This week, we're thrilled to be sharing advice & insights for beginner bloggers, thanks to Brittany Grace of Not Another Blonde! Brittany's blog is filled with useful posts in the realm of style, DIY, health, travel, and personal-development, plus a slew of helpful posts for making money as a blogger. (Make sure toread more from Brittany after checking out this special guest post!).
When I was asked to write this post I thought, 'Ok, no problem this is right up my alley!'. Then as time went on I began to really think and formulate a cohesive, sort of, "how-to start a blog and persevere no matter what," post.
There's so much to learn and it can definitely get overwhelming--which is why I wrote an eGuide, to put you ahead of your competition and prevent you from making the same mistakes I did (more on that later in this post). In the meantime, here are some tips to get you started!
Best Blog Building Platforms
This is totally personal preference but I, along with the majority of bloggers, prefer Wordpress.org. This is a self-hosted site that you must have a registered domain for in order to use it. If you're blogging on a budget, which even the best bloggers have done, you can opt for Blogger, Tumblr, or Wordpress.com. Honestly, nothing compares to Wordpress.org, you can do the most and have so many great resources all within the CMS, (content management system).
Ever heard the expression "content is king"? Well, that couldn't be more true when it comes to blogging. Content IS king. The blogging market is so saturated that it's hard, but not impossible, to stand out. You need to find your voice, which comes with time, and stay true to YOU. Don't just do something because everyone else is doing it.
If you read, write about it. If you're an informal speaker, become an informal writer. If your main focus is shoes, write only about shoes. The key to success as a blogger is becoming a master at ONE thing. The more specific your blog, the more likely you are to dominate the market.
Now you're writing killer content, but not sure if anyone's reading it. Easy. If you're registered with Wordpress.org there's a "plugin" called Google Analytics by Yoast. This will tell you how many pageviews you receive, where they're coming from, and for how long someone visits your page right from your Wordpress dashboard.
You can use this tool to your advantage by keeping track of what posts bring the most traffic and what don't.
Gaining a Loyal Readership
This is definitely trickier than the rest. It doesn't take much to get a bunch of people to like and comment on your Instagram photos, the tricky part is when you're trying to transition those likes into loyal readers. An easy way to crack the code is by doing the following:
Think of the bloggers you habitually follow and check for updates on their blog(s). What keeps you coming back for more? The photography? The writing? The acute attention to detail? How the person engages with readers?
I personally follow blogs that hit all of those key notes in different ways. I follow The Skinny Confidential because what she talks about inspires me and she ALWAYS answers her fans. I follow Fashionlush because her style is affordable. I follow WeWoreWhat because her style is impeccable and I like to live vicariously through her. You get the picture.
Other tricks of the trade:
Engage with any and all readers/commenters
Write genuine comments, not general like "Cute dress!"
Start an email list by giving something away (book, advice, cheat sheet, etc.)
Guest post and host guest posts on your blog
Balancing & Growing Your Side Hustle
Only 4% of bloggers actually make a living from their blog. Scary, but not impossible. The reason why many fail is because they give up right before they're about to catch their "big break". Many things in life are 80% mental, 20% physical or actionable, blogging is no different.
When you're balancing a side hustle it can be overwhelming and stressful. How are you supposed to have a full-time job, social life, maintain your well being, AND side hustle?! Counterbalance, that's how. Whatever needs your attention at that moment, give it 100% of your uninterrupted presence. Fortunately, I'm able to workout early in the morning, go to my full-time job, come home and side hustle, but I don't see friends much so whenever I feel that area of my life needs attention, I give it.
Do one small thing every day that will take you one step closer to achieving your dreams. One little thing that you have to get done or think will benefit your blog is all you need a day. There's no quick tip to blog success, it takes perseverance, patience, strategy, and consistency. You can do it.
If you've made it this far, that means you're serious about blogging and are ready to take it to the next level. Check out my FREE blogging secrets for beginners and eGuide: Build Your Own Style Blog in less than 4 hours, (use code: NAB10 for $10 off).
What are some tips and tricks you have? Tell us in the comments below, or feel free to email me firstname.lastname@example.org. :)
Brittany Grace is a life and style blogger, author, and stylist at Not Another Blonde. She has been featured on Urban Outfitters, The Skinny Confidential, and Kenton Style. You can find her on Instagram/Periscope @notanotherblonde, snapchat/pinterest @notanothrblonde.
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