Thursday, 12 February 2015

5 tips for starting (and running) a successful blog

Blogging can be a very rewarding activity. It's nice to see something you nurture from birth blossom and grow into something bigger and better than you imagined. So for those who have asked and wondered: what do I need to become a successful blogger and run a successful blog? This is for you!

There are five types of bloggers:

The part-time professional: uses blogging as a supplementary income
The hobbyist: blogs for fun, doesn't earn an income, mostly blogs personal musings, 60% of such bloggers spend more than 3 hours a week blogging
The fulltime professional: blogs as a fulltime job
The corporate: Blogs as part of their fulltime job for an organisation
The entrepreneur: blogs for a company or brand that they own

Which are you or do you want to be?

As at the end of 2014, there were approximately 152 million blogs on the internet. If that didn't just blow your mind, I don't know what will. So what makes your blog different and what makes it stand out to your audience?

1. Define it

First you have to define success. What does successful blogging look like to you? Is success a blog that is aesthetically pleasing to your readers? Is success a blog that is the top resource for beauty lovers, fashion lovers, book nerds? Is success a blog that teaches other bloggers how to blog? When you can answer this question then you have something in particular to work towards. That way you are not just trying to grasp the wind. It is important to have a goal so you have your eye on the prize at all times.

2. The right platform

There are over 16 blogging platforms on the internet but not all of them are right for you which means you will have to pick one. The most popular in Nigeria are: Wordpress and Blogger with Squarespace slowly gaining traction

Wordpress: The most popular blogging platform there is at the moment. Wordpress is easy to use and is free unless you want to buy your domain name. Wordpress is perfect for bloggers. It's versatile and you can customise the look however and whenever you want.
Blogger: Is also a great platform. Easy to navigate and incorporated with all Google apps. If you want to tweak your blog, you will need some knowledge of HTML.
Tumblr: the cool kid on the internet block. Bloggers who use this platform tend to curate content they like rather than what they write themselves. (Un)fortunately, tumblr is more of a social network than a blog. It's quick, easy. Users go to tumblr to find inspiration, brief articles, photos, nothing as serious as reading a 500-1000 word article.
Squarespace: is VERY easy to use, minimalist and aesthetically pleasing. It isn't free, however. You have to pay $8-$16 per month

3. Be an original

Please, please, please. The world definitely does not need any more copy and paste bloggers. You're never going to be an authority in your niche if all you do is steal content from other people. You could face legal action when you are found out and honestly stealing is just a waste of time. 
Before you even begin blogging, ask yourself these questions
  • What is it I'm passionate about and could talk about for days?
  • How much do I know about this field I'm passionate about?

4. Consistency is Queen

If content is King, then consistency is definitely Queen. You will blog for awhile without popularity. Your blog will not just explode upon your first few posts. So you will have to stay through the dry season and know now that it might be a long time. I've been blogging for a little over 2 years and initially I was only get about a hundred views monthly now I'm pushing eight thousand (testimony time!)  I hear stories of people who blogged for four, five years before they hit their blogging jackpot. Nothing can make you stick with something that long if you aren't passionate about it. If you are passionate about it, you will be consistent with it because that is what you love. So read tip 3 all over again.

5. Name, name, name

 I cannot for the life of me stress it enough how important it is to pick a name that defines you and your vision for your blog. Take all the time you need, grab a sheet of paper, write out your passion(s) (fashion, beauty, faith, books, etc). Then think up a blog title that captures that perfectly. At a later time you may evolve as a blogger and change to something you think is better but I always advise getting it right from the beginning. It could be your full name, or a phrase from your favorite movie, book, poem, friend, parent, you choose. Please don't pick a name like "falling from the sky" if you intend to blog about makeup or fashion.

Did you find this helpful? Any questions, more tips or ideas? Leave me a comment below! 

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  1. This is such an informative post! Love it! And I definitely think content and consistency are key. Consistency is so important. I'm working on that. Great post!

  2. Thank you for always bringing some sunshine to this corner of the internet. Sending you a big hug!