The B Bar is Officially Open! (+ 22 Tips for Bloggers)

shopthebbar.com — downloadable resources for bloggers
I’m so excited to tell you that The B Bar — Cocktails and Cure-Alls for Blogs and Businesses is officially open for business! And it’s always happy hour at The B Bar!
We’ve got six downloadable resources related to blogging and social media (or as we like to call them, ‘cocktails’) to start. But don’t worry, we’ve got more cocktails we’re mixing up on the quick to serve you soon!
Victoria and I are so thankful for all your excitement and support of this new venture. We hope you love the cocktails as much as we do, and that you find them immensely valuable for your blog or business! Books like Accounting for Bloggers to How to Build and Use a Media Kit — find them all here. To read about how we started The B Bar click here. Keep up with The B Bar on TwitterFacebook, or our newsletter for additional content and announcements about new cocktails.
To celebrate the grand opening of the bar, if you purchase any cocktail today through April 17, you’ll get The Ultimate Resources Guide for free with the promo code CHEERS (see additional details below*). Just add in the Resources Guide cocktail to your shopping cart, type in the promo code when you checkout, and you’ll be good to go.
To celebrate the launch of the bar we’ve asked some of our amazing blogger friends for their best insights, tips and advice to wet your palette. If these 22 blog tips don’t quench your thirst, head on over to Victoria’s blog where she’s got even more tips from bloggers that you don’t see below!
victoria of sfgirlbybay

VICTORIA SMITH  // SFGirlByBay

My new motto is based on a Zig Ziglar quote I heard recently from Jordan Ferney of Oh Happy Day!: “The chief cause of failure and unhappiness is trading what you want most for what you want right now.” That’s very thought-provoking advice, because all kinds of perks are offered to bloggers and these sponsorships and freebies may seem really tempting, but they’re not always in your best interest. I think it’s important to ask yourself if the sponsor is right for you, your brand, and most especially your readers. Follow your gut instincts — you’ll know in your heart if something doesn’t feel quite right to you and you should pass on those kinds of offers. Your credibility and authenticity is one of your most valuable assets. It’s more than fine to have sponsors — that’s why it’s called a business, but be transparent about it. Be honest with yourself and your readers.

ashlina — the decorista

ASHLINA KAPOSTA // The Decorista

My tip would be CONSISTENCY. That’s what helped me build a conversation with my readers which grew my following quickly.

bradley agather of luella & june

BRADLEY AGATHER // Luella & June

What types of posts bring you the most traffic?

The most traffic came from posts that featured my home. Any time I would do a post (short or long) that included a picture of my apartment, I would see a spike in traffic. I did one post that had a single picture of my coffee table with all of my books stacked on top and it was one of the highest traffic days I’ve had.

On another note, the posts that have spurred the most discussion (not necessarily the most traffic) lately have been my wedding posts. I was resistant to these at first, but I started doing my own version of a “wedding Wednesday” and readers really seem to engage.

camille styles — camillestyles.com

CAMILLE STYLES // CamilleStyles.com

Is there anything you wish you would have known when you started?

Start from a place of passion. Trust me: there will be some day (or probably night, when you’re blogging at 11pm) when you wonder if anyone’s actually reading and you want to give up, but having a strong creative vision will help you push through this time and keep going. Remember: it’s ultimately all about doing what you love!

erika brechtel — small shop studio

ERIKA BRECHTEL // Small Shop Studio

I tell all my clients to be sure that their usernames for all social media platforms are the same. If not possible, at least twitter, Pinterest, Instagram and Facebook (if possible) are the most important. Especially important as content can be published cross-platform these days.

What post (or type of post) brought you the most traffic?

My “How to Wear Red Jeans / Mint Jeans” from over a year ago went viral and I continue to get over 2K hits a week on it (90% from Pinterest). Is it that combination of showing a trend, how others are using it, and then giving a few options for readers to purchase the trend? Not sure why, but I would love to know!

What is your best time-saving resource?

Of course Pinterest is always helpful … but the time I spend on sourcing images almost makes it more of a pain than it’s worth.

Is there anything you wish you would have known when you started? 

I’d learn more about how to monetize a blog. I’m so busy now I’m not giving myself the time to learn and take advantage of all the opportunities presented to me.

Additional tip:

I make a conscious effort to never write anything negative about anyone or anything. You never know who might be reading, who you could offend, and how it could come back to haunt you personally and professionally.

jessie — style & pepper

JESSIE ARTIGUE // Style & Pepper

What type of post brings you the most traffic?  

