Looking to take your blog to the next level? It takes a lot of time, dedication and hard work, there’s no denying that. However, any blogger who has been at it for a while will tell you there are certain things you need to do to if you want others to take you seriously.
It’s now been over 2 years since I’ve started this blog. Feels weird to say that out loud, over 2 years. I honestly had no idea what I was doing at the beginning, like most other bloggers. I saw all these beautiful blogs getting a lot of attention but I couldn’t figure out how to get my blog to that level.
Let’s be honest though, it’s not where I want it to be. It’s a good start though and it took a shit ton of work. Of all the research I did and all the different blogs I read for advice there were 6 main things that stood out to me. These 6 things were what helped me to really take my blog to the next level and helped me to secure partnerships with other brands.
Read on to find out what you need to start doing.
| Figure out your motto |
I would argue that figuring out your motto is the most important part of taking your blog to the next level. There are hundreds and thousands if not millions of different blogs out there. It’s hard to stand out.
Before I started The Restless Worker I really wanted to figure out why I was different. Why would people care about coming back to my blog? How would I truly stand out in a sea of travel blogs?
Even if you want to be a Lifestyle blogger, which is in itself incredibly vague and broad, you still need to find a niche. It’s not easy, and honestly, of all the things you’re going to do to take your blog to the next level, this will be the hardest but the most important piece.
Plus, once you have your motto it’ll be way easier to figure out your name, URL and social media handles.
| Move to a self-hosted blog |
Any good blogger will tell you that you need to start self-hosting. ‘Self-hosting’ is really a fancy term for getting rid of that .wordpress.com or .blogger.com at the end of your URL.
No marketer or organization will take you seriously if your URL looks like this: www.therestlessworker.wordpress.com. Please. Not only is that annoying to type, it shows marketers that you’re not invested enough if your own success to pay for the domain name or to get your own platform.
First things first, after you’ve chosen a name for your blog, you need to make sure it’s available. My biggest suggestion is to use a platform like Bluehost.com, it’s the easiest platform to use and you’ll be able to get everything in one place.
Do your research of course, but I’ve been using Bluehost ever since I’ve become self-hosted and I couldn’t be happier. When you sign up you can choose from different packages. I would strongly suggest at the beginning to sign up for the most basic. You won’t need anything too extravagant when you are getting started and you can always upgrade later.
After you’ve signed up you’ll be able to find and register a domain name (as long as it’s not taken of course). The best thing about signing up with Bluehost is that you get a FREE Domain name. Don’t make the same mistake I did and pay for that domain name and then pay the monthly fees with BlueHost. Just go straight to the source, you’ll thank yourself for it later.
| Create original and good content |
Okay, honestly this is an obvious one but probably one of the biggest things missed by bloggers. They think that just by posting pretty pictures and a bunch of links, the blog will be successful.
Being a good writer on a blog means that you need to consider things like SEO, keywords, optimal post length, alt tags and meta descriptions. Did all of that make your head spin? Don’t worry you learn it in time. Your blog is never going to get anywhere if you don’t optimize it for the web, plain and simple.
Each post is going to get better. Each day you’re going to learn something new if you apply yourself. Make sure to sign up for blogs about blogs or content marketing blogs to keep up with the changes.
| Sign up for social |
As a blogger, you MUST be aware by now how important social media is. Making sure you’re on relevant platforms is incredibly important. I kick myself for it now but at the beginning, I didn’t see the benefit of Facebook for my blog. Dumb. First, it establishes another audience for you and second, brands rely on the extra exposure when working with you.
Being on social helps to establish your audience and give you more exposure than you can get by just relying on SEO or good content. It’s time-consuming and can sometimes feel like you’re spinning your wheels with no success but every little bit helps when it comes to taking your blog to the next level.
Spend a couple of hours a week or a few minutes every day on your social accounts. Make sure to interact with your readers and audiences as well, this will get you better engagement and eventually a bigger following.
| Network and make connections |
Just because your blog exists online doesn’t mean you need to ignore offline efforts to grow your audience and exposure. There are tons of groups that exist for bloggers and media folk that will help you get your name and brand out there.
One of my favourites is the Travel Massive group. The group is worldwide and looks to connect bloggers with each other and industry members. Through TravelMassive events, I’ve managed to make quite a few blogger connections.
Connecting with other like-minded individuals is also a good way to learn new things. Searching the internet can only be so productive.
| Work with other brands |
At the end of the day, the money or sponsorships aren’t always going to come to you. You have to work for it. You’re not going to hit gold every time you reach out to a brand. With so many other blogs existing on the internet these days, companies get pitched all the time.
What I’m trying to say is for every 12 companies you reach out to you’ll probably get one answer back. You have to be prepared to face a lot of rejection and to work hard to secure the partnerships. It will happen though if you start putting in the hard work now.
Don’t forget to ask for a quote or recommendation from the brands that you do end up working with. It’s like the popularity game, once one brand knows you’ve worked with companies before, you’ll start to get more answers and collaborations.
So are you ready to take your blog to the next level now?
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