This is the episode for you if you’re thinking of starting a blog, transitioning into being a full-time blogger, or want to use blogging as a marketing tool for your business.
I’m excited to share these tidbits with you from this episode. I’ve had a long journey with blogging, and even after all these years, it’s still a top source to get traffic, leads, and money for your business.
So, in today’s episode, I wanted to share some of the things I learned during my years as a full-time blogger. These 6 are the most important things I wish I’d known about blogging from day one.
Here’s a helpful blog to read when you’re done:
Also, check out this previous episode for some active and passive ways to monetize your blog:
0 (0s): Blogging is to writing what extreme sports are to athletics. More free form, more accident prone, less formal, more alive. It is in many ways, writing out loud. That quote from Andrew Sullivan is something that I wish I had known a long time ago when I first started off in the blogging world. But I’m so happy to be able to share this information with you now. And that’s some of the things that I’m going to discuss in today’s episode.
0 (31s): When I share with you six things that I learned from spending time as a full time blogger. As he said that in a lot of ways, blogging is writing out loud. Because you get a chance to absolutely be yourself without the formalities and without the same structure. But there’s still a formula to it. And I’ll discuss more about this formula and the things that I learned while spending full time in the blogging world before becoming a content marketer and before starting my creative marketing company.
0 (1m 9s): So keep on listening to learn more about blogging and to incorporate some of these lessons into your journey to using blogging as a tool to build relationships with your audience. Welcome back for another episode of Dreamer’s Den Podcast. If you’re here with us for the first time, thank you so much for tuning in with us today.
0 (1m 40s): I’m Danielle Towner of the Dream Work Creatives, and I help entrepreneurs build their brand awareness and online presence using content marketing, website design, and digital products. And today we are discussing blogging as we dig into our content marketing series. So before I get into more detail about blogging, previously I talked about how to monetize your blog with the different options or monetizing your website or online business.
0 (2m 15s): But I want to get deeper into the body or the ins and outs of blogging. But before we do that, I want to share with you some of the things I learned in my early days as a blogger. What did I took away from that and what I can share with you to learn from that. If you’re wanting to become a blogger, if you’re in the space of just now becoming a blogger, or you’re an established blogger, you can still learn from that. And you may be able to relate from some of the experience that I had. Or even if you have a business or a website, and you want to incorporate blogging into your website to pull in some of your potential customers.
0 (2m 55s): and start teaching them, positioning yourself as an industry leader, or using that as a tool to engage and build that relationship. So these are some of the things that will help you with getting established with that and positioning yourself in the right place. And hopefully you can learn from this sooner than I did so that you can start off or continue in the right position with blogging.
0 (3m 25s): Let’s talk about that. Blogging was and still is fun for me. I enjoy it, but I just enjoy writing. If you’ve heard anything about any of my stories – if you’ve read my about page or seen any of my social media posts Or even a few of the episodes here, like the beginning episode where I introduced myself and then a few weeks back the episode where I talked to you about getting to know me, you may know some of this already.
0 (3m 55s): But a part of my story is when I left corporate America, after working for three different financial institutions, there was one that I worked for in college. And then there was one that I worked for after that part time, during my final college years. And then afterwards, I work full time for their financial institution briefly after graduating from college. And then the last one was after completing my MBA program, I delved into like getting a taste of entrepreneurship by working as a financial professional.
0 (4m 37s): I had meanings in house, but also I went to different people’s homes. And I offered them financial products such as a life insurance or investments and things like that. So that was my final position in the finance world. And when I left there, I started initially a fitness and nutrition blog. It was called Good and Fit. I talked about my journey and some of the things I knew just from being someone who started working out or getting introduced to fitness as a child.
0 (5m 18s): Because my mom was really into staying in shape and staying fit. So I observed her. I went and set at gyms with her when she worked out, I went walking with her and things like that. So just from having that regimen of taking care of myself and my body, I thought it would be a good ideas to start a fitness and nutrition blog. But that was a hobby. It’s still something that I – I enjoy a clean food and the natural products for my hair and skin. And it still is something that I do, but I don’t think that it was something that I wanted to make it a business of.
