Take a walk through Maboneng on a weekend, and ask every person you meet what they do for a living (although living isn’t really the operative word). I would bet my new long-board that every second person’s response will be “oh, I’m a blogger”. I always end up saying “that’s cool man..” but the real follow up question in my head is always “but does blogging really pay the bills?”.
The Internet is a blessing and a curse, because while it provides infinite opportunity, it also means that people can remain in a state of denial regarding their supposed talents for years before they realise that they should never have quit their day jobs. Let it be known, perseverance should be exercised by the skilled and not merely the impassioned.
If you’re a company though, blogging could be your chance to gain an edge over your competitors, because instead of consumers hearing things about you through the grapevine, they’ll be able to hear your take on the industry, your company and the best of what you do straight from the horses mouth.
But let me curb my negativity (a little), because a good personal blog can be the stepping stone to better things, and by things, I mean money. In order to reach these better ‘things’ though, you must remember that to set up a stellar blog that will shine through like a diamond hidden in horse shit, you’ll need to have the following things locked and loaded.
1. Damn Good Content
Believe me when I say that crap content leaves a lasting impression, and if you maintain a low standard of content (this includes being a truly lazy writer), you will attract nothing but bad vibes. Bad Content reflects badly on you, so make your effort evident, and your new visitors will become returning visitors.
2. Consistent Posting
Nobody likes an impulsive blogger, especially because we treat blogs like credible publications these days, which means you can’t post as inspiration strikes, you need to post so that you can have a sustained viewership. I have abandoned countless blogs because of erratic posting, 5 posts in one week, and then no posts for the next half a year. I don’t want to visit a blog that makes me feel like an under-appreciated reader. Make the effort to think about how many posts you’ll want per month, and then follow through on that promise.
Remember that Instinctive posting can still be strategic.
3. Interact With Your Readers
Elitism has no place in the online sphere. Sure, we like drooling over the stuff we can’t afford, and there’s nothing like a good dose of Eddie Redmayne to remind you that he’s an actor and you’re not but we connect with what feels real and honest, you acting like your blog is Vogue and you get to play Anna Wintour isn’t going to win you any fans.
Bloggers need to swallow their pride and understand that the road to success is not a cut-throat one, instead, it’s a road fueled by interaction, association and networking. Build a community of followers who feel appreciated and they will do the marketing for you.
4. Get Ready For A Long Haul
There are 70 Million WordPress blogs worldwide and 39 Million Tumblr blogs, so when you start blogging, you really are a drop in an ocean of content. You will not make any money off of your blog for a long time, you will have to write good pieces for years maybe before you build a worthwhile audience, and you will be known as just another blogger before you’re considered an industry treasure.
5. Don’t Compromise On The Content You’re Passionate About
Far too many bloggers start as literary artists, writing with a fervor and eagerness that reflects so well in their posts, but end up compromising their content for page views.
Above all though, remember that at the heart of every good blog is the sense that its content, tone and timing revolves around it’s readers. Because we’re special.