I’ve blogged every single weekday for the last seven years, over 2,700 posts on Elements of Style. It baffles me to think I could possibly have that much to share, yet still, every morning when I wake up, I am so excited to post something for my readers. Here’s what’s worked for me as a blogger. From Elements of Style: Designing a Home & a Life.
1. SET A SCHEDULE: The best schedule is a new post every weekday, but if your schedule does not allow for that kind of time commitment, post on regularly scheduled days, like Monday, Wednesday, Friday, or once a week, but always on the same day. People like routine and don’t want to waste time checking a blog that’s updated haphazardly. They’ll lose interest and move on.
2. HAVE A VOICE: People want to know more about you, and not just all the good and pretty things in your life. Share your struggles if you feel comfortable opening up, or discuss what’s on your mind even if it’s not on point. The more your readers know about you, the more loyal they will feel.
3. HIRE SOMEONE TO DEAL WITH THE TECHNICAL STUFF: I can barely change a font on my site myself. I learned to pay others who do that part of the business well and leave me to the curating and writing. You can find designers at all levels, from recent graphic design school graduates to seasoned vets in the industry. Nothing says “established” like a professionally designed blog. Side note: keep it simple and let the images and words stay center stage.
4. RESEARCH WHAT OTHERS ARE POSTING: There was a day when I happened to post about the same exact project as another design blogger without even knowing it. Someone accused me of copying them, when I had not even read their blog! It’s good to keep up on other people’s work, not only to stay informed and learn, but also to make sure your point of view is unique. (See number 2!)
5. GET IN ON THE DISCUSSION: As I said above, you need to read other blogs and get involved in the community of fellow bloggers. It’s a great way to meet and interact with like-minded people and the best way to get new readership. When you strike up friendships and are nice, someone might post about you and get you some traffic! And once the ball starts rolling…
6. ATTEND EVENTS: Get up from the computer and get your sassy self to some real events with REAL, live people! Have cards made up with your blog’s name, web address, and your phone number and hand them out when you meet media people, others in your industry, and new friends. Word of mouth is the BEST marketing tool!
7. HAVE PATIENCE: Nothing happens overnight. You need to work at this every day and stay committed for the long haul in order for it to work. It can take a long time, but it’s worth it!
8. IGNORE THE HATERS: Once you attain any kind of readership, you will have people leaving rude, thoughtless, and hurtful comments. Do your very best to ignore them, delete them if you wish, and move on. Conversing with them gives them the attention they crave and saps energy from your pursuits. I’ve made this mistake and learned from it!
9. MIX IT UP: Just because you are an interiors blogger or a foodie blogger does not mean you can never veer from your topic. I started doing just that—including fashion, pop culture, and deeply personal essays that greatly improved my readership. People like it when you mix it up!
10. MAKE SURE YOU ARE HAVING FUN: Readers can tell when your heart isn’t in it—and it’s a drag to spend so much time on something that isn’t giving you joy. If you find your blog is more of a chore than an energy booster, think twice about what it is you are writing about, how you’re writing, and why. Maybe you need to mix it up (as said above) or maybe you need a break. Listen to your instincts!