As a blogger and marketer, I have a unique perspective about how to run a successful blog that will garner dedicated readers and will be brand-friendly. Blogger Love is a series dedicated to helping both new and seasoned bloggers grow their blog and create content that is impactful. Throughout this series, I will be sharing advice on how to put your best self forward and create a kickass blog.
In today’s Blogger Love Post, I’ll be sharing five simple pieces of advice that I wish I had known before starting my blog.
1 | There will never be a perfect time to start blogging
How often do we hold ourselves back from trying new things because we’re waiting for the right time, the most high-tech equipment, or the best resources?
Throughout college, I told myself that I wanted to blog about the beauty industry, but I always felt like I was lacking something… I said that I would start when I had more industry expertise, more product knowledge, a fancy camera, chic looking backdrops, or a picture-perfect apartment. All these “things” I needed were holding me back from going after what I wanted.
The truth is there will never be a perfect time to start blogging because our lives will never be perfect. Instead, we have to find the time to go after what we want and to pursue our passions because if we want something badly enough it will happen.
We don’t need anything but our own passion and ambition (and maybe coffee).
2 | Stay Organized & Plan Ahead
When I first started blogging, I was flying by the seat of my pants. Sure, I wrote down blog ideas in my bullet journal and planned to write posts to coincide with major events or new releaes… but I wasn’t thinking about my blog content wholistically. I thought that as long as I could push out 2-3 posts a week, others would find my content and follow me. As a result, my content was inconsistent and lacked cohesion.
Because I failed to plan my posts out ahead of time, I’d go through period where I was posting 2-3 times a week and then through lulls where I’d post nothing. Also, my actual content lacked cohesion. If you look back at my blog, you’ll see there are periods where I only wrote about simple living, financial wellness, or beauty, making my blog appear disorganized. I wasn’t planning ahead, so I had no idea that my content was starting to look lopsided.
By planning my posts ahead of time, I am able to create and maintain a regular posting cadence, because it provides me the time I need to write, edit, and shoot photos for my posts. Moreover, by planning ahead and staying organized, I’m able to make sure my writing is balanced, so I’m never hyperfocused on one aspect of my niche.
Whether you’re oldschool like I am and prefer to plan ahead with physical planners or journals, or you like using e-planners and online scheduling tools, planning ahead is vital for maintaining a consistent presence on your blog.
3 | Find Your Niche
To stick to a niche or not, that is the question that plagues all bloggers. First thing is first, what is a niche? According to Merriam-Webster, a niche is “a specialized market,” or in other words, it is a highly focused market that hones in on one realm of expertise.
Here’s why you should try to find your niche: we all have certain topics that we are most passionate about and gravitate towards when we’re looking to learn or looking for entertainment. For example, I personally love engaging with content that focuses on beauty, wellness, and marketing, so it is easier for me to write about these topics and it is easier for me to then find others online who share these same passions. I’m able to make a greater impact by blogging about these highly focused topics that interest me.
Furthermore, all successful websites have a solid SEO strategy. SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. In layman’s terms, SEO is how your website ranks in an organic search when someone is looking for information on a search engine like Google or Yahoo. While there are a multitude of things that bloggers can do to positively impact how they rank on an organic search page (more on this to come), focusing on a niche will help sites like Google to better understand what your website is about and will be more inclined to show your posts to inidividuals searching for related topics.
4 | Don’t Compare Yourself to Others
Self comparison in the blogging community is a deadly poison that will kill your confidence and ambition. Everyone grows at their own pace depending on their niche, their promotional tactics, and the time invested in their blogs.
For example, blogging lends itself well to those who love to read and write book reviews. Why? People who love to read books tend to enjoy reading reviews about up-and-coming books and are often quite skilled at writing. On the other hand, cosmetics is extremely visual, so fans of beauty-related content tend look to visual-rich platforms like Instagram, YouTube, and Pinterest for inspiration.
While stats are one way to measure success, they aren’t everything. If you focus on making genuine connections and steadily work towards your end goal, you’ll see results.
5 | Have Fun & Make Friends
Last, but certainly not least, blogging should always be fun. If all of a sudden writing makes you feel anxious or depressed, something has gone wrong. Write content that brings you joy, not just content that you think will bring you page views.
On that note, blogging is inherently social. One of my favorite aspects of blogging is the ability to connect with and make genuine friendships with talented and creative individuals across the globe. I look forward to reading what my friends post and am so blessed by their constant encouragements and support. It sounds cheesy, but the blogging community truly is so supportive of one another.
Twitter and the WordPress Reader are two great, free applications that can help you meet and connect with other bloggers. As someone who is naturally shy, leaving comments on others’ posts was terrifying at first. However, after a year of blogging, I am more confident in leaving comments and interacting with others. Sometimes, all it takes is a simple tweet or a word of encouragement to spark a new friendship.
What is the best advice you received as a new blogger? What is something you wish you had known before you started your blog? Please let me know in the comments below.