Ka-POW! Break Through New Blogger Barriers


Last week blogging veterans and I chatted about about the challenges that new bloggers face that we didn't encounter when we started blogging.  The landscape of fashion blogging has changed so much over the years, that Jennine shared how she would start a fashion blog in 2013. With most of the bloggers I chatted with, the same 3 challenges came up repeatedly in our conversations:

  • The learning curve for new bloggers is much steeper (you're expected to know and DO more upfront),
  • That there's more digital noise distracting you (and competing with you),
  • Building a network/connecting with others is TOUGH.

In the comments, you all shared your insight on what challenges you face.  Some of them, regardless of when you started your blog, plague us all.  Others?  Well, we're sharing how we'd break through those blogging barricades.

Find YOUR Best Fit, and Find Focus:

As much as I love social media, every site isn't the best fit for me or my blog. Every site we join creates more noise and takes more time away from our sites. Jess said about breaking through the noise, “The ability to filter information, resources and connections is a skill that takes a long time to be even remotely good at.” And as a new blogger, you're likely in information overload!

When you're starting your blog, look at the ways you promote your site.  Are you adding to the “noise” (and is your message getting lost in it?), or is it helping people–are your readers and followers responding?  If not… it's okay to admit you may just be adding to the noise (I know I do!). Step away from the ruckus, find your focus, and start from there.  When it doubt, it's always good to step away from social media and just focus on creating great content.

Reinvent the Wheel: Create NEW Ways to Connect!

“If I were a new blogger trying to “make it” today, I would go to as many events as I could, even just public, paid events…. I would take business cards and I would be brave and introduce myself to anyone I recognized and follow it up with a twitter follow, message, and maybe an email depending on how well we'd got on! I react well to that, so assume others would too!”
Gemma Seager, Retro Chick

As blog audiences grow and social media moves in waves, it's up to you to figure out NEW ways to connect: with your  audience, brands, and your fellow bloggers. Local blogger and social meet-ups and store events have become a huge resource for bloggers – it gives you rare face to face time.  It's much easier to remember and re-connect with a blogger or brand representative after you've talked to them face to face!

If you had to get creative about ways to get your blog's name into your local community, how would you do it?  How about putting postcards on coffee shops and attending local store openings?  Maybe you can email a press release to the local magazines and newspapers about your blog; offer your services if they need a quote.

How can you take that to the next step… and get your blog known on a regional level? And then beyond? If you're trying to connect with people, think about the ways you YOU like to connect in real life- and create ways to adapt that for your blog.

It's All Perspective:

Most of the bloggers I spoke to talked about the challenges of entering blogging NOW.  The learning curve is steeper, the market is over-saturated, and there's a higher entry barrier. But what if…we're just looking at it wrong?

“I don't actually believe there is a finite world of popularity and success in the blogging world. These days, it's just as easy to follow 50 favorite blogs as it is to follow 5. We are now in the digital age where bloggers have millions of fans! So I actually believe that it is getting a little bit easier to become a well-read blog, simply because the audience of blog-readers is growing every day.”
Kristina Braly, Pretty Shiny Sparkly

We may feel like the market is over saturated and the competition has become more fierce.  But what if it really isn't so bad?  Kristina opened my eyes to a surprising alternative I hadn't thought about.  When I began blogging, most people didn't know what a blog was, and those who did it were kind of curious creatures.

These days? Blogs are a recognized source of information!  Blog audiences grow daily, and our favorite bloggers have become a regular part of our lives. So next time you're feeling stuck –  maybe your traffic isn't growing, maybe you haven't been able to reach your audience yet… remember that online audiences are growing every day.

And Maybe… You're Enough Just As You Are:

“But (and here I go being the devil's advocate again), is it really necessary to be unique? I think it's just as well to have a beautifully designed, authentically written, beautifully-photographed blog that just is great. Blog reading is escapism; readers aren't always looking for That Blog Which Is Different. They're looking for a quiet time, that pleasurable 15 minutes of their day in which they can sip on their cup of coffee and peruse the daily lives of the people they love to follow, who now feel like their friends. And that, my friends, is enough.”
Kristina Braly, Pretty Shiny Sparkly

Maybe… when we're all stressed and exhausted, wondering why we do this, we should stop and ask, “If I were a fan, would I spend my morning and cup of coffee reading this?  Do I find pleasure in it, and am I connected to the writer?”  And if your answer is “yes,” then you've accomplished something great.  Pat yourself on the back.  Wake up the next day, and give yourself– and your readers–that enjoyable 15 minutes a day.  If your answer is “no” (and it's okay to be honest with yourself!) – what would you do differently to be that site?