0 (5m 58s): So I moved on to, at the same time in conjunction with the fitness blog, I started a travel blog. I started posting more there on the travel blog and it was reviews, different attractions, different hotels and lodgings. Things that had to do with the travel industry, products. It was also a blogging piece to that. I moved on to that. And also, it was different restaurant and food reviews.
0 (6m 28s): And I was like, “well, sometimes this can be so contradictory to what’s going on on the fitness and nutrition blog”. Because although I eat well, everybody who knows me knows that I have a sweet tooth sometimes. So I stopped the fitness and nutrition blog and focused solely on the travel blog. But from there, like I said in a previous episode, I grew tired of having to document my every move. And sometimes, I just want to travel and enjoy my travel and take pictures because I wanted to take pictures.
0 (7m 0s): Not take pictures because I needed to post them on Instagram or on my website. From there, I learned a lot. I learned a lot about web design. I learned a lot about social media marketing and content marketing. And I took everything that I learned, and that is what I took into it to becoming a professional blogger. And so I blogged for other marketing companies, other content firms and it worked out well for me.
0 (7m 34s): I was able to find success in doing that. So I wrote on a wide range of topics that I had background experience with. A lot of those had to do with finance, fitness and nutrition, and also with travel. That was what most of those had to do with. And occasionally, some other things I had experienced with from college, work, or things like that. But those three were the core of what I mainly wrote on. I started eventually accepting on my own freelance writing gig with local businesses or with other businesses who are reached out to me.
0 (8m 16s): Or when I started designing some websites, I would offer blogging services to those clients also. Content marketing became a part of my business when I started offering my website design services. Now I teach others blogging strategies and how to make money from their content. Throughout that journey or throughout that process of going from corporate to starting a couple of blogs for myself to offering freelance writing services to others.
0 (8m 52s): And now teaching others that, here are some of the things that I learned from that. Number one is, what you write about needs to be something that you enjoy. Of course, enjoyment is not the only thing that you need. It needs to be something that you’re knowledgeable about or have skills with. Because people come looking for information. They come looking for you to solve a problem for them. They come looking for how to do something.
0 (9m 21s): And occasionally they come looking for enjoyment or entertainment just to take the edge off on something they have going on. Or sometimes it’s a combination of that. So you need to be skilled at it. But when I say it needs to be something you enjoy is because your going to be doing this for a long time, or hopefully you will if you’re finding success with it. You’ll be doing it for a long time. You’ll be spending many of your days on this blog. And so it needs to be something that you enjoy and that you will be enthusiastic about kicking out content for.
0 (9m 57s): You shouldn’t be in a position to where you’re running out of content or where you feel like you’re going to run out a content. If you are knowledgeable about it and you enjoy it, then you won’t have that problem. You’ll be enthusiastic about the next topic, and the next topic. If you’re trying to narrow down what to write about, or you’re working on your blog, or even if you’re in it and you need to pivot, you need to think about what is it that you enjoy. Or what is it within the subject matter that your writing about that you enjoy?
2 (10m 32s): Alright, I want to share a little secret with you guys. When I was first getting started with Dreamer’s Den Podcast I had to research to answer a lot of questions. Like how do I record an episode? How do I get my show into all the apps that people liked to listen to? And of course, how do I make money from my podcast? The answer to every one of these questions is simple. Anchor. Anchor is a one stop shop for recording, hosting, and distributing your podcast.
2 (11m 3s): And the best thing of all is that it’s 100% free and ridiculously easy to use. And now Anchor can match you with great sponsors who want to advertise on your podcast. That means that you can get paid to podcasts right away. And one thing that I also liked about it is that it kind of reduced the workflow so that you didn’t have to do a lot of the leg work. And I can focus on getting guests and started interviewing and recording immediately. So if you’ve always wanted to start a podcast and make money doing it, go to anchor.fm/start to join me and a diverse community of podcaster already using Anchor.
