This is for everyone who has decided to take the jump and join the blogging train. Congratulations! Now that they've decided to turn your passion for writing into a potentially very rewarding writing career, it may seem a little overwhelming and they may not know where to begin. First thing’s first, do they know what they want to write about and what people are interested in reading? Before they just start writing, it’s important to ask themselves if they would read the content they are creating. Most importantly, the bigger question is, would they share this with their friends and family? If they’ve answered yes to both of these questions then they are ready to begin writing content for their future blog.
Of course there is more to blogging than simply writing blogs. Bloggers are going to be the face of their company, the CEO, the marketing manager, the accountant, the secretary, the full time employee, the photographer, the IT tech and even the janitor at the end of a very productive day. While this may all sound a little nerve racking, we are sharing 20 ways to ensure everyone's blog can succeed in 2018.
20 start a blogging plan
There are many things that happen when you first decide to start a blog. First, you need to find yourself a stellar name and then you need to create a logo. Then, finding a hosting site that your blog will call home is another adventure in itself. But, first thing’s first: the blog. Once you decide that you want to turn your writing passion into a full-time hobby or job, begin playing with the idea of building a website or having someone build it for you. Afterwards, you’ll want to get caught up on the 411 of social media and the impact it has on your blog. However, the most important aspect of starting a blog is knowing what you want to write about. Having a consistent topic helps readers know what they will be looking for on your blog.
19 get a great camera
The next step in ensuring you have a unique blog is to make sure that your images capture your audience. Each picture must attract potential viewers into clicking on your link or swiping up, and landing on your blog. Though taking pictures with your trusted phone and using the limited free filters may sometimes do the trick, it is best to invest your money into a good solid camera that will hold the countless objects and people you will be snapping on a daily basis. Cameras are expensive, but they are definitely worth the money. Nowadays, cameras hold an unlimited amount of pictures, but also possess the ability to use Wi-Fi and send your images automatically to your desktop or laptop, and some can also print!
18 pick a stellar name
While some may believe that finding a blog name is the first thing you need to do once you’ve decided you want to begin blogging, a name can actually take time to come up with. The name of your blog is going to last forever and it’s going to be the name of your business, whether it begins as a part-time hobby or a full-time employment. Thankfully, the delay in views from the time you begin to the time readers start to read your work allows you to either delay picking your blog name or changing it without it causing a ripple effect on your audience.
17 select a picture filter to have a consistent look to your social platforms
Today’s trend calls for a consistent look for your brand, which means deciding on a color palette that will attract your future readers’ eyes and bring them in to follow, like and share. And while some bloggers may not believe in the importance of having a similar look to all the images, having a color palette is part of branding. It also gives your feed a professional look, and it can still be fun if you choose the right colors. For example, for an undergarments company, the standard color palette might be pinks and blush, or black and white. Luckily for bloggers, the color palette doesn’t define your brand forever. In fact, it is best to change your color scheme every season, filters included!
16 write enough content before going live, then write daily scheduled posts
Once you decide you’re going to start blogging and you’ve created your website, you will now need to make a long and thoughtful decision on what you’d like your blog to discuss. Is it food or fashion, trending makeup styles or this year’s most raved about vehicles? Whatever it is, once you’ve decided on an industry and are comfortable that you can write about it on a daily basis, then you’ve got the green light to start blogging. Before you launch your blog, it is best to write a solid number of blogs in order to allow your readers to explore your blog, reading different articles without having to wait until the following day for the new content.
15 engage with followers and other social media users
Attracting readers to your blog may be an easier task than having a reader follow you on social media. Although that last statement may sound ridiculous, it is a fact. Potential readers have the option of finding your blogs on a number of different social media platforms and blog sharing applications, and while they may like your social media posts, it does take a lot for readers to decide to add you to their regular entertainment for their social media feed. The best thing a new blogger can do to help grow their social media followers is to engage in conversation on other social accounts.
14 marketing is key
No one is going to market a brand if they don’t know about it, and the only way to get the word out is by marketing. While marketing does include social media, the social media train is quickly evolving and turning into its own industry. Nowadays, attending social events wearing your brand or providing a service for a networking event can make a huge difference. In addition to the social scene, discussing your blog on public forums and having friends and family share your blog with their friends and families can increase your follower base.
13 learn about SEO and keywords
This may sound like a foreign language right now, and it may always sound like one, for that matter, but in order to have your blog excel, learning about SEO and keywords for your blog is essential. SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, will allow your blog to appear on popular websites such as Google, Yahoo and Bing. There are three ways SEO works: natural, organic and earned. As for keywords, these are words that you enter on search engines, such as Google. Some examples are “food blog," "dinner recipes,” etc.
12 attend workshops and blogger networking events
Pretty much every day all around the city and even online, there is a workshop happening nearby. These workshops are offered either for free or for a small fee, though some may be a couple of dollars if it includes a breakfast, lunch or large networking gala. Regardless of how much you pay, attending these workshops will allow you to become a true blogger that knows the backend of how to succeed in the online world. In addition to workshops, PR firms tend to throw major networking parties, which is a great way to promote your brand to other bloggers or content creators. You never know who you can collaborate with!
