Sara Gibbs, editor-in-chief of Darling Lovely Life is by no means unglamorous (as you can see from the picture above!). However she is an experienced blogger with extensive knowledge on when to get business-like. She wrote us an eight point piece on the essential, yet perhaps slightly less appealing tasks every blogger needs to read up on! Photo by Richmond Pictures
Being a blogger can sometimes be the most glamorous job in the world. I’ve been blogging and loving it for two and a half years. Try talking me down from a make-up induced high when I’m at a product launch, or knocking me off the top of the world when I’m nominated for a major magazine award. But those are the perks and rewards – 90% of blogging is just like any other job: a 9 – 5 routine filled with not-so-interesting tasks. If you’re serious about becoming a full-time blogger, here are eight pretty unglamorous things to get really good at fast!
As the curator of your content, it’s vital to be selective about what you put up. Your blog is a brand, like any other publication, and if something doesn’t fit, you shouldn’t publish it. You’ll probably say no to a good 90% of pitches that come your way.
No blogger is an island. A large chunk of blogging involves sourcing content from all over the place, from getting credited and authorised hi-res pictures from photographers to editing and formatting guest posts. This means you will end up sending out more chaser and reminder emails than any other type of mail.
Depending on your content matter, you’ll probably have a mix of articles that are written from personal experience (researched required, nil) and many that need a little more investigating. A life advice post can take me half an hour, a fashion post can take a full day – but skip over the research and you could end up misleading your readers or cutting corners.
Some bloggers are total email ninjas and reply to everything the second it arrives. I’m not one of them. However, I have gotten better in two and a half years, at replying to things as they come in. If you can stay on top of your inbox you can conquer the world (of blogging)!
At the moment, about 50% of the content I spend my days writing is for my own blog. As I’ve just started a new venture, I need to do the groundwork to get it out there, and that means writing lots of guest content for magazines, more established sites and places new readers might find me. It may seem like a lot of effort to go to for other people but doing your own PR is fabulous for so many reasons – it puts you out there, it builds relationships with other lovely bloggers and while the content isn’t directly yours, being linked to in lots of places looks great.
Scheduling and seeding
Social media management is a huge part of blogging. Get yourself out there everywhere you can (without spamming), on Facebook, Twitter, Gawker sites, Stumbleupon, Pinterest… everywhere that links back to you is great for building a community around your blog and for your SEO too.
If you’re privately selling advertising space or monetising your blog in any way, you need to have a system in place from day one to ensure that you’re on top of your finances, registered as a LTD company or as a sole trader and saving money for tax.
Starting out as a blogger can be very disheartening. Imagine pouring your heart and soul into a blog post only to be met with tumbleweed when you unleash it on the world. Not a great feeling. But stick at it – blogging is a slow build and there’s a lot out there for people to choose from. Slowly you’ll start to see search results from Google, your social media numbers climbing, people being more engaged and one day you’ll wonder why you ever thought of throwing in the towel! If you’re feeling discouraged, give yourself small, attainable goals to meet every week and don’t think you have to be as successful as the biggest blogger overnight!
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