Over the past decade, blogging has blossomed from an after-work hobby to a potentially six-figure-income career. When we think of successful blogs and bloggers, most of us think of glamorous offices, 10-person teams, and evenings spent at exclusive parties. While some bloggers may live such a lifestyle, there are thousands of successful bloggers who live in small towns and have a staff of one.
You don’t need VIP passes or a loft in New York City to be an amazing blogger. To get started, all you need is a website that is simple to edit, a budget-friendly Internet package, and these helpful tips:
1. Identify and embrace your target audience.
The best blogs that keep visitors returning have a clear vision, focus, and grasp of their readership. To build a dedicated audience, you need to define your target readers and create content that caters to them. This is also known as building your personal brand or niche.
For example, your target may be women trying to balance a career and family, new college graduates navigating the real world, or adventure-seekers living in a small town. Knowing your target audience is essential because you can easily cater to their needs and know what kind of content and medium they find most engaging. This helps you consistently create content you are confident your readers will enjoy and makes it easier to build your network.
2. Keep your content authentic.
You don’t need to visit 50 countries to write about travel, and you don’t need to live in a fashion capital to write about style. Blog readers crave truthful experiences–your unique viewpoint and twist on a popular category can meet that desire.
It may seem disingenuous if you write about New York City street fashion when you live in Ohio. However, you could focus on how to translate big-city style for life in the Midwest. This personalized spin allows you to cater to a specific audience and create innovative, fresh content. Rather than focusing on going viral or writing about a trending topic, make it your goal to provide new content that connects with your readers.
3. Collaborate and network with other creators.
No staff photographer? No big parties to attend? No problem. Thanks to the Internet, you don’t need a team or exclusive event tickets to network or collaborate with fellow creators. If you need someone to take photos or edit videos for your blog, contact your local community college or high school. Often, students will be happy to help in exchange for a byline or online shout-out.
Along with joining a networking group through Meetup or LinkedIn, one of the best ways to network with other bloggers is to comment on their blogs. Start a conversation, hold a Skype meeting to exchange tips, or contribute a guest post on each other’s blogs. Not only is this a fun way to make friends with fellow bloggers, but it also helps you build your blog’s reach.
4. Rely on technology to simplify tasks.
Who needs a staff when you can use inexpensive technology to automate many of your blogging duties? Marketing is the cornerstone of building your blog’s traffic and reaching new people. Thankfully, there are multiple free and inexpensive technology platforms that allow you to perform these marketing tasks in less time.
A social media manager, like Hootsuite, allows you to schedule posts in advance and review analytics. You need to share your blog posts regularly to build your social network. If you need infographics, quick graphics for posts, or other designs, sites like Canva make it inexpensive and easy to create images without any design skills. As for email, MailChimp lets you quickly set up and send newsletters that inspire your readers to return to your blog for more content.
Blogging can be an exciting adventure full of opportunity, and a chance to connect with people around the world. Don’t assume you need a big budget or major resources to carve your own space in the blogging world. With these tips under your belt, you can become an amazing blogger–no matter where you live.
Do you blog? Have you or a friend considered starting a blog? Share these tips on Facebook and inspire your friends to start blogging!