have you ever followed someones blog for a while and assumed that they lived in the Midwest only to find out that they actually lived in Australia?  Quilters come from all over the world and we have the opportunity to share our surroundings.  I love being inspired by where I live (San Diego, by the way) and using the beautiful scenery for photo backgrounds and I love seeing and hearing about where other people live.  Even if you don't find where you live very exciting (I grew up in one of those places!) other people just might.
Participate in social media and comment on other blogs.
I know you have probably read this advice before, but these are important to the success of your blog and also important to help you enjoy blogging.  Personally I don't have a Facebook account, but I love Instagram and I try to regularly comment on blogs.  I know this is difficult to do sometimes, we are all busy, but I promise it helps and it's fun!

I hope that some of this information helps you.  Beth does a fantastic job organizing this blog hop and I am so grateful that she is continuing it so that I can find a whole set of new bloggers.  Thanks for stopping by!

If you are interested in participating in the Blog Hop this year make sure to leave a comment here and make sure that you leave an email address if you are a no-reply blogger.

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26 comments :

  1. Great advice! Thanks Erica!

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  2. Although not a blogger myself.....I am a reader of many blogs. Your tip about sharing where you are from is a good one. I love knowing what part of the world a blogger is from. It adds a lot of interest.

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  3. This can go for both old and new bloggers

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  4. Excellent advice for all bloggers! I especially like the one about using larger photos. We really want to see those quilts up close and personal.

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  5. I am excited about a blog hop!

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  6. Great blog post. I am new blogger and any tips I can pick up are useful. The photo tip got me as I was worried some of my pictures may be too large but now maybe there are not.

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  7. Nice pics! I'm looking forward my own experience this year. Thank you for sharing your tips.

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  8. Loved reading your post. Great practical advice and wonderful quilts and photos! I'm a long time San Diegan and looking forward to following you on bloglovin.

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  9. Great tips here! I love that you put friendship first!

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  10. I like the one about showing a bit more about where we are .. must show off Perth a little more :)

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  11. Rosemary B here:
    All very very good advice!
    Have a great Thursday Erica!

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  12. Thank you for the blogging tips! I just started my blog two weeks ago, and your advice will come in handy!

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  13. Great post, Erica! I love seeing your photos in here too -- your quilts are gorgeous!

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  14. Great post, Erica! I love seeing your photos in here too -- your quilts are gorgeous!

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  15. Great tips! I try to do all of those things, but sometimes it's good to have a reminder to keep you on track.

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  16. Thanks for the great tips, Erica!
    I hope to participate in the blog hop :) exciting!

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  17. Great advice! I know I struggle with taking good pictures...I tend to stick with bland front on pictures, which show the quilt well but aren't all that interesting. I'm trying to work on that.

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  18. Thanks so much for sharing this advice! And your photos (and quilts) are wonderful!

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  19. Thanks for the helpful tips. I haven't started a blog yet, the unknown is holding me back! But the "community" of the whole thing keeps drawing me in. One of these days!!!

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  20. Thank you for the advice! Already taking it into account. And I can't wait to read up on your photo taking posts.

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  21. Great tips. I'm a reader of many blogs, not a blogger myself, but love Instagram. I checked out the town you grew up in. You'll be heartened to know I live in the same kind of town in South Australia. Small town, surrounded by farms, even has a similar climate! Although ours is more hot dry heat. I still live there! I did move away, but have settled back with our family, to be nearer to my family.

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  22. Erica - You advice and photos are great. I will especially benefit by making mine bigger. Thanks for sharing. This is my first year participating in the blog hop, and it is my first blogaversary.
    Best,
    Anne
    acbeier71@gmail.com

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  23. Thanks!
    I'm trying to find more TIME ...
    To do what I love & it's my hope that sharing helps me stay motivated & inspired! This is helpful.
    Why do we blog?
    =)

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  24. Just found your blog hop. I am a new blogger and it has been a steep learning curve. I have found many new quilting friends also. Still trying to figure out how to stop being a no reply blogger.
    grammakiss at gmail dot com

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