Thursday, October 11, 2012

Why I Blog (plus blogging tips!)

One of the questions I get asked most frequently is, "Why do you blog?" I think it's one of those questions where the answer could be at least the length of a book... if not more. There are so many aspects of blogging that I absolutely enjoy. (I'm not sure how I could spend the time I spend on it if I didn't!)



Everything from...

meeting new people, going to events, writing every day, learning new skills, working with companies (big & small)...

and so much more.

I've written before about how my favorite part about blogging is the people that I meet, but I'm going to say it again. Every single connection, both online and offline, is truly a gift in my opinion. Some of my closest friends have come from some sort of social media encounter. I've turned the online "friendships" into IRL (in real life.. haha) friendships. But I also really value my online connections. Sending funny emails or tweets back and forth. Sometimes I think social media is the best way to make friends because you can find similarities right off the bat!

I do have friends who are way not into social media (seriously, no Facebook account or anything) and friends that I've met in "normal" ways... so I don't want this to come across as me living within the Internet! However, I truly truly truly value the friendships and connections I've made with everyone online.

Want to start your own blog? Here are my top five tips for bloggers:


1. Be yourself | This is your blog and it should very much be you! Write in your natural voice. (I pretend like I'm telling my best friend whatever it is I'm writing about.) You want your blog to match your personality. Creating a "brand" is a super popular buzzword right now, but you don't have to build one at all... you already exist.

2. Share your passions | You're going to find much more enjoyment (and likely more success) if you're writing about things that you actually care about or find interesting or fun to simply talk about. Don't blog about something just because you think it will be "popular." Chances are that if you are passionate about something then someone else will be too! That's when the fun relationships and connections will occur.

3. Aim for original content | It's one thing to get ideas from a favorite blog, but there's a fine line between inspiration and unoriginality. You have to be super careful not to duplicate content. Not only is it not fair to the original blogger, but it's also not very strategic for yourself. If a reader has seen it somewhere else first, there's no point in them reading it for a second time!

4. Write consistently | This can be interpreted in many ways. You should write consistently with your voice. Changing styles is confusing for a reader and she (or he) won't be able to really "connect" with you! It's also best to find a rhythm of blogging so your readers will come to know what to expect. If you post sporadically, it requires a lot of effort on the reader's part to find the new content. (If you don't have that much time to commit to blogging, try blogging only on Mondays! That's only four posts a month and readers will know you have new posts on those specific days.) Try not to redo your blog design or name (including Twitter handles)... the look and name should remain consistent as well.

5. Have fun | Blogging shouldn't be a bore and it shouldn't be something you dread! Have fun with it! Play around, experiment, be silly, do your thing!!!

What tips would you add? What's your favorite part about blogging (if you blog)?

xoxo

32 comments :

  1. I just started blogging in August and my favorite part has just been having a place to write! I've always loved writing and my blog gives me a great platform to share what I like, even if only a few people read it!

    xo,
    Blake
    collegiatemisadventures.blogspot.com

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  2. I started this year and I kind of started looking at my blog like an online journal of random things haha. Even though people just read it, it's kind of nice to just write things out. :)

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  3. I love blogging! It's been a little weird starting over from Wordpress to Blogger, but I like what I write about more. It's a place to vent and to find people who have the same interests!

    www.prettyshinymine.blogspot.com

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  4. I literally came to your page to find if you wrote about starting a blog/ how to blog. It's like you read my mind :)



    Thefabuleux.blogspot.com

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  5. Great tips, Carly! Especially the be yourself and write in your own voice! You can always tell when someone is not writing in their own voice. I move on to the next blog when that happens.

    KK

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  6. And we are so grateful to you for the amazing blog that you have!
    Great and inspiring tips once again, thanks girl x

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  7. My favorite part is getting inspired by everyday life to find some ideas for my blog. I think it's a great way to open your eyes and look better what's around you.

    http://healthycollegelifestyle101.blogspot.it

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  8. I love your blog and I agree with all 5 of your tips! Blogging should be fun and the connections it brings even better!

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  9. GREAT tips!! I agree with every single one of them. I LOVE your monogrammed bracelet!

