I may not have been blogging for years, but long enough to wish I could rewind and tell myself a few things before I got started. Whether you are a blogging expert, just starting out or perhaps still in the consideration phase, I hope you find the following 5 topics helpful.
1. It Takes Time
I knew blogging would take time, but I had no idea that making it consistent and of the quality that I wanted meant I would spend between 2-4 hours to write, organize and prepare a single post. When you post 5 days a week, all of a sudden this new activity becomes one of both the most important and time consuming things you do. I now know I have to set aside time to do it, whether that means in the middle of the day or a late night. My advice to beginners would be to start lower, don’t come out of the gate expecting content 5 days a week. Plan ahead, write in advance, and take amazing pictures to compliment your post. Edit, edit again, schedule your post and share it.
2. People Don’t Notice Unless You Make Them
Blogs, as much as we would like them to be, are not Noah’s Ark. You can’t build it and expect a line two by two to be out the door. You have to invite people over, invite them in and give them a reason to stay. Writing and preparing good quality content takes time, but sharing it on social media in all the appropriate ways can take just as much time. Days I spend 15-minutes promoting instead of an hour or two can easily cut my traffic in half. And it doesn’t stop online. I make sure at every opportunity to mention my blog to new people I meet such as at networking events and in my social circles. Promoting doesn’t have to be in the typical ways. Just posting the title and a link to Facebook is likely going to get you nowhere anytime soon. You have to get personal, be helpful and offer value. Try these tips for Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest. Or perhaps you just need to know how the heck to use a hashtag.
3. You Have to Be Yourself
It is so tempting to just look at the popular blogs and do our best to mimic the content we are attracted to. But being anyone else or focusing too hard on being something you think you ought to be just wears you out. Not to mention you come across a little too shut off. The moment you can be more transparent and put a little more you in your business, people will take notice. Not sure where to start? Try these practical tips in 5 Common Sense Ways to Live Your Brand. Or follow these 10 simple life commandments in Putting More “You” in Your Business.
4. Strategically Post
When I started my blog I had grand plans to make my content all over the board. I wanted to talk about business, marketing, design, my home remodel, DIY crafts and the list went on for days. After a week or two of random, I knew I needed to focus on creating content that attracted my ideal client. I needed to be insightful and helpful to small business owners. It was funny how the content I knew I needed more of was the content that naturally shined, got higher view ratings and would continue to have traffic come back days, weeks and even months after I had written and posted it. Creating content that is strategic and posting it in a way so it builds credibility for you and your business is hands down the best approach.
5. It Will Open Doors
Several people have questioned why I pour so much time and energy into my blog. It isn’t generating cash for my business and I have no plans to monetize that portion of my business anytime soon, so why do I just keep giving away ways for small businesses to grow, simplify their social media and enjoy life? Well first and foremost I do it because I enjoy helping people. And my mentality everyday is that if it helps just one person, I have done my job. I have gotten countless comments that have not only brightened my day, but give me a reason to keep doing what I am doing. I mean how can you not keep going when you get comments like “your business savvy + creativity is endless.”
I started blogging as a traffic driver to my website and to make more people aware of my design and marketing services. But what I didn't realize at first is that blogging can open doors to partnerships and exciting business opportunities you never thought possible. Keep creating and be amazed by the possibilities that come your way.
For all of you seasoned bloggers, what do you wish you had known when you first started blogging? And for those of you who are just starting or are hoping to start a blog, what helpful topics would you like to read more about?