I couldn’t wait to write this post.. I have been blogging for one year!
I started this blogging journey March 16th 2018.
I was on my lunch break at my day job.
I had given myself one year and $500 to make my dream come true. My dream is to be able to make a living working from home.
I have always loved social media, writing and taking pictures.. I just had no idea that could some how translate into a career.
Until I scrolled onto an Ebook “a lifestyle bloggers’s guide to your first week of blogging “ by Marina are Giovanni
The book basically guides you through starting your blogging in one week.. I was so motivated. I did all the steps in one day and this blog was born.
You have to understand, where this hunger to succeed was coming from. I had started a business the year before.
A vegan meal prep service. I took time to get my food handling license, catering license, I was doing well. I learned I could make extra money, with my extra time.
However the demand was too much. I had built a small following with my food photography and recipes on IG, I also had a large fitness group on Facebook that I had grown to 5k members.
The failure of my food prep business showed me, I was on the tip of something. I gave myself $500 and one year to figure out a way to really make money from home with my writing, photography, knowledge of food, family and fitness.
In one year I made $6k (check out this post to find out how and to see The 7 sites I use to find paid work with a small blog)
I became friends with the original blogger, social media influencer, the man himself PEREZ HILTON!
I walked the red carpets of Hollywood as a media.
Last year felt like a dream. I didn’t have a laptop. I didn’t have a camera. I just had a dream, after my $500 ran out. I only had time to invest in my career and that’s what I did.
I spent every waking moment learning about blogging. I spent hours writing, taking photos, learning photo editing. I became obsessed with blogging and made it my life.
This year I found success in my own way as blogger and I wanted to share advice with new bloggers, give tips and tricks to ensure success in this crazy bloggersophere.
Let’s dive in to this list!
Quality over Quantity
This is no magic number to how many blog post to write to make a blog successful. There was a time I was writing a blog post everyday😅 I quickly learned that was not for me. Number one a quality blog post takes time to write.
Even before the post is written you have to take the time to perform Keyword Research, make an outline, rough draft, find a title etc it’s a process!
For google to even deem a post “quality” the post is typical 1000-1200 words in length.
YEP! That’s a lot of work for one post..
When I first started I assumed “more post mean more eyes, means more traffic”
While that’s all true and amazing. Creating more post means you also have to have time to promote those post.
You have to take the time to share your work on various social media platforms. Not just post it and leave the platform but actually interact on the platform and engage with those who are engaging with your blog post.
I typically post 1-3 times a week.
That is what I can handle and what my audience expects.
If you’re posting too often, you can burn yourself out and burn your readers out as well.
It’s better to have 10 well written, SEO friendly, post than 100 post that are slapped together just so you can say you have 100 blog post written.. I was that blogger.. don’t be that blogger.. you will be tired and bitter and have 100 awful blog post to edit later in your career.
If you want opportunities you have to make them for yourself.
Every opportunity I have is because I pitched myself to brands. The art of the pitch: How to reach out to brands and get results
I took the time to build up my social media platforms and I knew what I needed in order for brands to take me seriously and I worked toward that daily.
(I posted this March 18th 2018 on my Facebook)
I researched brands, I created content that brands were looking for and I would reach out with complete plans, ideas, blog post, photos.
I because used my blog and social media as my business portfolio and showed brands what I was capable of.
I should them how I could improve their business and provided them with an audience they may not have realized was available to them.
Opportunities are not going to come just because you have a lot of followers. Opportunities are not just going to arise because you have a blog.
Opportunities arise when you seek them out and have a reason why your blog and social media is useful.
I apply for jobs Tuesday and Thursday every single week.
I search for blogging conventions weekly.
I network daily on Ig, Facebook, Twitter, I scour the internet for opportunities DAILY.
If you want work you make the work for yourself.
I created a resume on google doc and media kit on Canva and I made it work!
You want people to know you’re available for work, let them know!
Reach out, create content and tag brands. If you’re a music blogger, reach out to your favorite band, let them know you’ll write in exchange for a cheap show ticket!
Make your own opportunities! You’ll be so glad you did.
Learn SEO and Love it!
I had no idea what Search Engine Optimization was until 8 months into my blogging journey. I was looking for way to get free traffic to my site. I was using Facebook ads to bring traffic and I enjoyed the results, but I wanted to have traffic without having to pay for it.
