I noticed that I hardly had time to do any blogging tips for you guys last year. I’m going to do better in this department because I still get lots of emails asking me how to blog and so on. Come inside to see how I feel about the business of blogging and some tips on test driving vehicles.
If you’re trying to become a blogger and you live in Atlanta, you should try to come out for some basic tips and tricks of the trade when I give blogger workshops and events. I don’t mind if you pull me aside to ask me a specific question either. Many years ago I owned a very successful nail salon for over 10 years. When I went to nail school, the instructor taught us the basics of nails. They did not teach me acrylic, gel nails, nail art etc they taught me the basic manicure. It’s the same thing with blogging. No one is going to sit and give you all the details(especially for free) because it’s a lot of information and it’s overwhelming. It’s simply up to you to do the homework, research, network and get out there and build your “own” brand and site. That may sound harsh to some I know.
There was really no one I could turn to, to help me with the back-end of my site. It was very frustrating and costly for me when I started out blogging because I came from tv to the web. Everything was so new to me and not much was online for bloggers at the time. Fellow blogger Sandra Rose really helped me though over the years and till this day, I still call her when something goes haywire on my site. Blogging is also very expensive and some seem to believe that it’s “free” but as your readership grows, you will need more bandwidth and that means MORE money! It’s not a picnic at all! Let’s not talk about taxes I pay for all the free stuff either. NOTHING is for free you know.
So anyway, I got a phone call from a fellow blogger and they asked me how I got into reviewing and blogging about cars. They saw my post about the all-new 2014 Kia Forte I’m in this week. I will say this. I have always loved driving and I knew when I started my blog I was going to have a space where I could write something about cars. Since my college days, I’ve always been the designated driver amongst my friends too. I would drive my friends around town and out of town. I consider myself to be a safe and responsible driver. That gives you a little bit of insight on how to tailor your blog too. Put things on your site that you genuinely love. My husband is a complete “gear head” too and we love to talk car stuff. He explains a lot of things about the cars that I might not be aware of when it comes to things under the hood. Anyway I’m babbling, here are some key tips if you are interested in reviewing vehicles for your blog.
Clean driving record! Noone is going to let you test drive their vehicles and you have DUI’s, suspended driver licenses or a lot of points! I haven’t had a speeding ticket in over 15 years, just to give you an example. They look at all of that and do a thorough background check.
Safe residential area: If you live in the hood(bad area) most likely you will not be given a vehicle to drive. The vehicle has to be in a safe environment and no threats of theft, vandalism or damage to the cars. Keep in mind these are all brand new vehicles, some not even on the market yet.
Knowledge of cars: I have been test driving vehicles as long as I have had my blog. I’m a car lover at heart and have always incorporated vehicles on my blog and it helped me when they were looking for bloggers to do reviews. I’m not a car expert but I do have a family and I give my opinion coming from a mom’s perspective.
Network: If you hear about a car event or perhaps you might be attending an auto show, introduce yourself and give them your information about your blog and what you do. Thats how I got all my car contacts because I reached out to the brands or met them at an event. You can’t be shy!
Integrity: If someone does give you the opportunity to review a car bad or good, please do the review! A small majority of people that do get a chance to work with a car brand, drop the ball. We hear it so many times! Atleast write something or take photos, Tweet, Facebook or Instagram to let your followers know about it. You have no idea how many times people do not follow up and just wanted something for free all alone.
If you have never written about cars before but are interested in doing so, start off by possibly writing about a car that you would love to drive. Perhaps you can visit a dealership and test drive one of their cars, take pics and write about that experience. You just never know who may see it! Tweet your blog post to the car brand or email your review and that may lead to something. It may be hard at first but it’s not impossible. I work with five car brands now but hopefully this year I can review more high-end luxury vehicles, so my fingers are crossed. It’s on my vision board for 2014 click here. Till next time! xoxo