"Twitter is the blogger's water cooler"

Today's quote is from the wonderful Nicole Balch from MakingItLovely.com, a beautiful blog about stylish living. Nicole put on one great class last night through the Alt Summit Channel on Growing a Readership, and I was one of her 90 happy students.

I might be a little bit infatuated with everything Alt Summit, but in a totally unbiased way, I also think they are offering some fabulous classes for only $15 that are hip, informative, and filled with other really great bloggers (who you want to invite out for coffee after the one-hour class but they live all over the globe so you just meet up in the twittersphere).

I'm not going to give away all her nuggets, but here are 5 that you can put to use in your own blogging.

#1 Be Original              

What should you post to grow your blog? Original content that sets you apart from other blogs. Nicole recommended a ration of 90:10 - 90% original photos, layouts, tutorials, and creative writing and 10% share cute buys and faboo recommendations.

New to me: the idea of a blogger book tour. Some publishing companies like Chronicle give 10 or so blogs original content applicable to the new book and get the word out through great blogger reviews and posts. Love that.

#2 Share You

Your readers want to get to know who you are. Who is the great Oz behind the curtain? Share your story in fun and interesting ways. 

Nicole mentioned Mighty Girl's life list. Her blog follows the 100 or so things she wants to do with her life. Try spicing up your profile by letting people hear your story and connect with you, the author of your webhome. 

I also learned some awesome nicknames for loyal readers. I wish I could remember all the good ones, but it definitely made me think I need to have some kind of name for you good people who come here to see what's happening in my piece of Heaven. (my inspires? I'm still thinking...) 

#3 Predictable Fun                                        

Your readers come to rely on you, and consistency is key. Your timing doesn’t have to be every day. Nicole started blogging three times a week and now she's bringing us gorgeous photos and content daily..maybe even more soon. 

Stay consistent. But don’t put the pressure on yourself. Aim for once a day.

#4 Become BFF with Social Media           

Social media is fantastic. Stay attentive to the little things. Can your readers find you? This means easy buttons to follow you on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram.

Keep the same username for all your platforms so that someone can easily search for you.

Twitter = blogger water cooler!! Keep it fun. "Twitter is a great way to interact with your readers and jump into conversation…traffic will come naturally."

Oh, and match your header to your domain name.

#5 Comment Etiquette

"Don’t have anything in your house that is not useful or beautiful." via Pancakes and French Fries. That has nothing to do with anything, but I found it inspiring!

Stay active with other bloggers and leave a thoughtful comment. And a clear don't – don’t put your URL in a comment. You've already added it in to the basic info on the post. Double dosing here is clearly tacky.

Every post initiates a conversation. It's a like a great party. Be sure to respond to people. "Talk to the people who have been nice enough to talk to you."

And everybody loves comments. So true, so true.

Honestly, what I love best about the Alt Summit classes are the completely creative, dazzling folks who join in the very chatty webinars. You get a complete blog roll and a ton of twitter handles to follow...and I've found some great *inspires* to keep me going for quite a while.

Happy blogging!