Think Different.

There are talented people all across WordPress and every other bogging platform that exists. Talented people who have a lot to share with the world, who struggle to get anyone to read their words or see their content. Why? Because they struggle to position and market their blog among the other 75 million blogs that exist in this world.

If you’re writing for a hobby, writing to keep a diary online instead of in a journal, this likely won’t matter to you at all. But if you’re on WordPress because you want to make friends and meet like-minded people, share your talents and show your skills then you need to market your blog. You have to.

While the odd person may stumble upon your blog, resonate with what you have to share and stick around from then on, the ‘accidentally finding you’ tactic is certainly not going to garner the audience you desire.

Someone that always understood marketing far better than most people on this planet is Steve Jobs. If you’ve ever heard the man speak, you know. He gets it. He knows how to turn a brand into a necessity, to a lifestyle and a feeling of belonging.

Your blog is your brand and if you want to garner an audience using your brand, you need to turn it into a necessity, a lifestyle and a place for people to find their belonging.

One of my favourite speeches from Steve Jobs can be seen here:

In the video, Jobs explains that the core value of Apple is the belief that people can change the world and that those who are crazy enough to believe they can change the world are the ones that do.

Using their slogan ‘Think Different’, Jobs explains that Apple’s desire was not to create a phone for you to make phone calls, Apple’s desire was to create a phone that makes your life better, easier, more organized. Apple’s desire was to create a computer that allowed your brain to think differently about how to do things, about what your computer can do for you and about how you can change the world from the stroke of a keyboard.

Steve Jobs was a brilliant man, one of the most brilliant of our time. In ‘thinking different’ he categorically used his ‘think different’ platform to catapult a run of the mill company to be a world, industry and technological leader. He did this because he knew he wasn’t marketing a computer. He knew that when he was marketing the life the computer could give you. He knew that he was marketing how much easier his phone would make your day.

How does this relate to blogging? Well, I’ll ask you this… in marketing your blog, do you market it as a blog, or, a community? Is it a place for you to write or a place for thoughts to change minds and learn new oulooks/perspctives? Is your blog a blog or is your blog a home for the lost, the found and the just won’t give up? Are you giving something to your readers, or merely just taking their time? Remember, Nike doesn’t sell shoes, Nike sells the idea of who you can become when you wear their shoes. If you’re selling your blog as a blog, you need to take Steve Jobs’ advice and think different. Thing bigger. Don’t market your blog as a blog. Market your blog as a home. As a place for people to come to remember they’re not alone in this world. Market your words as a means to help those who you’ve not yet met.

What does your blog bring to the table that no one else has? That no one else does? With millions of people hitting ‘Publish’ on their posts each and every day, what about your posts is should keep people coming around? What is your commodity? I don’t mean this in a condescending way, I mean this to get you thinking.

#MillennialLifeCrisis markets in honesty and understanding. The good, the bad, the ugly, the afraid to share with the world thoughts that you only keep to yourself honesty. You will find that here. People know that if they come to this community, they will hear my truths and they can feel safe to share their’s.

Some of my favourite blogs to read are those that market in travel. Not tourism, but travel (because there’s a very distinct difference). I love reading about those people who walk off the beaten path and really go to a country to learn and share the very core living culture within a place. Rebecca Goes Rendezvous does this really well.

Other blogs that I find myself gravitating towards are those who have no fear in telling their opinions with respect to real and important subject matter that a lot of people are often too afraid to talk about… too afraid to share opinions on, because they don’t want to start an argument. I like the people who aren’t afraid to share those thoughts, even if it might start an argument, because they know that they can turn it into a thoughtful and informative discussion. Filosofa’s Word does this really well.

These are both my own personal likes, though. And everyone likes something different, so please don’t take these two suggestions as the only subjects that matter.

If you really want to take your blog to the next level, and really want to have people pay attention to what you have to share, think different. Ask yourself where your blog should be positioned and make it happen. Position your blog and then market it.


90% of bloggers marketing:

“Hi my name is Sarah, please check out my blog!”

