A week ago I started this blog. I’ve learned quite a bit in my first week blogging. My aim was (and very much still is) to learn, firsthand, how social media marketing and affiliate marketing work. I’ve spent this week reading articles and blogs gathering advice from successful bloggers on how to set up a blog and corresponding social media accounts. I’ve also spent the week setting up the blog, writing posts, and developing social media accounts.
There are hundreds of blogs dedicated to helping people set up a blog- I’ve learned how to register a domain, select a theme (though I’ll likely switch that up sooner than later), how to track views and clicks, how to link social media accounts directly to my blog (I was embarrassingly excited when I figured out how to put my twitter feed on the right side of the blog), and how to create a pin. All of these are very technical aspects, some of the less technical aspects actually seem like bigger take-aways from this first week. The list below is what advice I would give my students based on my experiences this first week.
Just Do It
Yeah, my favorite apparel brand uses this slogan in advertising, but it very much applies to blogging and social media (and in most aspects of life). There are so many blogs that I’ve read and thought “I’ve had that thought – if only I’d published that first where could I be?” Don’t second guess yourself, get to work as quickly as possible.
Save Your Work
Again, a piece of advice students are given throughout school, and one forgotten almost as often. Earlier this week I had a good portion of a post written (with several images and affiliate links embedded) when I hit a button on accident and the entire post was deleted. No matter what I tried, I was only able to recover about half of the post (from when I’d last saved the post). If I’d saved a bit more often – at least after each link or picture I’d added – that post might be published by now.
As of this moment, I am only connected with two people I actually know on my twitter account associated with the blog. I do have several friends who would fall into my target market, but I decided I’d like to have more posts written (so people are able to spend more time exploring) before “going public.” Due to this strategic decision, I’ve had to network with other start-up bloggers. Many people will follow you on twitter/instagram/facebook if you follow them first. There are certainly persuasion theories that explain this, but, at the core, people who are looking to boost their own followers are generally willing to reciprocate when someone helps them out (by following them in this case).
Beyond just following, interacting with others on social networking sites helps you in several ways. First, when people read your social media posts, you help generate interest in your own brand. Identifying similar interests, through social media posts, you are telling others that they should consider checking out what you have to offer. Similarly, by reading through other new bloggers’ posts I’ve not only learned things I’d not thought about before, but I’ve also been able to see what I like (and don’t like) about a variety of elements of style. Finally, having the support of other bloggers and strangers on the internet is motivating. When page views spike, or a tweet is re-tweeted it encourages me to create more content.
Don’t stress over initial numbers.
My blog has been up a week, so any rational person would be happy with around 100 views…right? Apparently not, because I spent two days hitting refresh just waiting for more people to view my page. Luckily for me, my twitter followers (mostly) made me feel better as those numbers grew faster than I’d expected. All of this will, likely, be irrelevant within the next few weeks or months. If you’re quick to get discouraged, maybe just don’t look at numbers for the first few weeks.
I’m sure there are more things I’ve learned, and as I think of those I will add them (the beauty of a blog is you can edit posts!)
Thank you all for joining me on this journey!