A year and a half ago I started my blog. I can proudly and confidently say, it is the best thing I have ever done. After my years of procrastination and anxiety holding me back, I took the plunge.
One of the top events to attend when starting a blog is the NI Blogger Brunch, hosted by blogger, PR and business woman, Cathy Martin. The Blogger Brunch gives bloggers from Northern Ireland the opportunity to share tips, learn advice and network with peers. At a recent NI Blogger Brunch, I talked about the 3 Ps I maintain to help my blog grow and succeed. After my talk, I received so many positive messages from fellow bloggers who began to follow my advice, so I thought “this would be the perfect blog post for my readers”. So, here goes…
I need to remind myself of this sometimes. As I said at the beginning, I’ve only been doing this for a year and a half and had never imagined the number of people who would follow my blog and read my little ramblings. Although I look at bigger bloggers with tens of thousands of followers who have been writing for a short amount of time, it’s important to remember that it takes time and dedication. Working full time and keeping up a blog, social life and life admin, is hard work in all honesty. It’s so essential to realise that you will get there eventually and find the right balance.
I see people buying their followers, using bots and doing this ‘follow and unfollow’ nonsense and get genuinely worked up and annoyed. Followers, readers and fellow bloggers will not respect someone that does this. Organic growth is key and the only way to gain this is by being patient and hard working.
Fail to prepare, prepare to fail. Cliché, I know, but it’s true! If you have time off during the week, find 5 minutes to yourself or have a brain wave in the middle of work, write it down. Whether it’s blog post ideas, time for photographs or even a whole new post, planning ahead makes a huge difference. If you have an idea of posts for the next month, you’ll notice how much easier and more enjoyable “blog life” can be.
PRs hold a lot of positive power. They can help you build content, connect you with brands and invite you to the top events. Thanks to working in communications and my blog, PR connections have grown and I’ve made some genuine friends with PRs because we click. One piece of advice to keep in mind; do not be scared to say no to PR companies. Sometimes you’ll get event invites and products offered to you that are not relevant to your blog content. All you have to do is send a polite email letting the company know that this one isn’t best suited to you. Top tip: to be extra polite and helpful, share some names with the PR that could be better for the client.
Word of warning: there will always be periods of time when you think your emails aren’t working because you haven’t received anything in weeks. No need to fret, this happens! It doesn’t mean that your content isn’t valued or that you’ve blacklisted, it quite simply happens to be a “quiet time” when there are no relevant events or companies are reviewing their budgets/ influencer gifting processes.
- Delete the app that shows you who has unfollowed your social media accounts. It’s not healthy and causes unnecessary stress. If people want to unfollow you, let them.
- Have a Positive Mental Attitude. I know this one can be hard, but when I start to get myself down about slow growth or having mind blanks, maintaining a PMA will pick you right back up again.
- If you don’t have a blog domain/ website/ Youtube channel, don’t call yourself a blogger/ vlogger. A current pet peeve of multiple bloggers right now. The Oxford English Dictionary defines the word blog as “a frequently updated website, typically run by a single person and consisting of personal observations arranged in chronological order, excerpts from other sources, hyperlinks to other sites, etc.; an online journal or diary” and vlog as “a blog composed of posts in video form; (also) a video forming part of such a blog.”
I really hope this blog post helped anyone who is struggling with their blog, thinking of starting one or for anyone who just needed some advice!