I DESIGNED SHIRTS!

I DESIGNED SHIRTS! And these shirts are for sale! This is something that I’ve wanted to do for a while, so I’m very excited and very nervous to share them with you. All shirts can be fond on my TeeSpring Store here >

Back in March of this year I had shirts printed with my #MillennialLifeCrisis logo on them. I love them. I’m biased, I know that, but I love them to bits. To this day, they’re two of my favourite shirts. So, I created more.

Please be advised: All shirts are printed, produced and shipped from TeeSpring in the United States. Shipping fees are determined by Teespring based on where you live.

If you would like to purchase one of these shirts, note that I will make a profit of roughly ten dollars per shirt sold. If you would like to own one of these shirts and want to support me/my blog, thank you so very much! And if you do not make a purchase, that is totally okay too! Thank you for reading and for your consistent support.

The #MillennialLifeCrisis TeeSpring store >


The #MillennialLifeCrisis logo shirt

The #MillennialLifeCrisis logo was the first thing I ever created when I made this blog. It has become somewhat of an… identity to both my blog, but also, this crazy stage of life, one that I know all too many people feel!

Available in t-shirt ($20), long sleeve ($25) and crew-neck ($30). Each of these prices is in American dollars. I believe that if you visit the site from elsewhere in the world, Teespring will convert the price to what it costs in your currency. Example: The t-shirt is $20 American, when I view the store front it shows it as being $26.13 Canadian.

Colours available include: black, grey light pink, light blue. Shirts are unisex sizes. Sizes available are dependent on the shirt you order.

The Millennial Life Crisis t-shirt

Buy it for yourself, or for your favourite Millennial. This design is available in t-shirt ($20) only. This price is in American dollars. I believe that if you view the website from elsewhere in the world, it will convert the price to your local currency.

Colours available include: white, grey, light pink, light blue. Shirts are unisex sizes. Sizes available are dependent on the shirt you order.

The AUTHENTIC MLC Shirt

Authenticity is a message that I often preach on my blog and something that I find great importance in. I wanted to create a shirt that made a statement. And, I truly believe this shirt does. The front of the shirt reads “Authentic” in large print with “MLC” underneath. MLC measures less than 1’x1′ in size. Its big enough to be there but small enough to not take away from the message.

Available in t-shirt ($20), long sleeve ($25) and crew-neck ($30). Each of these prices is in American dollars. If you visit the site from elsewhere in the world, Teespring will convert the price to what it costs in your currency. Example: The t-shirt is $20 American, when I view the store front it shows it as being $26.13 Canadian.

Colours available include: white, grey, light pink, light blue. Shirts are unisex sizes. Sizes available are dependent on the shirt you order.


All shirts will be available until November 10, 2019. If you would like to purchase one to rock the #MillennialLifeCrisis brand and support this blog, thank you! I am immensely thankful for your purchase.

Visit the #MillennialLifeCrisis TeeSpring Store >

If you do not want to purchase, that’s totally okay too. Thank you for your consistent reading and support of this blog and everything that I share. Your support has meant the world to me in 2019 and is a big part of what has gotten me through. So thank you so very much for all that you’ve given me!

And if you like what you see, please feel free to share with your friends, family and so on. I’d be interested to see the reach that this project of mine could possibly get.

Thanks so much ā¤

Vee

Blogging 105: How do you get more comments on your blog posts?

Photo credit: lyfemarketing.com

Without knowing it, many of you have taken part in an experiment over the past couple of weeks. What? An experiment? How sneaky of me, I know! The experiment was a test to see just how many comments could be collected on one post, if I asked the right questions. And let me tell you, your responses did not disappoint!

One of the most common things I see asked with respect to blogging is how do you get more people to comment on your blog. People ask here on WordPress, they ask on Twitter, my former bosses used to ask me all the time. How do you get more people to comment on your blog, your content and your message? It’s actually a question asked in the corporate world quite a lot. Even companies like Nike and Starbucks can struggle with getting people to provide feedback.

So how do you encourage engagement? How do you get more comments? How do you cause people to stop by your blog and think ‘I need to comment on this post!’

Suggestion 1: Ask them!

It seems simple, right? But many corporations and individual bloggers forget. We get so wrapped up in sending the message that we want to send that we forget to quite simply ask people what they think, how they feel, what their opinions are.

The two posts on my blog that garnered the most comments over the past few weeks were posts in which I purposefully went out of my way to ask you for your opinions.

