Thursday, January 5, 2012

Tips for New Bloggers: Where to Start


I am by no means a blogging guru, but I've had some amazing opportunities and success this past year. All it took was for one blogger to help point me in a certain direction and I worked hard from there.

I wanted to do the same and share some tips for new bloggers or anyone who wants to get into the world of marketing blogging (product reviews, giveaways, and earning some money!).

If your blog is about couponing, money deals, product reviews, giveaways, or contains family-friendly content, these tips should be useful.

Goals:
  • Increase traffic to your site
  • Gain more blog, Facebook, and Twitter followers
  • Increase your Google page rank
  • Lower your Alexa score/rank
  • Qualify for products to review
When I first started out, I reviewed my own products that I used and added content in my blog posts about ways in which I earned money (survey sites, iPhone apps). I added content to my blog that was relevant to me and that would help someone else out who may be in a similar situation. I ran giveaways and gave away items that I bought myself.

When you are a new blogger, don't expect to qualify for great products to review right away. Companies are always looking to work with top bloggers, and this marketing blogging world is highly competitive.

Work hard on making your blog unique and easy for readers to view. Blogger and Wordpress are great places to start because creating your blog is free. You can also pay for your own domain too, but that's entirely up to you.

1. Set up a Facebook AND Twitter account 
This is important - the more fans you have, the higher chances of qualifying for great products to review. In most cases, you will also have the chance to run your own giveaway for that item which is sponsored and shipped out to the winner, so there is no cost to you.

2. Run your giveaways using Rafflecopter

Rafflecopter makes giveaways more convenient for entrants, and it makes moderating entries a lot easier. I often avoid giveaways from bloggers who don't use RC. Apply for a RC account and once you set up your giveaway, you will be given a code to input into your blog post.

3. Visit other bloggers' websites

Interact with other bloggers who have a solid number of FB fans and Twitter followers. Visit their blog, leave comments, and interact with them on FB or Twitter. By establishing a connection, you are more likely to be invited to join blog network groups (these groups will further open the doors for you in the blogging world).

They can also help jumpstart your social media sites or blog views by sending some of their fans your way. Often, there are group giveaways that you can join either for free or at a cost. These group giveaways are beneficial for your Facebook and Twitter numbers.

4. Join Product Review/Networking Sites

Example: Tomoson, Bloggerdise, mombloggersclub, momblogsociety

Sign up for accounts on these sites for opportunities to qualify for product testing and reviews. You can also interact with other bloggers on these sites to increase the traffic to your site. Post new discussions and link to your blog with content that will be interesting to read. You can also post your giveaways on these sites too.
As you work your way through in the marketing blogging world, you will come across more sites for product reviews and giveaways. These are just a few as examples.

5. Alexa Score

Alexa is a company that provides info. and statistics on websites, as well as rankings. Marketing and advertising companies often use a blog site's score to determine if working with that particular blogger will be beneficial. The goal for Alexa should be to get your score down. The lower, the better.

Join Alexa blog hops where other bloggers view your site, and leave you a review on Alexa.com. You should do the same for anyone who takes the time to review your blog.

6. Increase Traffic through Linkies

Linkies are collections on pages that list giveaways or contests. Other bloggers often have giveaway linkies on their websites where you can post your giveaways. This will bring more traffic to your page and people are more likely to read other content posted on your site once they are there.

 Examples:
My ongoing giveaway linky (all giveaways accepted, image and text are shown)


7. Ad Revenue 

I do not recommend Google Adsense.

If you violate any of the terms,  you can get banned and it is nearly impossible to get your account activated again. For Blogger, there is a max of 3 Adsense ads. Don't scatter ads everywhere on your blog. It will take longer for your blog to load and will drive away readers.
Another site you might consider is Infolinks. Research ad companies and determine what is best for your blog and readers.


There is much more I can include about where to start for bloggers interested in marketing and advertising opportunities, but the information here should help you get started.

Blogging for marketing opportunities requires a lot of hard work and time, but don't get frustrated if you don't see results overnight. If one method doesn't work, try another alternative!

Don't be discouraged, focus on posting relevant content, and you will enjoy the blogger's world of marketing, product reviews, and camaraderie that exists among bloggers.

5 comments:

Susan Peck said...

Great information, thank you so much for posting it!!

dutyno2 said...
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My Baby Sleep Guide said...
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ds said...

great tips

Regina Malloy said...
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