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I have been blogging for six years now but its only recently I’ve stepped up to the challenge of making it my business. As you would expect I have had some ups and downs. In this post, I am going to share with you what seems to be working, and what I wish I had learned six years ago.
Know your niche, your tribe, your people.
From the beginning, I had heard these words of wisdom but I didn’t heed them. I wanted my blog to be read and enjoyed by everyone. If you cooked I had a recipe for you. Addicted to working out? I was too and I had just the thing for you. I wanted to write about it all! Here is the lesson, you can’t please everyone! Trying to please everyone quickly burnt me out, and I stopped writing for a time.
Then one day I was listening to one of my BFF’s (although she has no idea), Chalene Johnson’s, Podcast, Build Your Tribe. At the time she was promoting her Marketing Impact Academy so the content of her Podcast was perfect for someone who needed to rebrand and market a blog. As you would expect she talked a lot about building your tribe on all the platforms of social media. I quickly picked up a pen and paper and started narrowing down who I wanted to talk to.
I want to talk to you, homeschooling, Christian moms. Wanting to be a voice for staying the course through high school and giving you an honest review of what that looks like in my house. Yes, I still cook, have hobbies, read books, and that all spills over into my blog, but it’s not the focus.
Blogging is a social activity. You are writing to someone (in your niche) and hopefully, you are wanting that person to interact with your content. There are many platforms to be social on but picking one or two to show up on consistently is huge.
Personally, I like Instagram and Pinterest to be active on with my own content and commenting on others content. The term social media means you have to step outside of yourself and treat others posts how you would want them to treat your work. The reality of that is, you leave comments on others posts, you pin content from other people, you interact with the comments that have been left for you, and above all be sociable.
Consistency is king
Consistent posting on your blog and the social media accounts you are focusing on is gold. In the early days, I got bogged down pretty quickly trying to have the best quality before I showed up. It reminds me of someone trying to get in shape before they step foot in the gym. We all know that is ridiculous but I know some of you are embarrassed to say that’s you.
Showing up and being real with people is part of being social. No one really wants to read about the perfect life or watch stories reflecting that made up perfection. People want to see real and read about real life. Yes, we want solutions to our overflowing schedules but we want that from someone who has “walked the talk.”
If you are afraid to get “it” all right before you step out into this world you may never make the step. I believe your content will improve as you write, and as you interact because you’ll be more comfortable in your tribe. Being consistent will keep people coming back to you, and traffic will naturally go up.
Your theme must work on all platforms
Free themes are everywhere and they work for a time, but paying for a theme that works across platforms will save you a lot of headaches later.
If you’ve come to my blog over the years you might have noticed the theme changing from time to time. As someone with a background in graphic design, I like to play with themes. Its only been recently that I noticed the theme I had chosen was hard to navigate on a mobile device. A few years ago, and before iPhones, that would not have been a problem. Now that over 70% of my audience is mobile I needed a new theme.
I am still working out the picture sizes and fonts to use, but it’s mine. With a paid theme I have access to support and that alone could prove to be priceless.
Monetizing is still new to me, however, I do know I should have paid attention a long time ago.
From what I am understanding the keys to monetizing your blog begin with traffic. People coming to your blog and interacting with the content is what we are aiming for. After the traffic has increased we can begin to add advertisers to our content.
There are many different ways to become an affiliate for a brand you like and believe will be helpful for your niche. You can contact the brand and give them your details, or wait for your inbox to fill up. Personally, I have chosen to be a part of affiliate networks. These networks are the middleman for you and a company. You sign up to be an affiliate within the network, once accepted in you find companies you like and submit a request to join. It’s a simple process that allows you to monetize your blog.
The networks I am currently using are:
- CJ Affiliates
The important thing to remember when choosing advertisers is that they represent your tribe. You don’t want to sell car parts to a group of homeschoolers, or curriculum on your food blog. Knowing who you are talking to helps narrow down who you work with.
Plus One More = Six
Extra helpful advice
Yoast SEO is a WordPress plugin that is highly rated and easy to use.
Canva, Pickmonkey, and my favorite Adobe Spark are easy tools to make quality graphics for your blog and all social platforms.
Pinterest is where people go to get help, so if your not using it for your blog content start there.
Have fun! Above all else blog because you enjoy it, and people will come.
Leave me a comment with your blog address, I’d love to follow new friends.