I go through ups and downs with my blog. There are periods where I’m totally happy with it, very consistent, and feel completely in control; and there are periods where I feel totally demotivated, very deflated and question what I’m even doing out here on the web. One thing I am always doing, however, is working on new things to do on this little blog and stewing up ideas and things I can change. Over 2017 I’ve made 5 major changes…
I focused less on the money…
Towards the end of 2016 and over the beginning of 2017, my focus was solely on how do I make more money from my blog? I was now working full-time, which meant that unlike in university where I was a permanently poor student, I no longer needed my earnings from my blog to help in funding a decent lifestyle. I started to bargain higher and turn down opportunities where I felt I wasn’t getting my money’s worth. But then some time during the summer, I was scrolling through my inbox and realised that this mindset meant I was missing out on some great opportunities to work with fantastic, as well as up and coming brands. I decided to change this. I am very much in a stage when I am growing my blog – I don’t have a million followers and I don’t blog full-time, this means I have all the space in the world to experience the industry and build up a high quality portfolio rather than getting my head too wrapped up in earnings at this point. In 2017, quality quickly became my primary focus, rather than the moolah. HOWEVER – this is not me saying that you should let brands/PR companies take the p*ss: it should always be a two way relationship in some way, shape or form, “you may have a chance to be featured on our Twitter page!” doesn’t really cut it for a collaboration.
I set myself a schedule
For almost a year now I’ve been dedicated to posting twice a week; currently my posting days are Saturday and Wednesday. My strictness with keeping up with this varies – at first I was on a roll, if I was ever going to miss a week of posts I would state so in my blog and actually treat it like a holiday from blogging, just like I take annual leave from work. The first time I involuntarily missed a day I remember feeling terrible, but over time I got more comfortable with the idea that it was better to miss a day than to put up content of poor quality. However, I am working again at getting stricter with myself and sticking to this schedule. Definitely the best result of setting myself a schedule is just forcing myself to remain consistent and disciplined with blogging – plus, people know when they’re likely to hear form me. I usually see a pick up in blog stats when I am consistent and more active, for example when I did a week of daily posts around Christmas last year, my readership picked up considerably: as we all know, consistency is key.
I beefed up my outfit posts
My most viewed pieces of content and those where I just sit and share whatever is on my mind, something like this, or my last post where I spoke about things I wish I never did. This is followed closely by travel posts. At the start of the year when I would put up new outfit posts I would just post the photos with a bit of fluff around the outfit, but I never really knew what to say. I actually did this because I was scared I would run out of content for my more talkative posts. Overtime I became fed up with publishing what I thought was content my readers simply were not interested in – so I got rid of my irrational fear of ‘running out of ideas’ and started beefing up my outfit posts. Now with everything I publish you can guarantee I’ve put a lot of thought and effort into it, and by doing this I’ve become way more satisfied with the content I share.
I became more active on social media
This year I’ve started utilising social media more effectively as a platform to promote my blog. Previously I’d been too afraid that I was going to annoy my followers so I would keep the promotions to an minimum, I’d also use just a very minor few hashtags as to not look to #desperate. However, over time I noticed that i) I didn’t get annoyed about people promoting, so why would others get annoyed at me? ii) I didn’t care anyway – social media is the perfect platform to promote what you’re up to, why should I not utilise this effectively? And iii) as Gary Veyner says – hashtags a currencies in social media. Actually, one of the benefits of this has been not letting my old posts disappear into oblivion, I am able to re-promote these on Twitter using the most handy app Buffer, and direct people who may have missed these posts in the past. A similar thing goes for Instagram, although not to the exact same extent, I do always try to utilise their story features.
I set up a mailing list
You know those pieces of advice you always hear but don’t always follow straight away? For example – I always hear that the most successful people in the world read a lot, so of course that means I want to read a lot too, but I go through periods where the most reading I do is on the beach. It’s similar with a mailing list, for I while I heard that this was an amazing tool for connecting with your readers, retaining new readers and building an overall community, but it took me a while to finally implement this tool. I’m still fine tuning a few factors here but plan to offer out a lot of exclusives going forward and in the coming months to those that have signed up!
Love this post! It really feels like you are growing with your blog and it’s a pleasure to have you share that journey x
I think for me one of the biggest things I did for my blog this year has been making the move to WordPress. I was previously on Blogger so shifting everything over to WordPress has been a pretty big deal to me!
Julia // The Sunday Mode
I set up a mailing list too and instead of it being a chore like I thought it might be it’s actually been really beneficial and a great creative outlet for me. I love these changes you made to your blog, I think they are ones everybody can adopt to improve.
I 100% agree that focusing on the quality rather than quantity is the best approach. You also feel much happier when you like what you have written with a focus. Additionally being active on social media is also a good thing especially engaging within the blogging community.
I love your blog! thanks for sharing this tips with us 🙂