You’ve heard the stories about that guy or girl who started a blog, had a couple pieces go viral and now they do it full-time, making a living and working from whatever beach they want.
In fact, outside of those exceptional few who make a living from blogging, millions of everyday people have blogs.
If you don’t have a blog these days, then it may seem like you are living under a rock and have a serious feeling of FOMO. While it might seem like everyone has a blog for something that there is simply no hope for new bloggers to make a name for themselves and stick out from the crowd. WRONG.
Starting a blog and gaining traction certainly isn’t easy… but it’s easier than ever before.
Although it isn’t impossible, it takes a lot more time and dedication than you may be lead to believe. Many “new” bloggers are getting attention in their niche market these days that have been working for months, even years to get to where they are today.
Working online has provided me with incredible opportunities I never could have imagined in my wildest dreams. We are fortunate to be living in this digital era where starting a blog and eventually making a career out of it is not completely bat sh*t crazy. But 2 things it’s not: a get rich quick scheme and easy work.
I speak to people everyday who say to me, “Jelena, I am starting up my blog and I am looking to monetize it and live off the blog, how can I do that?”
My response is always the same:
Creating a blog just takes time.
There is no difference between being a concert pianist to being a pro-blogger. They both require countless hours of dedication, repetition, focus and commitment.
Here are my 3 tips.
1. To make a blog successful, you have to brand
When launching your blog, this can be the most exciting time because you are still exploring yourself, your passions and what niche will you directly fit into.
Determining your exact market takes a lot of time and research. It is crucial to find a hole in the market you are looking to fill with your blog and dive into that niche head first. This will make it easier for you to stand out from the thousands of blogs that already tell the same stories. If you are passionate about your brand and honestly stand behind it, people will notice your authenticity and become loyal followers.
For example, I love traveling. My boyfriend and I recently transitioned to the vanlife lifestyle and I share my experience of working as a digital nomad and living the part-time vanlife.
2. You have to grow an audience to build a successful blog site.
Growing your following takes time. It is a grueling process but if done correctly, your core base of followers will stick with you for the long run. Starting off, it is important to respond to any comment that people post. This will increase your engagement and have people be more willing to follow you.
Commenting on similar blogs, Instagram accounts, and Facebook posts will get people curious about your page and come over to check you out. Although this is time consuming, it can be very effective. Highly targeted Facebook ads linking to a free gift to sign up to your mailing list can work wonders too.
The mission is to serve others and not yourself. Provide really good value and content and this will help you build a sustainable fan base.
Try guest blogging. If you are just starting out, email or DM some well known publications in your niche and offer to write a blog post about something that is related to you and the publication. This is another great way to spread the word about you and your blog.
Join engagement groups. If you are looking to grow your following on social media and increase traffic to your blog, joining engagement groups can really help propel your following. Due to Instagram’s new algorithms, influencers have created engagement groups where people like and comment each other’s posts so they can increase their chances of coming up in other peoples’ explore feeds.
Use all Social Media. I mean all of them : Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and Snapchat, etc. If you want to be an influencer, you need to be creating various content, daily. If you have an iPhone you can make daily vlogs easily. You can even edit them with a simple app on your phone. It really doesn’t take much other than consistency.
3. If you want to learn how to blog, learn SEO to get discovered.
It is crucial to have a basic understanding of SEO optimization on Google.
Just type it in your Google search and there are countless blogs and Youtube videos explaining it to you for free. If you are using WordPress like I am, there are several plugins that help you improve your blog posts and improve your SEO. This is important because if you write very specific blog posts, then you will have a higher chance of ranking in the top of the Google search and this will bring you lots of traffic. Also putting in backlinks to other pages on your blog and external pages will help improve the chances of your blog coming up as well.
As you can see… it takes time.
Figuring all of this out on your own just takes time. It can be discouraging and frustrating in the beginning but you need to stick to it. If you are really passionate about your dreams and the subject then it will be fun and not necessarily something you dread doing every day. If it isn’t fun, don’t do it. Don’t force yourself to do something just because other people are doing it.
Do it for yourself and do it with a positive attitude and the rest will come.