Around November of 2018, I felt like I had a calling to blog. I started off posting faithfully on Instagram, and my topics became more and more educational and empowering in nature. I strayed away from selfies and posted more motivational messages. In December, I felt a calling to blog fully. By January, I purchased a domain and created a cheap website. By March, I invested in growing and perfecting my website.
Throughout these 7 months, I can say that I genuinely learned 7 things about blogging that I want other bloggers to take away.
1. You must KNOW what you want
Blogging is A LOT of work. Therefore, it is important to know exactly what you want. Here are some questions to ask yourself if you want to blog:
- Who are your target audience members?
- What do you want to write about?
- Do you have stories you want to share?
- Do you want to report news of any kind?
- Do you want to talk about taboo topics?
- Do you want to motivate others?
- How often will you post?
- Are you doing this for an income or for leisure?
- How much time/money are you willing to invest?
- What are your other obligations and how can you avoid any conflicts?
- What platforms will you use to advertise your blog
- Will you have social media accounts to compliment your blog and how often will you post to them?
- Do you have the patience? (Yes this is absolutely a real question).
These are some things that you should seriously consider when beginning. If not, you will not have an accurate direction of where to go.
2. You must COMMIT to what you want
Once you make a decision on all of the things above, you must COMMIT to what you want. If you are blogging to encourage others, views are not as helpful as feedback and measurable results.
This is my goal. So even if my views are low, if my results are high (i.e. people are commenting that they are encouraged through my blog), I will consider that successful.
Your end goal may be different, and you may therefore have to measure your success differently. However, it is important to recognize that you have to commit to what YOU want and measure it accordingly. You cannot let others sway your commitment based on how they operate their blogs. They may have different goals than you have.
3. There are different kinds of monetization
When I first started blogging, I thought there was only one way to monetize: Google AdSense. The truth is there are numerous ways to advertise. Here are a few below:
- Google AdSense (of course)
This allows Google to display ads on your site and you can get paid per click. It is a passive monetization method.
- Selling merchandise (T-Shirts, Mugs, Posters, etc.) on your site
This requires you to design, print, and ship merchandise, or outsource the work. It also requires an E-Commerce site. It is a more active and committed monetization method.
- Allowing direct ad postings and sponsors
This requires recruiting, and marketing. You will most likely need to have a specific location to display sponsors on your site. It requires some work and regular maintenance depending on the time slots you allow sponsors to sign up for.
- Affiliate links
This is where you plug in a link to a product or service to your article and the company pays you a portion if someone buys through your link. It requires some effort in order to conveniently plug it into articles and to find the right affiliate links.
The truth is monetization is different for everyone and depends 100% on how you wish to operate your blog and how much effort you wish to put in
4. You will make changes
As I mentioned previously, I have taken 2 breaks in 7 months. Each time it was to make changes to my blog. The first time, I was focusing so much on Instagram that I was beginning to get drained. I took a break and slowed down and decided that I would only post on Instagram once per day (a big drop down from 3 times per day).
The second break I took was recently. I decided that even a daily Instagram post was a lot when it requires trying to reply to all comments and being active. This time I decided that I will only post on Instagram 3 times per week and I will not force myself to reply to every comment.
5. You do not have to market on EVERY platform
Initially, I confused being a blogger with being an influencer. I realize now that these are very different things. As a blogger, I do not have to concern myself with social media likes and comments. As I mentioned above, Instagram was not really where I wanted to be marketing myself. My audience does not seem to be on Instagram. They are mainly on Pinterest and Facebook. This is evidenced by the amount of views and traffic I get from each platform.
My suggestion is to try them all and see which platform is worth your time and which platform is not. I will always admire instagram because it was on instagram that the vision came to me for my blog. However, it is not where my audience frequent.
6. You do not have to stick to the status quo
When you get into blogging, you will learn all of the typical things that bloggers do. They have multiple social media accounts. They host podcasts and giveaways. They write about what is popular and try to be politically correct at all times. Bloggers become writers, photographers, researchers, social media managers, SEO optimization experts, podcast and vlog hosts. It is extremely tiring to try to do it all. Of course, you do not have to. You have the option to be 100% yourself.
7. Be 100% who you are
Always be you! People do not want to read a 1000 blogs that are carbon copies of each other. People want variety. They select certain blogs because each blog brings something unique that other blogs cannot. Only you can be you, and THAT is what will draw and build your audience
Question of the Week
This Week's Answer
Do you believe that you are what you attract?
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Blogging absolutely takes work and dedication. However, the amount of work and dedication will depend entirely on you and your goals. Do not be like any other blogger. Blog because YOU want to express YOURSELF in YOUR way.