I am in no way claiming to be an expert or saying that I know everything I should know about this industry, but after a few years, I think I've learned some things that are worth passing along.
Quality over quantity...always! As much as I love hitting the "save & publish" button, I learned early on that it's more important to publish content that is thought out and well written over something I quickly wrote just to have another entry on my blog. Readers are spending a portion of their time on your site and deserve to read something valuable. I try to keep my articles well rounded, a recipe, followed by something to do with family or Decor, then a DIY, etc.
Less is More. I like to ramble. It took me a good year before I was able to compile a well thought our paragraph that had intent and purpose. When I first started writing I used a lot of fluffing. When I'm writing a personal story, I keep the fuff, but if I'm writing a DIY article or a recipe, I stick to what I want the reader to remember.
Keep your design clean, relevant, and easy to navigate. Having large umbrellas with smaller categories will help to keep the homepage visually appealing. I have six main categories
Life, Decor, Food, Fashion, About, Shop (shop is linked to my homemade shop, items I make and sell) For Example; in Decor I have two categories 1, My home 2. Shop my home Keeping things organized makes it easier for the reader to navigate your site or to look something up quickly.
Be original, and authentic. Getting caught up in the latest trend on social media can happen before you even realize it. Create something that you want your brand to be known for. For a while, I did #Favouritefindfriday on my blog, and it was popular with my readers. I stopped doing it because I wasn't able to shop every week and I found myself wasting money on junk I didn't need just to have a favourite find. Find a catchy tag you like and make sure you post it every week, you'll notice that your traffic on these days will be consistent.
Keep your mind and your eyes on your own goals!!! I really can't stress this enough, and everyone falls victim to this at one time or another. Some blogs have a lot of partnerships, and it seems like they are sailing along, genuinely making this as profitable as a full-time job. That is amazing and ultimately the goal I think we all want to achieve in this industry. BUT you have no idea the work they've put in, the sacrifices they've made, the 100's of no's they've heard for every yes. I decided right from day one that it was more important to me to have readers who enjoy my content and trust my opinion over posting what would make me the higher commission. I have affiliate accounts, but I'm not always pushing and promoting them. I don't create a post just to sell something! That's not everyone's style, but it's mine. My growth has been slow, but it's been steady. This blog went from having 3,000 total readers in 2015 when I first started to having over 3,000 in just one month.
Stay consistent, don't give up! I can't tell you how many times I've wanted to throw in the towel and just forget this overrated idea of being a blogger. I'm nowhere near where I want to be, but I am getting there and learning new things every day. Creating and maintaining this site has been a massive challenge for me I never thought I would figure out all the confusing terms like "code injection." but I think I'm doing pretty well!
I highly recommend installing the Grammarly program on your computer. I'm terrible at spelling and grammar; when I first started blogging, I felt very insecure.
If you are using your phone to take photos, the following APPS are what I use: PicTapGo / Whitagram / Canva / Colorsory / and for the brief period in which I added frames to my Instagram photos I used InstaSize.
When I'm doing a full shoot I use my Canon EOS Rebel T6 it's WIFI compatible and makes adding photos extremely easy. I use Lightroom or Photoshop to edit ( and still have an enormous amount to learn... any suggestions?)
Amazon Affiliates was my first association; they are easy to use, they pay well, and on time!
Google Adsense is another easy account to affiliate with, but it takes some necessary training to use it effectively. YouTube is a great resource.
I hope I was able to help you out in a small way! If you have something to add or share I would love to hear it!