Let's be real–we may be bloggers, but we're also humans. We face daily struggles just like anyone else in any other job would.
ConvertKit just released their annual blogging report, “The State of the Blogging Industry 2017,” where they interviewed over 800 bloggers from all around the world to get some insights into the current landscape of our world. It's actually a really informative and interesting report to check out.
Since we always want to be at the forefront of blogging trends in the industry, we took some time to look over the report to see what we could take away and learn from it. The report had all kinds of valuable information from ways to monetize to how frequently other bloggers are posting. But the biggest thing that stood out to us, was the part where they touched on the struggles that bloggers face.
In the spirit of improving our blogs in the new year, we're going over each of these struggles for you and walking through some ways that we can face them together.
1. Growing my audience
Growing traffic is always a top struggle amongst bloggers. In order to grow your audience, you need 2 big things: You need to be specific with who your audience is and you need to write content that is solving a problem or being helpful to your audience.
There are so many blogs out there that you have to stand out from the crowd. Great bloggers do this by knowing exactly who they are writing for and how they are helping them. Unfortunately, there are too many blogs out there now to just be posting about your outfits or simple photos about something. Really dig deep and think about how you can help your audience.
Once you've done this, you need to promote the heck out of your blog. You should be spending somewhere around 70-80% of your time just promoting content. So ask yourself this right now… Are you *really* doing everything possible to promote your blog to the right kind of audience? Are you utilizing all social platforms available to you? We've found that expanding our reach with platforms like Pinterest has actually helped give a major boost to growing our audience (thanks to Melyssa Griffin's Pinfinite Growth Course, which showed us the Pinterest ropes) that we weren't seeing before.
Spend a little more time catering your content to being helpful and solving problems for your audience, and then promote it consistently!
2. Finding/dedicating the time
This is a major issue amongst beginner bloggers and advanced bloggers alike. The easiest solution? Make a weekly calendar! By making a weekly (or monthly) calendar, you can totally map out when you want to sit down and work on your blog. Life often gets in the way, so it's important to plan ahead and schedule things as much as you can.
That being said, you need to be realistic with yourself or else you will probably get let down with goals not being met. Think logically and put aside the time that you can actually invest. If you only have 1 hour per week, that's totally fine! But when that hour comes around on Wednesday night, you better sit down at that desk and grind out the work. Doing this will help you set more realistic and achievable goals for yourself.
3. Growing my income
Ahhh yes… The frequent question of how to monetize your blog. Since its 2017, chances are you probably didn't just start your blog to be an online journal for yourself. You probably saw that there's an opportunity to turn this cool, creative hobby into a full-time business that you can financially support yourself with. There are so many ways for bloggers to make money these days, including sponsored posts (both blog and social), social media campaigns, brand ambassadorships, digital products, affiliate marketing, consulting, and so much more.
The things that we've seen success with in the past when it comes to growing your blogger income is by having multiple revenue streams. You never want to have all of your eggs in one basket, and blogging is no exception to that rule. If you haven't tried affiliate marketing this year, give it a go! If you've been wanting to take a stab at creating an online course, get to it now! Whatever you do, just make sure you're doing something. And a lot of tasteful promotion never hurts either!
4. Converting email subscribers into customers
So you've got the email subscribers…now what? If you are savvy enough to have already started your email list, your next step is likely going to be converting those subscribers into customers. What “customers” means to you may be different than what it means to another blogger; but the most important thing is to remember to always provide value to your readers. If you're consistently providing value to your readers, they will trust what you have to say. If your readers have a developed trust in you and what you have to say, you can utilize this good rapport with them whenever you're ready to promote a product, service, or offering that you may want to share.
The key here is to making sure that your audience has built up enough trust with you (through consistent blog posts, advice, freebies, etc.) so that whenever you do have something that costs money, they will think, “Wow–if they are giving me all this value for free, I wonder what the paid stuff is like…” It's a win-win for you and them!
5. Publishing consistently
This is very similar to struggle #2 up there; but if you're having trouble publishing your content consistently, make a content/editorial calendar! Seriously, it helps more than you would think. If you have a calendar where you can easily map out the month, you will save yourself a lot of time and headache when it comes to publishing consistently.
Come up with a list of blog topics that you want to write about, and then sit down with your calendar and map out when you will be able to publish them. Again, the key here is to being realistic with yourself when it comes to how often you can really post. If you can only commit to once per week, or even once per month, then do it–but make sure you do it consistently!