Upping sticks and relocating your blog to another country (or even town) comes with hidden pitfalls. Even though we like to think our global community is an easy place to navigate, there are still piles of cultural, geographical, and demographic differences between us, which vary from country to country or town to town.
When I moved my blog from New York back to London after 5 amazing years living in the big apple (and building a tidy following with my Notes From a Stylist lifestyle blog along the way), I figured the switch would be a piece of cake. So, without a jot of research–coupled with a little gung-ho attitude–I hopped back over the pond only to find tumbleweed to greet my blog and me on the other side.
The reason I wasn’t greeted as a conquering hero returning to the motherland with a successful blog? I hadn’t accounted for the fact that anywhere you live has its own community, nuance, and way of doing things.
Fast forward to today and I’m just about getting my head above the parapet once more. It’s taken 3 long years of trial and error, strategy changes, social media scheduling, pounding the streets to press days, and the inevitable doors swung shut in your virtual face. But I’ve figured out there are actually some actions you could put in place if you are faced with a big move or change of location/country to make it all a little easier.
For those of you who are thinking of moving your blog to another country, consider some of these things that I learned:
1. Do a little social listening.
First up: research who’s in the blogosphere in the area you are moving to and who’s in your particular niche. Who are the big hitters and who are the up and comers? Do a little social listening before you get there via like minded bloggers in your field. Find out who’s having conversations about what, and what kind of content are they providing for their readers, so that you can begin to get an idea on what your new audience might be engaging with.
You could even go as far as setting up some social listening trackers, like your FB insights or Iconosquare, where you can follow competitors. You can even push the boat out and sign up with FanKarma for serious stalking.
2. Adjust your content to cater for a different audience.
Through the process above, check out what audiences are craving in terms of content. For me, an interesting blog post is one which answers a question or fixes a dilemma I’m having. That’s not to say each country or community has the same dilemmas.
Take Fashion Styling for example – I was totally unaware that having a personal stylist on the East coast is more of a clandestine affair than the ‘badge of honour’ approach us Brits have.
I think understanding your audience’s quirks and nuances is half the battle, then if you can mold your content to suit that you’re off to the blogging races.
3. Make connections with PR and retail brands in your new area.
If you’re serious about this blogging lark, you will need to start getting matey with the PR teams.
The PR world is a fast changing place and no sooner have you bonded over your mutual adoration for the aesthetic beauty of an avocado toast Instagram post with lovely Tabitha at XXX PR, before you know it, she’s moved on somewhere else and your email address has mysteriously dropped off the list by new comer Xanthe, who is a no nonsense Skandi hipster with no time for food porn insta shots and keeps her aesthetic minimal and gritty with her new Olympus Pen E-PL8.
Reach out to your current connections and see who you need to be talking to in your new neighbourhood.
4. Adapt your affiliate links to suit your new location.
Once you’ve moved, make sure your affiliate links correspond to your new market. Some retailers don’t ship internationally; others are perfectly comfy with global shopping. With 50% of my audience still being stateside, I make sure I use the global affiliate links to keep all my readers happy.
5. Network network network
Join FB groups and twitter chats based around your new geographical location and dive into conversations. Get out there to events and just be you. Bloggers by nature are innately friendly folk and making that move from behind the screen to face to face real life communication makes the blogosphere a way less lonely space.
On the same subject, reach out to new retailer teams and let them know you’re new in town and could you please go on their press list. Then proceed to name check said new retailers and brands on any social posts which include their products, as well as shouting out some geolocation love if you happen to be posting Insta or Snapchat stories from their store.
I joined Fashion Monitor, who are genius at keeping me up to date with events, but Diary Directory is also on point. I still get ignored and turned down on loads of approaches I make, but once you get your foot in the door, seek out the PR or social media pro from their team and do some good old fashioned networking. You’ll be surprised how much fun talking social media nerdiness is with a glass of Prosecco in your hand.