11 Take captivating content images and a great profile pic
In the digital world, everything is about creating images that capture the reader's eye, followed by an appealing feed, blog name and profile picture. That’s why it’s essential to have a great quality camera and even take a class or two in photography. Above all, your next potential follower will want to see who’s writing, so they can put a face to a name. However, when taking a profile picture, it’s important to remember what your industry of choice is. Food bloggers, take an action shot of yourself whipping up a delicious sponge cake or baking a pomegranate salmon, while fashion bloggers should be wearing their brand or featuring their best clothes.
10 Learn what readers want to know and read to keep them coming back
There’s no point in spending hours a day writing content, taking pictures and posting them, and then promoting your blog if the interest is not there. Yes, there might be an interest in something, but bloggers have to narrow down their audience when they have a niche market. Roughly six months after you’ve officially launched your blog to the online community, take a poll and ask your viewers what they want to see added to your blog. For example, food bloggers can ask their followers if they’d enjoy adding beverages or a vegan option to their recipe feed.
9 Grow your social platforms on a daily basis
Watching the number of followers on your social media platforms increase is absolutely addictive. It becomes a true obsession to reach 1000, then 10,000, then 100,000, and so on. It may even break your heart to see that you’ve lost 23 followers in the last hour. But, there are plenty of fish in the sea and growing your social platforms will always be a struggle. Make sure to be consistent with your posts, aim to post during peak hours, and engage with your audience. If you have something to give away, a monthly giveaway may be a great incentive for users to follow your accounts.
8 Don't be shy to put yourself as "front and center"
If you’ve always been a shy, behind-the-scene kind of person, then you will need to read this section slowly. When you decide to run a blog, you’ve now become a content creator, photographer, accountant, supervisor and manager, HR manager, and most importantly, a CEO. You are the face of your brand and your audience will want to see that. However, this doesn’t solely affect your followers and supporters, but it also affects your collaborations with influencers and other brands. You must reach out to followers and also hold your head up high to have a video conference call with a potential brand ambassador.
7 Understand what the numbers are telling you
So you have fantastic content and pictures that make any content creator envious of your work, but do you understand how your blog works and how it reads how many visitors were directed to your page either organically, from sponsored ads or through a social platform? If you want to simply write for fun, then this may not be for you. However, if you dream of being the next it blogger that gets asked to speak at keynote conferences, then this is something that you should take the time to learn. The numbers speak to you and it shows you what your readers are interested in.
6 Learning about Adobe products is always a plus
There will come a time where you will need to include graphics in your social media posts or even blog posts. And, while it’s possible to hire a freelance graphic artist to do your work (and some do it for really cheap), if you’re going to blog long-term, it’s best to learn how to do these things for yourself. The graphics you will design will be implemented in weekly newsletters, online sales or new arrivals, social media (especially stories and live feeds) or whenever you don’t get the perfect camera shot.
5 Don't underestimate the power of ALL social platforms, even if you don't use them personally
This one may sound like a no-brainer, but bloggers often reduce their online presence in half because they’re not familiar with a certain social platform. It’s best for a blogger to learn the different functions and demographics of each social platform, such as LinkedIn for all business viewers, Pinterest for the more crafty ones, Instagram for millennials, and so on. Once you’ve registered an account for every social platform, it will look like an overwhelming amount of screen time. But, luckily there are social calendars that can automatically schedule your posts for you.
4 Stay up to date on upcoming trends
Trends are the most important part of a blogger’s job. They decide what viewers are looking to read and watch online. Trends decide what the world will be wearing for the upcoming fall seasons, what foodies will be indulging in (no one will forget the pickle trend), and what color everyone's home decorations will be. And while you may have liked Jennifer Lopez’s 2013 fashion faux pas, others totally did not and they don’t want to be forced to read about it on your blog.
3 Wake up and be your brand (wear it out in public)
You are the face of your brand and when the next networking or community social event happens, you want to bring your company to life and represent it in front of everyone in attendance. This is especially the case with fashion bloggers, as events are the perfect way to promote your brand by walking in your own creations. Of course, bloggers should always have a business card on them to exchange with other bloggers and influencers that you are interested in doing future collaborations with.
2 If you have the extra few bucks, run an ad
Let’s face it; there’s only so much you can do on your social media accounts to promote yourself in a day. Even though you may feel like you can afford to miss tonight’s sleep to continue working (because you’re that passionate about it, you’d be willing to give up precious sleep), there will come a point where you’d prefer to run an ad. Relax, a sponsored ad isn’t as expensive as you initially thought. In fact, Facebook offers users to run a sponsored ad for as little as $1 a day to reach over a thousand people. Take some time to explore your ad options, as this is a great way to promote your blog and attract new followers.
1 It may takes years, but you can succeed
It may look overwhelming at first, and there will without a doubt come a time where you will think no one is reading and you’ll want to close your blog. Stop. Take a breath. Someone is reading and all good things come to those who wait and work hard. Wake up, grind, hustle, and repeat. That should be your new mantra. With hard work comes results, which means a nice fat paycheck at the end. You’re on your way to becoming your own boss and the reality of blogging is closer than you think.