Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Top 5 Tips for Blogging Success

Two questions I receive frequently are "Should I start a blog?" and "How can I improve my blog?" If you're passionate about thrifting and can see yourself writing incessantly on the subject for months, then hell yes, start a thrift blog! However, simply making the blog and posting is not enough if you want readers and interaction.

Here are 5 things your Thrift Blog (or any blog) needs to generate interest, comments, followers, and success:

1. Passion: If you can't see yourself spending a few hours a week writing blog posts, taking pictures, and tweaking with your blog design...stop now. Your blog will not be successful without passion for the chosen subject.

2. Focus:  Choose the top topics you want to focus on, and stick to them. Write a mission statement for your blog, this helps you keep on topic and gives your readers something to expect. Mine is: "Thrifting, Creating, and Saving Money". When people know what to expect they have a reason to follow and keep reading.

3. Personalization:  Don't use the default template alone, personalize your website. This doesn't need to be difficult. Add a header graphic, add an "about" page, and state your mission clearly somewhere on the blog for starters. You can add more later.

4. Excellent Pictures: If you're blogging in the handmade/DIY/creative niche, excellent pictures are vital. They don't need to be as polished as magazine photos, and you don't need an expensive SLR camera to take good photos. Just make sure your photos are clear, bright, and crisp. Bright natural light and keeping your camera very still will make a world of difference.  

5. Value for Your Readers:  Before you publish a blog post, make sure that post provides value for your readers. Thrift Haul posts inspire fellow thrifters and takes them on a vicarious shopping spree with you, for instance. This post is teaching bloggers how to improve their blogs and gain readers. If you don't provide value, people don't have any reason to read and come back.

All of these tips and more will be covered in detail in a series I'm working on as a guest writer. Any questions? Any tips of your own for blogging success? Leave 'em in the comments! I'd love to read what works for you.
Daily thrifting updates, information, & Inspiration: Follow Thrift Core on Twitter and Facebook.


  1. i'd say everyone has different reasons for blogging. my only tip would be not to let #5 interfere with #1. it's easy to get so consumed by providing for your readers that you can lose that passion which got you started in the first place. if it starts feeling like a chore, it's going to show in your writing. i think a mission statement is fine, but also, a personal statement in your mind about why you are doing this, and why you want to continue.

    great tips van. looking forward to your series as a guest writer.

  2. These are great tips, I've currently lost focus of why I started blogging. Thanks you've given me some inspiration to get back on track.

  3. I don't really agree with any of this. It's possible to have a completely personal blog that has no focus other than whatever the hell someone wants to write about and have success because people like you and the way you write.

    I think that anyone should start a blog just to start a blog. If you enjoy it, then do it for the reasons you want. If you have focus, fine, but if you don't then just write whatever you're feeling. If you want to gain readers, then there is no specific formula that will help you gain readers.

    Not everyone needs a pretty site. Some people will read your words because they have value on their own.

  4. Hi Fenn: I'm not saying don't write what you want. Sometimes writing what you want to IS providing the readers with value. Some people find that natural style that people want to read and follow easily. Most don't.

    I think it helps to really look at what you write and see how it provides value for those who are floundering.

    I agree, people should blog if they want to and not worry about readers and success. This post was to help people who have been asking me how they can get both.

  5. Tonia: I'm glad this has helped you in any way!

  6. Ana: I love your tips! All very true. Now I need to think about a personal statement...

  7. Another insightful post! If I could just add a #6...which of course would be making a clone of myself a few times over. That would just really help this whole multi-tasking thing, ha ha!

  8. I see where you're coming from. It is a good post for successful blogging. I'm definitely going to use some of these tips.

  9. Marcia: Thank you!

    Jackie: Blogging definitely rewards multi-tasking types. What keeps me at it is that I love to take on multiple roles...even thought is exhausting.

    Fenn: I love your insightful thoughts/opinions, as always :)

  10. Again, thank you for this post. Especially # 1 Passion. If you don't like/know about or care about don't write about.
    - Joy

  11. A Vintage Green: When someone writes their blogs with passion, it really shows.

  12. I intend to start a web comic based on many non sequiturs.Do you think these tips might apply?

  13. These are great tips, I think passion is a most because if you don't have it, you end up leaving your blog because you lost interest.

  14. Anonymous: Heck yes! The value and pictures are provided automatically with the comics. A lot of the "hard work" is done for you...if you're not drawing detailed, labor intensive stuff.

    Miss Lou: Yep! Very true. You just can't keep it up without passion, blogging is a serious commitment.

  15. I'd agree with Passion, but I lack Focus. I still lack it. I write about everything and anything under FB.

    My Everyday Minimalist blog however, is more focused .. sort of. :P I kind of wander off into eco-friendly terrain and design there too.

  16. FB: I think your blogs are very focused! Even the seemingly off-topic writing like your food and shopping posts deal with finance and add up to something cohesive in my eyes.

    We're our own worst critics, though. I think I need more focus, too...

  17. Thank you for your insightful post. I follow your blog for that very reason.


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I love reading your comments. Thank you for adding to the discussion! I always reply to any and all questions.

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