I've written thousands of words to help small businesses and creatives. I'd say: Mission Accomplished! I'll report on breaking news in the field when I encounter them but until then, I'm wrapping up the small business series and focusing on inspiration. I'm finishing it off with a helpful FAQ Series, starting with the questions I get the most on blogging:
1. What's the #1 thing you did to get your blog to where it is now?
Working hard on the content to make it as helpful and entertaining as possible for the reader. Content is paramount! When your content is good people will read, come back, and share your work.
2. How did you increase traffic and readership?
I participated in blog link parties to get a head-start and still do for my haul posts, but other than that I just genuinely interacted in my field. Comment on blogs and forums you like with genuine feedback.
3. How did you create a "community" around Thrift Core?
Genuine communication is key. Ask your readers questions in social media and on your blog. Start a conversation.
4. When should I put advertisements on my blog?
Not right away! I was blogging for two years before advertisements even crossed my mind. Start a blog because you're incredibly passionate about it and LOVE the subject, NOT because you want ad revenue. You'll know it's time to think of ads when you have consistent page views and traffic, and of course, when people start asking you if they can advertise.
5. How did you get sponsors for your blog?
I just wrote an announcement on the blog saying I now take advertisers and let people know what they'll get if they choose to advertise on Thrift Core. People also contacted me directly. I handle it all myself and don't use a third party program at the moment.
6. Did you make the layout/graphics on Thrift Core yourself?
Yep, and I take all the photos, write the content, and do the marketing, too. I do social media, PR, and marketing plans freelance as well as graphic and web design. I especially love making banners/logos for blogs and Etsy shops to help beginners establish a clear identity. E-mail me if you need help!
7. Do you have an editorial schedule or plan posts in advance?
I plan posts 1-2 months in advance, but leave things flexible in case there's breaking news I want to post about instead. I rarely write posts the morning-of, but it happens sometimes. My best posts are always ones I work at and edit/perfect for at least a week.
8. How much do you feel your blog posts help your business?
My blog is the most important part of my brand! No question. It drives traffic to my Etsy shop for sales, I sell from it directly all the time, and get leads for side work from it. I love the friends and connections I make here!
9. Should I start a blog myself?
Absolutely! Even if it's kept private, I think everyone should start a blog. Writing daily keeps your mind sharp and it's a journey to self-discovery as well as a powerful networking tool. Check: My detailed guide to starting a blog.
10. How do you keep motivated with your blog?
I have notebooks full of ideas so I'm never out of content and I schedule blog post/blog work time throughout the week and don't stray from it. Write a post idea in your notebook, then think of ways to break down that post into more posts, you'll have hundreds of ideas in no time!
I don't blog for the money, but I'm so glad it's helped me establish a career as a freelancer. I enjoy the genuine connections I make locally and around the world every day through Thrift Core. Blog because there's a burning force and passion for it and improve with every single photo you take and post you write. Work hard and there's no way you won't be successful.
Got any blog tips to share in the comments? Leave a comment if you have questions and I'll answer 'em.