I started blogging way back in 2013; back then, blogging was a whole different world! Linkys existed, I had no idea what SEO was, and I never thought I’d be earning money from my writing. Back to the present day, I have had a think about the ways in which I’ve grown as a blogger during the last 8 years. It feels like only last month I sat down at my laptop and wrote out a blog post about the crafts that my son and I had done together that afternoon. It’s crazy to think about how far this blog has come, and what I’ve learnt along the way.
Here are a few things that I have learnt over the course of the last 8 years. From SEO to being authentic, I hope that these topics help and inspire you to start, or keep going with your blogging journey.
1. Found and fully embraced my writing style
It took me a while to fully embrace my style of writing. Different blog niches require writing styles that match the content of the blog. For example, a blog dedicated to children’s activities and crafts would probably have a casual, yet informative tone; whereas a blog focused on selling products and affiliate links would most likely have a more enthusiastic, persuasive tone.
As a Mummy/Lifestyle blogger, it took me a while to figure out the style I wanted to write in. Did I want to sound like an ‘expert’ in my niche? Or did I want to feel like I could casually chat with my readers and come across as more of a ‘real person’ they would be able to relate to.
In the end, after several years of writing blog posts for Lukeosaurus and Me weekly, sometimes even daily, I finally figured it all out. I write with a casual tone because that’s who I am. I use my authentic voice and connect with my audience through my writing. Being true to yourself and writing authentically makes me feel more confident and able to create more content that I know like minded people will love to read, just as much as I loved writing about it.
2. Taught myself all about SEO and SMM.
Search engine optimisation (SEO) and social media marketing (SMM) are vital components of digital marketing and blogging – every person in the field who intends to monetise their website needs to become familiar with this.
When I first started blogging, I had no idea what SEO was. In fact, I probably didn’t even fully figure it out until about a year or two into my blogging journey. As my blog grew and I became aware of the direction I wanted Lukeosaurus and Me to take, I started knuckling down and teaching myself the basics.
There are loads of other bloggers who run workshops, sell influencer courses, or offer free training in SEO, so there’s lots of information out there that’ll help you learn. In today’s digital landscape, social media plays a huge role in the success of businesses, and that includes blogging! Social media platforms offer a way to share information quickly and easily, and have created online communities that people are seeking out to find products or services provided by businesses/bloggers they are interested in. Learning how to best utilize social media platforms was a huge game changer for me and definitely enabled me to elevate my blogging presence and monthly income.
3. Understood that sometimes the smallest details make the biggest difference.
One of the most overlooked aspects of a blogger’s website and social media is the quality of the photos that they post. Bad photography can ruin the professional image of your blog and put readers off sharing your content – or even just put them right off reading it!
I learnt this fairly early on and I still cringe every time I see an old post of mine – blurry images, pixelated corners, stretched images…not to mention messy backgrounds and unflattering poses! Nice, clean, clear imagery is the way forward! It looks professional, eye catching, and clean, which means it’s saveable and shareable…which is exactly what you want.
A lot of the time I will use stock photos as these are always guaranteed to be of great quality and there are so many to choose from. There are plenty of free stock photo websites around, so it doesn’t cost to use these images, but it can actually boost your income.
Investing in a DSLR camera and teaching yourself how to shoot lifestyle photography (look on Pinterest, YouTube etc) also pays off! Learning this skill is particularly useful if you’re planning to pitch to big name brands, such as pro beauty blogger, Valentina Chirico, who was awarded Intellifluence’s Influencer Spotlight recently.
4. Sometimes it’s hard to write according to a brief, but you’ve just gotta put your thinking cap on and get it done!
The amount of times I have said “yep, I can totally write an exciting and engaging post about [insert topic]” and then struggled massively while staring at an empty word document is crazy.
I used to find it hard to write about random things like curtains or flooring, but now I’ve learnt a neat little trick. I know that since I sometimes find these hard to write, they’re the ones I need to start working on ASAP; instead of putting them off, I just have to get stuck in right away.
To get them done, I simply open a word document and brain dump. I write everything that comes to mind and get it all out in the open, then I can start to make it more structured and relevant to the brief. I find that this is the best way to get content out and done, without having to dwell on it for days at a time.
I hope that these points have inspired you to continue on your blogging journey. I’ll leave you with one last word is wisdom to do with blog growth – perhaps the most important one yet:
Comparison is the thief of joy.
Don’t compare your blog to someone else’s…because you’ve no idea what their situation is. They could be hiring copywriters, buying links, have good contacts, or just be having an extra lucky day. Concentrate on creating good content that is relevant to your niche and you’ll do just fine!