Last night I helped one of my clients throw their first blogger/influencer event + not only did I love seeing some of my dear blogging friends there, I also had a chance to talk with one that’s very much on the rise. We’ve been buddies for years (she actually used to shop with me at BR before either of us were blogging) and her growth (over the last 2 years especially) has been amazing to watch. She’s an absolute sweetheart, and one thing that I’ve been thankful for is her transparency through it all. She’s given me so much insight on so many things related to blogging (and has even sent over a few brand partnership options along the way) and our conversation last night just got me to thinking about blogging, growth and the paths that we can go down with it.
I’ve done sooooo much research over the years, and although I periodically teach workshops, there are still basic things that I will share on the blog so that anyone that’s looking for information can find it, no matter where they are. Blogging is almost like a sisterhood/secret society. So many people are apart of it, but because so many literally stumble into success, getting legit tips on the things that matter (figuring out content for your niche, monetization, etc.) is hard as hell (unless you’re lucky enough to have friends in the industry who share). The more I learn, the more I share, so I wanted to share 6 things I wish I knew when I started blogging:
Be Clear About Your Content
If you’re just doing it as a hobby and have 0 plans to do anything with your blog, skip this, but if you’re using your blog as part of a bigger picture (whether for it to become a full-time job or to serve as a resume/portfolio of sorts) go in knowing exactly what you want to blog about. Saying that you want to blog about fashion/beauty/lifestyle is one thing, but be a little more specific with your approach. This will help you when it comes to writer’s block and creating content.
Consistency Is EVERYTHING
Even if you have mediocre content, if you consistently post to your blog, readers will come. It doesn’t matter if it’s one or five times a week, you need to be consistent. Every single (successful) blogger that I’ve studied over the years has been consistent with posting their content-that is the common thread. Learn to batch process tasks and schedule out your content so that even if you’re mentally drained for NEW ideas, your website will still be active and your readership won’t drop. It is a struggle for sure but I can speak from personal experience that it makes AAAAAAAAAAAALL the difference in the world. When I’m on top of my game and consistent with my efforts, I see results. When I’m all over the place or take a break without preparing for it, it’s hell getting it all back on track. Have a plan in place so that you can avoid this.
Capture Those Emails
For years I never cared about people subscribing to my blog but now, I’m always thinking about it (Seriously, have you subscribed to mine??? Click here if not). Why? Subscribers are your tribe. They’re the readers that are so invested in your blog that they want to make sure they never miss a post. Whether you’re sending out an RSS feed or a weekly/biweekly newsletter, take time to work on capturing emails. Having a good list will help you if you decide to create and sell a product/service down the line and also with monetization (multiple options including affiliate linking, sponsored content, even branded newsletter takeovers). We focus a lot on our Social Media following, but if all of those platforms leave, you’ll still stay connected to your tribe if you’ve been building up your mailing list.
Have A Media Kit Ready
Even if you only have 10 readers and 20 followers across your social media platforms, get your media kit together. Most brands won’t reach out to you until you hit the 6-12 month mark (they like to see consistency) BUT, you want to be ready when they do. If you create your media kit template in the beginning, the only thing you’ll have to do is update the numbers when the time comes. Trust me, you don’t want to be scrambling trying to do this when they finally reach out to you.
Blogging Is About More Than Just Writing
I love having my own little corner on the internet. I can write about whatever I want, so it’s the perfect little creative outlet. However, being that I use it for so much more than that, I can’t rely on writing alone for growth. Being successful at blogging means knowing basics about (digital) advertising, marketing, PR, graphic + web design, photography, SEO, networking, project management and more. A LOT goes into blogging, and when you want to grow, there are small tasks that you have to do everyday within those areas to help you propel forward. It’s fun, but it’s WORK.
Evergreen Content x Unique Voice = Killer Blog
Why do you want people to read your blog? Do you want them to be inspired? Do you want to help them solve a problem? What are you offering that will set your content apart from others? The answer is easy: YOU. People come to your blog because they want to know YOUR thoughts on certain subjects. They want to see certain styles and designs through YOUR eyes. When you’re developing content, even if it’s just simple OOTD posts, they like seeing how you styled a new trend or remixed something in your wardrobe. Always use your unique voice and avoid copying as much as possible. Yes, you will be inspired (marbled backgrounds for flatlays anyone?), but try to share your ideas in a way that is unique and fresh. People will always want tips on how to style graphic tees, how to eat healthy when traveling, or how to decorate an apt on budget, but HOW you present it to them is what will keep them coming back for more.
More posts to help you with blogging:
What You Really Need To Know To Start A Blog
Blog Post Ideas When You Have Writer’s Block
Rethinking Your Blogging Strategy
3 Things You Must Master For Blogging Success
Planning Your Blog’s Growth Strategy (+ FREE DOWNLOAD)