My most popular posts are always those showing photos of and talking about my own personal style or providing some sort of value-based info. Giving your readers a short-cut, how-to, or other helpful advice will encourage them to keep coming back, and hopefully end up sharing your content with others!

What is your best time-saving resource?  

Batch posting! I typically shoot most of my images towards the end of the week or on the weekends and then get them ready to go for the following week on Sunday or Monday. Several of the extra shopping or special features I do throughout the week, but having the bulk of my content all-set and ready to go (whenever possible), makes my schedule run much more smoothly.

grace of stripes & sequins

GRACE ATWOOD // Stripes & Sequins

What is your best time-saving resource?  

Paying someone to take my photos. Getting my photos professionally snapped and edited has been life-changing. Also, I keep all of my affiliate links handy in a word doc which makes it easier to grab them as I wear a lot of pieces on my blog over and over again!

Did something specific help you get your blog to grow?  

Support from other bloggers was critical! Sites like Honestly WTF, College Fashion, and Budget Babe linked up to mine early-ish on and that really helped me grow and get new readers.

What’s the biggest misconception about blogging?

That is’s all just the front end stuff (posts + social media). The back end stuff (answering emails, accounting, editorial calendar) takes SO much longer!

erin hiemstra — apartment 34

ERIN HIEMSTRA // Apartment 34

If you start a blog wanting it to be your fulltime job, you need to treat it accordingly — from day one. In today’s crowded market, success is going to require an all-in approach. Pay attention to the details. Brush up on analytics, understand SEO, maximize social media tools and invest in an eye-catching blog design. And yes, of course find your unique voice. Make your life and the life of your readers better by what you create and you just might have your new career!

lara ramos of theglossarie.com

LARA RAMOS // The Glossarie

Is there anything you wish you would have known when you started?

I wouldn’t be so shy about being a blogger. I would promote more shamelessly and tell my friends to tell their friends and so on. I was so timid about it early on, definitely a closet blogger for way too long.

Did something specific help you get your blog to grow?

When Lucky Magazine nominated my blog for an award in 2009, I saw an incredible boost in traffic and buzz. I thought it would take a dive after the hum settled down, but it’s really kept momentum.

lisa thiele of with style and grace

LISA THIELE // With Style & Grace

When I first started blogging, I got an email from an anonymous reader saying that I can’t use someone else’s photo (it was from Real Simple), even if I give credit (which I had). From that moment on, I decided all content on With Style and Grace would be created and photographed by me. At the time, I was nervous I did something wrong, but also pissed. However, once the blog was filled with content all created by me, it took off and I’m forever grateful for that person.

monika of the doctor's closet

MONIKA HIBBS // The Doctor’s Closet

Did something specific help you get your blog to grow?

Interacting with other bloggers! Twitter and facebook work wonders, you just have to know how to use it to grow your following! Interaction is key!

Any tip or piece of advice?

Instagram is your BEST FRIEND. I’ve found this is one of the most powerful social media tools right now. However, be careful how you use it. It is not a tool to post every second of your life on — i.e. don’t post more than three times a day. I personally try to stick to one photo a day. Makes your followers wanting more, rather then getting sick of your feed. Most importantly only post THE BEST photos, not the blurry one of your cat running across a dark room. Treat your instagram feed as a mini magazine of your life. Great photos and don’t over do it!

jess lively of jesslively.com

JESS LIVELY // JessLively.com

What’s the biggest misconception about blogging?

Many of my business clients assume that blogging is a necessity in order to grow their business. But oftentimes, that’s just not true. If the business owner (or team) is not interested in taking the time to cultivate connections, craft consistent content, and “do the work,” blogging can be a waste of time and energy. I believe in doing it well or not doing it at all. You can always use other social media platforms to connect with clients outside of a blog and have great success. It’s all about your intention for blogging in the first place.

lexi of glitter & pearls

LEXI HOLZBERG KRITZER // Glitter & Pearls

What’s the biggest misconception about blogging?  

A successful blog doesn’t happen overnight. Blogs are so much more work than I think most people fully embrace. I live, eat, shop, and breathe my blog. My morning commute with my husband consists of his work stories, and then my babbling somewhere along the lines of “law stuff in the morning, then, blog this, blog that, blog photos, blog phone conference, photo editing, blog commenting, crafting blog posts, reaching out to brands, blog, blog, blog …” You get the picture!

*Offer good through 11:59 PDT on April 17, 2013. Must purchase any book from The B Bar, LLC of equal or lesser value to the Ultimate Resources Guide. Offer code good for one use, and is non-transferrable.