Become a Blogger Mondays: Spread Your Wings!!!

spreading-my-wings-butterfly-maria-martinez

Source: Fine Arts America, Maria Martinez

Hello, Dreamworld!  Welcome back for another segment of Become a Blogger Mondays!  As you know, I like to share my experiences and advice about what I’ve learned within the blogging realm, thus far.  By now, the new bloggers who began on this journey with me are not so new anymore!  They have a little bit of experience under their belt and are trying to boost their brand, their reach and their content.  I can’t stress enough how important expansion is for your site.  A couple of weeks ago I discussed consistency in posting, but once you’ve developed your consistency, it’s time to take it to the next level.  Here are some tips on how to SPREAD YOUR WINGS:

1.  You don’t just want to tap into your regular following.

It’s extremely imperative that you are dipping into unique pools of visitors, followers, readers, etc.  Gaining momentum is all about expanding past that group and making “new” people aware of what you have going on.

2.  So how in the heck do you do this? Well, social media will be your new BFF!

Writers, journalists, artists, etc. all have a distinct advantage in 2012.  We have the world at our finger tips.  Use what resources you can…that’s what I call the “low hanging fruit!”.  Don’t be afraid to post your links/articles on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, etc.  As you know, word of mouth is POWERFUL!!! So a friend can pass along your site link to their friends and it creates a domino effect and before you know it, there are people you don’t even know reading your stuff.

3.  It’s not just a virtual world…get back to the basics.

There’s something to be said about people who still have the ability to speak in-person and network.  Sure, social sites are amazing, but be sure that you are still MEETING people and giving that good ol’ firm hand shake.  What do I do? I go to events, I volunteer, I work with other bloggers, I sign up for media coverage at events…there’s so many things that you can do to physically be in someone’s presence.  I must say, sometimes that can leave more of a lasting impression than just forwarding a link along.

4.  Don’t be afraid!

It’s hard to just put yourself out there and share your mind with the world, but don’t let that stop you.  Fight past the nerves and be open!  What’s the worse that can happen? Someone doesn’t like what you write? So what! You write for you and followers are just a bonus.  Be confident and don’t psyche yourself out.

I hope this has helped you on your blogging journey!  Feel free to ask any questions and/or add your own tips!  Thanks for visiting Danithedreamgirl!

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B.B.M. (Become a Blogger Mondays) Which Site is Right for You?!

Welcome back to B.B.M.!  Last week I discussed how to decide if blogging was right for you and seeing as though you’ve come back for a second week, that means you’re ready to begin your blogging journey (which makes me so happy).  So, let’s jump right in and get down to business!

Of course the next big step is to find a site to call home.  Now, if you are anything like I was, you will have no clue how to make this decision.  Here are the steps that I took in finding a site that was just right for me:

1. I opened my mouth to ask questions.

Sometimes it can be intimidating to ask the most basic questions, but you will find that it is often the best option.  Ask around and see what other bloggers are doing.  You may even find it helpful to ask people with a tech background (which is what I did) to see which sites are user-friendly and offer the best features.

2. Google became my friend!

Pretty much anything that you need to research can be found online…information is right at your fingertips.  Any and everything that I could think of, I researched, i.e. types of blogs, did I like blogs with or without a lot of pictures?, did I skip over sites with a lot of writing?, colors, etc.  By looking at what others are doing, you can really begin to shape ideas for your site, which means you can target one that is right for you.

3. I was honest about my likes and dislikes.

While you continue your research, pay attention to what catches your eye (and not just the obvious details).  It may make sense to ask a friend if you can take a “tour” of their site to see how it works “behind the scenes”.  There are certain features that I like about my site, that I didn’t find elsewhere.  For example, I love that WordPress is really “professional” and up-to-date.  They take the time to help new users and they constantly update layout themes, add-ons, widgets, etc. for the regulars who want something new.  If I have any questions, I can always ask a WordPress staff member and I can also search through forums for answers to ALL of my questions.  Of course, other sites offer things that I don’t get with WordPress, but when I weigh the pros and cons, I know I’ve chosen wisely.  So, before you go signing up, make sure you are critical of your options!

4. Just make a choice…I did!

If after all of this, you still aren’t sure which site is best for you, then just pick ONE!  What’s the worse that can happen? You don’t like it?  TIP: When I first signed up with WordPress, I didn’t make my site live right away.  I played around with different layout themes and I practiced writing new posts.  I learned how to do the simple things like loading an image or creating tags (something you’ll learn more about).  Have fun with the decision-making process!

I hope you’ve found this helpful and be sure to come back next Monday when I discuss: What the Heck Should I Blog About?