{new issue of SavvyMN Magazine}

In between wrapping presents and addressing Christmas cards, I’m getting ready for the second installment of my How To Build a Blog You Truly Love ecourse, which kicks off January 9th with participants logging in from around the world. Cannot wait! In addition to lots of soul-searching, blog-boosting content, it is seriously overflowing with so many ingenious insights from 20 superstar bloggers. Too good not to share with everyone out there who has a blog or wants a blog.

So, I’ve pulled excerpts from my contributor interviews to give you 10 tips to keep your blogging adventures fun and fulfilling. Just a sampling of what you get in the course, but still a big buffet of bloggy goodness. Hope you find some inspiration and motivation in the wisdom here!

When I was writing Taking Flight, my editor gave me some valuable feedback that I think also helped my writing voice evolve. She told me to essentially dig deep and own my stories and lessons and to write about them with more of a voice of confidence. She knew that I had a small fear that I didn‘t really know what I was doing, but she helped me believe and see that I really did have a lot to offer from my experiences. I needed to practice a more mature tone in my writing voice, one that exuded more confidence. That helped tremendously though it took some practice to find my sweet spot. I also found that as I practiced writing with more of a confident tone, I actually became more confident! Love how that works! – Kelly Rae Roberts

Sometimes being authentic can be a challenge. And it might not feel like you‘re shining your light really brightly when “being authentic” means sharing something that is perhaps not all that bright itself. The thing is, though, people connect with you more fully when the YOU that they see IS authentic and real. And sometimes that‘s sharing the highlights of something very cool and awesome that you‘re doing (and YOU are – I see that so much in being in this community Liv has created!). It‘s also sharing those moments that challenge us to our core. And it‘s these, also, because we can all relate to the highs and lows of life. – Lance Ekum, Jungle of Life

It‘s important to know that inner critics will arise whenever you start to write. You can give your inner critics new jobs in far away places. They just want to work, and don‘t really care what they work on! Think of places you could send them, and things they could be doing, and then envision them doing it, in your imagination. This will open new doors and paths for new writing to emerge, and clear space for different kinds of thoughts. – SARK

I never consciously try to increase my traffic. For better or for worse, that kind-of takes all the fun out of it for me. That‘s when I start comparing myself to other people and feeling like what I‘m doing isn‘t good enough. I like to see my stats go up, and I like when a post gets a lot of comments, but I never write things with the sole purpose being to gain more followers or get more comments. I‘m just not that strategic, and the thought of being that strategic feels like a lot of pressure and like no fun at all! I just write what I want to write and hope that the right people will show up to read it. I‘m sure that‘s not “smart blogging,” but it‘s what works for me at this point, and I feel pretty authentic while doing it, so I‘m happy. – Jessica Swift 

The number one thing, especially if you have a blog that supports your business or your soon-to-be business: build your mailing list. MailChimp is FREE. Sign-up. Today. Even if you don‘t have anything to offer your readers/potential customers for signing up quite yet, put an opt-in box or a link in plain sight on your blog. I wish I would have done that to start. I didn‘t start a mailing list until last fall, so even if you‘re a veteran blogger, it‘s never too late! When people sign up, giving you their email addresses, they are inviting you into their inbox, their lives. Really be mindful about what you send them, don‘t spam them, don‘t add people to your list without their permission but send announcements, discounts, free goodies – or just a monthly newsletter, anything to keep you on their minds. – Amanda Oaks, Kind Over Matter

If you post original articles, you‘re a writer. If you post photos, you‘re a photographer. If you post web comics, you‘re an illustrator. If you post round-ups and hand-selected collections of other people‘s work, you‘re a curator. If you post mini-memoirs and intimate explorations of your inner world, you‘re a storyteller. Blogger is much too vague . . . name & claim what you REALLY are, and suddenly your blog is simply one (of many) platforms for you to showcase your gifts. –Alexandra Franzen, Unicorns for Socialism

I didn‘t spend that much time on my Facebook page…until I surveyed my community and, guess what? They‘re on Facebook more than Twitter. In fact, 80% of my community said that they were ‘addicted to’ or ‘almost addicted to’ Facebook! So, I had to re–allocate my social media time to provide more time for Facebook.Once a week I ask my community to share our Facebook page with their girlfriends. I have the Facebook LIKE button at the top and bottom of my blog posts. And, I do minimal advertising on Facebook. I spend about $5/day on ads that go to women who are friends of women in Girlfriendology. I invest in this just to spread the community to more women. – Debba Haupert, Girlfriendology {who now has over 24,000 “likes” on her Facebook page}

Spend ZERO time comparing yourself to others or labeling fellow bloggers as competitors. Look at Oprah. When she started her show in Chicago, the king of TV talk was Phil Donahue. Nobody thought it was possible to knock Phil off his throne….including Oprah. So she didn‘t try. But she also didn‘t shy away from hosting her own talk show; she couldn‘t wait to get started and give the format her own flavor! Rather than looking at Phil as her competition, she figured they could happily co-exist on daytime TV and that there would be enough viewers to go around. And, boy, were there ever! So, what if we take on the same attitude with our blogging? I love lots of artists‘ blogs, for example, because each one feeds me in a different way. It‘s never crossed my mind that there are way too many blogs written by artists – to me, it‘s always a delicious discovery when I find a new one that resonates with me. There‘s room for everyone and you‘ve got something to say that‘s different from everyone else {you do! I know you do!}. So go be you, because nobody else can do it better. – Liv Lane {that’s me!}

Thinking of having to sell, market myself, or advertise makes me wanna stick my finger down my throat and gag. {You too, right?} You have too much of an interest in connecting with others, in bringing them goodness and improving their lives so that you‘d never strong-arm someone into buying something from you that they don‘t need. It‘s just not who you are, what you offer, and how you want to build a relationship. Oh sure, I don‘t know you, but I do. That‘s because you‘re here, in this course, wanting to Build a Blog You Love. If it was called Build a Blog To Bring To The Bank, then I wouldn‘t be able to say those things about you. But you‘re here for the Love, and you can bring those intentions into your sales and marketing, whether it‘s a product, a service or your blog itself. I pinky swear it. – Michelle Ward, The When I Grow Up Coach

Start by featuring your friends in your sidebar. Ads take a lot of time to manage, so this is a great way to practice and figure out the little details. No one needs to know who‘s paying and who isn‘t, and I‘ll let you in on a secret — not all the ads in someone‘s sidebar are paid for. So this is totally OK and common to do :] Sometimes, when you‘re new to something, it‘s helpful to see what your mentors are doing. What kind of information do they share on their ad page? Use some of the content you find as a model for your own page. Also put yourself in the shoes of a potential sponsor ~ what would YOU want to pay for an ad on your blog? What would interest you the most? – Maggie Whitley, Gussy Sews

I‘ll quote Einstein. ― “Nothing happens until something moves.” It‘s all about taking action. Most of what I‘ve learned is because I‘ve been willing to begin imperfectly. Ignore the angry voices out there telling you that there‘s only ONE WAY to do social media or that you can‘t or shouldn‘t do it another way. Just do your thing. You‘ll be so grateful to yourself next year at this time! – Christine Kane

Do one or more of these tips really resonate with you? I’d love to hear why and how! And I’d extra-love it if you shared this list with others. See those social media buttons below? Click away, my friends! 🙂

P.S. In the How To Build a Blog You Truly Love eCourse, we dive deep into all of these points mentioned above, from how to leverage social media in fun and meaningful ways to how to write authentically and purposefully. The whole point is to help you shine online and feel awesome about what you’re putting out into the world.