There is a misconception that you can start a blog, post content, and be successful.
Unfortunately being a successful blogger takes a lot more than just writing a post every week and calling it a day. The most successful bloggers are out there promoting their posts and building a brand.
I’m nowhere near an expert, but I do consider myself authority. I’ve been blogging for over two years now (time flies, man!) and in that time I’ve been able to effectively monetize my blog and grow my audience to around 100,000 unique visitors a month.
With that said, I get a lot of people asking for blogging advice (which I love!) but I find myself answering the same questions over and over again so I thought it’d be wise to compile my commonly asked questions in one place.
How do I start a blog?
This is my favorite question because 1. I love that more and more people are starting blogs because blogging is (no exaggeration) the best thing I’ve ever gotten myself into and 2. because I’ve got an entire post walking you through getting started step by step.
What do I write about?
This one is all you, friend. I get this question often and when I’m on top of my email game I’m able to ask questions and help you out, but sometimes I ignore my inbox for too long and come back to 400 unread emails to sift through and this question often falls through the cracks because it’s so vague.
So, let’s pretend you emailed me and asked what to write about, here are the questions I would ask you:
- What is your intention with your blog? Do you want it to be a creative outlet or a business?
- If you want to use it as a creative outlet then blog about whatever you desire! You can talk about your morning coffee or that time you dreamt you were a dragonfly. The sky is the limit.
- If you want to use it as a business tool write content that will help people. A narrow niche on any topic that you might like will help you grow your audience and corner the market. Everything you publish should serve the purpose of being either ridiculously helpful or ridiculously entertaining.
- What blogs do you like to read? Do you want to create something similar?
- If you read exclusively beauty bloggers, did they inspire you to start your blog? What do you like about their content? What would you change? You can draw inspiration without copying.
- What could you talk about for hours and hours?
- Chances are, no matter what your passion is you’ll be able to find an audience for it. Even if you don’t know anyone in your immediate network who shares your passion, the internet is a big place. Whether you a horticulture enthusiast or passionate about color theory, you’ll be able to find your tribe online.
How can I get more pageviews?
- Post consistently – if you’re only posting once every week or two, your growth is going to be so much slower than if you’re posting at least twice a week. The more often you post quality content, the more growth you’ll see.
- Be active on social media – People won’t just happen upon your blog, you have to show them! Create a presence on social media and promote your posts there! But don’t only promote your posts or else you’ll look spammy.
- Concentrate on SEO – if you’re on WordPress download an SEO plugin and use it. Google is my second highest referrer and that’s because I spend so much time on SEO!
- Write content that will help people. Before hitting publish ask what your readers will get from reading your post? Will they learn something? Be entertained? Is your post thought provoking? If not reconsider publishing!
- Create beautiful graphics that people will share. Pinterest is a blogger’s best friend, if you’re not creating beautiful images for your blog post you’re missing out.
How can I make money?
- Blogger make money in a lot of different way. Check out this post here where I walk you through making more money as a blogger.
- Consider cultivating brand partnerships. You won’t be able to do this until you’ve grown your audience a bit, but brnd partnerships are a great way to bring a few extra dolla dolla bills your way.
- Create and sell your own product. I think this is the best way you can go about making money as a blogger because you are in complete control. You create the product, price it, market, and sell it. You’re not relying on brands reaching out or having to deal with unfair rates.
How do you promote your posts?
Personally I rely on Bloglovin and Pinterest to do most of the work for me. I write posts with SEO in mind so they will (hopefully) end up ranking well on Google, too.
When I started blogging I would spend so much time promoting my posts and then I realized I wasn’t getting a huge return for that energy. Now I focus on publishing quality content (i.e. at least 1500 words of impactful advice) and hope people will share.
What blogs do you read?
I find 90% of my reading material by finding random blogs on Pinterest, but there are a few I regularly read:
- Melyssa Griffin
- By Regina
- Kayla Hollatz
- Elle & Company Designs
- Living Between the Lines
- Coming Up Roses
- Figuring Out My Ever After
How do you create your blog graphics?
I used to be a huge Canva enthusiast (and I still think it’s great!) but since investing in Adobe Creative Suite I’m too smitten to ever go back. If the graphic has an image in it I first will edit in Lightroom and then create the actual graphic in Photoshop.
I also dabble in InDesign and Illustrator, but those are still both new to me so not much of what I create there is any good.
How do you handle hate comment?
I am lucky in that I don’t get very many hate comments, I can probably count on my fingers how many I’ve gotten in over two years of blogging!
But for the hate comments I do get, I just delete them. My blogs are my space and I have no room for negativity here. I keep comments if they are disagreeing or expressing a differing opinion, but the second the tone turns rude or hateful I gladly will delete the comment.
If you blog about anything controversial (even if you don’t feel like it is, the comments on some mommy blogs get brutal!) you might get a lot more hate comments than I do. If that’s the case you can consider changing your settings so you have to approve comments or just be proactive in moderating your comments.
How do I tell people I’m blogging?
I love this question because I relate to it so much. I didn’t start telling anyone I blogged until I made money. I was worried that people would be judgmental because blogging is outside of the norm. When I started blogging I didn’t know any other bloggers (now I’ve made all of my friends start blogs!) so it felt weird having this hobby that no one else in my life shared.
After I got my first sponsored post opportunity (I only asked for $40 because I was clueless!) I told my parents. And after I got my next opportunity I made a general Facebook post letting my friends know that I was blogging.
Most people didn’t even comment, but the ones who did were very supportive. And despite the lack of engagement I did see a huge bump in traffic that day because people are nosy.
My advice for you, though: Blogging is super cool and you are going to learn a lot of skill you couldn’t get anywhere else as quickly. Through my blog I’ve walked in a fashion show, got an all-expenses paid trip to cover St. Louis Fashion Week, and landed an internship that gave me the opportunity to move to New York City.
Blogging is cool and having a blog is getting your foot in the door to a world of opportunities that most of your friends could never imagine. Own it and be proud, even if you’re just starting out.
People might think it’s strange at first but prove them wrong with your success!
How do you find time to blog?
Ah, the age old question. And one I’ve obviously been struggling with since starting my internship. I work 9:30-6:30 everyday, and usually go to bed by 11 leaving me four and a half hours after work.
While I’m interning I just need to make sacrifices and write because I love blogging. I save Netflix for Friday nights and I don’t leave my apartment on Saturdays until I’ve finished my to-do list (publishing this post is on today’s!)
It’s not ideal and I wish that I had an awesome life hack for you, but if you’re like me and are aiming to blog full time I live by the idea of working hard now so I don’t have to later.
At my internship I’m learning skills that I’ll carry with me throughout my blogging career and I’m saving money for when I make the plunge to full-time. I’m working hard, long days so in the future I can live life on my own terms.
Have any other questions?
Leave them in the comments and I’ll reply and add the question to the FAQ! And as always feel free to email me!