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I have been blogging here since August 2017. My little blog, armed with 8 posts, went out into the wide wonderful world. I was focused on blogging about LuLaRoe and direct sales, and saw myself doing that until the end of time. It’s funny how life has different plans, right? Now, I blog about Color Street, blogging, mindset, and entrepreneurship (yes, hang tight, my content plan for 2019 is AMAZING). I started to narrow my focus a bit and have some epiphanies (read about that HERE). As I usually do at the end of every year, I have been doing a lot of thought about lessons learned in 2018, and I figured it was time for a blog post. So, without further ado, here are some of my 2019 blogging lessons I learned in 2018 and will be applying to my work in 2019..
Blogging Lesson Learned: Be Consistent
A little bit every day is better than a LOT on only one day. This may seem like a no-brainer to you, but it’s not something that I mastered. In fact, since I work part-time, my Mondays are my “GSD” days – GET STUFF DONE. Over the weekends, I would sit for two hours until my butt was numb, scheduling Pinterest content for the month. I’d pound out three posts, make graphics, post them to Pinterest, and then I would let everything sit for two weeks, until I simply repeated the process.
I don’t know about you, but that is just no way to run a business – and yes, a blog IS a business – expecting to see results. Here’s the thing: the old adage asks:
Q: How do you eat an elephant?
A: One bite at a time
A business can be seen as an elephant. It’s HUGE. It’s important to remember that small, consistent steps are going to help the most in the long term. I do my best to batch content as much as I can, but the one thing that is different when I am blogging at my best is that I am doing daily blogging tasks, no matter if they are big or small.
I talked about consistency just a bit in my Pinterest post – I went from only 10,000 views on Pinterest a month to 1.2 million views (and counting!) HERE.
Blogging Lesson Learned: SEO is Important
Take time to learn some SEO. SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, is how you get found by Google. That’s a simplistic description, because the entire process can be a bit more complicated than that, but a little bit of SEO can go a long way in helping you get found via Google – and then, by your ideal reader and client, which leads to higher conversions, higher income, and you just win.
Best part is, SEO is not rocket science. It’s relatively easy to take steps to optimize your content to be found on Google. Free plugins for WordPress, such as Yoast, help you to create end-user friendly pages, optimized with keywords.
Blogging Lesson Learned: Invest In Your Own Knowledge
As with pretty much anything, you’ll only get as far as you push yourself in blogging. When you invest in yourself, with both time and resources, you WILL experience a return in that investment. It may be a slow climb, but after educating yourself, you will be surprised at the fountain of knowledge that comes from your mouth when others ask questions.
I’ve been using my commute time to work as personal development time to listen to Podcasts, and have learned so much (you would not believe how much FREE information is out there on the internet, ready for anyone who is willing to do the work to sleuth it out!). Here’s a list of a few of my favorites:
- Recipe for SEO Success with Kate Toon
- Divi Chat
- WP the Podcast
- Goal Digger Podcast by Jenna Kutcher
This was such an important lesson for me that I wrote a whole blog post about it highlighting my favorites!
Blogging Lesson Learned: Make a Content Plan
One of my biggest mistakes in 2018 was that I did not make a good solid content plan for my blog, and that cost me immense growth opportunities. I had reached a bit of a stride with my blog when it focused on LuLaRoe: I consistently had nearly 200 hits a day on my blog; my affiliate income was growing; and I was progressing.
When I changed my blog and deleted content, I didn’t make a solid plan. I knew that I was going to talk about Color Street on my blog – a lot – and that I wanted to make income from it. But I didn’t do the work to make all of that happen. Yes, I have a bunch of Color Street posts, and am dominating Google page 1 (even position 1) for several Color Street-related posts (holla, Paris Couture!), BUT here’s the thing: a few posts does not a content strategy make.
If you ask any full-time blogger about secrets of success, you’re going to find that they don’t do things willy-nilly.
Protip: you don’t need a fancy planner. I do most of my planning in my Erin Condren Life Planner. I have a notebook with my January 100 plan (yes, my goal is to get to 100 posts by the end of January). Over the holidays, I am already creating my email marketing plan all the way through June. You’ll find that many of the most successful bloggers have a content strategy and a plan on how they will get there, and it stretches out far into the future.
It ca be tricky to shift your vision and plan to be more than simply write and publish, but a few tweaks in how you do things will pay off in the long run and help you be far more consistent than ever.
Blogging Lesson Learned: Don’t Be Afraid of Change
When I left LuLaRoe, I deleted 20+ posts from my blog. I had finally reached 40 posts, and was starting to achieve a bit of a stride here in my corner of the internet. Consistent hits, affiliate sales, etc. I was going strong….and then suddenly, half the content on my blog was no longer relevant…and then, gone. People would search the internet for their favorite LuLaRoe styles, and be funneled to my Color Street facebook VIP group. Not the best sales funnel, right? No one searching for leggings wants to be directed towards nail polish – and if they do, well then, COME ON OVER. I want to help you!
Joking aside, I deleted nearly 25 posts from my blog, as they no longer fit the purpose and need of my blog. I went through a rebrand, and set up a new look and feel. Dying a little on the inside, I watched as my hits per day plummeted, with a mere 20 or so hits per day during the summer, after I ripped the proverbial band-aid and deleted irrelevant content. It hurt. Badly.
But here’s the thing: removing the old content allowed me to be able to rebrand and make the changes that I needed to make in order to be able to move forward. I was no longer funneling people with old content to a new group with an entirely different focus. And best of all, this allowed me to make the shift that was necessary for me to move on.
So if you’re a blogger, tell me – what did you learn in 2018? What were your big takeaways, and how will they impact you in 2019?