April 9, 2018
I often get asked what my advice or best tips are for starting a blog in 2018. While the answer varies, depending on what your niche is and what your goals are, there are so many articles online that I feel say the same things about starting a blog. I have read numerous blog posts, watched videos, and listened to podcasts sharing resources on starting a blog today.
While there are definitely basics that you need to know, what I want to talk about today are a few different ideas, that I have found give me an advantage, even with a small following. I also wanted to include a few of my favorite resources, posts, and industry leaders that I look to for trusted advice and motivation. I hope that this post will help you and give you some tips for staring a blog in 2018 that you haven’t heard yet!
7 Tips for Starting a Blog in 2018 That You Haven’t Heard Yet
If you are planning to start a blog or maybe you already have one but are looking to grow it this year, I hope that these 5 Different Tips for Starting a Blog in 2018 will help you. Although I don’t have 500,000 Instagram followers, I do have a strong community of women around me that I appreciate more than anything. I have found that relationships and connection are more important than anything.
Even if you don’t have a huge following, any bit of following is important and you should cherish their trust and confidence in you.
I believe in you!
Invest in a Good Quality Website and Website Domain
When you are just starting out, with a small amount of blog traffic, purchasing a website domain is a relatively cheap investment. Do yourself a favor and just take the plunge. It will give you credibility and your reader’s confidence in the content that you are producing. Not to mention all of the hidden web benefits of not having a “xyz.blogspot.com” domain.
With that said, I also really wish I would have invested in a custom brand and website design sooner. I cannot tell you benefits that I have begun to see in just a short amount of time of having my website redone. My site is beautiful, easy to navigate and I have been getting so many more page views. While the investment, and wait time, might seem daunting at first, most designers offer payment breakdowns to spread that cost over several months. Even if it seems out of reach, save your money and work towards the goal of having a custom site designed, as soon as you can. I promise this will not be something you regret.
I wish I would have done this sooner!
Video Content is Key
I began my blogging journey in the time of Blair Fowler aka “JuicyStar07.” She was a young, and popular, Youtuber who was gaining traction, earning a large income, and still lived at home with her parents! Naturally, my teenage self-decided I needed a Youtube channel too and that’s how I got started. Today, I still post videos on my Youtube channel and it has many more followers than my blog does.
I have always loved video content, but now more than ever, it’s so important to be creating video content.
Not only does video content create a deep-rooted connection with your followers, by allowing you to show your true personality and talk with them, but I have found it’s much easier to reach a larger audience on Youtube. If your goal is to earn a profit from your blog, I have found that I am able to earn more money on Youtube through adds, than I do on my blog.
Video content can be scary for some people, which is totally understandable! I have always felt more comfortable in front of the camera than I have with my fingers on the keyboard. But I’m learning to love it all. Even though video content can seem a little scary, I promise it is so rewarding. Video content does take a lot of effort. Between, filming, editing and uploading (not to mention linking all of your products and more!) you are sure to be exhausted at the end of the day
Although that seems like a lot, because it is, I think if you are starting a blog in 2018 that you hope will reach a large audience, you need to be on Youtube or creating some sort of video content.
Build a Relationship with Your Audience
The most successful bloggers and influencers build strong relationships with their audience. Have you ever listened to one of Marianna Hewitt’s’ Instagram Stories? It’s like she is talking directly to you. She is a master at creating a community and selling product, all while being her true to herself to her audience.
This topic leads me to the phrase “Your most authentic self” which honestly sometimes makes me a bit frustrated. Here are two reasons why that phrase frustrates me.
Your Most Authentic Self
For a long time in my blogging career, I didn’t truly know who my authentic self-was. I spent so much of my time looking at other influences and trying to mimic what they were doing to create success. I was trying so hard to make someone else path to success my own. Many of us don’t know who our “most authentic self is” especially at a young age. So I personally get a little angry when industry elites preach this authenticity note. Thankfully, one of my favorites, Julie Solomon has begun to break down how we can take a step back and do the work to discover our “most authentic self” in order to deliver with intention.
The second reason is truly just based off of the first issue I have with the term. I find this term to often feel empty like it’s lacking meaning. Almost like it’s made to sound good but leaves so many people wondering, “Great, what the hell am I supposed to do with that?” Oftentimes, many people preach to others to be authentic without honestly knowing exactly what that means.
What is it that you truly want to share with the world? I believe that we all have something to share. There is value in your life and you have something to amazing to put into the world that will help others. I don’t know about you, but I get pretty excited to publish a new blog post. I also find that certain topics flow out of me much better than others.
At the end of the day, the relationship you create with your followers is the most important thing you can do. By being yourself, showing up, and putting yourself out there. Even if you don’t have makeup on and feel like you like a monster, that’s me half of the time! Someone out there might need you to be brave so they can have the courage to love themselves just the way they are. I will gladly take one for the team.