2 (11m 45s): That’s anchor.fm/start. And I can’t wait to hear your podcast. Alright,
0 (11m 54s): a little side note. If you follow me on Instagram or Facebook, you probably saw a story from me recently where I shared a photo of me completing my application and for my absentee ballot. I’m staying home is as much as possible and keeping me and mine safe. But I do understand that my vote and my voice matters, especially at critical times like these. Now, if you share some of the same concerns that do, just know that voting isn’t just going to the polls on election day anymore.
0 (12m 27s): Options like early voting, mail-in voting, and ballot drop boxes are available to more voters and are growing in popularity. How to Vote, a tool created by Democracy Works, breaks it down the options your state offers for casting a ballot, empowering you to decide when and where to vote. With the How to Vote voter tool, you can sign up for election reminders, see what’s on your ballot, get step by step assistance requesting your mail ballot, explore your options for returning your voted mail ballot, check your voter registration status, find your polling site and make sure you have the appropriate ID.
0 (13m 9s): Decide when and where you’ll vote this year at howto.vote. Number two, your blog topics need to be something that you know or that you have experience with. And that’s basically what I talked about. It needs to be something that you are knowledgeable of, whether it is from a previous job that you had, from experience with college. From something that you’ve taken an interest in as what they would call an enthusiastic, that you are interested in it.
0 (13m 42s): You might not do it or you may not have a degree in. You may not have professional experiences in it, but you’ve taken such an interest in it that you’ve learned about it and you know all about it. So it needs to be something that you know or that you have some type of experience with no mater what that experience is.
0 (14m 12s): Number three, it’s best to choose a niche or narrow your writing topics to a few related ones. Because it helps you better target your dream client or your dream audience, depending on what you’re using the blog for. If you’re a service or product industry and you’re using the blog. It will help you to target your dream clients or customers. If you’re a blogger and you’re monetizing your blog with ads, affiliate links, or any of these things, then it helps you narrow down your target audience. When I had the travel blog, I talked about travel and I talked about food.
0 (14m 44s): Those things are related because people love to travel and people like to eat when they travel. Most of the time, they go hand in. Narrow down your niche to a couple of related topics. Unless like lifestyle bloggers, they kind of just talk about their lives. They talk about their experiences, their food, their travel. They talk about their clothing, their children, different things like that. And they’re able to get away with a wider range of topics because they’re basically just discussing everything that goes on within their life.
0 (15m 24s): But if you’re not going to be a lifestyle blogger, then I suggest you choose a few topics and narrow them down. So that your audience, when they are looking for information and things to solve their problem, they can identify “this person, this is what they talk about. And so I can use them as a resource for this problem when I need help or for this topic.” So they can easily identify what you’re discussing and not come to your website and not have a clue what you blog about and why.
0 (15m 59s): Number four, you don’t have to start off as a good writer to become one. And the reason why I say that is some people, writing just may not be their gift or their skill. But some people, they just may not have put writing into practice or may not have, ever besides what they do in school, they may not have ever blogged or they may not have ever written online. And it’s a huge, big difference in between that. There are certain academic writing companies, but I don’t suggest that and I don’t really support that.
0 (16m 39s): Unless you’re getting help with writing, I don’t think you should reach out to somebody to write your papers for you without you doing any of the work. But as far as blogging, it’s different. Academic writing wouldn’t be a good fit for a blog. You may be in a position like when I first started off. I came from writing online and from an academic background. I came from college. So I had to learn the difference between blogging, freelance writing online and academic writing.
0 (17m 13s): Because it’s not as rigid and you have more control over your style. Some people use AP style, journalistic style writing, but it’s not a requirement because its your blog. Or the customer or client who your writing for, it’s their blog and they have control over how they want it to go. The style, the tone, if they want certain keywords in there, if they want the paragraphs broken down into certain styles.
0 (17m 43s): And let’s talk about some of the best practices with that. People like to read in small chunks of writing such as two to three short sentences versus a full paragraph like you wouldn’t normally see. So that’s when the things that you may have to learn. You don’t have to start off knowing all of this because you won’t. The key is to just start focusing on those topics and bringing value to and bringing information to the people who are looking for this from you.
