I was at an event last night, and I met a (super sweet!) woman who said she did a quick search for other D.C.-area bloggers and stumbled upon my website. From there, she found some of my blogging tips articles, and she said that it actually helped her when she was getting started with her own website.
I’ve never wanted to become a blog that’s just about blogging — there are plenty of those out there. And I’m not the biggest blogger out there. It’s an interesting industry because there’s no “right” way to blog. Everyone has their own opinions, but I love to share blogging tips and tricks about what has worked for me in the past.
The number one question I’ve been receiving lately, IRL? I get asked what tips I have specifically for new bloggers. Sure, I wrote about this topic a few years ago, but the industry has changed so much, that I figured it was time for an update. Going into 2019, here’s what I believe is the best strategy for new bloggers.
Instagram is King, but Blogging is Queen
As much as I love my website, I’m not going to lie: the demand for sponsored blog posts went down for me significantly in 2018, and the requests for sponsored Instagram posts has risen tenfold.
Does this mean that blogging is dead? Absolutely not. I still update my blog on a regular basis, because my blog and my email list are the two things that I actually own. Instagram could shut down tomorrow, or a new social media app could come on the scene and change the game. For now, IG is a major power player, but it is still essential to have a presence on multiple channels.
I would recommend blogging at least once a week if you’re new. I don’t think there’s a need to blog 5 times/week in this day and age (I dropped down from 4 posts to 3 blog posts a week a few weeks ago, just because the demand for IG content has risen sharply!) But pick one day a week when you’ll have a new post up and plan accordingly.
What Social Networks to Keep (And Ditch)
Back in the day, every blogger I knew had their own website, and a presence on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram. However, there’s one social platform I say you can cut — and I’m a little torn up about it, because it’s a platform that I love (and still haven’t quit!)
I’d say if you don’t want to sign up for all four major social networks, you can drop Twitter. It’s not a platform where I see a ton of growth, and it’s not a platform that brands are investing in either. Trust me: I LOVE Twitter. I’ve formed friendships off the network and was on it regularly when it was in its prime from 2012-2015. I still have a substantial audience on the platform and even use it daily, but that audience hasn’t grown in a hot minute.
I would definitely keep Facebook and Pinterest. As annoying as the Facebook reach is, Facebook and Instagram go hand-in-hand. A lot of sponsored projects I take on require me to have a Facebook page so that I can permit them to run Instagram ads on my behalf via Facebook Business Manager. You can update your Facebook page a few times a week; no need to dedicate a ton of time to it, but I would definitely either start a page ASAP or keep your page.
Pinterest is a really powerful, underrated tool: I now am receiving 1.5 million unique monthly visitors on Pinterest, which is more traffic than I receive from my blog and Instagram combined. I went to the Pinterest conference earlier this year and learned how to grow my presence on the platform even more, and how I can get my content to go viral. Not only can you pin your blog posts, but you can also pin your Instagram posts as well, and you can drive thousands of pageviews to your blog and IG with the tool!
How to Balance Your Time
Short answer? You’re going to have to give up either sleep or parts of your social life if you want your blog to grow (or in my case, both). When I was still at my 9-5, I stayed up until 1 AM every night working on my blog, and I would wake up at 7 or 8 AM on the weekends for photoshoots — meaning I couldn’t stay out super late on Friday or Saturday night. I didn’t have a boyfriend because my blog was basically my boyfriend, and I’m not going to lie: I would have to decline dates sometimes if I had a blog deadline or an important media event to attend after work.
That probably wasn’t the answer you were expecting. And trust me, I’ve seen dozens of bloggers quit over the years because it isn’t easy. At the end of the day, I loved my blog, loved the community I created and was self-motivated to work hard and make a couple of little sacrifices in order to build it into a full-fledged business.
What are some of your blogging tips for new bloggers?