As I sit here staring at my screen and organizing what I am going to write in my mind, I know that I’ve come a long way. There are always ideas popping up in my mind on what I can do next. It is 5:30am on a Saturday and while the rest of my family sleeps I am pounding away on my laptop. I drink a cup of coffee and I periodically watch the news that is always on while I’m working. Work? I know I used that word, but I don’t consider it work because I love what I’m doing. I love blogging.
If You Don’t, No One Else Will
No one is going to tell you what you need to do to be successful unless you purchase their time. No one will show you how they make 6-figures in a year unless you buy their how-to videos or subscribe to their pricey marketing plans. If you have money for their services then, by all means, buy them. It will probably save you some time gaining all that knowledge, but it won’t drive traffic to your blog, vlog, or any of your social accounts. You must put in the work.
My blog, DIYerfy.com had been active for 3 years before I decided in December 2017 that I wanted it to be successful. I had a subscriber list and I blogged here and there, but I had no real traffic. No one came to my website because I was extremely inconsistent with it. I had no online presence that represented my blog to the world. So, I made myself a promise. I dedicated every morning before work to my blog. I posted a new article on a weekly basis. For the first few months, I didn’t see much movement or success. But I knew that I had to take charge. I had to be the one to make my blog a success because no one else would unless I had a ton of money to pay them to do it.
The Importance of the Blog Family
Slowly I started building my online presence through some of the channels I really love such as Twitter and Pinterest. I opened an Instagram account, but I have a love/hate relationship with Instagram and I am still figuring out the “Insta crowd.” I started following other likeminded bloggers that focused on family, crafts, and other things that aligned with my own blog. Why? Because their fans can easily become my fans. I started to interact with them on Twitter and Instagram, liking their posts and responding to their comments. I started to make some friends. I then started to follow anyone on Twitter. Why? Because the internet isn’t going to “find you” for people, you need to find the people. You never really know if someone is interested in what you have to offer unless you put yourself or your product in front of them. It’s like fishing, you must throw out the bait and hope to catch a fish.
The more time I spent on social media, the more I learned. I read blog post after blog post about how other people became successful through things like affiliate marking, creating printables, selling their success stories, and working with brands (to name a few). I was frustrated because they always wanted to sell you something at the end. I felt cheated. I felt like they were fishing for me and if I take the bait, it would cost me hundreds of dollars in exchange that I didn’t have. It was then that I learned about having a blog family and the importance of collaborating with other bloggers. I started to get involved with link parties, commenting and following other bloggers, and opening my own blog for guest posts. This increased my own exposure to other people who follow their blogs as well because I get to leave my own footprint on their blogs with a guest post.
Playing the Social Media Game
One of the most important things you can do as a blogger is to stay engaged. As soon as you walk away from social media, people start to forget you. This is not to say that you’ll lose your “blog family” but that people that followed your feeds will unsubscribe because you are inactive. They may start to think that you are no longer there. Like many other bloggers, I subscribe to an auto-posting service to keep my online presence going even when I’m taking a little break from social media. Two of my favorites are Tailwind and Crowdfire and both have free accounts as well as paid subscription offers. Why use a service? What if you don’t have that much content on your blog? Both options allow you to post content from other blogs and websites. Crowdfire allows you to add your own feeds (to Tweet) and Tailwind allows you to join a “Tribe” which a group of people who collaborate and repin (on Pinterest) each other’s blog posts.
When you schedule social media posts, you can usually schedule days out. You can fill time slots when most of your subscribers are online with content. It doesn’t have to be your own content all the time. I like to mix it up with content from other sites as well as content from my own site. Just think about it for a second. Are you really going to be on Twitter every hour of every day to check in with content? Are you really going to have a picture ready to go several times a day for Instagram? Probably not unless you’ve dedicated all hours of the day to build your brand. Another important part of the social media game is hashtags (#). Use them! Follow others that will repin or retweet your social media posts, they help with your reach. In exchange, give them a shout out and some love, ok?
Stay Focused and Blog
Blogging isn’t for everyone because it really is time-consuming and lonely. There’s a lot of pieces to it that you must keep active all at the same time. As the internet grows and as social media channels continue to change algorithms and terms of service, you’ll have to adapt and change as well. Your most valuable asset will be your own email list and you should work to build that up. It can be very lonely and at times you may think that no one is reading your blog. The important things are to stay focused, keep to your schedule, and make some blogger friends. Be courteous and keep in mind that they aren’t your competition, they are friends and you can use this friendship to build up your own website while you are helping to build up theirs. Lastly, keep up with social media and if you can’t dedicate hours to it, get a scheduler to help you out.
Finally, stay positive because there’s always little milestones to overcome and there is light at the end of the blogging tunnel.
Notice: this post contains affiliate links.
Alice V is a blogger at www.diyerfy.com. She writes about crafts, preschool activities, home décor, home improvement, weight loss, family adventures and local tourism in Southern California. She has many interests in life including astronomy, cooking, painting, and creating while having fun with her family.