This is the second post in my “becoming a blogger” series. I’m writing these articles in order to share some tips I’ve learned so far in hopes that it might help others get started on their own blogging journey.
I have never been able to say “I love my job” until now! I would love for everyone to be able to say those words. Those are words I tell my daughter to think about every time we talk about college and degrees. But, the reality is, not many people can say this and it took me until I was almost forty to get here.
As I mentioned in the previous article, Henry has several years of experience with blogging, but I am relatively new. But in the eight months, I have been doing this, I’ve learned that there are three things that one must do to have a successful blog.
Create Quality Content
The main thing to keep in mind when producing content is your audience. Your goal should be to create something that will help them in some way. This could be in the form of inspiration or some kind of tutorial.
If you’ve been one of our readers for very long, you know that we try to create a good variety of home-related content. But our best-performing articles are our DIY tutorials. There is a couple of reasons for this. Tutorials are helpful, and Henry goes the extra mile when putting them together.
For example, he could have easily gotten by with only using photos in our porch swing DIY tutorial, but he went the extra mile and added 3D diagrams with measurements.
This added to the overall quality of the article and helped lead to it being one of our best performing pieces of content.
The more helpful and higher quality an article is, the more it will be shared by your readers. And more shares lead to more traffic for your blog.
Now, this doesn’t mean you have to create 3D models, but try to go the extra mile with your content and do what others aren’t willing to do.
Consistency is a big part of being successful in blogging. The more content you have, the quicker you will grow and the more people will see your content.
Early on, we didn’t do a good job at this. One week, we would post two articles, and the next, only one. But now, we’ve decided to do three no matter what.
I know everybody has different schedules and different amounts of time they can dedicate to a blog. So even if you can’t do three posts a week, try to do two. The important thing is to set a number and stick to it.
Consistency is hard and takes lots of time, but is required for steady growth.
So how can you stay consistent with limited time?
Henry owns his own web development company and I do help him quite a bit on the finance end, not to mention running around with two children that are involved in lots of extra activities. So, Plank and Pillow had to start as a side job – a side job that wasn’t making any money. That did not mean we could treat it like a side job though. Yes, we had to work in the hours when we could, but the work still had to be there.
Henry and I sit down on the weekend and make a schedule for our Instagram Posts and weekly articles. We even sometimes get all the pictures taken on Saturday. This allows us to have content upfront and not be so stressed throughout the week. I write a majority of the blog posts which I normally do first thing after the kids leave for school.
As for projects, Henry will work longer days on his business to allow for a couple of project days for Plank & Pillow DIYs and tutorials. We knew it would be hard, but we knew it could work.
Blogging is a marathon, not a sprint. It’s a journey that is not easy, and it takes time.
I’m sure people thought I was crazy for quitting a teaching career to start blogging. I mean how would I make any money doing that, right? Or, why spend all of this time doing something and not getting paid. How could blogging even be rewarding like teaching? I am quite sure this is what some were thinking, but unlike me, they didn’t see the finish line.
You see, when you run a marathon, it takes lots of training and patience. You aren’t going to go and run 26.1 miles on the first day. It takes long hours of training to get there.
I’m not going to lie, there were many days I even asked myself why I was doing this. I felt like because I was so small, who would think I had any advice to give them. Who would want to even look at my post or read an article I spent lots of time writing? Those things will enter your head, but you have to be strong and know that the race is long and patience is the key.
So, what kept me going? I had seen success with my husband, who is my biggest cheerleader. Seeing and reading success stories was a great way to encourage and help me have patience and remind me this would not come overnight.
I was reading an article the other day about a blogger who blogged for two years without making one cent. Now in his fifth year, he is making six figures a month. Now that is patience that paid off.
Another big thing that kept me going was the people. This journey has brought me some wonderful friends! Being surrounded by a tribe of like-minded bloggers and Social Media Influencers has always been so encouraging.
And the followers…let me just say I am so humbled every day by the comments, dms, and emails we receive. To know your advice or picture inspired someone to take a leap of faith and build a home, remodel a home, or even do a DIY for the first time is the most rewarding part of the job.
So do you feel like you are ready to get started? In the coming weeks, Henry will discuss exactly how to get your blog up and running and some tips and tricks to get it growing.
Then it will be a great place to lead us into where we are now and some of our success stories. We still have several more tips to share.