The episode taught me simple formatting techniques that took my search engine traffic from 12 search engine referrals a months to over 100!
That’s 142 views a week that I don’t have to work for. I’ve only written about 15 post that are search engine optimized and they bring in HUGE traffic.
I wish I would have learned about SEO earlier, I wouldn’t have spent so much money and time on Facebook ads!
SEO gives your site credibility with google. Google will show your blog post on the front page of its search results and that will help your blog traffic tremendously!
Free views are GREAT views! Learning SEO will bring you so much traffic! ( and raise your D.A! Batsplaining Domain Authority : What is domain Authority and how to improve it )
Pay attention to your audience
You’ll save yourself a lot of time and energy if you simply look at your own insights and see what your audience is consuming and make more of that!
When I first started blogging I wanted to write about EVERYTHING all the time! I would get so upset when a post I spent hours writing on a topic that mattered deeply to me only got 5 views.. well that’s because my audience didn’t care about what I wrote about!
When you find a niche and you have an audience you need to cater to them and create content they want to see.
Check your insights and see what blog post got comments, likes and shares and create that magic again.
No matter the size of your audience you have insights and way to see what is being seen. Utilize the tools you have an use them to help you create.
If you want to make money as blogger take it seriously DAY ONE!
Invest in your domain!
Invest the $48 and purchase your domain name. You nothing else. Own your site name so when you have business cards and you’re introducing your blog it’s simply “my blog.com” not “my blog.wordpress.com” if you can’t even invest the $48 to act as if you are a really blogger people aren’t going to take you seriously.
That was my second purchase. My first purchase was the blogging book for $5.60 and the very next purchase was my domain name http://www.iambatmom85.com I own that. That is my piece of the internet to create
That is my internet real estate that I’m responsible for. That is portfolio, my business, my work, that is my area.
You have to lay claim to your career. If you want this you need to make the invest and purchase your domain.
It really shows that you take what you’re doing seriously.
Have a plan!
How are you going to make money? You don’t just get money because you have a blog. No, do you have have something to sell?
Are you going to write post filled with affiliate links to bring in an stream of income? ( Want to learn about affiliate links? Read this post “The truth about affiliate links”)
Are you a great writer? Find freelance writing jobs!
Are you amazing with social media? Open a social media marketing agency.
You have to think outside the box and find ways to bring in an income as a blogger.
You have to have a plan. You have to understand to make money as blogger it comes from several streams of income. Not just being a blogger per se.
Realize this is not going to happen overnight
Success comes for the steps you take each day toward your goal. You aren’t going to wake up in the morning with 6 figures in your bank account just because you started a blog a month ago.
No, you’re going to wake up with 6 figures because the Ebook you wrote is a best seller, you’re going to wake up with 6 figures because the course you created is successful. You’re going to make 6 figures because the post you places the affiliate links in went viral.
It’s a process. It doesn’t happen fast, it happens over time. It happens with hard work and setting yourself up to succeed daily.
It took me about 3-4 months to make my first $250. It was a sponsored post. I received payment for a blog post and pictures.
That moment showed me what I wanted, and that what I wanted was possible. I pitched that opportunity and that collaboration taught me about setting up product photo shoots, how to work with a brand and how payment schedules work.
It also showed me it took me 4 months to make $250.. that means this work isn’t easy and the success doesn’t come in one night.
Use your social media as a tool for you blog.
Figure out which platform works best for you blog.
I use Ig to promote new blog post, engage with my readers etc
I also have a Facebook business in order to run ads and engage in groups.
Don’t think of social as bad thing. Use it as a tool for growth and connections.
Check out my post on social media growth to fully understand how to use IG as blogger:
Make a content calendar and stick to it!
Have a plan for what you want to write. Brainstorm you week and follow that plan.
I have a calendar for social media and one for blogging and I’ve had one since I started the blog and I really feel a lot of my “success” is because I stick to my content calendar.
My audience knows what to expect and I know what I’m doing each day as well it really helps to make things run smoothly.
It’s ok to look at stats but don’t become obsessed
Look at stats is fine! It’s normal to want to gauge your progress but don’t be so consumed by the numbers you lose yourself and motivation.
