I’ve been blogging for almost four years now and I must say that not a week goes by that I don’t learn something new … or get asked a question about blogging.
I think it’s the nature of social media that it is … well … social. That we share what we learn. That’s certainly how I feel anyway.
What I have learned – apart from the fact that there is always something new to learn – is that there is no blogging question too small to ask. Never be afraid to ask another blogger how they do something. I’d be very surprised if they didn’t respond back.
Like all advice, be it parenting or health or fashion, not everything you learn might apply or work for you and your blog. But it’s worth taking as much as you can on board and sifting out the stuff that you think applies to you.
So in the interests of sharing …
1. Do you disclose a free gift on your blog the second, third or 20th time you feature it?
Disclosing gifted items is something I consider mandatory from an ethical point of view. It’s not required by law in Australia like it is in the US but I wish it were. In the fashion blogging niche there are a lot of bloggers who don’t disclose. Quite frankly, I wish disclosure laws applied to magazine journalists and television celebs as well. Carly Jacobs from Smaggle is going to tackle this topic in more detail next week but in short, I disclose the first time I feature a product. If it’s a garment, there’s a fair chance it will pop up in a future blog post because I’m all for wearing things way more than once but I’m not going to disclose again two months or two years down the track when I do wear that piece again. I also link to my Disclosure Policy.
2. Are affiliate ads worth the real estate on your blog?
This is an interesting one. Until recently I had not made much commission at all via affiliate advertising. That has changed dramatically over the last couple of months and I put it down to only featuring advertisers which you know align really well with your readership. For Styling You readers, what seems to work best are Australian online stores, for example The Iconic and Style Tread. I know other blogs have great success with overseas retailers but that’s not been the case here. Like a lot of things with blogging, trial and error is good practice. Try a store’s ad and give it a month to see what it delivers your way by the way of commission. If there’s nothing, then try another … or drop altogether.
If you’re scratching your head back at the word affiliate, let me back track. Affilate ads are hosted by an affiliate advertising company. When someone clicks on the ad via your site and buys something you receive a commission which can range from 5-50%. The ebook sales I promote here are through e-junkie. My other affiliate ads are through Commission Factory. I’ve played around with a lot of commission companies but Commission Factory – a relative newcomer – I’ve found to be the most user friendly. Payments are automatic to PayPal if you’ve reached the minimum $100 commission. Winning.
3. How could I further promote my blog to build my readership?
It’s difficult to do this question justice in a few sentences but these are things that have worked for me and for other bloggers I know:
4. How do I start a blog?
In short, just do it. Yes, it’s possible to have a free blog online in five minutes. Don’t panic about it not being perfect before you hit the publish button. As you add content you can play around with how it looks. You can work this out as you go … yes, you’ll be live on the internet but you’ll remain relatively hidden until you’re ready to promote it to the world.
Oh, and don’t click the start button without reading this ebook by Louisa Claire. Such a great resource for a start-up blog. Louisa’s been in New York attending the huge Blog World conference this past week and has been sharing on her blog what she’s learned with the Australian blogging community.
5. How much should I charge for banner advertising on my blog?
It’s the $64,000 question isn’t it? Or we wish it were a $64,000 question! I use a combination of calculations based on this post by Nicole Avery and a
stab in the dark educated guess. I raised it at the Digital Parents Conference in March – sort of in jest but sort of not – that it would be so helpful to have a Bloggers Union. A body that set guidelines of advertising and sponsored post rates based on readership statistics. Of course it would only be a guideline as sometimes it’s not just about the numbers, it’s about the numbers AND the influence.
Have you got a burning blogging question you’d like to ask? Feel free to leave a comment below or email me: firstname.lastname@example.org
And if you’ve blogged about any aspect of blogging this week, feel free to add your post to my Saturday blogging link-up. There is room where it says NAME to include your blog’s name plus the name of the post, for example: STYLING YOU: 5 blogging questions I’ve been asked this week