Blogging is big business. In the past few years, it has become a source of income for people across the globe, many making it their full-time jobs. A lot of people begin the journey into blogging as a hobby- but since this high-quality content is ranked so highly by search engines, companies have tapped into the market offering lucrative sponsorship offers to promote on their sites.
Start For The Right Reasons
Blogging is hard work. For a long time in the beginning you will feel like (and probably will be) speaking to yourself while you build up an audience. You need to have the drive, passion, and motivation to keep writing regularly, promoting your posts, networking with other bloggers. Blogging certainly isn’t ‘easy money,’ the opportunities and sponsorship’s don’t come until a lot later. In the beginning, it has to be solely for the love of it, or you just won’t stick it out long enough to get far. Instead of starting a blog with the intention of it becoming a source of income, see it as a platform where your voice can be heard. You can write freely and share your opinions, talk about the things you love (and the things you don’t!) You can use it to connect with people with a similar point of view- some might even go on to become lifelong friends. When you write with true passion and enthusiasm people connect with that. You will build a loyal readership, and people will keep clicking back for more.
Understand The Importance of Promotion
You are a very small blog in a very large pond. You can’t simply hit the publish button and hope for the best. It takes work to get your content out there. Set up social media accounts for your blog on sites like Google Plus, Instagram, Twitter and Facebook and use these to connect with other bloggers. Hashtags like #bbloggers (beauty bloggers) #lbloggers (lifestyle bloggers) #fbloggers (fashion bloggers) and #pbloggers (parent bloggers) are some of the main ones you could look through to get started. Follow other bloggers, join in with Twitter chats and connect with others. Feel free to share your blog link and the latest post on your sites but don’t post too often. A constant stream of links looks spammy and can put others off. Sites like Stumbleupon are also useful for promoting your content and can attract a good amount of views. If you’re handy with Photoshop or any online editor, you could create cool looking graphics about your blog posts and share them on Pinterest. These then link back to your site and gain you further clicks.
Focus on Design
When you first set up your blog, it can be fun playing around with different designs and choosing something that really reflects you. You might not think design is all that important, after all, it doesn’t affect your writing, right? But actually, design plays a vital role when it comes to blogging. Choosing something appealing which is easy to read and navigate will attract the most readers. Some people will click right off a blog without reading any of the content if the design is visually off-putting. Paying a professional designer is a worthwhile investment if you’re serious about blogging, you can also find templates to install on sites like Etsy which don’t cost much. But they will make your blog look clean and professional, which is what sponsors and advertisers are looking for. Choose fonts that are easy to read, a bit of color is fine but going overboard might put people off. You want your blog to reflect you, but you also want it to be something that other people will enjoy if you want your content to be read.
Use Beautiful Images
Your words are what will really captivate the reader and make them want to come back for more. But images are what will attract them to your posts. Large, bright and interesting photos bring your words to life and make your posts look attractive. Most smartphones these days have excellent cameras, if you choose a bright day, you can capture some amazing looking images. If you blog about products, it might be worth investing in a higher quality digital camera or DSLR to get the best shots possible and help your blog stand out from the crowd. If you’re not the best photographer or taking pictures isn’t of much interest to you, the good news is you can find excellent royalty free images to use on your blog online. Sites like Pixabay and Pexels are packed full of gorgeous lifestyle and stock photo images which you don’t even have to give credit for. Wikipedia can also be a useful source for free images, as well as Flickr’s creative commons section. Flickr photos are taken by regular people rather than photographers so aren’t always of the same caliber, but you can find good ones on there from time to time and use them for free.
Keeping your blog updated and posting regularly is important. Setting a posting schedule can be useful as people then know when to expect new content from you. A general rule of thumb that’s useful is to try and post at least once a week. Anything else is great too, but at least that way your site isn’t stagnating. If you’re having a busy week, you could ask if any of your blogger friends would like to guest post. This is useful for them as it gets their content seen by a wider audience, and the backlink is also beneficial. Alternatively, you could look into a blogger service. Here you can have high-quality posts written which will be a perfect match on your site and keep everything flowing nicely.
Get a Domain
If you’re looking to monetize your blog and gain advertising deals, it’s worth signing up for a domain. A ‘.com’ or ‘co.’ address for your country makes your blog look smart and professional, as opposed to the long Blogspot or WordPress addresses you’re given when you sign up. Some sponsors will only work with blogs which have a proper domain, so you’re opening yourself up to more opportunities. They’re relatively easy to set up and only cost a few dollars a year so are a worthwhile investment for your blog.
*This post was contributed. Family friendly posts are welcome.