Wednesday, June 15, 2016

5 tips for new bloggers

Yvonne @Quilting Jet Girl, Cheryl @ Meadow Mist Designs, and Stephanie @Late Night Quilt are  hosting a new bloggers blog hop and invited older experienced bloggers to write an advice post.

I first started my A Stitch in Time blog in 2010 and this blog - Elm Street Quilts - in late 2014.  I enjoy writing my blog posts and connecting with other quilters.  I decided to start the second blog to focus on creating a place for hosting QALs and other fun events.  All of my original content flows to the new blog while I still post on my older blog my different blocks from the QALs I'm participating in.  (I've got a QAL underway right now - check it out!)

Across both blogs, I post 3-4 times a week so I wanted to share five tips about being a blogger.

5 tips for bloggers

1.  Have a schedule.  Whether you blog once a month, once a week or more frequently, set a schedule for yourself.  Use a calendar or planner, map out your plan for posts in pencil.   When the post is written, check it off so you know it is done and ready to go!

blogger calendar

Use the schedule option in blogger to set your posts so they will post in the future at the date and time you want.

2.  Work in batches.  I'm busy working my way through various QALs including doing the Farmer's Wife 1930's blocks.  For my Farmer's Wife, my goal is to do a blog post after I finish a set of two blocks.  Long before I've started the block, I can put together the draft post.  I can list the name of the block, links to prior posts etc, perhaps general information on the QAL.

Once everything is ready to go, the post will sit in my draft folder until the block is actually sewn.  Once the photo is ready, I can upload the photo and add any commentary - perhaps on how tough (or easy) the block might have been to put together.

3.  Take great photos and size them as x-large in your post.  Everyone wants to see photos of pretty quilts, projects & supplies, both finished items as well as in progress shots.   This means they want to see the photo.  Google photos defaults to 'medium' size which means my glorious photo of basting pins looks like this.

But if I make it extra-large, everyone can really enjoy the photo!

safety pins

To adjust the size and maybe add a caption, left click on the photo to display the options.

4. Put your blog name & url on each photo.   There are several free tools available that make it very easy to add text to your photos.  If someone borrows or pins a photo from your blog, it will have your information on it.  I always add my blog name and my blog URL, usually in the bottom right hand corner.  (See the pin photo above.)

One of the easiest tools to use to add text to your photo is picmonkey.   Besides adding text and basic cropping, there are all sorts of options for enhancing your photo.

Canva is another great tool for making some fun graphics for your blog like the one at the top of this post.  You can upload a photo (or use one of the stock photos available) and then play around with graphics for adding text.  There is a lot of content available for free and some photos and graphics only cost a dollar.

5. Make new friends.  Join linky parties (you can find a list of many of them here), participate in blog hops, follow blogs and comment, comment, comment.    Some of my favorite linky parties are Fort Worth StudioBlossom Heart QuiltsFreemotion by the River.  QuiltfabricationQuilt StorySew Fresh Quilts , and Red Letter Quilts OMG. 

And when someone leaves a comment on your blog, respond back via email.  Your response could be a simple thank you or perhaps you'll start up a conversation and make a new friend. And go check out their blog if they have one.

There you go - my 5 tips for new bloggers.  Have any tips of your own to share?  Leave them in the comments.

Finally, no post (of mine) is complete without a photo of a quilt or of fabric so I'll leave you with this one.

quilt eat sleep repeat

Have a wonderful day! Patty


  1. Wonderful tips! I especially agree with the scheduling, I could not blog without it.

  2. This is a wonderful post with great tips. I definitely learned a lot of these lessons along the way as well (my early posts had tiny photos!).

  3. I have lost my mojo on blogging. Thank you for the tips on how to do better.

  4. I love these tips. How do you respond to a comment and it goes directly to their email, rather than back on the blog?

    1. Great question! The majority of the comments I've gotten are things like 'fun fabric' or 'love that patern.' So I respond back with a thanks for stopping by.

      If they ask a question that might be of general interest - like this one - I'll also put the reply on the blog.

  5. What an excellent post! Thank you for sharing the tips and all the details!

  6. Thanks for the tips! I haven't been replying to comments via email - just on my blog. But I guess then the commenter might not see my reply! I'll start replying by email too from now on!

  7. Thank You for the tips! I am going to try them all out and let you know how they go.


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