I hope this post and 3 Tough Challenges New Bloggers Face Today provide some new insight and feedback about how the blogging landscape has changed over the years.  The challenges that you'll face as a new blogger today will be different from new bloggers two years from now.  If you're a veteran blogger and want to share your tips on how to break past the barriers new bloggers face, we'd love to hear them in the comments!

[Image credit: Shutterstock.com]

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17 Responses

  1. Shern Lyn

    It’s so difficult to become a “fan favourite” fashion blogger these days, considering that there are so many more people out there fighting for the same attention. Thank you for the pointers and tips. I really liked the one about leaving “calling cards” at local shops and getting business cards. I’ve seen veteran bloggers say that fashion blogging is like a full-time job. I never understood that until now.

  2. Stacey

    The section about ‘noise’ and social media is so on target. I’ve found some of the social media venues I’ve spent a lot of time on just don’t help me create connections or gain much web traffic, while others that I’ve spent much less time on actually yield more traffic. Its a steep learning curve for us newbies with all the social media venues available, but I’m learning:) Thanks for all the info for us newbie bloggers!!

  3. Nailah Ali

    Absolutely love this post! So true! I really like the idea of having a bit of a different perspective as far as over saturation goes. Sometimes it’s good to ignore what scares everyone and just do it despite your fears. My biggest set back has been feeling inadequate next to some of these bigger bloggers, but I realize as Shern Lyn said above that bloggin is a full time gig and if you want to be noticed, you just have to put in the time and have lots of patience and most importantly, be yourself. Great read!

  4. Candice

    This is why I try to promote my blog as much as possible but I’m ok with the learning curb. I know it might take a little longer for me to be noticed and that’s ok. I’m more focused on making awesome content so that when people read my blog they want to stay. It’s more about growing as a person and when you do that your audience will follow.

  5. Soraya

    I’ve always wondered how you can get people on Twitter to click on links to your blog articles. It is easy to get people to read your article by putting a link on Facebook, but via Twitter it seems a lot harder.

    • Ashley Robison

      That’s definitely something that I’ve noticed about Twitter over the years… and how it’s changed since I first started using it! When Twitter first came out, rarely anyone shared links on it (and there were no hashtags), so it was quite useful for generating traffic. For me, personally? Every tweet I see is filled with links & hashtags…. so it’s a really different beast!

      I feel like those who have great success driving traffic on Twitter anymore are very lucky and it’s gotten to be quite rare!

    • POW Nails

      That’s interesting because I find the opposite! I get a decent (25%+) amount of my traffic from Twitter, but I’ve struggled with Facebook. I find it hard to get people to like me on Facebook, but building a following on Twitter seemed easier.

  6. Sophisticated Lace

    I think people put a lot of time into social media without really questioning its value. I rarely click on Twitter links, and get very few clicks. Facebook seems to be a little better, but it’s quite hard to get followers there.

    I agree that perhaps going local is the best new way to promote yourself. I’m planning on printing out some business cards and just passing it out to everyone who asks where I bought something I’m wearing, or gives me a compliment on my outfit.


  7. ReciRich

    I communicate pretty much all day on twitter interacting with people who share similar interest, my real friends (who also love fashion), and even famous influencers and I actually click on links. A way to really build your twitter influence is to participate in #StyleChats and actually converse with your readers and not just bombard them with links. Also, when your followers see you tweeting back and forth with brands and other bloggers, you will build a bigger following and gain trust which will bring more traffic to your blog!

    • Onianwah

      This is a really good point.
      I have a really short attention span most of the time and only spend a specified amount of time on any of the social networks. I really think I should focus more on twitter so my followers can grow to a point.

      Lagos, Nigeria

    • Style Context

      I love Twitter as well, and participate in #stylechat. More than any other social media platform, Twitter depends on relationships and credibility – that’s how people filter through the noise. That means going out of your way to be friendly, making friends, and providing valuable content. If you have a good reputation in your niche/network, people will not only click on your links, but retweet and favorite them.

  8. Onianwah

    ‘And Maybe… You’re Enough Just As You Are’
    Maybe I am really. Just relax Barbara and enjoy it more than anything.

    And Maybe… You’re Enough Just As You Are

  9. Crystal

    I’m definitely experiencing these blogging barriers and I’m glad that these are recognized barriers not only unique to myself. I’ve had my blog back for 2 weeks (after a 2 yr hiatus) so I have a ways to go before getting discouraged, but I am concerned that it’s going to be a long road to get my blog stats where I want them. But most importantly I love writing and sharing my interests so as long as I continue to do that and improve as I go then that’s a success in my book.