Hey everyone! This post is both a hello and a goodbye. Until about two weeks ago, I was editor-in-chief of IFB. It was a really fun gig. I worked from home, made my own hours, and was paid well for my efforts. I got to be creative, my bosses were entertaining on Slack and took my ideas seriously. Most importantly, I learned a lot about how to run a successful fashion blog.
Still, my own blog languished. I launched Stylenik in September 2010, and at peak moments, I have attracted around 10,000 pageviews. But my numbers often slump much lower, and then I get really depressed.
But even after six years of more downs than ups, I have never wanted to quit. Something in me really wants to create my own successful business, even though I have proven over and over that I suck at running a business.
I guess that’s partly why a few weeks ago I sat on my couch running IFB’s editorial for the last time (the other part was that I enrolled my daughter in a co-op preschool, wow did I underestimate how that would change my life—for the better overall but negatively time-for-my-work-wise!). I realized that after a year of writing and editing stories about affiliate marketing, SEO, social media, photography and blog design, I was not making any great strides with my own blog.
That’s because writing and editing articles about success do not equal success. You actually have to do things that directly effect your blog—like write posts and promote them, for example. Little things like that.
About a month ago, I made a big effort to publish consistently on Stylenik. I wrote daily posts, and promoted them on all my social networks. My daily traffic tripled! I was thrilled. Then, I got busy with wrapping up IFB, preschool, travel, etc., and my traffic tanked. I badgered my IT manager (aka my husband) about it—did you break something? Surely some technical glitch is preventing my fans from accessing my brilliance.
He said no, actually, he had reduced my page-load time by 75% and if anything I should be seeing higher numbers.
Then I published a post with great photography, promoted it on my social channels and cross promoted it with the brands I was wearing, my photographer, etc. My traffic quadrupled.
Despite having written an article for IFB precisely addressing the ineffectiveness of magical thinking when it comes to blog success, I still have to remind myself that it takes consistent, practical, hard work to make a blog (or anything else) succeed. Wishing doesn’t work. Being cool, pretty, smart or otherwise awesome doesn’t work—not alone. You have to recruit all of your attributes in an organized fashion and make them work for you. And you have to do it every day.
At least that’s what my year as IFB’s editor-in-chief (and my yoga instructor) have taught me, and now I’m finally putting it into practice. I’m halfway through IFB’s Instagram course (next is the SEO course), and I finally created a media kit! I hope you’ll follow along on my journey. I’ll be posting about my progress every other Tuesday.
[Photos by Brad Wittke]