10% of bloggers effectively marketing their blog:

“Remember a time when you were moved to tears by a piece you read on someone else’s blog? Or were inspired to take action in a certain area of your life?

Well, that was art. The art of blogging.” (Quote from The Art of Blogging)

Which blog are you more likely to check out?

Because effective marketing is everything!

10 Months of #MillennialLifeCrisis

It’s nearly 11 PM on the West Coast and I’ve been thinking about hitting ‘Publish’ on this post all day. Here goes…

10 whole months that I’ve been pouring my heart out to the internet. 10 whole months that I’ve questioned everything that I’ve written and posted it anyways. 10 whole months that I’ve spent meeting and talking to some of the most incredible souls I’ve ever crossed paths with. 10 months of learning – new facts, new perspectives, new understandings. It’s been one hell of a time, if I do say so.

I made this blog on a whim, with the encouragement of Knight. I wanted a place to rant about the things going on in my life and boy did this platform give me the opportunity to do that and then some.

As much as nothing has changed in the past ten months, everything has changed. I think of the sad shell of a human being that I was ten months ago, I look at myself in the mirror and see the resilient fighter I am today and I’m thankful for what I am becoming. I have a much better grasp on my anxiety (though I still struggle, I can control it a lot better) and I have much more of an understanding of who I am and who is important to me.

Why is ten months an important landmark to me? Because I’m proud of what I’ve accomplished in the past ten months. I’m proud of what this blog has become. I’m profoundly appreciative of the people I’ve met and the stories you’ve shared with me. I talk a lot about my appreciation for the WordPress platform because I wholeheartedly believe this blog has given a great boost to my confidence in the past ten months.

To those of you who’ve been along for the ride since the very beginning, thank you. I love you. And to those of you who’ve only recently found this blog, thank you. I owe you.

Ten months. I’m humbled. I’m grateful. I’m thankful.

To celebrate ten months of WordPress, here are ten facts about me:

  • I am female. (I am including this because there seems to be some confusion lately… with some people thinking that I am a man)
  • I have blue eyes and blonde hair and was consistently referred to as Barbie for the first thirteen years of my life because people told me that I looked like a little doll.
  • I will turn 31 next month, and even with all that has gone on in the past year, I will still say that my 30s have been infinitely better than my 20s thus far.
  • When editing someone else’s work, I can pick out spelling and grammar mistakes within seconds of reading it. When editing my own work, I can read it five times over and still not notice where I’ve made my errors. And there are always errors.
  • Recently, Geneva posed a suggestion to me that I consider writing an EBook. I haven’t admitted it out loud, but I am genuinely considering doing it, using it as a means to give out my marketing advice for free by having a company sponsor it. It’s all just a thought at this point in time, but I can’t get it out of my head since Geneva planted the seed.
  • I have a scar shaped like a Lightning Bolt on my thumb that my friend’s have referred to as proof of my being related to Harry Potter.
  • One of my most memorable moments was standing with Team Canada as they were presented their gold medals
  • One of my proudest moments was the day one of my heroes complimented me on my intelligence and told met that I was going to change the world one day.
  • As a whole, I do not believe that you ever fall out of love with someone. I simply believe that two people can understand they’re not meant to be together and that’s why they divorce. I do believe that love you feel for someone will always stay with you.
  • I like to eat raw onions. (Yeah, I had to end with this one)

Blogging 102 – Tips for Blog Growth

Photo from Search Engine Journal

You know what’s a really great feeling in blogging? When someone reads your post, when they understands your message and when they appreciate your content. It makes you feel like you have a connection with people you’ve never met from a world away or right down the street. It’s a certain kind of magic to your soul that’s difficult to fully explain.

In order to feel this though, you have to effectively market your blog, positioning it within the WordPress community and beyond. Because unless you get readers, you won’t get that connection. How does one do this, might you ask?

