Starting a personal blog may be something anyone can do, but not everyone can make it a success. It is not something that happens over night either, and it does not happen without a fair amount of input. With the right care and attention, a personal blog can become a powerful resource, it can even become a source of income. There are several steps that should be followed when starting up a personal blog.
1 – Be Real
Readers want to read the thoughts and ideas of a real person. So, start off by thinking of a niche or area of interest that you would like to write about and be not only engaged by, but can get others to be engaged in it too. You are unlikely to get many readers or make a success out of a blog about watching paint dry.
One particular area that is large and successful in the blogging world is the fashion and beauty niche with many of the blogs based on reviewing the latest products and trends. At the start, these reviews are usually on items a blogger has bought but as time goes on, and the blog builds up a following, requests to review products from companies become more and more common. This is natural when you are en established blogger but when every post is on an item that has been gifted, it can quickly become a boring read. This is not to say that you should never review anything gifted to you, but a nice mix of products or items you have chosen yourself should be thrown in there too.
If done correctly, a blog can generate a small amount of income. Lots of bloggers accept money in return for a review or a sponsored post as well as for advertising. Sponsored posts are one of those things in the blog world that everybody does once in a while but some blogs include nothing but sponsored posts.This creates a really disjointed blog if you accept every single offer you ever get, especially if it is something that you would not usually review. Essentially, nobody will enjoy reading a blog that is clearly a money-making scheme and includes nothing personally bought or written, ever.
Conversely, your blog doesn’t have to exhibit your every single movement of every single day, but again, stock images and generic pre-written text do not make for interesting and engaging content either. In order to engage with a community, you have to be yourself and If you do not like the thought of your face or name being on the internet then create yourself an alias and blog under that.
2 – Keep it Interesting
It sounds obvious but sometimes bloggers can end up becoming a bit too introverted. If you find yourself writing about something that is a personal joke to you or delving a bit too deep in to your daily routine, take a break and step back for a moment. Think, would you enjoy reading this if someone else were writing it. A tip would be to think to yourself, would I let my siblings read this, they are often the hardest critics and do not hold back. Keeping it fresh and entertaining is the key.
3 – Be Consistent – Pick Your Target Audience
It’s great to cover a variety of interesting and interchanging subject matter in your blog but blog subscribers will usually subscribe to blog niches. For example if you were to start a gardening blog, readers would be subscribing to read about your gardening tips, they are unlikely to be pleased to see a post crop up about tattoo art in between. If you have different areas of interest, then you can always create separate blogs for each topic.
Similarly, try and post at regular intervals. Start off by seeing what you can handle, one post a week is a good place to start. The temptation with a new blog and fresh ideas, is to write a thousand posts all at once, realistically, this is not something that many people can keep up with. If you find yourself with lots of fresh ideas and content, then up this to twice a week and continue until you find a level that you feel comfortable posting at. People will check back on your blog on certain days if they know when you post. If you post sporadically, you are less likely to build up supportive followers.
4 – Use Social Media to Your Advantage
Having a social media account is great for interacting with your target audience. It allows you to promote yourself, engage in relevant discussions and also helps you to discover fellow bloggers. One of the most useful accounts to have is a Twitter account. Many choose to promote posts through their personal Twitter account, but some will create an account specifically for their blog to keep things looking more professional:
Someone you want to showcase your blog to for a job interview will not appreciate seeing tweets of what you had for dinner or want to know how you are ‘feeling’.
Another useful platform to sign your blog to is Bloglovin’. This platform gathers all of your favourite blogs in one place, notifying you when your followed bloggers write a new post. This is not only a great place to gather and follow blogs of your choice, from different platforms, but it allows for engagement and promotion of your blog too.
5 – Do Not Abuse Social Media
There is a fine line between sharing with your followers that you have uploaded a new blog post, and completely saturating their feed. Returning to the fashion, beauty and lifestyle niche, the world and his wife are wishing to share with their followers reviews of products, what they wore yesterday and what they did at the weekend. On the whole, this is great and can help create quite a following. The temptation seems to then be to blast your twitter feed with sometimes up to 60 tweets a day informing followers of their ‘new post’ (not an over-exaggeration, this has been frequently observed). Contrary to the bloggers belief, this will actually lose not only Twitter followers, but it will put readers off your blog too. Essentially, this is spamming peoples news feeds. Up to four posts a day is plenty. Chances are that people who are interested in your blog will be subscribed via email anyway so they will not follow it through your Twitter account. Instead, tweet relevant bloggers in your field or entertaining extracts; this will increase your fan-base much quicker and you will most likely keep them as followers.
With the right hard work and dedication, you can build yourself a corner of the internet that can be not only profitable in monetary terms, but enjoyable at the same time.