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Mornin’, Sunshine. It’s me again, here to help you better your blog. Not that I’m an expert – far from it, in fact. But since I like writing, and since I like blogging, I thought that I’d do a series on blogging tips this summer…just kind of for fun (you can check out the whole series so far here). If you learn something, great. If not, maybe you can give ME some tips in the comment section.
So last week we started with my number one key to blogging. Remember what it was? Well, aside from just plain starting to blog, consistency is my number one tip for a successful blog. You can read my thoughts on that here.
Now that we’ve established the fact that you need to have a goal in mind for how many posts you think you can do in a given amount of time and try to meet that goal consistently, maybe we should discuss what exactly you should be blogging about.
Deciding this can take place in a myriad of ways. For me, I enjoyed cooking/baking/experimenting/blowing things up in the kitchen, and I found that I had a knack for tweaking recipes to fit my new Trim Healthy lifestyle (which you can find out about here). I don’t even remember the whole thought process that led me to start my blog, but start I did, and things snowballed from there. When I first started blogging, it was solely a hobby and creative outlet. I had no idea that one could make money off of writing nonsense. I certainly didn’t expect my blog to actually become popular in the Trim Healthy Mama circles, especially not to the point where complete strangers walk up to me on a regular basis and ask me, “Are you Briana Thomas? I follow your blog.” It takes some getting used to, let me tell you.
Here are a few tips I have for deciding what to blog about (once you’ve established that you wish to start a blog):
-You HAVE to blog about something you love. I believe that one cannot just blog for a living. In order to have any life whatsoever, your blog has to be really truly YOU. It has to be something you enjoy, something you connect with, and it has to be true. If you’re just doing it because you think it’s an easy way to earn a living, a) THINK AGAIN, and b) it just ain’t gonna work. It’ll fall flat on its nose and you will burn out very quickly.
-Find a niche. Every successful blog I know of has its own unique flavor (no pun intended). You’re going to have to create a style for yourself that sets you apart. Go specific. That doesn’t mean that you’re limited to the genre you have chosen, but it does give you a general direction in which to head and lets people know from the get-go what they can expect from you. For example: I run a food blog. Specifically, I run a blog that specializes in Trim Healthy Mama recipes. Even more specifically, I have been dubbed the “THM Ice Cream Queen”. Yeah, I specialize in healthy ice cream. It’s a great job. Win-win for everyone, me included. Do I just blog healthy ice cream? Nope. I do all kinds of healthy foods, and I post some photography/spiritual/horse/music stuff as well. But when ice cream comes up in the Trim Healthy Mama circles, my name usually gets mentioned. That’s the brand I’ve created for myself.
-Blog according to demand. This is a great way to get pageviews and stay trendy. Have you heard lots of requests for rhubarb recipes? Well, make yourself a rhubarb recipe (I did!). Is THM Baking Blend coming back in stock? Make yourself a donut recipe using the Baking Blend and it’ll go viral. Lots of people want simple recipes. Do a theme week with 5 ingredient snacks and desserts. Have people been asking for a healthy ham and bean soup recipe? Give it to ’em! Stay attuned to what people want and are looking for, and when you provide it, they will flock.
-Blog for yourself. While you need to cater to the masses, to keep yourself sane and enjoying your job sometimes you need to just blog for yourself. Blog something that you enjoy, whether that’s more food or something totally different. I try to do a spiritual post once a week. While more and more people are starting to enjoy those posts, they are first and foremost for me. They’re something I’m passionate about. This blogging series is the same way. Very few of my readers will be interested in this series, but I’m doing it because writing it is something I enjoy. Blogging for yourself serves another purpose in that it lets your readers get to know you. They like to connect with you personally. Blogging for yourself can also apply to recipes. While you typically should try to post recipes that will be received well by the masses, you can definitely throw in a recipe for yourself now and then. I did that with my chicken banana egg white scramble. I knew it would be something most people will never try, but it was something I enjoyed so I posted it. And whaddya know? THAT recipe was my first recipe shared by the Huffington Post (in a…get this…blog post about weird food combinations). Oh, the irony.
When you’re considering what you should blog about, first and foremost pick something that you enjoy and can be passionate about. Create a unique brand for yourself that people can instantly recognize (I’ll give you some practical design suggestions for this later on). Blog a variety of posts – some for the masses, and some for yourself. The longer you blog, the better you’ll get at finding a balance. Above all, make blogging something you enjoy. If you don’t enjoy it, take some time off and consider the fact that blogging maybe isn’t for you. It’s not for everybody. You have to have a heart for it or you’ll burn out, and if you’re not enjoying it, eventually your readers won’t either.