A good picture goes a long way. A great picture goes even further. A strategically placed photo at the head of any blog post can provide more click-bait for your post than anything that you write. So don’t just pick any photo, pick the perfect photo. Edit it. Brighten It. Ensure that it’s high-quality and the perfect addition to your post. The photo will entice them to click and your writing will keep them reading.

Write what people want to read. Please note that this does not mean stop writing what you’re writing. This means take what you’re writing and turn it into something for a wider audience. Take your niche and turn it into something that people want to read. It’s a habit of bloggers to write ‘Me, me, me, me, me’. Which is great. Your blog is a diary so that’s very reflective of your life. Thing is, when people go to Google to search things, they’re not going to search ‘Me, me, me, me, me’. So, how do you change this your posts into something they will search? Say you have some incredible banana pancakes for breakfast and want to share the recipe on your blog. Don’t write ‘I had the most amazing banana pancakes for breakfast’, write ‘The most amazing banana pancakes you could ever eat’. You’re still sharing what you love, but in changing the subject and content from being ‘Me, me, me, me, me’ to something that will entice readers, more people are likely to find your post, read your post and find it helpful to them and their love for banana pancakes.

Self Promote. This can be done in a lot of ways. If you’d like to grow organically within the WordPress community, I highly, highly, highly recommend that you make friends in the WordPress community. Your friends will introduce you to their friends and so on and so forth. If you’d like to grow your organically online, make use of social media. Change your usernames to be the name of your blog, include your blog link on all of your social media profiles. If you leave a comment on someone’s youtube video or instagram post, sign the comment ‘Sincerely, {Name of Blog}. The more places that people see your blog’s name and URL, the more chance you have to gain readers from around the web. If you really want to think outside of the box, print some business cards with your blog’s information on them and hand them out around town/post them to bulletin boards. Garner that attention from wherever you can!

Collaborate. Collaboration with other bloggers is one of the easiest, most simple ways to introduce people to your audience and to have them introduce their audience to you. Sure, some of your audience may overlap, but I guarantee you there is an opportunity for new people to see that collaboration and discover that you exist for the very first time.

Be consistent. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – if you really want people to pay attention to your blog you need to be consistently posting to your blog. People have short attention spans, and if you don’t post for a long time, they’re going to forget about you. Not just that, they’re going to move on to following someone else to fill that space in their heads. Gauge your audience and work with a schedule that you can commit to. If you can post every day, great! Do that! If you can’t, try to commit to two-to-three posts per week. People need to know that when they come back to your blog, they’re going to find something new to read. And, it’s estimated that people will only visit your blog three times to find zero new content before they move on. If it’s been three weeks since you’ve posted, that’s perhaps one of the reasons why you’re struggling to find growth. Work with a consistency schedule that you can keep up with.

Use your analytics to your favour. (I spoke of this here) If you go into your wordpress analytics, there’s an option to see which of your posts were most popular by day, week, month and year. Click on “Year” and see which of your posts were most popular this year. People obviously liked and resonated with these top posts, so consider broadening your discussion on those topics. It obviously appeals to you because you’ve already written about it, and it appeals to others because of the attention it got, so why not expand?

Please take all of the tips in this post with a grain of salt. If you’ve disagreed with one of my points, you don’t have to follow it. These are just tips and tricks that I’ve learned in nearly 10 years of Digital Media Management with different companies and charitable organizations. I’ve seen blogs flourish and I’ve seen blogs driven into the pavement.


If you’d like to read more of my thoughts/tips on Digital Marketing and WordPress growth, please click here >

These song lyrics are just…

Some days you just breath in
Just try to break even
Sometimes your heart’s poundin’ out of your chest
Sometimes it’s just beatin’
Some days you just forget
What all you’ve been given
Some days you just get back
And some days you’re just alive
Some days you’re livin’
Some days you’re livin’

This song came on the radio as I was on my way home this afternoon and I just… I felt it with every fiber of my being.

The upcoming Canadian Election

Photo from The National Post

I’m going to talk, at length, about Politics. I am hesitant to talk about Politics because I understand that it’s an extremely divisive topic, but there are some things I feel I need to say.

