What is the best way to publicise a blog?
It’s important to tailor social media platforms to your audience. “You need to identify which platform your readers are most likely to be using (eg Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter or Instagram) and target it with updates three times a day,” says Phoebe Montague, founder of Lady Melbourne and one of Australia’s key fashion bloggers.
How can I monetise my blog?
A lifestyle blog will never earn a significant proportion of its revenue through advertising, says Glen Allsopp, founder of ViperChill. “Even if you’re reaching 100,000 readers per day, there are far better ways to monetise your audience.
“I would focus on some kind of digital product, whether that’s an eBook, a video series or anything similar. I would remove the ads and put something more important in that prominent space.”
Brand partnerships and sponsored posts are also a good way to monetise your work.
What is the best blogging platform to use?
The best blogging platform is the one that suits your needs as a blogger, says Montague. “A lot of people favour WordPress or Blogger, but Tumblr might work for you if what you do is photography based.”
Jeanne Oliver, editor of croatiatraveller.com and travel author, says: “For a total newbie, I would go for the platform that’s easiest for you to use. One of the reasons WordPress is so popular is the innumerable themes and plugins that can get you up and running fast.”
How do I grow my audience and readership?
“The best advice I can give is to be consistent with providing new content for your audience,” says Montague. “It’s fiercely competitive, so if you can update your blog a minimum of three times a week that will help.”
Layout is also key. “The first thing in your sidebar shouldn’t be your social pages,” says Allsopp. “People will be coming to your site to improve their lives, not just learn about yours. Always use the top space of your right sidebar to offer some kind of lead magnet. This means some kind of giveaway that entices people to give you their email address.”
Another tactic is to join in relevant conversations online. “Start engaging with your followers by leaving comments on blogs you personally admire,” says Francesca Scambler, talent producer for Gleam Futures. “If you leave comments on others’ sites, you’ll likely receive more yourself.”
Growing a readership isn’t easy, but it can be rewarding. “You’ll spend an awful lot of time updating social platforms and creating new content for the blog,” adds Montague. “Expect to work long hours – the payoff is working for yourself doing something you love.”
Is it better to have one general blog or multiple blogs for each interest?
“If your blog is a personal project or a hobby that you write just for enjoyment then you should write about whatever you like whenever you can,” says Dr Lucy Williams, a historian and blogger. “If you want it to be a career though, you might want to focus on one topic at first and look for readers who are interested in that.”
Dr Tom Crick, a computer science blogger, agrees. “There’s value in having it all in one place if you can identify a common theme or a thread to pull it all together. This will engage a broad readership but, more importantly, it will prevent you having to spread your time over multiple blogs, with the danger of neglecting them.”
Is becoming a blogger or vlogger a realistic career option?
“I’d advise people to start a blog initially as a hobby, as many bloggers don’t earn a full-time living,” says Karen Bryan, founding editor of the Europe a La Carte travel blog and the Help Me to Save personal finance website.
“You should start it as a hobby and see where it goes,” agrees Steve Ward, founder of CloudNine. “You cannot guarantee that blogging will become your career. However, a blog is an excellent endorsement of so many skills that it could get you a job in digital communications, editorial, journalism – if backed up by the appropriate university course.”