Thursday, 23 May 2019

Ways To Take Your Blogging Game To The Next Level


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When you first start a blog or if you're thinking about starting one, you don't always know what to expect. Although blogging has been around for some time now, when you're a newbie you often feel unsure of what you're doing. As long as you're enjoying creating your content, that's all that really matters. When you put in the hard work, your blog will begin to grow organically & opportunities will start to flood your inbox. If things are going really well you might consider turning your blog into a business instead of a hobby. Taking your blog as a serious business can actually be a lot of fun & it doesn't have to be a big deal or a lot of pressure. Sometimes you think that in order to take things to the next level, you have to put in a lot more time & effort. However you can continue to do it with the same passion & enthusiasm as you are now, just with a few simple changes to get some incredible results.

It's important to remember to work smarter, not always harder. That's quite often the difference between blogging for fun & blogging as a business or earning money from your blog. Most of the time, you can still put in the same amount of work (or perhaps a little more) but notice that the results you're getting are just infinitely better. When you've been blogging for a while you naturally become more knowledgeable & have a lot more experience in order to propel your blog to the next level. Blogging is an ever changing industry so there's always new things to learn & new ways to improve your results. Here are a few handy hints to help you to develop your blog & achieve professional success.

Set Goals For Yourself
Setting goals gives you a clear purpose of why you're doing this & what you want to achieve. I'd highly recommend coming up with a set of goals for blogging because they give you a reason to keep going when you feel like giving up. You can always go back to your goals & remember why you started blogging in the first place. Goals hold us accountable, especially if we share them with others. You might have a huge goal to strive towards like earning enough money to give up your regular job or it might be something much smaller like being able to pay for your weekly food shop using your blogging income. Come up with a positive statement or mantra & use this as motivation.

Create A Better Brand
Something that a lot of new bloggers often overlook is that you need to think about creating a brand for your blog. What is your blogging niche? Do you want to provide the best makeup swatches or inspire people with your stylish outfits? Do you like sharing delicious recipes or documenting the lives of your children? There's nothing wrong with being an all-rounder but there are some clear benefits to having a distinct topic for your blog. You can target specific clients & show them that you're a specialist in that subject. Plus you'll only be writing about stuff you love which makes the whole process so much easier. Also think about how the way your blog looks represents your niche. You might decide to use different styles of photography for each subject. Colours, fonts, imagery - all of it matters.

Redesign The Blog
To help you make sure that you're creating the brand that you want & bring it to life, you could also think about redesigning the blog. Sometimes your old blog design might not look all that professional, nor does it suit your niche or what you're trying to achieve. You may find that you can improve your blog design to better suit your brand. When you do this, you'll feel so much more professional because of it. There's plenty of wonderful designs on Etsy that you can customise to your heart's desire or you might commission a web designer to make you something truly unique. If your blog looks good, it'll showcase your content in the way that it deserves.

Come Up With A Marketing Plan
Next you'll want to make sure that you have a plan for your marketing. This can seem quite daunting as there are so many different areas to focus on. When it comes to your social media, you'll want to be strategic about it. Make sure you post regularly, even if you don't have new blog content to share. Tag brands that you've featured on your blog because this can be a great way to find new contacts. Try to include SEO in all of your posts. Simple things like adding alt tags to your images & correctly naming your photos can make a huge difference. You may also want to start a newsletter to further interact with the people that love your blog. You can offer something in exchange for their subscription such as a free E-Book or some Photoshop Actions for them to download.

Get Your Name Out There
If you want your blog to be able to grow, it needs to be known. In order to be successful, it's important to get your name out there into the world. Brands won't offer you any opportunities if they don't know that you exist. So as you're coming up with your marketing ideas, make sure that you know how you're going to deal with your own online reputation management or get help with it. You can do this with social media but there are other PR tactics to consider too & that's why it might be a good idea to enlist the help of an expert.

Work With Experts
As blogs become bigger businesses, many people have started to hire others to help them out. If you become really successful you might want to hire an assistant to go through your emails or edit your photos. Not many people are quite at that level yet but you might still want to think about working with experts to help you grow your blog. This could be a graphic designer, a web developer, a marketing consultant or even an accountant, to help you with all the behind the scenes stuff. That way you can carry on creating content without being bogged down with the finer details.

Monetise In New Ways
When it comes to levelling up, you'll definitely want to think about how you can make more money. To do this, you need to consider diversifying the ways in which you do it. Are you using affiliate links, advertising or sponsored posts? If not, can you use all three to take your earnings up a notch? Personally I've found the most success from sponsored posts & affiliate links. Most of the time brands approach me for sponsored posts but I've recently started sending out pitches & it's not as scary as it sounds. Choose some brands that you love or are planning to feature on your blog anyway & ask them if they would be interested in working with you. Make your pitch personal to the client & explain what you can bring to table. Give them examples of your best work & tell them about your experience. Include some of your personality & finish with a subtle call to action. An easier way to do this would be to create a media kit with your stats & rates. It'll make you look really professional to boot!

Take On Freelance Work
One of the ways that many bloggers earn money is by offering freelance services. You might think that you can only make money from the blog itself but you can also use your skills & experience to find other work. This is where the idea of being a freelance writer can come in. You can write for businesses or media outlets & these often tend to pay better than sponsored blog content. Another thing to consider is registering for freelance job boards such as PeoplePerHour, UpWork or Fiverr. They might only be small jobs but they can certainly set you on the right path when it comes to making connections, building your portfolio & getting references. You never know, a client might really like your work & hire you for a much bigger project.

Create A Product
Another idea for you here is to launch a product. This could work in one of two ways. You could think about downloadables such as E-Books, online courses or design services. Some people are willing to pay a lot of money for your photo editing secrets. But another thing to consider is making merchandise. A lot of YouTubers come out with merch but there's nothing to stop bloggers from doing it too. Maybe you like the idea of creating t-shirts or notebooks or anything else related to your niche? I'd love to design a set of enamel pins based around makeup or skincare products. Let me know if you'd be interested in buying some haha!

Write A Book
Now this may not be the case for you but if you love blogging because you really love to write, then maybe you've always wanted to write your own book. If this is the case, you may find that you're actually put off from doing it because it feels like such a distant dream. But as you're building your blog, & essentially your online presence, you may find that it's the perfect time for you to think about writing that book. While you will need to actually get to writing, find yourself an agent & aim to get published. You could even publish it yourself via Amazon as the Kindle book market is growing all the time. There are so many bloggers, YouTubers & even Instagram influencers that have come out with books now so there's no reason why you can't write one yourself.


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