My biggest advice for bloggers
Prior to launching Spruce Rd. full time earlier this year, I blogged primarily as a creative outlet for my own fun. I had little structure to the blog + no strategy… and it showed. I had a few loyal followers (thank you!!), but really was baffled how to get more engagement on my blog.
After I quit my job, and pursued my own studio, I knew I had to get it together! And that meant growing the blog, with hopes of creating helpful content that would attract ideal clients – and let’s be honest, some friends along the way! One realization helped me transform my blog, into something that better fits with the vision behind my brand.
Think of yourself as the reader
The age old phrase “put yourself in their shoes” transitions itself well to blog content! This might seem like an obvious statement, but I am betting at least some of you are like me, and did not give this much thought. Would my readers like to read about my recent trip to New Orleans? The outfit I wore today? My plans for the weekend? Maybe they would! Every blog has a unique audience, and you have the power to determine who that audience is.
For myself as a blog reader, I typically skip past the posts that recap their recent vacation, or more lifestyle posts, and instead opt for the blog posts with more substance. I recognize that time is precious, and it is a privilege to end up in your blog feed. I don’t want to waste your time. I would rather you walk away with a new tool in design, a way to further clarify your brand vision, or a business thought to ponder!
Personal vs. Business
Just because you have a super curated niche blog, does not mean that you have to leave your personal life at the door! It really is all about balance. For my blog, I have opted to minimize personal posts, because my brand is focused more on helping YOU, and not about what I ate for dinner tonight (pasta… thanks for asking).
I think incorporating your personal life into your blog will come naturally. If you are like me, you find yourself contemplating your business/blog constantly. Not in a workaholic way, but in a “I’m passionate about what I am doing” way. It naturally seeps into your daily life. For instance, recently I was in New Orleans on vacation with my husband, and was so inspired by that city! I couldn’t help but snap photos the entire trip of the beautiful color palettes adorned to each unique house. I ended up including some of my vacation photos on my blog, as it helped support my blog post that day about color palettes!
This personal experience translated itself well into my blog post, while supporting the post topic and not substituting it for a “fluff” post. Of course, I also think social media is a great way to give your readers/followers a more personal look into your blog.
Here are a few steps to take for your blog, to help transition yourself to think like your readers:
- Define your ideal audience
- Think about what they would like to read about, then create blog post categories that appeal to them (check out this post for guidance)
- Test it out! Write a few weeks worth of posts, and schedule them. See if you receive more engagement from your audience.
*You might lose some of your existing audience after you redefine your blog to better suit your ideal audience. That is okay! Don’t be afraid to lose some of your current following, in order to gain more of the right following.
Hope this helps you clarify the vision behind your blog! It definitely was a game changer for me, once I understood that I don’t need to appeal to everyone, and instead put myself in the reader’s shoes!
Guys – it is already time for the next Lunch + Learn FREE webinar! I am SO excited for this next topic. I am sharing how I create my blog post images, utilizing a method that has not only saved me loads of time, but also ensures my blog branding is consistent. I will be walking you through the process of using Illustrator templates for your blog.
The Lunch + Learn is exclusively for my newsletter subscribers. So hop on over and sign-up for the newsletter (or sign-up below) to receive the Lunch + Learn invitation, recap, and future webinar info! You will also receive a FREE brand vision workbook, and of course some fun Illustrator tutorials, branding + blogging discussions. Look forward to seeing you there!
This is great! I love it that you take the effort to give other people advice!
35 kick-ass blog posts to help you improve your blog + your biz - Polina Kocheva
[…] My biggest advice for bloggers […]
When you say, “For myself as a blog reader, I typically skip past the posts that recap their recent vacation, or more lifestyle posts, and instead opt for the blog posts with more substance. ” Do you think lifestyle posts/vacation posts with good photography are bad substance for a blog? If they are not text content heavy? (Just picking your brain 😉 )
Hi Liz! It completely depends on your audience, and you get to choose who that is! I mentioned that I wanted my audience to come away learning something new, or a peek into my process, so that doesn’t include vacation posts. Sometimes I will tie in personal thoughts into a post, if it relates. Ohhhh just peeked at your site, and I adore your photography! For your blog, it totally makes sense to publish lifestyle posts, since that is what your blog is about. Mine is more about business and branding advice, so it seems out of place to dedicate an entire post to a vacation. Hope that helps!
great tips and advise, it’s so hard to fine a balance of promoting your blog and build and audience with out coming off as being robotic.
Looking forward to the next Lunch + Learn series!
Yay! Looking forward to seeing you there 🙂
Thank you for this post an all of your transparency! This has been something I’ve been struggling with for a while. After doing tons of research and taking a few classes I have definitely learned that creating content for your audience is the way to go. I’d been blogging for months about this and that trip I took and was oddly starting to grow a tiny travel blog audience, which was not at all my intention!
My biggest difficulty now is that I’m always second guessing myself by thinking, “will they actually like or use this post?” I’m trying to write and create posts that I would personally read.
So glad this was helpful! It is pretty simple advice, but really has a lot of power to shift the focus of your blog! The tough part is understanding who your audience is and narrowing it down!