Guest Post: Four Stages of Blogging Success

Note from Lana | Lifestyle Queen Bee: When you first start a blog, you never realize how much work really goes into it. There are some days where I have a million things going on in my life that pull me away from my blog that is why being organized is key. If you’re thinking about starting a blog or have just launched yours and now are wondering ‘what next?’, today’s guest post by Christine H. will be an informative and timely read.

Many people start a blog thinking that it’ll just be a hobby; but if you want to be able to generate revenue from it, it requires a lot more than a hobby’s worth of investment. It will take time, education, consistency, and a clever game plan in order to be successful.

As an online marketer in a company that focuses on SEO, I’ve learned a few things about what makes a site thrive. Every blog will be different, but it might be helpful to see a brief outline of a game plan that can help your blog’s launch be successful. As with all marketing and communication ventures, an integrated and time-released approach can help you get the most out of the work that you do.

[ Stage 1: Setup ]

Did you know that Google has a time delay on how they rank websites? It’s very difficult for a new site to get any kind of traction on search results during the first few months of its existence. This is Google’s way of weeding out sites that pop up and then quickly lapse as the webmaster or blogger loses interest quickly. That’s why the earlier that you start your blog, the better!

This is your time to figure out all the technical aspects of your blog. Choose a host, a CMS platform, a name and domain. Pick a theme and tagline, and fill out your “about me” section.

This stage of development can be the most fun, but it can also be difficult to get the impetus you need to get going. Remember that you can change the appearance of your blog whenever you want, so don’t put too much pressure on yourself to get it perfect from the get-go. The site will grow and develop as you do!

[ Stage 2: Content, Content, Content! ]

The key to a successful site is valuable content. Why else would people come visit? Most search engines value original content more than any other factor. Readers, commenters, and fans will naturally follow when you put out high-quality and steady content. So, before you start to worry about marketing and social media, make sure that visitors have a comfortable place to visit. Set yourself a content schedule and try to create something new regularly.

At the beginning, brainstorm some topics you want to write about. Think about certain series that you could do. Research topical ideas, like focusing on mental health month or talking about the hype before a big movie or book is released (all depending on what it is that you blog about, of course). Remember that not everything you write has to be about what’s new for you this week. Find tangents, do research, and explore new things!

[ Stage 3: Social Media Management and Networking ]

Once you have a good amount of content on your site, you’re ready to start propelling new visitors. This is an area where time is important (building a good following will take you a few months, at least, of solid effort). However, you don’t want to launch your social media pages and invite people to like it before you have content on your site. You might turn off some of your best cheerleaders if they don’t see anything there to attract their attention.

Set up accounts on all the major social media networks, including Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and Twitter. If you want to build your blog as more of a business, you might want to look into Google+ pages and LinkedIn as well. In order to streamline your efforts there, you can set up a HootSuite account, which syncs all your accounts and makes it possible to manage multiple platforms at a time.

Start by inviting your friends and acquaintances to like your accounts and your blog. At the very least, share links for your new content on social media. However, you should go farther than that. Engage in conversations around your topic. Follow other bloggers who talk about similar things and share their content as well. Comment on others’ efforts, and adjust your own content to react to what’s going on in the niche that you occupy.

Reach out to other bloggers that interest you. Look for opportunities to build your audience through guest blogging, link parties, and syndicated content.

[ Stage 4: Stay Consistent! ]

Second only to your initial startup efforts, this is the hardest part of blogging. Stick to the schedule that you set yourself for content creation. Set yourself specific goals and evaluate past successes and failures in order to be more effective as you progress. This post has some great suggestions for keeping the impetus you need. Keep working on your social media sites. Reach out to new people and be responsive when people reach out to you.

After 4-6 months, you’ll start seeing amazing returns on all the time that you’ve invested, so keep your chin up until then!