And your perspectives, I got! If you read the comments section of these two posts: Absolutely (un)important questions and I would like to hear your opinion you will see oodles of different opinions. Each post has more than 100 comments on it. People went out of their way to not just share line or two, but to send me meaningful, thoughtful opinions of their perspectives.

If you want people to leave comments on your blog, ASK THEM QUESTIONS. Talk with them… instead of at them. Let them know that you want to hear their opinions. Let them know that their opinions, no matter if they align or disagree with your own, are welcome on your blog and then encourage them to share. People like to share their own opinions and will feel a lot safer to do so if you let them know their opinions are welcome on your blog.

Suggestion 2: Thank people who do share.

All too often I stop by someone’s blog to leave a comment and they don’t bother to respond to my comment.

This is totally fine. You don’t have to respond to your comments. But I truly believe that if you don’t respond to the comments people leave on your blog, they aren’t likely to leave another. It’s true for me, and as you’re reading this, it’s probably true for you. If you take the time to leave someone a heartfelt comment and they don’t bother to write back, why would you do that ever again?

This is why it’s really important that, if you do get comments on your blog, you respond. Responding to your comments lets people know that, whether they agree with your not, their thoughts are welcome on your blog. Responding to your comments encourages people to come back to your blog. Responding to your comments shows the people reading your blog that you’re thankful for their reading your blog. When your readers find you, let them know you’re thankful for every comment they leave.

Also – please remember, not everyone communicates in the same way. Some people have a way with words where they can leave you a really eloquent comment whereas others might just say ‘Thank you for writing this’. Please don’t devalue ‘thank you for writing this’. A reader is still valuable to your blog, no matter how long of a comment they leave.

Suggestion 3: Encourage feedback.

While not every post on your blog is going to be you specifically going out of your way to ask people for their answers to important questions, you can ask for feedback on your own content.

When you make a blog post, encourage people to respond. If you’re sharing your opinion, ask people for theirs. If you’re sharing a short story, ask people what they think of your short story. If you’re sharing your art, ask people to rate it on a scale from 1-10. However you see fit, whatever you see most aligning with your post, encourage readers to give you feedback.

Please note – When you’re encouraging feedback, don’t end your posts with a question that can be answered with a single word. End your post with a question that asks people for their opinions.

Example: You write a post about a truly orgasmic pizza eating experience. On the end of the post you leave a question.

Bad Questions: Do you like pizza? Do you like cheese? Do you like pineapple on pizza?

Good Questions: Can you tell me about a time in your life when you just couldn’t believe the pizza you were eating? What made that pizza so incredible? What about that memory sticks out so well in your mind?

The reason why the bad questions are bad questions is because someone can say “Yes. No. Yes”. It’s so simple that it doesn’t really encourage any informative feedback, it only asks yes or no questions. Yes or no questions that can be answered so quickly people might just skip over answering them at all. On the other hand, with the good questions listed, if people read that, they’re going to want to share their stories with you. They’re going to take the time to think about the best pizza they’ve ever had and they’re going to type up the whole story in your comments button.

Suggestion 4: Leave a comment on another blog.

Simply put, people are more likely to view and leave comments on the blogs of people who’ve left comments on their blog.

Now it’s important to note that with this suggestion, I DO NOT mean to spam people. Don’t just go to someone’s blog and write “Hey Check out my blog!” in their comments. I mean that you should go to someone’s blog, leave them a thoughtful comment and then mention “Hey, I also just recently touched on this subject on my blog. Would you consider reading it?”

It’s worth noting that this happens ALL THE TIME in the corporate world. The Oreo brand is notorious for leaving comments on other brands from KitKat to Boeing to American Eagle. They do this because they know that in doing so, they’re supporting other companies, but also supporting themselves. When people see a comment from Oreo on an American Eagle release, Oreo knows that’s going to put their brand at top of mind for a lot of American Eagle customers. It’s a small piece to marketing, but if you do it properly, an effective one.


Encouraging engagement can be difficult when you’re just starting out. But, it’s worth noting that things are always difficult when you’re just starting out. The important thing is that you try. That you put your efforts towards not just building a blog but building a community. Because people want to know they’re a part of a community and they’re being talked with, not at.

Take it slow and steady, one step at a time. Even Everest is conquerable so long as you go at your own pace.

Good luck!

