Good morning everyone, I hope you’re having a great week. Today I’m bringing another post about growing your blog, and sharing the lessons I wish I had been told when I started blogging a few years ago. These are five lessons that would have saved me a lot of time, effort and stress if I had thought about implementing them from the beginning of my journey.
When I first started blogging in October 2016, I waded my way through so much information on the internet – and although some of it was absolute nonsense, a lot of it was really valuable and really helpful in terms of focusing and growing Mile in My Glasses.
Because of this, I was thinking about five lessons that I wish I had known before I started my blogging journey, from little bits and bobs to pretty major lessons that have changed my blog dramatically. I’d love to know whether you guys agree (or disagree) with any of my points, and what your thoughts are, too – if you want to leave them below.
Creating Cohesive Imagery
My first lesson is one of the most important, and comes down to the material that ties your online presence together. Your images and designs essentially represent everything about you and your business online, so investing in learning how to create and cultivate a cohesive “brand” is so useful and important.
Although I’m not of the belief that you need to be crafting incredibly complex and professional images from day dot, with the amount of saturation in the blogging industry, the better the images you can create, the more people who are likely to interact with them.
In terms of branding, I think figuring out a colour palette (and not just for Instagram) can be so worthwhile for your blog. When it comes down to it, you want to be cycling through the same 3-4 fonts for all of your designs, and ideally a few select colours that you’re weaving throughout, too.
This will help make sure that all of your branding flows, and will help people not only recognise, but get a feel for your business and blog before they’ve even read the first word on the page.
Remember that colours inspire emotions in readers, so use that to your advantage when crafting a brand. If you visit my Instagram, you’ll see that I’ve assigned what I consider my ‘colour palette’ as the highlight bubbles on the top of my profile. I then use this to make sure the colours throughout images I’m posting are consistent, and everything aligns perfectly.
Also, don’t let this stress you out if it’s something that you haven’t figured out yet – I didn’t actually nail down my ‘style’ until recently after lots of trial and error. I found it super hard to commit, but now I love my images and the specific feeling that they inspire in me!
Learning About SEO
To keep this post quite light, I’m not going to do an in-depth guide into SEO and the ins and outs of how it works, but I will link some of my favourite guides about it.
SEO, essentially, is about how well your posts will show up on search engines like Google. The best tool to use for this is something like Moz.
Moz has a range of free SEO tools to use, including a keyword tool that gives you insight on which words to target for growth. It lets you know the difficulty to rank for each keyword, related keywords that you can target and other articles that are ranking high for the same search terms.
Helene did an incredibly in-depth guide about how to cultivate and maintain 200,000 visitors per month and what she says about SEO is both incredible and inspiring. I definitely recommend checking that post out above.
Battling the numbers for your visitors per month can be challenging, but I’ve found that trying to figure out SEO and taking your time in understanding how it all works will be so worthwhile in the long run if you’re looking to grow your blog and have visitors that can find you via search engines like Google.
Social Media Strategy
When you start a blog, I feel like there’s a pressure to try and be ‘popular’ on as many social platforms as you can. Whether you want to branch onto Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube, Bloglovin’ or Facebook – it’s assumed that if you’re blogging, you should be a dab hand at all of them.
When I first started, I opened all of my accounts and then tried to balance myself between as many as possible – which, inevitably, led me to be doing pretty sloppy work across them all.
I can’t recommend enough that you focus on one platform at a time. We’re in an age of social media where you don’t need to have as many platforms as you can – in fact, I’d argue almost the opposite.
Jenna Kutcher said a great lesson in one of her workshops, that you should be trying to offer your following a different thing on each platform, so if you simply don’t have anything else to share – you don’t necessarily need to branch into another platform just for the sake of it.
Instead, if you focus on a single platform – invest your time learning about the algorithm, posting patterns and how to make each specific one work for you, you’ll be much better off than stretching yourself too thin trying to please each and every one of your followers.
The Blog Traffic Secret
Following on from my previous point, I want to share with you guys a secret to exploding your blog traffic: Pinterest.
You may have heard this before, or you might not – but Pinterest, which essentially is a search engine of blogs, is one of the best ways to get eyes on your work and people interacting with your sites.
As a social network, Pinterest is constantly searching for relevant content for people to view. And with their demand, the more your content fits their criteria – the better. As Pinterest essentially is a search engine, learning about keywords and SEO will help you go a long way.
Pinterest needs to understand what you’re uploading to it, and since a lot of content is similar (aka a lot of the same stock photos are on there, and a lot of the same images but with different filters), the network does better to understand what you’re actually posting if you can fill the pin description with relevant terms.
You can check out my Pinterest profile here, I’d also recommend that you join a lot of the same group boards that I’m in as they’re targeted towards bloggers.
In fact, I did a full breakdown on how to explode your blog traffic using Pinterest, which will be linked here. I definitely recommend giving that a read, as I cover some incredible strategies and tips that will have you growing your audience immediately.
The Sense of Community
A lot of people talk about the saturation of bloggers, because like it or not there are a lot of us. There are bloggers stretching across every niche that you can imagine all over the internet. And, a lot of people make that sound like a bad thing – but really, it’s not.
There is so much community throughout the bloggersphere, with everyone being so inspiring and supportive to one another, regardless of niche, platform or posts.
I love talking to other bloggers: reaching out to them, commenting on other blogs and making friendships. If there’s one thing I would recommend to people who is starting in blogging: it’s to network.
Network is a scary term, and I don’t mean for it to be. I don’t mean networking in the sense of getting on a suit and working on our elevator pitches, I mean networking in the sense of reaching out to other bloggers.
Comment on posts that inspire you, follow and catch up on posts from your favourite bloggers. There’s no better way to make friends in the industry and establish yourself to not just other bloggers, but readers too.
Every blogger that I’ve had the pleasure to meet have been kind, welcoming and so inclusive – offering their own tricks of the trade and advice for anybody who wants to join the journey.
What lessons have you learnt from blogging?
Pin this for later?
Please note this post was originally published 10th May 2018.