We have all seen the INCREDIBLE heights that blogging has peaked at over the decade, with the art creating some of the worlds best known social stars such as Tanya Burr, Zoella, MannyMUA, Patrickstarrr and a PLETHORA of human beans who have made a name for themselves in the business of blogging, but just how easy is it to start to get your blog really taking off? This past week I have been looking into how to propel your humble site to a truly iconic site, but just how hard is it going to be? Read on to hear my top tips for getting your blog out there into the world, and to just be writing and getting your voice out there.
Step 1 – What Style of Blog do you Want?
Now I don’t prescribe to a style per se, however if you’re creating a blog for a business for example – which for millennial workers is very common because apparently we know everything about technology (good one) ??? This style is important if you’re working for someone else because it’ll need to be consistent, not just in the physical aesthetic of your blog, but in the writing style as well. Don’t have a jazzy really urban and young person based blog, and then write as if you’re writing a dissertation in anthropology. Obviously if you want to, you can, but know who your target audience are and cater for them. I think that’s why it’s so hard to believe that the likes of Tanya Burr and Zoella are actually “that nice” – because they’re probably not as clean cut and disney as they appear online, and that’s because they’ve found their audience, and they cater to their needs, so stop giving them shit for being very black and white because they’re literal millionaires, and clearly have their heads screwed on tight.
My writing style is how I speak, so it’s a mixture of how I would message my friends, and also how I think in my head, so I don’t really try to keep it 10/10 perfect all the time, because it’s raw and literally just is what I want it to be, in the moment. However if you want it to be hella professional and corporate, remember to change your writing style accordingly, because sadly yes we live in a world where you have to sometimes, cater to what people want you to do. (I know it’s bullshit don’t @ me).
Step 2 – What to Write?
There have been PLENTY of times where I have gone to write a post and have planned it and researched accordingly but have gotten to the coffee shop of my choice, sat down, and just not FELT it. It’s like outfit planning, I can plan an outfit in my head and be like y e s g o d that is going to look sickening however I then try it on and the shapes don’t compliment me or each other, and it just doesn’t work out for that day. In the moment, it’s not right, and it’s the same with writing for your blog. If you feel a burning desire to write about what’s on your mind, but you have had a planned post for a few weeks, then write what you need to in that moment, because the planned post can wait if necessary. Use your blog however you want to. Use it to grow your brand, use it to grow your business, use it to grow your client list and contacts, or use it to express yourself and vent, or for all of them, it’s literally up to you! Yes the site will be owned by the domain that you are using, however this is your page and make it yours, make it memorable and let everybody know without any hesitation that this is YOUR page.
Step 3 – How to get people to read it?
This is something that can be difficult and has a lot of factors behind it that can determine whether or not your site is going to be as big as twitter, or end up like bebo (lest we forget). Know your audience. Know who you’re talking to, and try and cater for them. I have been guilty of in the past, writing for my audience and writing for me, however when it actually comes to promoting the blog and getting people to read it, I became too corporate and too formal with the promo, so it doesn’t match the tone and vibe of the blog. Something that a lot of beauty bloggers do and youtubers is to write titles and posts that can be seen as ‘click-bait’. Now this can be controversial because a lot of the time these ‘click-bait’ posts are never what the title actually says it is, however it has done exactly what it’s purpose is to do, get you onto the site. You are then on the site, able to roam around, read previous posts, and BAM you could have your first blog follower or continued reader, just don’t be too deceiving because otherwise people will lose loyalty with your blog.
Make your titles short, snappy, and to really get them out there, use words or phrases that are commonly searched for or written about. For example, this post itself. A lot of people want to know HOW to make a successful blog, so they’re going to search into google “how to make a successful blog”, or “how to make a blog get followers/views” – and if your title has those phrases in it, when these people search that into google, your blog could be one of the first to appear. SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) is a great technique to use because it’ll get followers from no-where, because google basically is doing your promo for you – the bloggers dream.
Step 4 – I’m getting views but, what now?
This is something I am reaching now and I am trying to work out what’s best for my site for the future, and there are so many different options you can take, again dependent on what you’re looking for in your site. If you do this part time, maybe study, have a job, and do this as a release or a hobby, and don’t really care overtly about views or stats, then just KEEP GOING. Enjoy yourself, this is your site and your place, and just keep on writing your amazing posts because there’s always someone who will love it and appreciate it. If you’re in this position, however you want to boost your views and actually start earning from your blog in a more financial way as opposed an emotional gain, there are many ways to do it as I have discovered.
