Happy one month anniversary to us! Wow, it feels like it’s been so much longer than that! I think that’s because this blogging business is hard work. I started my food blog about six years ago when this gig was a completely different beast. I had no real ambition for my blog other than for it to look nice and allow me to share recipes. I posted about once a week and that was that – and there was no social media to contend with. The concept of blogging for a job did not exist, and for most people I think it was just a fun hobby. Fast-forward to today and blogging is a serious business – which I don’t think is necessarily a bad thing. Here at Everyday30, we’re definitely blogging ‘professionally’, not in the sense that we make money from it, but in the sense that we can add the blog to our CV and hope it will open up new doors. Our aim of being professional is also reflected in the amount of effort we’ve put into how the blog looks and the fact that we post regularly – things plenty of other bloggers do, but it’s helped us to take it seriously from the beginning.
The main thing I’ve take away from this first month, both from my own learning and from what I’ve read on the topic elsewhere, is that content is king. This advice comes up time and time again: be authentic, write about what you love, and just keep writing. Successful bloggers are people who consistently publish content that others want to read, and while it looks effortless (all part of the skill!), this takes a lot of work. Content has certainly been our focus during this first month (and will continue to be) – to write posts that we’re not only proud of, but the sorts of things we’d like to read ourselves. As we said when we started the blog, we felt like there was a lack of lifestyle blogs that we could relate as normal thirty-ish women.
For any other bloggers out there – or even if you’re just curious – here are a few things that have worked for us this month.
1. Be organised
Having three of us run the blog has made things so much easier (seriously, I don’t know how the people who post every day do it), but there have still been days where I’ve felt super-stressed about what I needed to do for the blog. Having an editorial calendar where we plan out posts for the month ahead has really helped, and we’ve stuck to a schedule of four posts each week (Mon, Wed, Fri, Sun). I also use Twuffer to schedule tweets so that I can write a load in one go when I have time, but spread out when they are published.
2. Don’t forget family and friends
This is a funny one, as I totally understand how weird it can feel to shout about your blog – it is, after all, such a personal thing. But the way I see it is that if we’ve worked hard to make something we’re proud of, we shouldn’t be ashamed to promote it – and family and firends can often be your biggest advocates. We’ve seen our highest peaks in traffic when we’ve posted about the blog on our personal Facebook accounts, and some of our best successes on Twitter have actually come from tweets other people (with more followers than us) have written, so contact any friends you know on Twitter and get them to tweet about your blog!
This was what I used to do for a living, so I was always going to put something about it in here 🙂 I really love Twitter Analytics because it’s helped me to get a good idea of how many people are actually seeing our tweets and what sorts of tweets they interact with. For example, people tend to click on Instagram links more than anything, which I never would have guessed. Also, if you set up Twitter Cards, you’ll be able to see which tweets are driving traffic to your blog. Obviously, I use Google Analytics too; this helps us to see where traffic is coming from and which posts are the most popular.
4. Read other blogs with caution
I love reading other blogs – that’s the main reason I wanted to start this one – and I’m not going to stop reading them any time soon. However, it can be really hard not to compare yourself unfavourably with more established blogs and wish that your blog was that successful or that you were that stylish/beautiful. Blogs are great for inspiration too, but sometimes that line becomes blurred and you end up subconsciously trying to recreate what you read. That’s why it’s so important to define what is unique about your blog and stick to it. Sure, take inspiration from other blogs – but give it your own twist. For us, it’s about being accessible, honest, everyday people.
Do you have a blog? What has been key to its success? And what content would you like to see more of here?