Hello! I’ve had a few of you guys ask questions through the “Ask Me Anything” section of the blog, and today was the perfect time to sit down with a mug of coffee, take a study break, and post my answers. So lets get right into it!
Anon: hey! just saw your site on reddit. love the blog! obviously not into beauty or whatever lol but was just checking out some blogs, getting some ideas and tips to add to mine. Let me know if you have any advice for a newbie. best of luck!
Hi there! Thank you so much for checking out my blog! Even if you aren’t beauty blogging, I think there is a lot of advice out there for new bloggers that is applicable to pretty much every genre. Here are a couple things that I have found to be really helpful in building my blog so far:
- Be a part of the community: This is crucial! For whatever your blog is about, find other people who blog about similar things and start reading their blogs, liking their posts and commenting and getting involved. This will help you learn about how other successful blogs in your genre run things, while also making some online “blogging friends” and getting your name out there a bit. Being genuine is crucial though, don’t just spam a one word comment and then put a link to your site, because everyone can see through that. Contribute something to the conversation or content and may make people wonder about what you have to say on your own site!
- Utilize Social Media: WordPress is wonderful because you can see how people navigated to your website. Most of my page views at this point come from Instagram, and Facebook, with some from Reddit, Twitter, search engines, and a few other scattered places on the web. If you don’t already, consider making social media for your website and using it to connect with the people who read your blog. You can use it to post about new articles, but you can also use it to post additional content that might not be blog-worthy! I use my Twitter, for example, to comment on silly things happening throughout the day, funny GIFS, and to interact with other people in real time. Instagram is wonderful for pictures that you might not need to use on your blog, but might give people a more personal idea of who you are. Instagram hashtags are also a great way to find new viewers and readers who might be interested in your content!
- Make sure your blog is easy to navigate: This is a simple one, but a big one. A fellow beauty blogger, That Geeky Girlfriend, is doing a wonderful series called The Better Blogger Challenge where she offers tips, week by week, to improve your blog. Some recommendations she has made include cleaning up the sidebar of junk-y things like tag clouds, recent comments, recent posts and making sure that it has the important things that you need to navigate the site (ie a search bar, top posts, etc.). Definitely recommend checking out that series to any bloggers out there!
I hope these tips were helpful!
Megan: Hi Haley!! I love your blog. I am a pre-med student, and will be starting an accelerated BS/MD program next year. I just want to know how med school is going for you, do you love it? And more specifically, how did you find a research mentor during your undergrad studies?
Hi Megan! First of all, congratulations on being accepted into both college and medical school– thats a major accomplishment.
The answer to your first question is actually a bit of a complicated one. The first two years of medical school are traditionally classroom based, while you do clinical rotations in hospitals, clinics, and doctor’s offices throughout the third and fourth years of school. I actually didn’t love my first two years. I enjoyed learning about a lot of the material, but I sometimes felt overwhelmed by the academic workload and really felt like I was missing the clinical, hands on aspect of medicine. Now that I am in my third year I am a million times happier and am so pleased with my decision to go into medical school. I think I really just need the patient contact to feel fulfilled, as cheesy as that sounds!
For your second question, I am afraid that I might not actually be the best person to ask. I was a bit of a nontraditional premed in that I studied Philosophy (and Biology). Research was not a huge focus of mine during undergrad, but I was very involved in several other extracurricular activities like Student Government, the Honors College and my sorority. I also worked as a Biology Tutor, and in the local free clinic. I did poster presentations for Biology, but no longitudinal research studies. Because I went to a small liberal arts school, I was always able to find mentors easily by asking professors of the classes I performed well in (since they were small enough to know them personally).
I’m not sure how things work at major research institutions, but if your school has an Office of Undergraduate research, they should have a list of active projects going on with contact information. Once you find a project that sounds interesting, you can reach out (usually by email) and express interest! I found two great resources for sending emails to potential research mentors that you might find helpful here and here. One thing I do know is that a personal contact will always help– so if you have an advisor or a professor that can reach out to the person in charge of the research project to vouch for you in person, that will definitely increase the likelihood of them getting back to you. Sorry I don’t have as much personal experience there, I hope it helped! Good for you for being on top of the research game. If you are entering your freshman year, remember not to load yourself up with too much right off the bat since you will be entering a very rigorous program.
Good luck 🙂 Keep me posted with how it goes!
Thank you all for reading! Keep submitting your questions about blogging, medical school, life, beauty, or whatever you want and I will keep answering them 🙂