Literally everyone and their mom is “building a brand”. Which is great, I love seeing people sharing their passions on social media. But scrolling through blogs and Instagram, I see some things that make me cringe. Not in a bad way, it just brings back memories from my early blogging days. We spend a lot of time putting out content, but we don’t spend time talking about meaningful content and how to go about that.
I am by no means an influencer. This is just my advice that’s based on my experiences with creating content. So you started a blog…what’s next and what should you do?
Find your niche. If someone asked me about starting a blog, I would advise them to find what interests them and focus their efforts on that. I focus on veganism, photography, intentional living, and recipes. These are where my interests lie, so I spend the most time creating content centered around these things. However, I am not that strict with myself. If something is meaningful to me, then I share that on here or Instagram. When you are finding your niche, I think it is also important to figure out what platforms you want to use. I mainly use my website and Instagram and I will occasionally use Pinterest and Tumblr, but they are not my sole focus. The last point I want to make on finding your niche is to make sure your writing and photos are consistent. I tend to write in the same manner and on a weekly basis. As for my photos, I tend to use similar filters and there are messages behind my photos. It’s important to have a focus, but you don’t need to put too much pressure on yourself.
Work on attention grabbers. The internet is saturated with bloggers and content creators. If you want you want your posts to stand out, you need to have an attention grabber. This could be an interesting photo, a cool title, or an anecdote. I do not recommend clickbait titles. You might get more clicks, but this annoys your audience and you probably won’t have that much retention.
Engage with your readers. Like posts, respond to comments, and build a community in a sense. It is helpful to follow other meaningful websites. However, don’t follow just to follow or don’t follow because you want to gain followers. Focus more on engagement and less on likes and follows. I think it is important to engage with your readers because it shows you have a personality and it makes you relatable.
Use relevant hashtags. It is hard to widen your reach without using tags or hashtags. Some people hate using hashtags, but you really need to. I would just make sure to use relevant hashtags. Don’t put a hashtag just because it’s popular. If you post about food, then stick to food hashtags. On Instagram, you can use up to 30 hashtags and on WordPress you can use 15 tags.
Quality over Quantity. So cliché, but so true. You should post consistently, but if you are not posting something quality then what’s the point? I’d rather put something out there that I am proud of than post just to keep up.
Do it for the right reasons. Don’t start doing social media because you want free products or attention. You should enjoy the content you make and you should do it because it’s a fun way to share your interests. I do earn a small amount of money from this blog and I do receive products to review, but that’s not why I started it.
Be Patient. Most likely, you are not going to get tons of followers overnight. Building an audience takes time. Also, be patient with yourself. Your writing and photography skills will develop over time. Not everything needs to be absolutely perfect and most readers don’t expect that from you anyway.
Don’t pretend. People spot fakes a mile away. It doesn’t matter how good your content is, if you’re not genuine people won’t keep coming back to your website or whatever platform you use. Also, don’t pretend that your life is perfect. That is not relatable and honestly people don’t want to see pictures of you awkwardly smiling in every post. It seems too good to be true. Take photos of all sorts of things and be honest in your writing. If you are struggling with something it is okay to mention that.
Invest in yourself. As you start getting more serious about your blog/social media, I suggest investing in yourself or your brand. Since photography is a hobby of mine, I bought a camera and I plan on buying a new lens soon. I also upgraded my WordPress package so I could do more. I suggest doing these things after you have become more familiar with blogging. You don’t want to spend so much money right away and then realize you don’t enjoy it.
Have fun with it. At the end of the day, it’s your content so post whatever you feel like posting. Be creative and have fun. Support other bloggers and learn what works for you and what doesn’t.
I hope this was helpful. I wish I knew some of these things when I started taking blogging more seriously. These are just my opinions, so you are in no way obligated to follow this advice. Some of these things seem unoriginal, but they really helped me. Thanks for reading!
*Just so you know: all photos taken by me (unless stated otherwise), if you want to use them please credit me. Thanks for visiting my blog! This post is NOT sponsored, however I am affiliated with iHerb and Amazon and I do earn a small commission if you decide to use my links.