So maybe you have thought about starting a blog or perhaps you want to take your blogging more seriously. I’m going to give you some pretty basic, but oh-so-important tips on how to take blogging by the reins as well as announcing our all-new, fresh and fancy Blog Planner to keep you organized, balanced and still breathing at the end of every work day. They are the bees knees and so is the following list if I do say so myself. And if you are wanting a complete step-by-step guide of putting your editorial planner together and what it entails, visit this post here.
Blogging is a beast in and of itself. When I started my business as a photographer years ago, I would have never imagined I would be calling myself a blogger today. I have always loved to write and back then my days of AP English in high school were not all that far behind me so I picked it up easily. And you know what? It was love at first post. And the joy truly has nothing to do with showing off my latest work or the amount of followers I gain. It’s the sharing that lights a fire in me and it’s the amazing people and conversations I have been able to have all through this little corner of mine on the world wide web. There are beautiful people I have gained relationships with that I would have otherwise probably never met. It truly is a small world out there and this blog has blessed me in many, many ways. However, do not let the above fool you, I am going to give it to you straight. Blogging is hard
at times. A lot of the time. Maintaining one, coming up with new content, writing on a deadline and so much more. It really does require discipline. So let me break it down with a few tips if you just so happen to be brainstorming your next move. And this will be geared more towards photographers and designers because it’s the business I know, but these tips and the Blog Planner can work for anyone.
Tip numeral uno. Commit or quit. Honestly, it is that simple. And not something that is required by any means so don’t think that it will make or break your business or brand. We all know blogging is huge these days. Several years ago a CEO of a software company told me and everyone else sitting in a restaurant for dinner that blogging was becoming obsolete and was not a train to get on. What an boob. And a really bad sales pitch for his own product now that I think about it, but that’s a tangent for another time. Blogging is big, we all know that, but what matters most is that your business is about you and what works for you. I heard Sue Bryce say once that if you truly hate something, find a way to not do it. And yes, you are allowed to have a hate list. Mine is pretty long.
So you’re not a writer? You hate coming up with things to talk about? Then don’t do it. What do you think is better for your business? Having a blog linked to your website because it is what you’re ‘supposed’ to do it while it sits there and collects dust because of your lack of passion for it? Or… forget about the blog and put that time and energy into what you love about your business and create a better experience for your clients? Kind of a no brainer, right? You truly have to enjoy blogging to keep up with it and make it a core part of your brand and business.
Tip number two. Be yourself. Right now there is an extreme situation in the blog industry and it is a lack of originality. There is a plethora of “read this article and find out how to gain thousands of followers” and not enough people forging ahead with their own ideas and style without caring what the trend is or what anyone else thinks. Readers who connect with what you are doing and writing will find you. And they will love you. And the ones that find you and hate you? That’s fine. Because the hipster blogs out there are a-plenty and more than happy to gain another follower.
Be your own voice within the sea of blog posts. Stand out because there is only one of you. Stop looking left and right at what everyone else is doing. Are you sarcastic? Great! Find a way to include that in your writing. Are you quiet and soft spoken? That works too because you can use imagery to work alongside what you have to say to make it more impactful. And I know it’s hard. We all have to start somewhere and we all have individuals that we emulate. We also worry about being transparent and what people think. Give yourself time to get comfortable with being open, but never give up your unique voice. It will be the reason you set yourself apart.
And remember that everyone starts somewhere. No one starts out being an expert – it takes time and work. Don’t worry what other people think of you. I have had people close to me and not so close to me judge me pretty harshly for things I have written about, but remember that you are growing and learning. And someone else’s opinion about what you are doing and creating has nothing to do with you. Don’t ever forget that. Do your thing. #HatersHateOn
Tip number three. Don’t wing it. Honestly, it’s never a good idea. Every post that I have ever rushed and thrown up one day just to say that I posted for two weeks straight? I always end up hating what I said. Bleh. Quality over quantity, friends. Always and forever. However, if your quantity is once every six months then your quality meter might be broken. #JustSaying
Tip number four. Imagery, imagery, imagery. A picture is worth a thousand words. Post a great one and you have less to write – am I right?! Pay close attention to your images. Infuse style and personality into them. Your blog goes so much farther than just your post. Images will be pinned, more people will find that particular article and add you to daily reads. Everything is visual these days and it really does make all the difference.
Tip number five. Create shareable content. If you are purely a photographer and you just want to post images of your latest shoots? Wonderful. Other artists and clients will love keeping up with what you are doing and other photographers will pin images for inspiration. You’re still winning. However, if you want to truly create a blog that is going to help build your brand and grow your audience, you need to keep this in the forefront. Write about things that people want to read, or know, or share. Are you crazy talented at DIY crafts? Find a way to add that to your blog. Are you a fitness nut and have tons of things that worked for you in losing the baby weight? Write about it. People read blogs to be inspired, to learn and to enjoy. Keep them coming and wanting more. And sharing your content more!
So now you have a few tips to get started. You have thought about it for a long time. Or perhaps you are in the thick of it and feeling overwhelmed. What could possibly keep you organized and handle all of the big ideas and scheduling of posts? You want to develop good habits from the beginning because content development is quite a job.
Insider’s tip! A great blog contains 40% knowledge, 40% inspiration/positive thoughts, 10% personality and 10% self promotion. Keep this in mind as you move forward!