So, I’ve been blogging for more than three years now, and that’s not counting the two years I blogged in 2007. That’s given me PLENTY of time to learn from my mistakes and collect a few blogging tips along the way.
I didn’t think it was possible to make money from blogging when I first started. I slowly learned what sponsorships were, how ads functioned, and where ads came into my content.
While those things are all well and good, they’re not the reason I blog. I blog to have FREEDOM. I want to be able to work from a beach or my apartment at any point in time.
To have that freedom, though, one must make money. And this is something that was a steep learning curve for me: running a business! It took me a while to truly learn that my blog was a business, and I’m an entrepreneur!
Part of being an entrepreneur is learning from your mistakes and working through the failures. The beauty of being in an industry that has existed for over a decade is that I also have an opportunity to learn from other’s failures and successes.
I want to share a few successes and failures with you here to help you in your blogging growth!
Before I get into my points, I want you to start using the free resource library along with my posts. It’s growing by the week, so make sure to grab your password and start doing the worksheets! If you’re anything like me, you want prompts and find it helpful to have a guiding hand when fleshing your blog out. That’s essentially why the worksheets exist. 🙂 Also, there’s a new guide there that goes along with the SEO pointer in this article.
My biggest blogging tips:
1. BUILD A COMMUNITY
Don’t ignore your commenters! Make sure you respond thoughtfully and engage with your community. Be thoughtful with your comments and go ahead and respond to comments on your visitor’s blog pages! It not only shows them that you appreciate their interaction, but it develops a great friendship and a sense of community.
Eventually, it might be a bit difficult to respond to every single comment. But until then, make your best effort with it and have fun building friendships!
2. USE BLOGGING RESOURCES AND TOOLS
Don’t try to do everything yourself! Your best best is using scheduling tools for you Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and Facebook posts. There are way too many accounts to run for one person, and unless you’ve learned how to outsource or have staff, your best bet is to invest in some tools to take over those mundane tasks. Remember to switch up the wording for each scheduled post if you’re re-using content!
Some of my favorites:
- BufferApp: Schedule and optimize best posting time for multiple social media accounts.
- HootSuite*: Manage all social media accounts from one dashboard.
- CoSchedule: Plans EVERYTHING from your blog posts to your marketing and your social media. I personally use this and LOVE the way the editorial calendar directly integrates with WordPress. They have a built in headline analyzer and a complete system for social media scheduling from the post screen.
- PostPlanner*: Not only schedules but OPTIMIZES your scheduled content for maximum engagement!
- SocialPilot*: Allows planning, collaboration, and scheduling along with suggestions for which content to share.
3. LEARN YOUR VOICE
You need to speak to people as if you’re having a conversation in real life! Try recording a few blog posts before writing them and start talking as if you were describing the topic of choice to a close friend. It’s so much more relatable and easier to read! You’re not in school, and you’re not writing a dissertation, so treat your audience like your peers and friends, not like a scholarly peanut gallery. 🙂
4. GET A FANTASTIC THEME
When you have a theme you know like the back of your hand (although, I’m not sure how well I know the back of my hand) your life becomes a thousand times easier! Get something streamlined and uncluttered that you can change up if you need to without having to enroll a whole team of developers and designers. I’ve had my theme for three years now, and I’m not even close to thinking of changing it. It has a TON of different possibilities, and I can make it look very different on a whim if I wanted to- this is what you need to have in your life too.
5. KEEP YOURSELF UPDATED
When your YouTube channel is your first name and your Instagram is your blog name, and your Twitter account is your dog’s name, things get confusing real fast. Keep everything the same to make things easier for your audience. Also, make sure to keep all your “about” and description blurbs updated! You don’t want to seem like you never check your social media profiles. Also, it’s confusing when your FB page has your honeymoon pics and your IG description still has a “bride to be” in it.
6. LEARN A BIT ABOUT SEO
I’ve been using Yoast SEO plug-in for a while now, and learning the ins and outs of SEO is NOT fun. Like, I totally believe someone out there really likes doing this stuff, but it’s just not me. It’s a total timesuck, but OMG it has to be done. 🙁 So, make life easier by doing the Yoast thing first. Second, learn a bit about how keywords work. There’s a brand spanking new tutorial in the blogger resources section about how to use Google Adwords Keyword tool and how it’ll boost your SEO, so head on over and start using it!
What are some of your biggest blogging lessons that you’ve learned so far?
PS. Want you to know that * denotes affiliate links!