I am hardly a veteran when it comes to blogging since I have only been blogging for less than two years. I have learned a great deal since I began blogging, and have surrounded myself with others who share their wealth of knowledge. I can say that without a doubt, this has been a learning experience of epic proportions and I continue to learn something new everyday. I also have a great group of fellow bloggers that critique me and help me grow, and for that, I am grateful.
With that being said, I feel that the information I have learned through my own trial and error would be beneficial to anyone either just beginning a blog, or have been blogging for awhile now.
Here are ten things I have learned about blogging that can help improve your own blog:
1. Learn From Your Mistakes-
Mistakes are best made when you actually stop repeating them and learn from them. I have made many mistakes with my blog. Content wise, design wise, etc. But what I have done with those mistakes is I have tried not to repeat them. I have learned what works and what doesn’t, and if it doesn’t work, I am quick to toss that idea to the side and begin generating new ones. Learn from your mistakes and do not forget the mistakes you made so you won’t repeat them.
2. Establish Relationships-
Establishing relationships with other bloggers is key to your success! Networking, discussing what works and what doesn’t, implementing suggestions are ways to grow your blog. I know some bloggers out there who feel they know everything and who do not like to share their knowledge which is their prerogative, but I feel confident with my blog. If I know something that someone else doesn’t, what harm would it do to share information with them? I have met such wonderful people through blogging that have turned out to be very good friends of mine in IRL (in real life) and they have all helped me enhance and grow my project.
3. Do Not Let Ego Get In The Way-
Your stats may be all that and you may have a lot of attention from PR individuals and companies, but you cannot let your ego get in the way of your blogging. There are so many bloggers out there that if you begin to think you are superior, BAM—! there is someone else right next to you trying to take your spot. Remain humble, acknowledge your readers, respond to them when they speak to you on social networks and thank them for their readership. Doing so will go a long way.
4. Protect Your Brand- Establish branding early in your blog and protect it at all costs. Make sure your brand and you coincide and can be easily identified. Make sure your brand is unique and nothing like someone else’s brand or blog. What I despise the most is when I see cookie cutter blogs that look like other blogs with like content, logos, etc. Establish yourself from the rest of the pack and work on improving your brand’s identity each time you blog.
5. Get To Know SEO-
I am still not an SEO and analytics person, but I do understand the importance of search engine optimization and how it benefits your blog and brand. Read and research SEO tips and utilize them in your blog. The more you know about SEO, the greater your results will be in terms of hits and audience share.
6. Use Social Networks-
Blogging is not just about writing and posting content. You must use social networks to take it to the next level. Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Myspace (giggles), Foursquare, Tumblr, Flickr, are all social networks that should be used while blogging. It can increase your readership and page views, and also help build your brand.
Running a blog by yourself is a daunting task. In order to keep your project moving in the right direction, prioritize your tasks. Write them down or use your smartphone device or tablet to keep up with your goals and to-do list. Being organized can go a long way when it comes to your blog.
8. Spread the Love-
This coincides with #2 and #3. If you see a blog that you like, share the love! Tweet it, retweet it! Email the link! Subscribe and comment. Bloggers who do not read other blogs are foolish. Successful people always get to know the competition and has something to gauge their projects with for comparison reasons. Visiting other blogs can make you aware of what others are talking about. And you cannot be the only GREAT blogger out there! Spread the love and most of the time, it will be returned!
9. Continue Growing-
Is there such a thing is being too big? Or too popular? NO! Continue growing, evaluating your progress, evolving. You can always learn and grow your blog, even if its the hottest thing out there.
10. Follow Your Instincts-
When I write a blog post and I read it and I say, “this sucks”, usually it does. Follow your instincts and your gut. Be honest with yourself. If you’ve made a mistake, move forward and learn from it. Be your worst critic and your strongest supporter. If you believe in what you do, others will too!
ENJOY blogging. If it becomes “that thing” that you no longer like to do, then blogging may not be for you. I blog because I enjoy writing and sharing my ideas. The minute it becomes something cumbersome, I will stop doing it. Be passionate about what you are doing and let it shine!