Make 2018 Your Best Year Ever: Blogging Tips and Tricks
Welcome to 2018! I love the way that New Year’s Day feels. The party is over, but the day feels new and fresh. I have the time off work, so it is for 100% relaxation. I’m typing this while the snow is falling, and the dogs are snoozing on the floor. It’s so relaxing but so invigorating. We are partying inside as the new year is here!
My theme this month, both personally and on the blog, is starting out on the right foot for the new year! This month I’ll be sharing some things I’m doing to amp up my year for the better!
To start off our month, I want to talk about my tips for jumpstarting your own blog, and maintaining the ability to keep it up.
For those of you who are just joining the EverydayCait Adventure Squad (welcome!!), you might not know that EverydayCait is five years old. Over that time, it has reinvented itself a few times, and it has been the one truly consistent thing in my life.
Accept that things will change.
When I started this blog, it was 100% a personal blog. My first post was about my niece’s seventh birthday. I wrote a lot about things that were bothering me. I wrote a lot about things that I liked about my friends. I wrote about being in college. I wrote about the Christmas gifts my boyfriend bought me. I didn’t write for other bloggers. I didn’t write about beauty at all.
Things are different now. The blog looked drastically different. I have never been a million percent committed to how the blog looked, or the content on it. A lot of people, professionals in the field of blogging and business, talk about how important consistency is. Here is the secret – life isn’t consistent. Don’t come out of left field with your changes, but slow, steady change is a part of life, and should be part of your work. If you’re stuck in the same place year after year, your business won’t grow, and you won’t grow as a person.
Commit to how much you want to post/write.
Another common piece of information, I know, is to set a schedule. In some ways, I agree, and in some ways, I don’t. As someone with a posting schedule, it’s more about personal discipline for me than for anything else. If that doesn’t work for you, then I think it’s in your interests to spend some time finding out what does work for you. There have been times in this blog’s past, when writing on Saturdays and putting out three or four posts a month has really worked for me. What’s important is working consistently, and on things that you love.
Know when to outsource.
The past two years or so have been about outsourcing for me. I really love doing the work for my blog…but when success starts to find you (Yay if it does!!) there start to be these things that you don’t like. In the beginning, I was sure I could handle it all myself. I can write my own contracts, and I can do my own accounting, and I can do my own stock photography, graphic design, writing, web design. Shipping. Store administration. You name it, I’ve done it. But I started to feel myself fading. At some point, I wanted to quit blogging because it sucked. But guess what? It’s not the blogging that sucks. It’s all the stuff that you hate doing that sucks. So, I started to offload those things onto other people. Know when it’s time to call someone else in to handle the things you hate doing.
Set some professional standards.
When you’re growing, the sponsorships start showing up soon. It feels amazing the first time someone offers you a free product or even cash to write a review. It’s exhilarating, and you get that first feeling of “I made it!”. However, a lot of those first sponsorships are a total load of crap. They’re for products that are a) not quality or b) not in your niche market. Take a moment, right now, and decide what is worth your professional integrity to agree to, and what isn’t. For me, I need something that is in my market…things that I use, and approve of, and things that I can honestly recommend. When you really want your blog to be a money-maker, it can feel like trash to turn down money. Sometimes it’s a lot of money. However, in the long run, it’s worth it.
Know your worth.
Along with being choosey about what sponsorships ad deals to take it’s also important to value your work wisely. Whether this is a service or a physical product, your time and effort are valuable. Sometimes it’s a harsh email to write that says no, I will not be able to accept your terms, but it’s important to know. Be realistic, but stick to your guns about how much you need to be paid to do work. If you want me to talk more about money later this year, I absolutely can. It’s something that I wish people talked more about when I was starting out.
I hope that these tips help jumpstart your blogging and your new year on the right foot, whether you’re creating a new product or service, starting a new blog, or just looking to start fresh.
Make it count!