In my 8.5 years of blogging, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been asked about how I got into it. Blogging is still a relatively new industry, and with the rise of influencer marketing and the ability to monetize your site, more and more people are interested in “getting into it”. There are a ton of posts out there about how to set up a blog (I even have one that gives tips on content creation as well), but I get asked a lot about going to meetups, working with brands, and more, and there isn’t a lot of info out there about it. The tips I’m going to share are realistic and not that hard to do, BUT, I have to add in a disclaimer:
if you’re trying to get into blogging strictly to make money and get free stuff, you’re going to be disappointed.
Your content, whether it’s shared through your blog or through your Instagram account, has to provide value of some sort in order for that to be a possibility. Your number one goal with blogging (if you’re trying to use your platform for more than just a personal outlet of expression) is to be aspirational, inspirational, or help solve a problem. If your content doesn’t have any value, very few people are going to care. Know your WHY. If you don’t have a good reason for blogging, you won’t be able to stick with it very long, but if you do know your why, when you implement the tips below, you’ll start to see some traction as you try to get into the blogging community.
Start your blog (and be consistent)
I know that seems like a Captain Obvious statement, but so many people ask the question about working with brands or going to meetups and they actually haven’t started their blogs. That’s… not how any of this works, lol. You have to actually blog in order to be a blogger. Decide what niche you want to be in and get to writing! Some people can come straight out the gate consistently creating content, but for most, it takes a few months to get into a blogging groove. You will never have a perfect moment, so just start. You can always change your layout and things like that later, so work on your content (and give yourself at least 6 months of CONSISTENT blogging before you even start trying to reach out to people). If you haven’t bothered to put in the work, no one is going to take you seriously, and there’s really no nice way to say it.
Use hashtags related to your niche (and location) on IG to connect
If you’re sharing your blog content on IG, make sure you’re using certain hashtags so that you can be found. For example, if you’re based in Memphis, make sure you’re using #memphisblogger on relevant posts. You can also use this hashtag to find other bloggers in your area. If you aren’t already friends with people that blog, research and reach out. DON’T do the “pick your brain thing” when you reach out: most people hate that because the conversations are usually one-sided (someone is trying to get something from the you); if you’ve come across a blogger near you whose content you genuinely like, just start following or engage with them regularly. Introduce yourself if needed, but don’t be creepy or act like an opportunist. The point of it all is to build community, but if you approach it like you’re just trying to “get in”, your efforts will fall flat. Just act normal and you’ll be fine, lol.
Join Facebook Groups
Facebook can be annoying, BUT it can be helpful with a few things. Look for blogging groups based on your niche and location. The reason I say niche is because general blogging groups can be too broad and it will be harder to find bloggers that you would actually connect with. Many times, blogger meetups and events are posted in these groups as well, so being a part of one can help you meet other bloggers and keep you in the loop.
Cover events and fun things when you go out
So this tip is one of the main reasons why I’m able to get invites to a lot of events. I love sharing what’s going on in the city, so if a store I shopped in or thought was super cute was having an event, I would go to the event, introduce myself to the owner/manager while I was there and share the details on my blog later (this was before insta-stories, although I still do it on the blog if I’m able to get good pics and/or have a great time). I also made sure to let the business know about the blog post in hopes they’d share it (and they usually did). You have to keep in mind that you’re new to the industry, and for most businesses, their only concern is the return that they will get from hosting an event, and they send out invitations based around that. Now, this doesn’t mean act like a maniac and write a blog post about every single thing you do, but if it’s a business, brand or even restaurant that you think your readers might be interested in, blog about it. Again, you have to provide value with your content in order for people to want to work with you.
Be social and friendly (it goes a long way)
No seriously. BE NICE. A LOT of bloggers are socially awkward and some are even borderline rude, and believe it or not, you could have amazing content but it will stop a lot of bloggers and businesses from wanting to be around you. We’re not saving lives, people. Blogging is supposed to be fun, so relax and be nice when you go out. This will allow you to build real relationships with people, so that when opportunities come around to go to (or heck, host!) events, people will remember you and ask you to be a part of things. It’s not about being fake or in a clique, it’s about being pleasant to be around. Nobody wants to hang with a jerk,.
I know these seem really simple, but you would be surprised how many bloggers DON’T implement them naturally. Every single blogger that I know that’s been able to connect with other bloggers and eventually start working with businesses and brands subscribe to these 5 tips, even if they don’t have huge followings. You still want to have good photos, but this is the secret sauce. Each tip is connected to the next and allow for natural progression; blogging is about building community, and these easy tips will help you do it authentically in no time.