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Picture it, March, 2011. A woman with the dream of all dreams…to one day become her own boss. She searches and searches for THE perfect gig and discovers that blogging can be a profitable online business.
Without hesitation this woman launches her first blog not knowing how things would turn out. Sadly, her first year was a disaster. Her income that first year was only $25 and traffic was an embarrassment.
That woman dear reader – was me.
I can laugh about my first year blogging now. But while I was living in the moment, there were long, sleepless nights and a lot of tears! I tell yah, it was enough to want to make someone throw in the towel but I powered through it, baby!
You see, I didn’t realize how much work would be involved and how much I’d have to learn to grow a blog into a successful online business.
But you live and learn, right?
The biggest mistake I made was promoting products that I liked. I wasn’t thinking about my audience. Well, I was but it was more like “if I love this product, I KNOW my audience will love it too.”
But I found out the hard way that rule doesn’t apply. 🙂
Along the way I also learned other lessons that for me have become the etiquette of blogging. With that said, here is what I think are the basic rules of blogging every blogger should follow if they want to become a bonafide blogger.
Red Skelton, a comedian from the 1940s said “give the people what they want, and they’ll come.”
Of course he’s talking about show business but it can also be tied in to your blog.
From the moment you have your blog installed and whether you’re writing a blog post or promoting a product always put your audience first. Make sure the links on your blog, the topics of your blog post and the product you’re promoting is something your audience wants and needs.
But in order to do this, you have to figure out who your target audience is. Here are several ways to determine who that is:
And speaking of audience…that takes me to rule #2.
This is another one of those crucial rules of blogging.
If someone takes time to read your blog post and leave a comment, make sure to reply back.
I know life can get hectic…believe me, I know. I’ll be the first to raise my hand to admit that I sometimes forget to reply to comments. But you’re busting you’re a** hustling to grow your blog. The last thing you want to do is drive them away because you’re not engaging with them.
When you write your blog post, the content should be your own. But when your niche is saturated chances are at some point you may blog about the same topic as another blogger – and that’s okay.
For instance, take the topic ‘driving traffic to a blog’. You might have the same tips and recommend some of the same tools, but the key is to put your own spin on it.
One way to do this is to tell your story. Talk about the struggle with getting traffic to your blog. What you did to turn it around and which tools you used to get there.
The blogging world already has a Donna Merrill and Ileane Smith. Sure you want to be like your favorite blogger but just do you.
So when you’re blogging, write in your own authentic voice. And when you shoot a live video, do it in your own style.
Readers want authenticity and will likely trust you more when you are.
We all get that sense of urgency when we start a blog. It’s like we want the traffic and the money to start rolling in quick style.
Sometimes that sense of urgency gets the best of us and as a result we resort to doing things that are well, questionable like spamming – all in the name of growing your blog.
But I can’t stress enough how that alone can kill your blogging career.
My advice? Run your own race. Don’t worry about how many followers or how much money other bloggers are making. And remember, EVERY blogger had to start at the bottom.
This is a big ole blogosphere so there’s no need to bring on the hate. So share your tips, leads and words of encouragement with other bloggers in your niche.
And if someone in your community reaches out on social media for advice, offer to help ‘em out if you’re able to.
The way to grow as a blogger is by uplifting other bloggers.
Those are what I think are crucial rules of blogging.
So tell me, did you or have you broken any of these blogging rules? Tell me what you’ve learned about blogging in the comments below.
And before you go, please share this post on social media so that new bloggers out there can get a load of these blogging rules.
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