Sparkling Advice for New Bloggers – Now With More Sparkles
This time last year I wrote a post called Sparkling Advice for New Bloggers as part of the “Advice and Tech Help for New Quilt Bloggers” series hosted by Plum and June. This year Beth is taking the year off, but some amazing alumni have filled the void and relaunched the series with new gusto! To help support them in this venture, as well any of you new bloggers out there, I’ve republished my original thirteen point list below, along with six new tips for an even nineteen.
For even further help, and to check out the new quilt blogging round up, head on over to Quilting Jetgirl, Late Night Quilter, Meadow Mist Designs and Childlike Fascination for all the shiny details. Thanks ladies for helping to usher in a new class of quilt bloggers!
One: If I have to squint to see your photos, I will close that window and not come back. As I’ve said my entire life, bigger is better.
Two: Write about what you love. If you don’t love it, I’m not going to either.
Three: Stop apologising. You don’t even know me; you certainly don’t have to tell me sorry for not blogging on time, for your indoor camera phone pics, or for having *gasp* an opinion.
Four: Be your unique self. You’re the only you, you’ve got. Make sure I know it.
Five: Link me baby, one more time. Link to your own posts, and link to other pages on the interwebs. It will drive traffic internally to your site, make other bloggers love you for your thoughtfulness, and improve your search engine results.
Six: Set yourself blog goals. These can be as simple as blogging once a week, or as ambitious as having 1,000 followers after six months. You then know what you’re aiming for, and can find ways to achieve it. If you fail, so what? No one died.
Seven: If you build it, they will come. And then stop again. Then they’ll phone a friend and bring the party to your place. And then go on vacation. Then come back with their baby’s daddy. Just know that your readership will grow in waves.
Eight: Not everyone will like you. And that’s okay. I definitely don’t like everyone either. And that’s okay, too.
Nine: That’s Molli, Ms. Sparkles if you’re nasty. Due to the very nature of the written word, expect to be misunderstood, misinterpreted, misrepresented, misread, misquoted, misheard, mistook, and misconstrued.
Ten: Keep your house tidy. Don’t let your blog wind up on an episode of Hoarders. Buttons should be minimal and all in one location, choose an easy-to-read font, be mindful of column widths, and ensure menu pages link to places full of content readers want to see.
Eleven: No-Reply Bloggers. Seriously, fix that shit. (Unless you’re WordPress, and then you’re excused).
Twelve: Ra-ra-ra! Be your own cheerleader! If you serve me a drink I’ll drink it. If you just happen to spike it with happy pills, well then I’m gonna love it, love you, and love everything about it and you!
Thirteen: Lastly, and most importantly, this is your house, so don’t let anyone, especially me, tell you how to make it work for you.
and some new ones …
Fourteen: Put your best photo forward. That is, lead with the most eye catching image, because once I’m scrolling through my feed you’ve only got two seconds before I simply hit, “Mark as read.”
Fifteen: The wow moment! There’s a fine line between discussing process and over-sharing. Discussing your process tells the reader how and why you are constructing your project the way you are. If you’re showing me every single step, block, stitch, nip and tuck, there’s no surprises left and I’m gonna be all, “meh” at the end.
Sixteen: Saying “no” is just as important as saying “yes.” You don’t have to take every opportunity. Pick the ones that are right for you. Choose those that will compliment your style and enhance the experience of both you and your reader.
Seventeen: What do you have to say? Tell me! Use your voice! Give me an opinion, give me truth tea, but write about something. I visit blogs because I want to read. If I just want to look at pictures I head to Instagram.
Eighteen: Buy some fabric and then link up to “Sunday Stash with Molli Sparkles.” Seriously, self-promotion is important, and never be embarrassed to do so! You’re already writing a blog about yourself, so if you’re worried about vanity, you’d best stop now!
Nineteen: When you get even the smidgeon of a blog idea, write it down, because you won’t remember it later. (Too much champagne!)