Happy Monday Everyone!
I hope you’re all feeling fired up and ready to have an awesome week! All of you lovely lot who are following me on the gram will have seen that last weekend I was back in the big smoke at the Career Girl Academy. For those of you who don’t know what that is – 1. Where have you been?! And 2. Read all about my last adventure to it here.
Once again, Career Girl Daily put on an amazing event at the Hoxton hotel, but even better; the whole day was dedicated to talks on blogging and social media from guest speakers, rather than tips on starting up and growing a business which was discussed more heavily in their previous events. Don’t get me wrong, I love the business chat and it does come in handy for the established blogger I hope to be one day, but right now I’m all about the blog life and social media, so this event was my favourite one yet!
The talks have really got me motivated to get my ass in gear and take on board the great advice, so last week I hit the reset button, got my shit together and started on a total blog overhaul using these 4 simple tips:
Take it seriously
Yep, they really are simple ones (I told you so), but since I am the queen of being vague and non committal with things that scare me a little, this is genuinely something I haven’t been doing when I should be. As Chloe Watts from ChloeDigital told us – a blog is your business; sure, you could be sitting alone in your room when you’re writing it, but if you want to get anywhere with it you have to start treating it as your own company. She explained; If a manager at Starbuck’s decided they didn’t want to open up one day, their customers would be pissed off and their faith in the brand would be lost – it’s the same with blogging, you have to be reliable and consistent so that your readers know what to expect from you and become more likely to buy into your blog as a result. Celina and Beth from Career Girl Daily told us that they started taking their blog seriously from day one; they would publish 7 posts per day (!!!) and treated it as their own business long before they were making money from it, which is what made their blog such a success. So from now on I really want to get my head down, post more regularly, and start planning my life around the blog rather than planning the blog around my life, which brings me to my next tip…
Create a solid editorial calendar
I mean obviously, yes – you need to plan, and I do plan.. or so I thought. Every month I have sat down with my little notebook, written down an idea for a blog post for each week of the month and felt super organised. I then shut the book, forget to look at it because it’s separate to my “everything else” calendar, and just like that; a week goes by with no blog post and no clue what it was going to be about anyway! Who else can relate?
A common tip that ran through all the talks of the day was that you need to be organised and decisive if you want to stay on top of your blogging game. Career Girl Daily runs on a two weekly editorial calendar, most of the other bloggers attending the event schedule posts in advance, and a tip given by Chloe Watts was that it makes no sense to keep your calendars separate; if you have work on Tuesday night and a blog post to publish for Wednesday then you need to plan around that.
So last week I marched on down to paperchase, picked up an A5 weekly planner flipchart, and mapped out the next two weeks of my blog to an absolute T. I’ve written down my work days, nights that I’m maybe going to the gym, when I will write a post, when it will be published, and when I will read other blogs. It’s a little obsessive, I know, but I already feel so much more at ease knowing what I’m doing for the next two weeks, and it feels much more manageable than trying to plan a whole month.
Content is King
Content was another big talking point throughout the day, which is exactly what I needed because coming up with ideas on what to write about has been a bit of a struggle for me lately. I asked the brains behind Career Girl Daily on how they tackle writer’s block and fire out great content every day; their sources of inspiration include getting out of the office, watching TV programmes and talking through ideas amongst each other. They also use Buzzsumo – a website which allows you to type in a keyword to see what is trending in that topic. I gave this a go and wow what a difference! I’m feeling much more inspired and full of ideas on what I can write about, with the added guarantee that they are current topics that people are reading more about.
Experimenting with unexpected topics was another idea discussed by both Chloe Watts and Dani and Charlotte from social media company BeBorn Social. They advised that thinking outside the box is important to keep your blog current and that 10% of what you write about should be something you’ve never done before, whether that’s travel, beauty, cats, or whatever. Coming up with original content can be really tricky, so to make your blog stand out and be the chosen destination for you readers you have to put yourself into it – use your own style and your own “voice” or opinions on a topic, and don’t be afraid to get personal because that will keep you relatable to your readers. There are soooo many blogs out there but there’s only one you, so use your personality and make it your greatest selling point.
Network and share the love
One of the best parts of the Career Girl Academy, aside from the amazing advice from inspiring career women, is the chance to meet other bloggers just like you. Blogging can be a very isolating hobby or career to have, and if you’re doing it alone it can be hard to feel motivated and keep yourself accountable when you fall behind on your goals. I’m lucky now because I feel part of a little blogging community, with girls I can look up to and ask questions to when I’m stuck, as well as girls I can help out if they ever need it. Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there and ask other bloggers for advice, or tell them if you love what they’re doing and invite them over to your little patch on the web. This isn’t only the case for bloggers though, tell your readers about what is coming up on your blog too! Find out more about them, ask them what they want to see more of on your blog and reply to every damn comment (as much as you can)! Remember, we’re all people here and the internet has been a gift of connectivity, so let’s use that!
I hope this has been helpful for any new bloggers out there or anyone who is stuck in a rut. I’d love to hear what you think or if you have any other blogging tips that have helped you, so feel free to comment below or on my social accounts.
Have a great week and hustle hard lovelies!