Okay, so I’m gonna start off by saying that I’ve never actually made it as a blogger. But don’t hit the back button just yet! I’ve never actually tried to be a blogger, either. That’s gonna change in 2019. These past couple weeks of 2018 I’ve been reading a lot about how to make it as a blogger/writer so that I can start the New Year off with a goal that I might actually be able to stick to. More than anything, this post is just for me to organize my thoughts and create a basic plan of action for the new year. My plan will focus on keeping the right mindset, the importance of a niche, making and sticking to a routine, and gaining exposure. There’s enough information about all of these things to write a whole post on each of them. Huh, that’s a good idea! Maybe I’ll start 2019 off with a series. 😉
First thing’s first, if I want to turn blogging into a full time gig then I’d better treat it like one! That means I need to work on it for 40 hours a week, rain or shine, for better or for worse. It’s all too easy to get too relaxed while working from home. Having a separate space to work can help with focus and productivity, even if its just a little corner of the room. I try and avoid working on the couch because it just doesn’t feel like work, so I don’t take it seriously and end up slacking off. Separate work from home.
Ya know what else encourages me to slack off? Lounge wear. Whether its sweats or pajamas, wearing super casual attire while at home makes it way to easy for me to forget that I should be working. Besides, choosing a cute business casual outfit can fun! It’s like self care in the form of a creative project that sets the mood for the work-day! For real, dress for success.
Keeping a professional mindset means keeping to a niche. A niche is like a theme or a genre; it keeps things cohesive and identifiable. A niche is just having that list of expectations. I’m really easily distracted, so Freshly Stale’s niche is as a lifestyle blog. Lifestyle blogs probably have some of the most wiggle room when it comes to niches, which is great for starting out. Pretty much anything can be lifestyle if you put the right spin on it!
Having a niche makes it really hard to get writers block. It happens to the best of us, but it’s not a good reason to go a day without writing! So on the days when I’m really on a roll, like today, I make sure to take some time and write down ideas for possible posts. That way I have ideas to fall back on if I ever get stuck in a rut.
“This is how you do it: you sit down at the keyboard and you put one word after another until its done. It’s that easy, and that hard.” ―
Neil Gaiman is right, and having a list of topics to choose from helps make writing just a little bit easier. Knowing where to start is sometimes all it takes to jump-start a project.
I’ve never had a job where I didn’t follow some sort of routine. Ever. Blogging isn’t any different. Maybe the routine isn’t super strict, but I have a list of tasks that need to be done every day. At its most basic level, a successful blog needs 2 things: quality content and an engaged audience. I check my email over my second cup of coffee. I spend an hour working on my Instagram presence. I read from at least 3 different sources. I write every day. You get the picture. Writing every day seemed super difficult until I realized that I don’t have to publish everything I write. This may seem like a no brainer, but I’m so used to making quick posts through social media that I almost forgot about editing! As a general rule, I never publish anything on the same day that I write it. As long as I read every day for inspiration, I’ll have something to write about every day. As long as I write every day, I’ll have something to edit every day. As long as I keep that up, I’ll have content. Or at least that’s the bare bones of it!
While there’s loads of reasons to keep a blog, gaining an audience and eventually monetizing is definitely something to keep in mind. There’s a learning curve when it comes to organically growing a following using social media, but anyone can learn to do it if they don’t give up. Different techniques are used for different platforms, but they all use likes, follows, and hashtags, sometimes with a 24-hour story. Research the hashtags you use before using them.
In general, likes and follows will influence the content a platform shows. This is especially true with Instagram. If I ❤️ and follow a bunch of bloggers that I like, Instagram will start recommending similar accounts. ❤️ing posts is a great way to gain exposure and support others! Remember that ❤️’s, comments, and follows are all public and can affect a brand’s image.
Stories are a little more personal than posts, they seem more organic, and they’re temporary. They’re a great way to interact with an audience because they offer features like polls and questions. Post a couple stories every day.
Is it really that easy?
Well, I don’t know yet. Today is Tuesday, January 1, 2019. I’d like to publish to Freshly Stale every Wednesday of this year at the very least. Once February starts I’ll aim for a post every Sunday and Wednesday, and then I guess we’ll see how things go from there!
Update: I wrote this post at the beginning of January and apparently accidentally set it back to a draft somewhere along the way! Oops!!