6 Tips to Be a Better Blogger
Geeking out a tiny bit on blogging resources today. I’ve gotten lots of emails in the inbox lately about, “Hey, Kathryn, how do you do …”? Here are my responses for all of you. Yes, some of these are affiliate links. But, I really do love and stand behind them!
TAKING BETTER PHOTOS: Shultz Photo School (SPS), Photo Fix
Back in my public relations days at National FFA, I took a few photography classes and then picked the brain of all our AP photographers who worked the national convention. Now, my ability to hop off to an on-site class is getting trickier with six kids under our roof, so I went in search of an online option. Enter, SPS Photo Fix (that gives you 41% off the course!). Kyle’s classes were the first where my light bulb of understanding finally turned on. I really appreciate his conversational style, quick and doable tips and honesty about what to invest in and what to pass. There’s also a private FB page where you can ask more in-depth questions, get feedback on photos and find great community. I felt like it was worth every penny, and then some. Not sure if you want to commit? Try his (free!) 7-Part Snackable Course. It gave me a great idea of Kyle’s style and usable tips. Before I bought Photo Fix, I did this first.
WRITE, MANAGE & PLAN GREAT CONTENT: Content Brew
I discovered Mel and Blog Clarity on Twitter; we instantly hit it off. If you remember my Week in My Life series, Mel started it first and then gifted it to me. See? I told you she was a winner! As a writer who loves to blog, I was struggling with figuring out “my voice” and what exactly my contribution on the blogosphere should be. And, how the heck was I going to find time to do it all? Content Brew is competely self-paced and the lessons were engaging, simple and completely transformed the way I write. I credit Mel and this course with helping me fall in love with blogging.
MASTER PINTEREST: Pinning Perfect
I big puffy heart love Pinterest. Before this awesome app, I was the one with filing cabinets stuffed full of magazine clippings. More importantly, before this great e-course, I was spending an obscene amount of time stuck in the pinning rabbit hole. A few things this course taught me were writing better descriptors, utilizing better images and working smarter with this great resource. Most of my blog traffic comes from Pinterest, yet it’s the app I spend the least time managing.
INSIDER TIPS: How They Blog Podcast
This podcast is no longer actively adding new episodes, but the 36 that exist on iTunes? SOLID GOLD. When I spent about 14 hours of uninterrupted time in the car recently, I binge listened to many of them. Kat Lee, the host, talks with guests about everything from writing, social media management tips, time management, the power of email, knowing your audience and blogging to make a difference. Yes, she talks nuts and bolts and business-type stuff, but she also focuses on writing to inspire. I always ended an episode feeling energized, uplifted and empowered. I think you will, too.
SCHEDULING: Ahalogy for PinterestYou really can’t be everywhere all the time. You can try, but it won’t end well. Don’t ask me how I know. Once I realized how powerful Pinterest was for my blog, but how much my family needed to eat, I was thrilled to find Ahalogy. It’s a free service (you just have to apply) that schedules your pins. So, I’m still deciding what pins to post, but Ahalogy schedules them for me. My love of Pinterest hasn’t left me, but the hours I used to spend perusing ALL THE PRETTY THINGS I now have back.
WORKING SMARTER, NOT HARDER: Rescue Time
This (free) app just might save you. It can be installed on your laptop, desktop or mobile device. You categorize all your activities and then the app keeps track of where you spend your time. Um, ouch. This is why Facebook is no longer on my phone and I’m becoming more intentional with where I spend my time. We all need accountability. This provides it.
If you have any questions, feel free to post them in the comments!
Do I sound like a stalker if I tell you that I use ALL of these things, with the exception of the photo school? (and I know you’ve sent me the link before)
Nah, great minds!
This list is so very helpful. I’d love to know more about how scheduling Pins is beneficial. Thanks!
The basic premise is that if you sit down and pin 25 things, they all slam your followers at once. By scheduling you’re 1) spacing that love out 2) reaching people at their optimal time on Pinterest (Ahalogy has a great algorithm), 3) the network supports one another by boosting your pins and 4) you end up reaching more Pinterest users. Certainly, using key words, simplifying and reorganizing your boards and pinning/repinning pinnable images (those that are eye catching) are all a part of that, too.
It’s probably time for me to buckle down and use some of these services. I met Mel Culbertson at Mom2.0 last month (although we’ve been connected throgh Twitter for years, when she still blogged at Adventuroo), and she is lovely.
Ack. I missed this! Meeting Mel in person is going to happen someday. I’m so jealous!