How Not to be a Successful Blogger
Hey there, hi there! Long time no talk. I've spent the past few weeks making BIG changes in my personal life (more updates to come!), so I've been a bit absent from the emmaelsewhere universe. Although constantly brainstorming, game-planning and power-organizing, those background efforts aren't as visible as a post or an email. To put it bluntly, I haven't been the best blogger as of late.
During one of my late night (8pm) brainstorming sessions (bubble baths), I was thinking of ways in which I needed to improve my blog in order to find a better niche and a wider reach. That thought process led me to an endless list of "to-dos", and I realized that not all of them are SUPER obvious to the beginner blogger. So, in a twist of irony, I've laid out a few of my sort-of serious tips on what not to do if you want to be a successful blogger. AKA: Do as I say, not as I do. ;)
Here's what not to do:
- Publish a post once a month.
- Publish a post...whenever.
- Promote your latest post once - then never again. You should recycle your promotions every three months to get new eyes on old posts.
- Only promote your posts on Twitter.
- Make promises that you can't keep. Don't tell your readers that you'll be posting every Monday, Wednesday and Friday if that's a goal that won't work for your schedule. It's better to be honest and consistent than aspirational and defeated.
- Look for inspiration from other bloggers. If you're copying someone else, there's a good chance that their post already has a higher SEO score than yours will. Re-doing their "trending" idea won't help your posts be seen.
- Use any photo you can find. Original images will always be best, but in the event that you aren't able to take a relevant photo, find a royalty-free image that fits your aesthetic. Remember: always give credit!
- Ignore social media trends. If Instagram's algorithm has you down, do a bit of research into what types of content are performing well. If it's not broke, don't fix it, but if it is broke...
- Pass up Pinterest. Pinterest is the most important social media platform for blogs right now, as it acts like a search engine to drive readers to your blog. If you create "how-to" content, this is especially important for you.
- Forget about SEO. If you're trying to be a successful blogger, search is your new best friend. Optimize your posts so that they'll be found when people search for specific keywords.
- Be as general as possible. People aren't going to follow you just for being you (sorry), but they will follow you if you have a distinct point of view on a specific topic.
- Write only short posts - or only long posts. This is one I struggle with all the time! As someone who loves to write, I find myself wanting to work on longer, detailed pieces all the time. However, this tactic usually ends up with me putting off that increased effort and writing nothing instead. Sound familiar?
- Think of your blog as your one thing. Being a successful blogger means having many avenues of content, whether that be having an email newsletter, an active Instagram or even a podcast. Everyone has a different blogging journey!
- Go in without a plan. It's difficult to create consistent content without an idea of what the next week (or few weeks!) looks like for your blog. If you rely on thinking of one idea at a time, there will come a time when the ideas just aren't flowing and you just won't write.
- Think of it as all business, all the time. Remember why you got into this hobby in the first place. For me, it's remembering that my voice matters, and that it deserves to be heard amongst the fray. That brings me back to my laptop every time.
Happy blogging! xo