I couldn't leave the topic of blogging on just pointing out its "ugly truths" without actually giving positive pointers! Being realistic about what I enjoy doing and laying things out on the table to potential blogger is important to me, but so is actually sharing my tips and tricks. I am fortunate enough to have many of you ask me questions about my brand - if I can help one person with starting their blog, my job is complete!
Knowing the good and the bad of the blogosphere is an imperative part of conceptualization, as it fully prepares you for what is within your control. What are others doing that you should recreate with your own twist? What can you learn from their mistakes? Now of course this isn't a one size fits all guide, but merely what I've acquired through the four years of my creative career. Whether you are just starting out (like any blogger who is now at the top of their stardom) or already traveling the world with your entire work crew, here are some tips that could be a gentle reminder or an eye opener.
1. WRITE FOR YOURSELF FIRST
Let's take it back to the time where blogging was considered as a digital journal. Before you are for anyone, you are for yourself. If you don't write for yourself to least to look back on, it'll come off as forceful, which in fact is an aggravating disadvantage. I cannot stress enough how important it is to genuinely enjoy this because of how challenging it becomes. A vast majority of successful bloggers / YouTubers will all tell you that they started this as a hobby that eventually developed into an accidental dream job. So, my first advice to you is to do this for you, write about the things you love, get creative and the rest will eventually follow.
2. BE CONSISTENT
I am currently sighing at how evident my lack of consistency has been in the past several weeks, but I am going to stop dwelling on my multiple hiatuses. A break is necessary in order to refuel but do not get comfortable and take them often, otherwise your subscriber retention will be at an all-time low. Bringing consistency and sticking to a schedule will effortlessly drive traffic to your blog- when people connect with you and know your schedule they come back!
3. GIVE AWAY YOUR KNOWLEDGE
For a very long time, I felt as though keeping all my blogging "secrets" will put me at an advantage but to be truthful, someone has already done it! SHARE, SHARE, SHARE. Showing what equipment you use, where you've purchased your looks or what tips you have for blogging will not hinder your growth but actually help it. No matter what the obstacles are, what is meant for you will be! As they say, "A candles does not lose it light by lighting another candle," so please shine on and share your light!
4. MAKE IT VISUALLY PLEASING
What gravitated you towards my blog? Would you still be reading this post if it weren't visually heavy or pleasing? Well, me either! Having quality images not only bring readers to your blog but also keeps them there. You don't need the most expensive camera to deliver good visualization. Do your research, search for alternatives and see what investments you can make to fit into your budget.
5. CREATE AN EDITORIAL CALENDAR
Generating an editorial on a monthly or weekly basis is an excellent prevention to the constant creative block bloggers face. When you have an outline or a schedule for your posts, you're more prone to committing and being stress free. Print out a calendar and outline some ideas you can potentially manifest- the easy part is jotting down ideas so don't forget to actually follow through with them. Another suggestion that works best for me is compiling a checklist of topics that attracts my target audience and referring back to it when I am not inspired.
6. EFFECTIVELY BRAND YOURSELF
Branding is when someone creates a form of identity to their brand that is recognized any and everywhere. It's what makes you unique among your competitors and brings traffic to your blog. Is your work uniformed across all platforms? Can someone see a photo taken / edited by you and immediately know where it's from? These are the type of questions you'd want to ask yourself to understanding the concept of branding. A way I brand myself on Instagram is by having a cohesive feed that also corresponds with my blog. I also make sure that all profile pictures on all of my platforms are the same – that way people know that it's me!
7. PROOF READ EVERYTHING
I've had the luxury of having an editor, with an English background, for the last three and a half years, but learning to proof read my blog has been such a breeze thanks to her! I like tend to outline my posts, draft them, walk away for several days then review them with a fresh pair of eyes. If you know someone who can gladly proofread your blog-posts, FANTASTIC! But it's truly a no-brainer if you were to try it yourself because for the most part, this is what every blogger does.
8. ENGAGE WITH YOUR AUDIENCE
Keeping your current viewership by interacting with your audience is much more effective than trying to recruit more. Retention is important! Letting your audience know that you hear them by replying or gifting them is the perfect way! Always ask open ended questions, create call to actions, generate giveaways when it's merited- treat your audience like the people they are and not just as numbers.
There are countless of accessible ways to have a successful blog, please do not limit yourself to the above tips! Do your research and follow what works best for you. Most importantly, remember that although having a massive subscription count is great, it is not contingent on the success of your blogging career. I truly hope you learned a few things here and please, if you have any questions feel free to comment below!
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