One way I have actually managed to get some of my blog work printed and published is by looking for independent zines and webpages who are looking for related content to put into their publications. This is a great way to see if your work can be published and to get feedback on it from a critical perspective, if that’s the field you want to travel in. It’s also great because it can be again free promo for your work, because your work is being then published and sent out to readers of the zine, who are now potentially new viewers for your blog! Also another great benefit of this is that independent zines primarily focus on a topic of social demographic and the zine is targeted at them, already meaning that the target audience that are going to be reading your post will be interested in the content anyway because they zine is a niche item in the first place. For example, my posts on this site about pride were used in a zine called Twink which was based around the LGBTQIA+ community, and the information was therefore relevant and topical for the publication.
Another way which I am focusing on at the moment is to create financial revenue from my blog. There are numerous ways to do this, and although yes you can make lots of money from owning a blog, there are a lot of variable factors that are dependent on whether or not your going to be rolling in it. Affiliate marketing is something that is really growing in the past decade, and speaks to a new era of people who are focused on social media, and slick marketing. People aren’t interested in products if they’re overtly advertised in your face. Affiliate marketing is based around the principle of you liking a brand, trusting them and enjoying the product (this is v important) and them then reaching out to you to promote their brand, and have discount codes etc to increase the brands consumer base, and also keep you as a brand ambassador. This is a great way to ensure that the brand grows, you have content to write about, and your readers enjoy themselves and feel like they’ve GAINED something from the post. They’re saving money, they can see the products being used in real life, and you as a blogger can get money from this as most affiliate codes offer a comission. For example, my relationship with MuddyBody – a US based cosmetics company, and Coconut Lane – a UK based lifestyle and accessories brand, are based around me being interested in the products in the first place. I receive commission based upon the amount of sales that I create, and this is measured by how many times my coupon code is used, as it’s an indicator as to how many people have seen me talking about the brand. Similarly, my MuddyBody relationship works on a code based principle, with me earning comission. Now because I don’t have TONNES of followers or views, this does make me money however nothing to live off of.
A way to actually make money and be able to see real results is via Google AdSense. I was only introduced to this very recently, and it focuses around advertising for your site. Brands contact Google and explain that they want advertising for their brand/company/product. In return, Google offers them ad place on blogs or sites that are signed up with AdSense. For example, my blog features fashion posts, so therefore if a fashion brand was looking for advertising space via AdSense, Google could display an ad on my site (with my approval) of this brand, because it’s fashion based and my blog and the brands consumers are very similar. In terms of revenue for you, the blogger, brands work on different vibes. You can earn via clicks, so per click onto an advert on your blog from a reader, Google will pay you. Or, it can be based upon whether or not these sales generate revenue for the brand, or based upon how long the viewer is on the site for. Some brands pay more than others, but it’s always related to the contenf of your blog. This is a perfect way to not only make your blog look more professional and realistic, but to also create income for yourself, and make contacts in the blogging/marketing world yourself. Now as a disclaimer, you DO need to own your domain to be able to make money and sign up to AdSense, so for example you can link your wordpress to AdSense, however it works better if you own your URL Domain, so I am in the process of purchasing ‘leopardprintelephant.com’ which is exciting, and through a second party channel such as wordpress, it’s very affordable.
All you really need to do with a blog is enjoy yourself. If you’re having fun and making content that is enjoyable for you, then do it. As long as you’re literally not spreading hate speech on your blog, and it’s not oppressive or hateful, then write away, and share your voice with the world. It’s honestly been one of the best things to happen to me because it’s just a weekly release. Don’t force yourself to keep up to date with everything all the time, yes there will be times where you have writers block and just want to write nothing, that’s fine. Don’t treat it like homework that’s a chore. If you don’t want to do it, don’t, but just be aware the impact this could have on your views. Try your best, try layouts out, don’t be afraid to change things and play around, and make a blog that you’re proud of.
Happy blogging, and don’t hesitate to ask me any questions you know where I am, (well you fucking better do otherwise… I mean we can’t carry on like this ok).