7 Great Ways to Build a Successful Blog
03 October 2016
This week I have decided to share something a little different with you. Even though it’s a little off the wellness spectrum, I do still believe it holds some relevance, because it has to do with self-fulfilment – in particular, setting goals and pursuing meaningful work that you are passionate about. Work is such a huge part of our lives, so it is really important that we enjoy what we do! And if that means starting up your own business, then I say go for it!!
I have many people asking me how to start up a blog, and how to build this up into a successful business, and because I feel so deeply passionate about supporting others in the pursuit of their own journey, I wanted to share some tips of my own with you.
1. Just Do it!
When I first began working on building my dream, I can honestly say that I had absolutely no idea what I was doing…literally not a clue. Coming from an industrial psychology background, I knew everything about people management, but absolutely nothing about running a business. So I quickly had to learn about negotiating, managing finances, social media marketing and of course building up a blog. Now in my opinion, the best way to learn is to do! Sure you need some kind of a plan to direct your actions, but you need to start somewhere. So start, get things going, generate momentum and you will build as you go along.
2. Plan with Flexibility
Planning and flexibility are somewhat juxtaposing ideas right? Plans suggest rigidity, while flexibility is more about going with the flow. But what I have learned is that you need both! Plans are important because they give you an outline of what you need to do in order to make your ideas happen. But don’t fixate on perfecting your plans, because more often than not, (and I can vouch for this from experience), things don’t go according to plan. Why? Because in business you have so many elements at play. Whether it be services you are outsourcing, or people you are recruiting to help build your dream, you can only control so much. The rest is up to those people you have recruited for help. So drive these elements as best you can, but remember that they wont always meet deadlines, challenges may arise, you may have to deviate from the plan in order to find solutions, and well - you cant control everything so you need to be receptive to flexibility too!
3. Learn as you Go
No amount of studying or prep is going to equip you like raw, hard experience does. And yes, so you make a few mistakes along the way, or engage in some poor decisions (I know I did), but it is the mistakes, and how you resolve these that enable learning in the most meaningful way possible. Every industry is different, every situation is different and so inevitably, every outcome will be different too. Especially when you are dealing with tech, online and social media based businesses - things change every day. There is no textbook that will prepare you for perfect content creation, because just as you come to learn what works today, you will soon realise that people get bored very easily, so what works today probably wont work tomorrow. This is why continuous learning is key – you have to immerse yourself into what it is that you are doing, be willing to get your hands dirty, be creative and don’t be afraid to do things differently. This is where text book learning versus field learning come into conflict. Text book learning is about ideals, norms, generalisations and knowledge sharing with many – nothing about this is ground breaking, so you need to come up with your own stuff – what works for your audience may not work for someone elses and vice versa - you have to reinvent the content wheel and come up with something super original in order to stand out (social media is saturated remember!).
4, Your Uniqueness is Everything!
In building your blog, my advice to you here is…be authentic – you know that unique, quirky side of you (i.e. the side of you that you often keep on the down low in order to fit in) that’s what people actually want to see – that is what makes you interesting to them, because it is what makes you completely unique, and therefore way more captivating. Don’t be afraid to do things differently –share your opinions, share your advice – it doesn’t matter if you are not the master of your trade, we can all learn from one another, so don’t be afraid to share your insights! What is so amazing about this part of social media, content creation and blogging, is that you really can be unapologetically yourself – you don’t have to follow rules - rather you need to almost break them in order to capture people’s attention. You have to be daring and creative, and you need to learn continuously in a completely unpredictable environment. Not everyone’s cup of tea, but for those of you who enjoy rule breaking and flexibility, then this is totally for you!
5. Focus on Your Own Work
There are times where observing your competition is important, but let that be secondary to unyielding focus on YOUR OWN work. If you spend too much time comparing yourself to your competition, or to the ones that have “made it”, you will lose sight of your own vision. You may also end up feeling despondent or become confused as to what it is that you should be speaking about. You may even find yourself trying to make your content more like that of your competition, because thats what seems to work. Truth is – sure its working for them, but your audience is different to theirs (even if you are playing in the same field) so don’t assume its going to work for you. Stick to your own stuff, be original, don’t worry about what others are doing – focus on you and your own message. Nothing wrong with getting inspiration from others, but try stick to being as original as possible.
6. Be prepared to Work Hard
If you think the online world is the easy way out then think again. Building a successful blog, and generating an audience with high engagement means that you have to come up with meaningful, authentic and beautiful content. There is plenty of strategy required in developing this effectively, so its not just about writing about what you ate today or posting any old image. These things require thought, time, creativity and effort. You also need to be continuously monitoring your audience to see what it responds well to and what it doesn’t. Again here, you need to be engaging in continuous learning, through the feedback you receive from your audience.
Be Fearless...Be Bold!
So what if you aren’t the biggest player in the field – maybe you are just a drop in the ocean in comparison to some of these big deal bloggers and social media celebs, but that doesn’t mean you aren’t important. So command your space, take the time to network, put yourself out there and make a name for yourself. There is definitely some truth in the “ fake it till you make it” principle. When you engage with others (especially the big players) with conviction, self-belief and confidence, they will take you seriously! The bigger your network the more opportunity will come. Your network also becomes a pool of resources for you to leverage off when need be ( and trust me these times will come).
7. Don’t Give Up
It may take a little longer to lift off than you expect (I had grand ideas of being an overnight success…um, wake up call!) so don’t give up. I can assure you that persistence is everything. There will be days where you will want to throw in the towel, there will be disappointments, setbacks, times where you will feel that it is the end of the world, emotional episodes WILL happen (tears and things), and achievements do NOT happen overnight. BUT, don’t give up! No matter how tough the going gets, persist, push through, and give it your all! The reason why many people fail is because they give up when the going gets tough…so dont! Keep at it, take one day at a time and you will see how all will come together.
If you have any tips of your own that you would like to share, please feel free to leave your thoughts in the section below :)
Happy Dream Building!
Yours in Health Always