May & June Reader Questions

Here are some reader questions that I received in May and June that I think might benefit you, too! Enjoy!! ūüėÄ

Q:¬†Through last few years I’ve been constantly coming back to idea of starting a blog…¬†I did read through your post about how to start a blog..¬†and I know my content, I also know what I want my label to be and almost decided on a platform…¬†

the part that I’m struggling with is that what if nobody’s gonna read my blog at all..¬†what is normal and what is not, I know that I will not get tons of people as I start, but how do you promote your blog and if you could share how did it go for you, how many people read you when you just started, how many people are reading now?¬†

I guess I wanted to ask you to please share the story of your blogging with me. 

Things like how did you start doing it, how did you decide that that is what you want to do, what did you struggle with what were your mistakes?

A: At first, I was having about 15-30 readers a day visit OC. I had think I hit 1,000 pageviews around my first month or two of blogging. Just watch your stats in the beginning: What are people reading? What are they not reading? Keep refining your content to fit your specific readership. 

Additionally, always check where your traffic is coming from! One of my tumblr posts was lucky enough to be reblogged by the Organized College Student (who had many more followers than me). This helped OC grow a lot very early on! As far as promoting posts, most of my traffic comes through Pinterest! 

So building up your Pinterest account is one of the best things you can do for your blog! Another great thing to do is to share smaller amounts of content and more photographs on Tumblr. Because Tumblr. uses hashtags, you can get your content in front of people who are already searching for it! 

Pinterest and Tumblr are great resources because they’re easy to build up even if you don’t have a ton of your own content yet…¬†so you can kind of build your brand by reblogging and repinning content that’s relevant to your niche (just be sure to always link back to the original content creators)!

Finally, for mistakes- I still don’t promote each post as much as I should. Blogging is not my full time job, you know? So, it’s hard to justify taking the time to share every post across every social media channel every time. You can never promote your content enough!¬†

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Q: I am going to be a sophomore in high school next year and I was wondering if you had some tips on my organization of my notes and handouts. This year I took six classes and did 1 inch binders for each class. It was a bit bulky to have all of those binders along with textbooks in my narrow locker and then into my backpack when I had to take them home.


A: For notes and handouts, I would suggest following the systems in this post:

http://organizedcharm.blogspot.com/2014/04/class-folder-organization.html

And for note organization, I would suggest following the system in this post:

http://organizedcharm.blogspot.com/2014/10/note-organization-checklist.html 

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Q: Most of my classmates do a folder and notebook for each class. I like that idea but I like to go home and rewrite my notes in colorful pens. I am afraid I would run out of pages in my notebook quickly and it would be unorganized because I would have the class notes and then the notes that I rewrote at home. 

A: Get a folder and a notebook for each class. Keep the handouts on the left side of the folder and your graded assignments on the right side. Take “sloppy” notes in mechanical pencil in the notebook. When you go home, rewrite the notes the way you want them to look. Then put them in a “study binder”. Save all of your neatly, rewritten notes in this binder, use tabs to divide the different classes, and refer to this organized notebook when you’re preparing for a big test!¬†
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Q: I am entering college as a freshmen in 2 months, and Im terrified. I need amazing grades to get into graduate school, and amazing grades come with organization. 

A: Don’t even start worrying about grad school until your senior year! Once you get into the rhythm of semesters, college won’t be scary at all! Just have fun, relax, and work hard. ¬†

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Q: I noticed your post on Top 10 Semester essentials, and I was wondering if you could elaborate on your “4-calendar” “color-coded” “obsessive organization” system.¬†

A: For the sake of “college life”, I would only suggest 1-2 planners. 1 for normal everyday life and one for schoolwork. I like to be veeeery detailed when planning out my study time, so that’s why I have an academic planner just for that! My husband and I also have a calendar in our house (the Post-It one), where we keep track of each other’s schedules and social commitment, etc. The 4th one I use is my lesson planner for teaching. ¬†

Start Your Own Blog in 4 Easy Steps

I get quite a few emails from month to month and I’ve decided to start building posts around them so that everyone¬†can benefit from the questions and answers! This month, I received a few emails from readers asked for advice for starting a blog!¬†

It makes me laugh out loud that I would be thought of as the person to ask… BUT I do enjoy researching things and learning how to do everything in the best way possible! So, of course, I’m happy to do that!¬†



FIRST: DO SOME RESEARCH

This is one of the biggest, most ever-changing topics ever to research. And once you start, you will realize that there is SO MUCH information out there! SO MANY tiny little aspects go into blogging that there are several blogs out there that are literally just about blogging! 

