Blogging evolves as it goes. We’re learning as we go. Anyone who tells you they’ve got it ALL figured out is crazy or lying. Or both. Here’s what I learned this year and plan to implement in my blog business for 2016.
Focus more on longer more engaging pieces rather than short informational ones.
In 2015 I focused on churning out content. I aimed for four posts per week. Besides my work, the posts took a huge amount of time. I promoted on my social media accounts but didn’t promote beyond that initial push. In 2016, I plan to do fewer posts but put more time, energy and care into them. I also plan to put more promotion behind them.
Pictures count for so much.
The saying still rings true: a picture is worth a thousand words. You can write a glowing review or come up with the most amazing recipe but if the picture isn’t appealing, no one will want to make that recipe. I’ve invested in a better phone to take better pictures and am lucky that my husband is a photography enthusiast and loves taking many of the photos for my blog. I also make sure each blog post has a featured image and often times use Canva to make the picture stand out with eye catching text.
Don’t put all your eggs in one basket…err..social media platform.
I’ve learned to not get complacent with one driver of traffic to my blog. I’m diversifying and making sure that I share on all social networks. This includes working towards growing followers on networks I’ve neglected.
Promote on social more.
As I said before, I’m going to put more effort into meatier posts, but promote them much more heavily on social media. If you have a large audience on one social account more than others, I’d use that one to promote your posts as much as possible. I’d also use it as a teaser to entice people to click on the link to your blog.
Stop going to everything.
This year I’ve cut back on going to as many outings as I have in previous years. When I get an invite, I now think about my current responsibilities, expectations of the host, how good the event really is going to be and if it is worth my time. I’ve gotten several other writer colleagues to attend events on my behalf and it works out well because they get to do something they enjoy sparingly without the post event write up infringing too much on their personal time (one of the main reasons guest writers stop writing for you).
Sharing assets goes a long way.
I’ve heard at a conference from an agency that evaluates bloggers for travel destinations, that those that take excellent pictures and promise to share them with the destination / hotel / resort are valued more than those that don’t. I’ve taken some of my best images from this year and put them into my media kit, so destinations / restaurants can see exactly what I can produce. If you have a skill (maybe you know wordpress really well, create beautiful infographics, produce killer videos) try and leverage that to work with a brand.
Help others…but don’t be a doormat.
While it is important to network and connect others, build others up and promote them, there comes a point when you have to realize some people / brands are out to suck you dry with no intention of returning the favor. Those toxic people / brands are the ones you should cut out of your life.
Trust your gut more.
Over the years, my gut, or intuition, really has lead me in the right direction. Whether it is about trusting someone or pursuing work with a brand / business, it is when I’ve ignored my gut reaction, that I’ve been disappointed. Listen to your intuition more.