First and foremost, I am choosing to not name any individual politicians in this post because I do not wish for this post to come across as hate filled. I just want to have an open and honest discussion about how I feel about the present state of Canadian politics. There is no hate here, just cause for alarm.

I consider myself to be very Liberal in nature. It’s who I am and what I believe, it’s the party I most align with. I do not agree with everything the Liberal party of Canada does, but, I understand that in life, you’re not going to agree with everyone 100% of the time and I still very much believe in the platform and policies they present.

Presently, in Canada, the media is playing the upcoming election out to be a neck-and-neck race between the Liberal Party and the Conservative Party. (If you’re not Canadian, these two are basically the equivalent of Democratic and Republican)

The individual running for the Conservative Party is, in my personal opinion, a scary dude. I say that he’s scary because he’s someone who can look you square in the eye, lie directly to your face and laugh about it after the fact. I believe that he’s under the impression he’s got the country fooled and that this election is ‘in the bag’ for him. His campaign is filled with bullying rhetoric, he doesn’t seem to have any plans or policies… at least none that he’s going to allow the Canadian public to hear before the election. Furthermore, every time he opens his mouth, it’s not to say something productive, but rather, to say something he believes to be bad about our current Prime Minister.

Canadian’s are not immune to this. We understand in politics there are certain parties and people who run on bullying campaigns (Exhibit A: The current President of the United States). We understand how this world works and, for the most part, I hope that his negative/hatred spewed, filled with lies, rhetoric towards the Prime Minister is seen for exactly what it is. This particular man has done a lot of alarming things over the course of his career, not only just during this election period.

This man is vehemently against the LGBTQ2 community. He’s not willing to admit to this on the campaign trail, regardless of how many times reporters have asked him about this, but he has been on record in the past (on video) campaigning against giving Lesbian and Gay individuals the right to marry, comparing their relationships to ‘the tail of a dog’.

I want to know how someone thinks that he can stand up for all Canadians when there’s such a large population of our country who’s very indentities he refuses to acknowledge.

One of this man’s constituents, someone running in the riding of Airdrie, Alberta has recently posted some alarming videos to twitter to proclaim that, regardless of your Citizenship, if you’ve not lived in Canada for five or more, you don’t deserve the right to vote. He also says that if you don’t hold a valid Canadian government issued ID, you don’t deserve the right to vote.

This is alarming to me, for a lot of reasons. My brother, a Canadian citizen who lived in Canada up until he was 22 years old, has lived in Denmark since 2012. He’s still a Canadian citizen. He still cares about what happens in this country. He still spends his two week’s holiday here every year. He still donates to charities here. He still considers Canada his home. He still holds a Canadian passport. Why? Because he’s Canadian. He may be choosing to live in the country in which his child is being raised, but he is still Canadian. By this man’s opinion, because my brother has lived in Denmark since 2012, he doesn’t deserve the right to vote?

This could affect so very many people. There are people living and working in Hollywood who still consider Canada to be their home. They don’t deserve the right to vote? There are people who are teaching at Universities internationally, who’ve retired internationally as a means to make their money stretch farther, there a million reasons under the sun why someone might have not lived in Canada for five years. That doesn’t mean they don’t care about what happens in this country. So why should their right to vote be stripped, despite the fact that they are now, and will forever be Canadian citizens who hold Canadian passports?

To the second point of the video the man of the Airdrie riding made, that you shouldn’t be able to vote if you do not have a government issued ID, this just isn’t fair. There are so many people in this country who do not hold a valid ID. This is not to single out any particular portion of the population for any reason on than examples sake, but something I ran into a lot with my last job was that people who live on Reserves often don’t have ID. Why? Because they were born, raised and have lived in a two block radius their whole lives. They don’t get on planes, they don’t get on trains, they don’t own their homes (their homes are owned by the Band), and a lot of them don’t even get the adequate medical attention they deserve. They can go their whole lives without needing or having an ID that would be required by this man to vote. They’re still human. They’re still Canadian. They still care what happens in this country. This isn’t just a Canadian problem. This is something that happens all over the world. It’s something that John Oliver pointed out as a specific issue the United States had in the last election.

