Bloggers are everywhere these days, and the market is so over-saturated that I genuinely never thought I’d be one, let alone own the “blogger” title. My story is probably similar to a lot of people my age – I remember writing in diaries as a kid (none of which I ever completely filled, because I couldn’t stop acquiring new ones!) and then moving over to Myspace and Tumblr as I got older. I even dabbled in (what I thought was going to be) more serious blogging on Blogger, Tumblr and WordPress over the years. But nothing ever stuck. In hindsight, I think I know why: I was overwhelmed, under-prepared, and going it alone.
I also harbored some heavy self-doubt that no one would care about my story, because it wasn’t exciting enough, I wasn’t talented enough, and I’d have nothing to talk about. I’m sure I’m not the only one who has had those negative little thoughts creep through their head. When I moved to New York City almost eight years ago, I started living a life that finally felt worthy of sharing, so I became more active on Instagram, documenting my early years in NYC through 365 Days projects and sharing stories (mini blog posts, almost!) in the captions. It wasn’t until a few years ago when I started traveling a lot more that I realized how much I enjoyed sharing. It wasn’t to boast or brag, but rather to encourage others to travel or follow their passion, and document my own story at the same time. Starting my blog this past March was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made (really). I’ve never felt more creatively inspired. There’s a whole world of bloggers out there doing incredible things, and the ones who contributed to this post are just a select few!
Wherever you are in your blogging journey, I hope that this post encourages you to just keep going. You never know where it might lead…
No matter what you do, your job is to tell your story.
– Gary Vaynerchuk
Without further ado, let’s jump into this awesome post! I’m so excited to share these great blogging tips from some seasoned blogging pros! I highly encourage you to check all of these bloggers out and learn from their experience – they are all very different and have a lot of valuable content and ideas to share. I hope that as you’re reading through their tips, you feel inspired and reinvigorated about whatever you’re working on. I’d also love to hear which tip was the most helpful to you – tweet me and let me know!
#1 Learn About SEO (ASAP)
Learning how to do effective SEO writing was one of the hardest things for me to understand. I used to think that if I used any combinations of words that people would find my articles through Google. It turns out that you need to use the exact phrase that you think people will search for, which requires some sleuthing and research (as some searches are just too competitive!), then using those phrases enough times that Google recognizes your page has relevant content. You can use this free SEO tool to check if you’ve used your keywords enough for effective SEO writing to get readers on your site from Google from the moment that you hit publish!
– Karen from Wanderlustingk
#2 Be Authentic & Honest
Amongst all the saturation, I think what truly sets bloggers apart are the ones who are real with their audience. Beautiful photos and amazing content will take you far, but at the end of the day, the only bloggers I’m going to listen to are the ones that I trust. Those are also the only ones that I care to follow up with time after time and stay loyal to for years. It’s always obvious to readers who is fake and who is being real. Maintain that sense of authenticity no matter what you are doing, including when you are working on sponsored content. Seeing a blogger promote something they would never use or doesn’t even seem to be something they like is always such a turn off. Why would your readers want to listen to your opinion when they don’t know if you’re telling the truth or not? Build that sense of trust by always being 100% honest and real.
– Lena from Happily Ever Adventures
#3 Set Blogging Goals
Learn to see your blog as a business! If your blog is just a hobby, that’s fine, but if you intend to grow it as a business, be sure to treat it like one. Create a business plan, write down your action items, invest money in your growth and outsource the tasks that you don’t personally need to do. Doing all of this will allow you to speed up your progress like a superhuman, I promise!
– Christina from Happy to Wander
#4 Create Good Habits
I knew it would be very important to create a habit of writing consistently so I set a goal to publish one article every Monday. I stuck with it for a year, and didn’t miss one week! Guess what? Publishing one article a week is now a habit for me and easy to do. Find one simple goal that you want to accomplish for your blog and make it a priority to stick with it. Other things will come along and try to steal your time away from that goal, but don’t be swayed!
– Jamie from Photo Jeepers
#5 Choose Your Blog Name Wisely
Choosing a good name for your blog is incredibly important. The name should be short and simple, yet unique. Keeping it short is important because people tend to hate long names, and you want to keep it simple because you shouldn’t expect your readers to try and decode your blog name. Having a unique blog name is important because you obviously want to stand out from the crowd! The name should also reflect the niche of the blog as much as possible. Ideally, all of your social media handles should match in order to avoid confusing your audience.
– Tania from Azure Sky Follows
#6 Be Patient
Don’t expect to have success overnight as building a blog takes time and a lot of hard work. You can expect to wait at least 6-8 months for Google to start ranking your content and even longer to build a loyal following, so don’t despair if you have low traffic numbers in the beginning. Celebrate the small victories and keep on writing!
– Philip from Zentravellers
#7 Focus On Social Media Engagement
Start building your social media channels straight away. I didn’t think they were that important until my blog started to pick up. When I eventually got more into social media, my growth was so slow. Make sure to nab your usernames on every platform once you’ve decided on a blog name and spend 10% of your blog time posting, interacting and engaging with other bloggers and potential readers. You’ll figure out over time which channel(s) works best for you and then you can focus your energy into just a couple.
– Cristal from Tofu Traveler
#8 Reward Loyal Followers
Whether you have 50 readers or 50K, focus on the people who show up. Your audience can always be bigger. There is always another milestone to look forward to. Don’t focus so much on the numbers and instead focus on the actual people who are showing up to read your stuff. Engage with them. Write for them. Be consistent for them. These people care about you and what you have to say. Spend your efforts cultivating those relationships rather than constantly seeking more. Your audience can tell when you’re invested in them and when you don’t seem to notice them. So notice them. Show them that you care. And show up for them just like they are showing up for you.
