written by: KMW Exclusive
I’ve now been an ‘Entertainment & Lifestyle’ blogger for roughly 1 1/2 years. And to be quite frank, the road to success isn’t as easy as most of you may think! Blogging has its rewarding times, but there’s also those times where you question your career choice. And during those times, try not to be too hard on yourself! Believe me, it happens to the best of us. And even at your highest level of success, you’ll still have those moments. Why? Because we are our own worst critics! Plain & Simple.
SocialTriggers.com reported that there are currently more than 164 million active blog sites. And most of these sites get less than 1,000 monthly visitors? Is that you?
If you're like me, when you first started your site you dreamt that it would take off and soar beyond your wildest imagination. Not realizing how much work, time, and money you’d have to invest into your brand before you’d even see a minimal amount of traction. In the blogging world, just like many others, “your HUSTLE definitely defines your SUCCESS.”
You can’t expect to post content only three times per week, never interact with people via social media, and barely invest in yourself; yet become successful.
Here’s The Ugly Truth: Most people start their sites with good intentions, and a massive amount of self-motivation. But as time goes on and the site gets harder to maintain, people give up! And it happens more frequently than not.
I constantly get DM’s and emails regarding how to properly run a blog site. And here’s another ugly truth, I don’t have all of the answers. I actually just know what works best for me. But that’s the reason why I started, “The BLOG Code,” so that I can collaborate with other bloggers (whether new or seasoned), who can share their success stories with my audience on various topics relating everything that is blogging.
But specifically for this article, I choose to answer my “TOP 5 Frequently Asked Questions As A Blogger.”
1. How important is building an ‘OFFICIAL’ blog site, as opposed to simply releasing your content via social media?
While some brands start out by posting ALL content on social media (i.e. Facebook or Instagram) eventually they always have to resort to building an official site. In my opinion, social media is merely a marketing tool. And if you want to keep your readers, then you’ll have to provide them with QUALITY content. And in order to produce that level of content, you need to have an official website. My only exception would be if you’ve chosen to provide more ‘video content’ as opposed to strictly ‘written content.’ If that’s your preference, then you may be able to get away with building your blog on ‘Tumblr’ or ‘YouTube.’ Over the past year it’s become my personal preference to provide BOTH written & video content, because their both essential in generating & ultimately keeping your readers. Which should be the ultimate goal of your site.
2. How are you able to consistently blog every week?
Honestly speaking, I’m getting better at this as time goes on. Blogging FULL- time takes a lot of energy. But what I’ve come to realize is that your content is the ‘heart’ of your site. And without it, you're setting yourself up for failure. Blogs with massive amounts of traffic, a huge audience, and ultimately a LARGE social media following, produce content multiple times per day during the week. Now I’m not quite at that level, mainly because it’s basically a team of me and 2 part-time interns. But my method for producing content has proven to be quite successful. Late last year, 2015, I took a class offered by the awesome “Mattieologie,” and she introduced me to something called “Batch Processing.” And it’s quite simple! Choose at least 2 to 3 days per week, block off a specific time period, cut out all distractions during that time period, and GET TO WORK. Write content, edit content, create newsletters, lead magnets, schedule content for the week, and at least one week in advance. Try this SERIOUSLY for at least 30 days, and email me to let me know how it’s worked for you.
3. What are some ways to monetize from blogging?
Here’s yet another ugly truth: DO NOT start blogging with the expectation to make money! It takes months, sometimes years to get to that point. But in the meantime while you wait, log onto ‘elance’ and set yourself up as a ‘freelance’ writer. Pitch your stories to other blog sites! Write an e-book! I was once told that I was already losing within the business, because I didn’t have a book! So here’s a heads up, WRITE ONE. It can be on whatever you choose to talk about. Other ways to make money include: banner advertisements on your page, hostings, and speaking engagements. Believe me, there are tons of ways to make money in the business you just have to think outside of the box.
4. How important is having an email list?
Building an email list is very important for your brand. How else are you suppose to poll/connect with your audience? This is where you get to make your readers feel like royalty. Find out what they like, what they don’t like, give exclusive offers, etc…. You do all of these things by reaching out to them via your email list. So make sure that when you’re building your site, you make room for a lead magnet. So that whoever visits your page, can automatically sign up.
5. As a blogger, what social media platforms should I be most focused on?
There are so many social media platforms available. I think that you need to do your research on each platform to see if it’s favorable to your brand. For instance, I think it’s crucial for ‘fashion bloggers’ to have a Pinterest, yet entertainment bloggers like myself, find Pinterest less helpful. So it truthfully depends on your brand. As an entertainment/lifestyle blogger, I utilize 4 social media platforms: Instagram, Twitter, Periscope, and YouTube. I do have a SnapChat, but I honestly NEVER use it.
Hopefully you guys enjoyed this article, and found my “ugly truths” helpful. For more #blogchat make sure to follow me on Periscope @kmwexclusive for constant updates on my monthly BLOG Code Periscope Parties! That way you guys can join in on the fun!