I’ve had a few new followers ask me recently how my blog has grown as quickly as it has over a short period of time. I’ll be honest with you – I am still trying to figure this out myself. What I have started doing is learning more about search engine optimization, learning how to make a brand name or image for myself and most importantly – sharing content that is valuable, engaging and fun for readers.
Right off the bat, let me tell you that I am not an expert blogger. This is something I started doing for fun because I wanted a space where I could vent about daily life. As time went on, I started writing more in-depth articles about various topics. These topics ranged from food, fitness tips, cooking resources, art, music and just daily fun. When I realized I had too many interests, I started a second blog to advertise my music and art. This is still a work in progress. Sometimes I “forget” or get too excited and want to share my creations with my readers.
To help you get started on your personal blogging journey – I’ll share a little of what I have learned since I started this blog in 2019. Truth be told, I was at 300 readers for a long time. It has only been in the last two months, that my reader list started to grow.
Content – write what you know
Write what you know. This should be a no brainer. If you have a talent like music or cooking that you can talk about for hours – then start a blog to show off your amazing food or piano skills. Are you a teacher? Do you have good coaching skills? Or maybe you just want to share your experiences with others to help them learn something new – the sky is the limit. Your blog should be:
If you offer informative content with a unique perspective or outlook – readers will flock towards your blog in no time. Add your own personal flair that makes your content represent your very best you.
If you write something that you are passionate about, your readers will be drawn in to how exciting you can make things sound. Use your personal experiences. Don’t be so “stiff” in your writing – allow yourself to be creative and have some fun.
When I was learning to cook, I started watching Gord Ramsey’s cooking videos with his children. The passion and energy he had during his family cooking videos was contagious. It made me want to become a better cook – and because of his videos, I did! I was able to come up with original recipes that I share often here on this blog. It shocked me to see Gord acting so “chill” and relaxed in his home kitchen. It was like watching a totally different person than his Nightmare shows. It just goes to show – that if you share content you are passionate about, and you’re having a good time with it – you can open yourself up to a whole new world of followers.
This is something I’m still working on. I bit the bullet and purchased the PRO plan with Canva.com. I’m learning to make my own graphics for this blog. As a musician, this is a crucial skill to have. From making your own album art, to designing thumbnails and headers for sites like YouTube, Facebook and WordPress – this is a skill all beginner bloggers should have. Sites like Canva.com can help you create amazing designs that can help your brand stand out from others. And the best thing about it – is that it’s free to use.
If Canva.com isn’t your thing, there are many other sites that you can use:
- Gravit Designer – vector design
- Adobe Spark
- Design Wizard
If you aren’t interested learning how to make your own graphic designs, then consider hiring a graphic designer to do it for you. There are lots of self-employed individuals who are looking for freelance work. Sites like Fiverr or Upwork are legitimate sites where you can find talented artists near you.
If you want to learn graphic design, there are tons of free courses out there. I’m currently signed on with the free version of Coursera – where I can audit courses without a certificate. You can pay for the courses but unless you have a specific goal in mind, it can get pretty expensive.
When it came to album art, I really wanted to learn how to make my own designs. I purchased a program called Corel Painter Essentials and spent entirely way too much money on brushes I’ll never use. But the program allows me to create unique art and even share it with you on this blog.
Formatting, formatting, formatting. Preach what you know, right? I admit, that even I sometimes slack a little on formatting. But it really depends on the content I’m writing. If I’m writing a how-to-article like this one, I’ll take the time to break sections up into groups.
- Organize your data in a way it makes sense to your reader
- Use headers and keep the designs simple
- Use bulleted lists like this one to make it easier to read
- Keep it consistent – make sure the formatting is consistent throughout your blog or article
- Use the same font throughout the article
- Use a bold font for headers
- Use separators to break your paragraphs up even more
- Add in images, charts or graphs to help break up text even more
If you’re like me, and you get bored easily when it comes to reading articles, find a formatting style that works for your content. If you’re writing for a creative blog, you have more flexibility than you would say a technical website. But just because you’re writing about technical skills – it doesn’t mean you can’t be creative in the way you present your material to your audience.
Presentation is key. I am finding lately that readers are more apt to read articles like this as opposed to my whiny posts that I write late at night.
As an administrative for the provincial government, I was often referred to as the “final set of eyes” on ministerial correspondence. Formatting and proofreading are skills you can gain too. It just takes practice.
It’s never too late to start a blog!
While there is no one size fits all method for creating blogs out there – this post should at least give you an idea of where to start. I suggest taking some time to decide on what kind of content you want to write about first.
The hardest part for me – was coming up with the website name. At the time I started the blog, I used it for mostly venting about dating and the single life. But now that this blog has grown, I am learning how to turn Mostly Single into a brand name that will be recognized among the blogging community. I’m doing this by learning things like SEO, graphic design, marketing, keyword searching and website auditing. What you should do is write down a few blog names and do a search for them online. Make sure the domain names are not taken – also do this on social media websites. I lucked out. The names I really wanted were all taken!
I’m relying heavily on my daily stats and insights to recognize what my popular articles are and what key words drew my readers in. That’s the catch. When you write about as many topics as I do – it’s hard to draw in a niche crowd.
And to help you along with your blogging career, I’ll be sharing what I’ve learned in my research and education. I will also be going through some of my older writing and professional development courses that I took through work, to share ideas and tips that I learned over the years.
One final tip: always leave your readers wanting more. Don’t give all your goodies away in one basket – to coin an old fashioned phrase. Keep up with the latest trends, and write about things you have passion for.
Tell me, what small changes did you make to make your blog a success?
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