Every time I find a great/helpful/interesting article or post, I pin it to my Blog. board on Pinterest. Scroll through that board, pin what you like… and go follow the original sources to make that kind of content come up on your own Pinterest homepage!¬†



SECOND: DECIDE ON YOUR CONTENT

Back in September, I did a post on 5 Blogging Basics, where I included some of the most primary-level blogging advice I could think of! That info really centered around what KIND of content to create when you start a blog. Which is, after all, the purpose of the whole thing. 


Your content needs to be original, interesting, helpful, and consistent. If you’re writing about style, how are your¬†outfits different from everyone else’s? If you write about cooking, do you have a specific focus, such as desserts or vegan? What makes you original?¬†


THIRD: CREATE YOUR “BRAND”

I recently did an interview with Taylor from A Cup of Tay (along with a few lovely authors of other blogs), where we all gave all the best branding advice we could think of! Branding your blog is pretty much like giving it a personality. 

Do you want it to look elegant and sleek?¬†Or whimsical and full of color? Your fonts fall into this category, too! And speaking of fonts, try to stick to 3. (I’m the worst at that because I love¬†fonts and always want to use them all!) Also, decide on your color palette: 1 warm color, 1 cool color, 1 neutral color.¬†



FOURTH: FIND YOUR PLATFORM


Next, find a blogging platform that you really like. This was seriously the biggest¬†struggle of the whole process for me because there were things that I liked/didn’t like about all of them! I created little blogs on a few different sites and played around with them for a while before really committing to “the one”. Here are the ones I tried out:¬†

WordPress:
I liked how neat everything was. WordPress blogs look super professional. I liked the fact that you can follow other bloggers and like their posts. However, I was not crazy about the interface of the actual website. It was a little too intense for me. If you are someone who is analytical, logical, or “techy”, then it may work great for you! It just wasn’t my favorite.¬†

BUT the thing that was the real deal breaker for me was when I heard that there was a limited amount of free space. After a while, users get a “bandwidth exceeded” message and they have to purchase more space or purchase their own domain. Again… that may not be a deal breaker for you! But personally, I wasn’t into it.¬†

Weebly:
Weebly is a website maker that I was introduced to during my first grad school class. We had to make a “classroom website” and I absolutely fell in love with how easy it was to control the design of websites on this platform. You actually build¬†your website to look and work exactly the way you want it to.¬†

The only things I didn’t love about this platform were that it crashed pretty frequently while I was trying to do things. Also, it’s really designed to be used for a website with a blog, rather than just a stand alone blog. I would recommend using this for a website, but as far as blogging goes, it just wasn’t for me.¬†

Tumblr.
Ahh, yes. Tumblr. I love¬†Tumblr. I love the pretty images. I love it that you can find blogs to follow for basically anything¬†that you find interesting! Oh, and I also love it that you can add hashtags to your posts! And let’s just talk about how easy it is to use. So easy. I love the simple way that everything is laid out, etc. etc.¬†

The only thing I wasn’t crazy about was the fact that it’s based more on images than written content. Which would work perfectly for a fashion blogger, or a photographer. Also, I wanted a little more control over the design of the website.¬†One more thing: it’s very easy to reblog other people’s content rather than creating your own! I would suggest a 50/50 approach here!

Blogger:
So, in no way is Blogger the perfect blogging platform. There are tons of people who have chosen these other platforms over Blogger. The things that I love about Blogger are that it gives you a ton of control over the site design (without having to learn about coding). I also love the fact that it gives you so much space. As far as I know, Blogger never tells you that you’ve used too much.¬†I mean, iHeartOrganizing is still hosted here and she literally has a BILLION posts.¬†

The only negative things that I can think of to say about Blogger are… I promise you, I am having a hard time thinking of any. It’s just been such the perfect fit for me and Organized Charm that everything works pretty wonderfully! I know people out there say that the site is outdated (and the “gadgets” offered) but that’s kind of all I can think of!¬†

Oh, and by the way, if you’re planning to do a lot of “on-the-go” blogging, all of these platforms have apps designed to help you do just that!¬†As of today, the Blogger app has 2 1/2 stars, the Tumblr and Weebly apps have 4 1/2 stars, and the WordPress app has 3 stars.¬†



Every person and blog are different and you really just have to find what works best for you and your content! 

GOOD LUCK! ūüôā¬†



Do you have suggestions for beginning bloggers? What about different blogging platforms that you’ve started? Or what about “vlogging” advice?