Believe it or not, my most asked questions over the past couple years were not about fashion or really anything I was writing about. Readers, friends, and family were messaging me about blogging tips. I was receiving about 3-5 messages per week with questions that would take an hour to respond back to. I really wanted to help give them the information they wanted, but the thing is, there are no short answers in the world of blogging. There is no easy way, and there is not a one word answer to how to start a high quality blog. Everyone does things differently, but I was so flattered that my friends were interested in how I chose to do things! I never felt like I was able to fully answer their questions because I felt like I could write a novel on it. I decided to start a blogging tips series for those who are interested. Twice a month I will be writing a post for my new Business of Blogging series. From step by step instructions on how to set up a blog, to how bloggers make money, and more in depth advice, I think this is going to be a really helpful place for those who have ever considered a blog or who are looking to up their blogging game.
Blogging Tips: 10 Things I Learned My First Year of Blogging
The number one tip I can give people is that consistency is key. It is essential in order to keep people coming back. It can be hard to maintain interest and credibility if you post 3 times one week, 1 the next, and then take a break for a week. Set a goal of how many times you want to post each week and try your best to stick to it.
You will hear this over and over and over again from bloggers: Content is King. Everyone and their dog has a blog these days. For real. How are you going to set yourself apart? What makes your blog different, better, or unique? I wanted to be taken serious from the very first day I launched my blog. I started using a professional photographer from day 1, which made a big impact. This is not necessary, but high quality/high res images are a must.
3.Schedule Your Posts
I will go into more detail about my editorial calendar in a later post, but scheduling out your blog posts is a huge game changer. I didn’t start doing right away, but I wish I had. Sit down and schedule out your blog post ideas 2-4 weeks ahead of time. This will make your life so much easier, I promise! Having a plan will allow you to create better content rather than sitting at your computer trying to create a post for the day.
4.Schedule Out Time
Setting time to really knock out some quality blogging makes such a big difference. Originally, I would work on it whenever I had free time. Some weeks I would spend hours and hours, while other weeks I would only open my computer twice the whole week. Many people don’t realize how much work goes into creating a blog, but scheduling out specific times throughout your week to work on it will definitely pay off. Working from home and setting my own hours is a dream! But for me personally it can be easy to have distractions here and there. Now that I have a baby, I recently started leaving the house twice a week to work outside of the home. Leaving all of the distractions and really getting in the zone has made an incredible impact.
5.It Takes Time
It takes time to start gaining readers. It takes time for companies to start collaborating with you. It takes time to start making more money than you are spending. I recently received some questions from a few different people about how long it will take them to start making money if they start a blog. Honestly, there are much easier and faster ways you can make money than by starting a blog. I only recommend starting one if you truly have a love and excitement for it. (Now I’m getting into a whole other topic for another day, but just know that blogging takes time and patience.)
They say that most businesses take two years of hard work to start making a profit. It’s hard to say a specific amount of time that people will start making a profit with a blog because it’s all about how much time and effort you put into it. I know people who have had a blog for two years who have not made a single dollar, and I know people who have had theirs the same amount of time and were able to quit their full time jobs.
6.Don’t Compare Yourself
This is HARD for me. I have blogger friends who started at the same time as me and they have grown so much faster than me. It can be so draining to let yourself get down because you are not where they are at. I can’t tell you how many times I would be feeling very excited about how things were going and then I let comparison kick in. Everyone is different. Everyone has a different voice, a different style, a different look, and a different way of doing things. Just do your thing and don’t let the comparison or numbers game get in your way. “Don’t compare yourself to someone else’s middle.”
7. Always Have a Running List
It doesn’t matter if your list is on your phone or a piece of paper. What matters is that you have some sort of running list for all of your ideas. Ideas pop into my head all the time. From businesses to work with to post ideas, lists are a must. Sometimes you just have to stop what you’re doing and write your ideas down. When I’m in need of inspiration, I visit that list and I am instantly uplifted and ready to rock.
8.Put Yourself Out There
Going to local events and talking about your blog are the obvious ways to put yourself out there. Those are a must, but so is putting yourself out there online. Part of your job as a blogger is to pitch to brands. Don’t wait around wishing for people to find you. Comment on other bloggers content, make blogger friends, email companies, introduce yourself to employees at businesses that might be a good fit for your blog, etc. Follow companies online and interact with them rather than being a silent follower.
9.Google Is Your Best Friend
Don’t know how to do something? Google is your best friend! Seriously. There is so much good information out there. From social media tips to setting up a blog and coding questions, google has helped me more than any one person! There are online courses, webinars, and articles about almost everything.
This one took me a while to learn. Stop waiting. Start small and come up with ways to collaborate with different brands, bloggers, and local businesses. Don’t let the word “no” get you down. Once I let go of my fear of being turned down by people, my business was able to grow so much more. I almost cried the first few times companies told me “No.” Then I realized… thats the worst they can say! Work hard and it will pay off.
I hope you’ve enjoyed todays blogging tips! Stay tuned for more.
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