Numbers are going to rise and fall, that he nature of this game. Applaud when you rise but when you fall.. don’t think about the numbers lost.
Focus on who you have and be grateful for those readers. When your numbers drops cater to the followers who have been there since day one.
Be an active part of the blogging community
Take the time to find other bloggers. ( Twitter.. all the bloggers and blogging groups are on twitter! Twitter is where the active blogging community is!)
Take sometime to read other bloggers work, share their work and reach out.
If you’re a mom blogger, find other mom bloggers and see what they are writing about. See where they are going and meet up!
Go to conventions! Check out eventbrite and look for blogging meetups.
The more you put yourself out there the more you’ll enjoy blogging. The more you interact in the community the more you will grow as well.
You have to be yourself. The reason your blog will be successful will be because of YOU! It will be because of your voice, your life and your experiences so don’t be afraid to be yourself.
Don’t be afraid to be vulnerable and real. Don’t be afraid to be yourself.
That’s what make bloggers successful. You can’t duplicate another’s person life. No matter how hard you try your life will never be someone else’s. You have to find the beauty in your own story and share it proudly.
Don’t shy away from any parts of yourself and not be afraid of sharing with your audience.
The more you open up the more you’ll find your audience will open up to you. They are more willing to share your work and experiences when they are real, authentic and relatable.
Don’t be afraid to be yourself and find your truth.
Study your craft!
I am a graduate of YouTube university and I went to Google university for my masters.
Take the time to learn everything you want to know about blogging. There is a search bar for a reason. There is no excuse for not knowing the basics of what you want to do. I study all the time.
I will search “Blogging tips 2019” and just watch the videos that pop up and take notes. I learn and then I implement everything I learn.
Somethings work amazing, somethings don’t but that’s how you learn.
You figure things out, you fail, you look silly and start a YouTube for your blog..and quickly realize you love writing.. that’s how you grow.. you learn! You study your craft and make it your own.
Celebrate your success every step of the way!
Blogging can be daunting and lonely. If you get 10 views one day and you’re only used to getting 5.. CELEBRATE!
Let someone know! “I’m a blogger and I got 10 views today!”
Celebrate your milestones! They matter! Write them down! Look back on them on the days when you don’t understand why you’re even doing this.. (trust me you will have those days.. they are normal)
Celebrate each step you take toward making blogging your career. There isn’t a right or wrong way to do it which makes it that much harder to do.. so celebrate the small things and the big things as well.
Set short term and long term goals
I learned to set monthly goals and quarterly goals for my blog. I try not to have goals for views but actionable goals like “I will network 1 hour a day Monday and Wednesday and Friday the entire month of March”
Then I set a larger goal “my book will be finished in 3 months”
Always give yourself something to work toward and reward. It makes working as a solo a little easier if your have goals to think about.
It’s ok to unplug
You have to live life in order to have content. You have unplug in order to feel and be present to those who really need you.
Don’t feel guilty for stepping away to live your life. Don’t feel guilty for getting sick. I see bloggers apologizing for not being online.. you’re allowed to live your life.
You’re allowed to breathe. You’re allowed to be human. You have to get out there and get content to bring back to your readers so don’t feel badly when you have to be a human being.
Don’t be afraid to say “I’m a blogger!”
You will create so many opportunities just by being bold and stating what you are and what you do.
It also gives you practice and confidence.
Just start your blog! Just do it!
You will never know how amazing it feels to achieve your goal until you just do it.
In one year my little blog that I started out of nowhere received 32k views and was visited by nearly 18k people 😱
I’ve been published and paid as a writer several times this year. I’ve done things people only dream about and that because I simply had a dream and followed it FEVERISHLY!
I wanted this more than anything and I wasn’t going to take no for an answer. “No” isn’t in my vocabulary when it comes to my dreams I only need one “yes” so I work for that yes everyday!
I would never know this type of confidence, I wouldn’t have a job as freelance writer, I wouldn’t be Batmom85 if I didn’t just say “Screw it! Why not!”
What is for you.. is yours.. just take it!
I hope you enjoyed this post.
I’ve enjoyed this year blogging and I’m thankful for each reader and each opportunity.
Thank you it’s been a wonderful year.
Here’s to many more!