As a blogger and marketer, I have a unique perspective about how to run a successful blog that will have dedicated readers and will be brand-friendly. Blogger Love is a series dedicated to helping new and seasoned bloggers develop their blog. In today’s post, I’ll be sharing the 5 things I wish I knew before I started blogging.
5 Things I Wish I Knew Before I Started Blogging
1 | There will never be a perfect time to start blogging
How often do we hold ourselves back from trying new things because we are 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. However, I always felt like I was lacking something. I said that I would start when I possessed 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 that there is never a perfect time to start blogging. Our lives will never be perfect. Instead, we have to find the time to go after what we want. Then, we need to pursue our passions without reservation. Ultimately, if we want something badly enough we will make it will happen.
One of the things I wish I knew before I started blogging was that I did’t need anything but my passion and ambition (and maybe coffee).
2 | Stay Organized & Plan Ahead
When I first started blogging, I flew by the seat of my pants. I wrote down blog ideas in my bullet journal. Also, I planned to write posts to coincide with major events or new releases. However, I wasn’t thinking about my blog content as a whole.
I thought that as long as I could pump out 2-3 posts a week, others would find my content and follow me. As a result, my content felt inconsistent and my schedule was disjointed. However, I failed to plan my posts ahead of time. In fact, I’d go through periods where I was posting 2-3 times a week. Then I’d go through lulls where I’d post nothing.
Also, my actual content lacked cohesion. For example, if you were to look back at my old blog post, you’d discover that there are long periods where I seemingly focused on singular topics. For example, there were periods where I only wrote about simple living, smart consumerism, or beauty. As a result, my blog lacked an identity. My inability to plan ahead negatively affected my blog.
One of the things that I wished I knew before I started blogging was the importance of planning ahead of time to running a successful blog. By planning ahead of time, I am more capable of writing, editing, and shooting photos for my posts and Instagram. Moreover, by staying organized, I am capable of bringing balance to my editorial calendar.
Regardless of whether you prefer physical planners or e-planners, staying organized is vital for keeping a consistent blogging presence.
Ready to Take on 2019
3 | Find Your Niche
A question that plagues all bloggers is whether or not you need to stick to a niche. First thing is first, what is a niche? According to Merriam-Webster, a niche is “a specialized market.” 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
We all have content we are ”experts in”
For example, I personally love engaging with content that focuses on beauty, wellness, and marketing. Also, as someone with two marketing degrees, half a decade of work experience, and a ton of experience trying new beauty products, it is easy and enjoyable for me to write about these topics. My passion is clear in the content that I write.
It is easier for me to write about these topics and it is easier for me to find others who share these same passions. I’m able to make a greater impact by blogging about 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.
There are a multitude of things that bloggers can do to positively impact how their blog ranks on an organic search page. Focusing on a niche will help search engines to better understand what your website’s specialty. Strong SEO will make it easier for others to find your posts.
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. In comparison, cosmetics is more visual. Fans of beauty content tend look to visual-rich platforms like Instagram and YouTube for inspiration.
One of the things I wish I knew before I started blogging is that blogging should be internally motivated, and not driven by the desire to ”grow stats.” Stats are one way to measure success. However, 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 writing makes you feel anxious or depressed, something has gone wrong. Write content that brings you joy, not just content that you think will produce page views.
Blogging is inherently social. One of my favorite aspects about blogging is the ability to connect with and make genuine friendships. I look forward to reading what my friends post. I am so blessed by their constant encouragements and support. It sounds cheesy, but the blogging community truly is so supportive of one another.
One of the things I wish I knew before I started blogging was that making friends doesn’t have to be scary. 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.