So many people I know are bloggers, which I find incredibly inspiring. Some of them inspired me to blog and I’ve been told I’ve inspired others to blog which is lovely to hear. I had been a frustrated wanna-be blogger for many years and it was in 2013 I finally begin my own personal blogging journey. It was honestly one of the best decisions I’ve ever made, as Willow Lane has given me lots of joy and satisfaction. I often wonder what I did to fill my time before I began life as a blogger! Sad but true!
I love putting time and effort into my blog and when I get comments, emails, even ‘likes’ and ‘retweets’ I’m delighted. Running a blog is much more than writing blog posts – you have to maintain your blog, interact with people online and offline to build up a readership and make an impact. You have to regularly promote your content via social channels. For me it’s also about spending time taking photographs and attending events to get extra content and build relationships with other bloggers, PR people and brands.
I know lots of bloggers say they are happy just writing content for themselves, and that’s fine. I’m pretty sure I said something like that in the early days. But what has motivated me to keep blogging are those people who read my blog, interact with me online and in the ‘real world’ and let me know they like my content. I’m not sure I would still be blogging now if I didn’t get positive feedback and if I wasn’t steadily growing my readership and following.
So what I’m saying is starting a blog is great but before you rush into it make sure it’s something that you really want to do and keep doing.
In an online world saturated with bloggers of all kinds, are you ready to take the plunge and begin your own?
Start a blog if it’s pretty much all you can think about doing
If you have an enormous itch to become a true bonafide blogger then scratch it! Life is for living and just go for it! If you spend your days/evenings reading other people’s blogs and thinking ‘I could do that’ or ‘I so want to do that’ then stop procrastinating and start doing. Don’t get hung up on running the perfect blog from day one. It takes time and effort to hone your blog.
Plan, Plan, Plan…and do a little research
Get yourself a nice new notepad or open up a word document on your computer and begin planning your entry into the blogging world. What will you call your blog? What will your blog be about? What do you want your blog to look like? Who will your target audience be? It’s best to decide all these things before you actually start up your blog and begin writing blog posts.
And don’t forget to do some research. If you already read a ton of blogs think about why you love certain blogs over others – is it the way they write, their amazing photography, the beautiful layout of the blog? Now you don’t want to go copying other bloggers but gathering together your inspiration will help you discover what way you want your blog to look and feel.
Bounce ideas off someone and don’t be afraid to ask for help
You may not be clear about what direction you want to take with your blog so having a chat with your friends/family might give you some clarification. Sometimes other people know you better than you know yourself! Never underestimate the power of talking with other people. It can help get your thoughts in order.
Starting up a blog can be overwhelming especially if you lack experience in website development and graphic design; maybe you’re not even confident in your writing skills or managing social media accounts. Enlist other people’s help if they have strengths that you lack and can help you get your blog off the ground.
SPEND SOME TIME HONING YOUR SKILLS BEFORE YOU MAKE THE BIG REVEAL
Whilst I said you can’t expect your blog to be wonderful from day one I would recommend you spend time building up your content, finding your voice and getting to grips with the basics of running a blog before you ‘go live’. You don’t want people visiting your site if you’re not happy with it because chances are the viewers won’t be too happy with it either.
When you do feel the time is right to start actively promoting your blog make sure you have a presence on some social media channels, you have an email set up and you’ve produced a few blog posts. And enlist the help of friends and family to promote your blog online and offline too. Everyone needs to start somewhere so utilise the people closest to you!
Do not start a blog if you’re purely in it for the freebies and/or money
There is absolutely nothing wrong with wanting to earn money from blogging but if this is your number one goal from day one then blogging might not be for you. I can think of quicker and easier ways to earn money!
Gaining recognition from PR companies and attention from brands is likely to take many many months. If you expect blog success in the form of free products and payment for collaborations etc straight off the bat, you might be in for a shock.
Blog because you’re passionate about it. Work at getting better at blogging and you’re likely to make the impact you want and get the recognition you deserve.