Starting a blog is hard work and it’s tough starting out unless you already have friends in the blogging community. Don’t expect to pick up hundreds of followers overnight, it takes hard work and dedication. If your heart is truly in it, you’ll get along just fine.
I’m not pretending that I’m successful or special in any way, these are just some tips I’ve picked up over the last year that might help you get ahead in nail blogging. However, I do not intend for this to be seen as a guide for how to get high amounts of followers. It's about being a part of the community and reaching an audience that loves to read what you have to offer.
All observations appearing in this work are based on my personal experiences of blogging. Any resemblance to real blogs or persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.
Do Not Spam
This is the golden rule of blogging. Spamming will have a very detrimental effect on the success of your blog. Avoid it at all costs!!
‘Spamming’ refers to leaving your links all over the internet, particularly on other peoples' blogs, in the hope that people will visit your blog. These links are often accompanied by impersonal phrases like ‘Great blog! Check out mine’ or ‘Hey, I follow you. Follow me too?’ It’s likely these types of comments will be deleted.
Imagine you are this nail blogger who has been blogging for months, or even years, to build a dedicated readership. You work hard preparing pictures and posts, only to log on and find that someone is using your blog as a platform to score exposure for themself. I’m sure you can see why it’s not appreciated.
People will remember you if you leave spam on their blog, and not in a good way. They are more likely to avoid your blog forever than follow it.
The best way to approach people when you’re starting out is to send a personal email to each of the bloggers you admire. Explain that you’re just starting out and would appreciate if they could drop by your blog. If they like what you have to offer they will probably follow you but if they don’t, just leave it there. One email will suffice, don’t be pushy.
Cris perfectly summed up her feelings, which lots of people share, for this apparently recent phenomenon here.
Read as many nail blogs as you can. This will inspire you and keep you up to date with all the latest nail news. Leave friendly comments on your favourite posts and as people start to see your name a lot, they will click through to your profile and hopefully visit your blog.
Utilise Social Networking Sites
Social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter are great tools that shouldn’t be put to waste. They’re a great way of making friends in the blogging community and picking up advice.
Start a Facebook fan page for your blog
Many people don’t use Blogger or Google Friend Connect but will still read your blog. Facebook is a great way to reach the people that may not have another way of staying up to date with your posts.
Follow your fellow bloggers on Twitter
Get stuck in. Join in with conversations. This is the best way to be noticed by the people that can help you get seen. But be friendly, not pushy. Do not ask people to follow you, just let it happen.
Keep Your Nails Healthy
It’s important to keep your nails looking healthy. Nobody wants to see sad cuticles that have been starved of moisture or look red and sore from being snipped off. Moisturise your hands regularly and try to avoid cutting your cuticles.
Michèle wrote a great post about taking care of your cuticles that you can see here.
Take Good Pictures
In nail blogging, every tiny detail counts so it’s important that your pictures are of good quality. They should be well lit, in focus and the colours as close to real life as possible. No one expects you to have perfect pictures, especially when you’re just starting out. Photographing your own nails is a tricky business, but over time you’ll work out your own technique and see your pictures improving.
You do not need expensive camera equipment to take great pictures. Most bloggers use their compact digital cameras. Cell phone cameras are a no no.
No one will begrudge you for retouching your photos before you post them as long as you haven’t taken it to extremes or seriously manipulated the content. It is completely acceptable to tweak the colour settings if the colours in the picture are not true to real life, or airbrush out any unsightly scabs or wounds around your nails.
To see how I take and edit my photographs, click here.
Be Friendly and Informal
Try not to sound too formal, but keep it professional. A friendly writing style will endear your readers to you and keep them interested. However, that doesn’t mean we want to hear every detail of your day. It’s nice to hear about things that are going on in a blogger’s life so we can relate to them but it’s not good to chatter about your crazy Saturday night (although I have been guilty of this on occasion!) or best friend’s relationship problems.
Gaining followers takes time and dedication. I blogged every single day for a few weeks before I even had one follower. I knew that if I had posted something worth reading, people would come across it by themselves and that I would have to produce consistently interesting posts so that people would want to continue reading my blog.
As soon as you have a few followers or people that enjoy reading your blog, news of your venture will spread. If people really like your blog, they might add it to their blog roll.
So there it is. Just some advice for anyone that might be struggling to get their blog noticed. Thank you for reading and if you have any experiences you want to share or any more advice you’d like to offer, just leave it in the comments.
I reserve the right to edit this post at any further date if I change my mind about any of the content!