In 2011, I launched my first blog which was called Fashion, Love and Life. When I deactivated the blog, I was adamant that I wouldn’t return to blogging again. As some of you may know, I’m an avid Twitter user so I’m always talking (or ranting) about something. One day, I experienced an epiphany, I realised that I had a lot to say and I needed a platform I could call my own. That was when Its Kelle’s Space was born. It took me about a month to think about my niche, the blog’s design and all that lovely stuff but I’m glad I returned. Over the past 7+ years, I have learned so much about blogging and the blogosphere.
The truth about blogging is it really is what you make it. Sometimes, it’s the best thing in the world to do but other times, it can also be the most difficult thing to do as well. In order to stand the test of time, you need to adopt a ‘survival of the fittest’ kind of mentality. Live, think and breathe your blog and in time, you will get the results you deserve. In this post, I am going to guide you through how to survive in the blogosphere:
Don’t expect your blog to be an overnight success – This is one of the biggest mistakes to make when you start out on your journey. Consistency is the key to getting the results you want. One person may comment on your first few posts and that’s OK. Keep promoting your content. Don’t feel bad about self-promotion. It doesn’t matter if you are sharing the same post four or five times a day! Another mistake bloggers make is failing to interact with their followers which I will talk some more about later in this post. Conversations are (and should be) organic and they give other people the chance to get to know you better, hence eventually increasing your following. It won’t be easy but it WILL be worth it. Keep pressing on and do seek advice or guidance from other bloggers. The blogging community is a very supportive one.
Identify your niche – Every blog needs a niche. You need to do something that will set you apart from the rest of the bloggers out there. Are there any other bloggers you admire? Perhaps there’s a public figure, creative or influencer whose content you enjoy reading? Don’t be afraid to check out their content and think about what they do to increase interest in their brand or business. Of course, this doesn’t mean copy everything they do but gain an understanding of what makes them unique and how you can adopt a similar approach to your journey. Take notes, create mind maps, watch videos and most importantly, make sure nobody has tapped into what it is you want to do.
Pay attention to your stats – I will put my hands up and confess that I check my stats way more than I should do but your stats do tell you everything you need to know: how your blog is performing, which countries you have high readership in, how many likes/comments you’ve received and so on. Once you’ve read and studied your stats, you need to take action. For example, if your blog has more unique readers on Sunday, you should be posting fresh content on Sundays. If there’s a particular topic that does really well on your blog, then write more posts on that topic. Something I have done that works really well for me is capitalising on trending topics. If a topic is creating buzz, get in on it. I did this with the #FraudBae scandal.
Support other bloggers – It is a shame when I hear or read stories about bloggers feeling like they aren’t being supported. No matter where you are in your journey, struggling is just inevitable. Don’t become so absorbed by your content that you forget to build connections with others. Something I try my best to do once a month is dedicate 30 minutes of my day to go on a commenting spree. Also, I have started retweeting posts from other bloggers. My mantra is that there is room for us all to win, in spite of the fact that the competition in the industry is stronger than it has ever been. I have addressed competition between bloggers in this article by Save the Student.
Join groups specifically for bloggers – Blogger groups are one of the best forms of support out there. In addition to sharing your latest posts, you can also ask questions about anything from branding to where to find sponsored post opportunities. On Facebook, the most popular group for bloggers is Official UK Bloggers. Also, on Twitter, use hashtags #prrequest, #bloggerswanted, #bloggersrequired and #journorequest for any opportunities or latest post threads. Latest post threads are really effective when you use them the right way. Don’t just leave a link, summarise your post in a sentence. Choose your words wisely and your engagement will increase. For bloggers of colour, Black British Bloggers is a network for like minded creatives which was designed to elevate black voices in the U.K. These are some of the groups I am aware of but when you are on social media, keep your eyes peeled. With a site like Twitter especially, you can now see who and what your followers are interacting with.
Don’t be a stranger to guest blogging – Guest blogging has many benefits. In order to establish yourself in the blogosphere, lending your writing services to another website is important. When you start your blog, try and build relationships with a blogger whose DA (domain authority) is higher than yours. You can also use the collaborative opportunity to boost your own recognition as well. If you do decide to write a guest post, ask if you can include a blurb with your content. Blurbs are a great way to summarise on your experience and you never know who might be reading them so always go the extra mile. Something I have started to do is accept guest posts on my blog once in a while. Before you accept a guest post, make sure you have discussed any preferences you have regarding topics, links etc (also, do check the links you are sent).
Work on increasing your domain authority (DA) – A few of you may be asking yourself ‘what is DA?’. To simplify all the complex definitions on the internet, DA is a search engine ranking score. It is developed by Moz and predicts how well a website will perform on SERP’s (search engine result pages). Every blogger should be working on increasing their DA from day one! You can do this by using links from websites who have a higher DA than yours (Wikipedia is an example). DA is also increased when content is posted regularly and you make use of your tags. I will talk more about this in the next point. Moz have announced that they will be making chances to the way DA is ranked, so consistency is always key.
Don’t be a stranger to using keywords – Keywords get you noticed. If you are writing about a topic, you should find all the keywords that are related to that topic. So if I google ‘cosmetic surgery’ and scroll to the bottom of the page, I can see that people are searching for ‘ cosmetic surgery nhs’, cosmetic surgery near me’, ‘cosmetic surgery meaning’ etc, so once you’ve identified the keywords, either use them in your posts or the tags section (under post settings on WordPress). Keywords will improve your site’s visibility on search engines. If you are struggling to find some keywords, use Google Trends or Moz. What I like about Google trends is that you can search by country, duration, category and type of search so you can get a good idea of what people are into and you can use that information to determine whether your content will have the impact you want it to.
Do what is right for you and your blog – As a blogger, you will compare yourself with others and others will compare themselves to you. I have seen people like or engage with my content and then use my idea to create a whole other post without even mentioning that they got the idea from another blogger. Take the highs and the lows on the chin and remember why you started in the first place. You knew you had something special and you decided to share that with the world. Sometimes, when I doubt myself, I will look at an old post or I will remind myself of one comment on the blog that just made what I do 100% worth it. I am sure we have all had one. Also, don’t feel guilty about taking breaks. If you need to go on a hiatus, do it. People will still read your blog. Don’t allow F.O.M.O to be the reason you experience burn out. Your blog will still be running when you return.
Interact with your social media followers – Interaction breeds engagement. If you don’t engage with your followers, you will never get your blog where you want it to be. Now, I’m not just talking about sharing a blog post. Create conversations around your niche. If your latest post is about relationships, ask your followers a question. When I blogged about open marriages, I created a poll asking my followers if they were for or against it. Give people the chance to see another side to you. The reason why influencers are so popular is because of the way they portray themselves online. Most of them have quirky and unique personalities. As bloggers, YouTube clearly isn’t are thing so believe you have to work twice as hard to be noticed.
Here are some other posts I have wrote about blogging:
Helpful Tips For Collaborating With Brands As A Blogger
Tips For Creating Content For Your Blog
5 Things I Have Learnt About Blogging
I hope you have enjoyed reading this (very long) post and thank you for staying with me. As you can see, there is a lot more to blogging than meets the eye so finding your niche, being consistent and building fruitful relationships will definitely help as you embark on your journey. Having a thick skin is so important, especially when you get those ‘I want to give up’ moments. You are all doing an amazing job! If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to leave them below.