One could argue that, if these people without IDs want to vote, they should go out and get an ID. Well yes, I guess you could get them all an ID. But it’s not that simple of a process. If you don’t own a home, because it’s owned by the Band, then you don’t pay bills for that home. If you don’t pay bills, then the only thing that the government has for proof of residence is Band Records. Band records being something that the government has accepted for decades, because of the very reasons I’ve listed above. So if all of these people need to jump through legal hoops to get an ID, are you (Mr. Airdrie riding) going to help them do that in the next 30-some-odd days? That’s what I thought. You don’t want them to vote.

Another piece to this election I find alarming comes from one of the constituents running for the Conservative party in the Burnaby North Seymour. This individual posted a photo their Facebook page of Rick Mercer. The photo has a quote on it, that is attributed to Rick Mercer on the photo making it look as though he’s telling Canadians to ‘Vote Conservative’. Rick Mercer is a widely popular TV personality in Canada, an openly gay man and a man who is openly critical of the Conservative Party and what they stand for. Never in my life to I believe that he would be telling Canadian’s to ‘Vote Conservative’ like this photo suggested. He pointed out this fact on his twitter page when he vehemently rejected the photo on it’s face and stated he was reaching out to the Conservative party to ensure his photo and name are not used on their behalf ever again.

The thing is, Conservatives are banking on people being uninformed. They’re banking on people not knowing that a photo and quote like this are fake. Because uninformed people won’t take a second look, they won’t investigate. Conservatives are banking on people just believing what this photo says. It doesn’t matter if it was up for ten minutes, ten hours or forty days, the fact that it went up at all is widely deceptive and showcases a very alarming side to the Conservative party.

I really don’t know what is going to happen on October 21st. I sincerely hope that Canadians do not elect the Conservative party for federal government. I sincerely hope that we’re not about to send our Politics, way of life and position on the world stage backwards. I sincerely hope we’re not planning on making the wealthy wealthier and the middle class weaker. But, I don’t know. I see a lot of hate being spewed on places like my television, Instagram and Twitter accounts towards the Liberal party. And I get it, people are frustrated, but I just want Canadians to remember that not everything you see is always the truth.

I also want Canadians to remember that you don’t have to agree with 100% of what a party does to vote for them.

Whichever way that Canadians choose to vote, I respect that. I sincerely do. I just hope that they make an informed decision and don’t necessarily believe things being presented to them as true when they’re so blatantly not.

I respect the political positioning of everyone and I respect their right to vote for whomever they please. I respect differing opinions and I respect people who are willing to share their opinions in an open, respectful discussion. There is no room for hatred in Canada, in Canadian politics, nor on this blog. So if your opinion differs from mine, and you would like to share, feel free to do so, just keep it… kind.

Why you shouldn’t buy followers.

Do you ever notice how some people on youtube can have millions of subscribers and only get 10,000 – 20,000 views per video, while others have millions of subscribers on youtube and they amass 500,000+ views per video?

Do you ever see someone with tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, of WordPress followers post something to their blog only to get three or four likes… and rarely ever have someone comment on their page at all? You may not be able to see their analytics, but you can see the responsiveness to their blog and it makes you wonder… why no one cares what they’re posting if they have so many followers.

If you do notice this, do you ever wonder why this is?

I have a theory. A theory that I cannot prove, but a theory that I am certain is what’s happening.

About three months into my blogging journey was when I amassed my first 1,000 followers (which was a huge day for me!) on WordPress. About that time was also the point in time when I began getting inundated with messages from people who promised me things like: 5,000 organic, responsive followers for just one single payment of the low, low price of $49.99!

$49.99… that sounds like a great deal, doesn’t it?

Actually, one offer that I got for just $200 was for followers on my WordPress page, Twitter account and Instagram account! Good little leeches saw all of these accounts connected and got creative!