    -Rachel @ A Preppy State of Mind

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  10. Such great tips! Thanks for the advice. I just started blogging last month so it was perfect timing :)

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  11. Great post and tips Carly! I blog and I adore the simple pleasure of a creative outlet, sharing and 'meeting' like minded people; some I have even become very good friends with and have met up with in person.
    Morwenna

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  12. I just started a blog and these tips definitely help! :)

    20somethingambition.blogspot.com

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  13. Per usual, this is a perfect post. I absolutely agree 110% that original content and consistent posting will help! Being passionate and being yourself help make blogging fun :) LOVE this. And I love you! xoxo {av}

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  14. I agree with all of these tips! My favorite part of blogging is having all of these friends I've met online.. a few live across the country and I haven't been able to meet them, but I feel like we're best friends!
    In the past, finishing up school I had a hard time writing consistently and even coming up with content. And now, I don't post as much as I would want but post ideas come easy to me!


    <3
    carelessly graceful

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  15. My favorite part is also the people because you often have so much in common with them! And sometimes the best feeling is helping people out, even if it's just one person saying thanks or taking the time to email you to say that you've really inspired them.

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  16. I completely agree! I mainly blog for myself but I love when I get comments letting me know that other young women have similar tastes and ideas!

    PS Don't forget to answer my Dixieland Monogram giveaway this week :)

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  17. Cool bracelet and great post. Keep up the great blogging!

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  18. Great advice, per usual. The "only post on Mondays if you don't have a lot of time" is genius. Such an aha! moment. Thanks for sharing all your wisdom! xx

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  19. I love the advice you posted, it's very true to blogging! I think one of the best things about blogging is meeting awesome people and sharing about yourself and your life with them!

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  20. Just like the advice that you've shared with me in our emails, this post was so helpful! Thank you!

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  21. I just starting blogging, as in about two days ago, so this couldn't have come at a more perfect time! Thanks so much for sharing, this truly is a helpful post.

    ps. I love your blog, you inspired me to start my own.

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  22. You inspired me to start my (new) blog! I love reading yours!

    juliareg.blogspot.com

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  23. I just started blogging about two weeks ago, with a personal style and beauty focus. I always get asked about how I do my makeup or where I bought something, so I thought I'd take it online and try it out. So far, the response from my friends has been great and I've gotten a few followers from other, random people too! It's been really fun to watch the stats of where my blog is being viewed or how people are stumbling upon it. I'm really having so much fun with it!

    kompsi.wordpress.com

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  24. I love reading your blog!! BTW in case you haven't looked at it, modcloth has very similar styles to what you show on your blog, including the polka dot dress you got from old navy. Below is a 20 off 50 coupon link for first time customers! Maybe it's something you can look into! keep up the good work!

    http://sharethelove.modcloth.com/a/clk/227PkK

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  25. Thanks for the tips, Carly! I'm sure they'll be really helpful when I start mine. Any chance you could do a post on how to start/launch a blog? I'm not sure if that would overlap too much with posts you've already done, but I know I'd really enjoy reading it.

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  26. Hi Carly,

    Many times I have considered starting a blog but I'm not sure if I would have enough to write about. I am a nursing student so I would focus my blog on that by giving advice and encouragement. How do you come up with ideas of what to write about? Also, how do you gain so many followers? I feel like I would get discouraged at the beginning because no one will know about my blog.

    Any advice?

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  27. I love your blog, the look and the feel of it very awesome. I have a question. Did you start with the website CollegePrepster.com or did you start out using blogger, wordpress, or livejournal? I'm in the process of revamping my blog and I was just curious, could you do a post about how you began your blogging experience. A list of things to do, not to do, mistakes you made, things you wish you had done, etc.

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  28. I just started a blog so these tips are super helpful, thanks! :)

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  29. Great post, Carly! I just started blogging a few months ago... I'm definitely going to use your tips!

    Bailey
    baileys-college-life.blogspot.com

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  30. I started a few days ago! thanks for the tips! I do have a question…when/how did you start getting subscribers? My blog isn't even a week old so I'm not expecting anything but I have gotten a lot of page views just no subscribers…any advice?

    -Ashley
    http://the-southern-prepster.blogspot.com/

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  31. I recently started blogging this Summer just to have something to do. Plus I love to write about anything. And, with the help of Carly, I have been gaining more confidence with each new post. I hope to be as successful as Carly is with her blog one day. I definitely am a fan of TheCollegePrepster Please check out my blog sometime.

    -Caroline
    http://survivinghighschoolandlife.blogspot.com/

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  32. I continuously livelihood on upcoming to your parcel again retributory in containerful you have posted new list.
    Welcome to Double Scotch Salou

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