The Frustrated Blogger
I use the Questions feature every now and then on my Instagram and I do get some pretty interesting and fun ones to answer. My last round, I had one reply that really stuck out to me that I thought deserved a post here on the blog:
“I blog consistently but can’t gain traction. Advice?”
Disclaimer: I launched this blog less than 6 months ago, so I’m not an expert in any capacity. I’m still very much in the early learning phases of being a blogger and don’t want anyone reading this to gold stamp anything I say. I do think, though, that it may be helpful for small bloggers like me to get real-time tips from someone who is still working through the new phase. With that being said, here I go…
What’s Your Brand?
There are certain things that you will never see me post. If I can’t talk about something from a real educated, experienced perspective…it won’t spend energy trying to incorporate it into my blog. Example? You won’t ever get a makeup tutorial from me. I don’t know technique and it would be absolutely ridiculous for me to get on the internet to “teach” my community about application. Sharing products that I like or that I used for a particular look is one thing, but marketing myself as a makeup expert would be a farse. I think knowing what makes the most sense for you authentically early on is very important when building a solid brand. It helps you to feel 100% confident in your content and keeps you consistent.
Your Audience May Not Be “Following” You. It’s Fine.
My Instagram is the face of my blog, but my engagement on that platform is definitely not a representation of my site traffic. I have posts on this blog with over 2k original page views. I don’t have one single picture on my IG feed that comes remotely close to that number in terms of interaction. IG is in fact my number 1 feeder so one of two things are happening - I’m either getting a ton of readers who aren’t actually following me OR my followers are clicking despite not visibly engaging. Either way, cool. I think as a new blogger, its most important to pay attention to your site analytics more than social media follower counts and crap. When brands contact you they ask for more than just how many followers you have. Watch which posts have the most original page views, which countries your readers are from, the types of comments your getting on your site posts. That’s what your audience is. I have found that having more than one source of traffic has also helped me. Facebook and Pinterest bring a good amount of readers my way and many bloggers rely on Twitter as well.
Like anything new, you have to get into a rhythm and learn your stride. If you’re interested in affiliate relationships, brands do ask you how many times you post per month, per week, etc. on each of your platforms. I try my hardest to make sure that I don’t go more than 1 week without uploading a new blog post - if I break my own rule, I make sure that I am attracting readers to my site by being active on Instagram and Pinterest so that I am still getting valuable traffic. Scheduling certain blog posts and actually designating posting days can help with this as well. Be consistent with every aspect - your content, imagery, schedule. Everything.
Don’t Treat Authenticity As An Option
… and make it the only way that you operate. Whether it be through my “Gotta Gos” or any favorites that I post about, I don’t highlight any product or place that I’m not proud to share. My “Gotta Go” recommendations are all spots that I’ve had genuine interest in trying through my own research and want my readers to experience for specific reasons. I love when someone messages me that they visited somewhere that I mentioned and had a nice time. It’s also just as meaningful to hear “I went and it wasn’t really my vibe, but it was everything you said.” The same rings true when it comes to posting about clothes, products, etc. One thing I’m most proud of when it comes to my particular affiliate relationships is that they’re with brands that I adore outside of this blog. For new bloggers, I strongly suggest making your page about what you love already or new products/places/services that you’ve given an honest try and expressing your real thoughts about them. As a consumer, I know that I return to fellow bloggers’ sites for honesty.
This is just a basic lesson for life in general. As a new blogger, you don’t know who is watching or what is going to be your “big thing”. Don’t stop.
If any other new bloggers out there have some great tips to share, please comment!
Happy blogging and until the next one…