Quashing blogging myths

Photo: LYFE Marketing

As with all marketing/blogging advice posts on my blog, please take the following information with a grain of salt. I’ve made a lot of mistakes over the years, including believing pretty much every myth on this list. That being said, myths get propagated for a reason. So, by spreading the following info, I am hoping to quash some of those myths. If you disagree with what I’ve said, that’s totally okay, I welcome other’s opinions.


You need to be tech-savvy and have coding skills in order to start a blog. There’s a preconceived notion that for a blog to be popular, it needs to be fancy. The reality is that the most important piece of your blog is the content, not the appearance. You need not use fancy layouts and intricate coding to make the appearance look more extravagant. If you have quality content the content will speak for itself. If you know nothing about coding or design, as long as you can hit publish, you can still run your blog. So please don’t feel pressured ‘keep up with the Jones’s’ with respect to the appearance of your blog. Sometimes, simple is exactly what you need.

If you build it, they will come. There are 75,000,000 blogs on WordPress alone. If you’re thinking a large hoards of people will accidentally stumble upon your blog and love it enough to stay, the likelihood of that is probably the same as the likelihood of being struck by lightning. It may sound like I say it a lot, but the truth is, marketing is integral to growth.

You have to invest a lot of money in your blog in order to make it popular. Purchasing a domain, purchasing a layout, purchasing plug-ins, purchasing designs, etc… are not a requirement to your blog being a good blog. You are the requirement to your blog being a good blog. If you choose to purchase these things, that is your choice, but please do not feel as though you have to purchase these things… because not one of them is going to make your blog appear more visible to anyone.

Blogging is an easy way to earn a ton of cash. False. False. False. False. People who actually earn cash from their blogs have spent vast amount of time investing in growing themselves a blogging community. Nothing about organic growth is easy. It takes a lot of time and effort building relationships for growth. So if you do make it to a point where you are able to earn cash with your blog, this likely didn’t come without a lot of months/years work in the process.

You have to write every single day to keep people interested. False. False False False. I cannot stress enough how false this is. If you would like to blog every day, you can. But you are not required to. The requirement to keeping people interested is being consistent. Whether you commit to one post a day, one post a week, one post a month, whatever it is, if your community knows that, they’ll come back for your blog. You just need to be consistent in your publishing.

You shouldn’t write long posts. This is perhaps one of the silliest myths of all. There is no standard ‘optimal’ length of post. What people should be saying is ‘don’t be redundant’. If you write a post that is 20 paragraphs and you continue to repeat the exact same point paragraph after paragraph after paragraph, you might want to consider trimming down your writing. But, if you write a post and the entire post is valid, important content to showing your perspective or proving your point, then it shouldn’t matter whether the post is 5 paragraphs or 20 paragraphs. People will ALWAYS take the opportunity to read what they find interesting. Length has nothing to do with that.

Blogging should be about writing. Blogging is actually about expression. Whether you’re a writer, a comic, and artist, a musician, a comedian, a graphic designer, or anyone else who wants to share their passions through a blog, you have a place here. This notion that blogging is only for writers is very closed minded. If anyone tells you that you don’t belong, ignore them. You’re here for a reason, and I am happy you are.

A niche is ‘one subject only’. If you have more than one interest, why shouldn’t you be able to write about all of them? People treat a niche as though it can only be one thing, when that’s simply not true. Your niche can be ‘Parenting/Travel/Reading” or “Mental Health/Makeup/Home Care” or whatever you desire it to be. As long as you’re communicative about what your desires are for a niche, people can and will understand and will follow you. So please don’t let anyone pigeon-hole you into a single subject.

You have to censor yourself. This is simply the opposite of what you should be doing. If you have opinions, thoughts or feelings, so long as you’re not being hateful or spiteful, you should absolutely share all of your opinions, thoughts and feelings on your blog. After all, this is the point of your blog! Don’t be afraid to talk about politics or religion or other subjects that people deem ‘tough topics’. Just be aware of the fact that if you state your opinions online, about anything, you need to be ready, willing and open to having discussion about these subjects in a respectful manner. It’s only when someone is an asshole about their opinions that they seem to get in trouble.

People are going to love every post that you make. This is just not possible. Everyone has different likes and dislikes. While they may appreciate something you post, another like of yours that you post about might not be of any interest to them. Therefore, you will have some posts that are really popular and some posts that aren’t that noticed. This is normal! Don’t delete your posts because of this. Authenticity is key.

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 >

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 >