It can be hard to find advice on blogging. How to grow? How to make money? How to update your layout? But, there’s a magazine I turn to for advice…
This is a paid for advertorial with Blogosphere. All content creators within the campaign are subscribers of the magazine.
A long time ago when I first started taking blogging seriously I remember how difficult it was to find some simple, easy to understand, blogging information. As a trained Graphic Designer with a degree in the subject I found it bizarre that I couldn’t simply type in google “tips on blogging” and be greeted with pages and pages of friendly advice. I mean, I had countless books on Graphic Design and Photography tips, so it baffled me that even google couldn’t help with my simple blogging questions. Eventually I found some kindle books on the subject and unfortunately all those did for me were put me into a very deep sleep, so I gave up. I figured that this career was something I’d just have to figure out all by myself. Whilst I’m proud of myself for doing this, I also feel that perhaps I missed out on opportunities simply because I just didn’t know enough about it at the time.
Fast forward a few years and things are a whole lot better. Not only can you search for something and most likely find your answer, there are also constant Twitter conversations and of course, videos and podcasts on the blogging subject. However, the one key item that helps me and inspires me more than anything else, is Blogosphere Magazine. It’s a magazine written by bloggers for bloggers, with articles about all things blogging and beyond. It contains exclusive insight, advice and most of all a whole load of inspiration.
With my favourite YouTubers and Bloggers gracing the cover, I knew I had to purchase a copy. I first came across it in WHSmiths, bought it and have never looked back. Since then I have subscribed which means I pay £30 for 4 copies throughout the year. These get delivered straight to my door before it hits the stores. I’ll admit that I tend to forget about it until it lands through my door and it’s always the best surprise. Plus not only is the content quality great, the actual design, paper and the smell (oh the print smell.. yum) gets a big tick from me. I worked in Magazines for years prior to blogging, so I guess I just really appreciate a good one when I see it.
When Blogosphere asked me to write a post about why I subscribe to the magazine, I knew I had to share the reason I love it most. The helpful advice. I’ve decided to share three things I’ve learnt about blogging since subscribing to the magazine. So, here goes…
How to grow on Instagram
I’m sure anyone reading this knows that Instagram is a little tricky these days and is probably also a bit bored of the word ‘algorithm’. Whilst I like to think I’m pretty clued up on the ways and workings of Instagram, sometimes I forget that people actually look at my account to decide whether they want to follow me, or not (lol) This article is brilliant because it reminds you of all the things you should be doing to grow your account. Some favourites for me are…
Time & Audience – I always forget to check my analytics and my most popular times to post, so this was a well needed reminder. This enables you to monitor when you get the best amount of engagement and stops you feeling deflated when you don’t hit the number of likes you’re expecting!
Voice – It’s pretty easy to forget about your ‘brand’ when you’re in the moment and want to post a landscape photo because of the cute sheep in it, let’s face it. However, that may be unusual for your branding and people simply won’t like it. This really helped me in terms of figuring out who I am on Instagram and how that works with all my other channels and outlets. This article tells you to write down a few words that people associate with your blog and I found this really helpful.
All About Affiliate Links
Affiliate links can be a bit of a minefield if you’re new to it. I remember messaging bloggers on Twitter for help on this when I first started out and that was the only information I ever had to go by. However, if you’re starting out and need some knowledge on how to use these links and what they do, this article is excellent. One thing I found most useful was the paragraph on ‘How to disclose affiliate links’ as this can be a tad confusing. I’m always happy to declare my links are affiliate but I also don’t want to over-declare and bore you all, so it’s nice to know that as long as it’s clear and obvious, you don’t need to shout it from the rooftops. A simple disclosure stating that the links are affiliate (and what that means) is perfect for posts and video captions, and a #affiliate on social works perfectly too. Lastly, after re-reading this article today, it states you must declare any affiliate link earnings within your HMRC tax return, which is perfect timing as it’s due very soon…
When to say no
When you first start making money from your blog or brand, it’s really easy to fall into the ‘YES’ trap. This is basically when you start getting a little blinded and feel like you must say yes to everything because you couldn’t possibly turn work away. We’re all guilty of it and I’m pretty sure that every blogger – regardless of their numbers – have done atleast one job in the past they wish they hadn’t. A quote that stood out is ‘Quality over quantity is the key to engagement’ and it’s so true, you have to be true to yourself and your audience to get the rewards and benefits in the long run. If you have a fashion blog and then you get paid to advertise a milkshake, I guess it’s just not always going to work.
One of the problems that I found very difficult was that I didn’t want to say no and seem ungrateful, potentially damaging my relationship with my contact. This article made me see sense and banish those thoughts from my mind. Brands want good engagement and if you don’t feel you can give them that, how can that be a bad thing?