You might just be surprised how many lives you change by being vulnerable and open, even if you are scared.
Personally, I have found the most rewarding moments in my business come from direct messages and comments of someone confessing that they often struggle with something too, or they are insecure about X and are so comforted to hear that they aren’t alone. This is what brings me joy and this is where relationships are built.
When your craft your message from a place of giving and choose to respond to as many comments as you can, reach out to your readers, follow them on social media and take the time to invest in relationships, people will continue to come back to you. They will trust your opinion and purchase your referrals and from you, if you have a product or service you are selling. I can tell you, from personal experience, that the direction and profit of my business changed tremendously when I chose to invest in my audience wholeheartedly.
Whether you have 5 followers or 5 million followers, none of it will last if you don’t invest in your audience.
I waited way too long to invest in professional photography. To this day, I still have to carefully plan and budget photography, as well as shoot some photos myself. Photography can be expensive, but I think if you are starting out you really need a few good pictures of yourself.
If you aren’t ready to invest in photography on a regular basis, that is totally understandable! Instead maybe opt for one, or two, sessions with a photographer to do a brand shoot. Get some great photos of yourself, that are on brand, that you can use throughout your blog and social media feeds. I love this post from Angie McPherson on the benefits of personal branding photography. It’s also a great idea to get some other shots that are also on brand, that you aren’t in. If you a beauty blogger, get a few shots of your favorite products or the space you use to get ready. If you are a food blogger, have some really great photos taken of your favorite ingredients or dishes that you can spread throughout your feed as well.
I think it’s important to have really nice photos. I have seen a clear correlation between adding in some high-quality photography and growth in my business. Not every photo has to be professional, some of my iPhone photos perform just as well or even better. However, I think it’s great to have professional photos that you can post often. This will also let brands know that your work is professional.
Know Your Numbers
Knowing your numbers and analytics is a must. Whether it’s on your blog, social media, affiliate sales account or Youtube, knowing your numbers is essential to knowing your audience and creating a successful growth path. I have to be completely honest when I tell you that this is something I am still working on. Understanding your analytics can be tough. But, taking the time to see what content is performing best, will help you to understand what type of content your audience is interested in seeing from you. It’s also important to know your numbers when working with brands.
There are many online resources that will help you with google analytics and other platforms. I have honestly found that each platform teaches you pretty well how you use it, it might just take some time research how to use that platform to its full potential.
Start an Email List
There is great research on the idea that email marketing is one of the best ways to sell the product. It is also one of the best was to create a personal connection and tap into those followers that aren’t using social media as much. If your audience trusts you enough to give you their email address, they are definitely committed to you. Especially if they choose to stay and participate.
Email marketing is one of the best ways to gain your audience’s trust and really show them your personality and gives you the opportunity to share things that you might not post publicly on your blog. It’s also a great way to share products with them, links to your latest posts and more. See what I include in my newsletter by signing up here.
Use Keynote to Make Collages
This might seem like a simple tip but for so long I tried to use Adobe Illustrator to create collages, such as this one, for my blog. However, I have recently found that using Keynote is so much easier and efficient. I don’t have to know how to use Illustrator and Keynote is basically self-explanatory. I can remove backgrounds on product images, arrange things easily, use the color selector to choose what color I want to use in the title box, change the font and so much more. When I’m done I can simply export the file to an image and just like that I’m done!
Somethings are much easier than we lead onto. There are people telling you, need this software and that, and don’t get me wrong some are really important. But, for the most part, things are often more simple than what we make them.
I have found that reading books and listening to podcasts have not only helped me learn about myself. But, they have helped me to learn about how to grow my blog as a business. There are so many industry leaders and elites that have morphed their platforms into teaching platforms. They have so much to offer that is worth soaking in. Here are some of my favorite resources and people!
- 5 Podcasts Every Female Entrepreneur Should Listen To
- 5 Personal Development Books Female Entrepreneurs Need to Read Now and 5 that are on my current reading list
- This video of Brene Brown helped to change the way I view myself and my goals.
- I can’t tell you how many times I have gone back to this article to hide a “Pinterest” image in WordPress
- This post from Anna with Love Photography is so helpful for editing photos on your phone. I use these apps now!
- Julie Solomon and The Influencer Podcast
- Jenna Kutcher and The Goal Digger Podcast
- Melyssa Griffin and the Pursuit with Purpose Podcast
- Marie Forleo
- Tony Robbins
- Gary Vaynerchuk
- Amy Porterfield
- EntreLeadership Podcast
- Lauren Hooker
- Erin May Henry
You know how much I love researching business topics, and personal development! If you have any resources on this topic, that you love, please leave them in a comment below. I would love to go check them out. If you have written a blog post on this topic, please leave your link in the comments!
I would love to support you on your blogging journey and if you have any questions, just let me know!
Photography by Tiffany Sigmon
7 Tips for Starting a Blog in 2018 That You Haven’t Heard Yet