– Lena from Happily Ever Adventures
#9 Don’t Underestimate Pinterest
If I were to start a blog again today with all the knowledge I have from over 1.5 years of blogging, I would start creating beautiful pins right away. Somehow, Pinterest was never on my mind as a huge traffic generator, but nonetheless, it is my biggest source of traffic now. In fact, 65% of my readers come from Pinterest. Invest time in your pins, create a beautiful template in Canva and make all your pins sleek and appealing. Don’t underestimate the power of Pinterest threads and group boards – enter as many as possible and pin there regularly. After a couple of months, you’ll see results, and you won’t be disappointed!
#10 Choose A Name That Will Grow With You
Put a lot of thought into your blog’s name before you begin! Beyond making sure you can get matching social media accounts and domain names, you’ll also want to make sure that it’s a name you can grow with. What happens if you move cities? Will your tastes change, will you graduate college, or change careers? If you get married, will you change your surname? These are all things to keep in mind when choosing your blog name – and lots of top bloggers are dealing with the problems that come from having their brand outgrow their blog name!
– Rosalie from Rosalie Goes
Editor’s Note: you can check to see if all of your social media handles are available any given blog name you’re considering by using sites like Namechk!
#11 Find Your “Why”
Never lose sight of your purpose. And by that, I mean don’t forget the reason that made you want to start a blog in the first place. It’s so easy nowadays to get caught up with trying to get more likes and more followers and the idea of getting “famous” that you forget what started it all. Whether it be a passion for storytelling or wanting to provide insightful tips and tricks for other fellow travellers, stay true to your purpose and blog solely for the reason of that – not for fame.
– Jasmine from My Suitcase Journeys
#12 It’s Not All Fun & Games
Blogging is not always going to be fun. This was something I learned recently that shocked me. I thought that if I was doing something I loved, I would always be excited by it. Just like anything else, blogging can become a job. Deadlines can be stressful, the admin stuff is not always fun, and it’s just inevitable that you’re not going to feel motivated or inspired every single day. That’s okay. That doesn’t mean you’re not meant to be a blogger, it just means you’ve been taking it seriously and now it feels like a job. Push through. Create whether you feel inspired or not. The inspiration will come back around again, but you have to keep at it.
– Lena from Happily Ever Adventures
#11 Find What Makes You Unique
Focus on your best skills and find out what differentiates you from other bloggers. Never copy exactly what others do, but instead figure out your unique angle that will set you apart from the crowd and allow your best skills to flourish.
– Jennifer O’Brien, Founder of The Travel Women
#13 Find Your Tribe
I wish when I started out blogging I had joined a Facebook Group focused on blogging for support. I felt like I was doing all of this on my own and figuring everything out alone. It’s amazing to be able to bounce ideas around and get recommendations from an amazing community of bloggers. Its been such a great way to connect with others in similar niches and find collaboration opportunities. I honestly wish I had started sooner than after six months of blogging on my own!
– Hanna from Rated by Hanna
#14 You Can’t Win ‘Em All
Be yourself and trust that is enough. The great thing about the market being so saturated is that there is a blogger out there for every reader. Be 100% true to yourself without trying to copy anyone else’s style. That alone will make you stand out and the people who resonate with your style will become loyal followers. On the other hand, not everyone will like you. That’s okay. When people unfollow you or unsubscribe or otherwise make it known that they don’t like your stuff, let them go. They’re not your ideal audience. It might take time, but you will find your tribe. You want to find the people who will lap up every single thing you write, say, or create. You can only find those people by being yourself. On a similar note, don’t worry if others copy you. There’s only so long they can copy you. In the end, it will be clear that you are the genuine one. You can never ever go wrong by being yourself.
– Lena from Happily Ever Adventures
#15 Collaborate With Other Bloggers
Choosing to reach out to other bloggers has probably been the best decision I’ve made in my blogging journey thus far. Before I even launched my blog, I began reaching out to other bloggers, asking them if they’d be interested in collaborating with me and sharing their stories on my brand new site. I was expecting a lot of rejections, particularly given the caliber of people I was sending inquiries to! Every single one of them said YES (minus one who really wanted to contribute but just genuinely didn’t have the time), and was so enthusiastic about helping me launch my blog and interview series. I was both humbled and shocked by the level of support and encouragement I received. I think that launching my blog with the interview series in place really encouraged me to keep going and also made me want to keep connecting and collaborating with other people. One additional thing I’d highly recommend if you’re sending or receiving a lot of collaboration requests is to keep a spreadsheet with the basic details you need to keep track of who needs follow-up, any items you’re waiting on, or projects that are ready to go. It really helps things not fall by the wayside when you’re busy!
– Sierra from Passport Voyager (Chiming in because no one mentioned this tip and I think it’s vital!)
BONUS TIP: Establish A Posting Schedule
Establish a schedule to post weekly, 2x weekly, or certain days of the week – whatever works for you! It helps keep you organized, but don’t stress if you miss one or two posts (it happens to us all). It will also let your readers know when to expect your new content! The schedule helps because it reminds me to post regularly, and I know this is an issue for a lot of us – I’ve seen several bloggers slip in posting and it’s been a month or more since their last post. Sticking to a schedule is so important if you want to retain readership and grow your audience.
– Hanna from Rated by Hanna
As always, thank you for reading and sharing! A huge thank you to all the bloggers who contributed to this post as well. I’d love to continue this discussion and possibly even do a Part Two if everyone finds this post valuable. Would love to hear your feedback in the comments below or via email. I always appreciate hearing from you and getting your input!
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