Photos x Sarah Wolfe
Today’s post may possibly be a long one. I tend to ramble as you all know but I am going to try to get as ‘to the point’ as possible haha!
Back in September, I asked what you all wanted to see more of on my blog! One of the BIGGEST responses I got was more blogging related posts with tips! A couple months ago I did a ‘Why I Started Blogging + My Tips For Beginners‘ as well as a post on ‘Photography Tips‘. (You guys can click on those posts titles and it will take you to those two posts!)
Today, I am going to tackle a couple different topics that I hope are helpful for any beginning bloggers out there or even small business owners! Hopefully these can answer some of the questions you guys frequently ask or maybe want to ask but haven’t!!
How to start a blog. This is a question I get asked ALL THE TIME and I think the problem is that so many people overthink it! To keep it short and sweet, purchase a domain through sites like GoDaddy, build a site on a platform like Squarespace, connect your domain to your site, start posting! You can blog about WHATEVER you want!! That’s the beauty of it being YOUR personal blog 🙂 A couple steps I would take in addition to this is to make a mail chimp account for your newsletters and to make sure you have all social media channels including Instagram, Pinterest, and a Facebook page. Once you have all this set up, your blog is good to go!
How to grow your blog + social media talk. One thing I will say, is that there is no recipe to growing your blog sadly. I have been blogging for 3 years now and it has really just taken time and a lot of trial and error!! I also didn’t have anyone to turn to to ask questions and just did it as a little side hobby that I didn’t take very seriously in the beginning so growth for me hasn’t really come until later and I am still hoping to grow from here! But given that I have done it for 3 years, I have learned a couple things that I’d love to share with you guys because why keep information to yourself when we should be helping each other out?!
First your blog itself. To drive readers to your site, you need to promote promote promote!! It can get annoying to do but you always need to be reminding people to be checking our your site! Utilize all your social platforms because you never know which one is gonna reach someone to click and read. Also use titles that draw attention and that are being searched. Posts that perform well typically start with numbers like ‘3 Ways To…’ or something like that! These types of posts will also catch eyes on platforms like Pinterest! Something I could pay more attention to is SEO and I don’t know much about it so I’m not going to touch on it haha! But once I do learn, I’ll be sure to share 😉 Another great way to maintain readers is to have a newsletter they can subscribe to and do your best to grow your list! Having an email list is so crucial because we have NO control over our social media channels…we don’t own them. They can change and disappear at any given point. But you do own your blog! Take pride in it and work on genuinely creating your own community! Having an email list is something that so many bloggers look past but is fun, powerful, and crucial to your longevity! At the same time, if you build your own community, you will learn what type of things your peeps want you to talk about! You don’t have to blog about what every other is blogging about. Blog about what your community wants from you! Blog about what your community values about you!
Now onto social media. In my personal opinion, the top three channels you need are Pinterest, Instagram, and a Facebook page. Each of these is powerful and useful in their own ways and are such great ways to engage with your readers, be discovered, and promote your blog or business! They are all different and have tons of helpful tools.
Pinterest. This platform totally gets overlooked and it should probably be your number one!! The amazing thing about Pinterest is your pin can get shared over and over again and be relevant FOREVER. I mean that’s a little dramatic but true. You don’t just post something once and then have it get lost in your feed or timeline. People also use this platform like another form of Google! They are going here to physically search topics out. This makes your content so valuable no matter what you are posting about because people search everything on here! Plus, having just one pin go viral can drive traffic to your blog and other social media channels also leading to $$ if you have affiliations! I love Pinterest and have had lots of people message me saying that’s how they found me 🙂
Instagram. This is going to be along one but I get SO many questions about it. Now this platform is a beast of it’s own let’s be honest hahaha. This is an ever-changing channel making it harder than ever to grow so if you feel stuck don’t get down on yourself!! Even the girls with 100K+ are having a hard time gaining any more followers so you are not alone! Now, even though there are many changes to Instagram making it hard to love the platform – there is tons of opportunity on there as well! My current #1 site traffic is from Instagram – which is why I try to keep up with it while also focusing more on the other social medias too to get them to catch up! Sadly, Instagram has kind of turned into a numbers game and the only number that matters to some and to some brands is your follower count. In my personal opinion, you are worth soo much more than just your # of followers! I try to focus more on