Thursday, June 18, 2015
5 Valuable Resources to Help Up Your Blogging Game
I've had a lot of conversations about blogging lately with fellow bloggers. I've been blogging for almost 9 years and it has changed a LOT since I first registered for a Blogspot account in 2006. I know plenty of people are ready to declare it dead or dying at the hands of social media but I don't think that's the case. It's evolving, sure, but there is still a place for blogs out there!
If you're super late to the blogging train or feel like your blog has been dragging a bit (ahem, meeee) I've rounded up these 5 valuable resources to help you up your blogging game!
1. Not getting enough sponsored content?
Sponsored posts aren't for everybody but they DO help pay the bills (also, I recommend you check out Grace's and Janssen's blogs for examples of how to do sponsored content well). If you've signed up for a blogger network or two and feel like you're not getting enough opportunities that fit your blog and readership, check out Megan's Ultimate List of Blogger Networks and Media Companies. There are WAY more than I ever realized and there's something for everyone. Find a network or two that fits YOU and work from there.
2. Struggling to put together a media kit?
Check out this free template download from Recipe Tin Eats. It may not be your forever media kit but it'll get you started. I never used to get asked for mine but lately I've gotten quite a few emails from companies interested in collaborating who want to see my media kit (which is awful and crazy outdated...oops). I suspect that, in general, potential sponsors are more interested in seeing hard numbers these days rather than just going off what they see on your homepage.
3. Need images you can legally use for posts and social media?
Check out GraphicStock. You can get a 7 day free trial (if you don't want the membership make sure you cancel at the end) or $99 for an annual membership. I'm using the free trial right now to update a bunch of old posts that have sad, awful photos. You can still get a lot of mileage out of old posts thanks to social media, so refreshing your older content is worth your while. Plus, as someone who takes 99% of her own photos, I'm sort of dying over how easy it is to grab stock photos for header images.
4. Feeling like you need to improve your writing?
I loved this list of 317 Power Words That'll Instantly Make You a Better Writer. I LOVE vocabulary words but still sometimes get stuck in a writing rut...especially because my blog is fairly conversational. I use "like" and "just" waaaay more than I should and I know it weakens my writing. That post is a great reminder that I need to be thinking more carefully about my word choice.
5. Want to know how others are making it?
Did you know that some bloggers publish their income reports? It's crazy eye-opening. YMF published their May 2015 income report and it's mind-boggling, to say the least. Looking through that post helped me reassess some of the things I'm doing (and not doing #lazy). I think it's absolutely acceptable to want to make money for the time you invest in blogging but it can be really hard to figure out how to make that happen in a way that doesn't feel like selling out. Seeing how others are doing it is super helpful.
Have you seen any really great blogging related resources lately? SHARE. I'm really trying to up MY game again (look at me! Posting regularly!) and I love talking about blogging.