I have started my blogging journey in September 2012, and boy, I have been surprised to the things I learned a long the way. It seems like blogging is a never ending circle of improving on what you are doing, and fixing things that aren’t done right.
In these years of blogging, I have come to learn a few things that are important to success and implementing them as your earliest opportunity. I will go through them for your benefit, in case you are wanting to start blogging yourself!
The funnest part of my journey was launching my own blogging conference that is hosted annually in Richmond, Virginia. For three full days, bloggers from all over come to this conference to be mentored by experienced bloggers that come along side them, and help them implement what they are learning on their own blog. It is like no other conference out there!
Self-publishing WordPress is the best! If you do not self-publish, the content doesn't belong to you, even if you were the writer. It can be taken away from you at any time. To self-publish, you own your domain name, pay for a hosting plan, and then pick out a theme that works for your needs. I started with Bluehost, and when I outgrew their hosting, I have settled in with Wiredtree, and love their service!
Blog design is crucial! Many bloggers, at least the ones that I have met, are givers and sharers. In the end, they are NOT your competition, but you ARE competing with great designed blogs to keep the attention of those who visit your blog. It isn't cheap getting great design, but it is something that you need to always work toward, even if in baby steps. I would recommend finding a blogger who is working to build their portfolio for graphics and design and see what kind of help you can get from them. Here is a suggestion!
Capturing the readers that find you! We work so hard for our readers, with social media promotions, and writing great content that meet their needs. The most important thing is to ask for their email address, in exchange for something they want that you have, as a free opt-in offer. The most effective way to capture these leads, and even share with them other products that you have for sale is using Leadpages and Leadboxes on your website.
Using the reader’s emails once you capture them! Getting emails is the first step but the second step is using them to continue to build a relationship with them. A trust between reader and blogger is important for success! I recommend starting with Madmimi and the moment you are ready to really grow from your emails, by offering options to your readers, you won’t be sorry moving to Convertkit.
Manage your social media marketing smarter! I love doing things one time and being done with it. Social media seems to be something that takes a lot of time to build, but doing it smarter can really grow you faster! I love using Tailwind for Pinterest, and Meet Edgar for Facebook and Twitter! Knowing that your graphics are optimized for all social media platforms is so important for growth. I use Social Warfare to hide all my graphics within a post, and it will pull the right one, along with the exact description for each social media platform when shared from my site. If you want to track how effective your posts are on social media, you may want to use a plugin called Pretty Links.
Improve your learning in key areas! Attending Focused Blogging Conference will be an amazing way to really find a community of bloggers, and knowing what key things to keep focusing on for your blog’s growth. Improving your blog’s graphics are so important, which is why I love using Shotbox, and my DSLR camera. Then I improve my knowledge of data, to know what is working and what more I need to do to grow. I use Skyrocket and Dominate to help me find tune these areas, and grow with the efforts I put in.
Take control of my income with my own products! Creating product has proven to be the way to grow into the 6 figures of income, and beyond. I use Woocommerce store and iDev for my affiliate program for the best combo for growing my product revenue.