December 10: Blogger Knowledge from an “Expert.”
“Opportunities don’t happen, you create them.” -Chris Grosser
“Too often, feeling intimidated becomes our excuse not to be awesome.” -Scott Stratten
“Don’t settle: Don’t finish crappy books. If you don’t like the menu, leave the restaurant. If you’re not on the right path get off it.” -Chris Brogan
“Success is normally found in a pile of mistakes” -Tim Fargo
Are you ready?
I am about to bestow upon you a massive amount of knowledge. “Expert” style. Hahaha. Excuse me while I laugh at myself. Honestly, it was hard for me to sit down and begin this topic. I only started blogging back in August of this year, so I felt intimidated by the question. What is my best blogging advice? How, after only 4 months, am I qualified to answer that question? So I did what a lot of writers do when they feel stuck on a topic. I changed my perspective. I have accomplished way more in 4 months than I ever thought possible. However, I have learned a lot and made some mistakes. So I will share with you the good, the bad, and the sloppy. 🙂 If nothing else maybe you can learn from the mistakes I made, and then you won’t have to make them yourself. ❤
You have to make time for your blog. It is essential to get quality content out on a regular basis. On days that I am lucky enough to have two posts, sometimes I see almost triple the views as on a day that I only post once. I decided to really commit. Just like carving out time to play with my kids is important, so are my quiet time and blogging time. You have to make the choice of how much you want to put into it. I promise you, blogging is the perfect example of “you get what you put in.” If all you want is a blog to update your family on what is going on with you then that is totally fine. It all depends on what you want to get out of blogging. If you want a following and want to monetize then you have to put in a lot of hard work, and hard work takes TIME.
Decide End Goal
I understand that your end goals will more than likely change as you go along, and that is fine. For example, my blog that I started 6 years ago was completely for me. I started that blog just to be able to write and deal with what life was throwing at me. This time around when I started in August, I had a different goal in mind. I wanted to be able to write and be able to have a positive stress relief in my life, but I also knew that I wanted to eventually try to monetize my blog and maybe get into doing some reviews. Currently, I am a stay at home mom and I really want to be able to support my family financially, eventually. If you kind of know ahead of time what your goal is it makes it a lot easier for you to make certain decisions. For example, self-hosted or not self-hosted. Being self-hosted is a lot easier if you want to monetize your blog. Blogging is definitely fluid. Once you begin to learn, your blog will probably morph into something completely different. Your blog will grow with you if you continue to put time and effort into it.
Use Social Media Like Your Blog Depends On It (Because It Does) 😉
Social media really does drive traffic to your blog. Plus, I have met some really amazing fellow bloggers that have helped me along the way. It is nice to be reminded that you are not alone and someone is probably dealing with the same thing or has already dealt with the situation you are in and can help advise you on the steps to take. Figure out how to use Pinterest. It can REALLY drive traffic to your blog. Also, take advantage of blogging groups on Facebook. I have lost count on how many times those groups (and the wonderful people in them) have helped bail me out and inspired me to keep going. Do your research. There is a lot of information out there on how to utilize social media to your best interest.
Start Building Your Email List ASAP
I am honestly kicking myself for this one. I wish that I had utilized an email subscribe popup when I FIRST started my blog. However, I just assumed people would “follow” me and that would be good enough. Sadly that was not the case. You aren’t given their email when they follow you. So after 4 months of blogging, close to 200 followers, I only have 19 email subscribers. 😦 I started using MailChimp. I love it. So easy to use. So many templates. I started doing a weekly newsletter and it has helped increase my daily views, so I know without a doubt that if I had a larger email list that it would only be even better. So I urge you to start that NOW.
Honestly, I am still learning as I go and I know that I have A LOT left to learn.
Last few tidbits:
Connect. Connect. Connect.
Have fun!! 🙂
“For unto us a child is born, unto us, a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.” Isaiah 9:6