I started blogging in June 2014 and of course, I jumped in head first. I participated in Twitter chats, I commented on a ton of other blogs, I spent some money, I wrote a guest post or two, I was featured on BlogHer a couple of times… I was excited! This was great! I posted OFTEN and after a couple of months, I just wasn’t sure how I would keep up. My job became increasingly demanding and my side Etsy shop became increasingly busy; it was nearly impossible to juggle it all.
After what felt like a blog burnout, a fresh start was needed and I hoped to take what I learned over the past year and a half and apply it to my “new” blog and business. Below, I give some advice for those who are starting out in this blog eat blog world.
- Be Yourself: This is the most important word of advice I can give to bloggers. A friend of a friend came up to me at a party and said, “I read your Breakfast with Bentley blog the other day.” Wow! I was so excited! How did she even know about it? I was flattered. She continued: “But, I don’t like dogs, so I probably won’t read ever it again.” Ouch. That one stung. She clearly read the most recent post and didn’t bother to peek through my other ones. I write about topics I’m passionate about. I have two dogs, how could I not write about them? They are part of my life! I will always strive to be authentic in my writing and hope others can relate.
- Invest Wisely: Grab a great blog design – Etsy has a ton of up and coming graphic artists who sell designs, logos, etc. and they don’t charge an arm and a leg for a pretty aesthetic. Also, think about sponsoring some of your favorite blogs – it may help to get your name out there to readers who normally wouldn’t otherwise look for you. Some of the sponsorships are pretty cheap and totally worth it.
- You don’t have to have a “niche”. This blog is considered “lifestyle”. You know why? Because it’s about my life and I have a ton of style. Duh. But for real, I don’t have kids (yet), so I wouldn’t be considered a “mommy blogger”, I don’t post my daily outfits, so I wouldn’t be a “fashion blogger”. I hate cooking so clearly I’m not creating any recipes of my own, so I wouldn’t be a “food blogger”. So then what would I be? Do I have to be anything? The answer is no: I’ll just do me.
- Live and Learn: You can’t nail it every single time and that’s ok. Some posts may suck. Some may unexpectedly get picked up by other big websites. If you are writing using your true voice, telling your story, and connecting with others along the way, then it shouldn’t matter. Keep chugging along and your posts will continue to grow as your blog does.
- Don’t jump the shark: I like to read other blogs because their topics interest me. When they stop writing about those said topics and every post seems like an advertisement, I instantly become disinterested. I recently noticed that some of my favs no longer blog about the topics they use to talk about. They are all trying to sell something. A product, outfit, advice, courses, diets, etc. I’ll be honest – I promote products in which I truly believe in. Some I have been compensated for and some I just talk about because I love them that much. But once you cross over and the blog becomes a shop for random products, I’m out.
What advice can you give people who have just started their blogging journey?
Leave words of wisdom in the comment section below!