On the surface, it might seem like blogging is a fun and carefree hobby. It is a lot of fun, but it also requires a ton of work and dedication. When I first started blogging about 5 years ago, I was surprised at how much behind-the-scenes work was involved.
You may not know this, but Dreaming of Gingham is actually my third blog. Although the first two weren’t entirely successful, I learned so much from them and I’m thankful for the lessons.
One of my goals for 2020 is to get better at blogging and get Dreaming of Gingham off the ground. To accomplish this, I made a list of the things I’ve learned and I’m aligning my strategy to correspond with them.
Post frequently and consistently.
The number one lesson I learned is the importance of posting consistently. In my experience, readers would rather see predictable daily (or even weekly) efforts than sporadic bursts of content.
Most of my favorite bloggers are successful because they regularly produce new material that readers are excited about. In my former two blogs, I let my writer’s block and busy schedule interfere with my posting. The result was long gaps in content that bored my audience and caused them to look elsewhere.
Stick to your niche.
Here’s another area where consistency is important: your total image, or niche. I believe blogs are ultimately successful when they solve a problem and become a valuable resource for readers. Therefore, you should seek to establish yourself as an authority on something – whether that be vegan cooking, fitness, fashion, or digital illustration.
I’m aware now that becoming an authority requires an element of consistency; readers need to know they can count on you to provide content on a certain topic or niche.
Although some blogs can find success without a niche (link), I am a member of the niche-is-necessary camp.
Improve the quality of your writing and photos.
Write, revise, rewrite, revise. I’ve learned that well-written content takes time to compose and proofread. In my previous blogs, I rushed the content and neglected to proofread as well as I should’ve. Now, I rarely post something unless it’s been reviewed and revised several times.
Despite the amount of writing involved, blogs are also highly visual spaces. I’ve learned that photo quality directly impacts your image. Strive to make every photo cohesive with your brand – either through a similar color scheme, content, or editing method.
It’s also important to keep blog photos relevant. While it may be tempting to share the grainy photo of that killer guacamole you had on Saturday, if it doesn’t mesh with your theme or message, leave it out. Or, share it to a story where it won’t be around forever.
Being a successful blogger definitely isn’t easy, but it can be very rewarding with consistent effort. Like anything in life, blogging is a journey of learning and improvement. I’m eager to see the new lessons that 2020 will teach me.