2016 has been a great year for me personally. I started blogging and using social platforms like Instagram to build my work. I have learned a lot in these past few months. As I set out for new year, I want to be transparent and share the knowledge with you all. I really want to ensure you have all the tools and support you need to be a successful blogger. When I was starting out, I reached out to few successful bloggers, but only 1 responded. She is none other than the famous blogger @emilyluciano She took the time out to really show me the way. I will always be thankful to her. I believe in sharing my work, this is the only way we will flourish as a community.
Ok so, I will jump right into this:
Once you have your blog up and running, now it’s time for some action. If you need help creating your blog, I recommend using Problogger
- Content – Pictures matter. Your first top 12 images make the first impression. Find an aesthetic theme you like. I used to have bright colors theme and now I have found a theme what truly represents my personality. I recently talked about how I edit my pictures (on IG). I use vsco app or Lightroom software to edit my pictures. I mostly use C’s and M6 sometimes. If you use your phone as a camera, do less editing, IG does take down the quality a bit. Also, if you are serious about blogging, invest in a camera. I use Cannon 6D.
- Find your niche – This is the key factor. How do you connect with your followers? Why should they follow you instead of others? What do you offer to them which they can’t get anywhere else? These are questions we need to ask ourselves. Don’t worry if the topics you love are already talked or written about by others. You are using your voice and sharing your perspective to connect with others. Some influencers share their DIY projects or blogging resources.
- Build your tribe – This is hard work which requires a lot of time. Reply to comments and emails. Reach out to other influencers and brands you like on IG and/or other social media platforms. Leave comments on their page regularly. This can only lead to good things. One of the things I am still working on is to reply to comments on my blog and reach out to other blogs. This can take a lot of time, but if you do just little bit every day. It will add up and give amazing results.
- Make a real connection – There are a lot of support groups of bloggers on IG and Telegram app. I recommend utilizing them initially when you are starting out (you will learn a lot through them). Personally, I left most of them a while ago. As much as I believe in the goodness of the support of those groups. It can take a toll on you. Building a connection with few bloggers is far more important to me. These connections will eventually lead to real friendships. Only do what you can, don’t beat yourself up. Instead make a real connection with people who inspire you. I am inspired daily by some of the amazing influencers I follow, they motivate and inspire me to do better each day.
- Stay consistent – Make sure to create a schedule for post and stick to it. You have to set expectations for the readers, by keeping them engaged. They will be looking forward to your post on IG and/or your blog. I post daily on my social platforms and weekly or bi-weekly on blog. Use hashtags to gain right exposure on Instagram (see my earlier post here on how to use hashtags). I take break on the weekends. Statistically social media’s efficiency drops on the weekends because people are out doing things. I make use of the weekends by working on my blog post or photo shoots and spending time with my family.
- Not everyone is going to like your work (and, that’s Ok!) – Congratulations, you are on the internet. I had recently seen comments where people just didn’t like my work. It did hurt at first but then it made sense. I don’t like some brands so I stick to what connects with me. People stick to what they find attractive, so not everyone is going to fall in love with your work. That’s why you need to find your tribe. One thing we need to remember is success doesn’t come over night or in few weeks. We need to continue slow and steady and build our brand through the years. Only hard work pays off.
- Sign up with programs – Now that you have some following and engagement, it’s time to make some money. Most of the programs are free to you, these companies tend to take little percentage as commission. I recommend keeping an excel sheet and bookmarking all these sites and ensuring to visit them daily to see any new proposals. Here are few I personally use:
- Is your Resume Ready? – Brands want to know why they should hire you? What benefits do they get by collaborating with you. Your blog page views count, I currently get around average of 500 views daily on my blog. I encourage you to create your media kit once you have a good following and engagement. You can create this on word document and save as PDF file. You can download my template from the bottom of this page. This template should include:
- Bio (with a picture)
- Blog page views monthly
- Social platform following
- Social platform average impressions per post
- Previous work and sales
- Invest at the right time – Now that you have good amount of content (at least 6 scrolls of IG page). You also have some good amount of following already. Some of you might have noticed IG engagement has dropped dramatically. See the thing is, Instagram creates their revenue through ads hence they created Business profiles. They want brands, and business including influencers to invest in their ads in order to reach the masses. They have changed their algorithm so it only reaches specific users. Your post is not seen by all of your followers any longer which I know doesn’t feel so great, only 20% of your followers actually see your post. One way to reach followers is to advertise on Instagram when you think the time is right. Before your start the advertisement, learn how to target market on an ad prior to placing one, you don’t want to waste your money. All social platforms mostly have this option.
- Last but not least, Ask questions – I recommend joining Instagram groups on FB. They are extremely helpful, it’s a real community of bloggers who are sharing almost everything. I have two favorite ones, one is Instagram Posse and Blog and Biz BFF . Ask questions to other bloggers, things now a day change faster than ever. To keep up with everything you need to know, make sure you engaged in conversations.
Hope this is helpful, and gets you the motivation to start your journey and build on it. I encourage you to write down your goals and completion dates. I always print my goals and put it up in my office so I will see them every day. You have to work on your goals a little bit every day to see the results you want to see end of the year. If you take anything away from here, I hope it is that you share your knowledge with other bloggers. Keep your heart and generosity of sharing always open.
Lots of love
Download Media Kit Template