I started the rustic elk almost two years ago, and while I’m absolutely no expert (I’ve got a long ways to go). I’ve figured out quite a few things that I think are absolutely essential to your blogging success.
There is an absolute information overload on the interwebs about how to be a successful blogger. And while all of those posts are fantastic in their own right, these are the tips that have helped me the most.
10 Top Tips to Become a Successful Blogger
1. Be consistent
Consistency is the key to anything worthwhile. Set a schedule and stick to it.
You want to blog three times a week? Blog, three times a week, on the same days, every week. Just make sure it is a schedule you can handle and stick to for a while.
Same goes for social media. Post on Facebook the same amount daily. Email your newsletter on the same day at the same time every week, month, whatever. It will help your readers and followers know what to expect from you, when.
2. Ask for help from people who have been there
Family support is amazing, but make sure you’re asking for help from other bloggers, too. We’re not heartless jerks who refuse to lend a helping hand. Believe it or not, we’re regular people just like you. Regular people who may very well have been where you’re at right now in your blogging journey.
So, ask. I can bet someone will be willing to lend a helping hand or a bit of advice.
3. Don’t play the comparison game
I’m often asked what the best blogging advice I’ve ever received is and I always give the same answer.
“Don’t compare your beginning to someone else’s middle.”
Sure, there are bloggers out there that make more, have more social proof, or a more attractive blog design or or or… we can go on and on. But, don’t. We all started at the beginning. We all started with no viewers, and crickets, and frustrations, trying to learn how to navigate these online waters.
So, do yourself a favor and don’t think about how blogger Jane makes more than you and has only been blogging for two seconds. It honestly doesn’t matter and you need to stop thinking about it. It only breeds negativity.
4. Remember, it’s all been written before
I know, it sounds like a total downer, doesn’t it? It’s not intended to be. It’s actually inspiring.
Sure, there’s a post, probably with similar content and even a similar title out there somewhere out there on the interwebs. Guess what? That’s cool, I don’t really care.
But, why not, you ask?
Because I’m me, and you’re you, and blogger Jane over there is blogger Jane. We are all different, we have a different voice, and we speak to a different audience.
How do you say?
Because even if I write this post, you write this post, and blogger Jane writes this post….
They’re all going to be different and speak to a different audience. Maybe the way I say it doesn’t resonate with you, but the way blogger Jane says it does. That’s cool, doesn’t hurt my feelings at all. We’re all different.
5. Set realistic goals
Don’t set up unattainable goals that make you feel like crap and stall your progress. Instead of saying you’re going to write 75 posts this month, start with 20. If you get more than that scheduled out, you’re my hero. But seriously, that’s awesome! If you don’t, you still met your goal and we can all drink to that ;).
6. Find an accountability partner (or two)
You have to make goals to be successful in this blogging bit. You really, really do. But, you need someone to help you reach those goals by holding you accountable.
I have two accountability partners that I check in with weekly to update progress and bounce ideas off of. Instead of putting things off, I do them, because I want to give a good report when I talk to them.
They are two of my closest friends now, and I love, love, seeing their progress as well as sharing my own. It makes this whole blogging thing fun and a lot less blah.
7. Do not try to do all of the things
There’s Facebook and Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Snapchat, stumbleupon and probably at least a half-dozen other platforms you’re supposed to be on every day. Don’t. Do. That. To. Yourself.
Pick two, just two, and work on them until you can do it in your sleep. When you have two down to where you’re comfortable. Then, move on. While I highly recommend setting up a profile with your unique handle/url for all the platforms, that’s where it stops. Set them up, and leave all but two alone!
Don’t ignore me like an errant teenager, please. You’ll only wind up overwhelming yourself and spinning your wheels. You’ll get burnt out and quit. You cannot do all the things at once. You can master the one (two) you’re working on and then, and only then, move on to a new platform.
8. Love your website
You need to love where you work and if you want to turn your blog into a profit making business, it’s no exception. You need to love the design, how it feels, the colors, all of it.
Take your time and really decide what you want your site to convey to your readers and go for that, as long as it’s something you love. This will absolutely evolve over time, which is totally fine. But, you need to make it a space you love. Start a mood board and update it regularly as your styles change and your blog will naturally follow along with it.
9. Be yourself
You have your own unique voice. Use it!
You have opinions, things your passionate about, and your own likes and dislikes. You don’t say things or think the exact same way as anyone else. We are all unique. Tap in to that uniqueness and use it to your advantage.
Do not be afraid to let yourself shine through your blog. That genuine authenticity is what’s going to attract people to your blog. People can spot a fake a mile away. I held back parts of my personality for soooo long on my blog. I was afraid what I had to say, the way I wanted to say it, wouldn’t be popular amongst my readers.
You know what I decided? I don’t give a shit. I’m me. Take it or leave it. I want to speak to people who are okay with me because while I’ve always been real, I’ve been an edited version of myself and that’s not cool.
So, be you. Not someone else and not an edited version of yourself. Let your true colors shine.
10. Patience is a virtue
My mom always used to tell me “good things come to those who wait.” I don’t think there is a truer statement when it comes to blogging (except the one I mentioned above about comparing).
Blogging is something you’ve got to be in for the long haul. It’s not a get-rich quick scheme. You have to be patient, don’t obsess over numbers, and just go with it. There are exceptions to every rule, but for the most part, this is true.
However, you do need to work at it, you can’t just let it sit and not nurture it, but you need to be patient and eventually, with practice, and way more patience then you think necessary, you will have an amazing, money making business. Just wait. Those good things will come.