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How To - Start a successful blog

Looking back, I know exactly where I went wrong.

This is not the first blog I have started. I've had multiple false starts in the past. All started with the best of intentions, but given up in only a matter of weeks. My focus was all wrong. I was trying to write what I felt I should, rather than what I enjoyed. So, this time, I just decided to write about my life. After much trial and error, I have found my niche and a voice that feels entirely authentic. Today, I will provide my 5 top tips on how to create and maintain a blog that is successful enough to even start earning you money....

1. Find your niche

I know, you may have heard this before, but its so important! The right niche means that your readers will know what to expect from your content and you will always have plenty to write about. This will create a strong brand and allow you to remain consistent. You don't need to get too panicked here, you are no married to your original plan. Your blog will evolve over time in response to your own or your reader's interests. Spend some time thinking about this, then just dive right in. No more excuses.

The 3 categories on my blog include simple and sustainable living, highland nature, and my career as a wildlife conservationist.

2. Get inspired

I fundamentally believe that reading is the best way to improve your own writing skills. It doesn't matter what format or genre, just start consuming. See my previous blog on how to fit more reading in your life here. Other blogs can be a great source of inspiration so bookmark your favourites and check in regularly. If you are looking to hone your blogging skills, there is a wealth of useful videos on YouTube on a whole range of topics. I personally paid for a subscription for 'Skillshare' which has excellent, detailed advice from experienced writers and bloggers. I highly recommend this platform if you are looking to step your blog up a notch.

3. Find your platform

There are a multitude of different blog platforms these days. If you are just starting out, I recommend starting with a free site, so you can build up your portfolio without the pressure. Wordpress is a great option for this. I moved my blog over to Wix this year and I really recommend it. Its super simple to use but gives such a polished result, even with a novice website builder like myself! Of course, you will also want to think about which social media platforms to use to promote your blog. My advice is to pick one that you actually like engaging with, as you are far more likely to keep it up. For me, this is Instagram, but I also use Facebook and Twitter. Don't feel you need to be across every social media site either. Dabble in a couple and see how it goes.

4. Be realistic and consistent

Consistency is key. Along with nailing your niche, this can make or break a blog. The way to achieve this is to set up a realistic writing and posting schedule. Look at your lifestyle and see how much time you can put aside for your blog. Remember, this doesn't just involve writing. It also includes brainstorming for new ideas, taking/editing photos, editing posts and keeping up a regular social media presence. Start slow and don't over-commit! I've been able to increase my content over time with good planning. As anyone who knows me will tell you, I am a bit of a spreadsheet freak and keep all my ideas/plans in my 'Zoho Sheet' app. I also recently started using 'Preview' which allows you to plan and schedule your Instagram posts ahead of time. This has made staying consistent so much easier!

5. Grow with collaborations

Once you have your blog all set up, you may want to increase your readership with collaborations. This means providing or hosting guest blog posts on other brands or bloggers websites. Its a great way of reaching new readers. Reach out to fellow bloggers or brands that fit within your niche. I'm still very much at the beginning of my blogging career, but I have started working with brands to produce content and am even starting to make a wee income from this (check out my recent blog with 'EnvironmentJob' here). If you remain dedicated, you will be surprised where blogging may take you...

Best of luck with all your blogging adventures! Of course, if you would be interested in collaborating with me, then please feel free to drop me an email or DM me on social media. Bye for now readers...


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