Blogging Bootcamp: Getting Started

Welcome to Blogging Bootcamp!

I will be doing a mini series on blogging each Tuesday for the next 4 weeks.

Have a questions you want answered? Send it my way: naptimecrafters{at}gmail{dot}com
How do I get started?
I’m not going to lie to you- starting a blog can be scary! For that first little while you will be talking to yourself, but no worries you’ll make friends in no time. So here’s my 2 cents on entering the blogosphere:)
1. Determine a Focus for your Blog
What are you passionate about? That’s a good place to start- blogging takes a lot of time, so it’s best to do the things you LOVE and would do anyway and then blog about it. Some blogs are successful that do a bit of everything, but when you’re just starting out it helps to pick one thing and stick to it. Visitors will be confused if they find a craft tutorial mixed in among your political views, baby photos, recipes, sports highlights….
I started posting craft tutorials on my family blog and my Dad wasn’t exactly thrilled to find tips on hemming your jeans instead of new pictures of little miss. And fellow crafters who stumbled across my blog weren’t likely to follow along. So… I made the big switch in August and Nap Time Crafters became the home for all of my crafts. I still like to give you all of you a real look at my life and my family every so often, but for the most part that stays on our private family blog
2. Post Regularly
You don’t necessarily need a posting schedule, but I found that it helped me a lot to have a schedule and now my readers know what to expect. If I visit a blog that rarely posts I’m not very likely to follow it- not exactly sure why, but it just doesn’t pull me in. Don’t get ahead of yourself though- only post everyday if you think you can keep it up and the content is meaningful- I would much rather read every other day and have quality posts
3. Start Making Friends 
Bloggers love meeting other bloggers and helping each other out, so don’t be afraid to ask. Most bloggers love blog swapping- including me:) Want to swap? Just shoot me an email. A blog swap is when you each write up a post (it could be a tutorial or just a get to know you and your blog) and then you email the other blogger the html from the post, so they can post it on their blog. 
Linky Parties are also a great way to get your blog out there. You can come link up at the Friday Favs party on Nap Time Crafters every week! Most linky party hosts pick a few projects to highlight each week which will give you even more exposure. Linky Parties really helped me get my blog off the ground (I don’t have time to party anymore :( but… I sure wish I did!
4.Submit your Tutorials
Many blogs only feature other bloggers tutorials, which means they love to hear from you! For some ideas on where to send your tutorials check out my Featured Tab. Do not feel bad if you don’t hear back- just keep trying. These amazing ladies are super busy and just don’t have time to reply to everyone. Some bloggers I’ve probably emailed 50 projects and been featured twice, but the times I was featured it helped my blog so much!
5. Participate!
Put yourself out there and it will pay off. Visit other blogs, leave comments, enter giveaways, audition for competitions, etc. It all helps you make new friends and gain 1 follower at a time. I appreciate all of your comments so much and I read ever single one and try to reply when I can. The more time you put in the more you’ll get out of it. 

***Have more questions on getting started? Shoot me an email and I’ll add my answers to the bottom of this post. Come back next week for Advertising

And…once I wrap up Blogging Bootcamp I’ll get started on the Sure Cuts a Lot mini series. Sorry to keep you waiting!

***Update
I’ve had a reader ask about replying to comments. The easiest way is to reply through your email, but… sometimes people have their email address hidden which makes it impossible to reply. In that case you have to just leave an answer in the comments section and hope they come back and read it.

Are you a dreaded “no-reply”??? If you’ve been wondering why you don’t get replies to your comments check out this tutorial from Sweet Simplicity to fix it. Please do:) I would love to answer all of your comments!


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