By E. L. Lane and Stehli Krause
If you don’t have a blog yet, check out my previous post – 6 Things You Need to Start Your Own Blog.
Now that you’ve set up your blog, you’re ready to take your blog to the next level.
Here are eight things you’ll need to have and do in order to get there:
1. Time to write.
Make sure to set aside time each day or each week to write.
If I had a penny for every time I said I was going to create some form of content and never made the time to sit down and actually do it, I’d have at least two dollars.
Some people work better at night, others work better in the morning – choose a time of day when you’ll be most productive to maximize your output.
I’m a mom, so I usually write when my daughter is at school and the baby is asleep, or after the kids fall asleep at night. Between household chores and school pickup, I usually have about two hours, two days per week to work on my blog; it’s not a lot of time, but, hey, some time is better than no time at all.
2. An editorial calendar.
Set realistic editorial goals and expectations.
I used to try to post once a week, but I often found it difficult to do this, especially after my daughter learned to walk. So, after not being able to achieve my goal of posting once a week and getting discouraged, I decided to set a goal of posting once a month.
Set deadlines for your posts and plan topics in advance. This will boost your productivity and help you stay on task.
After I decided to post once a month, I still found it difficult to post consistently, so I gave myself monthly deadlines. Right now, I’m aiming to post by the sixth of each month, but if the sixth falls on a weekend, I’ll wait to post on a weekday (because there are optimal times of day and days of the week to post). It wasn’t until I gave myself a deadline that I started posting consistently.
3. An arsenal of apps and software.
The more you blog, the more you start to realize the apps that you’ll need to help you on your blogging journey.
Below are the categories of apps and computer programs you’ll need. Just click on a category to go to a short post that lists specific apps and computer programs that will help you take your blogging to the next level.
- Photo Editor
- Photo Storage and Management (link coming soon)
- Video Editor
- Social Media Post Manager/Scheduler (link coming soon)
- Editing for Writing
- Analytics (link coming soon)
When you learn to read and interpret the statistics, you can find out who your target audience is and create content that is catered to them.
- Analytics for your website or blog.
If you have a self-hosted blog, you have to learn to read the traffic that comes to your blog. The best way to do this is to use Google Analytics. Take a look at which posts are getting the most visits, and make sure to create more content on that topic or related topics. Also, pay close attention to which day of the week and time of day you post to see when your readers are most likely to read your content.
- Analytics for social media.
Most social media platforms give you the choice to make your account into a business account; this allows you to see the statistics of your profile. For example, I know that on days when I post on my account, my profile gets more views and engagement than on days I don’t post. I also found out that 91% of my followers are female, so I know I will probably get more readers on a post about “Mom Body Positivity” than I would on “How to Attain the Perfect Dad Bod.”
5. Classes, and meetups, and workshops – Oh my!
Learn as much as you can, and never stop.
If you stop learning, you stop growing.
Community and exchange of information are important for growth.
Want to learn to use WordPress? Want to make your blog into a business? Look for local groups of webmasters, bloggers, and entrepreneurs on Meetup and Facebook or see if The Blogger Union has a chapter in your area; the chapters in my area (South Florida Bloggers and South Florida Mom Bloggers) are always having professional development meetups. And if there isn’t a group in your area, start one!
6. Business cards.
Handing out business cards makes you look professional, and gives you something to hand out at all those classes, workshops, and networking events.
Every interaction with professionals is a networking opportunity, so hand them out like candy on Halloween.
Tip: Make sure your business card contains your name, what you do, your website, your e-mail, and your social media handles.
7. Media kit.
What is a media kit?
It’s like a digital business card that a lot of brands and companies will want to see before deciding to work with you.
Tip: You can see some great examples of media kits at Nikki Recchion Designs and Mei has some great advice for what information to include in your media kit.
8. A niche.
Most highly successful bloggers have very specific niches or a combination of niches.
The ten most common blogging niches are:
- Health and Fitness
- Beauty and Fashion
- Personal Development
- Business and Finance
Tip: Please, keep in mind that you don’t have to choose a niche to have a blog, just know that most successful bloggers have a niche or a special combination of niches that attract readers.
If you follow the suggestions on this list, you’ll be well on your way to bringing your blogging to the next level and closer to achieving your blogging goals.
Thanks for reading!
Have a great one, lovely!
P.S. This post is the result of a collaboration between Stehli Krause and I. Stehli is a travel blogger who writes about budget-friendly travel with kids. You can check out her blog by clicking here. And follow her on social media here.
These are useful and easy to implement ideas. Thanks so much!!
You’re so welcome, lovely! Thanks for taking the time to read and comment! Please let me know if you have any questions as you go along your blogging journey, I’d love to get an idea for what new bloggers are struggling with to see if I can help them find solutions. -xo