What makes a successful blog? And what do I know, after blogging for only a year?
Success in blogging means different things for everyone. To me, having a successful blog means that I have been able to cross some huge goals off my list in my first year of blogging:
- Being published on Scary Mommy
- Generating income
- Being accepted into rewardStyle
- Connecting with other mama bloggers
- Participating in sponsored posts
- 3.5k followers on Instagram
My goals for this next year are just as lofty, and I have high hopes that I’ll be able to cross them off my list, too.
Here’s what I’ve learned in my first year of blogging:
HUSTLE If you’re a blogger, you’re in sales. You’re selling yourself and you’re selling the idea that you are the expert in a certain field. And as with all sales job, you have to hustle. You have to put in the time. You have to visit 20 other blogs a day to leave comments. Join blog engagement Facebook groups (my favorites are here and here) and participate in the threads. Use Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter and Stumbleupon to promote your blog and support other bloggers. Network. It’s the equivalent of going door-to-door or making cold calls. You’ve got to make connections. You have to put in the work.
WORK SMARTER, NOT HARDER Ok, I’m not saying you won’t have to work hard (see above). Blogging is hard work and can be very time-consuming. So, you need to be smart about how you work. No one is going to visit your blog just because you spent hours trying to figure out how to install and activate all those plug-ins. They will visit your blog if you continually create compelling content (whoa, alliteration), and promote your stuff. So if you can, hire someone to assist you with the mundane stuff (technology, I’m lookin’ at you). Spend your time doing what will keep your readers coming back.
ASK! You want to work with a particular brand? ASK. You love another blogger’s theme? ASK. You didn’t land a certain campaign and you’re wondering why? ASK. You need help with technology because it sucks and your brain just doesn’t work that way? ASK. Blogging is a business. You can make it an extremely successful business. But in order to do so, you need to start the conversation. ASK. And if you get turned down? Wait awhile, and ASK AGAIN.
DRESS FOR THE JOB YOU WANT Let’s be clear: you can totally wear sweatpants and a messy bun. I mean figuratively dress for the job you want. ACT AS IF you already have that job. If your goal is to become a part of RewardStyle, find out their requirements and start fulfilling them. (I’m working on a post all about rewardStyle for all of you who have asked!) Want to get sponsored posts? Start posting similar content. Make yourself the obvious choice.
INVEST The first investment in blogging you will make is time. It will take up A LOT of your time. Especially in the beginning. Secondly, it will take some money. If you’re a style blogger, you will need clothes (think classics!). Invest in a pretty theme. When you start blogging, think of it as an investment. With some hard work, creativity and promotion, it will pay off.
So, there you have it. That’s what I’ve learned in my first year, and I know there is so much more to learn. I’d love to hear what you’ve learned about blogging. Let me know in the comments below! Share the wealth 😉