If you’re a new blogger, you’re likely coming into this industry (ugh, I hate that word) to an array of “how to be a fantastic blogger” posts all telling you to do X, Y and Z in order to succeed in this pool of bloggers all trying to do the same thing. I write what I hope are “helpful” posts for new bloggers (and not so new – you’re never too old to want to improve!) but I always state that the advice I’m giving is what has worked for me or is currently working for me and you’re under absolutely no obligation to take any notice of it. But some of these “helpful” posts certainly have a different approach; less ‘here’s a suggestion, why don’t you give that a go?’ and more ‘if you want to be successful you have to do this because if you don’t you suck and you’ll fail miserably’. Jog on.
Now, I don’t pretend to know everything about blogging. In fact, the complete opposite is true and I have no problem at all putting my hands up and admitting that actually, I don’t know a damn thing about certain aspects of this big ol’ blogosphere. I’ve been blogging for 5 years give or take and I’m always learning and having been around that long (God that makes me sound ancient), you do pick quite a bit up as you go along. Blogging is a process and there’s always something new to learn and I think that’s what makes it so exciting sometimes.
At the beginning of this year, I jumped on the ol’ ‘bullet journal’ band-wagon. Although my “bullet journal” is something to be desired because I’m not creative, I can’t draw and I got bored very easily. So you won’t find any themed pages or pretty designs. It’s basically a glorified notebook. But nevertheless, it’s a glorified notebook that has served me well this year so far when it comes to blogging, planning and keeping track of things. And that’s the aim of a bullet journal, right? I wanted to be much more on track with my blog, now I’m taking it oh-so-seriously. I’ve drawn up each month and colour-coded different types of posts (purple for book reviews, green for blogging advice – that sorta thing) and I’ve created a graph where I keep track of my following and my growth of my blog and different social media platforms.
A little while ago, I posted a tweet saying that I had received a blogger opportunity from applying for a job via a Facebook group and I was quite surprised to see how many bloggers were replying to me firstly, saying they had no idea that was a “thing” and secondly, asking where they can find these sort of opportunities. I get it though, when I started blogging, I had no idea what I was doing and wouldn’t have any idea where to look for paid blogging opportunities or the chance to review products if I tried!
Blogging is an amazing hobby or job to have. Wherever you fall on that spectrum, blogging is a valued and respected industry (by most) and it has incredible perks and benefits; mentally, creatively and sometimes financially. It’s no wonder that there’s more bloggers now than ever before! Personally, I think that’s a great thing and I’m all for the mindset that the blogging industry can always use a new and fresh voice. I’d also always encourage someone to start a blog if they’re interested in doing so – the blogging industry is over-saturated? Pffft, shut up. How un-supportive can you be?
Okay, bit of a cop out but I 110% stole this idea from the lovely Sophie over at Glowsteady. If you haven’t visited Sophie’s blog yet, I would highly recommend you do because it’s bloody brilliant and one of my most regular blog reads now after discovering it during a comment swap on Twitter sometime last year. Alright, enough grovelling. So I saw Sophie do this post and it instantly piqued my interest. Although my WordPress app quite clearly shows me what posts have received the most views that month, I’ve never really well… paid attention to it before. And after seeing Sophie’s post I thought maybe, it’s be good idea to start.
January has been one of my best months for page views (so far… I’m writing this on the 10th and I’m already more or less half way to what I received in all of December, so going by those statistics, I’m going to conclude that January will be my best month for page views, if I keep up what I’m doing. I’ll check back on the 31st and see if I was right – hopefully I am! If not, well don’t I look like a tit) – why is it my best month for page views? Well, firstly, I think my content is just better in general. So that always helps but also, I’m working really bloody hard to ensure that is the case. I’m going above and beyond what I usually do with my blog, experimenting with new techniques etc in order to find out if and what gains me more views.
When I started blogging I never dreamed that one day, I’d actually get sent a product – for free – in order to write about it. I never thought I’d ever get paid to write a blog post – I mean, what? That only happens to Zoella, right? I didn’t understand how blogging can be a serious business, that there’s money to be made from it and that brands actually genuinely trust bloggers, want to work with them and promote their products through this platform. I’ve been lucky that now in my almost 5 years of blogging, I’ve had the chance to review some amazing products, work with incredible brands and write sponsored posts which Jesus Christ… I got money for doing. Actual money. Not Monopoly money.
I’m truly tired of seeing bloggers who have been blogging for a considerable about of time with a considerable following trying to “keep their secrets“. Hun, you ain’t Dynamo. Bloggers who refuse to disclose how they get opportunities, what they’ve done to work with brands and those who straight up don’t reply to other bloggers on social media – not through being busy or having a bad day (I totally understand how overwhelming social media can be some days) – solely because they’re a “bigger blogger“. Huh? When did this strange, “there’s no room for all bloggers” mentality come into practice and how can we get TF rid of it?
Don’t get me wrong, I go through huge blogging inspiration slumps sometimes where I literally wouldn’t be able to think of an idea for a post if my actual life depended on it. I think we all go through these phases, for a bunch of reasons and it’s totes normal and doesn’t make you a bad blogger for it. But right now, I’m on a bit of a roll with blogging inspiration and I have ideas coming out my ear-holes. So now a new year has rolled around (again?!) and I know a ton of people will be wanting to up their blogging game, here’s some tips and advice to help you come up with blog post ideas!