About 5 minutes ago I looked at my instagram and saw a DM come through from a young girl who wants to start blogging. She complimented me on my own (thank you!) and then asked if I had any tips for a successful blog. In my quest of minimalism and directness, I quickly wrote: consistency | authenticity | quality promotion.
And this ladies and gents is how this post came to be.
Let me preface with this. I do not consider myself a successful blogger by my own measures but from the outside looking in, I guess I am. I consider success and money to coincide in the blogging world and I recognize the flaws in my mode of thinking. It is something I am working on. It takes some time to redirect your thinking so please bear with me.
But for my new bloggers out here, let us focus on the 3 things I believe can lead you to a successful blog.
This is VERY important! Consistency is the heart of blogging. You want readers to see a healthy flow of new content every time they visit but please be aware this does NOT mean posting daily. You can set a pattern of posting every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Or you can maintain a habit of sharing a new post on the same exact day every week. You want to set and deliver on an expectation with your readers. It is crucial for you to stay on track and it is valuable for your readers who want to see your content.
Also evergreen content is always key. Publish and create content that is as relevant today as it could be 10 years from now.
Dictionary.com defines authenticity as follows:
- the quality of being authentic; genuineness
Key word in that being: genuineness. There are many successful bloggers who began when authenticity was not at the forefront. The industry was not as saturated and you could get by with pretty pictures and nothing else. Those days are pretty much over. You have to bring far more to the table and the best way to do so is by being uniquely you! At times, I truly feel as if I didn’t do it right the first time around because I would have liked to make money in the industry but it was more right for me at the time to be transparent and myself over anything else.
I am truly a transparent blogger. What you see/read is what you get with me. I have discussed my mental health issues, I have discussed my suicidal ideations, and I have discussed my life and feelings on subjects ranging from the lack of diversity in the industry to which shoes are my favorite at the moment. I have always kept it real. Where my error lies is in my delivery at times. I made myself less marketable then.
I write this so new bloggers can remember that marketing yourself is the key. Do not lose who you are for the sake of blogging. Refrain from trying to copy others style. Just be yourself and let your OWN personality radiate from each piece of content that you choose to publish. It does not mean taking my route and using your blog as an online journal (unless you want to) but it does mean being true to yourself. If your aspirations are to be a food blogger then learn the heck out of photographing food and then show us the types of food and restaurants that YOU like. Fashion more your thing? Don’t fall victim to buying every single trend if that is not your thing. Stick to showing how YOU put your own twist to the simplest of outfits.
Basically, do something that NO one can do better than you. Be yourself!
Most people get into blogging in order to inspire, motivate, have an identity in the digital space, or to make money. It could even be all four. I began with one and three and now would love all four.
The first thing to do to be successful is to ask yourself the “WHY”. Why is blogging something to pursue? Once you are honest with yourself on the why then you can decide on your promotion or marketing strategy. This is something I failed on but it is never too late to regroup.
Do not be afraid to promote yourself. Yes it can be intimidating and can feel as if you are bragging at times but there are many ways to do it so it is natural and organic.
One of my favorite ways to promote a new post or even my blog in general is by engaging with others on social media. Not fake engagement where you are liking and commenting for the sake of getting it in return but truly expressing your opinions on their content. Because instagram is such a popular platform, I use it as my example.
Person A posts a pair of pants and styles them one way. I like the way they styled it and never thought of it before but know that I styled it a different way on my blog. My comment would be: “I never thought to wear them with xyz. Thats pretty cool. Next time I wear them, Ill try it too. I posted on my blog how I styled it 2 weeks ago if you want to see another option”
Another way to promote is to announce your new blog posts on all your social channels. I find that using a scheduling platform helps with this because who can promote all day long. Even if you are a full time blogger, this is tough to do. My favorite scheduling tool is Buffer. I use it to schedule out twitter and facebook posts for me. I do not only stick to brand spankin’ new posts but I do link to other evergreen content as well.
Having quality content can also be the best promotion itself. Quality images is key. Typically that and the headline are what draw people in. Make sure that your images are not blurry and your content is as error-free as possible. AND learn SEO! If you use WordPress for your blog, I cannot rave enough about Yoast SEO. It takes alot of the work out!!!
The last way to promote yourself involves attending events and talking to people. It can be hard to “work” an event without feeling sleazy but a previous blog post of mine offers tips on how to successfully do it. Always have a business card. I know saying “oh just find me on instagram” can work but I am still a fan of business cards. Instagram’s algorithm is tricky and unreliable so having an actual business card is essential. Yes, people can lose them but most who honestly want to work with you or want to keep your name in their “rolodex” will make sure that it is stored somewhere for access. Having a business card also just shows professionalism. But that is my opinion.
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For my veteran bloggers reading this- do you have tips that you believe are the key to a successful blog? If so, sharing is caring 🙂