These messages come in through my ‘Contact’ page on WordPress and through DM on Twitter and Instagram. I’ve never paid a whole ton of attention to Twitter, so being bombarded with these messages there was… interesting. I guess if you meet their criteria, they really do want to sell you their ‘product’.

In case you’ve yet to figure out, their product is not ‘organic, responsive followers’. These followers are bot accounts, made in masses, created to be sold to people wanting to get ‘InstaFamous’ quick.

How do I know this? Because I’ve purchased followers for Corporate accounts before.

About three years ago I was put in charge of Digital Marketing/Online Engagement for an international event that was happening in Ottawa. This event, while very familiar to people in certain parts of the world, has failed to garner the international attention it desires for being an international event.

My boss wanted a larger following on the social media platforms – specifically twitter and instagram, so that he could promote these mass groupings of followers to potential sponsors to gain more sponsorship money for the event. How do you get a larger following on social media on Friday when your boss’ first sponsorship proposal is being pitched on Monday morning? You buy them of course.

I didn’t like the idea at the time. I didn’t feel right about the idea at the time. We really didn’t know where the money was going, or to whom it was going to, we just gave over the corporate credit card for the promise of 50,000 new followers.

It’s worth noting that when you buy followers, you’re buying the number alone. Engagement is not guaranteed, or even likely.

We went from 6,000 followers on Friday at 4:00 pm to 56,000 followers on Saturday at 4:00 pm.

My boss was happy. He got what he wanted. He could make his pitch on Monday proclaiming that we had a massive following of people to which we could influence through social media to buy their products, and for that reason, they should sponsor our event.

And he did that.

He sold the crap out of our social media following and brought in hundreds of thousands of dollars in revenue as sponsorship for our event.

The problem was, we could not actually provide any return on investment. To the outside eyes, we had 56,000 followers. In reality, we had 6,000 followers. 6,000 concentrated followers from one area of the world.

It’s also worth noting that when you purchase followers it distorts your performance metrics.

My boss went to these International Corporations selling ROI for a following of 50,000 plus when in reality our following was 6,000.

He got the sponsorship revenue that he wanted, but in return, we could not provide these companies any ROI. Actually, in the end, he wound up having us ‘fudge’ the analytics to make it look like we had larger responsiveness than we did. This caused a rift in the relationship with these sponsors because he essentially blamed lack of investment in this companies on these companies. Let’s just say… they weren’t interested in sponsoring more events after that.

The purpose of this story? Don’t always believe everything that you see online. My theory is that a lot of these major Youtubers that people might be watching, they bought a lot of their followers. If someone has 1.2 million Youtube subscribers and are making an average of 10-15 thousand views per video, something’s not right. If someone has 10,000 WordPress followers and garners 5-10 likes per post, something’s not right. You may not be able to prove they bought their followers, but you can think twice before you accept any recommendations for products or advice they’re giving you.


REASONS TO NOT PURCHASE FOLLOWERS:

  1. It’s dishonest. Whether your accounts are for business or personal, shouldn’t your main goal to be honest with the people you’re interacting with?
  2. You’re not purchasing organic, responsive followers for your page, you’re purchasing bot accounts to make it look as though you have a lot of followers when in reality. If you think your content is good, these bots aren’t going to care.
  3. Purchased followers distort your performance metrics. If you have have 100 followers and a 60% read rate, your performance metrics are what I used to call ‘Bomb.com’ in the marketing realm. If you purchase 1,000 followers, your performance metrics are still 60 followers of 100, but your metrics look like you get 60 of 1,000.
  4. Instagram and Twitter have people on staff to purge fake accounts. This purging of bots has gotten even more strict after the last Presidential Election in the United States.
  5. If you have a desire to give ROI with respect to your social media platforms, you’re essentially lying to any companies you’re doing business with. You’ll be lying to get their business and you’ll need to lie to them (and ‘fudge’ the analytics) once you fail to meet the designated ROI.
  6. If your goal is to influence, you’re not going to be able to influence bots.
  7. Bought followers can often bring spam with them.
  8. What you lack in credibility after purchasing followers, you’re going to have to lie to cover up, or let people see the truth… you lack credibility.

