I am so excited to announce that I just added a FAQ page to the blog!
I wanted to post one of the questions on blogging here for you all to read because I think it is really helpful for new bloggers, and it is something I have been thinking about a lot lately. Blogging is a unique craft/hobby/career, and it takes a lot of time and practice. I hope that the following is encouraging and helpful for those of you who are curious about growing your blog when you're just starting out.
Here we go!
I am new to blogging, and I'm struggling to get readers and figure out what to write about. Do you have any advice?
Blogging is a very special community to be a part of, and a unique art form that combines so many different mediums - writing, photography, video, design, and more. In the two years that I've been blogging here at Anne the Adventurer (I've been blogging on my own personal blogs since 2004), I've learned that above all else, success in blogging takes time.
It is really tempting to look at your favorite bloggers and compare yourself to how many readers they have, how many comments their posts get (especially when yours don't get any), and to crave instant success. I'm telling you, comparison is the thief of joy. Success in blogging takes a lot of time. We all started out with zero followers and zero comments.
There are a lot of "get rich quick" methods to gaining hundreds of readers in a few short months, but I am a firm believer that if you want your blog to be successful, you can't just boast a big number of followers via Google Friend Connect or Bloglovin' (and you cannot lie about your numbers. That's a big no no). You have to keep your readers around, and to do so, you have to be well versed in producing unique, high-quality content, interacting via social media, blog design, and more. You have to practice. These things take time.
The best advice I can give to get your blog off the ground is this:
- Write, write, write. Practice writing all the time. This goes for all artists, whether you are a designer, videographer, baker, sculptor, practice at your craft everyday. And then when you blog about your work, do so consistently. It takes a long time to find your writing voice, and the time and effort you put into practicing sharing yourself with others will pay off. People will notice.
- Be active in the blogging community. Comment on your favorite blogger's posts. Chat with them on twitter. Join social media communities like Blog Brunch. Attend blogger meet ups. Just reading blogs via your reader, and then expecting people to find yours magically will not work out well for you. I have had a lot of success with bigger bloggers discovering me through genuine comments I've left on their posts. Sometimes, they even feature my work on their site!
- When it comes to commenting, don't just write "Great post!" and then leave your blog web address. Honestly, I do not visit web addresses that people leave in the comments unless I specifically asked in the post for people to share. If you sign in to leave a comment, just type in your blog address in the given field. Your name will become a hyperlink, and when I click on it, I can visit your blog. Leaving a thoughtful, genuine comment is much more effective, and shows that you're actually interested in being a part of the community, rather than just boosting your numbers.
- Discover your blog niche. This can be difficult for people who have lifestyle blogs where they write about whatever suits their fancy that day. This blog is very much like that. However, choose an intention for your writing, and then filter every post through that. For example, my tag line is "Discovering adventure in everyday life" and whenever I write a post, I make sure that the topic is in line with the kind of intentional living that I want to be represented here. A great way to learn about this is to take Alt Summit's class on Branding (only $15!).
If you have other questions that aren't featured on the blog, please shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org! I'd love to hear from you.