engaging with the followers I do have and creating content / photos that both them and myself will love! This relays back to creating your own community! Don’t compare yourself to others, focus on the people who appreciate you and your content and that will keep your motivation and love for blogging on fire haha! On another note, in case you didn’t know Instagram’s algorithm is constantly changing making it extremely hard to grow or get exposure so theres a couple little things that us bloggers do to try to still get discovered and to stay engaged with our audience at the same time. Getting reposted by other accounts is a great way to get discovered! Use hashtags & tag accounts that often repost images similar to yours. I know for a fact I’ve gained followers from being reposted by other accounts so this is a great way to grow! Also make sure you are engaging with the audience you DO have!! Try to get to know them too! Ask them questions, respond to their comments, show their profiles some love – whatever you can do to get to know the people you are speaking to! (Another great way to do this is being active on your Instagram story!!) You also want to stay consistent with posting. I make it a personal goal to post once a day. This way my followers know that every day they can come to my profile and see at least one new photo with content. Some girls post 2-3 times a day and posting 2 is a good day for me and rarely happens haha! I also know some girls really focus on their posting times and I have payed attention and posted when Instagram tells me I’ll get the most engagement and what I’ve noticed is when I do that specific time of the day, my engagement is the same and sometimes even less. I just post whenever is convenient for me in my day, and whenever I want to share that specific photo! I feel like paying attention SO much to this kinda sucks the fun out of Instagram – at least for me. It’s supposed to be instant and ‘in the moment’ hence the name ‘insta’gram. It shouldn’t be a job and it seems for a lot of people it has become that way. (It’s a big part of my job but I mean too much, like they just take it too dang seriously haha!) Another thing I’ll touch on Instagram is giveaways. To do or not to do. Here is just my personal opinion 🙂 I’ve done multiple giveaways! Some just by myself giving away product or tools I love, some with a brand giving away a cool prize, and one with a small group of girls giving away a Nordstrom gift card. I’d say, giveaways are fine. They are actually fun! But as long as you stay aligned with your brand, and do them small and authentic! The giveaways that seem spammy to me are the giant loops where you have to follow like 30+ accounts to enter or they have ‘sponsors’ or accounts with 1M+ and you are gaining all these random followers that don’t even care about fashion or whatever your blog is about! If you do a giveaway with a small group, make sure all your accounts are similar so that your followers will actually want to follow the others in your giveaway and keep following them after it’s over! You want to gain followers but you want to gain AUTHENTIC AND ENGAGED followers who will like following you and enjoy your type of content!! Last, ‘pods’ and apps to boost your engagement. If you don’t know what I am talking about, there are things called comment pods and like pods where you are basically in a group message with a bunch of girls and you all like and comment on each other’s photos!! I was in 2 comment pods awhile back and while it works for some people, for me it was just exhausting and sucked the fun out of Instagram for me. I’d have to dedicate 15 solid minutes to engaging in everyone’s posts and it just started to feel like a chore after awhile. However I did meet some awesome bloggers through my pods and know lots of girls who love being in them! I think it’s totally up to you 🙂 As far as apps go, I don’t know any specifically other than Tailwind which I’ve never used so I can’t really touch on. But there are apps for you that plan out your content which if you are super super busy could be handy!! The apps I’d def stay away from are the ones who ‘gain’ followers and likes for you. Instagram notices these things and can mark your account as spammy. Also, again – you want real and engaged followers!! That’s so much more important than the number 🙂 This platform like I said is it’s own beast so I could dive into all types of conversation regarding Instagram but these things seem to be asked about the most 🙂
Facebook Page. This gets overlooked so much but is a really important platform to have! Stuff can easily be shared and seen here. You can post your recent blog post and boom, the link is right there. Where on Instagram you have to go to someones profile to find the link. You can also run Facebook ads which I’m not ready to throw a bunch of money into quite yet BUT some girls I know have a monthly budget specifically for Facebook ads (I’m talking $$$+) and they say it drives them awesome traffic and gets their page more likes! So many someday if I can squeeze this into my budget more I will. I think you are also friends on Facebook with people that are actually in your life and want to support you! So it’s a great place to ask for love & support 🙂
Okay, this post was SO long haha! Hopefully I answered some of your guys’ general questions! If you have anymore just comment below and I will respond to all the comments going into further detail about whatever you’d like!!
Thanks for reading and for ALL your support guys!!