This month marks 6 months of Weekend Tempo being alive on the web! While my blog is still small and I am always experimenting with where I want it to go and what I want it to do, I experimented and did a lot in my first six months that I think a lot of people should do in their first few months of blogging to find their feet, goals and mission for their blog.
My main point is to experiment with blogging! A lot of people spend a lot of time just learning about what they could/should do blogging, but don’t actually do! There is a period of learning and a period of knowing, but during each you must always be doing!
1. Experiment with your writing
Have as many categories as you want – you’ll eventually find what you enjoy the most and what your readers enjoy the most. You’ll also find that some things aren’t really within you to write as much as you probably still want to write about them.
Also experiment with your writing style. Find your own voice online – do not copy and try to sound like your favourite blogger that you read every day! You may read enough to have some of their style rub off on you, that’s fine, but don’t actively try to sound like someone else because you won’t enjoy having to try and be someone else online just to keep your blog going. You should write as you would speak what you’re sharing to be authentic, which will always bring more readers as readers can tell a fake.
2. Network and join the blogging community
Starting out blogging is beyond overwhelming because there is so much everywhere! While it is overwhelming, it should never feel lonely! Get in and join in the blog community, which I think is especially important in your first months of blogging as it will bring support, friendship, networking/collaborating and direction.
There is so many ways to join in the community: commenting on others blogs, Facebook groups, Google+ communities, Pinterest group boards and Twitter chats! Follow bloggers and truly engage in all social medias and you’ll find new blogs and bloggers that you will love and will find so much support and help in.
It’s also really fun and addicting getting involved in the community – I go through phases where I spend more time on others’ blogs than my own! I also love Twitter chats.
In due time I will be sharing some of my favourite groups/communities/chats to be a part of, but for now, they’re simply a Google search away as most bloggers will share where they hang out!
Similar to networking and engaging with the blogger community, a great idea is to also collaborate! Do guest postings, do webinars together, join/co-host link-ups or giveaways and sponsorship’s (By Regina has an awesome list of possible blogger collaborations here!) Not only will you be creating great connections with other bloggers, but it’s also a form of promotion and getting your name and blog out there to readers who are already reading content by similar bloggers.
Your design and branding can also be so overwhelming. Designing, coding and promoting using your brand can all be scary when you’re not in love with what you’re creating – I’ve felt that. It can give you and your blog a whole new life by redesigning when you feel like it needs it – I personally felt obsessed with my blog once I recreated this theme as I truly needed it to get back on and love what I was doing.
There are so many resources out there to help you as well: you can find graphic designers to design for you if you just don’t have what it takes or trust someone else’s skills more than yourself as well as there are so many themes out there, free or paid! Check out my blog resource list for some places to find some themes and resources to help with your designing and branding.
5. Put down the backbones before you regret not doing it
What do I mean by backbones? All of the things that create your own and your blogs online presence. Have your social media all pointing to your blog and your blog pointing to your social media and through all of these channels work on consistency when it comes to who you’re putting out there.
You should also have ways to find and contact you as well as a way for readers to subscribe. Even if you’re not particularly planning on sending out regular emails or anything, you’ll most likely one day regret not doing it sooner as you could have lost a whole lot of readers who were keen to subscribe earlier and have since forgotten about your blog.
Also on that note, make sure you’re follow-able in enough places so people can constantly be redirected to your blog. For instance, I particularly like to follow new blogs on Bloglovin’ or Twitter to hear about new posts.
Set all of this down so that your online presence is established and begin experimenting with your presence.
Everyone promotes their blog in their own ways – some like doing it some hate doing it but really, you have to do it if you want people to find your blog and if you’re putting hard work into your blog you do want people to find it. Some people experiment with all social media then find which channels benefit them the most and really stick to them and work them hard. Some people try to use all social media to promote but don’t exhaust them too much.
Find which channels work for you, your blog and your audience and experiment with how you promote; tell people where to go or suggest where they might like to go, see what works for you.
We don’t have all the time in the world to focus on our blogs unless you’re a full-time blogger, but most of us can’t afford to be a full-time blogger in our first 6 months as it’s still a newborn and not quite ready to make us a living (while some of us will never really bother becoming a full-timer). So whatever else you’re juggling your blog with, you need to figure out a way to make it all work without burning out. This is something I still have yet to figure out and maintain.
For me, it’s two casual jobs and uni (as well as my laziness) that I need to balance alongside writing for my blog.
First things first, you need to experiment with your routine and how you can find time to post within it – for example, how many times a week should you post so as to not make your life harder but keep your blog alive. Then aside from that you want your promoting, social media, engagement and other little necessary to-do’s to come in as well without it being painful.
So you need supplies to help! Keep planners with to-do’s and goals (find some sweet free printable planners here!) or use online resources, Evernote being a key tool for bloggers as well as social media schedulers (I’ve listed some here.)
Monetizing probably isn’t too necessary for your first 6 months of blogging but if you can make some small cash to help you invest more in your blog, cool! There are a heap of different ways to make money on your blog, some big and some small. When you’re starting out putting ads on your site and joining affiliate programs where you earn a commission on sales you direct are simpler ways to go about making smaller money without compromising your blogs mission too much.
Later on (and what I’m beginning to experiment with now) you can look at collaborating with brands, doing sponsored posts and selling your own services or products!
So… get started!
Like I said at the beginning, you need to start actually doing stuff! Don’t just read up on what you should do as a blogger because the truth is, there’s a lot out there and something that worked for one blogger won’t necessarily work for you. So experiment to find what will and what won’t work for you and your blogging journey!
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