It’s 2017. The world is changing, more and more people are building their own platforms and creating a piece of digital space online they can call their own. A new job title has emerged – “blogger.”
These bloggers seem to have “the life”. Basically, they take pretty pictures, write a caption, travel the world and get paid to do it. Right? Wrong. There is far more to blogging and creating a great blog than there appears at the outset.
Not sure if you want to start a blog? Need some help and tips, let’s get going.
Create your strategy
The first thing most people get wrong with their blogs when they start is that they are not specific enough. They shoot too wide. Nobody wants to read about fashion and travel and your night with the in-laws on the same platform. Plus, it is very difficult to write all those posts. Rather try take a more strategic approach to your blog by asking yourself the following questions:
What is most important to you?
Who are you inspired by?
What are you naturally good at?
What do you like about yourself?
What do you want for your future?
These questions will help you think about whether or not a blog is really a good fit for you. It will also help you to distill what is the key motivation behind you starting a blog and what will make you unique. Remember, “A goal without a plan is just a wish.”
Create a mission statement
A mission statement is what your blog will do for others. Without a mission statement your blog will drift. It will be difficult for you to determine which direction you want it to go and why. When you force yourself to sit down and create a mission statement it makes you hone, focus and craft your vision. These things will all make your blog better.
Ask yourself these questions:
What will your blog do for its readers?
What problems will your blog solve?
What expertise can you share?
What are your goals in the next three years?
You need to get tech savvy
Blogs don’t just materialise out of thin air or arrive on the internet by magic. Structuring, changing and updating your blog takes some understanding of how things online work. If this does sound overwhelming (who isn’t overwhelmed by the dark underbelly of code and tech) try not to let it put you off too much. There are lots of good websites to help you here. You will need to persist and learn some new things though.
Select good images
This is where many, many bloggers go wrong. They don’t have quality images to go with their posts. A blurry photo of you from 1995 is not going to win you support. Neither are pages and pages of text without a break. You have to have good photographs if you want to blog successfully. Arrange a photo shoot and learn to use your camera.
Most blogs take over a year to receive traction. People aren’t interested in a flash by night or a rollercoaster of posts. It’s always easy to write well at the beginning of your blogging adventure but keeping it up throughout the following years is not as easy. If you want to be successful, you have to keep to a blogging schedule and make sure you deliver good content often.
Invest into marketing
People won’t just land on your website because you look cute and say clever things. If only. Nope, a blog is a business and you are going to need to invest into marketing in order to see the right kind of people arrive at your site. Put aside a monthly budget for marketing costs and try a few different kinds of online marketing to see what works best for you.
Keep growing your skills
A blogger has to keep getting better. The digital environment is updating and so should you. If your posts aren’t better a year later you need to question why.
Blogging is not for the faint-hearted – however, if you are passionate about what you wish to blog about, hard-working and willing to learn some new skills you will find that your blog is both rewarding and, in time, lucrative.