What’s Your Ultimate Blogging Goal?
Blogging comes in many shapes and sizes; some do it for fun while others treat it like a business. They dedicate real hours, real resources and real manpower to it on a daily basis, and thus see their income increase every year.
Are you blogging simply out of passion? Are you hoping to gain some kind of fame and identity? Are you in it for money and the potential for a luxurious lifestyle?
All these options are fine, so there’s no right or wrong answer here. Needless to say, you must define your goals before turning into a serious, respected blogger. Let’s look into 9 crucial ways you can get serious about blogging and gradually reach a new level.
1. Less Fun. More Work.
Sometimes I think that I’ve been working hard… and then I read a post by an avid blogger telling the world he had just worked a ten-hour shift. Suddenly my small, five-hour work day feels like a walk in the park by comparison.
I’m not saying you must live like a slave to stay successful, but let’s face it: You do have to work extra hard to see your blog reach a certain point and status.
So, what can you do to get serious about blogging? Watch three hours of TV instead of your usual five; cut back on video games by 30-45 minutes; wake up a half hour earlier; you don’t need to “Like” every social media update made by friends and family.
You get my point: We often think that we’re already giving it our all, but this is a complete lie when you really stop to think about it.
Once you finally achieve a milestone or two, then you can begin outsourcing or automating certain things in exchange for more time.
2. Save Some Money
There was a time when I struggled to afford even the most basic blogging tools and services, not wanting to admit I was blowing too much money on unnecessary expenses.
Hell, I ran on an incredibly slow server and settled for some horrendous WordPress theme just to avoid purchasing premium/better alternatives.
Then I did some of the following: Ordered Chinese takeout less frequently, replaced my expensive gym membership with a much cheaper option, I got rid of a useless cable package, among other minor things.
And guess what? Suddenly I could afford that expensive, but amazing blog theme and then acquired a dedicated server soon after.
Cut back on all expenses you think you need and get more realistic. This advice is subjective in nature, of course, since only you know what’s truly necessary in your life. Nevertheless, consider this a reminder to reassess your options.
3. Start Investing
Let’s talk about money a bit more. As Carol Tice pointed out, one of the things successful bloggers have in common is their willingness to invest.
Use every penny and experiment with those premium resources you had always been curious, but reluctant to try. Learn the best ways to use Facebook ads, as well as Google AdWords and even look into advertising space on fellow niche blogs.
Sure, most of these sources will probably result in a loss at first, but this is part of the game; these setbacks will help you refine the campaign by analyzing what’s working and what isn’t. Your second month of investment might get a little better, and the third month might just hit the spot.
4. Get Organized
Want to get serious about blogging? Then here’s a big one: There’s a thousand and one ways to get organized, as this largely depends on each individual’s daily needs, wants, and overall responsibilities. For example:
Find your best working hours (some love working late at night while their kids sleep; others feel more energetic in the morning).
Develop a daily plan. I personally use Todoist and it’s been a life saver. Some things are done only on weekdays and others on weekends, for example.
Make everything accessible. Do you need to access your Documents folder often? Create a desktop shortcut. Same goes for creating email folders and tweaking other resources, online and offline.
5. Avoid Unnecessary Work
Performing too much – or doing things that are mostly pointless – may lead you to abandon the blog in record speed.
Consider automating certain blogging aspects such as social sharing and publishing. Services like Hootsuite allow you to schedule updates to multiple social networks throughout the day, as well as a multitude of WordPress plugins like JetPack.
6. Connect with Influencers
It’s entirely possible to become successful blogging solo, but making friends with powerful people will truly get you places.
Don’t just comment on fellow blogs. Think of ways to help others out, regularly share their content, and gradually develop a great virtual friendship.
This alone can’t be explained in a single section (that’s how important it is) so I suggest you read this definitive guide.
Other important suggestions:
7. Dump free hosting services: A CMS like WordPress.org gives you virtually endless ways to grow your website. Google’s BlogSpot service does not.
8. Quality over quantity: Forget about posting everyday or even three times a week if it means posting generic content. Spend hours on your next blog post, as opposed to 30 minutes on a 400-word article. You should aim to write a perfect blog post every single time, no exceptions.
9. Keep learning: I used to ignore many crucial things about blogging (such as implementing an optin box) simply because I lacked the knowledge. This could potentially cost you followers and conversions over time.
On to You
Perhaps the best question to ask is this: Where is your blog now compared to one year ago? If it’s still in the same position, this is a clear sign that you should get serious about blogging.