5 Blogging Tips You THOUGHT You Knew

Last week, I shared all about my experience at The Blog Connect conference. It was such a great experience, but I had some hesitations ahead of time. Would I meet bloggers with similar interests? Would they be friendly? Would there be cliques? Most importantly, would I LEARN anything? 

My OG readers know that I’ve featured a bunch of blogging tips over the past 8 years. I’m obsessed with researching news and best practices regarding the blogging industry, branding, social media, etc. So, when I signed up for The Blog Connect conference. I was hoping that I would come out of it with a bunch of new blogging tips and tricks to implement. And guess what? I did! 

Today I’m sharing with you the 5 blogging tips you THOUGHT you knew. This post is pretty long, but it’s worth it. I promise. 

the best Blogging tips

1. Use Lists to Generate New Content Ideas

Sure, you probably have made lists in the past to brainstorm new post topics, but hear me out. During The Blog Connect conference, I was asked to make a few lists of things that I normally wouldn’t have. Not only did it help me come up with new topics to write about, but it helped me realize some great content I already have on the blog that I can repurpose. 

Grab a piece of paper, or open up the Notes app on your phone and list the following:

  • what you did this past year
  • things you accomplished in the past 6 months
  • topics people ask you advice on

I bet that after you’re done, you’ll be surprised to see some great content ideas for your next few posts! 

2. Make Your Navigation a Priority

The navigation of your site is SO incredibly important. That bounce rate you keep hearing people talk about? It’s probably really high because your readers can’t figure out where to find specific content, and therefore are leaving your site. So how do you fix that? Start with your navigation. 

Make sure you have 3-5 main categories with subcategories underneath. Anything else is too cluttered. Little by little, go through your posts and make sure each post is tied to one of those subcategories. Not only will this make your site easier to navigate, but it will help you figure out new posts you want to write about!
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3. Stop Making Money Only from Sponsored Content

Sponsored content is great if you partner with brands that make sense for your blog. Every time I have a meeting with a potential sponsor, I always bring up this one thing: I only collaborate with brands that are a good fit for my brand and my readers. {example: you’ll never see a partnership here about diet pills, greasy fast food, etc.} But please, if sponsored posts are your jam, don’t put all your eggs in one basket. Vary your income streams!

Last year, I did a really great job keeping track of my blog finances. I wrote down every single payment and expense and figured out that my three income streams are sponsored content {both on the blog & on social media}, affiliate sales {Shop Style, Amazon, BlueHost, & a few others}, and advertising. I worked with a brand last year on a series of sponsored posts, which turned out to not only bring in lots of new readers, but also brought in some good money. HOWEVER, when January 2016 rolled around, I found out that they had to cut blogger influencer program for this year. Let’s be real. I was devastated. I really enjoyed working with the brand and it certainly helped me pay a few bills. After looking at my income streams for this year, I realized that I had lots of other fun projects in the making! 

Moral of the story: if monetizing your blog is your goal, determine a few different ways to bring in money. Don’t focus on ONE specific thing, because that one thing could fall through, and you’ll be pissed you didn’t expand to other income avenues sooner. 

4. Social Channels Should Be an Extension of Your Blog

This is a no-brainer, but I need to mention it here anyway. How you portray yourself on your blog and your social channels should match. When people see your Instagram pictures come through their feed, they should know it’s your content without even looking at your username. But it’s not just about the branding {logos, colors, photos}, but also your tone of voice!

In my opinion, you should be 100% authentic in the way you speak on your blog and social media. I don’t put on a persona. If you were to meet me in real life, you’d get the same person as you do here. If you’re true to yourself on your blog, it will be MUCH easier to be your true self on social media. Just keep everything consistent. 

5. Numbers are so 2009

Instagram has become a huge numbers game. Everyone wants to have thousands and thousands of Instagram followers. In all actuality, numbers are not the end all be all. Maybe you have thousands of Instagram followers, but only a handful of them visit your blog. FAIL. In my opinion {& other people agree!}, numbers are so old school. In recent years, it’s become all about ENGAGEMENT, not solely number of readers. 

Let me break it down for you. Let’s say you’re a big blogger with over a million readers per month. A brand works with you to promote their new product line. They are stoked because they’re getting a million sets of eyes on their product. Sweet. Here’s the problem. Maybe a small percentage of that million clicks on the brand’s link in your post, and an even smaller percentage buys that brand’s product. Sure, you have the numbers, but the conversion {aka the engagement} is low. FAIL. 

So the tip here, folks, is don’t focus so much on the numbers. Focus on bringing people to your blog that ACTUALLY want to be there and will return and engage. Really hone in on your target demo and write every single post as if you were talking to them in a coffee shop, bar, whatever.

I’d rather have a smaller number of you who LOVE my content, leave comments, and chat with me on social, than have a million of you who find my content on Pinterest, visit for a few minutes, read an article or two, leave and never return. Make sense?

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4 Comments

  1. April 29, 2016 / 10:15 am

    Thanks for post number two about The Blog Connect. It always amazes me how much there still is to learn when I go to these conferences. I think the reason I keep going is because I learn through stories best so the speakers who are able to tell their stories and why it worked are always the most helpful to me. So glad you got so much out of the conference!

  2. April 29, 2016 / 12:52 pm

    Yes yes yes. Great post. I’m still feeling really inspired after The Blog Connect to up my blogger game.

  3. April 30, 2016 / 4:00 pm

    Very insightful. I really like your point about numbers! It’s better to have a smaller, more engaged audience than thousands of fake followers.

  4. May 3, 2016 / 1:07 pm

    Great tips, Nicole! Thanks especially for the point on monetizing your blog.

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