0 (18m 15s): And you will learn about the technical parts of being a blogger over time, but it’s a lot more free than in other areas. You’ll learn about other things that will attract people who are looking for that information. And you’ll learn about other things that you can incorporate, but you will learn that over time. So you don’t have to start off as good. Just keep practicing, keep writing, and keep learning and you will get better.
0 (18m 46s): Number five, blogging offers freedom to use your own voice, style, and language. Just like I already mentioned. But there is still a formula to draw in your audience and bring them back again. If you write well and you help the user or your audience solve the problem and you do it in a way that keeps their attention, then they’re going to come back for more. That’s part of the formula. Making it easily digestible, putting the right titles there, putting the right information in the right places, and making your information easy to find for your audience.
0 (19m 32s): You have a freedom there to do things your own way, but also you need to use the formula to be found and to get your audience, to even take notice of your freestyle blogging or your writing. And we’ll talk more about this formula in the next couple of episodes in the content marketing series where I’ll break down how to nail your blog posts each and every time you write and break down the components of a good readable block post.
0 (20m 5s): Numbers six, you can make money from your blog using active and or a passive income sources. Okay. Let’s talk about that. What are active and passive income sources? So active of course would be something that you physically have to take action on like a product or service that you have to put work into. Mainly, I would say just as a service because you do have to work on a product. But a lot of products, especially digital ones, once you put it out there besides going back and improving it and testing it, once you put it out there you can sell it over and over again.
0 (20m 46s): So I would say that falls into more of the passive side, but services, you can incorporate services into making money from your blog. And this is for those who are strictly wanting to start a blog. You can offer your blogging services to other people like I did. Other companies who need a blog on their website, who want to position themselves as a resource, who want to draw in and build that relationship. They may not have the time or the skills to do so or they may just want to pass that onto someone else like you.
0 (21m 27s): You can offer your services. You can reach out to people. It’s not always going to come to you. Especially not at first, but referrals work magic once you are out there as a highly qualified resource. If that’s something that, if you’ve grown your blog, you’ve developed, you used the formula, and you now are skilled at blogging, put yourself out there and make that a service. And there are other things around and around blogging that you can do. If you’ve mastered the skill or the art of that website, that particular platform you use to build your blog and you can offer your services to use that platform to build someone else’s blog or website who’s wanting to start one.
0 (22m 9s): The passive income sources, we’ve talked about these before in the previous podcast about ways to monetize your online business. But a lot of those are gonna be surrounded around adds and affiliate links or mentions. This can work in conjunction with your social media, if you’re building a following there. Or you can do it specifically on your blog where you’re bringing in traffic. But this can be direct ads where you’re actually pitching and selling people.
0 (22m 44s): Or you can work with a ad network, but in order to make a significant amount of money or a substantial amount of money from that, you would have to be bringing in massive amounts of traffic. So it may be better for you to use affiliate links or to work directly with companies and offer your advertising on your blog to those companies. So those are some of those suggestions, but I have the resources out there and I’ll probably just post that in the comments on my website so that you guys can go to that and find out the ways that you can make money from your blog in the active or passive resources for making money from your blog.
0 (23m 30s): Those are the six that I wanted to tell you about. The six things that I learned from my early days of full time freelance writing. The next part of this content marketing series will discuss how to nail your blog posts each and every time you write. That’s what I will be discussing on the next part of this series. It will be breaking down the formula of how to be a good blogger and how to make your blog posts attractive and readable for the audience that you are trying to capture.
0 (24m 4s): I hope you guys have found this helpful. Thank you guys for listening. If you have any questions and you’re listening from the Anchor platform, press that record button. Say hi, hello, ask your question. Whatever you would like to say or comment. Or you can do the same by going to my website if you’re listening from my website, and scrolling down below this recording to the comment section and placing your comment there. I hope to hear from you guys. Thank you for listening. And as I always say Dream Until your Creams Come True.
1 (24m 37s): <music>.