When I began my lifestyle blog in January 2013, I wasn’t quite sure what I was getting into. I just knew that I wanted to create written content. However, I vowed to learn as much as I could about the process and soak up all of the knowledge available to me. I’ll let you in on a little secret–bloggers love to post about the pros and cons of blogging. Therefore, I had a ton of intel at my fingertips. I have grown exponentially in the last 8 years. Here are some of the blogging lessons that I have learned.
Make Social Media Your BFF
You created a blog site and it’s live. Congratulations! Now, where are all of the readers? Just because you built it doesn’t mean they will come. You must promote and market your blog to the masses. Often. Statistics show that there are over 600 million blogs in the world currently and 4,800 posts are published every minute. I don’t cite those figures to scare you. I cite them to inform you of the vast competition out there. Create buzz about your blog through social media channels. It is the easiest and quickest way to share your content on a large scale.
When Pinterest came on the scene around 2010, you had to be invited by a current subscriber to use it. That’s how I was introduced to it. A former co-worker of mine that I often swapped recipes with sent me an invitation. Little did I know then, it would become the biggest referrer of traffic to my blog years later. Initially, I couldn’t grasp how fellow bloggers were using Pinterest to promote their posts. Then, a light bulb went on in my head. Got images? Yes, lots! Pin an image that relates to your post and link it to the post’s URL. Even if the image only consists of a title that you created on a colorful background with design software. The images on my blog are equipped with a Pinterest icon so readers can easily pin them to their own boards. With 1.3k Pinterest followers, I average 40k views monthly for my boards.
I recently celebrated my 8-year Twitterversary. That’s when I began using the wildly popular social media channel. Right after I created my blog. I didn’t have a clue about who was seeing my tweets or not. Up until that time, all I knew about Twitter was that celebrities and public figures were putting out snippets of text to voice their opinion or cause. And that was when you were restricted to 140 characters. Again, I couldn’t grasp how fellow bloggers were using Twitter to promote their posts. Another light bulb went on in my head. Share your URLs. Simply type up the title of your post, add its URL, and an applicable hashtag or two if it fits. My WordPress platform is customized to automatically tweet every post that I publish. With approximately 2700 Twitter followers, I am able to promote my content and socialize with interested readers.
Toot Your Own Horn
I knew early on that I wanted to monetize my blog. However, I was intimidated by applications for paying opportunities. I assumed that I would be rejected because I was new and my following was low. Everywhere I looked I saw impressive media kits and portfolios of experienced bloggers with jaw-dropping stats. Then, I came across tutorial posts from newbies who didn’t let that stand in their way. I made a list of content that I had created during my pre-blog days along with my education and skills. I realized that I did have something to show off. The internet is filled with various media kit templates that will help you get started. There are also many brands actively seeking nano and micro-influencers to promote their products and services.
Always Choose Quality Over Quantity
My early blog posts were mostly personal ramblings as I struggled to produce something on a consistent basis. Although I think it’s okay to include your personal experiences in your content, most readers will not care about it as much as you do. And you should tread lightly regarding what you share. Each time you draft a post, ask yourself, “Who does this benefit? Does this post inform, assist, inspire, or entertain readers?” Several years passed before I learned this lesson. I was stuck on writing as many posts as I could to stay relevant. However, that only led to since-deleted content and lots of fluff. I am still a work in progress as I continue to tweak tags, categories, and featured images. But today, I am better equipped and more confident in what I produce and share. It has opened doors to lucrative opportunities and engaging campaigns that I once thought were beyond my reach.