I wholeheartedly believe that purchasing followers is wrong. I wish that brands would pay more attention to the people and companies they’re doing work with. I want them to look beyond the number of followers that someone has to ask for real time analytics and proof of engagement.

I won’t name any names, but I can think of at least a dozen people off the top of my head I feel like would struggle to show real time metrics/analytics to any of the companies they do business with. That being said, there seem to be a lot of companies in this world who see that follower count and don’t look beyond followers. I guess you could say that’s the company’s fault, and yes it partially is. But then you get into the ‘fool me once…’ cliche.

If you’re really wanting to be organic, open, honest and real with the genuine people who do choose to follow you on social media, buying extra followers isn’t going to do you any favours.

On making your blog stand out…

I get a lot of questions about my blog. People ask when I started my blog, how it grew so quickly, how to encourage feedback, what type of content to share, etc… And, while I’m extremely humbled and flattered each time someone does ask me, I often wonder if they’re perhaps asking the wrong person. I don’t see my blog as anything all that exceptional, I just consider it a branch of my personality – the good, the bad, the happy, the sad, the real.

I started my bog in January of 2019. The truth is, I don’t know how it grew so quickly. Dumb luck, perhaps? Being in the right place at the right time? I’m not really sure how to answer that question because, quite frankly, I think it’s a better thing to ask someone following my blog than it is to ask me. I don’t mean that in an offensive way, I just mean that… I can only speculate as to why people follow me. You would have to ask them to find out for certain.

This blog has only been active for eight months, so I am by no means an expert. That being said, I do understand the whimsy and excitement that comes with someone reading your posts, liking what you’ve written and sharing a piece of themselves that lets you know your words have resonated with them. So, here are some suggestions that I’ve learned, through trial and error, and a decade of working in digital marketing, that might help you along with your blogging journey.

CHOOSE YOUR BLOG NAME WISELY. Give your blog a name that people are going to remember. Your blog name is your personal brand, so make sure that it’s something simple that will stay top-of-mind for readers to easily come back to. If your blog name is “Steve12432342352” people could have a hard time finding you. So pick something that is reflective of yourself, but also, easy to find.

FIND YOUR NICHE. It sounds cliche, but a niche integral to finding any success with blogging. Don’t just say that you’re going to write about life, dig deeper. What aspects of life do you want to share? What feelings and emotions, what experiences do you want to display? An established niche will help you to create more well-rounded content for your blog and help readers determine why they should or should not be coming back to your blog. Some people say that you’re supposed to establish your target audience and I vehemently disagree with that tactic. I believe that first and foremost, you should be writing for yourself and not for an audience that does not yet exist. Furthermore, establishing an audience closes the door to anyone who isn’t in your target demographic, and you don’t want to be closing the door to potential readers.

USE YOUR ‘ABOUT ME’ PAGE TO ANSWER WHY YOU STARTED YOUR BLOG. If someone accidentally stumbles upon your blog one day and they like what they’re reading, the chances are they’re going to want to see who you are and find out more of what your blog is about. A carefully written ‘About Me’ section will allow readers and potential readers to learn about who you are and why they should follow your blog. So please don’t neglect the ‘About Me’ section.

ESTABLISH GOALS. Real, reasonable, honest goals. Sure, it would be great to make a living writing a blog, but that is a by-product, and should not be your goal. The truth of the matter is, most blogs do not make money, and if they do, it’s not enough for someone to live off of. If you’re just blogging in hopes to make money, that will show in the content you produce and will likely lead to a lack of credibility and integrity. Establishing real, reasonable and honest goals for your blog will help to keep you motivated with what you’re doing. Do you want to share your DIY Crafts? Are you hoping to find a like-minded community to talk to? These are the things you should be seeking, and as your blog grows your content can continue to grow with it.

