It’s no secret that blogging takes a lot of time and effort. And while it is totally doable to build your tribe from scratch (check out the last post in the Start a Blog Series, 10 Ways to Boost Traffic to Your Blog), unfortunately we won’t be able to make our blogs overnight sensations. It’s helpful to know up front what blogging entails to prevent burnout later. In this post, I’ll cover what you need to know about running a successful blog and what that actually requires. Keep reading to learn about what it really means to be a committed blogger.
Consistency is everything
As soon as you launch your blog and your first post is up, people are going to want to know when your next post is coming (even if your audience is primarily family and friends). The worst thing that you can do as a new blogger is blog without a plan. If you post one blog post your first week, and then the next week you don’t post at all, and the following week you post three times, your readers are going to be very confused. Some might be willing to check back often to see when you’ve got a new post, but the majority probably won’t.
Just as Kendra mentioned in the last post of the series, blogging consistently is one of the best ways to drive traffic to your blog, and it helps you establish trust with your readers. I think one of the factors that helped us grow our first blog so quickly is the fact that we were consistently blogging twice a week (at least in the beginning). So, when you’ve decided that you want to start a blog that makes a difference, something to ask yourself is if you have time to post consistently. Can you get a post out every week? Twice a week? Three times a week? Remember that as soon as your blog goes live, you will have people counting on you and waiting to see more of your content!
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Remaining faithful over the few
When all of your favorite bloggers easily get over 100,000 page views a month, have a plethora of blog comments on every post, and showcase their five and six figure monthly income reports, it can be really hard to continue to feel motivated to work on your own blog. Especially if comments are rare, your mailing list subscribers are non-existent, and page views are scarce. I really wish there was a magic formula to prevent this phase of your blogging journey, but there isn’t. It’s important to remember that absolutely every blog started with zero page views. And one day, you’ll be the blogger that’s an inspiration to others. But, you must be patient. And, be faithful over the small following that you have (or that you’ll soon have).
One piece of advice that Kendra and I heard not too long after we started our first blog was not to worry about traffic, because the traffic will come. And it is so true. People will find your blog, I promise. And it doesn’t take long before you’re well on your way to having the audience size of the bloggers that you admire. The key to making this happen is that you can’t give up. Try your hardest not to compare your beginning to someone else’s middle. Allow yourself to actually be a beginner and give yourself grace.
Celebrate when someone follows you on social media, comments on your blog, or subscribes to your mailing list. Tell those visitors how much you sincerely appreciate their comment or support, and you’ll be amazed at what can happen. When you take the time to show your gratitude and interact with your readers, it demonstrates to them that you’re a real person! It shows that you care about them and that you appreciate them. You never know what impact that could have. You may prompt these initial readers to return regularly to your blog and share your site with others. Enjoy the time that you have to connect with your tribe, no matter how small it may be. Because I guarantee that if you remain steadfast, there will come a time where you can’t keep up with all the emails, comments, offers, etc.
Organization is a must
Something that you quickly learn as you continue to blog is that if you aren’t organized, managing your blog quickly becomes a nightmare. A lack of organization means that it will be much easier for you to experience burnout or added stress from managing your blog, and fortunately that can be prevented! There will never be an easier time to manage your blog and set up effective systems than in the beginning of your journey. So take advantage of the extra time that you have as you are working on building your audience and draft a plan that will take away the daily guesswork of what you need to be doing with your blog.
One of the systems/tools that we recommend every new blogger has is an editorial calendar. An editorial calendar is a calendar on which you plan ahead of time (you decide the time frame - 1 month out, 3 months out, 12 months out) the content you are going to create for your blog, and the beauty of it is that it helps you to remain consistent and organized. You can limit it to blog posts, or you can include the emails that you plan to send to your subscribers, and you can even create an editorial calendar for your social media accounts. The reason why editorial calendars are so awesome are because they hold you accountable. In theory, you should look at your calendar and work on creating the content that is due for that day/week.
For Humble & Whole, Kendra and I have an editorial calendar for the blog and the Humble List, and we have a more general editorial calendar for our instagram. With our first blog, we didn’t plan out our content for our blog nor our four social media platforms (yikes!) and it was stressful to say the least. We would realize that it was time to start working on a new blog post, and we would be stumped as to what we should write. With Humble & Whole, all we do is take a look at the calendar we’ve created, and there’s no mystery what post to write. If you’re worried about coming up with enough content to fill up your calendar, make sure you haven’t missed our post on the six most shareworthy content types.
So, being a committed blogger entails consistency, organization, and faithfulness. If you have each three of these practices down, your beginning phase as a blogger will go much more smoothly, trust me.
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