 

Guest Post: Squeezing the “Other Stuff” into The Life of a Part-Time Blogger

Note from Lana | Lifestyle Queen BeeMany of us bloggers aren’t living the glamorous life of being paid to travel, wear expensive clothes & use amazing products. Although it is our dream to eventually quit our 9 to 5’s to be paid to do what we love, the reality is, the majority of us blog on the side. If you say keeping your blog up to date, finding new, exciting content to write about and all the behind the scenes work like social media promotion/engagement, etc is easy…well, my friend, you would be lying. yes, there are times when things seem to run smoothly and that much needed Editorial Calendar of yours keeps you on track. But like it always does, life tends to get in the way and often at the most inconvenient of times. This can throw life into utter chaos and brings everything it touches into the hurricane. Today’s guest post, written by the amazing Katy Walton, is here to help you get all those ‘behind the scenes’ pieces into place so that you feel like you can keep your head over ‘blogging’ waters. Continue reading “Guest Post: Squeezing the “Other Stuff” into The Life of a Part-Time Blogger”

LQB Blogger Interview: Shruti Tewari | Strike A Chord

I was 11 years old when I realized my love for fashion. Growing up with 3 older sisters (youngest of 6 kids in total!), it wasn’t a surprise I came to discover this love after playing in all their closets. I found myself wanting to go shopping with them, asking for clothes for Christmas instead of toys and buying magazines like Teen People and Glamour, with my allowance. I chose to go with a Lifestyle blog so that I while I could write about beauty, DIY and all the other things I’m passionate about, I could still write about my love for fashion. I have been making more of an effort to feature more fashion in my social media posts and am slowly but surely, bringing fashion to the blog. Today, I’m featuring Lifestyle Blogger, Shruti Tewari from Strike A Chord, who taps right into my love of fashion – and I’m sure you’re going to love her too! She’s Continue reading “LQB Blogger Interview: Shruti Tewari | Strike A Chord”

Guest Post: When You Should Give Out Your Work For Free?

Note from Lana | Lifestyle Queen Bee: One thing I’ve struggled with as a blogger trying to attract new readers is the level of content you give away for free to draw in your readers. Some people give such amazing content away for free that I would have sold! Then on the other hand, I feel like things I consider giving away are too lackluster and nobody will bite. Does this sound familiar? If you are also finding it tough to determine when to give your work away for free, then today’s post is for you. My guest, Maurine Anderson, is sharing how you know when it’s the right time to give your goods away, free of charge.

It seems that the more and more digital we get, the more people expect access to free content and services. While this increased access to free content and services is a great thing in many ways, it can really complicate things for bloggers and business owners. How do you get consumers to see the value of paid content or services? When is it appropriate to ask people to pay for your work, and when might it be beneficial to give out your work for free? Continue reading “Guest Post: When You Should Give Out Your Work For Free?”

Guest Post: Tips for Beginning Bloggers

Note from Lana / Lifestyle Queen Bee: I have a secret to share. Lifestyle Queen Bee is NOT my first blog. I started a blog 8 years ago when my then-boyfriend (now husband) and I were on our journey of buying our first home. It was a big deal for us both because we were 24 years old, buying our first home, living together for the first time AND living away from our parents for the first time (it was also the first time I’ve ever moved in my life!). I thought sharing the journey would be a great way to share our story with our friends and maybe inspire others to start their own home buying journey. Well, I sucked at it. HARD. I wrote in a voice that wasn’t mine, saying things I thought my readers wanted to read. So I quickly abandoned it. Fast forward to last June, when I got bitten by the blog bug again. After some internal debate, I went for it but this time, being sure I was writing in my voice, about things I was interested in and I’m happy to say I’m still at it! All this to say, Continue reading “Guest Post: Tips for Beginning Bloggers”

Guest Post: How to Have a Professional Looking Blog on a Low Budget

Note from Lifestyle Queen Bee: When I first decided to start this blog, my goal from the very beginning was to monetize it so that it could be a source of passive income for myself. When you’re first starting out, sometimes you don’t have a ton of extra cash (if any at all!) to put into building & growing your blog/business. Not to mention all the research you typically conduct trying to figure out the best platform for your blog, your niche, etc. Today, Guest Maurine Anderson is helping cut all the guesswork out as part of Continue reading “Guest Post: How to Have a Professional Looking Blog on a Low Budget”

LQB Blogger Interview: Dawn Craven

As I get closer to my one year blog anniversary, one thing I have truly enjoyed was getting the opportunity to (virtually) meet so many talented, amazing bloggers! My monthly blogger feature was something that was slow to start but has picked up tremendously so thank you to all the past features & I’m excited to share all the great ones scheduled! Today, I’m introducing you all Continue reading “LQB Blogger Interview: Dawn Craven”