CREATE CONTENT THAT YOU LOVE. I have crossed paths with a few people over the past eight months in which you can definitely tell they’re writing for attention and nothing more. If attention is what you crave, you may find it in the things that you say, but that connection with people will be fleeting before they move onto the next. Use your blog to share things you’re passionate about and that passion and love will be conveyed through all that you do. If readers crave authenticity (and they certainly do) they’re going to adore you for sharing your content with love.

DEVELOP YOUR PERSONAL STYLE. Are you a minimalist? Do you like things to be flashy? What is it about your personality that can shine through in the layout of your blog and in the content that you post to your blog? Think of your blog like a brand. The best brands have a consistent tone to them. If you’re minimalist and quiet one day, flashy and raunchy the next, people will have a hard time following what you’re putting out. But, if you establish your personal style through the posts that you make, people will know what to expect when they visit your blog and will look forward to that.

FOCUS ON WHAT YOU’RE GOOD AT. Sure, it’s nice to think outside of the box every now and again, but do remember that your strengths are your best asset in blogging. If you suck at poetry but are amazing at short stories, perhaps you could make one out of every five posts a poem. That way, your short stories have their time to shine whilst you’re still practicing your poetry. This same example can be applied to virtually anything you desire to blog about.

IF YOU DON’T WANT TO BE IN FRONT OF THE CAMERA THEN DON’T BE. There are plenty of people in this world who would love to have their face plastered all over a blog because it helps to showcase their brand and their personality. Then, there are people like me who are awkward and uncomfortable in front of a camera. That awkwardness would be easily conveyed through any photos of me in existence and would likely turn people away. So I guess all I’m saying with this is, do what’s right for you. Don’t feel pressured to post photos of yourself because you think that’s what is going to make you popular.

ENGAGE. ENGAGE. ENGAGE. In this day and age people can spend their time doing a million things under the sun. So, the fact that they’re spending time reading your blog does and should mean a lot to you. If they leave you a comment, respond to the comment. If they send you an email, let them know that you got it. If they ask you to check out their page, check out their page. Let them know that you’re listening and that you’re grateful they took time out of their day to view your blog.

TAKE A LOOK AT WHAT OTHERS ARE DOING. This one, I got from a woman named Catherine on who runs a youtube channel called ‘Do It On A Dime’. Her biggest piece of advice for blogging and vlogging and sharing with the web is that you should take a look at what others are doing, find what you love and ask yourself how you can put a positive twist on that to make it your own. Someone who follows this blog of mine once pointed to me that the things I say aren’t anything that special or different from what anyone else experiences/shares, but that it’s the way in which I say them that draws her in. To me, that was a huge compliment, because that means there’s authenticity in what I’m conveying on my blog. I think that’s what everyone should be aiming for. Taking something that you feel, that others have felt, and putting your own spin on it.

ALWAYS KEEP LEARNING. There are so many tricks to the trade when it comes to digital marketing. Learning things like analytics, audience demographics, trending topics, these things will all help as you look to improve your blog. But just remember that you need to walk and not run. It’s not a marathon. The likelihood of 50,000 people viewing your blog overnight is slim-to-none. What you can do, however is focus on the small improvements to be made. How can you use analytics in your favour? What do demographics mean to you? How can you learn more to help consistently make your blog better in small ways with each passing day?

BE KIND. There’s enough assholes on the internet already. If you have an opinion, you can share it. Just remember that you don’t have to be an asshole in doing so. Because after all, if people think you’re an asshole, what reason do they have to come back to your page?

MOST IMPORTANTLY, HAVE FUN WITH IT. If you treat blogging like it’s enjoyable, it will be. If you treat blogging like it’s a nuisance, it will be.


P.S. – If you haven’t already read it, I did a post in May titled ‘On Building your dream blog’. To read that, Click here >

P.P.S – If you haven’t already read it, I did a post in July titled ‘Beginners guide to wordpress analytics (and using them to grow your audience)’. To read that, Click here >